Saturday, November 8, 2014

#fedupchallenge - days 6 & 7

Attending UCR ain't no walk in the park. In between my part time jobs, contact hours, homework and extra curricular activities I also have to teach as part of one of my courses. Although it's exciting being part of an innovative program designed to educate young dutch students about Global Citizenship it's also exhausting! Travelling back and forth, designing lesson plans, reflecting on said lessons and painstakingly explaining our motivation for each one backed by academic literature isn't always as fun as it might sound. However, my time teaching at Pontes has now come to an end and despite all my moaning I do think I'm going to miss the students. They've been challenging at times but they are also ridiculously refreshing. I mean, what's more exciting than a 14 year old boy, seemingly interested in everything but your passionate teaching on human rights, raising his hand to answer a rather complex question about the right to life with the exact answer on abortion you were desperately hoping for but never expecting to hear? Nothing. Except maybe a vegetable spiralizer. I guess I'll find that out next week though.

Due to my busy, busy schedule I didn't get round to blogging yesterday much to my dismay. This being said it was probably the best day to miss as I was so busy I nibbled at the same bowl of soup all day long. I did, however, make a very happy breakfast which I doubt requires explanation but I thought I'd share!


A piece of toast covered in my homemade peanut butter (INSIDER TIP #5: I always freeze the other half of my breakfast banana for future use. Frozen banana treats like ice-cream and smoothies are lush just make sure you chop your banana before you freeze or your blender will hate you!), topped with apple slices. This is how you make a breakfast pineapple. Because breakfast pineapples are obviously totally acceptable breakfasts for a 22 year olds, particularly ones running late for meetings.

  Lunch DAY 6

I am a huge soup fan. I make soup out of anything and everything and firmly believe anything in a pan with some water added is soup. I'm the (slightly self-proclaimed) soup queen of B10 best known for leaving pans of soup all over the kitchen. And soup unfortunately doesn't always look very appetizing. Sorryimnotsorry. I whipped this soup up with no real idea in mind and was really pleased with the result. I'd give it a 9/10, a 10/10 if I had managed to get a dollop of kwark in it. I didn't have any to hand so I added coconut milk at the end but to be honest, I'd say that lowered it to an 8.5/10 so don't do that. Just enjoy it with or without kwark!

Carrot, tomato, ginger & lentil soup
2 medium Carrots
Can of Tomatoes
Can of Lentils (I think this is very dutch [and very useful]. If you can't find canned lentils cook your lentils before hand following the instructions on the packet!)
Roughly and inch of Ginger
Chili Flakes
1 big Onion

Chop your onion, crush your garlic and ginger (I always crush my ginger in my garlic press. Not sure if that's the optimal way but it works!) and pop in a deep pan with heated coconut oil with a pinch of salt, pepper and chili. Make sure the oil is not tooooooo hot, don't want to burn your garlic! Let this fizzle for a while whilst you chop your carrots into bits and boil the kettle. Drop the carrots into the pan, stir around a little just because the noise is funny then cover with water. Pop a lid on, lower the heat and leave for 5 mins. Add your tomatoes and leave for 10 minutes or so, up to you. Jamie Oliver always says leaving tomatoes on a low heat for a while thickens them out but I'm not sure about this theory. Go with the flow! Once you feel you've left it long enough add the lentils and hey presto! I wasn't satisfied with the texture of the soup when I was done (too watery) so I blitzed it with my food processor. And by blitz I really mean blitz, in and out, two seconds, leaving the carrots pretty much intact but mushing the lentils just enough to bulk it out a little. Fabuloso.

Lunch DAY 7

Once I read a recipe on (one of my favourite blogs) for cauliflower fried rice. The "rice" has been a staple recipe ever since and I use it regularly. It's such a good base to mix and match fried rice is so quick, cheap, muy delicioso and easy, just how I like my food! A good friend of mine is a great chef and he recently gave me some leftover baby shrimps (HEY RENALD SECOND SHOUT OUT BE EXCITED). As I wrote this I realized it doesn't sound very exciting (maybe even a little bit weird) but as a cash strapped student this was like receiving an A+ on an exam you completely winged. As soon as I got them I knew what I wanted to make with them - egg fried rice!

Egg-fried "rice" - adapted from thelondonder,me

1 Small cauliflower
1 Egg
Spring onions
1 medium Onion
Mustard seeds (optional)
Handful Mushrooms - chopped

First, you need to make your rice. All the cool food bloggers do this with their Vitamixers or something like that but I just use a good old fashioned grater. It makes the perfect "rice" consistency and I bet it's much easier to clean! Yes you read that right, step one is to grate your cauliflower. It should look a little like cooked couscous when you're finished. Heat some oil in a wok (or a normal frying pan) and add your garlic, onion, chili and ginger. I know I literally start every single dish this way so I decided to add some mustard seeds to the mix today. I genuinely have no idea what they taste like or how to prepare them but I just chucked them in because for some reason I had them uselessly lying around. The dish turned out spectacular so I encourage you to follow this step! Once you feel you've sufficiently infused your oil add the "rice". Stir it all around a bit then crack an egg into the middle and stir really quickly kind of like you're making scrambled eggs. Because you kinda are. But not. Okay, next step! Add in your chopped mushrooms to the rice. In a separate pan, lightly fry your shrimps in butter and garlic. Once everything is done put it all on a plate, stress about how to make this bland-looking but out-of-this-world-tasting dish look instamazing, give up and shove it in your gob. Muy bueno.

These last two days have not been easy. I've been extortionately busy with limited time to prepare food plus working (after which a glass of wine is definitely never unwelcome!). Cravings have definitely started! For example, I usually feel beyond fortunate to work in an exquisite restaurant where the deserts are the talk of the town and the chef can't count (always in my benefit). Not being able to snack on all the "accidental" extra bits and bobs was actually soul crushing. I decided to take this on as motivation to kick the sugar addiction rather than wallow in my self-pity. But only after cradling a strawberry baby macaroon before throwing it in the bin. And the homemade boterkoek. And the chocolate fudge bonbons. And I'm going to stop typing now.

Roll on Wednesday now please!

Tschüss, Tiger Laylay xo

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