Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Roast Summer Squash and Chickpea Salad

Roast Summer Squash and Chickpea Salad
This week in the veg box we got a little bag of pattypan squash (also known as scallop squash).  
I've never seen or heard of them before - they look like little yellow flying saucers from 50's advertising.  I did a bit of googling to find out what to do with them but was uninspired until I found this recipe by Chocolate & Zucchini which I adapted quite liberally to suit what I had on hand.

Fertility focus:
Summer squash is rich in antioxidants and vitamins A, Bs (including folate) and C and the skin is full of fibre.
Chickpeas are a good plant source of protein and fibre.
Rocket (Arugula) is actually a cruciferous vegetable packed with fertility-boosting vitamins and minerals which research shows improves liver function. It is also considered an aphrodisiac in some cultures.

Ingredients

  • Pattypan squash
  • Courgette
  • Chickpeas
  • Rocket

Dressing

  • Olive Oil
  • Lemon
  • Capers

Method
Wash and cut the pattypan squash into quarters, then halve each quarter.  Cut the courgette into similar sized chunks.  Toss with a little olive oil and roast in the oven at about 200 C for about 20 minutes or until the squash is soft and caramelising at the edges.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Squeeze the juice of half a lemon and mix with a drizzle of olive oil.  I don't like to use too much as the squash is already covered in olive oil from the roasting. Scrape out the lemon flesh from the rind and add to the lemon and oil with a couple of teaspoons of finely chopped capers.

Rinse the chickpeas and rocket leaves and toss with cooled squash and dressing.

Topped with Sardines
I served this with sardines, which contrasted nicely with the salty-tart dressing, spicy leaves and sweet roasted squash.

Friday, 10 January 2014

Ho hum

New Years Breakfast - buckwheat pancakes
Its been a few weeks since I last posted and to be honest its because I've been in a bit
of a funk.  While its true I'm not the biggest fan of Christmas (I'm more "ho-hum" than "ho ho ho" due mainly to the commercialism and saccharine idealism of family life in the media) Mr Duncan and I enjoyed a picnic in the park on the day and it passed uneventfully, so its not that.

I have been spending a lot of time on the internet trying to figure out where we should rent, and Mr Duncan and I have pounded the pavements relentlessly evaluating different neighbourhoods.  The rental market is quite tight here and most properties have only a 10 minute inspection window once a week in which all prospective tenants visit the property and then run to be the first to get their application in.

I'm pleased to say we signed a lease on Monday and will be moving on 18th January.  I'm less pleased to say the container of our belongings (which I'd been enjoying tracking on the internet) has been offloaded in Singapore and is now scheduled to arrive three weeks later than originally planned so we wont have any furniture until February at the earliest.  I need to sort out renting some furniture temporarily and buying a fridge and washing machine but I'm pretty uninspired to get on with it.  I've not even been motivated enough to read the blogs I follow (sorry guys, I'll get to you, I promise) or the library books I have borrowed - and I know I still have the Creme waiting for me.  I need to be in the right frame of mind, but I'm not sure how to trigger it...

This is probably the longest period of unemployment/inactivity I've had since early in high school. You know that saying 'if you want something done, give it to a busy person'?  That busy person is usually ME.  I actually enjoy juggling tasks to meet deadlines, but the less I have to do, the less I actually do and the more flat I feel.  Its a bit of a vicious circle.

I think I'll probably look for some work once we move - if they'll have me. There is a lot of competition for jobs here, especially at this time of year and I'm not sure anyone is going to want to employ me at five months pregnant.  But I have to do something or I'll end up going insane with self-inflicted boredom/churn.

I have also been slightly anxious about Pickle.  Its been ten weeks now since any concrete evidence of a growing baby, although to be fair, my belly has definitely been growing. We have the anomaly scan next week, maybe that will help kick-start me into some activity and enthusiasm again.

We have signed up for an organic veggie box service and I've been cooking to the best of my ability with the limited tools available to me in this apartment, but its just the same old stuff.  I can't wait to have a proper kitchen full of my own cooking gear again.

Tortilla

Thai Beef Salad

Egg fried rice with green beans

Beef and noodle stir-fry with beans and red pepper

Roast root vegetable salad with feta

Butternut squash soup

Chicken and green bean coconut curry

Picnic tortilla

Another Thai Beef Salad

Roast summer veg couscous salad

Barramundi on ratatouille with broccolini


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