Today has started well! I did some yoga before breakfast (long overdue- I need to get back into the habit of this) and then Levels 1 and 2 of the Shred a bit later- I kept this really for winter days when I could not run, and tonight we are off to see Ash in London (woo) so I will be missing aerobics. It was pretty hard but I suppose as the weather gets worse I will be doing it more again.
I am loving my squash box!
On Sunday I made a lovely roasted squash and chickpea stew.
First up I sliced and roasted a red onion squash. This was easier said than done. I need a sharper knife! I left the skin on but next time I might take it off. I sprinkled rosemary on, as I think it goes so well with pumpkin/squash.
In a pan I cooked 1 chopped red pepper and one chopped carrot (in a little olive oil).
While that was cooking away I got the onion squash out of the oven.
And chopped it up.
Then I added 1 tin chopped tomatoes, 1/2 tin of water, the squash, chilli flakes and a little more rosemary to the pan.
I also added some chopped dried figs (it was a suggestion on the packet- I had bought them for my Christmas cakes but had some left over).
Then add a tin of drained chickpeas.
Leave to simmer for a while- maybe 20 mins?
I topped mine with Delamere goats cheese (one disc crumbled up went a long way). It melted and tasted amazing. The figs were a good addition as they plumped up and added a bit of sweetness- the flavour did go with the squash too.
Plus some sweet potato fries. Mmmmmmm soooo good!
I made 4 portions of the stew, so I have 3 left which I have put in the freezer for another day. Did I mention before that I love batch cooking?
The Big Blogger Budget challenge is also going well. You can see my original post here.
So far :
I cancelled the milkman milk. That was an easy one to tick off quickly!
Today I made my own almond milk! It was amazing and actually easy (everyone said it would be easy but I didn’t really think it would be). I will put the how to at the bottom.
I have checked my bank this week (the saving thing is already done for this month though).
I have started to get some Christmas presents- ordered some very cool things for my Mum 🙂
I have made some Christmas cakes (which I always do) but I also made some chocolate covered almonds to see how they would turn out, so I might make them again nearer Christmas for gifts. They are super tasty- not sure I want to give any away!!
I got the squash box (not technically a veg box) with the fruit bag too. I think the fruit bag was really good value for money.
I was sooooo tempted this week to order some Clinique things- I got an email and I would have got free mini perfume and lipbalm- it took me thinking of the challenge to make myself not order something! Told you I loved mini + freebies!
So thanks to the challenge I managed to resist more expensive skincare (for the sake of a few freebies) and make my own milk! Woo!
Almond milk. Makes half a big jug 🙂
First up, soak 1 cup of almonds in water. I left them overnight but according to millions of websites I googled, it could only be left for an hour.
I also got a jug ready with a sieve, cheesecloth on top, ready for straining later.
Then rinse and drain the almonds, and put in a blender with 3 cups of water.
Then whizz it up baby! It did not take too long. Watch it churn.
Then pour into the strainer and leave to drip through.
At this point I realised my jug was way too small! So I got out a bigger jug and transferred it over.
Much better size for the job!
A lot of the recipes I read said to sweeten with agave or vanilla, but I prefer the natural Ecomil to the sweetened version- I find it sweet anyway, so I left it alone. I have already had some in a half latte- I heated up half a cup, then topped up with spiced tea.
It was so delicious! Now I need to find some recipes to use up the pulp- yum.
Finally I got a lovely surprise in the post.
I ordered some bits from Planet Organic, but when the order arrived, this chocolate was missing as it was out of stock (Conscious Cherry Christmas, with wild, sundried golden & sweet cherries- how good does that sound?)- I emailed and asked if it could be sent when it came into stock, but they had already refunded me, so I was going to have to add it to my next order. But they actually sent it to me- how kind! 🙂
Right, off to check on my baking.
Not convinced it is going to work! I am trying to make gluten free pumpkin spiced bars (for my friend as I am seeing her tomorrow)- I had read that coconut flour soaks up a lot of liquid, so I reduced the amount of flour. Seems like I did not reduce it enough as I had to add loads of milk to make a proper batter. Hmm. I did look at some of the recipes you guys recommended to me, but then if they require chocolate then she is never sure if the chocolate is gluten free and so on, so I thought these would be simple. It is a learning curve I suppose!
Can anyone recommend to me a good mat for exercise/ yoga? The one I have is so slippery and has no grip, so things like press ups are hard as my arms and feet constantly slide away from me. Are those thin roll up ones any good or are they too thin?
Also do you like the new look? Andy has been very busy helping me (well, doing 90% of it) and is still designing a new header photo, so well done Andy!
Anyone else an Ash fan? They were (are) one of my fave bands, and me and Andy met going to an Ash gig when we were in sixth form (we had mutual friends who were going, so the groups of friends mixed into one..) and I still love their compilation to listen to when running a race- Kung Fu speeds me up and makes me overtake people! 🙂