Squash loving!


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.

big budget buttonbig

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 πŸ™‚

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 πŸ™‚

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! πŸ™‚

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!

Β 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! πŸ™‚

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18 thoughts on “Squash loving!”

  1. I know- I love the box so much but it will last me for ages! Until my skin turns orange anyway! Thanks for that too, glad you like the new look.

  2. “the mat” by lululemon! hands down, it’s the best mat that i’ve EVER owned! it maintains its stickiness even when the sweat begins to pour and continues to pour during a 90 minute session! here’s the link: http://shop.lululemon.com/products/clothes-accessories/women-mats/The-Mat-32428?cc=0001&skuId=3424457&icid=landingalinkthematyogamat09142011.

    i’ve owned them all, including “the manduka” which is supposedly the king of mats. believe me, it’s not!

    i post yoga segments to my blog every wednesday! check them out if your’e interested! and i found your page through jessica’s comment sequence. nice to meet you! the squash stew looks fantastic! xx

  3. I love the new look! It’s great to have a technical helper – Peter did most of my blog design πŸ™‚
    That’s a lot of squash – I have trouble getting through one of them! I do like the idea though and there are a lot of recipes that work well with squash.
    If you find a non-slip yoga mat please post it because I have the same problem – my palms get so sweaty when I’m doing yoga!

  4. Love the new look! I love Ash, I was a massive fan when I was in my teens, I’m so glad that out of a lot of the indie brit pop bands they’ve kept going. That recipe is so similar to my morrocan tagine – I bet if you’d added a bit of cumin it would have went well. Glad you enjoyed the almond milk, its so delicious isn’t it!

  5. I think this has to be my favourite layout of any blog, particularly in terms of the header! It looks so professional and ‘classy’ (crap adjective but the best I could think of. I am not in a particularly good state when it comes to vocalising/articulating things properly tonight!). The silver of the medal against the purple accents in the shoes…it’s an aesthetic dream πŸ˜€ Plus, if those are Nike Pegasus trainers then they’re my favourite racing shoe – I adore them. It’s just a shame my orthotics aren’t compatible with them and my legs die without orthotics *grr*

    I am getting a squash box soon! I am so excited…now if only my pay/scholarship would come through for this month (hey, squash count as brain food, right?) I’ll bet Riverford have seen their business triple from squash-obsessed Bloggers alone πŸ˜‰


  6. Great new layout; I love the picture! And I love Ash too; never seen them live but would really like to – hope you’re having a great time πŸ™‚
    And it’s amazing how much liquid coconut flour absorbs – I’d heard it but didn’t realise quite how much! As far as gluten-free chocolate goes, the Asda own brand and Silver Spoon chocolate drops are gluten-free. Cadbury’s Dairy Milk isn’t but the Cadbury’s buttons are, weirdly, if that helps! None of the Green and Black’s is though…

  7. Eleanor thanks for that- I used to get Sainsburys chocolate as it was always marked as gluten free, but now they don’t do the marks any more and my friend (rightly so) will not take a chance. The cadbury stuff is weird too- she can have some things, but not if they are from a multipack sometimes- they different sized packs must be made in different factories or something.I did not know about Asda own brand- will stock up next time I go!
    Jessica- thanks for that. I don’t think they are pegasus shoes (not sure!) again Andy took the photo- he takes a lot of time composing pictures whereas I am point and shoot!Squash is totally brain food!
    Lara- thanks πŸ™‚
    Ffion- thanks! And yes give it a go- it really is easy!
    Laura-hooray for another Ash fan! They totally rock!
    Sarah-glad it is not just me that needs help with these things.And yes I will let you know if I find a good mat !

  8. Thank you for reminding me of Ash! I haven’t listened in years, but you prompted me to go and look out my albums. I first heard Kung Fu when I pulled a mixtape off the front of Select magazine (remember it?) in about 1994/5 (?) and was blown away that teenagers were making music like that. Soundtrack to my GCSEs, 1977 was.

  9. Yes glad it prompted you to have another listen They are brilliant- yes I remember Select magazine! I used to get that, NME, or Melody Maker papers! Taking me back to my teenage years!

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