10 Days to Go!

So Easter gets ever closer – just 10 days left in the Ethical Superstore diet (regular readers will recall I have been challenged to only eat food and drink that can be purchased from ESS for the whole of lent).

I guess the biggest change for me is that I have ended up cooking virtually all of my meals for the last few weeks. Helen (my long suffering wife and fellow blogger) has put up with cooking me a vegetarian option for years, but the idea of then having to cook my option separately using Ethical Superstore ingredients was a step too far! So most evenings I’ve come home and cooked a meal for myself. Previously, this would have been getting a veggie ready meal out of the freezer, popping in the microwave and 4 minutes later sitting down to a portion of vegetable (plus salt, sugar and fat) goodness. For the last five weeks I’ve been looking at a pile of ingredients and waiting for inspiration.

I suspect this will be the biggest change when this little project comes to an end. Ready meals just don’t do it for me having now cooked for myself for the last 5 weeks. Even with my cooking and slap-dash approach to quantities, the taste and the freshness is way better than the average pack of freezer fodder.

So what have been my highlights?
1)  Keep it simple with pasta – take a portion of any of the pastas we sell – my favourite is the Traidcraft Penne pasta that include quinoa in the mix. Fry an onion from the veg box and add half a pot of one of the pasta sauces –Meridian Tomato and Olive for a classic Italian flavour and a for a little more kick the spicy Meridian Tomato and Pepper.
2)    Go Middle  Eastern with cous cous – we sell various quantities of cous cous in a bag but I’ve become partial to the Just Wholefoods Cous cous and lentils. Add water, simmer for a few minutes and garnish with fresh tomato and  Suma Canned sweetcorn. Delicious.
3)    And when all else fails – bake a potato in the microwave for 5 minutes, warm a can of Whole Earth baked beans and serve with a teaspoon of Harrissa relish. “Surely beans are bad for you with added sugar” I hear you cry. But no. Whole Earth beans are sweetened with apple juice and given an extra tang with cider vinegar. As 5 minute meals go this one really is good for you.
So while I’m looking forward to Easter and getting a little more variety in my diet (and getting a few more meals cooked for me) the lessons I’ve learned on preparing wholesome not-so ready meals will live on in our house.

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