A Note from Natalie
Natalie is the resident writer, but not an expert. For expert advice, please book a consultation with Dr Quinn
Have you noticed how popular foraging has become? Self-sufficiency overall has been gaining a bit of a comeback over the last decade or so, and it’s all about growing your own food, making your own bread – even upcycling your clothes.
Has Convenience Become A Hassle?
Because the truth is that all convenience comes at a cost. The quality of ingredients necessarily has to take a hit if you want baseline prices with a long shelf life. The hunt for parking and lengthening queues to pick up your ‘convenient’ provision of food can seem counter-intuitive!
Has convenience created a separation from the experience of feeling alive?
Get your hands dirty, laugh at all you culinary ‘errors’, delight in the sense of achievement when you grow something that tastes amazing in your own handpicked recipe or creation…
1. Growing your own
There is something so beautiful about growing your own produce, even if you just start small and create a miniature herb garden. Before you know it the bug bites (so to speak) and the sense of achievement just inspires…
It’s not just about the food…
Put your body through a varied physical range of motion such as digging, raking, picking – all the moves you make involve different body areas. You’re also getting time away from electricity, and without even having to think about it, your breathing changes, your brain changes, your thinking changes and you actually start to hear your own inner voice outside in the peace of nature.
Mostly you’ll see people out and about doing this with their children, but it’s not age exclusive – though it does have that wonderful child-like sense of wellbeing, because children haven’t forgotten yet how to be enriched by going out and doing something; by smells, colours and a sense of adventure.
Just now it’s blackberry season, beautiful berries to stain your fingers purple and add delicious flavour to your food. Enjoy the spectacular taste, fresh off the brambles!
3. Get cooking
This isn’t about getting quaint in a pinny, or producing gorgeous delicacies to show off, it’s another way of connecting your experience with a physical activity and releasing your mind from its anxiety loop.
It is so important to regularly disengage from the illusion that the world is solely about the parts that cause you distress. I don’t know how we’ve fallen for thinking it. There is time to be had when your life is just about living – not your money, not your job, not the political situation – but about where your body is right now, and where you choose to fix your energy.
We’ve made a fabulous mess making damson jam from the fruit begging to be picked this week. The three things combined – the outside experience, the harvest, then the process of making something from scratch – they’ve all been hard work, but the kind that at the end of the day doesn’t leave you feeling like you desperately need to escape planet earth. Actually, the hard work leads to feeling satisfied and calm – aching in body, but nothing a little rest and stretch can’t sort out. And better yet, We’ve got a few Christmas presents sorted out months in advance – which come December, we’ll be feeling very grateful (and smug) about!
Connect yourself back to nature, creating and sensual delight ….
Recipes this week:
Important: Debbie is selecting recipes with combinations of ingredients to inspire your cooking regimes, but while they are healthier choices in general, they will not address individual issues. You MUST make sure that all ingredients you use are compatible with your own individual medical conditions, medications, allergies and goals.
Lemon Zested Goats Cheese & Lentil Lasagne
- 80g finely chopped onion
- 2 tsp mild coconut oil
- 2 (400g) tins green lentils, drained
- 200ml vegetable stock
- 2 finely chopped garlic cloves
- 3 tbsp tamari
- 2 tbsp dried thyme
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- freshly ground black pepper
- Himalayan salt (optional)
300g thinly sliced courgette
- 180g goats cheese
- 5-6 tbsp. almond cream
- 2 tbsp. lemon zest
Extra olive oil and pepper
Preheat Oven 200 deg C
- To make the mince fry the onion with the coconut oil until starting to lightly brown. Add the rest of the mince ingredients, except the salt and pepper. Bring to a boil then simmer for 15 minutes or until the stock has been absorbed. Taste test and season with the salt and pepper as you prefer. Leave to rest and cool down for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, place the courgette slices on parchment lined baking sheets. Bake for 5 minutes and leave to cool down until the mince is ready.
- Mash the goat’s cheese, almond cream and lemon zest until you have a soft yet lumpy texture.
- Layer the bottom of 22×15 cm baking tin with half of the mince mixture. Layer one-third of the courgettes on top. Spread out the remaining lentil mince on top. Layer with another third of the courgette slices.
- Spread the cheese mix using a wet large spoon over the top. Layer the final third of the courgette slices on top.
- Brush with the olive oil and a sprinkle of freshly ground black pepper. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes. The mince and cheese are bubbling around the sides when the lasagna is ready.
- Serve with crispy lettuce or sprouted pea and alfalfa shoots.
Use a potato peeler to peel the courgette strips, especially useful if you haven’t a mandolin to hand.
Drain the lentils, there is no need to rinse them. This helps the texture of the mince layers.