(Although Friday’s mean very little to me at the moment because my timetable is all over the place- very much like my mood this week).
It feels truly wintery- grey, overcast days are looming in, bringing with them the beginning of the winter chills. The sun seems to have disappeared for the most part, taking my joy and excitement with it. However, it’s not all doom and gloom here in the fair, but hilly, city of Bristol. My weekend should be starting soon and is accompanied by great things such as…
a relaxing evening with the husband tonight; meeting up with a school friend I haven’t seen for years, in my homeland (Wales, although I’ll be in Cardiff rather than Swansea), followed by another friend coming over for some dinner and X-Factor magic (my guilty pleasure); and Sunday, well on Sunday the world’s my oyster! Church in the morning, maybe coffee with friends, maybe a trip to the cinema, who knows..
As for my Friday so far, not great. I’ve been trying to get on with some boring uni work but I’ve been unable to get very far as Spotify has distracted me with it’s world of music that I can tap into with a click of a button (I am weak before you , Spotify!). However, for the first time in weeks, I have stepped away from my lunch time hummus fix and instead had a beautifully dressed salad. After it I had this wonderful feeling of satiation; of my stomach feeling full, my taste buds satisfied, and my body being nourished. Until recently (that is, pre-vegan, and increasingly raw days) I had associated fullness with discomfort, bloating and sluggishness. Even just eating gluten-free didn’t get rid of this unwelcome sensation. As a result, I tried to avoid the feeling of fullness, and would rely on sugar to meet any residual energy requirements (I wanted to be able to function after my meals, and enjoy the people I was with, rather than languishing on the sofa). However, now I know what it is to be comfortably full, to sit back and reflect on my meals with pleasure rather than regret. And it feels great. That’s not to say I never get bloated and uncomfortable anymore; I wish that was the case. Meals with lots of pulses and nuts, or heavily spiced, fatty meals leave me with a similar sensation but I can deal with this rarity now because that’s what it is; rare. Have I tempted you with a vegan diet or including more raw foods at meal times yet???
Onto the salad. As far as I am aware, the ingredients are all raw (however, there is some controversy in the raw community as to whether balsamic vinegar is raw, and more importantly any good for your health). But, I’m not a purist and surely eating a salad with an apparently suspect dressing is better than no salad! So here it is:
Red Batavia Lettuce Salad with a Balsamic Vinaigrette
For the salad:
2 generous handfuls of washed, shredded, organic red battavia lettuce (courtesy of this week’s veg box; thank you Riverford farm)
1 small carrot, peeled and grated
1 tomato, roughly chopped (sad times are when tomatoes aren’t season, which I think is now…?)
1/4 red onion, finely sliced
1 handful of cashew nuts
For the dressing:
5 tbsp balsamic vinegar
8 tbsp of good quality, extra-virgin olive oil (add more if the end result is too vinegar heavy for your tastes)
1 tbsp dijon mustard (probably not raw but hey-ho)
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tsp dried oregano, or other favourite Italian herb
Toss all your salad ingredients in a bowl. Then, with a fork, whisk all your dressing ingredients together. Taste, add salt and pepper, and more olive oil tablespoon by tablespoon until you get the desired result. Drizzle a tablespoon or two over your salad and enjoy. (The rest of the salad dressing can be stored in the fridge, in a screwtop glass jar or other airtight container, for up to a month; if it lasts that long…).