Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Not Quite Veg Everyday but Trying - dressed Puy lentils, and green beans, new potatoes and olives (and a can of responsibly sourced tuna)

The Husband definitely wins in tomorrow’s lunch lottery.

After quite a ’meaty’ few days, mainly because I’m having another go at getting to the bottom of the freezer, I’ve felt like I’ve been in a bit of a food rut again – which is ridiculous, but it’s what I felt. When not walking the dog, dealing with overtired children and moving a shed, I did manage to spend a bit of time on Sunday (Mother’s Day, remember – that day when we’re supposed to get a rest) flicking through Veg Everyday again, and looking beyond the swede and potato pasties. I’ve been slightly evangelical about those pasties, them and the twice baked potatoes which have become a regular fixture on our menu, but nearly 3 months in, and they've kind of blinded me to the rest of the book.

That’s how we came to be having dressed Puy lentils and green beans, new potatoes and olives for supper this evening. Still in the interests of getting through the stockpile (I am beginning to suspect that the nuclear winter may never actually come, in which case, never mind the freezer, what AM I going to do with all those cans of pineapple rings??) I was pleased to find a lentil recipe to use up half a pack lying around in the cupboard, and I had some potatoes from the previous week’s shop which I’d forgotten about and which were surreptitiously sprouting ‘eyes’ in my veg basket. Clearly the makings of a feast.

Amazingly, when I was updating my internet shop (which conveniently arrived this evening, and early to boot), I managed to remember to get the extra bits I needed for the green bean etc dish (mainly, green beans and olives - fairly fundamental, I suppose), so for once I had everything in the list of ingredients (a bit boring perhaps, but just sometimes it’s nice to find out what a recipe is actually supposed to taste like instead of a close approximation). Anyway, the lentils are very simply cooked in water (or veg stock) with a bay leaf, 2 bashed up garlic cloves and some parsley stalks, then dressed with olive oil and lemon juice. The potato salad is even easier – cut the new potatoes into small chunks, cook till nearly done then chuck in the beans for 3 minutes. While you’re doing that, finely slice some garlic, cook it gently in a little olive oil, then chuck in a load of chopped black olives. Drain potatoes and beans, tip over the oil, garlic and olives, chuck in a handful of basil and a squeeze of lemon juice.

I would like to point out that I didn’t buy the parsley or the basil. We have a trough of parsley growing in the garden which has saved me on many occasions: No coriander? Use parsley. No mint? Use parsley etc. We do have basil too - the Husband has been valiantly tending one of those supermarket pots of basil – he’s kept it going for a good couple of months now, and I think it’s turning into a battle of wills.

And what of the tuna? Well, the Husband was looking a bit disappointed when I explained the menu, especially since he'd had cold twice baked potatoes yesterday. He hid it well, but not well enough. So I suggested that we could bung in a can of tuna. It actually would have been delicious without, and he said as much, but it definitely worked with – and it would also have been good with ‘soft hardboiled’ eggs too, so I think that’s what I’ll try next time. So not quite Veg Everyday – but on this occasion, I feel that it was worth bending the rule for. And it was some responsibly fished tuna so I'm not feeling too bad about it.

What’s more, there is enough leftover for the Husband to take it for lunch tomorrow, and with Blue having a school lunch tomorrow, I only need worry about making 1 packed lunch. Success, success, success.

(Perhaps I shouldn't mention that I wimped out as far as the kids were concerned and they had turkey meatballs from ¾ way down the freezer???)

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