And it’s January 2021 – it feels strange to say ‘Happy New Year’, as the past year has taught us to be cautious and vigilant. I will however be cautiously optimistic and wish you all a better 2021. I hope this year gets better and brighter for us as we go into spring and as vaccines are being rolled out across the world.
We started the year – as many (if not most) of you, I’m sure – at home. It’s not really much different to previous years – we like to spend NYE at home with food, drink and board games. However, it did feel differently this time. The weight of 2020 hung heavy as the clock hit midnight. But we had a good night’s sleep and then enjoyed a long walk the day after, which made things better. And then, last night, the UK’s Prime Minister announced that the country is going into lockdown again, until at least mid-February.
I won’t lie to you, it’s not great. It’s cold and dark a lot of the time, we are all tired from staying in this pandemic longer than a fetus stays in the womb (have I put you off food yet?). Joking aside, I really feel for people with young kids who have to juggle work and childcare responsibilities, for people stuck in abusive homes, for families living in small flats and for people who are lonely. And for everyone else too – we are all battling our own demons and trying to navigate this crazy world. It’s a tough time, and my heart goes out to you if you are feeling sad, tired or overwhelmed. There’s no quick-fix for getting through this, but we will come out the other side of it this year. We will hug family and friends again, get together for birthdays and celebrations, go to the theatre or a concert, and go on adventures. And these are the things that make it all worth it, so hang in there and take it easy on yourself – you’re doing the best you can in these difficult circumstances.
We need to learn to treat our inner child with the same compassion that we would treat any other child that is scared, sad or tired. Focus on the positives, however small they might be, and try to limit your exposure to the news or to toxic people and (virtual) environments. Make it a non-negotiable to look after yourself and find one or a few self-care rituals that work for you – whether it’s eating nourishing foods, going to bed earlier, practicing a few minutes of mindfulness, dancing around the house to your favourite tunes, going out for a lunchtime walk, curling on the sofa with a book and a cup of tea, watching your favourite TV series, or anything else that is restorative. You’d be surprised, but often we don’t realise how much we need those moments of self-care until we actually S L O W D O W N and take some time to look after ourselves. And it’s funny, because we don’t question our phone running out of battery – we simply plug it back in so it can charge. Yet we don’t realise that we also need to take that time to recharge on a regular basis. Especially with everything that is going on at the moment.
Aaanyway, I realise I have deviated from the topic of this post, which is curry! I don’t know about you, but in our house we love a curry, and we also love mushrooms and tofu (standard vegans!). And that’s pretty much how this Korma recipe was born. It’s super tasty and oil-free if you make it in a non-stick pan. We use the Eco range from Prestige. It’s really quick as well, it takes about 20 minutes to make (excluding the tofu pressing time), so it’s a perfect mid-week dinner! It’s a really rich yet healthy curry, and we like to serve it with brown rice* to maximise the number of nutrients we get from this dish. I hope you enjoy it!
*Brown rice and wholegrains in general are higher in fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. They help regulate blood sugar levels and keep us fuller for longer. (For more information, visit the British Dietetic Association website)
We wish you a 2021 filled with hope, connection, self-compassion and humour, as we navigate these times together.
Mushroom and Tofu Curry
A creamy vegan korma dish
- 250-300g mushrooms, quartered
- 300g firm tofu, pressed (if required) and cubed
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 6 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 can of coconut milk
- 1 thumb sized piece of ginger, chopped
- 2 tbsp of tomato puree
- 1 tbsp of almond butter
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 4 tbsp ground almonds
- pinch of salt
- Make the curry paste by placing half of the garlic, the ginger, tomato puree, almond butter, ground cumin, ground coriander, coconut milk and salt into a blender and blitz until smooth
- Place a non-stick pan on high heat and once hot, add the onion and the garlic to the pan
- Once they have softened, add the tofu and cook until slightly browned, then add the mushrooms in too, along with the ground almonds and cook for 4-5mins
- Add the curry paste and then simmer for another 10mins or so, until the sauce is thick and creamy
- Serve with brown or basmati rice, cooked according to package instructions