Last weekend was great – the weather in the UK is finally getting (slightly) warmer and the days have definitely gotten longer (hello, 8pm sunset!). We spent loads of time outdoors, going for long walks in the sunshine. We even made it to the pub for the first time in 5 months, after what will likely go down in history as the longest winter in the century. The UK was in national lockdown for 4 months, and restrictions are now slowly being lifted, which means that we can finally see that shining light at the end of the Covid tunnel of doom…
I’m joking around, but I am SO proud of everyone who has gotten through this dark winter, one day at a time (Groundhog Day, anyone?). It hasn’t been easy, but life isn’t really like that anyway. We are fortunate enough to live in the best time in human history (so far!) – even if it often doesn’t feel that way – and we’ve somehow learned to feel bad for feeling bad, which is not really a helpful response. I think this pandemic has reminded us that life is a rollercoaster and that, whilst we can’t always control circumstances, we can control our reaction to them. We can learn to focus on the things that are within our control – our breathing, our habits, our choices, our words and actions. One of my favourite quotes is the one below, from Holocaust survivor and neurologist Viktor Frankl. I am not suggesting that learning to choose our response is easy – by any means – it’s actually the opposite. But it is simple, and something that we all have the power to do – learning to hold that space for ourselves so we can choose a response that will help us rather than hurt us. With practice, of course.
Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.Viktor Frankl
Anyway, I realise that I digress and this is really a food blog, so I should probably start talking about food! We had a really lovely weekend and got to walk a lot and enjoy the sunny weather, which makes such a difference to our mental wellbeing, especially after so many cold, dark winter days. We even got to enjoy our dinner in the garden on Sunday, which was a super yummy Buddha bowl filled with nourishing veggies, beet (pink) hummus, wholegrain couscous and beetroot falafel. I’ll share some photos of our weekend, and also the recipe for the beetroot falafel, below.
Falafel is this little ball of goodness that you can have in so many different ways – in a wrap, a pitta or a buddha bowl. It’s got plenty of protein from the chickpeas and also loads of flavour – definitely a vegan classic. It’s also suitable for freezing, which is super handy if you’re not going to eat it all in one go, or are feeling super organised and want to prep loads of food and pop it in the freezer to have it ready for busy days. If popping the falafels in the freezer, you should then cook them straight from frozen at 180 degrees fan for 15 minutes.
Baked Beetroot Falafel
An easy and oil-free beetroot falafel recipe
- 1 can chickpeas (400g)
- 200g beetroot
- 100g breadcrumbs (use GF if needed)
- 50g walnuts
- 20g parsley, stalks removed
- 4 garlic cloves
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
- Drain and rinse the chickpeas, then add to the food processor with the other ingredients.
- Pulse until you get a smooth composition.
- Take a handful of the mixture and roll it into a small ball, then place on a tray lined with non-stick baking paper
- Do the same with the remaining mixture, until you have 12-15 falafel balls.
- Pop in the oven and bake for about 20-25mins, then leave out to rest for 5-10 minutes before serving in a wrap/pitta/bowl.