Friday, 12 October 2012

Almost healthy Friday quickie

Well it's been a while since my last Friday quickie. Mostly it's because I haven't eaten in on a Friday for ages. Fridays used to be mine and Best Friend's grocery shopping day, we would head off for our half hour trek to the big Tesco, use at least another half hour, often even more, to browse our way through every isle, and then trek back with a weeks worth of groceries. Carrying it all back home was never an enjoyable task, but gossiping about everything that had happened that week or planning the weekend used to make the trip go quickly. Then when I got home, I cooked something simple but delicious and spent the rest of the night on the sofa.

These days, we spend Friday afternoon crawling around in the mud and grass, do our burpees, press-ups, running and all sorts of other crazy exercises at bootcamp. If we are lucky it isn't raining, but last week we got soaked both during the morning and evening bootcamp. Yes, we are hard core that way, we enjoy bootcamp twice every Friday. And Mike, our trainer, has a very special treat for us to finish off Friday's bootcamp. Two minutes of burpees. When you have pushed your body to the limit for a full hour, those two minutes feel like they are never going to end. Point of all of this, after getting drenched in sweat and sometimes rain as well, then chilled until freezing while walking home through a pitch dark field (we have to carry bike lights to find our way, it's really that dark), the last thing on my mind is to cook something. I jump straight into a hot shower, stand there for ages until the feeling has returned to my frozen toes and then wrap myself in layers of fleece. Boiling the kettle and filling my fluffy pink hot water bottle. And grabbing whatever I can find in the freezer to eat. Gastronomy be damned, after that sort of workout you just need calories in any form or shape they happen to be most quickly available. 

And I have to admit, this week's Friday quickie is a bit of a cheat. Because I prepared the figs earlier, and only quickly heated them up today. But it's the thought that counts, in theory it's still a Friday quickie, as I'm eating it on a Friday and it was very quick to prepare, even if I technically speaking didn't prepare it all on a Friday. And it follows the rules of Friday quickies, it only has a few ingredients. Simple but oh so delicious! The figs were inspired by a pin I ran into on Pinterest which led me to this blog post about figs. Figs and goat's cheese are quite a classic combination, I decided to roast my figs instead of having them fresh, although they were so lovely soft and ripe that I'm sure they would have been absolutely delicious fresh as well. I'm just on a bit of a roasting fad, and I wanted proper food, which to me means it has to be served hot. It only seemed appropriate to serve the figs with a side dish which has been prepared by oven roasting as well. I haven't used kale much, but I fell in love with the idea of kale chips when I saw the beautiful photos on White On Rice Couple. Well, obviously I first saw the photo on Pinterest, but I probably didn't need to mention that, now did I?
Roasted figs and chèvre (serves 1):
4 figs
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp whole grain mustard
black pepper
100 g chevre
handful of pecans

The howto:
Preheat oven to 200 degrees C. Cut figs in half, and drizzle with olive oil. Spread mustard on the figs and sprinkle with a touch of black pepper. Cut the chevre in eight pieces, and top each fig half. Pop into the oven until the goat's cheese has turned golden on top, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with finely chopped pecans.

Salt and pepper kale chips (serves 1):
100 g kale
1 tbsp oil (I used my smoke infused virgin rapeseed oil)
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp ground black pepper

The howto:
Preheat oven to 200 degrees C. Spread the kale onto a roasting tin. Drizzle with oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss. Roast for 6-8 minutes, until kale is crisp. The kale will burn very quickly, so keep an eye on it for the last few minutes. I know my baking time is shorter than that indicated in the original recipe, I guess it depends on your oven and kale. And after the fire in our building the other day (the flat underneath mine burned to a crisp...) I didn't want to over-roast the kale and risk setting off our super sensitive smoke detector as that would probably cause one or two heart attacks with the neighbours.

The verdict:
First of all, if you want to have enough kale to actually make it all the way onto your plate, you need to cook more than one serving. I hardly had any left over for a picture as I ate it right off the roasting tin. It's just that good. No, actually it's even better. I had no idea I liked kale so much. I might have slightly over salted the chips, but that just made them a bit more chip-like. Maybe next time I should drizzle some malt vinegar on them as well. 

Figs and goats cheese are a classic combo. And there is of course a reason why they are a classic, because they go together like... well like figs and goats cheese. The sweetness of the figs and the savoury cheese. I'm just crazy for figs right now, so stay tuned for more fig goodiness soon.

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