On the menu: More Simply Nigella

Sunday

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Apricot almond cake with rosewater and cardamom, as made by Nigella in the first episode of her new series (recipe here). When I was watching it on TV I was virtually salivating, so I had to make it, although I didn’t add the pistachios, as I don’t like them. The cake was fun and easy to make, the smell of the apricots cooking with the cardamom was amazing. The resulting cake tastes nice but is on the healthy tasting side, so I’m not sure if it’s going to be popular with the rest of the family. And for the record it’s not that healthy, 304 calories per slice (I know Nigella would so disapprove of someone working out the calories) but each slice is also a pretty good source of vitamin C, calcium and iron, with a bit of vitamin A too. Oh and also of note, whereas you can taste the cardamom, you can’t taste the rosewater but that may just be the brand of rosewater I bought.

Monday

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Parsnip and spinach soup, also from Simply Nigella. The colour of this was amazing and it had the sort of thickness I like in a soup, it was so so taste wise though, not bad, gently warming and quite filling but nothing to write home about.

Tuesday

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I’m on a certain medication for life after my latest surgery and my doctors are still working on getting the right dosage. At the moment, most of the time, it feels like I’m currently on too little but three quarters of an hour dancing and singing in the kitchen whilst making Nigella’s sweet potato macaroni cheese was the best medicine of all and it soon perked me right up and that was even before I tasted it. It’s one of those lovely dishes with enough steps to get you totally involved in it and to make you feel like you’re accomplishing something but at the same time each step is satisfyingly simple, so even the most tired mind can do it. And then you get the ultimate reward of eating it! Now I’m not a big fan of sweet potato (although I keep trying to get myself to eat more of it) but in this recipe it works so so well. It gives a lovely texture to the dish and it’s very filling and comforting, it doesn’t have the over sweetness that I normally dislike about sweet potato, as you’ve got the flavours of the cheese, mustard and paprika. It is a filling dish and it echoes that in the calories (763!), so you’d perhaps want to eat light for the rest of the day but it’s an absolutely excellent source of calcium and vitamin A. I also think that although the dish serves 4, you could stretch it to a less calorie busting 6 or 8 and serve it with some salad and it would be enough, but then again I can also imagine coming home to this after a long winter’s walk, you would definitely appreciate the full portion.

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