Unfortunately my new vegetable diet, bouncing around the gym and getting back into aerial training hasn’t been enough to ward off the hideous office lurgies that are doing the round at the moment.
However, I’m in beautiful Newquay for the weekend at my partner’s house. Weekdays in London and weekends in Cornwall are pretty bloody excellent and not something I’d ever have anticipated having the luxury of.
This weekend’s excitement was in the form of my first ever wetsuit; a Ripcurl women’s winter wetsuit with an amazing fuzzy lining and matching booties.
The guy in the store was extremely nice and helpful and he gave us a free bottle of a hilarious product I didn’t know existed. Piss Off Wetsuit cleaner – because apparently if you pee in your wetsuit it’ll start to smell after a while. Seems at once gloriously uninhibited and also confusing. One of the selling points of my wetsuit is how slowly it takes water to get through it (it was still dry inside after an hour in the sea yesterday). Immediately pictured hideous scenario in which beginner surfer like self sneakily goes for a wee in their suit and ends up taking it home with them; boak! Surfing is disgusting.
Anyway, such was my whining is my partner’s commitment to me we went down to Fistral in spite of their only being an hour of light left. I’ve only SUPed on The Gannel so far, which is completely flat, but at that point it was selfishly at low tide so the beach was the only option.
Crashing through teeny tiny waves was great fun (novel too! Was not even a little cold) but unfortunately the water was lurching and heaving around a bit so I instantly decided there was no way I was going to be able to stand up. Eventually, though, I got the hang of it and also popped my cherry for falling off the board (which is good as I’d had a crippling irrational fear of this!). Even managed to catch a little wave paddling back to the shore so didn’t feel completely useless.
Back at the Newquay pad my partner had some work to do so I made a (if I do say so myself) pretty sexy dinner. Enjoy!
Veggie Quesadillas with DIY Guac
This recipe is really simple, it just takes a little bit of organising the component parts. It left two very greedy people stuffed so could easily stretch the three or even four.
6 wholewheat tortillas
3 medium avos
10 cherry tomatoes
1 pack mushrooms
1 bag baby spinach
2 cloves garlic
1 red onion
1 large courgette
2 Sweet peppers
250g grated mature cheddar
1 small tub soured cream
Dried mixed herbs
1 tsp smoked paprika
Dried Chili flakes
Finally sliced jalapeños
Preheat oven to 170 degrees celcius.
Begin by de-seeding and slicing your peppers – place on a baking tray with plenty of olive oil, half a finely chopped garlic clove and 1/4 diced onion. Add two teaspoons of Chipotle paste (depending on how spicy you like it!) and turn the veggies until all are evenly coated. Pop in oven for 30 mins.
Next slice your mushrooms, 1/4 onion and half a clove of garlic. Add a tablespoon of olive oil to a non-stick frying pan and lightly fry the onion and garlic until they begin to soften and go transparent, then add the mushrooms and sweat them slowly (8 – 10 mins) until they begin to soften and give up their water. Add salt, pepper, dried herbs and smoked paprika. When they’re done, drain any liquid out the pan and set the mushrooms aside in a sieve (they will keep giving up water).It doesn’t matter if they cool down; you’re going to heat them back up in a minute.
Thinly slice your courgettes, dice half the onion and one clove of garlic. Pour a tablespoon of oil and a slice of butter into a non-stick saucepan with a glass lid. Pop the courgettes, onion and garlic in, adding salt, pepper and herbs, and sweat over a low heat until the desired level of softness is achieved (10 – 12 mins for me). No need to stir, just hold on to the lid and shake the pan vigorously now and again.
In a large pan, sweat the spinach down for 5 mins with a little olive oil and the vinegar (it seems like a lot of vinegar but most of it will go down the sink). Remove from the heat and drain in a sieve, pushing the spinach into the sieve with a spoon to remove as much water as possible. Turn spinach out onto kitchen paper (it doesnt matter if it gets cold).
Firmly mash the ripe avocados, adding a little oil. Place the bowl of avos directly on the dinner table with to a serving board holding little piles of 2 tsp of salt, 2 tsp chili flakes, 2 tsp ground pepper and jalapeños and lime quarters. When you come to serving, each person dollops a helping of avos on their plate and adds what ever combination and quantity of the spices that they like!
By now your peppers and courgettes should be done – turn the oven out and pop them in a bowl in the oven to keep warm. Place a large plate in the oven too; this will keep your Quesadillas warm as you go.
In a large frying pan, heat a tbs of oil on a medium heat and rub it around the pan with a piece of scrunched up kitchen paper. Place a wrap into the pan and on one side scatter a little cheese and a spoon of spinach and mushrooms, then cover with a little more cheese. Don’t over fill them! These babies need to be thin, not like a fajita or burrito. Fold the empty half over your filing and press down around the edge (it wont seal completely, but this will help).
Keep checking the underside to make sure its not burning – although you’ll more than likely end up with a few of different colours and textures depending on the heat of the pan and the amount of oil. When golden brown, flip it over and cook the same on the other side. Transfer to a board, slice into three triangles then pop them in the oven while you make the rest.
Serve with soured cream.