Friday, 10 July 2015

Feeding the Mind and Body









Date Paste


I have been feeling stressed, too much to do, too little time to do it, ( and horrendous hay fever) so I was determined to make time for things that feed my mind and body this week.  Here a five things that have helped me feel more like 'me'.  For this post I am joining with Amy over at love made my home


 Upcycle

I am thoroughly fed up with painting walls and doors so I thought I would paint a chair instead.  I had a couple of little pots of Annie Sloane chalk paint left over from another project, an old pillow case bought in a charity shop, an old chair that was given to us years ago and so had some fun.









Eat

When I'm tired and stressed I turn to eating crap, and I have been doing a lot of that lately, I'm trying to have lovely healthy things prepared for when I get home from work so I have no excuse to grab for the packets of crisps and chocolate.  Refined sugar seems to be the food of the devil at the moment and to blame for all our ills, so when I came across date paste in a recipe I just had to give it a go.  I used it in an oil free salad dressing for this lovely healthy brown rice salad.  It sweetened the white wine vinegar to make a tasty dressing.  You can also use it in your baking, though I haven't tried that yet.  Actually it is tasty enough to use as a spread, in moderation.  I can buy medjool dates by the pound in my local greengrocers and always have some ready to munch on. They are full of vitamins B5 and B6 so really good for you though they do have an awful lot of calories in them, but still better than refined sugar.  All you have to do is take the stones out, cover them in warm water and leave for a few hours to soften. Pop them into your food processor with a drop of vanilla essence,  adding a little of the water a bit at a time until you get a thick paste.  Keep it in an airtight container in the fridge and it should keep for a week or two, or you can freeze it.












Grow

I was lucky enough to win piquante pepper seeds in a giveaway from Dani  over at Ecofootprintsa   I was really worried that they would be wasted on me as I'm such a novice at growing things.  Luckily some of them germinated, so I put a few in the veg patch and a few in pots in the greenhouse.  The ones outside don't seem to be doing much but the ones in the greenhouse seem to be happy so far, fingers, legs, arms, eyes and everything else crossed.  Not sure if I should remove some at this stage so they are not too squashed, any advice?









Create

In the evenings I have been doing a little knitting before I go to bed.  It may only be a couple of lines but the cardi is growing little by little.  I have had to buy some more wool it seems to be taking more than it said.  It probably would have been cheaper to buy two cardis for what it is costing, but I'm looking forward to snuggling up in my home made knit in the winter.  It is made on circular needles which I love using.



Learn

I am also trying to grab some time to read this really interesting book.  The author decided to spend a year eating only locally and home produced food.  It's a fascinating read, she really knows her stuff, it is shocking what the food industry is up to!


I hope you all have a good weekend,

Chickpea xx

47 comments:

  1. The rice salad looks delicious and so does the date paste, I can imagine that could be quite easy to eat by the spoonful! The chair looks so different after the makeover, much chicer! I hope that you get some time to relax this weekend and enjoy sitting and reading your book, it sounds fascinating. No advice re the peppers, but I imagine they like the heat so the greenhouse might not be a bad place for them. Sorry, I am better with flowers! Thank you so much as always for joining in. I hope that you have a great weekend! xx

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    1. Thank you Amy, it is always a pleasure to take part in Five on Friday xx

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  2. Five of my favourite things to do as well, although I haven't painted a chair! I might give it a go. Our chillies are outside in the sun now, one to a lot, good luck with yours they look good at the moment. :-)

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    1. Give it a go, more interesting than painting doors :)

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  3. And not just any old circular needles, either! I have really enjoyed this Five, thank you for sharing it. The chair is completely transformed - well done - and the rice salad looks delish. x

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    1. They are a bit special aren't they :)

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  4. loving the chair and the cardi, and the food looks yum, im trying not to eat processed foods and cut down on sugar but somehow the boys snacks always seems to tempt me! thanks for sharing. x

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    1. I have the same problem with the bearded one bringing home packets of crisps, I can't resist!

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  5. That date paste looks well worth trying. My eldest and I have been totally converted to dates. She likes them with peanut butter! The chair looks great - I did a couple last autumn for my girls bedrooms - great fun and very satisfying!
    Have you ride meditation? I have a little free app and try to meditate regularly. I have found it very calming x

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    1. No I haven't, but I would love to practice Tai Chi again, I used to go regularly and loved it, very relaxing .........think I may see if there are any groups around.

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  6. The chair looks great. The peppers will need more space. Some good recipes in the book, I think they are her daughters, if I remember she is a nutritionist.

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  7. Great post. I really like what you've done to the chair, it looks terrific. I really enjoyed that book too and was horrified by some of the revelations. Just by coincidence I have also made date paste today, although mine did end up in the centre of a date slice... Nothing so healthy as a salad! I hope you are feeling less stressed this coming week.

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    1. mmmmm date slice sounds delicious :)

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  8. Coo - well done on growing the piquante peppers :) Yup - agree. Carefully separate the peppers so they are in their own pot / spot in the ground. Don't forget - they love calcium, so rinse out milk bottles and give them the water, feed them epsom salts and a sprinkling of wood ash if you have any left over from winter.

    They look good and healthy. So strange to see something that was growing in my garden, now growing in yours... :D

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    1. No wood ash left but will pick up some epsom salts, thanks for the tips :)

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  9. I read that book many years ago and thought it was so interesting. She really stuck to her plan, no matter how hard it became in the winter months.

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  10. This was such a refreshing post to read. I agree totally with you about the food industry. I try to cook with fresh ingredients from scratch. Right now my Frig is almost empty since coming back from vacation, I haven't had time to shop for groceries. Your sweater looks lovely. Knitting is such a peaceful stress buster. My best to you, Pat

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    1. Thank you Pat, hope you had a great vacation :)

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  11. What a great make-over! I love the fabric you used to cover the seat! Clearly I need to some pillow case shopping, lol! You almost knocked me over with that date paste. I adore medjool dates but they are wicked expensive here in the States. You are probably right about the cost of your new cardi but it is soothing to knit so it's cheaper than therapy! :D Well, that book by Barbara Kingsolver is going straight to the top of my "to buy" book list! That brown rice salad looks great... I seriously need to get some more "green" foods into my diet!
    Well hugs for now and enjoy the weekend!

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    1. They are pretty expensive here as well so used in moderation :)

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  12. Hi - Love your Five on Friday choice. I might make that date paste as I am trying to eat more healthy. You have done a great job with the chair. I find knitting relaxing in the evenings, but I cannot get away with knitting on circular needles. Joan at www.aviewtothefells.com

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    1. Thanks Joan, I am a convert to circular needles, would use them for everything if I could :)

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  13. The chair and the salad both look great! Hope life settles down soon!

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  14. Such a lovely five! I'm with you on the hay fever front and it is making everything so difficult. Your chair is fabulous and I love your plants and salad. Have a great weekend and I hope the hay fever improves soon xx

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    1. Horrible isn't it, I never used to get it, now its getting worse every year!

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  15. Do you think that a date paste could be mad with cheap dates? I have a block of dates in the cupboard.
    Gillx

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  16. A lovely group of five things to do for one's self! Love the chair re-do, and the beautiful knitting! And I've never heard of date paste...what an awesome idea! I love peach and apple butters, and this date paste would be a nice addition to the fruits to put up.

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    1. mmmmm peach and apple butters sound delicious :)

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  17. That chair really looks good, I'm sure it brightens up the room nicely.

    All you have to do is take the stones out, cover them in warm water and leave for a few hours to soften

    There are two sour cherry trees at one of my job sites, so I grabbed two gallons of cherries and spent a couple of hours pitting them with a chopstick. One of the batches went to make real maraschino cherries, the other batch is soaking in rum. It's a laborious process, pitting fruits, but it's worth it in the long run.

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    1. Hey Big Bad, I would love to go foraging at your work site! Those cherries sound delicious :)

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    2. I wish you were here now, I've been shoveling wild raspberries into my mouth by the handful. They are all over the place.

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  18. I love the sound of that date paste. I am using medjool dates to sweeten my smoothies in the mornings but I think I could eat that paste by the spoonful! Xxx

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    1. Yes! I was thinking I could pop a teaspoon of paste into my smoothies! I"m trying very hard not to eat spoonfuls of it, but it's very tempting :)

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  19. Sorry to hear about your hay fever, I feel your pain. Aaawhooshoo!! Thats me sneezing in sympathy. I love the chair, so pretty!

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    1. The pollen count is horrendously high here at the moment so I'm really suffering!

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  20. I like the sound of the date paste, I'm trying to eat less sugary stuff too, I love the chair makeover it looks great. :)

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  21. The chair is looking amazing, love the fabric you used. When you use the Annie Sloane chalk paint so you need to finish with wax or is it just left?

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    1. I don't think you have to wax it, when I used it on a table of waxed that though to protect it.

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  22. Love the chair makeover - what a brilliant job you made of it! Funnily enough, I didn't think I liked dates (bad childhood experience maybe) but used them in a recipe yesterday mixed with other ingredients and made something really quite fab - so they are my latest discovery!

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    1. They do add a wonderful flavour to things.

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  23. Your chair makeover is great - I love the colour! I love dates and will have to try making date paste. I often take a few to work in a little tub to eat instead of biscuits at break time. Your cardigan is looking good. I would love to make my own, but am too slow/too short on time - one day, perhaps :)
    Cathy x

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  24. I take ages to knit things as well, that's why I have started a winter jumper in the summer :)

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