I have, for all my sins recently joined the gym. A last ditch attempt to shed the old love handles before our wedding. However, this goes against all my beliefs, genetic make up and personal strengths – both physical and mental. I am the sort of person, that when I get home at midnight after a wine and pudding laden dinner out with the girls and my boyfriend has taught himself to make home made chips in the new deep fat fryer (purchased for tempura and scotch egg making only you understand), and I am mid teeth clean, that I stop that, to eat said chips. With homemade ketchup made the week before.
The gym plays tricks on me you see. I am being very diligent and have sweated until I can’t see during Body Attack and spun until my legs turn to jelly. Last week I went to the torture chamber 4 times. I have surprised myself no end.
Naturally however, this gym business increases my appetite and I feel after the 8th plank my overly tight and perky aerobics instructor has made me do, I do deserve a reward. Now, as much as I would love to dive head first into a baguette of fresh, warm, buttery garlic bread, I MUST TRY TO RESIST. I MUST, I MUST.
I know I should be drinking something green and masticating on a dry chicken breast. As a compromise, I eat this salad. Full of greenery for vitamins and protein from the feta and tahini to feed my tired muscles, it fills me up after the gym and is really really tasty. It is also really pretty, with the little jewels of pomegranate trickled over. So much so that both times I have eaten it, I have successfully avoided midnight chips and garlic bread. Well, for this week, at least.
Half a Pomegranate
6 Carrots cuts into quarters lengthways - so you have 4 long pencils
200g Feta Cheese
4 Beetroot (golden or the purple ones) cut into quarters
1 Clove of Garlic
Juice of half a Lemon
3 tbsp Tahini
2 tbsp Pomegranate molasses or 1 tbsp honey
Large handful of roughly chopped flat leaf Parsley
Large handful of roughly chopped Mint
Pinch Salt & Pepper
1) Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Arrange the carrots on a baking tray, cover with a glug of olive oil and roast for 30 mins. The edges should have a slight tinge to them. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
2) Meanwhile blanche or steam the kale for 2 minutes until soft but still green. If you prefer you can leave the kale raw for this recipe. Then run immediately under cold running water in a colander until cold to stop it cooking. Squeeze out the water.
3) For the dressing, crush the garlic into a bowl. Add the lemon juice, tahini and pomegranate molasses or honey and mix well. Season to taste. If it is a bit thick, add water so you can drizzle it over.
4) The Construction (either split out onto individual plates or use a biiiig serving plate):
- Kale on the bottom
- Followed by the beetroot
- Lay on the carrots lengthways
- Sprinkle over the mint and parsley
- Spoon on the dressing
- Crumble the feta over the top
- Sprinkle over the pomegranate seeds
5) Enjoy. After the gym. Obviously.