Reasons: My love of food

I absolutely love food.

To me, every time I eat, it should meet a minimum standard and I should enjoy the experience. A meal can have a big impact on my mood.

I went through a ‘health kick’ a couple of years ago while I was training for my marathon. During this time I started on those protein shakes that claim to be ‘balanced’ and ‘good for you’. But while these supplements may be chemically designed to help you put on muscle and shed excess fat (with an appropriate exercise regime), I doubt that chemistry alone will save us. Chemistry alone isn’t good for us, and there’s more to life than carbon, nitrogen and oxygen.

And I say that as a qualified chemist.

The practice of downing thick, artificially-flavoured goop is something I just can’t subscribe to. I’ve tried so many different brands but each time I come away feeling like I would’ve strongly preferred eating nuts, eggs, fish and tofu to get my protein.

The challenge of balancing a meal is a part of the fun that goes into my daily cooking. I really enjoy coming up with dishes that I know have everything we need in them, and taste home cooked and hearty. Like something I want to eat. Not something other people tell me to.

My poor long-suffering fiancé often berates me for using too many pans when I cook, but I won’t change there. A good cook will go through a lot of pans because they understand the need to cook things separately, at their own heats, with their own combinations of salt, fat, and acidity (yes I have watched that show). I have made a compromise – I generally wash up some of the pans in advance if a) I use more than two and b) the sink is clear before I start.

I’m also a sucker for instagramming what I eat – particularly out, but sometimes I’ll snap things I’m proud of making at home. They’re not always beautiful, but to me they are reminders of great concoctions I’ve made on the spot at home.

Here are a few of my favourite things…

Okonomiyaki: often referred to as ‘Japanese pizza’, it’s a kind of omelette with whatever you want thrown in. I also went out to buy shredded nori and dried tuna to accompany it…

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Miso udon: so wholesome and warming in autumn/winter. Here I completed it with pak choi and a perfect medium-boiled egg…

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Prawn & feta pasta bake: an easy way to impress, I’ve left the recipe here…

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Soft boiled eggs: so gooey, I love them…

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Veggie haggis: tastes so similar to the meat version, so much better for you and less of that offal gristle! Served here with a bit of feta and kale, and sweet potato mash (I didn’t have neeps and tatties!)…

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Shakshuka: because tomato and egg is a Thing.

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I highly recommend making the time to create great food that you love. Feed your soul!

xxRaph

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