I have more or less spent the whole day in the kitchen. It’s not a bad thing a combination of washing up, tidying and cleaning the fridge. All very mundane really. I did get to cook and experiment though. I bought some mung dal a few months ago and it has just been taking up space on the kitchen counter. So I thought now was as good a time as any to cook them. I was expecting that I would create something creamy and delicious. I have instead made something slight nutty and delicious. I was assured by many recipes that I did not need to soak the lentils before use but I wonder if that’s just not true. Anyhow I made something that was tasty and comforting and will last us a few days.

My random concoction was:

2 onions – chopped

1 carrot – chopped

1 courgette – chopped

4 mushrooms – chopped

2 small potatoes – chopped

1 sweet pointed red pepper – chopped

1 cup of mung dal

1 cup of wild rice

1 teaspoon of paprika

1 teaspoon of turmeric

1 teaspoon of coriander powder

1 teaspoon of cumin

A small handful of cloves

2 vegetable stock cubes

2 tablespoons of olive oil.

Salt and pepper for taste

2 bay leaves

2 star anise

1. I put the mung dal in a pot of water seasoned with salt and containing 2 bay leaves and let it boil while I chopped the vegetables.

2. I put the rice in water seasoned with salt and containing 2 star anise.

3. I chopped up all the vegetables and added all the spices and the stock cube and put them in a pot with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. I let it sauté for about 15 minutes , occasionally stirring.

4. Then I added the drained rice and mung dal and to the vegetables. I added water until it covered the mixture and I left the whole thing for an hour on low heat.

5. After an hour it was was ready.

It was so tasty! The mung dal was a little ‘nutty’, not this creamy wonder I was expecting but it did not detract away from the taste which was awesome. Nacho had two further helpings and I had one more.

The next thing I cooked was an old favourite – skinny peanut butter flapjacks. I love them. They are very dense and chewy but so filling and tasty.


225g (8oz) Medjool dates, stoned
150ml (5fl oz) water
225 (8oz) crunchy peanut butter (or other nut butter, such as cashew, hazelnut or almond)
3 large egg whites
175 (6oz) clear honey
600 (1lb 5oz) rolled oats


1. Place the dates in a saucepan with the water and simmer until softened and the water has been absorbed. Set aside.

2. Preheat the oven to 160oC. Line a 30x20cm (12 x 8 inch) tine with non-stick baking parchment.

3. Blend the dates, peanut butter, egg whites and honey together in a food processor or blender until smooth. Stir in the oats until they are well coated.

4. Tip the mixture into the prepared tin and press down firmly. Bake for about 30 minutes until golden. Leave to cool in the tin, then cut into 16 triangles.

Store for up to 5 days in an airtight container at room temperature. Not suitable for freezing.

I went out on my bike for the first time in years. It was great but I need to sort out the tyres and probably invest in a bicycle pump. Anyway I hoping these flapjacks will serve as portable fuel for me and my little adventures.

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