As the year rolls along towards its close, the number one sentiment that friends, family and colleagues are expressing in our passing conversations is how busy they feel. And when we feel really busy, it usually translates to feeling really tired, and when we’re really tired, eating well can go out the window. So with this in mind, I thought I’d share a few of my tips for making eating well in a busy life do-able.
- Multi-purpose dishes. Dips like this Asian Pumpkin one, or this one or this one, can be used make up a plate to take to a last minute event, sent to school in a little tub with veggie sticks and crackers, spread into a wrap or sandwich with salad for a quick-to-make lunch. Always make lots of whatever you make, leave some in the fridge to call on when you need it, and freeze the rest for later, so you never need to resort to those store bought dips that are often filled with emulsifiers.
- Make lots. I am loving big batch salads now that the weather is warmer, and when I say big, I mean go-into-a-cookware-shop-and-buy-the-biggest-stainless-steel-bowl-you-can-find type big. (Go on, do it. You will thank me, I promise). Then you can make huge batches of hearty salads that will see you through dinner, plus a couple of lunches, and if you’re lucky, still have enough to take to a last minute barbecue or picnic. I’m a big fan of salads-as-meals through the warmer months. If you’re looking for some inspiration then pop over here to Arthur Street Kitchen and visit the queen of salads-as-meals herself.
- Plan ahead. I know, we’re not all plan ahead type people. But even the most freewheeling of us can form a loose meal plan in our heads before we leave home in the morning so that we can pick up what we need on the way home, saving ourselves all that boring indecision. None of that getting home, flopping on the lounge and wondering what to eat. And if you incorporate tips 1 and 2 in your planning, you’re likely taking care of tomorrow’s lunch and morning tea while you’re at it.
And when you see how easy this Asian Pumpkin Dip is to make, you’ll have no excuses.
Asian Pumpkin Dip
- 700 g pumpkin, cut into 2 cm dice
- 1/4 cup olive oil, plus 2-3 tbsp for roasting
- 1 large clove garlic, crushed
- 1 tbsp ginger, finely grated
- 250 g cooked chickpeas (equivalent to 1 x 400 g tin, drained and rinsed)
- 1/2 cup coriander leaves
- 3 tbsp lime juice
- 3 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp fine sea salt
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Lay the pumpkin out on a large tray and drizzle with the 2-3 tbsp olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast until soft and caramelised. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.
Place the pumpkin and all the remaining ingredients into a food processor and blitz to a smoothish consistency, leaving a little texture to the dip. Taste and adjust flavours to your liking, adding more salt or lime juice if needed.