Eats Runs and Leaves

Roasted Parsnips and Sweet Potato

Eat. Chomp. Gone. Move. I have a very functional approach to food. I am sure it`s a lot got to do with being one hundred percent Irish on all sides, dating back to Adam. I suspect I may have lurking fear of Famine gene then. And one of my grandparents was born in 1859, after all, and probably had the fear of the 1847 Famine haunting him all his life. So, yes, give me a plate of spuds or a loaf of bread and I`m happy. Or, at least, I used to be.

But running and Yotam Ottolenghi are changing all that.

In the last couple of years, since I`ve started running, I`ve a bigger appetite of course. Food has become more important, and good nutrition more important still.

Cue Ottolenghi. I bought his book “Plenty” as a present to myself last Christmas. I`d tried a couple of his recipes from the Guardian website.I simply loved the colour and variety of everything. And, as it turned out, I very often just adored the taste. I would die happy eating his Very Full Tart for instance.

And of course, it became another excuse to scour my favourite city. As now, I would have to traverse the thresholds of whatever Asian and Middle Easter shops there are in Dublin on the prowl  for key ingredients. Sure, I can get most of the stuff locally, but the nearest supermarket pats itself on the back if it orders in anchovies annually. I live in rural Ireland, after all where variety and exotica are confined by the six types of potatoes in stock.

Yesterday I cooked his Parsnip and Sweet Potato in Caper Vinegarette. You`ll see the results in the picture above. Look closely and you`ll see I`ve substituted carrot for parsnip. And the red onion is burnt. But the famine memory gene overcame these little glitches and daughter and I declared it delicious. The boys have yet to be persuaded to try such delights. Time and starvation should bring results there.

And today, I have this prepared for lunch…

Ottolenghi Aubergine tricolore

Ottolenghi`s Aubergine Tricolore. Only it has more colours than three. And doesn`t have one of the colours requested in the recipe,as I substituted red pepper for yellow.

And that`s it for eats…

…As for running…

Well, I`m having a good week. I`ve found three new routes, an eight miler, a trail run and flat two mile course which is perfect snappier runs. I need to do more snappier runs. I have the Samsung Night Run at the end of this month. I am not afraid of the distance. A piddly six miles after all. But I worry that my snap might be gone. I`m off for a five mile run after this and a quest to find my it.

Meanwhile, I`ve also been snapping on my photo runs. Leaves, to be precise. Ouch! My Back Hurts has a nifty little idea on his website. He sets up a photo challenge every month. The theme of this month`s one is Leaves. I am waiting in anticipation of leaves emerging from sticky buds just as soon as our spring here in Ireland, decides to spring. She`s been slow off the mark this year. But I`ve leafed through my albums for inspiration (where, naturally, one would be inspired…) and I came up with these

Beech Leaves Botanical Gardens Beech Leaves Botanical Gardens Dublin Oct 2012

Leaves Botanical Gardens

I have no idea what type of leaves these are as I was too dense to take a picture of the identifying label on the flower bed. Or maybe I was just too intrigued by the effect of the raindrops on the leaves. Anyway, they`re also from a Botanical Garden foray, this time in June of last year.

I think more photoruns are required to observe more leaves. Or maybe I`ll be satisfied pics of with potted herbs for my Ottolenghi recipes. Either way, it`s all about observing more closely and living well. And that`s all good.

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