I thought I’d do a post on some ‘stuff’ I’ve been enjoying lately, like books, films and, most importantly, food! (Psst! It’s my birthday today too!)
Unbroken – Laura Hillenbrand
Unsurprisingly I like reading books about running. I also like reading books that later become films. I can’t remember how I came across this book but I found out it was going to be made into a film directed by Angelina Jolie and the premise sounded incredible (and had a runner in it).
It’s a non-fiction account of the Olympic track runner, Louis Zamperini, who was taken prisoner by the Japanese during World War II. “Epic” doesn’t do his story justice. The journey of his life is gripping, harrowing and inspiring. I absolutely cannot wait for the film now (apparently to be released towards the end of the year). The book was hard to read at points considering what he went through as a prisoner of war but it is a fascinating read that I definitely recommend.
The Sports Gene: Talent, Practice and the Truth About Success – David Epstein
In a nutshell, this book explores the arguments surrounding whether it’s nature or nurture as to why some people become successful athletes.
I love books like this, based on research and published papers. However it can get a little heavy going when it goes into details about DNA and particular genes. I also found it a bit meandering in it’s arguments and sometimes a little tedious as it is so heavily research-based. But there were many interesting findings and anecdotes about athletes and ‘gifted’ people which were fascinating.
A relatively old film (2008) but still very relevant. Food Inc. is a documentary looking at the American food industry. It covers farming, processed food, animal welfare, environmental issues…sounds heavy-going but it was actually quite a good watch in terms of entertainment (not sure if it’s ‘PC’ to call a documentary high-lightening some hard-hitting issues entertaining but hey).
Scary doesn’t quite cover many of the issues raised. Firstly, the condition in which animals are reared is horrific. Lack of space, sunlight, hygienic conditions and respect were clear. And also how Big Business is hand in hand the government and how much control they have over the market as a whole.
I live in the UK but a lot of the points raised are very relevant to us in Britain as well. It’s easy to assume we’re “better” but I’m pretty sure we’re ticking a lot of the same boxes.
Maybe clichéd to say this, but this really hit home to me. It’s really changed my opinion on the meat I buy. I do try and get free-range where I can but cost tends to be my biggest factor. Personally I don’t think this is right. If we can’t afford as much meat as we’ve been having then maybe that’s not such a bad thing to reduce down a bit…
I haven’t posted anything about food (other than cakes and meals out) in a while. Mainly because my meals have been quite boring and uninspiring. But I thought I’d show a few choice meals I’ve been enjoying lately. Funnily enough some of my running club friends have been uploaded pictures of their meals on Facebook which is always interesting! I love seeing what people eat.
Gammon and Eggs
Quite a standard easy meal. Grilled gammon, two fried eggs, couscous and veg. Sometimes I have couscous or sometimes I go without depending on how hungry I am.
Sausages and Sweet Potato Fries
Free-range chipotle sausages, oven roasted sweet potato fries and a kale, carrot, onion and courgette mix with onion gravy. Another easy meal and very satisfying. I’d like to say I made the gravy myself but I got an ‘add water’ variety.
Creamy Pumpkin Chicken
Right, before you judge this on it’s appearance, it is DELICIOUS. Basically lots of vegetables (courgettes, onion, kale, mushrooms) sautéed with chicken breast chunks. Then half a tin of pumpkin puree and a big dollop of cream cheese – it gives it an incredibly thick and creamy sauce. Honestly, it rocks my world. My original recipe can be found HERE.
Duck Egg Scramble Salad
I bought some duck eggs the other day from a local farm and wasn’t sure what to do with them.
So I just scrambled them with some random veggies and then had that in a salad.
It was a fairly monster salad and I was stuffed afterwards. These eggs are quite big so probably didn’t need three…FYI they didn’t taste that different to normal eggs.
This is an absolute weekly staple meal in our house. I have shared the recipe before HERE, but now make it in the slow cooker now. Basically you add chicken and the tomato sauce to the slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Then you crumble feta over the top and let it melt for about 5-10 minutes. Then serve!
I have nothing special planned for today as I’m working. I’m writing this on Wednesday so I actually have no idea what my birthday will bring. Fingers crossed for lots of cake. Because what’s a birthday without cake?! Not a proper birthday that’s what.
What have you been reading or watching lately?
Do you like documentary films? I’m not a fan but we got Netflix and Food Inc. seemed interesting.
What meals are staple meals in your house?