January is a funny old month for me- it leaves me in a sort of suspended status, calm but with definite energy tingling in my depths. I guess, much like the earth and all the amazing seeds there in. Sedentary but full of emerging life.
Few days have epitomised this feeling quite like yesterday. My beautiful momma and myself made our way to my favourite beach in the entire world- Gullane Bents. After a short while of mandatory getting lost (which in itself was a blessing- so many beautiful little villages and hamlets) we made it to our destination. The first thing that struck me, that always strikes me at this place is the immediate abundance of Sea Buckthorn. The unmistakable orange berries framing a vista full of beautiful colours and tones.
We had what i now know to be one of the best walks of my life to date. Quietly making our way along the shore as we picked and gently cleaned the beautiful shells that presented themselves. Few words were spoken other than to comment on the shades of blue and purple, on the delicate patterns of discarded homes. The activity itself became quite rhythmic and soon we both found ourselves thinking those big thoughts that one is only free to explore when engaged in such meditative action.
Afterwards, as we made our way back to the car, shaking off the last of the sand and with a bag full of memories, we made plans to return regularly. Not only to gather the precious super fruit that is Buckthorn but in order to have that peace and that time. To be together but mostly to just be.
The dish i’m about to share was at the request of said momma. A hearty, comforting meal, but (as always) full of nutrition and life giving goodness. The colour (and thus the name) are the result of the crazy magic that exists when such vibrant plants are married together in the heat of the oven. The taste, well its pretty darn groovy too. Perfect fuel for this time of year, when i guess we all may be feeling both the slowness and excitement that comes with January.
(Serves 4- 8)
- 1 heaped cup Cashews, soaked overnight
- 1 tsp Yellow Mustard Seeds
- 1 tsp Peppercorns
- 1 tsp Sea Salt
- 1/4 cup Nutritional Yeast (optional)
- 500-800ml Water (depending on amount of vegetables below)
- 1 tbsp Coconut Oil
- 1 Onion, finely sliced
- 1/2 Leek, finely sliced
- 1 Celery Stalk, finely sliced
- 6 sprigs Tarragon, leaves, finely chopped
- 4 large Sweet Potatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick
- 3 large Beetroot, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
- Preheat the oven to 190c, grease a large casserole dish with a little coconut oil
- Drain and rinse the cashews and add all the first set of ingredients into a blender
- Blitz for a few minutes until very smooth, set aside
- Heat the oil in a skillet and add the onion, leek and celery, cooking on a medium heat for 5 minutes
- Add the tarragon and cook for a further 2 minutes
- Pour a little of the cream into the bottom of your dish, arrange a layer of sweet potatoes/ beetroots, spoon a small amount of the tarragon mix on top, pour more cream on top
- Repeat until all ingredients are used, finishing with a good layer of cream
- You can also sprinkle a little extra nutritional yeast on top but its entirely optional
- Cover the dish in foil and bake for 50 minutes
- Remove the foil and cook for a further 20 until the crazy colours are bubbling away
So tell me- Whats your favourite nourishing comfort food? Whats your go-to for meal when you need a hug on a plate? And whilst you’re at it, how are you finding life at this time of year? Have you any favourite cold weather past times? I’d love to hear from you xx