This year I’ve been living in a haze of new love, new job and new climate and have rather taken my foot off the pedal, exercise-wise. I still suffer through spinning classes and play a bit of badminton, but running has fallen by the wayside due to lack of time or inadequate weather conditions. So doing the Great Manchester 10k Run yesterday was always going to be a challenge, but the weather exacerbated matters somewhat. Yes, it was a weekend with no rain in Manchester. No rain, and actual sun. It was a toasty 23C, and the run felt like torture as I shuffled along sweating profusely. This morning my shoulders are glowing with sunburn and my knees can scarcely bend. On the plus side, I feel quite proud of myself for doing it, and motivated to get back into my exercise and healthy eating regime.
Here is a dish to help me along, full of vegetabley goodness. Look at those colours! It almost makes me want to go for a run again…once I have regained full movement in my legs.
Serves 4, from Plenty
110ml sunflower oil
2 small onions, chopped into 3cm pieces
4 garlic cloves, sliced
1 green chilli, thinly sliced
2 red peppers, chopped into 3cm chunks
1 small butternut squash, cut into 3cm chunks
1 parsnip, peeled and cut into 3cm chunks
200g green beans, trimmed
1 courgette, cut into 3cm chunks
1 small aubergine, peeled and chopped into 3cm chunks
1 potato, peeled and chopped into 3cm chunks
3 tomatoes, chopped
1/2 tbsp caster sugar
1 tbsp tomato puree
1. Put two thirds of the oil in a large pan and put it on a medium-high heat. Fry the onions for 5 minutes.
2. Add the garlic, chilli and red peppers and fry for 5 minutes more.
3. Throw in the butternut squash and parsnip and fry for a further 5 minutes.
4. Remove the vegetables from the pan with a slotted spoon, leaving as much oil in the pan as possible. Add the rest of the oil and fry the beans, courgette and aubergine for 5 minutes.
5. Return the other vegetables to the pan. Add the potato, tomatoes, sugar, puree and seasoning. Stir well and pour over the water.
6. Cover and leave to simmer for 30 minutes.
7. Preheat the oven to 200C. Transfer the vegetables into a large, ovenproof dish, along with any liquid in the pan.
8. Cook for 30 minutes. Garnish with coriander leaves if you have any, and serve with rice or chunky bread.