This time 5 years ago I was staying in a tiny apartment in the beautiful city of Barcelona, trying to pretend I was Spanish. Without much success.
The main purpose of the trip was to have dinner at El Buli – at the time the best restaurant in the world.
As often happens when I travel, there was lots to think about.
To cut a long story short, I made the decision to leave my safe fun job designing chocolate biscuits (cookies) and have a go at turning my blog into a business.
I had no idea how I was going to do it. But that was part of the fun!
I did know WHAT I wanted to do.
I wanted to help people by sharing my knowledge of food science and my passion for simple healthy food. I was bursting to help people like you discover what I had – that delicious healthy meals need not be complicated or time consuming.
I wanted to share that by reducing the number of ingredients and using simple techniques, cooking can be amazingly easy, healthy AND tasty.
I had no idea what lay ahead. Not even the possibility that I could and would start an online cooking school helping students from places as far flung as Mozambique, Iceland and Peru.
It’s been so much more rewarding than I ever dared to dream.
So to celebrate the anniversary of that momentous decision and to say thank YOU for reading (and because it’s Christmas!) I’m having a super limited time sale on membership to the Stonesoup Virtual Cookery School.
Apart from my holiday bundle, this is the first time I’ve had a sale on SVCS membership since last Christmas. So if you want to start the new year by simplifying or upping your cooking skills now is a great time to join!
The 30% OFF Christmas Sale is for a LIMITED TIME only. To make sure you don’t miss out use the link below:
UPDATE: The Christmas Sale is Over!
Not sure if online cooking classes will help you?
Here’s what Carol, Julie, Rebecca and Jim have said about them….
Carol, SVCS Member. Julie, SVCS Member. Rebecca, SVCS Member. Jim, SVCS Member.
“You have changed my life! I never really thought I’d get into cooking, or be any good at it. Your simple recipes and especially your videos and attitude have given me inspiration and confidence. Really dramatic change for me. I can’t thank you enough.”
“I am also almost ready to get rid of most of my cook books, as I really only use your recipes now. In fact I tend to scan all other recipes and if there are more than 5 ingredients, or steps just pass it by. I’m looking to simplify my life, and you really have made quite a difference to that – I enjoy preparing dinner now.”
“I really appreciate how your (classes) have freed the way I cook. From reducing the number of ingredients, to using what I have on hand, and to your many, many other ideas: thank you. I love your approach and imagination. You have inspired me.”
“Love the videos; cooking works very well in this format.”
Carol, SVCS Member.
Julie, SVCS Member.
Rebecca, SVCS Member.
Jim, SVCS Member.
Easy Spiced Eggplant
If I were vegetarian I’d eat a lot of eggplant. I just love its meaty texture and ability to absorb other flavours. It’s great served here as a warm salad with some farro and yoghurt but you could also use the eggplant as a chutney or relish to serve with chicken, pork or lamb.
enough for 2
2 onions, diced
2 eggplant, diced into 2cm (1in) cubes
2 teaspoons baharat or see below for alternatives
1-2 tablespoons lemon juice
1-2 cups cooked grains or legumes, to serve
1 bunch coriander (cilantro) or parsley to serve
natural yoghurt to serve
1. Heat a generous glug of olive oil in a medium saucepan. Add onions and cook covered on a medium heat until the onion is soft and a little brown – about 10 minutes.
2. Add the eggplant and continue to cook with the lid on, stirring every 5 minutes or so until the eggplant is no longer crunchy.
3. Add the spice and remove the lid. Keep cooking until the eggplant is soft. Taste and season with salt, pepper and lemon juice.
4. Toss the herbs in with your grains or legumes and divide them between 2 plates. Top with eggplant and finish with the yoghurt.
different spices – Baharat is a Lebanese blend of 7 spices. The best substitute is to use equal parts ground cumin, coriander and smoked paprika. Or just use one of those spices. Or use another spice blend such as garam masala or even curry powder.
carnivore – serve as a side to BBQ or roast chicken, pan fried pork chops or sausages.
no eggplant / different veg – use zucchini and/or red bell peppers (capsicum) or mushrooms.
dairy-free – replace yoghurt with hummus or a mixture of equal parts tahini, lemon juice and water.
different grains / legumes – I used farro in the photo but it would be great with lentils, barley, brown rice, quinoa, white beans or chickpeas. Or serve with your favourite flat bread or tortillas.
I forgot to announce last week…
The people who purchased my new book ‘Healthy & Tasty‘ during the launch and won 12 Months of Souptones Meal Plans ($297 value) were:
– Lin Moore
– James Etheridge
– Agnes Moran
– Jeannie Sadzius
– Marion Vilkaitis
Congratulations! You’ve been contacted via email with details on how to claim your prize :)