Wasting away

If you’re anything like me, the week start out as follows:

Sunday night
Look! I’ve made salad for the week’s lunches! The fridge is so full of fruit and vegetables that I can barely shut the door! I’ve packed my gym bag, ready for a week of workouts! I’ve written a super healthy menu for the week’s dinners! I’m organised and I’m going to ace this clean living thing!

Monday
I’ve overslept, forgotten my lunch and gym bag, and the only thing I have time to get for lunch (which I’m eating at my desk, prepping for a meeting instead of in the park like I’d planned) is a ham and cheese toastie.

Get home late, and all I can be bothered making is pasta. It has tomatoes and spinach in it, that counts, right? Cheese is dairy, which is good for you. Shut up, I’m carb loading for the epic workout that I’m having tomorrow to make up for today.

Tuesday
Remembered the salad. Still forgot the gym bag.
Get invited for a quick after work drink with a friend. One drink becomes a bottle of wine, and dinner is chips, croquettes and pizza.

Wednesday
Mildly (or severely) hungover. Bacon and egg roll for breakfast. And lunch.
Too tired to cook when I finally arrive home. Beans on toast.

Thursday
Fuck it. I’ll start again Monday. Faceplant into a tub of ice cream.

I’m pretty sure there’s a saying that’s applicable here, something about best laid plans?

Of course, the silent victim in all of this is not only one’s waistline, but all that beautiful produce slowly wasting away in the fridge. You can’t really throw it out, because starvingchildrenfoodwastagemoneyfarmers. Vegetables are super easy to find a home for. There’s stocks, soups, risotto; all excellent uses for vegetables which have passed their peak.

But what about the fruit? Bruised strawberries, wrinkly skinned plums, browning apples… While not pretty to look at, they’re still perfectly tasty.

This, my friends, is where crumbles step up to the plate. You can cut off any dodgy looking bits, mix and match whatever fruits are laying about and roast them into the best thing you’ll eat all winter. Fact.

Plum, Pear and Spiced Red Wine Crumble

From Lifestyle Food

For crumble
125g chilled butter
225g plain flour
125g brown sugar
1sp ground cinnamon
40g toasted hazelnuts

For the filling
4-6 plums, stoned and halved, cut into small chunks
2 firm pears, quartered, cored and in small chunks
120ml red wine
1tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 cinnamon stick
55g brown sugar

In a large bowl rub together butter and flour until it is like fine breadcrumbs. Spoon 2 tbsp of the mixture into the base of the rings and press down lightly with back of spoon. Stir brown sugar, cinnamon and nuts into remaining crumble mixture, and put to one side. Preheat oven to 200c.

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For the filling, put plums and pears into a saucepan with red wine, balsamic vinegar, cinnamon stick and sugar. Simmer for 12-15 minutes until just softened.

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Drain well keeping the wine and fruits juices. Divide fruit mixture between each ring and top with the rest of crumble mixture.

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Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown. Meanwhile put wine and juices into a small pan and bring to the boil for 2-3 minutes until reduced and syrupy. Slide a fish slice under each crumble and lift onto a plate. Carefully remove the rings and drizzle around the syrup.

Serve with cream, custard, or more wine if that’s how you roll. I won’t judge.

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Don’t judge me. You’d do it too.

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