Hello, it’s been a very long time. I would love to say that I’ve been travelling the world, become a yoga teacher and have written a book but in reality, I’ve been travelling to work, have done yoga twice, three times a week tops, and I’ve written a lot of e-mails. I choose to see this as a ‘glass half full’ situation however, because after a long time of feeling quite anxious, recently I feel settled, and as much as I tried to resist this feeling at first, it’s actually quite a good thing.
I mentioned in my last blog post I think, that work was taking a much bigger toll on me than I had originally expected it to, the reason for this being that where my previous job was very creative, my current one ,which I’ve had for just over nine months now, is very logical, and little did I know that it would take me a few months more to see the woods for the trees. This is all OK, because now I not only feel that ‘I’ve got this’, but I’m actually pretty happy.
I tend to rush and put hideous amounts of pressure on myself to get to my goals, whether it be to become really fit and strong (which resulted in a busted knee while doing a half marathon three years ago), to take a job way beyond my skill level (that resulted in terrible skin problems due to stress – if you really want to know more about this stunning period of my life, then look back at my posts about cutting out gluten and lactose) or, to become really great friends with as many people as possible, (this resulted in me basically becoming a hermit for about two months last year). I started this blog because I wanted it to become a full-time job (lol), but actually, being apart from it for a few months made me realise that I need this blog for my own sanity, even if I only really have a small handful of solid readers (hey there). Despite a few people telling me to slow down over the years, I only very recently started to understand that it really is alright to take a break from something if you’re feeling overwhelmed, and if you think it’s for the best, then that’s all you need to worry about. Graham Norton, the eternal voice of reason, actually said something which helped me to turn a lot of that anxiety into this feeling of contentment, in an interview he did with RuPaul and Michelle Visage in their fantastic podcast called What’s the Tee. During their discussion, Michelle asked him if he had any advice for anyone listening in, and he replied: “Please, just remember, that you have more time than you think you do.” This statement stuck, and made me feel a lot lighter.
So, what do you do when you’re feeling content and are also staying home on a Saturday night? You cook food for the soul. I popped into Bio C’ Bon in the evening to stock up on vegetables, meat etc. and they had pak choi, which I hadn’t cooked for such a long time. With that one ingredient, I decided to make a soup which I used to make all the time at uni but hadn’t made since (I gave a few ingredients an upgrade). It’s a simple, organic, wholesome dish, and just what’s needed for when the nights are drawing in.
– 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
– 2 shallots, finely chopped
– 1 small read chilli, finely chopped
– A thumb-sized piece of ginger, finely chopped
– 6 mushrooms
– 800ml Homemade chicken stock, see my recipe here (this has been the only way I’ve made chicken stock for about three years now)
– 1 bunch of Pak Choi, leaves sliced
– 75g Udon noodles
– 2 free range, large eggs
– 2 chicken breasts (sliced, bring your own tupperware to the butchers)
– 3tbsp dark soy sauce
– A bunch of chopped basil leaves to garnish
– In a bowl, combine the garlic, ginger, shallots, chilli, chicken and soy sauce, allow to marinate for about 20 minutes.
– Heat the stock in a saucepan and when it comes to a rolling boil, reduce to a simmer and add the pak choi.
– Bring a frying pan to a high temperature and add the chicken mixture. After about a minute, reduce to a medium-low temperature so as not to burn off all the soy sauce.
– Add the noodles to the stock for about three to four minutes, by which point the pak choi stalks will be tender and the noodles will be ready. Stir in the chicken mixture and take off the heat.
– In the same frying pan, gently fry the eggs.
– Ladel the soup into amazing noodle bowls (pictured below), scatter over the basil leaves and then lay the egg on top.