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Chickpea and Chorizo Stew

I’d written my blog pre-amble a few days ago but as I went to bed last night, these words were wanting to be delivered with the urgency of a 3rd baby! Having made a conscious decision not to blog over the summer I did wonder how my first one back would go, but I needn’t have…. it was just coming out!

It wasn’t until having space in the last few days as the kids went back to school, that I noticed how the summer was very much about ‘doing’ rather than ‘being’. I realised the importance of having time to myself, and how the cathartic nature of writing my blog keeps me consciously aware of how I feel.

In fact since starting The Fuss Free Foodie I’ve been lucky enough to meet some awesome new people who’ve guided me to watch new speakers of which a video I watched yesterday really struck a cord. I noticed how we swiftly move through lifes experiences and sometimes without a second thought once they’ve past. If life is a playground, wouldn’t it be good sometimes to just stop and to get a sense which version you’ve been playing? Do the rules still work and is it still a fun game!?!

I reflected back yesterday on one of those old old relationships that ended fast, with no post match dissection and no time for orange segments, if you know what I mean!! I wondered if I hadn’t properly closed that relationship programme down, was it still running in the background and maybe taking up valuable (subconscious) memory space?

So I dragged an old bag out of the loft with photos and bits in, lit a fire and started to sort through and see who this girl was from the early noughties. It was interesting to see as I looked at photos of Indian travels, book selling summers and clubbing days how I could get a sense of the person I was and how it aligned (or didn’t!) with me now.

As I tossed photos onto the fire that no longer brought me joy I acknowledged the time I had spent maybe not always been connected to myself…. but sought others approval, connection and ‘fitted in’ to feel complete.

My time finished by retrieving a locket from the loft that I had surprisingly ‘found’ a few days prior and placed in a corner. It had both a picture of me and my ex in. This jewellery was gathering dust so I decided to take it to the pawn shop and do some good with the cash.

I knew I wanted to give some to a guy I always see selling the Big Issue, and before I even spoke, he said he was having a bad day. He said he wanted to go out (as he said it was his birthday, whether it was or wasn’t it didn’t matter) for a curry and to go to the cinema. Brilliant I said. I cleared my loft today and came to a little extra cash…please do that on me. And Happy birthday. I felt joy.

So yesterday I made peace with that girl and rather than focusing on why that game was lost but how it was played gave me a greater insight to where I am at right and I felt a lot lighter and more joyous for my actions! I’m OK with not knowing what the rest of the journey holds….but I hope you will stick with me as there are some fun things coming ahead…this is just the beginning!!

Remember to keep me in your feed keep loving and liking on Facebook and follow me more in pictures on Instagram or words on Twitter! With love Lisa x

Moroccan chickpea and chorizo stew

2 tbsps tom puree
1 large sweet potato, peeled and large dice
1 pepper
2-3 carrots, large dice
1 large onion, diced
4 cooking chorizo sausages, skin removed and sliced
2 cloves garlic
400g passata
2 tbsp Ras al hanout spice
(I use Barts Spices available in Waitrose and larger supermarkets)
300-350g veg stock
1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
Olive oil

1. Put a tablespoon of oil in a large pan and add the chorizo. Fry on a medium heat so that the oils come out and the chorizo browns.
2. Add the onion to the pan and coat in the oils, and cook for 8 minutes until soft, then add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes.
3. Add the carrot, pepper and stir, then add the tomato puree and cook for a couple of minutes. Then add the chickpeas and sweet potatoes.
4. Add the ras al hanout, passata and stock and stir. The liquid should only just be up to where the veg sit. Simmer on a low to medium heat for 1 hr until the carrots and sweet potatoes are cooked through.
5. Serve on a bed of plain couscous….follow the start of my couscous salad video for perfect plain couscous!

Care to share....?