Aubergine Parmagiana

The following is a very easy and cheap recipe to make with the added bonus that it is delicious!  Great gluten-free alternative to lasagne.  I’ve noticed that it also seems quite a good dish if I’m coming down with a cold.

 

Ingredients:

 

2 large aubergines chopped into thin round discs from the bottom up,

olive oil,

tomato and basil sauce, or a few large fresh chopped tomatoes and basil to make into a sauce yourself,

cheddar cheese (grated),

parmasan cheese (grated),

herbs:  ie. thyme, oregano, rosemary

 

Method:

 

After chopping the aubergines, place the discs on an oiled baking or pizza tray.  Brush the surfaces of the aubergine with a little more oil and scatter your choice of herbs on top.  Bake in fan oven at 240 celsius for 10 minutes.

Spread some of the tomato sauce in the bottom of a pyrex baking dish.  Place some of the aubergine discs on top, and then scatter with cheeses.  Continue to layer in this way until you end with the last of the cheeses.  Sprinkle herbs on top.  Bake again for another 10-15 minutes.

Enjoy with brown rice or quinoa, and/or green salad.

 

 

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Manchester’s Unicorn Grocery

unicorn outside

South Manchester’s Unicorn Grocery in unlike any supermarket I have found in the UK.   It seems completely foreign.

It is perhaps telling that it is situated in Chorlton, one of the most affluent areas of Manchester, where rock stars (most of them former rock stars, for the sake of accuracy) and footballers live alongside rich hippies and aspiring poets.  There’s probably a few employees of the BBC there, judging from the lack of regional accents. Chorlton essentially being an imported home-county, which I observe because it doesn’t really feel Mancunian at all.  And it has a village green.

Class may have something to do with the rudeness of some of the people you find in Unicorn, knocking you over, walking into you oblivious of anything but their NEED, their real dire need, to procure some obscure organic nut butter.  Jollying you along in the queue for the checkout in the hope that you, with your far more inconsequential purposes, will just hurry up and leave.  The atmosphere is actually not all that bad in the place, which is very bright, warm and colourful – it’s just noticeable that there’s usually one or two pushy mothers in there who only care about themselves.

Speaking of class, anyone who makes the switch from non-organic food shopping soon realises that money is a big factor in the organic food industry… which makes some people suspicious of whether or not the industry is just a massive scam.  It is certainly very easy to spend money in the Unicorn. However, if you maintain a strict relationship with your budget, it is also possible to do almost a week’s shopping there for about £20.

Two days ago I did my Christmas food shop there, and bought a massive bag of kale for 86p.  Some of the foods also have a non-organic variant, for example the dates, which enables you to buy big bags of pitted Iranian dates for 83p.  I don’t know of anywhere you can get dates that cheap (if you’ll excuse the unintended pun).  The vine tomatoes I bought, though perhaps not as ripe as they could have been, had a strong fragrance, making them a refreshing change from what you find in Tesco.  I was a little disappointed to find the sprout stalks not to the same excellent standard they were last year -but then organic shopping is often about being there at the right time, and I think I got there in between stock replenishments, as far as the sprouts were concerned.

The range of gluten-free supplies is fantastic, (though these are the £ burners) and the deli usually has very nice soups and cakes.  Gluten-free and diabetic friendly pies, burgers, sausages (all vegan/veggie), pastas, noodles… and I should mention the quinoa is the tastiest I’ve bought.  Popular health brands like Dragonfly, Happy Kitchen, Meridian, Clive’s and Laura’s Idea are all to be found in the Unicorn.  Going there has become something of an occasion.

Cool Chile Corn Tortilla

24524_1

I bought these today from Unicorn Greengrocery in Chorlton.  And I can safely say they are fantastic.  Nice and soft but not too flimsy and doesn’t taste like cardboard, unlike some of the supermarket gluten-free tortillas.

Simply put one in a warm pan and fry for a short while.

I had mine with the Laura’s Idea Bean Feast.  All in all it was a far better experience than my recent visit to Barburrito…. and far cheaper!  The only thing missing was salsa and sour cream.

They can be bought online from here:  http://www.realfoods.co.uk/product/24524/cool-chile-corn-tortilla-gluten-free-13pcs

Blog

I thought I’d do a proper blog post thing, as I’ve yet to do one since starting this website.  Wondering how to approach getting it rolling, I decided I would use it to try to provide the kind of advice I could have done with when I first learned I had poly-cystic ovaries.

The first thing I could have done with knowing was simply that it’s actually not the most hopeless diagnosis in the world.  While I paid to download the ‘Ovarian Cyst Miracle’ PDFs, and while these were certainly useful in helping me to take good steps towards controlling the symptoms, it should be known that, actually, there is no miracle involved in solving PCOS…  I think in most cases, slight weight-loss is all that is needed to get periods regular.  Perhaps the only miracle I’ve experienced is the simplicity of the symptom-relief: cutting gluten intake, cutting refined sugars, switching to brown rice instead of white, cutting out caffeine, drinking more water, eating more greens, reducing dairy intake.  No rocket science.

I’ve also found – of all the supplements I read about, Vitex 750 has been the best for me in terms of regulating my periods.

Many women have managed to overcome PCOS and have babies.  That I only found out really after months of internet searching – the first sites I found about PCOS emphasised the difficulties associated with the illness and worsened my fears re. fertility.  If I had known the amount of women who have conquered the cysts, I would have saved myself a lot of worry.