There is no way I could express myself to tell you how good it feels to back at writing. Now that the weather has gently started to switch to something colder and more wintery, which is kind of my favourite, there’s nothing that feels righter that studying/blogging/photographing from the comfort of my home. But first, if you’d like to know what has happened last week, let me just grab my thermos of chai tea, some cookies and let’s step into that time machine together.
As my week was wrapping up and that I was quietly hitting the weekend, I felt quite normal. I knew I would probably spend it studying, procrastinating a few less important things even though there’s nothing I despise more than this, teaching my Saturday yoga class and surely cook a little. But I was not expecting those heavy black clouds to cover my seeming happiness, and to stay right there for more than a week…
The first disaster was a negative application answer. I know that happens many times, and to many people, but that work really meant a whole lot to me; even though some people (+ I somehow) think I am an overwhelmed overachiever, it would have suited me perfectly. And yet, I quickly powered up and prepared myself for the magic to happen elsewhere (and tried to figure out was the problem in my application was in order to fix it).
Then the second disaster: a very bad article-review. I am writing for a university political newspaper, and as I was writing my first ever article, and that I got it reviewed, I realised that apart from my language, almost everything was “not good” (not to say bad obviously). I made syntax, formulation and conceptual mistakes and felt horrible about it. Getting that review was very hard. But then, as it was very constructive and helpful, I soon powered up again and corrected myself, which, at that point, felt amazing. And in case you’re interested in the future of women in US politics, here is a French article for you.
But for things always come in threes, a third disaster happened. On the 6th of November, I was telling a friend I would stop studying International relations if Trump was elected; on the 7th, I spent three hours correcting the article that would be a review of Clinton’s success (which was not published eventually – and which was the one I received the very bad review I mentioned before on! The one published is a other one, where I used some of the ideas I developed in the one not published – complicated!). The following morning, when I woke up, I took my phone (which is something I usually never do) and looked at the first text I got: “Stop International Relations”…And that was the tipping point. I put it down, curled up in my blanket and sobbed for a while. There was no point fighting anymore, I did not understand where the world was heading, what was human being thinking when stepping on such a wobbly path. There were two sole things that brightened my mood a little. First, as soon as I crawled out of bed and opened my shutters, I discovered that snow was gently falling from the sky, covering the lawn, trees and stone lanes with its fine white blanket. Second, the warm yoga class I joined in the evening, which normally is quite a tough one, was this time dedicated to gentleness and softness, thinking about relining our spirits, bodies and mind.
And if you’ve read this article up to here, it means that you’re quite a dedicated reader. And that I owe you an explanation for my little “blogiday” (blog – holiday). As you might have understood, I was not my usual self last week. Nothing felt quite right and especially not writing. On the one hand, I felt not like writing about happiness, strength and love, as I felt quite emptied of them at that point; on the other hand, as a perfectionist, I did not want to give you a botched article, that I would not even liked writing. I care about this little universe, and want to make it as genuine, compassionate and real as it might be. So here we are, a week after, and I can tell you I am much better off! I’ve got thousands of new plans whirling in my head, a whole lot of energy, excitement and happiness to spread like nut butter again and some great content to share with you all (and do not worry, I am not dropping off my studies, for a few worried people texted me after that publication to see if I was still at university!). I sincerely hope that you’re all well, and that you do not want to hide under a stone, as I wanted to before. If so, please feel free to share your story with, I would be glad to hear it and happy to help.
As for today’s recipe, I felt like sharing something very comfy and hearty. Those little “meatballs” made out of lentils and chickpeas are tender, savoury and yet slightly sweet, which makes the most divine contrast. Not only do the sweet potatoes bring a colourful and original touch to the dish, but they also are perfect to play with, especially with the spiralizer. It’s a crispy, deliciously tender and healthy vegetarian option to the ordinary paste plate. Comforting and full of benefits and nutrients, this meal is perfect to share with your family or eat by the fire on a cold autumn/winter evening.
Healthy Spaghetti w/ Lentils and Chickpeas “MeatBalls”
Portions: 3 -4 servings.
Preparation time: 35 minutes.
Cooking time: 45 minutes.
For the meatballs:
- 100g of uncooked green lentils + 600ml of water
- 1 onion, finely minced
- ½ tbsp of coconut oil or olive oil
- 60g of walnuts
- 60g of cashews
- 200g of canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1 tbsp of buckwheat flour
- 1 tsp of dried thyme
- A handful of raisins (35g)
- Sea salt & black pepper
For the tomato sauce:
- 1 onion, finely minced
- 1 garlic clove, pressed
- 1 tbsp of coconut oil
- 5 big ripe tomatoes, coarsely cut
- 1 tbsp of dried basil
- 1 tbsp of dried oregano
- 1 tsp of honey
For the spaghettis:
- 6 – 7 sweet potatoes, peeled
- Olive oil
- Sea salt and black pepper
(1) Start by making the tomato sauce. Heat the coconut oil and brown the sliced onion and garlic for about 3 minutes. Add the sliced tomatoes and cook for 10 minutes. Add the dried herbs, honey, simmer and let it reduce for 30 minutes.
(2) Prepare the meatballs. Preheat the oven at 180°C. Cook the lentils in the water until tender (approx. 25 minutes). You can cook these ahead. In a saucepan, heat the coconut oil and cook the onion until golden-brown (6 – 8 minutes).
(3) In a blender, blend both types of nuts until they are nice and crushed, in tiny bites; add the cooked lentils, browned onion, chickpeas, buckwheat flour, dried thyme, raisins, salt and pepper.
(4) Roll the dough in about 12 to 14 balls, place them on a baking tray covered with parchment paper and cook for 25 minutes.
(5) With a spiralizer, transform the sweet potatoes into long and fine spaghettis. Transfer into a baking tray, cover with olive oil, salt and pepper et cook for 15 to 20 minutes, mixing them twice halfway through.
(6) Serve the spaghetti in bowls, add some tomato sauce, three to four “meatballs” and decorate with a few basil leaves.