Spicy quinoa and halloumi salad. Thoughts on motherhood and the year ahead.

January is always about intention setting for me. By the same token it’s about looking back at the year that’s just been, reflecting on what happened and why. What were the seeds planted and what may be learnt. One very important seed grew into a beautiful baby girl that’s sitting in front of me right now, falling asleep happily while staring at the fairy lights. She’s just wonderful and has opened my heart in unexpected ways. I was never sure if motherhood was for me, but an unplanned pregnancy and miscarriage in 2014 revealed a part of me that was ready to be a mother. It’s funny how different things look in hindsight, when you’re not longer just a bug in a rug, but can appreciate the whole tapestry. Even very painful events can be useful. Motherhood is a whole new world. You learn new things every day on this journey and I will compile a list of the more useful stuff I’ve learnt shortly, for people that are about to embark on it.

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Another reason why last year was so important was my cookbook, due to come out next Summer. The world of publishing is new to me and getting book deal has been both a dream come true and a challenge. It reminded me that things worth having don’t necessarily come easily, yet also that if something is meant to be then those doors do open for you. That its always better to be swimming with the tide. So this year I will focus on swimming along, being kinder to myself (and therefore others) in the process, trusting what happens, being more conscious and present in the moment while gently shaping my future. The book will definitely still be a focus this year and this is an example of what it will feel like. It will be a whole new perspective on Polish food, and show another side of my homeland, a side that’s dreamy and romantic. We’re not all about meat and potatoes, you know.

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The world of motherhood brings with it many anxieties, many unresolved feelings and issues from one’s own childhood. It’s an ideal opportunity to face oneself and to let go, if you take it as such. I am therefore very focussed on being conscious and calm right now, to not take too much on. Yet I am enjoying cooking. Nothing elaborate, just simple, healthy food like this quinoa and halloumi salad.

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Ingredients (about 4 portions)

250g Quinoa
2 Corn on the Cob, cooked with the corn taken off the cob
1 Avocado, chopped
1 Courgette, shaved
Halloumi, sliced

Dressing

Juice of 2 limes
3 tablespoons of good quality olive oil
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon Ghanan Shito sauce (or some chilli oil and fish sauce)
Salt and pepper to taste

Recipe

Cook the quinoa and allow it to cool, while you prep all the other vegetables. Do use corn on the cob rather then the sloppy corn in the tin for this salad, it’s worth the effort.

Mix everything together with the dressing once cooled and allow to stand for about 15min while you fry the Halloumi until golden.

Finish off with some black pepper. This salad benefits from standing around for a while, while it infuses with the flavours and its even better the following day.