This week I’m craving… all things tropical!
I subscribe to the school of thought that food has a massive impact on your mood. I’m not just talking eat when you’re hungry instead of starving yourself and being nasty to people. I’m talking about food as a mood-enhancer. The foods that make you feel good, that fondly remind you of people or places, memories of good times and celebrations.
After all this freezing weather we’ve been having I think we all deserve a little warmth in our lives. For the past few weeks I’ve been hunkering down with all the usual winter warmers like chunky soups, carb-heavy dinners (give me all the cheese and pasta), and hot sweet drinks. So for this week, I’ve hatched a plan to be transported to the tropics – at least culinarily.
My culinary inspiration for the week ahead:
Lime, Coconut, Banana Smoothie
I’ve been craving the creamy smooth goodness you could only get from a banana smoothie or milkshake. This pina colada style smoothie ticks all the boxes – whether you’re looking for a tasty light breakfast, or something healthy that will cure your sweet tooth at the same time.
Sweet potato wedges with jerk butter
Jerk seasoning is something that I’ve always failed to recreate adequately at home. Frustratingly, I’ve never been able to get the balance of spices right. This recipe for sweet potato wedges and jerk butter sounds easy enough to replicate and is very versatile. I’d whip up extra jerk seasoning to keep in the cupboard – useful for those days when all you have in the fridge are limp vegetables and a microwave bag of rice. Rice and peas anyone?
Massaman curry is one of my favourite Thai dishes. I love the sweet, salty and sour tastes that all come together in Thai food. Combining them with large lumps of potato and peanuts is just heavenly for me, which is why I gravitate towards a Massaman. A lot of pre-made curry pastes that you can buy nowadays just don’t come close to the real thing in my experience and it’s great to be able to make your own. This recipe for Massaman curry paste sounds easy enough. The only change I’d made it to up the ante with more potatoes!
Mango pound cake
I made this pound cake recently with a mango I pureed last summer (after realising I didn’t have enough time to eat it). All in the spirit of clearing out the freezer, you see. The recipe is too easy not to try your hand at and it makes the most delicious cake. We’ve been eating it for dessert after dinner most evenings and cannot get enough, especially when topped with a dollop of vanilla yoghurt. I’m out for more mangoes as soon as they come into season!
What’s on your menu this week? Are any of these dishes making your mouth water?