My ex-boyfriend came round for dinner tonight.
What a potentially dramatic way to start a blog post! But the reality is much more mundane (although wonderful for being so). Rob was my university boyfriend and the most important relationship of my life thus far. However, it was not meant to be. I knew that. He knew that. Now we are almost 4 years on from the break-up and are just incredibly close friends. Not with benefits. Just friends. The platonic sort. People say it can’t happen – Well we’ve gone and done it.
Now you’ve had that bit of personal history, I’ll bring this round to food again. Rob is a boy who likes to eat. I know a lot of boys like to eat, but this boy particularly likes to eat. When we were at university he had to go to the doctors for a check-up at one point because we thought he had tape worm – he would wake up in the middle of the night with crippling hunger and couldn’t rest again until he’d eaten a banana. It wasn’t tape worm. It was just an enormous appetite. So when Rob was coming round for a catchup dinner tonight, it was important that I made something hearty. This suited me, as the seasons are changing in London and the horrid cold and rain that has crept up on us Londoners over the last few days has made me long for wintery pies and stews. However, I still like to stay healthy. So I cooked up this: My spicy sweet potato cottage pie. It’s full of vegetables and good protein. No bad carboydrates. Just vitamin-y goodness.
1 x Courgette (grated), 2 x white onion, 10 x button mushrooms, 1 x tin of tomatoes, 1 x pack of lean beef mince, 1 x chilli, 2 x garlic cloves, tbsp of worcester sauce, tbsp of wholemeal flour, about 300g butternut squash, 1 x sweet potato.
Fry the chopped onion, chilli, garlic and mushrooms in a small amount of olive oil until soft and golden. Add the grated courgette and stir for a little. Add the mince. Add the tomatoes. Add the worcester sauce and flour. Leave to boil on a low heat for at least an hour. Meanwhile, boil your squash and sweet potato and create a mash. I added black onion seeds and a little fresh coriander to my mash, but that is certainly optional. Set your oven to 190C. Place the mash on top of the beef mixture and grate a little cheese on top, or just season with salt and pepper. Place your dish into the oven for about 25 minutes, or until the cheese on top has cooked and begun to brown.
Experiment and enjoy! (with ex-boyfriend friendships, and cottage pie…)