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Seals and Salad

September 4, 2011

Hello and a happy Sunday to everyone. My day is just whizzing by – it must be because I’ve got to go back to work tomorrow after a week off Sad smile Yesterday I promised you photos of the seals that we saw on our boat trip around the Farne Islands on Friday. I don’t think I’ve ever seen seals in the wild before, so I was really excited that we might see some. I didn’t realise just quite how many we’d see and how close we could get to them – there were loads!


It wasn’t so easy to take photographs though because the sea was very choppy, so the boat was swinging from side-to-side while I was trying to frame and focus the shot. It was particularly difficult to take a photo of the seals swimming in the water close up to the boat.


Just about in the frame and nearly in focus!


That’s a bit better! The life of the seals seems pretty good. They don’t usually have any predators in this area, so they can lounge around on the rocks waiting for the tide to come in to let them get in the water and hunt. They basically ignored the boat and seemed completely unbothered by us.

I think that’s what I’ve been doing today … sitting on the sofa waiting for the tide to come in and take me to work tomorrow. I haven’t been totally lazy though – I made it out on a 3.5 mile run followed by a free-weights session at home. This week I’ve managed a grand total of 6.5 miles, which is a bit different to the 24 miles I did the week before! I know that it’s important to make sure that I’ve fully recovered from my sickness bug before throwing myself into running again. However, now I’m feeling 100% and eating well again I definitely want to get back on track with my half marathon training. The race is 5 weeks today – eek!

Talking of eating well, I realised yesterday that it had been nearly a week since I last had a salad. This is unprecedented – I eat some sort of salad several times a week, usually every day. When I was first recovering from the bug, salad and my typically “healthy” stuff was completely off the menu. The first thing I ate and enjoyed was the most delicious iced bun that I have ever eaten. I think it tasted so good because at that point by body was just crying out for energy in the form of sugar. I also found that lemonade, Sugar Puffs and salt and vinegar crisps went down very nicely.

However, by the time I got home yesterday I was really craving a big filling salad. On the whole journey back I was fantasising about what concoction I could create. The result was this beauty:

Roasted beetroot & apple salad with quinoa


  • 2 small beetroot, peeled & chopped into chunks
  • 1 red apple, sliced
  • romaine lettuce
  • cucumber
  • 1/2 small tin of sweetcorn
  • 50g quinoa (dry weight), cooked & cooled


  • teaspoon light tahini
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • agave nectar
  • a little water
  • salt & pepper to season

I roasted the beetroot chunks and apple until the beetroot was tender, which took about 45 minutes. I let them cool for about 15 minutes while I prepared the rest of the salad. I wasn’t well prepared, so to cool the quinoa I just rinsed it in cold water, which did the job.

For me, the roasted apples were a revelation. They had caramelised slightly, so they were sweet, but they also had a sour edge that really brought the salad to life. Beetroot and apple is an amazing combination that I think I’ll be recreating often. Also, I’ve finally learned to like tahini. It’s bitterness used to hit me over the head and I rarely ate it. I think my taste buds have adjusted now and I love it!

I continued on my salad eating mission this afternoon with a simple salad of romaine, cucumber, baby plum tomatoes, sweetcorn and pumpkin seeds topped with a simple red pepper dressing. I made the dressing by blitzing 2 pieces of roasted red pepper (from a jar) with a teaspoon of balsamic vinegar, a little water and salt & pepper.


I served it with 2 Amisa spelt crispbreads with red pepper hummus (not homemade … bought from Sainsbury’s)

If you were reincarnated as any animal what would it be?

When you feel poorly what foods do you crave?

12 Comments leave one →
  1. Charlotte Katherine permalink
    September 4, 2011 5:02 pm

    That roasted red pepper dressing sounds delicious, i have a sweet pepper that needs eating up, I might try it with that!

    When I’m ill I just want warm food – sweet potato or butternut squash soup usually does it for me, or just a nice big bowl of warm oats with banana! I don’t enjoy knives and forks when I’m feeling poorly!

  2. Brittany @ Itty Bits of Balance permalink
    September 4, 2011 5:58 pm

    First of all, I have to comment on the fact that there are SEALS in this post! I don’t think I’ve ever seen a seal in real life! That is too cool that you are able to just go scope them out

    And great job tackling beets in a salad 🙂 I’ve been meaning to attempt cooking them but am so intimidated! Any tips for a beet newbie?

  3. September 4, 2011 6:05 pm

    I’d be reincarnated as a vegetarian cat, no question 😉 Not that I’m really elegant enough to be a cat…oh, it’s such a tough decision! I’d love to be a Cheetah for obvious reasons (ah, the running potential…) but then again they’re more sprinters than distance athletes…and I’ve always wanted to be able to fly, so perhaps an Eagle would be nice. Really I think I’m more of a shuffling hedgehog though, particularly as I can be rather prickly 😛

    We have such similar ‘sick-food’ cravings! Salt+vinegar crispies all the way. I also tend to fancy peanut butter. Tuna mayo sandwiches are on the list, but obviously I’d rather not be eating those. Mum used to give me Rich Tea biscuits a lot when I was a kid, so they’ve always been associated with tummy troubles since then…veggies are typically low on the list, which is odd because they’re so nutrient dense, but I suppose it’s the fibre aspect that I wouldn’t be too keen on when ill.

    I have to try that roasted apple salad! Hungry just thinking about it.

    So great to see the seals: I’ve been (and thrown up on…) those boats when I was younger. I adored the seals and puffins, which we also saw. Your pictures are fantastic!


  4. September 4, 2011 6:37 pm

    man that salad combi sounds really good, I have always wanted to try roasted beetroot, thanks for the recipe.

    When I was younger I was completly dolphin obsessed would have dolphin wall paper, lamps, bed covers etc. I finally got to swim with dolphins when I was 20 in Cuba was amaing their such intelligent animals.

    I think I would like to be a cat preferbly a siamese and their quite intelligent hehe.

    I defintly crave carbs when I am ill I think it is because of the energy thing and your body craves stuff to give you energy.

  5. September 4, 2011 6:43 pm

    Love the look of that salad, I’ve had a recipe for a raw beet, apple and spouted quinoa salad on my list for ages! If I were to be reincarnated I would probably come back as a cat too! For some reason I tend to crave peanut butter, I think its the salt! After my last illness I wanted a huge green monster with lots of peanut butter 🙂

  6. Charlotte Katherine permalink
    September 4, 2011 7:22 pm

    I’ve already commented but I just wanted to add this and show you:

    I loved the pepper and balsamic mix! Thanks for the idea, dinner was scrummy!

  7. September 4, 2011 8:21 pm

    I’d probably be a cat too – mine has a very nice life and seems very happy most of the time! 🙂
    When I’m sick, I tend to crave salmon and broccoli, just steamed, or chicken stir fry – I actually really crave veggies. I found it hard when I was ill the other week as I just couldn’t digest anything like that and by the time I was better I was desperate for veggies and fruit!

  8. September 4, 2011 8:33 pm

    Ha ha when we went to stockholm we saw some deer in a park which were very skittish and jumped at everything- that would be me no question! I am a nervous person and I jump at anything 🙂
    Those pics of the seals are fantastic

  9. September 4, 2011 8:49 pm

    Those pictures are SO cute! I want to take one home with me 🙂 I would love to be a dolphin or a bird if I could be reincarnated. I’d love to be a toucan- they’re so pretty, and I could hang out in the rainforest all day!

  10. September 5, 2011 8:16 am

    I love the look of that pepper dressing. i’ve got some roasted peppers in a jar in the cupboard so might give it a go 🙂
    Those seals are sooooo cute too! Hope going back to work isn’t too bad.

  11. September 5, 2011 9:24 am

    How cute are those seals!?! Love them! 🙂 When I’m poorly all I want is lots of tea and green smoothies as I know all of those nutrients will have me back to health in no time.

  12. September 5, 2011 10:00 am

    Glad you’re feeling better!

    When I’m ill I usually crave lots of carbs and lemonade, crisps and sometimes fruit juice. Oh, and soups. x

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