A twist on a classic

by Jemma on May 4, 2011

in EATS!, Recipes

Hey everyone! 

How are your weeks shaping up?  I can’t believe it’s the middle of the week already.  Yesterday I returned to uni and the thought of the amount of work that I have to do already made me wish that I was back on holiday again.  A thesis plan and a departmental talk to be completed for this month.  A poster presentation to prepare for the conference in Florence and start writing my thesis and research papers for publication too!!!!


The end of my PhD is nigh my friends and with it comes a hefty work load.  :(

And this is exactly what I have done! :D

Tuesday morning I had a huge bowl of cereal, making a mix from puffed rice and Dorset Cereals low fat flakes with some rice milk.

I always have to have a huge bowl of cereal with lots of toppings,  otherwise my poor belly just isn’t satisfied.  Lots of toppings and add-ins are also a must for me where cereal is concerned.  This bowl was topped with a pink lady apple, blueberries and coconut.

Lunches both today and yesterday were a variations of a hummus topped salad, just throwing in whatever fell out of the fridge and into my hands at the time.

Today’s included mixed salad leaves, tomatoes, courgettes, diced carrots and steamed purple sprouting broccoli topped with some Red Pepper Hummus.   I do love a hummus topped salad!

So so so good!

Dinner last night was tasty peanut butter and coconut stir fry.  Ahhhh…another love of mine-stir fries!

In went a sweet potato, pak choi, chestnut mushrooms, shitake mushrooms, red pepper, courgette, garlic, ginger, an onion and a leek.  The sauce was made by mixing water, smooth peanut butter, a little coconut milk and soy sauce.

Breakfast this morning was a enormous green smoothie made from, water, rice milk, spinach, 2 bananas, 2 kiwis, lucuma powder, xanthan gum, mesquite and coconut.

Adorning this green loveliness was more coconut, dried cranberries and omega mixed seeds…holy yum!

Green smoothie LOVE!

Tonight I thought I would experiment with a well known classic salad…panzanella.  It was so tasty I’ve made it salad number 5 in my Sex Up Your Salad Challenge.

*Asparagus Panzanella*

Ingredients (serves two)

  • 2 cups of fresh asparagus
  • 2 tbsps of canola or any oil of your choice
  • 2 slices of quinoa and amaranth rye bread
  • 1/4 cup of red wine vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves grated
  • 1 small red onion sliced
  • 1/2 cup of chopped cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup of sun blushed or sundried tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup of olives
  • 1 courgette halved and sliced
  • 2 tbsps of capers
  • 2 tbsps of fresh parsley or basil

Prepare the asparagus by trimming the end of the stalks  and then season and cook the asparagus on a griddle pan.  This should take 3-5 minutes for the asparagus to become tender.  Next toast the bread on each side until it becomes crisp and then cut it into small cubes.

To make the dressing for the salad whisk the red wine vinegar, garlic, oil, and seasonings until combined.  Next add the asparagus, tomatoes, courgette, bread, capers and olives to the dressing.  Let the salad stand for 20 minutes or more at room temperature to allow the ingredients to soak up the dressing.


I’ve never had panzanella before, but this was a really quick and simple recipe that I will be definitely using again.  It’s such a great way to use up vegetables that you need to use up too as this recipe can be adapted to include pretty much any vegetables that your heart desires.  All my other sexy salad recipes can be found here. Afterwards I had some coconut yoghurt topped with blueberries, strawberries and granola.

Despite the hectic schedule I’ve also fitted in my workouts.  Yesterday I did 30 minutes cross country training on the cross trainer followed by 30 minutes on the bike, adaptive motion trainer, step machine and ab work.  This morning I headed to the gym and attacked my 10K plan and the bike, step machine and cross trainer at steady speed levels.  An upper body workout also included. 

I have a lot of work to do, but I’m not going to let in get me down.  They way I see it is that each piece of work or set of experiments is a stepping stone to my future.  I keep telling myself, “I know I will get there.  I know that I will make it.”  Now I just have to believe it.

Happy Hump Day People! :D

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{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

movesnmunchies May 4, 2011 at 9:30 PM

i LVEEEE your stir fry!! AND salad!! ahh red pepper hummus is bliss! loving all the asparagus!


Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes May 5, 2011 at 10:04 AM

I love asparagus. It’s in season now so it’s just everywhere!!!


~Jessica~ May 4, 2011 at 9:33 PM

Oh, I empathise a lot with the PhD stress, and I’m only in my first year! I can’t imagine how insane your workload must be but I think you’re coping fabulously and I know you’ll get through in the end with such a positive attitude (and your obvious intelligence, of course!)

I’m amazed at how you’ve had time to create such delicious food and workout on top of all of the PhD goings on: your last post was aptly named, as you really are Superwoman :)



Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes May 5, 2011 at 11:17 AM

Thanks Jess!!! I don’t know how I manage to get everything done. The PhD thing is hard, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel somewhere! :D


Lucy May 4, 2011 at 10:35 PM

That stir fry looks amazing, I’ll be copying that soon! :)

I can’t imagine how stressful a PhD must be! You seem to be coping with it really well though, and like you said to me, soon everything will just fall into place. I know wedding planning isn’t on the same level as PhD stress, but hopefully the same principle will still apply! :)


Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes May 5, 2011 at 11:19 AM

i hope your wedding plans are shaping up well. I think they most must be stressful as the other, except with a wedding planning comes a huge celebration. My stress seems to be drawn out, but I will be celebrating at thee end!!! Oh Yes! :D


eatinglikeahorse May 4, 2011 at 10:50 PM

You’ll get there! And you’re still writing great posts AND making food that looks this good too, that’s brilliant… :-)


Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes May 5, 2011 at 11:19 AM

Thank you lovely! :D


vegansunshine May 5, 2011 at 1:26 AM

The veggies look perfect! You go girl! You have nothing to worry about!



Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes May 5, 2011 at 10:04 AM

Ahhhh your so sweet! :D


Jenny May 5, 2011 at 1:44 AM

Now that is one amazing cereal bowl, I love how you topped it with so many fruits. And I love to make a good stir-fry, gotta get those veggies in! :D


Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes May 5, 2011 at 10:05 AM

I do love a good stir fry and a huge salad. Love those veggies! :P


Kate (What Kate is Cooking) May 5, 2011 at 5:00 AM

I love hummus on top of salads! I don’t care for regular dressings, so either Greek yogurt or hummus are my salad dressings :)


Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes May 5, 2011 at 10:05 AM

I think hummus topped salds are definitely the way forward! :D


Olivia May 5, 2011 at 5:23 AM

I’m definitely the same way with cereal! No fruit + nutbutter = not one happy belly! (You bowl looks sooo much prettier then mine ever do though! I’ve been having hummus salads basically all this week…they are the BOMB.com! LOVE ‘em :) PS I LURVVVEEE that peanut coconut stirfry (HUGE YUMS!) and the sexy bread salad too. so clever!


Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes May 5, 2011 at 11:21 AM

I really have to load up the bowl with cereal otherwise I’m just not full. I’m so glad I’m not the only one out there that feels the same way! :D


czechvegan May 5, 2011 at 5:30 AM

I am also a PhD. student, so I know how much work it is sometimes! I hope you´ll get all the things right and with a positive attitude as you seem to have:) Your meals look tasty!


Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes May 5, 2011 at 10:02 AM

Thank you! I hope I get everything done to. I have a huge mountain to climb, but fingers crossed!!!


PoweredbyPeanutButter May 5, 2011 at 9:01 AM

Your salad looks delicious!


Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes May 5, 2011 at 10:02 AM

Thank you! :D


thequirkykitchen May 5, 2011 at 1:45 PM

your food ALWAYS makes me want to hire you as my personal chef! The panzanella looks so good….oh my….that green smoothie…..:-)


ihearteggs May 5, 2011 at 3:48 PM

Finishing your PhD must be stresssssssful. I cant even begin to imagine!

That peanut sauce looks liek heaven… I’m thinking it’ll go really well with my spaghetti squash this wekened! yum!


AlisonM May 5, 2011 at 6:30 PM

Ugh, you have my sympathy with the workload. I am struggling big time, especially after being ill for so long! This time of year is terrible, because the weather is so great — the last thing we want to be doing is spending all hours indoors at a computer! Good luck with it anyway.


Katherine: Unemployed May 5, 2011 at 8:18 PM

your foods look soo good; seriously, I will eat at your table any day


Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes May 5, 2011 at 9:06 PM

That’s so sweet of you to say! :D


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