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Life in London is a thrashing, never tiring beast of a thing. Even when I’m sitting in my fairy light twinkling room, I know there’s always reading to be done, articles to be written and sleep to be caught up on. An exam is forever leering round the corner and my babysitting job creeps up on me with the speed and skill of a ninja. In this mad rush, food sometimes has to take a back seat.

Although, while there may be no lasagnes bubbling away in the oven or sponge cakes waiting patiently on the counter to be jammed and assembled, food is still happening. And sometimes, it happens in quite a glorious fashion.

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With Senate House library conquered, mascara smudged and legs dead, yesterday evening I not only wanted an easy meal, I needed one. And it had to be one of those hodge-podged from the back of the fridge kind of dinners, because the Sainsbury’s sitting directly opposite my halls is just too damn far when even the 5 second walk to the kitchen feels like a Scott-esque trek of immense proportions.

In my fridge I had cooked beetroot, and butternut squash which I had roasted the day before. There was also some spinach, half a pepper and a nice loaf of soda bread. After a bit of honey drizzling, some grilling, and a quick splashing of balsamic dressing, I had a beautiful salad. It was slightly spicy from the pimenton, chilli and cumin but tangy due to the acidic dressing. Sometimes when I come up with such inventions I think about Nigel Slater, my love-to-hate (but secretly adored) chef guru, who I think would be very proud.

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So there you have it: lack of time can cause serious deficiencies in the quality of essays, the quantity of sleep and the frequency of blogging, but sometimes it’s the push we need to delve into the depths of our fridge, (in my case bypassing Korean Guy’s green fuzzy food items) and forage the ingredients to make something really quite delicious. Rushed for time and strapped for cash I may be, but I’ll still stand by good food. So all that’s left to be said is, ‘¡Viva La Comida!’

 

Warm Beetroot and Butternut Squash Salad

To Serve 2

- 1 half of a butternut squash, roasted 

- 1 red pepper

AAbout 10 cherry tomatoes

- half a pack of cooked beetroot without vinegar

- Cumin, chilli powder, paprika (or whatever spices you think would complement the veg)

- Honey

- Spinach 

- Balsamic vinegar & extra virgin oil

Sprinkle the chunks of cooked squash and beets as well as the raw pepper and tomatoes with the cumin, chilli, paprika, salt and whichever other spices you think would go well. Drizzle a bit of oil and honey over and then mix all the veg to give an even coating of spice mix.

Put them under the grill for about 5 minutes, turning once until they’re a bit charred

Serve on a bed of spinach which you’ve dressed with a good splash of balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. 

Serve with good bread or new potatoes dripping with melted butter. Oh, now that does sound good.