Shoot me now.
Seven weeks tomorrow we’ll be back in Beijing. Running the half marathon on The Wall.
One option is to go on a diet, but as long as I can put one foot in front of the other that’s never happening in this lifetime. Exercise is the only option and it seems I can’t motivate myself to get up and run in the morning unless I sign up for ridiculous endeavours like this.
In spite of the winter running doldrums setting in, the training I did for the Shanghai half last December has stood me in good stead. The last couple of weeks the alarm has been going off at 6.15am and we’ve been heading out for a run, starting gently with a couple of 6km jogs and now up to 9kms three times a week. Saturday we’ll knock off 13kms and then 10kms will be our norm for the midweek runs.
Richard finishes the run with a cheeky run up to Floor 20. Which is a technical Floor 18 due to there being no Floor 4 or 14. I on the other hand stagger up to Floor 10 (or Floor 9 if I’m being honest with myself) and back and then get the lift up to 20 to let him in.
I know. The things I do….
Because we have literally left our run too late to get match fit, sacrifices have had to be made.
Snackages have been banned from the house apart from fake chocolate and there’s no end to the combo’s I’ve been coming up with. This week it was Szechuan peppercorns and salt sprinkled on top – pretty damn good let me tell you.
I’ve also been making a batch of these healthy-ish vegetable chips once a week which have been deemed acceptable by the snackage police. I know now why they are freakishly expensive to buy – because they are a
pain in the arse labour of love to make.
What you need to know:
- Carrots don’t work. Don’t ask me why – they just don’t
- Best combo is sweet potato, beetroot and lotus root. Yes normal potatoes would work too probably but we are trying to be all low-GI here so we go with the sweet
- Set aside an hour, listen to an audio book/Desert Island Discs/clean out the pantry, do the ironing. Whatever – stay close to the kitchen
- The kitchen timer will be your best friend
- Timings will vary depending on how thick your chips are and how much salt you use. Mine have been taking 15-20 minutes a tray.
- There’s a fine line between almost done and done too much. Especially with the lotus roots. Trust. Me.
- About half way through, don’t turn the oven off and walk away in frustration. It’s tedious but worth it.
- They will stay fresh in an airtight container for up to a week. If they go a bit soft whack them in a hot oven for a few minutes – take out of the airtight container first obviously……
See – isn’t that pretty?
I’ve been getting all fancy putting a handful on top of a midweek steak salad or serving a small bowl with a beer. Emphasis on the small bowl in an attempt to drag them out a little bit more. You can get a bit stingy when you’ve been juggling hot trays in the kitchen for over an hour and then handfuls of the chips disappear before your eyes.
No seriously – they are good. A right pain to make.
But so moreish, they’re worth it.
Oven baked vegetable chips
- 2 sweet potatoes peeled
- 2 beetroots peeled
- 1 lotus root peeled
- 1 or 2 tbsp olive oil or coconut oil for each vegetable
- salt and pepper
Set oven to 150C and line the largest oven trays you have with paper.
You will be baking each vegetable separately. Use a mandolin on the thinnest setting and slice the sweet potato first.
Put the slices into a large bowl and using your hands mix through 1 tbsp of oil first trying to make sure each slice is more or less coated. You may need another tbsp - it will depend on how big your spuds are. You don't want them to be dripping in oil - you are baking not deep frying!
Place the slices on the baking tray close together - they can be touching but not overlapping. Sprinkle sparsely with salt - I have chilli salt and liquorice salt but salt flakes or table salt are good too. Just not too much.
Put in the oven and set the timer for 8 minutes. Turn slices over and if any are catching on the sides of the tray move them into the middle.
Place back in the oven and set timer for another 8 minutes - but if you see some of the smaller slices are starting to colour you may need to check at 6 minutes.
Remove tray from oven and put crisps on a cooling rack. Some of them may be soft at this point but don't worry they will crisp up. If they don't you can chuck them back in the oven for a few minutes.
Repeat process with beets and lotus root, replacing the paper in between.
If you've lost the will the live at this point, crack open a beer and grab a handful of crisps.
Recipe NotesYou can leave the vegetables unpeeled - just give them a good wash. Parsnips would be great here too.