Christmas may only be two weeks past, all the decorations are gone, and the last few Christmas trees are lying sad and abandoned outside homes, waiting for the council to come and fetch them for mulching. Pretty much all that's left of the festive season are the memories.
That's what I'm guessing it's like in your house, and most people's. Only at mine, there's no escaping the ghost of Christmas past. Due to the bout of illness that visited at Christmas (and sadly still persists), half the food we bought went uneaten. There are still boxes of savoury crackers, chocolates, and crisps that we bought to share and enjoy that remain untouched.
What is it about Christmas that makes us buy crazy amounts of rich food we otherwise wouldn't? I feel like I'm sitting on a stockpile left behind by a hoarder with a sweet tooth and an unconquerable lust for chips and dips.
I can't complain - we'll have enough sweets and treats to last us til next Christmas - but it seems like come January, you just want to get back to eating normally.
The store cupboard may be groaning, but the fridge is a different story. I've nearly - oh so nearly - cleared out all the last bits and pieces of the vegetable overload I'd bought in for the holiday season. The last to go was the tail end of a bag of sprouts that was bigger than most people's dogs. (Just one half butternut squash, a couple of carrots, and I think the whole shebang may be done.)
Here's one of the dishes that I made to bid fond farewell to my surfeit of sprouts. Feel free to amp up the soy sauce a bit.
Asian-esque tofu scramble
Makes a generous meal for one
Two dried shiitakes, covered with boiling water and left to rehydrate for 30 mins. Keep the water that results, it'll come in handy later.
A couple of handfuls of podded broad beans or edamame beans (defrosted if frozen - a cup of boiling water poured over and left for 5 mins then drained should do it)
One small carrot, peeled and grated
Half a block of tofu, pressed
Two cloves of garlic, finely grated
One chunk of ginger, peeled and finely grated
One small red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
2tsps soy sauce
Five or so brussel sprouts, cut into quarters
How you do it
Take your rehydrated shiitakes, finely chop (don't throw away the soaking water) and add to the beans and grated carrot. Stir.
In a separate bowl, mix your garlic, chilli, ginger, soy, mirin, and sake.
Take chunks of tofu and squeeze them through your fist - put the tofu in the middle, and close your hands up. The tofu should come out ready scrambled through your fingers. Put the scrambled tofu into the garlic etc mixture, and add 2TBps of the shiitake soaking water. Leave to marinate for an hour if you have time.
Generously oil your pan, and fry the sprout wedges until brown on the outside. If they're brown before they're cooked inside, chuck in a couple more tablespoons of shiitake water and keep them cooking - they'll steam and get soft inside.
Add your tofu mixture to the brussel sprouts and cook for 3 minutes on a medium high heat.
Add the carrot, shiitake and beans to the pan and cook for another two to three minutes.