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The Importance Of Meal Times | Uncle Bens, Dinner Brings Us Closer


It seems as though modern life is a complete balancing act. What with working a full time job, socialising, looking after a home, running a blog, going to the gym, spending time with family… its hard to find time to take things slow and take a step back. 

I feel as though meal times are a great example, and a true representation of what we find important. It’s a really good indicator of where we spend our time and I think it is a tool we can use to work out our priorities. I appreciate that may sound a little dramatic but bare with me… 


When I was growing up my mum and dad made having our evening meals together a priority. It was a chance for us all to catch up on the day, have a chat about school and work, and I believe it made us a very close family. It was an hour and a half every evening where we would sit together and really live in the moment, appreciating spending time with each other.

Flash forward eight years and I find that I do this less and less. At uni meal times were scoffing half a day old pizza before rushing to get ready to go out on the lash. Or a pitiful bowl of noodles by the side of my computer whilst I tried to write essays… When James and I moved in together after university, that mentality around meal times remained the same. We treated dinner as something to cook as quickly as possible, to eat as quickly as possible so that we could do X Y & Z.


But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve often thought more and more about the meal times I would share with my family. It may sound cliché, but I think that meal times really can bring people closer together. James and I are trying to sit and eat our meals together more often, in a less distracted environment. It is so easy to sit in front of the TV, shovel food down and speed off somewhere else. But the evenings when we sit together with no distractions are definitely my favourite. We talk and fill each other in on what we’ve been up to during the day, and more often than not, we carry on the conversation and find that X Y & Z wasn’t as important after all. 

We ended up doing this last night and we cooked a really nice vegan curry served with a packet of Uncle Ben’s Classic Rice. I’ve left the recipe below in case you fancy making it yourself (FYI, it was really good!)

Vegan Curry

Serving size: For 4

Ingredients

- Coconut Oil
- 1 can of Coconut Milk
- 1 can of Chickpeas
- 1 can of Tinned Tomatoes
- 2 tsp Curry Paste
- 3 Small Red Onions
- 1 handful of halved Cherry Tomatoes 
- ½ of a Cauliflower Head  
- ½ of a Broccoli Head 
- 1 Small Courgette

Method

Finely chop the red onion and add to a pre-heated pan with a tablespoon of coconut oil. Finely chop the courgette into slices and then strips and add these to the pan. Chop up the cauliflower and broccoli into small, bite sized chunks and add these to the pan. Remember to keep stirring. Drain and rinse the chickpeas and add these, the tinned tomatoes and curry paste. Add half a can of water and the coconut milk then leave to simmer until all of the food is soft and cooked. Add the cherry tomatoes just before serving. 

Serve With

- A few wedges of fresh lime
- A bowl of plant based yoghurt
- Mango Chutney
- Nan Bread 


I know that we all have a lot on in life, that’s just the way that our society seems to be at the moment. But I also think that it is important to re-evaluate our time every once and a while, take a step back and breathe. An easy way to begin to do this is to dedicate more time during meals and sit and enjoy time with the ones that we love. 


Madolyn
xxx

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This is a collaborative post with Uncle Ben's but all thoughts, opinions and recipes are my own.
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