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I've just had the most delicious and surprising meal. One of those Sunday evenings spent at home - been pottering about all day getting stuff done. Well, some stuff anyway. The Cowley Road Carnival was on today and I was feeling like I didn't want to miss out on that, but at the same time I didn't want to go either - wasn't feeling like being in a crowd. I'm glad I stayed in.

You couldn't call this a well-balanced meal in the conventional sense, but it was perfect for me tonight. Anyway what's important is a well-balanced diet, not well-balanced meals.

It was one of those slow days, and around nine I became hungry so I went down and made myself some carrot juice. Particularly good carrots this time - Spanish organic carrots. I've got into the habit of noticing where they are from because sometimes Sainsbury's have been selling organic carrots grown in the USA or Israel, not regimes I want to support if I have a choice - but that's another story. The juice from these Spanish carrots was gorgeous. Sweet and vibrant.

As I don't have much of a garden, I have begun, at long last, to add my kitchen waste to my neighbours' compost heap. As I walked across their darkening lawn with my little bucket, a black and white rabbit lollopped up to the corner of its run to meet me. I found a little end piece of carrot to give him through the mesh. Now I think about it, the rabbit was the only person I met today.

Back in the kitchen I searched the fridge. Quite empty. Not been shopping much lately. I found some fairly fresh broccoli and half a red cabbage, which was quite old and slightly dried out . It still looked OK though. Browsing the larder, I came across an unopened packet of Wakame seaweed that had been there at least two years. I bought it out of curiosity but never had an occasion to try it. Running out food on a Sunday night seems to have been just the right occasion! I soaked some of it in cold water for a few minutes and then put it in the lower tray of the steamer with the red cabbage which I cut up into large pieces. The boccoli went in the upper tray.

I served the broccoli in one bowl - it was sweet and tender, green and clean - while the wakame and red cabbage in the other bowl was dark and mysterious. I ate the meal naked - no salt, no soy sauce, nothing - and with chopsticks. Digging deep, I picked out a dark frond, not sure until it was out in the light whether it was seaweed or cabbage. A few mouthfuls of cabbage and then the surprising, salty chewyness of the Wakame. Genius!

Copyright 2007 Paul Mackilligin