How are you? I’ve been working a lot this past week and all the busyness seems to have made me far less interested in food than normal, very weird! I’ve been eating lots of plain but delicious meals like the quinoa bowls I posted about here. And much more boring things like cereal and toast, things I never normally eat. I think my body is craving plain and grounding foods. Anyway here is something I threw together one evening when I was feeling a little more hungry but had nothing to eat!!
Well I say I had nothing to eat (have you seen my vegan cupboard?!) but I did dig out some veg from the farmers market, some ready cooked polenta and some sundried tomato sauce from the cupboard. Oh and a seitan steak from the freezer. Maybe not so much of a poor underfed vegan then!
Firstly I gave the seitan the crispy tofu treatment and left it baking in the oven while I made everything else. The polenta just needs slicing and frying in a small amount of oil (or lots if you’re not bothered about that sort of thing!) which I left til last, but I thought I’d mention it first because it’s easiest!
With the chard I roughly chopped the stems into 5cm long pieces and then cut the leaves into strips. Then I heated up some olive oil, added a couple of sliced garlic cloves and allowed it to sizzle until it smelt strongly of garlic. At which point I threw in the chard stems and allowed them to cook for 2 minutes or so before adding the leaves and allowing them to wilt.
Isn’t the amazing colour of chard so beautiful?? Gary sometimes helps out at a garden/allotment where adults with learning difficulties help with the gardening and brings home huge bunches of chard all with different coloured stems, talk about eating the rainbow!
I sliced the courgette and then cut the coins into quarters before frying them up, adding the sauce when they were cooked and a little extra seasoning (I know those sauces are full of salt and sugar but they never taste seasoned enough to me). Then I poured it over the cooked polenta, added the chard, grabbed the seitan out the oven and voila a pretty quick but delicious meal out of not very much. perfect!
Hopefully I’ll be posting much more soon (now the weekend is here!)
Do you remember that ages ago I made cashew butter icing for my friends birthday cupcakes?? Well being quite a thrifty person there was no way I was going to spend £4 on a jar of cashew nut butter (no matter how delicious it looked) so I decided to make my own. It was delicious! It probably wasn’t as thrifty as I thought, seeing as cashews are expensive full stop and making nut butter is a pain in the bum even with a good food processor (anyone got any tips??) but who cares when it makes you feel like Nigella Lawson. I promise this is going somewhere…
I had strawberries leftover from making the same cupcakes, the sun was still shining brightly (unlike the crap weather we’re having now!) and I thought what better to make into a vegan pudding porridge then strawberries and cream? I know soy cream would make this really easy but a) I rarely have it in the flat and b) it’s more fun making your own cashew butter than attempting soy cream!
Making your own cashew nut butter is as simple as getting a cup of cashew nuts, putting them in a food processor and blending until they form a paste. I guess it might be easier if you soak them for an hour or two before hand. I must admit that I ended up adding a dribble of sunflower oil to mine because it was so thick, it helped a little.
Strawberries & Cream Porridge
1/3 cup oats
2/3 cup unsweetened soy milk
1 1/3 cup water
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (don’t omit)
1 tbsp cashew butter
1 cup strawberries**
2-3 tsp sugar
Put the porridge oats, soy milk and water into a small pan. Bring to the boil and then turn down to a low heat. For example, my cooker goes up to 9, I have the porridge on 3. Cook for about 50 minutes stirring every 10 minutes. This will make very creamy porridge, but if you’re not as fussy about your porridge consistency as me (or like it a different way) cook to your preferred timings. You might need to adjust the amount of liquid.
Dice the strawberries in preparation. When the porridge has almost reached you desired consistency stir in your cashew butter and vanilla extract. If yours is anywhere near as solid as mine you may need to mash it a little bit with a fork to ensure it mixes well. Add your sugar and strawberries and allow to cook for 3-5minutes until your strawberries are turning the porridge a light pink colour.
**I know these are now out of season but you can still find British ones for sale (or at least I can in Kent) it’s best to use ones which you wouldn’t want to eat raw like this, otherwise it’s probably a bit of a waste! Or you can save the idea until next summer, only 8months to go!
So the weather here in Kent is leaving quite a lot to be desired, my Australian boss is probably the least impressed! So out comes the comforting bean and lentil recipes that I plan to experiment with a lot now the weather is a darker shade of grey. I thought I’d start nice and easy with a recipe from veganomnicon, like I mentioned in this post I have a lot of recipe books and plan to cook from them a lot more often.
And here we are, tamarind lentils:
I had it with roasted butternut squash and a spinach salad. And you know what it was really really good. I must admit I’m not a great vegan in the sense that I don’t love beans. I mean, I like them but I don’t LOVE them. But I am working on it because they are pretty healthy at the end of the day, or so I’ve heard!
Roasted Butternut Squash (not really a recipe!)
1 small butternut squash
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp dried rosemary
Pinch crushed chili
Preheat the oven to 180c
Cut the butternut squash into 1.5cm cubes. Line a roasting tin with non-stick parchment, coat the butternut squash cubes in oil and season with salt and a little bit of pepper. Between your fingers crush the dried rosemary into much smaller pieces and sprinkle over the butternut squash with a small pinch of crushed chili.
Roast in the oven for 30-50minutes until golden, sweet and delicious.
I’m afraid I’m not going to post the recipe from veganomnicon here because I haven’t asked (maybe I will one day) but you *can* find the recipe online, not that I recommend it, I think you should buy the book (go to my bibliography for a link straight through to the veganomnicon page on amazon, you know if you’re feeling really really lazy!!)!!
I just came across this article from the Daily Mail. Go read it and be prepared to laugh yourself into a hysteria!