Monday, 30 September 2013

Finality.

So here we are on the 30th and final day of VeganMofo 2013 and as I write this I am sipping a cup of tea whilst having dinner cooked for me, bliss.

Today I was on the lucky end of a RAK (random act of kindness), a friend at work had been visiting London at the weekend and called in at Inspiral. I've yet to visit as every time I'm in Camden I'm drawn in by the sights and smells of Camden Lock! Anyway he randomly handed me a pack of their 'Raw Cacao & Cinnamon Kale Chips' this morning which definitely perked me up.

Unfortunately I've got to say I wasn't bowled over once I actually opened the packet. There was too much kale taste to call them sweet and too much cinnamon cacao taste to call them savoury! So although they definitely beat your average banana/carrot sticks/other healthy snack, I can't see myself heading all the way to Camden to get them again any time soon!

I hope you've enjoyed my contributions to VeganMoFo and I haven't rambled too much. It's been so great hearing your thoughts in the comments and sharing my own on other blogs too, some I'm addicted to now! In the future I'm hoping to spend more time improving my photography and photo editing whilst trying out some of the many, many incredible ideas I've seen throughout the month from all over the world. Come back and visit!


Sunday, 29 September 2013

Eating out

A busy weekend in London and Brighton with some snazzy eating fitted in.

For dinner on Saturday my friend and I went a-hunting for something to eat nearby to Euston Station. Our first attempt was Hummus Bros on Southampton Row however Mrs. Brains here failed to notice their opening times 'Mon-Fri'! Luckily it wasn't much of a walk to our next option, Orchard. This was located in quite a charming 'Edwardian arcade' and we took advantage of the mild weather and sat outside.
After a little confusion regarding how much bread was available, I ordered the soup of the day, leek and potato with a drizzle of chive oil, and this came with some yummy salty and nutty bread, like nothing I've ever tried before!

The menu also included a vegan sandwich and about 5 out of the ten 'plates' (of which they say you should buy 2-3 per person) were also vegan. The staff were very friendly if a little unclear about their bread situation! Prices were reasonable and we both felt lovely and full for just under £18 between us.

On Sunday another friend (hey little miss popular ay, 2 friends!) popped down to Brighton for a catch up and so we headed to one of my favourites, Wai Kika Moo Kau for lunch. I have always got the mini vegan breakfast here, it's just consistently great and a steal at £3.50. This time, however, I decided to break the mould and went for the bang-bang tofu wrap which was amazing noms. Baked tofu with coriander and lime and sweet and sour sauce on lettuce in a toasted wrap, mmmmm.



Thursday, 26 September 2013

Cauliflower Broccoli Bake

Thought I would do a little twist on our usual mac n cheese with broccoli yesterday and instead utilised the oven, and a cauliflower. This is by no means a recipe, just an experiment that I though I'd share.
1.First I boiled one head of cauliflower cut into large florets in salted water for 3 minutes before adding a head of broccoli cut into equal sized pieces for a further 2 minutes. (Preheat the oven ~180 degrees)
2. I then drained the veg well and used kitchen towel to soak up any excess moisture.
3. I laid the veg into a casserole dish and poured over the sauce from our favourite mac n cheese recipe (Chef Chloe's duh!).
4. After sprinkling some paprika over the top I baked it for approx 20 minutes.
In retrospect I think this would make a better side dish rather than main, and perhaps a higher sauce to veg ratio with slightly more soy milk in the sauce. Still a yummy & healthy dinner :)

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Banana bread - like an edible hug.

As I mentioned in my last post I'm feeling under the weather today. And, despite spending most of the day in bed/on the sofa under a blankie, I managed to create a wonderful banana bread which made me feel better for at least ten minutes.

I stuck to this recipe exactly and didn't add the optional nuts/fruit. It was so easy and made an impressive bake. I used a 6" round cake tin and this would make 8 nice sized slices (Although half the recipe disappeared between two of us in the space of half an hour). My top tip would be to use a whisk when mashing the bananas, works much better than a fork IMO.
Queue banana bread montage:


And the winner is...

Tracy P!

Two tickets will be winging their way to Tracy very soon, watch that letterbox!
Thanks everyone for taking part, give-aways are so fun, might have to do another in the future.

In other news I'm an ill one today. Been snuggled up in bed watching Great British Bake Off but I think it's now time to get down to the kitchen and get some feel good baking going.
I think I'l attempt this recipe for banana bread, with all those good reviews how could I pass it up!
Will be back with the low down later today.

Monday, 23 September 2013

Cooking for one.

It's not as sad as it sounds, I almost never eat alone so this was a great chance to try something that Josh is overly suspicious of, zucchini pasta!
I picked up a few zucchini tips from A Girl Called Jack, a never ending source of ideas.

Start by frying half an onion, then add a large, finely chopped mushroom. Once soft, add half a tin of tomatoes and 1/4 tsp crushed chili. Leave to simmer.
Whilst the sauce is reducing, slice zucchini (courgette!) lengthways and then slice each half lengthways again. Then use a potato peeler to peel thin ribbons. Crush one clove garlic and fry garlic and zucchini slices in a little oil. These will be ready after just a few minutes.  
Add a little s&p to the sauce to taste and ladle over the ribbons.
This pic is actually only half a  zucchini, I struggled getting my portion size right to feed just me, plus I'd been snacking loads! Usually we just hoover up whatever I make unless we make looooads in which case it gets tupperware-d.  Any tips for portion control?

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Chef Chloe does it again.

I haven't been feeling too great the last couple of days, a certain someone has passed on the mother of all sore throats but that didn't stop me making a dreeeeamy lunch on Friday (but did stop me from posting about it till now... or perhaps that was the multiple episodes of Great British Bake Off I've been watching in bed?!)
Had to crush the bun to fit it in the toaster!
This is my version of Chef Chloe's Hawaiian Sloppy Joes, I made quite a few changes to fit with what I had in the fridge but maan was it tasty!
My subs were:
Normal (and cheapo) mushrooms from Aldi instead of crimini
Yellow bell pepper instead of green
Cooked red lentils instead of a can
Can of chopped tomatoes instead of tomato sauce
Tinned pineapple instead of fresh
My only advice for this is to chop those mushrooms before you start if you haven't got a food processor, otherwise things may get a little hectic (almost inevitable in my kitchen anyway!)

It really was rather fantastic and honestly, I've come to expect nothing less from Chef Chloe.
Do you find yourselves making lots of substitutions in recipes or do you make the effort to get in the right ingredients ahead of time?

Don't forget to enter my VegFest give-away if you haven't done so yet!