Friday, 21 September 2007


As in blimey, I'm becoming a lazy blogger. I think there should be a website that names and shames bloggers who haven't posted for ages. I might make one myself...I'd probably forget to update it though!

So, into the murky depths of my camera I plunge...

We start today with some of the lunches I packed for myself recently, featuring my groovy little Japanese bento box (which bears the legend "Natural Leaf: I love natural blessing"). I like to incorporate leftovers from other meals (mainly to save time, as otherwise I am liable to go off on a little cooking spree before school and miss my bus) and I am *trying* to keep prep time under 20 mins (Ha).

Buckwheat pasta mixed with leftover ratatouille with little cut out stars of Lemon-Herb Tofu (I love this stuff), plus a nectarine, cherry tomatoes and steamed cabbage with black pepper.

Mini pan bagnat (yummy pressed sandwich, usually made with slightly stale bread, filled with all kinds of things and left to soak in its juices for a few hours) on a homemade kamut roll, nectarine and salad with mushrooms and tempeh.

Peanut butter, grated carrot and raisins on a homemade kamut roll, with dried figs (source of calcium, people!) and some cherry toms and cukes (getting too lazy to spell whole wrds nw). Plus a yummy apple (English apples kick other
nations' apples' butts).

Homemade hummus with cayenne, cherry toms, pepper and carrots sticks and a wholewheat pitta (not in the photo). I give Dreena Burton the full credit for helping me to finally make hummus that doesn't suck!

Had a "vegetable day" the other Sunday. One of those days I don't want pulses or tofu or anything protein-y, just veggies and grains. So I made the best lunch I've had for ages. I got a big field mushroom and roasted it with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, yellow cherry tomatoes (mmmm) and a whole load of garlic and thyme from the garden. Fab...

And all plated up, with Pie's latest crop of potatoes and some veggies.

Been watching a lot of food porn on the telly lately. My fave at the moment is Jamie (Oliver) at Home, in which he cooks vegetables from his incredible garden. The recipes are simple, but stunning and quite a lot are vegan or veganizable. We've already bought the book and I was really excited to try out the "Humble Home-cooked Beans". Here you can see the results. Unfortunatly they took forever to cook (I suspect because I used cannellini beans, although it said I could use them instead of the suggested borlotti beans) and never got really soft. The flavours were all there, though, and the roasted tomato bruschetta I improvised were delish, as the man himself would say.

Also on my telly has been Nigella Express. While I find her a bit annoying, her food is very nice. The pasta in this photo, with a side of Italian Tofu from Vegan With A Vengeance (which stuck to our rubbish griddle but was still yum) and broccolli, was inspired by something she made on her show this week. It's basically a speedy mushroom pasta with thyme, lemon, olive oil,mushrooms and parsley. My mum fried the mushrooms first instead of adding them raw like Nigella, because we only had oyster mushrooms, and I hate them raw. Too bitter for me! It was all dashed tasty.

Lastly, my favourite food: stir-fry. It's a shame it's the only food I can't make for myself (I always burn things, or add too much water). This one had loads of veggies and cashews with my homemade sauce (2 T shoyu, juice and zest of 1/2 a lime, 1-2 t tomato puree, 1-2 agave nectar and 1/4 t five-spice powder). I had it with brown basmati rice and it was scrummy.

I have to go now, as I'm dog tired and sense will soon making stop.


Friday, 7 September 2007

Been a while

Embarrassingly, it's been a whole two weeks since I last updated this blog! I was hoping I'd have a major backlog to wow you all with to make up for it, but alas, I've been fairly slack on that front as well. I'm back at school now (my last year!) so posts might be less frequent for a while when they start piling on the coursework. Never mind, quality not quantity I say...

We start today with a brilliant chance find! On the way to the supermarket (we missed the last farmer's market-boo! And we only have one or two a month- some of you bloggers in the USA seem to get one practically every day which makes me green with envy!) we passed a little stall someone had set up outside their house with squash, beans and courgettes from their garden, with a little honesty box so you could help yourself. They were still there coming back the other way and we picked up the beastie you see above.

My favourite way (in fact, in my humble opinion, the only way) to eat squash is roasted. So we did just that and tossed it with some pasta and a sage-y dressing my mum made (the sage was from our garden - the herbs at least are still going strong, unlike the courgettes and beans which succumbed to the bad weather. We still have hopes of harvesting some sweetcorn and butternut squash, though). Yummy! With roastey toastey pine nuts, natch, and some nutritional yeast which I ended up scraping off (I think my problem is it tastes too different to parmesan - I like it in cheese sauces and on soups but stay away from my pasta, please). Guess I'll have to experiment with making my own cheesy pasta sprinkles. The taste was between butternut squash and potatoes, which is a happy place to be.

I'm a big fan of Dreena Burton's Homestyle Chocolate Chip Cookies, so I decided to try another sweet recipe of hers: Banana Oat Bundles. They were so yummy and quick to make and tasted like rock cakes (which is a compliment if you don't know what rock cakes are - think sweet, crumbly scones with raisins that look like you splatted the batter on the baking sheet - which you do, funnily enough). Plus a great use of overripe bananas, which we always seem to have lying around.

I was looking through Vegan With a Vengeance and decided I need to cook from it more often! So many yummy recipes (although my version has a coupla errors - 250ml nutritional yeast?), so little time. I plumped for the Sweetcorn Chowder, thinking it would make a nice supper with leftovers for my dad who was getting home late. Tasty and smoky (although I would have loved more spice - left out the jalapenos as Pie is very anti-chillies), if a little sweet, though prehaps that was because I used sweetened soy milk.

Last night was easy (but tasty) meal night for me and Pie - baked potatoes done in the microwave (but also oven cooked - we have a magical oven that lets you do both at once) with Velvet Red Lentil Soup (which Pie spurned and had, gosh, cheese and ham instead) and guacamole for my baked potato (comes a close second to hummus). Served with some microwaved sweetcorn (which has been awesome this year) and red and yellow cherry tomatoes. I also had an itty-bitty Sojasun cherry soy yoghurt - makes me feel five again.

Tonight was pizza night! This time I went for some red pepper, canned artichoke hearts, courgettes, pine nuts and pesto. It was spiffing! There would be a picture but Blogger won't upload it. Never mind.

Lastly, I have a new love in my life: Booja Booja Stuff In A Tub. It was the first vegan ice "cream" I've ever eaten and I cannot see myself ever buying another brand. I tried the vanilla flavour and it was so deliciously pure-tasting and melting smooth it needed no adornment. It's also pretty healthy as it's made with cashew nuts and sweetened with agave nectar, so you needn't feel guilty about tucking in! It's also suitable for diabetics. Next the ginger flavour, or maple and pecan, or chocolate...

See you soon, by which time I will have eaten the entire tub in my sleep.