Yep, it’s that time again – a roundup of my latest instagram photos. It’s been a reasonably eventful couple of weeks. Thanksgiving, trips to Cornwall, lots of great eats and other stuff….
It’s time to bust out the red hat. Vintage. Obviously. Toasty. Clearly. Christmassy. Without a doubt. You may be seeing a lot of this hat over the next few weeks. Apologies in advance.
We went to Cornwall last weekend to see the in-law’s. On our way back we drove through Central London, which is always a treat…..minimal traffic and beautiful sights. It’s one of my favourite ways to appreciate this magnificent city we live in.
We took the remainder of the pumpkin pie I made for Thanksgiving with us to Cornwall….and subsequently ate it for breakfast on Saturday and Sunday, ahem. Admittedly not the healthiest start to the day but damn tasty. The ginger snap crust is the best.
Meet Neep. My Husband animated this character when he worked on the children’s show ‘The Adventures of Abney and Teal’. This is a picture our Niece drew because she’s a fan and super proud of her ‘Uncle Jas’ – I think we have a budding artist on our hands!
Erm, I don’t usually make a habit of taking pictures of myself in the bathroom at work. Slightly embarrassing but a very cute vintage jacket, no? I’ve had it for years and it always makes me happy when I wear it. I think I might like red….:/
I’m pleased to say Thanksgiving was a success. With so little time to prepare anything I was amazed I actually pulled it off – seven sides plus dessert, what was I thinking?! The food was good, not my best, and I do plan on refining all the recipes for Christmas but it was enjoyable none the less. I’ve already made improvements to the braised cabbage and when I’m 100% happy with it I’ll be sure to post the recipe.
It might not look like much in the picture but this soup rocked my world mid week. Chickpea and chestnut are a match made in soupy heaven. Also, the bread looks burnt in the photo but in actual fact it was toasted perfection, rubbed with oil and (lot’s of) garlic. Here’s the recipe in a nutshell:
Roughly chop an onion, carrot and small broccoli. Lightly fry in a little oil in a deep pot. Mince 4-5 garlic cloves and add to pan. Season generously and sautee until the onion is transparent. Add around five cups of vegetable stock and bring to a boil and then simmer gently for 10mins until the veg is soft. Finally add the chickpeas and crumbled chestnuts and heat through. Finish with a decent amount of freshly chopped flat leaf parsley.
Our dear friend Dan returned to Chicago on Friday. It was so lovely having him here in London and made us realise how much we miss our Chicago life. Shame. I think a trip to the US might be in order in the New Year. Best start saving dem pennies.
I found this image on my phone today. During the Olympics we managed to get to one event (Women’s Weightlifting is surprisingly very entertaining) at the Excel Centre and afterwards we walked through the area next to it, which had been transformed into a place for eating, relaxing and generally soaking up the Olympics atmosphere – it was so un-London but so fantastic. There were lot’s of random objects scattered about, this sign being one them. I love it.
Mexican , Soup , Uncategorized , Vegan , Vegetable side dish
What if I told you the main ingredient in this No’Quesa’dilla is, gulp, Brussel Sprouts. Would you scarper to the nearest non vegan blog faster than your little fingers can click? Hopefully it wont come to that and if I have managed to retain your attention until now then let me take this chance to say….Brussel Sprouts can taste good. Don’t believe me? One bite of these smoky toasty morsels and you’ll be eating your words. And your sprouts.
What you’ll need…
1 flour tortilla
5 brussels sprouts
2 garlic cloves
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp freshly chopped flat leaf parsley
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp hummus
1 tbsp olive oil
What you’ll do…
Heat the oil in a pan. Slice the shallot and add to pan. Salt and soften for a few minutes.
Finely slice the sprouts, add to pan and cook for several minutes before adding salt and the sliced garlic cloves.
Cook for a few minutes more before sprinkling over the smoked paprika. Mix thoroughly and allow the flavours to infuse before stirring through the parsley and transferring to a bowl.
Heat the tortilla in a pan for a few minutes before spreading the dijon all over, the hummus over half and then topping with the Brussel Sprout mix.
Fold and cook in the already heated pan until toasty on one side before turning over. Once the other side is toasted, cut into three triangles and serve – particularly nice with a warming bowl of soup!
It feels like an absolute age since I last posted a recipe. I’m here to reassure you that my passion for food lives on and contrary to evidence displayed here is thriving more than ever. Whilst I’m making a lot of Mexican food still and there is always a steady stream of Asian inspired dishes, I’m now getting into that Autumn vibe with distinctly more hearty fare.
A sucker for pasta in all its many and varied forms, these slivers of teeny tiny vermicelli are my new obsession. Found in my favourite supermarket section (the ‘World Food’ aisle) the itty bitty shards of angel hair spaghetti are perfect for soups and stews, and work a treat in this light autumn dish.
I do feel I owe you a sweet dish after this though, so next time we’ll be getting our sugar on – vegan stylee, yeow!
2 leeks, sliced
2 carrots, roughly chopped
1 courgette, roughly chopped
1 cup green beans, chopped small
2 cups baby leaf spinach
1 can (about 1 1/2 cups) drained and rinsed cannellini beans
1 cup vermicelli
3-4 garlic cloves
1 tbsp mixed italian herbs
1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
1 vegetable stock cube
splash of red wine vinegar
salt and pepper
heat a little oil in a deep pot. add the sliced leeks, some salt and allow to soften on a gentle heat for several minutes before adding the carrots. clamp on lid and cook for 5-10mins before adding the sliced garlic.
after allowing the garlic to infuse for a few minutes, add the courgette, sprinkle over the oregano, pour over the red wine vinegar and cook for a few minutes on a reasonably high heat with the lid on.
add the stock cube and cover with water from a kettle. bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer for 15 minutes before adding the green beans. cook for a further 10 minutes until the beans are soft.
add the cannellini beans and pasta, season and cook for several minutes more until the pasta absorbs the remaining liquid and the sauce thickens.
finally, stir through the spinach until it wilts. taste for seasoning and serve with the chopped flat leaf parsley and nutritional yeast, aka. nooch (optional but nice!).
Finally. Here’s that carrot and ginger soup recipe I promised.
You having a nice weekend?
I’m enjoying every second of mine….
….beers and vietnamese food last night…..
….trip to the auction rooms this morning (didn’t win the hat/bags I bid on but hey, ho, that’s the way it goes!)….
….walked through Greenwich Park….
….raided the Cat’s Protection charity shop (I love cats and thrifted goods so double win!)….
…spent a small fortune in Mark and Spencer’s food hall (including a bottle of vegan red wine – score!)….
….and now I’m chilling in front of the telly watching silly movies on filmfour (just my luck – just what I needed).
I love weekends:)
2 large celery sticks
1/2 head fennel
7-8 large carrots
1 large piece of ginger (approx 2”)
1 tsp garlic powder
1 vegetable stock cube
1 tbsp oil
salt and pepper
soya cream and hemp seeds to serve
heat the oil in a heavy based saucepan.
roughly chop the celery and fennel and add to pan. season with salt and pepper, clamp on lid and allow to soften for several minutes, stirring occasionally.
peel and chop the carrot into medium sized pieces. add to pan along with powdered garlic, stir and allow to soften for 5-10 minutes.
peel and mince the ginger. add to pan and stir to combine. let the ginger infuse a little before covering the vegetables with water and stock cube.
bring to a gentle simmer and cook for around 30-40minutes until the carrots are tender. stir occasionally.
blitz with a hand held blender until completely smooth. it may be a little thicker than desire so thin out with some water. taste for seasoning, heat gently on the stove, stirring frequently but do not allow to boil.
serve with a swirl of soya cream and a sprinkling of hemp seeds.
As promised, here is the recipe for the (kinda curried – it has garam masala in it!) soup I made yesterday. It makes two generous portions, which meant there was plenty for lunch today – lucky me!
curried cauliflower and carrot soup
1/2 head cauliflower
1 heaped tsp coconut oil
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp coriander
1 heaped tsp vegan vegetable bouillon
1 tbsp garam masala
salt and pepper
Heat the coconut oil in a saucepan. Finely chop the onion and add to pan, season with salt, stir and lightly fry on a low heat until the onion begins to soften.
Peel and chop the carrot into small pieces and add to pan. Place lid on and allow the carrot to soften for a few minutes before adding the garlic powder, cumin, coriander and paprika. Ensure all the vegetables are coated in the spices, clamp on lid and let the flavours infuse for several minutes more.
Break apart or roughly chop the cauliflower into medium sized pieces and add to pan. Sprinkle over the vegetable bouillon powder and cover with freshly boiled water. You want the water to cover the vegetables with about a centimetre to spare – you can always thin it out later when the soup is blended.
Bring to a gentle simmer and cook until the vegetables are just soft but not mush. Transfer to a blender and blitz until completely smooth. Return the soup to the pan and warm on a low heat.
At this stage you can taste for seasoning and add water to your taste. I like my soup quite thick so I only added about a further 1/2 cup of water.
Woah! I’ve never managed to do that before – give a recipe without a load of waffle beforehand.
Have I just gone and ruined it with this little addition?
Old habits die hard!
It’s the pumpkin guy:)
Thought it was about time I wheeled out my Halloween decorations and this little guy is my favourite. I bought him when we were in beautiful Chicago and he takes pride of place in my kitchen.
This is my first WIAW in a while and I really missed it, so it’s great to be joining in the fun again – yay!
Without further ado, here are my Wednesday eats baby……
Polenta made with oat milk and sweetened with maple syrup topped with Jordan’s Country Crisp Chunky Nuts and sliced kiwi.
Hot water and lemon
Homemade mildly curried cauliflower and carrot soup served with a slice of toasted rye bread spread with hummus and vegan tapenade.
Cup of black tea with soya milk and two squares of dark chocolate with nuts.
Noodle stir fry tossed in a homemade sweet and spicy peanut sauce served with maple glazed tempeh.
That was a pretty good days eating. Dinner was mega tasty and I really enjoyed my mid day indulgence – hmmmm, chocolate:)
Hope everyone else had (or is still having, depending on where you are in the world) a wonderful What I Ate Wednesday!!
Just to further prove what a complete and utter shambles I’ve been lately, I only realised (after being prompted by my lovely little ‘Liebster’ award) that we are mid way through VeganMoFo (Month of Food).
I mean really? What the hell is going on with me? I’m actually starting to worry about myself.
After completely missing out on Vegan MoFo last year I was determined to fully take part this time around. So, even though I had the wherewithal to sign up I completely failed to post the banner on any of my October posts – I’m sure there’s more to it than that as well, but let’s not even go there.
Anyway, much to my surprise, my meagre posting efforts have been kindly recognised by The Vegan Kook – thanks Vegan Kook, muchly appreciated girly!
“Liebster” is German and means ‘dearest’ or ‘beloved’ but it can also mean ‘favorite’. The idea behind this award is to bring attention to bloggers who have less than 200 followers and show your support during Vegan Mofo!
The rules of winning this award are as follows:
1. Show your thanks to those who gave you the award by linking back to them.
2. Reveal 5 of your top picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
3. Post the award on your blog.
4. Enjoy the love and support of some wonderful people on the big wide web!
Here then are my choices…..
I cannot believe my humble soup can be seen alongside some of my all time favourite bloggers such as Mr.Kate and Grasie Mercedes. I’m not embarrassed to say I did a little dance when I saw it pop up on my Facebook news feed. It has so far been shared no less than 77 times! Say wha? And a couple of lovelies left very nice comments. I heart comments, keep ‘em coming x
Go check it out and don’t forget to share, comment and spread the vegan love!!!
The latest issue of Brew Drinking Thinkings has just been published and my final two contributions are now visible on the site. I’ve been a very bad blogger of late, what with my Family visiting and having to cater for five and six people every evening. I’m sure many would find cooking for five a piece of cake but as I’m used to just feeding me and Hubbie it’s been a real challenge. For the most part though I have enjoyed it immensely and along the way have developed strategies to help me cope.
I must say I’ve really missed my usual dishes – I’ve had to adapt our meals slightly, as I don’t think my parents are quite ready for a Buddha Bowl with Kale for dinner. I’ve managed to squeeze in a few smoothies and have ensured to include lots of nuts, seeds and all that nonsense but not having my usual uber healthy lunches is starting to take its toll.
Ironically, my Parents and Sister have seen a marked improvement in their energy levels, skin and erm, toilet time. I never would’ve thought my vegan meals would be received so well and I hope they continue in some small way when they return home. I don’t expect my Family to go meat and dairy free immediately but I hope they now have the incentive to gradually wean themselves off the bad stuff.
Perhaps they’ll be tempted to try a few of my recipes now (they like to read the posts but only my Sister has attempted to make anything) and this Mexican Black Bean soup would be a great evening meal for even the most reluctant of cooks. Apart from the blending (which is hardly an inconvenience) it’s as simple as it gets.
Talking of Mexican, tonight I’m rustling up some kale and potato enchilladas courtesy of the vegan bible that is Veganomicon and I have no doubt they’re going to be a huge hit. Almost as good as my Mexican Black Bean Soup
This isn’t one of those quick soups you throw together in a matter of minutes. On top of the prep work it requires forty minutes simmering on the stove to achieve the perfect consistency. That forty minutes can feel like a lifetime when you’ve just had a hardcore yoga session and need food. Pronto. You might have to fill the gap with some cucumber crudites and hummus but the wait will be worth it. Would I lie? Not about food, that’s for sure!
Yeah, yeah, I love soup, I think we’ve established that so I’ll tell you about something else I love – coconut milk. What’s not to love is what I say and yet I know some have an aversion to anything coconutty, which baffles me but also makes me kinda sad. A life without coconut is pretty bleak if you ask me.
Coconuts and Avocados. Two of natures greatest gifts. Who on earth cares about cream, butter and cheese when you have these luscious foods at your disposal.
Technically a fruit, the coconut has become a major feature in my diet and my cooking. I’m a total coconut oil convert, use desiccated coconut in a wide variety of desserts and breakfasts and coconut milk is now a steadfast staple in my kitchen. I’ve replaced soy milk for coconut milk – not the canned coconut milk I hasten to add, the pourable kind.
To clarify, there are two kinds of coconut milk on the market; one is used mainly for cooking (that’s the canned stuff) and the other is for drinking or pouring into tea, coffee or onto cereal. My preferred brand is Kara coconut milk and it is widely available and very reasonably priced. That’s my sales pitch. Onto the cooking variety.
Canned coconut milk is exceptionally creamy, which makes it ideal for making ice-creams, yoghurt, whipped cream and also lends a richness to any dish in which it is used. In my eyes coconut milk can do no wrong. It’s the food that keeps on giving and I’m happy to take, take, take.
The coconut flavour in this soup is not in any way overpowering and I would suggest that even if you’re not a coconut fan you may still like it. Although ‘spiced’ this dish is not particularly spicy – even with the added chilli and paprika. The spice is very mild and subtle but absolutely essential in aiding the soup to be bursting with the incredible flavour it possesses. Personally, I think it would make for an excellent starter to a dinner party meal – a small bowlful should be enough to wet the appetite without over facing people with a gargantuan appetizer before the main. This is how I like to do things anyway.
I first discovered this recipe in a ‘Vegan’ recipe book (it’s literally called ‘Vegan’) and, of course, I’ve tweaked it to my own tastes but then again I do that with pretty much every recipe I’ve ever followed (‘followed’ in the loosest sense of the word).
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to make myself a very special raw cheesecake. All will be revealed tomorrow – or the day after, depends how I’m feeling.
1/2 large red onion (I used a quarter of a colossal one)
1/2 red chilli
thumbsize piece of peeled ginger
1 clove garlic
1 cup red lentils
1 400g can coconut milk
3 cups filtered water
1 scant tsp vegan vegetable bouillion
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp cumin
pink Himalayan salt
juice of 1 lime
1 heaped tsp coconut oil
Finely chop the red onion – I actually like to mince mine with a knife.
Meanwhile, mince the chilli, garlic and ginger together. Add to pan, cover and cook for a few more minutes until the flavours begin to infuse – your kitchen should be full of wonderful aromas by now.
Rinse and sort the red lentils and add to pan along with the ground coriander, paprika and cumin. Mix thoroughly and then pour in the coconut milk and water. Sprinkle in the vegetable bouillion and lightly season with some pink Himalayan salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Cover, bring to the boil and then lower to a gentle simmer for forty minutes, ensuring to stir frequently.
Juice the lime and set aside.
When the lentils have softened and almost disintegrated to form a thick, creamy soup, take off the heat, pour in the lime juice, taste for seasoning and serve with a few fresh coriander leaves for garnish.
Man oh man, where has this week gone? I almost forgot to go to my workout this morning because I didn’t realise it was Friday! Not that I’m complaining, it’s great to be this busy. It does mean less time to spend on lunch though – even less than the 20mins I normally enforce, which is how this ten minute broccoli soup came about. I’m pretty sure I could get it down to five if I didn’t bother sweating the onion, celery and broccoli stalk but for now it remains at ten.
Broccoli is one of those vegetables that you associate with childhood. Most kids hate it, turn their noses up and push it to the one side but not me. Generally I think I probably was a strange child – I was listening to Neil Sedaka, Elvis Costello and Sam Cooke when everyone else was into Take That and New Kids On The Block for pete’s sake. I also love, love, loved broccoli. It was my absolute favourite part of Sunday dinner. Truly. Loved it.
Now that I’m vegan my broccoli intake has quadrupled and that’s fine by me. Nothing is more satisfying than a bowl of stir fried brown rice topped with lightly steamed or blanched broccoli. That’s a total zen dish right there, let me tell you.
This soup is fast and easy (ooh er!), tastes go-od and best of all it’s homemade and therefore contains no nasties. I won’t lie, I do rely on canned soups for some lunches but I’ve managed to limit it to about once a week now. In all honesty though I don’t know why I bother because it really is just as quick to rustle up a fresh soup.
The one addition I might add to this already yum yum soup next time is a touch of freshly grated nutmeg – just a pinch. Aside from that I wouldn’t alter anything else. It was creamy, smooth, delicate yet tasty and I can tell you now I had two bowlfuls.
Ready, set, go make that broccoli soup!
1 small broccoli (incl.stalk)
1 small yellow onion
1 celery stick
1 tsp vegan vegetable stock granules or 1/2 stock cube
1/4 cup soya milk
1 tbsp oil
salt and pepper
Heat a little oil in a pan. Finely chop the onion, celery and broccoli stalk (it will add so much flavour) and add to pan. Season and gently sweat for a few minutes ensuring it doesn’t colour.
Add the broccoli florets and cover with water. Sprinkle in the vegetable stock and stir to dissolve.
Cover pan and allow to simmer for a few minutes until the florets soften a little.
Transfer to a blender, add the soya milk, season and blitz until smooth.
Return to pan and gently heat. Check for seasoning – if you’re like me you’ll like it mega peppery.