the sketch app presents: fad food round-up

howdy to all and sundry who actually read this blog! it’s been awhile so i thought i’d let you in on my latest fad foods. however, i’ve been too lazy (and hungry) to take pictures (and/or the pictures i’ve taken have been crap), so i decided to draw my fad foods using the sketch app for android. 

(do you like my name-dropping btw? thought i’d shoehorn a plug in there just in case somebody somewhere wants to give me money to write a cookbook or something.)

anyways my sketching has had mixed results as can be seen below:

i’ve made about 5 or 6 lasagnes in the past 2 weeks, but the best picture i’ve been able/willing to take has been this:

i mean, it’s not a horrible picture, but it doesn’t adequately capture the spirit of the dish i’ve been perfecting for the past couple weeks. hence the beautiful sketch. (shut up.)

i’ve been making moussaka for donkey’s, because lasagne always seemed too fiddly. then, i actually read the instructions on a packet of lasagne sheets and discovered that you don’t actually need to cook them first. (shut. up.)

so long story short, lasagne for daaays. layered with bechamel sauce, an insanely easy tomato sauce which i guess i’ll include for posterity, sometimes some sliced courgettes, and topped with, budget permitting, vegan cheese (or breadcrumbs if not – sometimes i add ground-up nuts too).

i’ll give you the really basic tomato sauce base i found in the guardian one day (SHUT UP), as well as my adaptations.

tomato sauce for lasagne
ingredients
1 tin peeled plum tomatoes
1 or 2 onions, sliced into thin rings
3 Tbsp margarine
1/2 tsp salt

extras:
100g soya mince (either frozen or dried)
2 tsp soya sauce
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp vegetable bouillon (if using unflavoured dried mince)

method
melt the margarine in a saucepan, adding the salt and sliced onions and cooking over low heat until soft. add the soya mince if using (along with the soaking water if using dried), making sure to cook a couple minutes if frozen, along with the soya sauce, balsamic vinegar, and vegetable bouillon. dump in the tin of tomatoes, breaking apart the whole plum tomatoes with your stirring spoon. allow to come to a simmer over low heat, then just leave it to meld together for awhile so you can get on with other stuff (like slicing courgettes or making bechamel sauce!).

NEXT FAD FOOD: japanese-style breakfast. nearly every day, for about 3 years. it comes and goes sometimes but this has persisted beyond a fad into a habit.

it all started in the airport one day, desperately searching for a hearty vegan breakfast before a morning flight. i passed by a wagamama’s and thought to myself, ‘i wonder what japanese people eat for breakfast.’

as it turns out, japanese people have magic for breakfast. that day i had miso soup, sushi rice, and pickles. i’ve since substituted hiyayakko for miso soup – mine consists of cold medium-firm or silken tofu topped with chopped spring onions, nori flakes, sesame seeds, and soya sauce. on the side i have sushi rice, sliced into blocks from a container in the fridge (or fresh and hot from the rice cooker), and homemade japanese pickles. 

here’s an old picture…just makes me want to have second breakfast tbh…

‘japanese pickles??’ i hear you ask. (not really but i need a segue.) yes, friends. pickled cucumber, radish, and ginger, all made at home. ‘but hoooooowww’

well friends, the pickling brine recipe is a piece of piss to make. allow me to enlighten you.

japanese pickling brine
ingredients
1 cup rice vinegar
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 tsp salt

method
okay i confess, i nicked this recipe from somewhere but don’t remember where. anyways all you do is boil all the above together until the sugar dissolves, then pour it over the sliced veg you want to pickle (or in the case of ginger boil it for a few minutes on the hob). then just leave the jars of pickles to cool and pop in the fridge, where they will keep for ages ^_^

fad food: dinner salads

image

I. CANNOT. STOP.

it is beginning to annoying my family. ‘i made salad for dinner !!!’ ‘…goddammit.’

i blame tofeta. it set off this endless two-week cycle of increasingly elaborate salads, including a botched batch of ad-hoc ranch dressing. …don’t try and freehand a ranch dressing, guys. trust me.

initially it was greek salad with the tofeta, chopped olives, cucumber, tomatoes, onion, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, and leaves. now i seem to have migrated west along the mediterranean to italy, inspired by my neighbour’s amazing salad with bread and sultanas.

last night’s had some cubed almond chèvre (it turns out gram flour added during the mixing process makes it reliably sliceable!), sliced grapes, onion, garlic, balsamic-stewed tomatoes, chickpeas, and homemade croutons. my son didn’t like it so i ate his leftovers.

i expect with the sudden torrential downpours my salad days are numbered. yay climate change… :-/

fad food: curry noodles and raita

image

no that’s not guacamole, smartarse. i was craving my go-to nice weather junk meal of a packet of curry noodles and homemade cucumber mint raita, but i was too lazy to go to the shops for vegan yoghurt. so i decided to use a mashed-up avocado instead.

and you know what? it is goddamned delicious.

i first hit upon this combo last year, as i was trying to think of a use for curry flavoured packet noodles so i wouldn’t have to go to the shops for less useless packet noodles. (are we sensing the theme here?)

i had a cucumber and some yoghurt to use up, and fresh mint in the garden, so whipped together some raita to go over the noodles. now in summer i pretty much only buy curry noodles to eat with raita!

you can find normal raita recipes that are easy to veganise so i’m going to give you my avocado buttermilk raita recipe instead.

avocado buttermilk raita
ingredients
half a large cucumber, grated and squeezed so that the juice can be drained off (save that juice, it’s lovely with apple juice and water!)
1 avocado, mashed
1/4 to 1/3 cup soya milk
1 to 2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp salt, or to taste
1 to 2 Tbsp chopped fresh mint leaves, or 1 tsp dry

method
combine 1 tsp lemon juice with the soya milk and set aside. once the grated cucumber is drained, stir in the salt and the rest of the lemon juice. add the mint and avocado, stirring until combined. add in the curdled soya milk according to taste – for a thinner raita, add more milk.