The story of a minor recycling disaster

Breakfast

Muesli with pineapple and Alpro Light soya milk

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I now realise that drowning cereal in soya milk does not make for a particularly photogenic breakfast. It tasted great though. If you don’t have a sweet tooth, you can get unsweetened soya milk, as well as plenty of other vegan milks that are a bit more neutral (e.g. coconut, oat and almond).

Lunch

Falafel and hummus wrap, an apple, cranberry flapjacks

At lunchtime, I became aware of the minor disaster that had evidently occurred on the way to work . This morning, I had lovingly filled a sandwich with the remains of a dhal I made last night. Stored in the fridge overnight, the mixture had developed the perfect consistency for a sandwich spread. Adding some tomato slices, I thought smugly about how I was recycling food, saving money and inventing an exciting new sandwich filling. I didn’t have any tin foil or spare Tupperware boxes, so placed the sandwich in a folded over carrier bag (more recycling). This is evidently not the way to transport a sandwich though. When I reached for my lunch, I was confronted with the collapsed and soggy remains of two slices of bread that had  parted company and spilled loose filling all over the inside of the bag. I’m generally in favour of salvaging squashed sandwiches, but this one really was a lost cause.

Fortunately, and perhaps contrary to popular belief, it is possible to buy a vegan sandwich in Tesco, so I ended up with a tasty falafel and hummus wrap.

Dinner

Broccoli and peanut noodles, salad. Dessert: Tea, biscuits, grapes

This is a handy recipe if you appreciate the benefits of green veg but don’t enjoy it boiled. It’s also very cheap, and involves ingredients that would probably appear in any omnivorous kitchen.

Ingredients for peanut and broccoli noodles (serves 2):

– 1/2 onion (or about 4 mini shallots)

-Some vegetable oil or vegan spread

-1 broccoli

-1-2 mugs of veggie stock

-1-2 cloves of garlic (crushed)

-2 heaped cereal spoons of crunchy peanut butter

-A sprinkle of sugar

-A packet of straight to wok noodles

-Optional: sunflower seeds to garnish

Method:

1. Peel and chop the shallots. Chop the broccoli, rinse and set aside.

2. Melt a spoonful of vegan spread in a saucepan, or heat some oil. Sautee the onion until it becomes transparent. Add the chopped broccoli and about a mug of the stock. The broccoli won’t be anywhere near covered, but I find it develops a better flavour when cooked in this way.

3. Add the garlic, partially cover and simmer until the broccoli is as tender as you like it. Stir every so often. Stir in the peanut butter and a sprinkle of sugar, plus some extra stock.

4. Stir in the noodles, separating with a fork if they are vacuum packed. Serve while still piping hot and garnish with some seeds if you have them.

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Dessert (although maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration in this case) leads on to the important subject of biscuits. Fortunately, there’s no need for vegans to miss out on the essential ritual of tea and biscuits, and lots of ‘normal’ biscuits are accidentally animal-free. I’ve found plain digestives, ginger nuts and even bourbons that are vegan; it’s amazing what you can find with a quick check of the packaging. I used to spend ages trawling through ingredients lists but there is a quicker way. Look for a ‘Suitable for Vegetarians’ tag to rule out any meat or fish derivatives, then the ‘Allergy Advice’ section should say whether the product contains egg or dairy. This obviously doesn’t help with honey, but  many savoury products are  unlikely to contain it. Sainsbury’s and the Co-op say whether their products are vegan anyway, and the Vegan Society’s approval logo also saves time on package examination 🙂

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