Fruit and oat bagel with strawberry jam, apple, dried apricots
The fruit and oat New York bagels were reduced in Sainsbury’s and they’re one of my favourites from the range. They give you a great morning boost, especially if you add jam.
Olive ciabatta with homemade hummus, crisps, apple, dried apricots
You’ll be glad to know that I won’t be talking about the olive ciabatta for much longer as the loaf is nearly finished! It has been a nice feature of lunches this week though. This morning I quickly threw together a home made hummus from some blackeye beans. The tin cost well under 50p, which just shows how cheap it is to get some animal free protein. I drained the beans, added a good squeeze of lemon juice, about 1tbsp of tahini and 2 tbsp of olive oil. I also stirred in a goodly amount of lemon thyme, but I think parsley would work really well too. For cheap (and very nice) tinned pulses, I find it’s always worth heading over to the World Foods section of supermarkets. These economical sources of protein are lovely for making hummus, but also work really well in salads, curries and casseroles.
Roasted polenta with broccoli and almond, tomato salad
Dessert: Strawberries and soya cream
I had half a packet of polenta left so thought I’d do another sauce to go with it. The broccoli makes a much better sauce when it’s blended, but I didn’t have access to a blender tonight and it still tasted nice in a slightly less liquid form. I think I said quite enough about polenta in yesterday’s post, but the two key points are that it tastes delicious and you can find it next to the dried pasta. I always find that roasting nuts really transforms them and almonds are no exception.
Ingredients for roasted polenta with broccoli and almonds (serves 2):
– 1 packet of polenta (the kind that looks like a block of cheese)
– A little olive oil
– 1 large broccoli
– A jug of veggie stock
– 1 small pack of almonds
– A splash of soya cream
1. Preheat the oven to around gas 7 (220 C)
2. Brush the polenta with a little oil and spread out on a baking tray. Roast for around 30 mins (this is a bit of an estimate) turning once.
3. Meanwhile, chop up the broccoli and make the stock. Place the broccoli in a saucepan and add enough stock to create a fair amount of liquid in the base of the pan, but nowhere near enough to cover the broccoli (it develops a nice flavour like this). Cover and simmer for about 10 mins, stirring regularly and adding more water if necessary. When the broccoli is tender, add a spash of soya cream and blend so it becomes a rough sauce but not a soup. Set aside for now.
4. When the polenta has about 15 mins left in the oven, put the almonds on the spaces in the baking tray and roast, checking regularly that they are not beginning to burn. You usually get some warning before your expensive purchase turns into a blackened mess, since the nuts on the outer areas of the tray turn suspiciously dark and you have a chance to turn down the heat/remove them from the oven before a full scale disaster strikes.
5. About 5 mins before the polenta is ready, reheat the sauce.
6. When the polenta is ready, remove from the oven, transfer to plates and top with the broccoli sauce and almonds.
The tomato salad was just some tomatoes sprinkled with lemon thyme and drizzled with oilve oil. It tasted good, but I used the cheap salad tomatoes (which had also spent far too long being chilled through in the fridge). For optimum results, I would suggest splashing out on some better tomatoes and maybe not from the basics/value range that I always seem to be drawn to.
The strawberries had been reduced, and made a lovely dessert tonight although I suspect that they would have passed their edible phase by the morning. This English classic doesn’t take much effort to veganize, you just use soya cream (I’d go for the chilled Alpro one) and I think you’d have a job detecting that it was animal free.
Morning: Tea and a couple of biscuits
Afternoon: Coconut peanuts, apple.
Tea and coffee are great with animal free milks, but it’s worth bearing in mind whether you normally take sugar. If you do, I’d go for Alpro original/light or a supermarket brand ‘sweetened soya drink’. You may even find you need less sugar. If you prefer a non sweet drink though, be sure to go for unsweetened soya milk or one of the other non-dairy milks such as oat or coconut.