A reunion with marshmallows

Breakfast

Fruit and oat bagel with strawberry jam, mango pieces

This was a really lovely start to a Saturday morning. Bagels are definitely at their best while still hot from the toaster so the soya spread melts and soaks in satisfyingly.

Lunch

Purple nut roast, couple of oaty biscuits, pineapple

The nut roast was purchased at the V-delicious veggie/vegan food festival in London. Needless to say, my morning there was thoroughly enjoyable (minus the two hour journey as the London Underground had decided not to cooperate). Being there really helped you to get a feel for the diversity and scope of vegan food. It was also great to see Viva! (Vegetarians International Voice for Animals), providing some really good info booklets about both the health and ethical reasons to go animal free (available to buy for a tiny price at http://www.viva.org.uk/guides/index.htm).

Moving on to less serious matters, there was a huge range of vegan sweeties, including the wonderful Freedom Mallows. It had been many years since I’d eaten a marshmallow, as the presence of gelatine had put me off long before going completely animal free. To be fair, my local health food shop does sell vegan marshmallows, but I’ve always found the pricing a little outside my budget and the large slabs don’t seem to lend themselves to a hot chocolate topping. The Freedom Mallows only cost £1.99 per packet though, and they’re beautifully light and fluffy. They’re also a perfect size for hot chocolate and if you’re like me, you may also appreciate the cute bunny packaging. Fortunately they weren’t exclusive to the veggie event and you can buy them on Viva!’s website. Here’s a link that will (hopefully) take you straight to these revolutionary sweeties: http://www.vivashop.org.uk/catalog/viva/food/confectionery

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Dinner

Leek, potato and celery soup, bagel, pistachio nuts

Dessert: A vegan cupcake

This is a really nice version of the classic leek and potato soup as the celery adds an extra layer of flavour. It’s also seriously quick to prepare.

Ingredients for leek, potato and celery soup (serves 2):

– 2 large leeks

– 4 medium sticks of celery

– A little rapeseed oil

– 2 smallish potatoes

– Around 1 litre veggie stock

Method:

1. Chop the leeks and celery (I find it works best if you chop the leeks lengthways rather than in round slices). Peel and chop the potatoes.

2. Heat a good splash of rapeseed oil in the pan and add the leek and celery. Saute for around 5 mins, stirring almost constantly.

3. Add the potatoes and saute for another couple of minutes.

4. Add the stock, cover and simmer for around 15 mins or until the potatoes are soft.

5. Blend and reheat if needed before serving. Be sure not to let the soup boil though, or it will lose some of its flavour.

The cupcake was from Ms Cupcake’s beautiful stall at the veggie fest. I bought a box of  four cakes to share with my family (resisting the temptation to sample one on the way back to Oxford) and we opted for cutting them in half so we could try more than one flavour each. I went for half a strawberry and chocolate cupcake and half a plain chocolate one. They were every bit as delicious as they look and it’s surprisingly easy to get through the generous topping.

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