The un-riskiness of vegan cooking

Breakfast

Weetabix type cereal, soya milk, grapes

This was the Co-op’s own brand of wheat biscuits which are labelled as vegan. They make you feel as though you’re having a healthy start to the day and using sweetened soya milk means that you don’t even need sugar.

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Lunch

Ciabatta with cherry tomatoes and olive oil, tortilla chips, apple, raspberry licorice

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This was a reduced-resource version of bruschetta, which normally includes some sort of herb (probably basil) and/or garlic. I hadn’t got round to equipping myself with herbs or garlic, but the basic idea was the same. You just toast the ciabatta, then top it with some tomatoes, herbs, olive oil, and salt. Many people would probably frown on serving a traditional Italian dish with crisps, but I always feel as though something is missing if a bread-based lunch isn’t accompanied by additional carbs in the form of fried potato!

Dinner

Yesterday was Animal Aid and Viva’s Day of Action for Fish (please click here or here to read more), so I thought it might be a good day to have some faux fish for dinner and highlight the great (and very realistic) alternatives that are available. Unfortunately though, I totally failed to turn on the oven in the flat I’ve just moved into, so the ‘fish style steaks’ were definitely off the menu. They were the Redwood brand, which can be bought in Holland and Barrett (please click here to see). I can confirm from previous experience that they’re very nice and unbelievably similar to cod in batter.

In the end I decided to go for some broccoli pasta with pine nuts and lemon,  which would have been more of a success if the simple task of cooking the broccoli had gone more smoothly. I only had one saucepan, but thought that the broccoli and pasta would take about the same amount of time and could reasonably be cooked together. I’m used to gas hobs though, and didn’t realise quite how long pasta takes to cook on an electric hob. By the time the pasta was al dente, both the taste and texture of the broccoli had been severely compromised. Actually though, it’s  quite a good illustration of the fail-safe nature of vegan cooking, as over-cooking the veg is about the worst that can happen and the results will generally still be fairly nice, even if not quite what you’d envisaged. That certainly applied to this dish, which tasted really quite nice once the pine nuts, lemon and olive oil had been added, even if the broccoli itself left much to be desired!

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