Why animal-free means less washing up

Breakfast

Wheat biscuits, grapes, soya milk

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A nice energising breakfast that will hopefully keep you going until lunch.

Lunch

Hummus and salad sandwich, grapes

Not the most creative sandwich ever recorded but nice all the same!

Dinner

Peanut and broccoli noodles, salad

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This is a good recipe (please click here to see) for creating a tasty, nutritious dish with a minimal amount of effort. It’s also a good washing up saver, as you can do the whole thing in a single pan. Although saving on washing up isn’t one of the most compelling reasons for going animal-free, vegan dishes rarely use more than two pans (very often just one) and you’ll never be cleaning off anything truly revolting- only plants!

 

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Purple noodles revisited

Breakfast

Ciabatta bread with loganberry jam, grapes

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At the moment I’m lucky enough to have some jam made by my Nan (jam making is definitely not the right thing to embark on if you’re always in a hurry!) It’s really lovely and tastes so different to shop-bought jam. Fortunately though, I’m yet to find a jam that isn’t vegan (unless you include lemon curd which normally contains egg).

Lunch

Cannelini bean hummus sandwich, crisps, apple, licorice

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This was the hummus I made the other day (just a tin of cannellini beans, a handful of chopped parsley and the zest of two lemons, mashed together roughly with a splash of water). It keeps really well in the fridge and makes a great chunky sandwich spread.  Most shop-bought hummus is also vegan though, so there’s no need to make your own unless you want to! The licorice was the Panda brand (raspberry flavour), which I seem to be slightly addicted to at the moment.

Dinner

Red Cabbage and Almond Noodles, Watercress

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A repeat of a dish I’d made the the day before, but it keeps really well in the fridge and can then just be heated up when you need it. The watercress made a nice side salad, although I do find you need a drizzle of olive oil to tame the pepperiness!

Dessert

Pineapple with Dark Chocolate Shards

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This is another one of those desserts that only takes a few minutes to make but looks quite sophisticated if served in the right way. The earthenware bowl, whilst lovely for pasta and cereal, probably wasn’t the best choice, but the recent house move means I’m a little short on serving equipment!

Some unseasonal breakfast inspiration

Breakfast

Wheat biscuits with cranberries and apple, soya milk

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I know this may seem a little on the christmassy side, but it does make a really lovely breakfast, especially with the sweetness added by the cranberries. These were dried cranberries which are readily available in supermarkets/health food shops and are great for cooking, baking and sprinkling in general. The wheat biscuits were from the Co-op and helpfully labelled as vegan.

Lunch

Ciabatta with cannellini bean hummus, tortilla chips, blueberries

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The ciabatta was from the Co-op and is labelled as vegan. Even when it’s freshly bought, I find that it’s best toasted as this guarantees a crispy outside and soft middle.  It’s then pretty adaptable in terms of toppings but I went for cannellini bean hummus with the usual drizzle of olive oil. It’s basically a variation on home made chickpea hummus, although the absence of chickpeas, tahini and garlic did make me think that calling it hummus might be stretching the definition a little. I just rinsed and drained a tin of cannellini beans then added the zest of a couple of lemons and a good handful of chopped parsley. It would probably work quite well in a food processor, but I just added a few splashes of water and mashed it with a fork. You basically just need to add enough water for it to form a convincing paste-like consistency. It tasted great, although I think it looked prettier before the mashing stage.

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Dinner

Red Cabbage and Almond Noodles

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This is a really quick dinner to prepare, as well as being really unusual (in a good way)! Please click here for the recipe.

Dessert

Dark chocolate, blueberries

The blueberries were left over from the ones I had at lunch time. They were reduced in Sainsbury’s but still really nice, even if some of the other packets looked decidedly past their prime!

Another surprising sandwich

Breakfast

Maple and pecan crisp cereal, cherries

A refreshing portion of summer fruit to start the day alongside some sugary (but very nice) cereal.

Lunch

Hummus and beetroot sandwiches, veg chips, Nakd bar, fruit

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Beetroot may not be the first thing that springs to mind when you go to make a sandwich but it combines extremely well with hummus. If you just thinly slice a cooked beetroot and add it  to a hummus sandwich, the result will definitely be a good one. The veg chips were the Tyrrells brand which are a little on the expensive side but definitely worth splashing out on every now and again.

Dinner

Spinach and fig noodles, pea shoot salad, Bombay mix

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Tonight’s dinner was again expertly prepared by my Mum with very delicious results. This recipe is basically a variation on  red cabbage and almond noodles although it’s perhaps a slightly less filling version. Pea shoots always make a nice side salad and they seem to have drastically come down in price this summer.

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Dessert

Apple and yogurt pot

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To create this I just built up layers of chopped apple and Sojade soya yogurt (apricot flavour), but I think it would work well with any vegan yogurt. As you may have guessed, the glass comes from Prague where they seem to have a wide range of irresistible cat merchandise (or at least they did when I went a few years ago).

Snacks

Grapes, oatcakes

Fruit and oatcakes are definitely a great option for an afternoon energy boost.

Change of schedule

Eating dinner late can sometimes mean that I’m writing up the day’s meals at an unsociable hour. For this reason, I’ve decided that each post will feature the previous day’s food, meaning that it can be written up any time of the day. I don’t think this will have a huge impact on anyone’s life but I feel as though I should mention it 🙂

How to branch out at breakfast

Breakfast

Wholemeal pitta breads with jam, strawberries, pomegranate seeds

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This slightly unusual breakfast resulted from a lack of shopping yesterday evening. It was actually quite a discovery though, as toasted pitta breads with jam make a really nice start to the day, combining healthy wholemeal with a sweet filling. The pomegranate and strawberries needed eating and were a nice refreshing addition.

Lunch

Falafel and hummus wrap, crisps, banana, flapjacks

The lack of shopping also resulted in restricted packed lunch resources, so I opted for a shop sandwich. Tesco’s hummus and falafel wrap is one of my favourite animal-free sandwich options and always makes for a filling but not excessively heavy lunch.

The flapjacks had been made by my Nan, a legendary baker who finds it easy to turn her hand to animal-free goodies. The flapjacks were amazing, with a great treacly taste and moist texture. My only criticism would be how difficult it is to stop eating them, but fortunately they were cut into bite size pieces which makes it a little easier to stop before the whole box disappears!

Dinner

Red cabbage and almond noodles, salad (nuts and Bombay mix as toppings)

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These certainly aren’t the type of ingredients you’d expect to find with noodles, but they work really well  and the dish has a lovely savoury-sweet flavour. Tonight’s version was expertly prepared by my parents when I arrived back in Oxford for the weekend and tasted great.

Ingredients for red cabbage and almond noodles (serves 3):

– 1/2 packet flaked almonds

– 1/2  red cabbage

– A generous handful of figs

– 3 leeks

– Rapeseed/olive oil

– A jug of veggie stock (500 ml plus extra)

– 1 packet of spinach

– 1 tbsp brown sugar

– Nutmeg

– 2 packets of egg-free straight to wok noodles

Method:

1. Place the almonds on a baking tray and roast in the oven on gas 6 (200 C) for 5-10 minutes until golden.Remove from the oven and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, chop the cabbage and figs. Slice the leeks lengthways.

3. Heat a good splash of oil in a pan and add the leeks. Sautee gently for about 5 mins, stirring constantly, until they begin to soften. Add the cabbage and sautee for a few more minutes.

4. Add about 500 ml stock, plus the figs, spinach, sugar and a good sprinkle of nutmeg. You may need to add the spinach in several batches, stirring one  in until it wilts then adding the next. Simmer for around 10 mins, stirring very regularly.

5. Add the noodles and simmer until hot through, stirring regularly. You may need to add a little more stock at this point.

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Dessert

Watermelon, flapjacks, a few squares of vegan chocolate

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I thought I should probably share the amazing flapjacks with the rest of my family, and everyone agreed on how delicious they were. The syrupy texture went really well with some watermelon.

Snacks

Nuts, vegan marshmallows

Freedom Mallows are a really irresistible brand of animal-free marshmallow. They’re not a filling snack, but definitely a very delicious one.