Mushrooms, Jersualem artichokes and other ugly food
When all else fails, make stir fry. This is my motto for when life gets in the way of cooking - when studying and working and all the restless gubbins of life tries to get me out of the kitchen, I get back in it and make a stir fry.
Apart from the fact you can have it from chopping board to plate in about 15 minutes, another reason why I love the humble stir fry is it can take practically anything you can throw at it and taste decent - a saving grace I normally attribute to soup (we eat a lot of soup here too!)
The other reason stir fries occur a lot in my house is whenever I ask my other half what he wants for dinner, he will always say, without fail, "Mexican. Or a stir fry." For the reasons listed above, he mostly gets a stir fry!
This stir fry must have been one for when he wasn't around though - it features mushrooms, which I love and are his nemesis. He recoils from them like he thinks they might be poisonous, so they rarely make it into our dinners together.
There's also mushrooms in the steamed buns: I found a load of frozen cabbage and shiitake steamed buns at our local Oriental supermarket and I can't get enough of them. One is never enough. Neither for that matter is two or three or four...
Mind you, I can't say as I blame him - mushroom dishes aren't always the prettiest. I found this snap on my phone of mushrooms on toast - I must have made it for myself with some fancy dan fungi from Borough Market. It looks like a dogs breakfast - another sign I was eating alone that evening!
I particularly like the fact that I must have thought 'man, that looks shocking. If I put some parsley on it, it'll transform it!' Erm, no.
Still, it was subsequently covered with cashew cheese sauce and it tasted good, so proof if proof were needed that looks aren't everything!
My current favourite way of preparing them is to steam them for 10 minutes or so ,then roast them til crisp. While they're in the oven, I make up a pesto like sauce by blending walnuts, lemon juice, salt, water and either coriander or parsley (and as we know, a bit of parsley on top can right any wrong.)
Dollop liberally on your roasted 'chokes, and enjoy.
You may not enjoy the aftermath though - there's a reason they're also known as Jerusalem fartichokes...
Moving swiftly on, I found out that Coopers Vegetarian - a small veggie cafe and supermarket near Waterloo - has shut down. While I didn't ever eat there (there wasn't much in the way of vegan friendly food on offer), I could pop in and grab some soy milk or vegan biscuits if I was in the area.
Alas, there can't have been enough business to keep it afloat, and now it's gone - a lesson in 'use it or lose it' if there ever was one.
So, with that in mind, I made a trip to the health food store a mile or so away from where I lived, with the aim of making sure a similar fate didn't befall it.
I walked out with some Neapolitan Swedish Glace, a bag of linseed, some vegan tortellini, and one of these: