A break from the studying, with cthulu and cake
Don't get me wrong, I like what I've been studying, but I've become far too overly acquainted with my flat. So, Mr Flicking the Vs came up with the great idea of a day out at Brighton.
I love Brighton. The sea, the walks, the choice of top notch places to get some vegan scran in.
For a change, we decided to head down to Terre à Terre, one of the fancier options, and went for their set menu of tapas, chips, and a carafe of wine.
This is what they put down in front of us:
Away from the fancy restaurants, my cooking's been a bit more homely to say the least. I recently got Bryant Terry's second vegan cookbook, Afro-Vegan. Given I like the look of a lot of recipes he makes, I'm not sure why I don't use his first book more (I can only guess that the titles are quite elaborate, so when I'm flicking through it, I don't just think 'ah, that's got mushrooms or whatever in, and I've got some in the fridge, I'll just make that'.).
With that in mind, I've been aiming to cook a new recipe from the book once a week to make sure I get maximum use out of it. I've made the tomato broth with hominy already, which was pretty good, especially given I'd never made anything with hominy before and had to hunt it down. I ended up finding something that was labelled 'big corn' in my local international-food supermarket and gamble it was the same thing. It was! And it was good!
Also made from Afro-Vegan: red rice and blackened okra. Yep, the okra isn't overly blackened and the rice looks a lot like quinoa, but other than that, it was a winner. And there was some kale there for no other reason than everything is better with kale.
I'll be making both of those again and, thanks to the fact I had a truckload of blackened seasoning, I repeated the whole meal again with the addition of blackened tofu and roasted brussel sprouts that had seen better days.
The veg box turned up some red cabbage and leeks this week, which were put to good use in some black bean and leek quesadillas with red cabbage slaw.
I'm more used to pickling my cabbage or having it as a side dish with Christmas dinner with cinnamon and spices, but I thought a vegetable of such colour deserved a different treatment this time around. A quick Google later, and I found this recipe for Chinese braised red cabbage. It's a recipe I've totally fallen in love with, even though it involves star anise, which I find overpowering at times. It's got all those great flavours that you think of with Chinese food - ginger, chilli, and soy - and the red cabbage is robust enough to stand up to all of them and bring out their best thanks to a slow cooking time.
What's also great about that recipe is that you can chuck a load of things in a pan, then go do something else for half an hour - in my case, study biology for my exams this summer. Depending on how they go, I'll be off to university this summer (for the second time)! I've been having interviews over the last few weeks to try and win a place, and I just received an offer a few days ago. Needless to say, I'm over the moon - it feels like it's all been worth it.
One of the questions I had to answer in the interview was 'how do you deal with stress?' I gave a very professional answer obviously, when what I really wanted to say was 'eat cake'. Here's this week's stress buster, courtesy of Lujuria Vegana.
As ways of chilling out after too long in the books goes, I can't think of a better one!