It's been a really mild winter in London this year, but I'd be lying if I said I'm not glad to see the first signs of spring coming to my kitchen.
Blood oranges are now in season, and they're a really welcome addition to regular fruit rotation. There's something really heartening about slicing open the orange and seeing that phenomenal burst of colour in front of you. So pretty.
They're so delicious and so simple to make, and they'll definitely be figuring in more of my breakfasts from now on. I reckon a few fried mushrooms and grilled tomatoes, baked beans or your favourite tofu scramble, and you'd pretty much be making the best breakfast I could think of. (Avocado too, you say? I like your style.)
And talking of mushrooms - since I started getting a veg box scheme, fungi has been making an increasingly frequent appearance in my kitchen. Don't get me wrong, I love mushrooms, but Mr Flicking the Vs hates them. He maintains they have the texture of earlobes and refuses to eat them in any form (mushrooms, that is, not earlobes, though presumably those too). I haven't really tended to buy mushies for that reason in the past, but thanks to the box scheme sending them regularly, I've been tucking in.
My favourite new thing to do with them is miso marinated carapaccio - the recipe's on Serious Eats, from a series they did on vegan recipes by a guy who'd gone vegan for a month. The recipe's delicious, but beware, there's a lot of 'wow, gee, vegan food can taste good, wow, it's not all lentils, gee'.
That grating nonsense aside, the carpaccio's great. The mushrooms have to left to marinate in miso, soy, sugar, lemon juice, and oil overnight, and then baked. It's worth the forward planning, as the fine, deep, dark result is definitely worth your patience.
I've been turning to it as a brunch staple recently - English muffin, shredded lettuce, smashed avocado and miso mushrooms. It's heaven in two slices of bread.
Of course, I can't finish off a post without a shot of some cake I've been stuffing down my gullet, and this week is no exception.
After meandering around Shoreditch for a while at the weekend, we wandered into the food hall at the old Truman Brewery. There's a fair few good things to try there for vegans, including an Ethiopian stall, but I was immediately drawn to the Essential Vegan stall, piled high with plant-based cakes, biscuits and other sweet treats.
Despite the chocolate eclair calling to me rather forcefully, I took home a bounty cake (that's chocolate and coconut to you and me) and a slice of chocolate and pistachio. It got a bit mashed up on the way home, but luckily there was no damage done to the rather awesome taste. The glaze was fab - sticky and chocolately - and the pistacho underlayer (is that a word?) was a grown up treat. If you're in the region of Essential Vegan, get yourself down there and you won't be disappointed.