You know those blogs that are at the very forefront of trends, telling you what's the next big thing for foodies in the know, spotting the next hip snack before it hits the mainstream? That's not me. I'm so behind in food trends, I'm only just having my first green smoothie. Yes, I fear the past called and it wants its blogging back.
I see smoothies of all shades, and particularly the emerald-hued ones, on lots of blogs, think how delicious they look, but never get around to makign them. Sadly, that's because I'm a lazy sod and I can't be harassed to wash up the blender. (As one wise man once said, I'm always one cup of tea away from actually achieving something. In this case, it's a load of washing up away.) Thanks to a throat infection that stopped me eating much in the way of solid food, I decided to get a few bits of healthy stuff down my neck using those beautiful smoothies as inspiration.
The first smoothie I made was a green one using this recipe from Kris Carr's website as a starting point. With no cucumber in the fridge and a chronic fear of coconut water, I just blended up some apple, avocado, spinach and water to get this:
It was good the eyes and throat: so pretty to look at, and the avocado made it so rich, smooth and easy to drink. I cursed my fear of washing up once again, and resolved to make more smoothies - mapping out a beautiful smoothie-filled future, where laziness would be no barrier to delicious fruit drinks. Let's see how far I get with that one!
In the meantime, as my throat began feeling less like someone had taken a sand blaster to it, I managed to get onto solid food again in the form of a black eyed bean curry and some upma, a sort of South Indian porridge made of semolina. If semolina makes you think of school dinners, it's worth trying to purge yourself of those funky memories with a bit of upma. Chuck a load of curry leaves, ginger, chilli and pistachio nibs into your semolina, and serve it up next to a chilli-filled curry - it's a great foil to the heat. And, if you've got a grumpy throat, it's not too much of a fight to swallow it.
Well, alright, the science doesn't hold up, but the japchae tasted pretty good. Tofu, glass noodles, vegetables - what's not to love? And, if you're a sharp-eyed individual, you'll have noticed there's some asparagus tips in there. Spring has arrived in the supermarkets, which means lovely stuff like purple sprouting broccoli, spring garlic, and that tasty asparagus have all hit the shelves. Luckily, they're being accompanied by some of the nicest weather I've seen in London in April for a long time. Much sun, so wow etc.
And once I'd wrestled my throat a little closer to normality, I decided to get back to baking.
I needed something soft, and what better than melting moments? Melting moments, I think, are an Australian biscuit (can any Aussies out there confirm?) If not, they always make me think of Australia, which is where I discovered them. They're a bit like Viennese whirls in UK - two soft, crumbly biscuits, stuck together with jam and buttercream-type filling. They're amazing, and for some reason, despite not having lived in Australia for a good number of years, I had an overwhelming urge to make the biscuits I loved there.
Luckily, they're not too hard to veganise and there's some nice, easy recipes online. (I used this one from Taste.com.au for an extra Aussie touch!) What makes the lovely melting moment unique is adding custard powder to the biscuit mix - something I didn't know until I made them for the first time this week, but it's a tasty touch I'll be using for other biccies, for sure. The lemony jam filling was a do-over of the lemon bar topping from Veganomicon, and the buttercream is just buttercream.
Due to the excellent softness of the melting moment, I had about three with the dodgy throat with ease. Did I mention that lemon also has antimicrobial effects? (yeah, I know, the only way I'd actually get the benefits is by cleaning my sink with the lemon rather than eating it, but let me enjoy my pseudo-science delusion).
And finally, what better way to recover from a nasty bout of Feeling A Bit Manky than ordering a truckload of sweets off the internet? Vegan Tuck Box is another vegan box scheme in the UK, which looks great. Sadly, I've already got one box scheme on the go with The Vegan Kind, but that doesn't stop me ordering the odd treasure trove from Vegan Tuck Box from time to time. I treated myself to a load of Hoots crisps, some vegan peanut butter M&M equivalents, and - after seeing them featuring on Food Feud and drooling a little - some Cocomels.
Laughter may be the best medicine, but candies can't be too far behind.