Things from my kitchen, from beetroot cake to fermented kale
Here's a sort of photo dump of things that I've been cooking of late, all linked together by no particular theme and not even particularly close in date. Doesn't that sound appealing?
Talking of not sounding appealing, I recently made a beetroot dessert for the first time. I'd never been tempted to do so before, due to an unfortunate run-in I had with one in the office. My boss brought in a chocolate and beetroot cake one day to share with all his staff (I should add before we get any further, he's a lovely boss). My fellow workers all happily tucked in. Then they stopped tucking in, and looked bilious. The cake was henceforth referred to as 'that beetroot dogshit cake'. Luckily, the cake wasn't vegan, so I wasn't obliged to try, but the experience was enough to put me off trying to make my own version.
After finding myself with too much beetroot recently, I decided to brave the risk of dogshit cake and make some muffins.
Here's what came out of the oven:
What a cracking colour, no? I couldn't taste much in the way of beetroot in these choc chip muffins, but I guess that's better than the canine alternative.
Here's something else I made a good few weeks ago: a sort of asparagus brunch dish, made with the tail end of the British asparagus season. It was also made with the tail end of some polenta I'd made for the day before's dinner, and then turned into a muffin-pancake type thing by thickening it up with some flour and frying it up. Happily, the British tomato season is turning out some good fruit, but it's not quite enough to make me stop missing asparagus...
But it can't always be semi-fancy brunch nonsense in this house. In fact, it's rarely semi-fancy anything (yes, that is what counts as semi-fancy in this house. I also consider getting a takeaway a variant of fine dining). Mainly, eating round these parts involves chucking lots of things in a single pan, putting a lid on, and running away at high speed.
This is one time when it kind of worked out: it's a one-pot dish modelled on the Afghan carrot hotpot from Veggiestan. Unlike the original recipe, I put in some okra, because there are few things that can't be improved with okra. Well, few edible things. Well, few savoury edible things. Anyway, a lot of things can be improved with okra.
Also in the way of a one-pan dish was this frittata, make with some roasted veggies leftover from another day-before's dinner, combined with the batter that I normally use for sweetcorn fritters, and then warmed up a bit. I think there's some courgettes, carrots, sweet potato and broccoli, and it was pretty tasty.
You may have guessed that I'm not a subscriber to the clean eating ideal, and I don't think carbs are the devil. But I am partial to a bit of clean-type food if it's tasty. Case in point: Rhythm's coconut, sauerkraut and kale fermented food snack (made with lactose free kefir cultures). Is that most on-trend, vegan, clean eatingy thing you can imagine? I bought it purely because of that (well, mostly because of that, and a bit because it was on special, and as previously mentioned, I'm a student with short arms and deep pockets).
I'm happy to report, it was actually really nice! You have to get your tastebuds used to the different mix of flavours having a dance-off in your mouth, it's pretty tasty. I used it for sandwich fillings with avocado, and as a dip. Next time it's on special, I'll be treating myself to another pot of buzzwords.