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In my Kitchen: June 2017

This month, my kitchen has been seeing double. Check it out:

Terre a Terre, the Brighton veggie restaurant, ran a Twitter competition for National Vegetarian Week, asking for homemade versions of its dishes. I've got the Terre a Terre cookbook at home, so I didn't need much persuading to fetch my face out of the books and get cooking.

I made a dish called Skinny Melinky -- not something I've seen in the restaurant, but the colours looked so gorgeous, so I couldn't resist trying my hand. The dish involved lightly pickled and flavoursome vegetables, some homemade flatbread, and a delicious butterbean puree. Considering how simple the ingredients were, the resulting platter was inspired.

There wasn't only asparagus in the Skinny Melinky - I've been gorging on the green spears at every opportunity while they're still in season. If I had to choose a favourite vegetable - and I reckon asking a vegan to pick their favourite vegetable is like asking a parent to pick their favourite child - I would probably say it's asparagus.

Here's that butterbean puree again with some English muffins, asparagus and tomatoes - also now in season! Praise be!

With exams now under two weeks away, I've been raiding the kitchen cupboard and freezer for things I can use up so I don't have to spend my time going to the supermarket or sweating at the stove. Age jaga, a stew with age tofu, onions, potatoes, carrots, and beans is one of my go to recipes for something that's easy and delicious to make. It's done in about half hour, and it only gets better if you leave it for a day or two. It's pretty much the perfect recipe!

I've been eating out of the freezer so much, I've even run out of these vegetable dumplings, which are all I live on when I can't be harassed to cook. Five minutes in the pan, couple of minutes of steaming, add some stir-fried vegetables, and everyone's a winner. 

I also fished out some masala sauce and neatballs that I'd frozen to make a vegetable kofta curry. Those neatballs are made with a lot of pine nuts, and all sorts of goodies, and they are quite simply incredible -- the recipe's from Bowls of Goodness (review here). 

Only now my freezer's so depleted, the only things left in there are half a tub of ice cream, some bay leaves and some frozen tumbleweeds. Give me enough time and I'll work out how to combine them into a stew or something.

And then there are times when I think 'sod this, I've been spending too long staring at some medical textbooks' and I just have to get into the kitchen for hours, and make something stupidly elaborate.

Check out the mezze underneath - I made all that. I made the cous cous salad, the bean and tomato side, the baba ganoush, the beetroot falafel, and even the pita bread. Who makes their own pita bread? Apart from idiots that are trying to get away from revising, of course. Apparently, they can't get enough of it.

It must have taken hours to make all that stuff. Still, it was all worth it - and I'll be making pita breads again. Well, next time I have some exams looming I will. Then you won't be able to get me out of the kitchen.

One thing my kitchen has been spared of late is me making dessert - I've not had enough time for baking, sadly. Mr Flicking the Vs has been an admiral exam support, and while I'm stuck indoors looking glum, he's been doing the best thing he can possibly do in the circumstances - bringing me cake.

Here's a batch from Ruby's of London, a vegan cakery in Greenwich. There's a lemon and a salted caramel version down there - by rights, the salted caramel should have been my favourite by a country mile, but the lemon was just amazing. Any fruit-flavoured cake that can beat a chocolate or caramel version is properly special.

So, in my kitchen this month has been a quiet one - let's hope there's more to to June!

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  1. Your slinky malinky looks picture perfect! And I wish I had the motivation lately to make a platter like yours - too many top middle eastern food places near us for it to seem worth my while but still home made is lovely. I wish my lazy meals looked as good as your dumplings and veg. And good luck with the exams - hope you are galloping towards some holidays!

  2. I wish I could get enthusiastic about asparagus. Every year I try, and I don't actually dislike it, but I just can't see what the fuss is about! You can have my portion - I'll stick with other veggies and the in season strawberries :-)

    I can get enthused about platters like your creation from Terre a Terre, and vegan cupcakes. You've also made me think to seek out vegetable dumplings!

  3. For a busy student, you sure do make delicious looking meals. They look so fancy! After seeing the photo of the age jaga, I was hoping for the recipe - that's my kind of cooking, easy and it improves with age. :-)

  4. I'm enjoying asparagus season too though I've not been very adventurous just using it to top pizza. Good luck with the exams!

  5. I had to go and get my copy of Terre , i never noticed the Skinny Melinky before - wow - yours is so perfect - so nice to make the effort - I have to confess I don't think I have madeanythign frm the book as of yet -shame on me really. You have done a splendid job. I am not a fan of asparagus, but my husband loves the stuff and we have been eating it too.

    Aged jaga is not something i have heard of or seen, must seek it out as I am curious and your dish looks really good. Where did you pick it up from?

    Your mezze is stunning, people say its easy food, easy to eat yeah - but it takes time to make.

    Good luck with the exams Joey.

  6. For someone who doesn't have time to cook, you sure eat better than most people. Everything looks beautiful and delicious. You're lucky cooking is a stress reliever for you and not a stress inducer! Hope the studying is going as well as the cooking. :D

  7. I lost my copy of the Terre a Terre book when I was moving a few years ago, and this has inspired me to look into replacing it. It looks lovely! I also agree with your cake stance, I'm always shocked if I prefer a fruity cake to a chocolate/caramel one. Good luck in your exams!


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