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Stray food round up: Corn muffins, cime de rapa, and billionaire's shortbread

It's time for one of those posts where I just round up a load of food that's been taking up space on my phone or my camera, because it's been there a while, and I don't want it to get lonely. And while I'm still without a working kitchen, I've not been cooking any exciting food to show you! Anyway...

As chains go, I'm a bit partial to Leon, because they do a couple of decent vegan options. If you're stuck in London with no vegan food nearby, you can always go and get involved with the baked fries and the Brazilian black bean box. The last time I found myself that way, I noticed Leon had started doing a vegan sweet treat option - the billionaire's shortbread.

It's a bit pseudo-healthy, raw-type arrangement rather than the slice of baked wonder, but don't let that put you off. It's fairly decent, and a good sugar shot in the arm if you fancy something sweet, though I'd rather have Lazy Days' millionaire shortbread given half a chance. Kari at Bite Sized Thoughts also reports you can get Ruby's vegan doughnuts in some Leon branches in London, so it's always worth dropping into your local branch to see if your luck's in. At least if you can't get your mitts on a doughnut, you can always fall back on the billionaire's shortbread.

Next up, a photo that reminds me that the summer's pretty much over and done with. Look at the light on this snap, and try and remember when the last time you saw such sun. When I took this pic, summer was waving goodbye at the station, and now I'm watching the train it got on disappear into the difference.

Anyway, enough of such maudlin food-pining. The dinner bathing in the gorgeous light is a stab at something Mexican, a half-arsed homage to huevos rancheros - scrambled tofu, refried beans, guacamole, yoghurt and blue corn tortillas. I love blue corn - it just makes everything look a little bit more like alien food, which can only be a good thing. 

(Side note - I remember watching a programme a million years ago about a family where the kid wouldn't eat veggies, and the parents were trying to encourage him to give them a try by dyeing the veggies different colour. I remember laughing at the idea that colouring a cauliflower blue would make anyone more likely to eat it... )

More end of summer food memories: I wound up a little while ago with a shedload of basil, so I thought I'd use some of it up by making cornmeal muffins with some tomatoes and corn as well. I tried making them a while back, and didn't get really good results, so I was quite chuffed when these lot came out better than I'd hoped. 

Look, they've risen and everything. They look like like muffin mountains - there's even snow made from nooch on top. I've conquered the summit of Mount Savoury Muffin regularly after they came out of the oven.

(Second side note: I attribute my cravings for savoury muffins to Green Gourmet Giraffe, and I don't think I'm the only one.) 

The rest of the basil I decided to turn into soupe au pistou, a French soup that's made with white beans, courgettes, carrots, green beans, and all the other bounty of the summer. I veganised this recipe, and used the last couple of inches of freekeh in the bag in place of the usual pasta. 

The first time I made it, it was amazing. I made it a couple of times subsequently, and it never quite hit the same heights. What is it about cooking the same thing multiple times, and sometimes it's genius and sometimes it's a bit average? Do the vegan cuisine spirits just desert me after a while? All suggestions welcome.

And if that wasn't enough of a farewell to summer, then my next stray food recipe is a proper nod to food we won't be seeing for another year: cous cous with cherry tomatoes, sweetcorn, and cime de rapa.

It was a really simple bowl of food to make, but the beautiful, sweet vegetables were the heart of a lovely dish. I must have made this at least a month or more ago, because all the veggies that have been coming through my front door has had a distinctly wintery vibe. I do love autumn, but I'd be lying if I said I'm looking forward to putting all these things back on my plate once again.

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  1. It must be hard without your kitchen looking at all the good food you could be making - though I know that experience of finding culinary nirvana only to find the recipe never delivers in the same way again. (I really admire people who test over and over for cookbooks to make sure a recipe really works). Glad to inspire the savoury muffins - I think that means you should be paying me in muffins (ha ha) - seriously I would like to taste your little muffin mountains. And I am a little jealous of your blue corn tortillas. And I think dying vegies would freak out a lot of fussy eaters, based on my experiences!

  2. I actually love the Leon billionaire's shortbread :P I prefer it to the Lazy Days ones, but would take the Lazy Days tiffins over either.

    I also love the look of all your own recipes. Perfect autumn fair!

  3. Awesome eats as usual! I totally laughed about the different colored veggies. They're not dyed but whenever I see unusual colored vegetables as the local farmers market, I always have to try them at least once - red carrots, purple cauliflower, blue potatoes... :-)

  4. Even your 'stray food' posts are inspirational — the bowl of thick soup with the chickpeas is making me hungry. And the muffins are like Mt. Everest! How is your new kitchen coming along? Can't wait to see what you whip up once it's finished.

  5. Sooooooooooo sorry I lost your blog URL for a while there! I re-did my blogroll and re-linked! So glad I found you again! Everything looks amazing, btw!
    Jennifer @ http://MyBlissfulJourney.com

  6. I so want a billionaire shortbread, by the way - you still have not told me where you got the blue tortillas from?

  7. That pistou soup looks gorgeous - even better than the billionaire's shortbread, and that's not something I ever thought I'd say!


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