Waffles, waffles and pains aux raisins

There's something so soul-sapping about the return to school. Don't get me wrong, I'm happy to be a student, but after two weeks off from studying, hauling my winter-battered self back into the lecture theatre felt a bit like a wrench.

The couple of weeks off over Christmas meant being free from study, from work, and lots of lounging around reading in the bath (I was given a load of Lush bath goodies that I'm still enjoying as often as I can).  It also meant a mix of cooking elaborate feasts for family and friends, as well as a couple of incredibly simple meals for when there were no visitors over needing feeding. Here's a few of the latter.

Do you ever find yourself sweating over a meal for hours, and it turns out to be a bit meh? Or spend precisely two minutes cooking something that ends up being amazing?

Happily, it was the latter that happened to me not so long ago. I went through the fridge and freezer, pulled out a few veggies that were on the turn or otherwise needed using and made up a plate. A couple of half-moons of squash, half of an avocado and some brussels sprouts, a couple of potato waffles, and a tomato or two, all roasted in the oven.

The end result was like some super good vegan full English, and it made me unrealistically happy to eat it. (The students of psychology among you may suggest the reason I enjoyed a plate of simply cooked plants was because I was eating it in a rare moment of quiet, feeling cosy and relaxed at home before the start of the new year, and I wouldn't disagree with you, but it was still oh-so-tasty).

More cupboard raiding came in the form of a comfort tea of chilli, potato waffles, and a dab of vegan sour cream. Given the fact that vegan chilli is one of the easiest meals you can cook, and most tinned vegan chillis are fairly rank, I normally make my own. But for this meal, there's a tin of Amy's vegan chilli in there (spicy, of course). I like Amy's chilli for two reasons - it tastes glorious, and preparing it only involves wielding a can opener. 

I try and make as many of my meals from scratch, but I still like to keep a couple of tins of stuff at home for the days when studying medicine has left me with no energy to go into the kitchen. On those days, you'll often find me troughing away on Amy's. Now you know my guilty culinary secret. What can I say, Amy cooks better than I do!

If you're a British vegan, chances are that you've found yourself using one or another of Jus-Rol's products. That's because not only are they handy things to have around when you're too tired to cook etc etc, but they do loads of stuff that you can't find vegan versions of elsewhere. Bake at home vegan croissants? Yes please. Vegan pains au chocolat? Don't mind if I do. Vegan pains aux raisins? Sign me up.
I'd never seen the pains aux raisins before last month, so I snapped up a box and cooked it one lazy morning. Me and Mr FtVs are now even more confirmed fans of Jus-Rol than we were before. There's nothing that feels like the sign of a Sunday morning well spent than a lie in with a plate of bake-at-home pastries.

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  1. Potatoes are the BEST vegetable. Of all the unrealistic elements of The Martian, the thing I felt was most unlikely was Matt Damon's complete neglect of all the amaaaaaaazing other ways to prepare potatoes. Mash, roast, fried, boiled, 'smashed', waffles, rosti, croquettes, hash browns, AND SO ON. You're telling me a space-botanist and astronaut-school graduate couldn't think of anything else to do aside from microwave his spuds? Pah.

  2. Nothing wrong with relying on some store cupboard ingredients for those tired in the evening days, we have all had them.

    I always have JustRol in the fridge for this very reason, it makes for quick meals. I have made vegan sausage rolls twice this week. One to take over my parents along with brownies topped with meringues (not vegan) for New Year bash and some last night for D take into work for lunch, we'll eat the rest over the weekend.

  3. Ah, Jus Roll. Never disappoints! And I'm glad you've had some of the magical minimal preparation / maximum taste experiences lately. They're always great, but extra good if you're struggling with the adjustment back to study (and understandably so).

  4. I've been craving pancakes and waffles lately, and placated myself with some spicy garbanzo flour pancakes the other day, but seeing your waffles has rekindled my need for them. I like your veggie platter, too!

  5. There is something about a cozy home setting that makes most food taste better! Your plate looks delicious!

  6. I love Amy's vegan chili, it saved me many a time from starving. Although I usually have mine with french fries. What I would really like to find is some of those Jus-Rol's products, the pains aux raisins look awesome! :-)


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