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Gothic mushrooms, freeze-dried tofu and a little MoFo

I didn't want you to think I'd completely lost it with all the cakes in my last post. I've totally not got scurvy, I have been eating my veggies, I promise. Look, here's some pickled carrots I made recently:

I have a soft spot for all pickled veggies - I think it's the Cockney heritage - so any time I can stick some poor plant in some vinegar sugar and water with some spices, and I'm a happy bunny. Here's the recipe for these lovely little carrots - it's a Mexican one, so a great side dish for whenever you're knocking up some fajitas. But it's so heady with bay, pepper and chilli, so I wouldn't just save it for when you're having a fiesta.

And look, there are more carrots here, in this big bowl of age jaga here. I've waxed lyrical about my love of age jaga before - a Japanese take on the traditional British meat and potatoes stew, made with abura-age tofu.

The recipe I have normally uses potatoes, carrots, mange tout, onions and tofu. I decided to swap out mange tout, flown in from thousands of miles away, for the more local broccoli, grown in Lincolnshire, and a few bits of chard, grown on my windowsill.

The broccoli looks a bit washed out, because age jaga is a dish you're encouraged to make one day and reheat and eat the next, to let all the flavours get all cosy.

And look, there are even more carrots in this bowl of miso, and they're all snuggled up with some shiitakes, reckon, broad beans, and okra. There's also a big old heap of kale there, dressed in sesame oil and sesame seeds. I've seen a lot of Japanese recipe that mix sesame oil and spinach, so I thought I'd swap in some kale and see how it worked. Turns out, it works pretty well.

Bonus carbs: scallion steamed buns from my local Chinese market.

See that great big slab of tofu there? Looks like normal tofu right? It's called koyadofu, and it's my new favourite thing. If you've got a Japanese grocer nearby, that's a good place to stock up. Roughly the size of a block of cards and about as hard, it's freeze-dried. You just plop it in some water and it rehydrates.

Think of it as your emergency tofu - you don't need to press it or defrost it or marinate it or bake it - just drop it into your miso soup, let it suck up the nectar, and five minutes later you've got dinner on the table. Wonderful.

With all the studying (nearly done!), I've been making miso a lot and koyadofu is such an easy way to bulk it all up.

My last bulletin from vegetable world is in the form of lovely mushies - the excellently-named trompettes de la mort. I've mentioned them before, but I didn't take a picture of them, so here's what they look like:

When I saw them at the farmers market in all their gothic glory for a dainty price, I took a big bag home. I made up a big batch of chanterelle rites again using this recipe and vegan butter (just not as much as the recipe recommends!) After it was all made up, I divided it into different pots, and froze some so when trompettes get expensive again, I can winkle a little pot out of the freezer and enjoy.

The riettes are so simple to make - just fry the garlic and mushrooms, add some tomato puree, marsala, lemon juice and parsley and blend. It's DELICIOUS and when you cook off the mushrooms, your whole kitchen fills up with an amazing smell.

I can't believe we're half way through September already! That means my exams are almost over and I'll soon be back cooking and blogging like normal. Hooray! It also means Vegan MoFo is half way through - which is half great because it means that all my favourite blogs are publishing new stuff every day, but half bad, because it means we're half way through already - eek! While I couldn't join in this year (cheers, exams!) the lovely Caitlin at the Vegan Word through me a lifeline in the form of her Hungerlust series. Here's my two pennies' worth on vegan travelling, and how I'm still dreaming of the perfect baleada…

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  1. I love the name 'koyadofu' even aside from its magical rehydrating properties. I will definitely look out for some! Pickled carrots sound fantastic too.

  2. Love the sound of that tofu! Really enjoyed your interview too.

  3. Definitely need some emergency tofu, I've never even heard of freeze-dried tofu. Now I'll have to hunt some down just to check it out. :-)

  4. Oh my gosh that tofu bowl looks fantastic!

  5. Emergency tofu! That sounds fantastic!

    And thanks again for doing the interview, it was fun and I'm so glad you could participate!

  6. Pickled carrots are so yummy! My partner pickled carrots & jalapeƱos together, it was pretty good in tacos and Mexican rice. Funny that it’s also a Mexican recipe, just read that part now… Mmmm this bowl of miso soup looks delicious, and I love that you add potatoes! Did you like the scallion steamed buns? I love them and used to make them with my mum…I need to post a recipe for this one!


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