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What to eat when you can't eat too much

You know those blogs that are at the very forefront of trends, telling you what's the next big thing for foodies in the know, spotting the next hip snack before it hits the mainstream? That's not me.  I'm so behind in food trends, I'm only just having my first green smoothie. Yes, I fear the past called and it wants its blogging back.

I see smoothies of all shades, and particularly the emerald-hued ones, on lots of blogs, think how delicious they look, but never get around to makign them. Sadly, that's because I'm a lazy sod and I can't be harassed to wash up the blender. (As one wise man once said, I'm always one cup of tea away from actually achieving something. In this case, it's a load of washing up away.) Thanks to a throat infection that stopped me eating much in the way of solid food, I decided to get a few bits of healthy stuff down my neck using those beautiful smoothies as inspiration.

The first smoothie I made was a green one using this recipe from Kris Carr's website as a starting point. With no cucumber in the fridge and a chronic fear of coconut water, I just blended up some apple, avocado, spinach and water to get this:

It was good the eyes and throat: so pretty to look at, and the avocado made it so rich, smooth and easy to drink. I cursed my fear of washing up once again, and resolved to make more smoothies - mapping out a beautiful smoothie-filled future, where laziness would be no barrier to delicious fruit drinks. Let's see how far I get with that one!

In the meantime, as my throat began feeling less like someone had taken a sand blaster to it, I managed to get onto solid food again in the form of a black eyed bean curry and some upma, a sort of South Indian porridge made of semolina. If semolina makes you think of school dinners, it's worth trying to purge yourself of those funky memories with a bit of upma. Chuck a load of curry leaves, ginger, chilli and pistachio nibs into your semolina, and serve it up next to a chilli-filled curry - it's a great foil to the heat. And, if you've got a grumpy throat, it's not too much of a fight to swallow it.

Once I was beginning to show signs of recovery, it was Korean food I was after. I've been studying biology at college, including about the antimicrobial affect of garlic and ginger extracts - maybe I was inadvertently trying to kill of the infection from the inside?!

Well, alright, the science doesn't hold up, but the japchae tasted pretty good. Tofu, glass noodles, vegetables - what's not to love? And, if you're a sharp-eyed individual, you'll have noticed there's some asparagus tips in there. Spring has arrived in the supermarkets, which means lovely stuff like purple sprouting broccoli, spring garlic, and that tasty asparagus have all hit the shelves. Luckily, they're being accompanied by some of the nicest weather I've seen in London in April for a long time. Much sun, so wow etc.

And once I'd wrestled my throat a little closer to normality, I decided to get back to baking.

I needed something soft, and what better than melting moments? Melting moments, I think, are an Australian biscuit (can any Aussies out there confirm?) If not, they always make me think of Australia, which is where I discovered them. They're a bit like Viennese whirls in UK - two soft, crumbly biscuits, stuck together with jam and buttercream-type filling. They're amazing, and for some reason, despite not having lived in Australia for a good number of years, I had an overwhelming urge to make the biscuits I loved there.

Luckily, they're not too hard to veganise and there's some nice, easy recipes online. (I used this one from Taste.com.au for an extra Aussie touch!) What makes the lovely melting moment unique is adding custard powder to the biscuit mix - something I didn't know until I made them for the first time this week, but it's a tasty touch I'll be using for other biccies, for sure. The lemony jam filling was a do-over of the lemon bar topping from Veganomicon, and the buttercream is just buttercream.

Due to the excellent softness of the melting moment, I had about three with the dodgy throat with ease. Did I mention that lemon also has antimicrobial effects? (yeah, I know, the only way I'd actually get the benefits is by cleaning my sink with the lemon rather than eating it, but let me enjoy my pseudo-science delusion).

And finally, what better way to recover from a nasty bout of Feeling A Bit Manky than ordering a truckload of sweets off the internet? Vegan Tuck Box is another vegan box scheme in the UK, which looks great. Sadly, I've already got one box scheme on the go with The Vegan Kind, but that doesn't stop me ordering the odd treasure trove from Vegan Tuck Box from time to time. I treated myself to a load of Hoots crisps, some vegan peanut butter M&M equivalents, and - after seeing them featuring on Food Feud and drooling a little - some Cocomels.

Laughter may be the best medicine, but candies can't be too far behind.

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  1. Wow everything looks so gorgeous!!
    That smoothie especially, I'm sure avocado was a great addition, though it's not one I often make myself. I've not really been sick lately, just annoyed with a constantly tickling throat and i've been doing a lot of tea and spicy food lately too.
    That semolina mush is not something I've seen or heard of really but it sounds interesting.

  2. Sorry to hear you haven't been well - especially since it stopped you being able to enjoy solids! Looks like you managed pretty decently though. I was never a big smoothie person but am very much a convert. I highly recommend the book Superfood Smoothies if you're getting into them too. So many creative ideas and they're so darn delicious you'd never know they were healthy. I love the look of that upma and black eyed bean curry. Where do you buy your curry leaves?

  3. Well you certainly have taken a scientific approach to your sore throat - hope it is feeling better. Yes they are melting moments (or sometimes called yo yos) - my mum makes them and I think I should sometime. One Day. It might take me as long as it took you to try a green smoothie (my blender says to just blender water and a drop of detergent to clean it which actually takes away from feeling like it adds to the dishes if I do it straight away). And love your snackpack - your hoots smoked bacon sounds yum and the mahalo makes me laugh because it is a brand of ukelele that E has.

  4. All of the biological things you mentioned are so interesting, but I admit that I was most interested in your "junk" haul, particularly the chocolate-covered cocomels which are positively swoon-worthy.

  5. Sore throats are the worse, glad to hear it's getting better and you're eating so well. It's just about smoothie weather around here, so I'll be breaking out the ol' blender. Clean up is the easiest if I do it right away, basically it's just a quick rinse. It's much harder if it sits. :-)

  6. Hopefully, you're still on the mend and will be 100% again real soon. I'm with you on the whole blender thing. Plus, I have the weakest blender ever. So, I'm saving up for monster one, and then I'll be a smoothie making expert, I'm sure! That Korean dish looks outstanding!

  7. I'm always happy to see less trendy food in the spotlight, because clearly those "cool" kids get enough attention as it is. Besides, things like green smoothies never go out of style. It all adds up to some awesome eats, despite the fact that being under the weather is what led you to them. Hope you're back to full health by now!

  8. The japchae looks delicious! I love good spicy food when I'm under the weather...and also treats. I've been considering Vegan Tuck Box for a while, but I do the Vegan Package Swap so it seems foolish to do both. I quite like getting mystery international sweets!

  9. I'm glad to see your nasty throat didn't interfere with your sense of humor. You treated yourself very well with all sorts of delicious food — I'm especially drawn to the Korean ensemble, but it all looks good to me. I tend to be a bit leery of green smoothies if they are too thick and green, but cleaning the blender? Piece of cake. :)


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