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All hail seitan! (and polenta too...)

Back out the other side of the exams, back out the other side of sandwich purgatory! Hoorah!

To say that I'm happy is an understatement. Occasionally, I find myself breaking into spontaneous dancing when I'm going about minor household tasks. And I'm smiling at work too. Clearly, this is not a normal state of affairs. Hopefully, my work colleagues haven't noticed anything's up!

So, with the exams behind me, I can get back into making some decent meals - ones that don't involve bread. Like this one, which involves quinoa! I don't normally eat a lot of quinoa because I think it's what people think vegans eat and I like to be a contrarian. That's French for idiot, by the way.

Anyway, I like lazy getting my nutrients the easy way, so when I worked out that quinoa and green lentils could be cooked together in the same pot, I was a happy bunny. Add some mint, sprint onion, and avocado and you're away. And some pumpkin seeds. Of course add pumpkin seeds, goes without saying. I should totally be sponsored by pumpkin seeds.

And then I revisited curry. Look, there's three different bits of stuff down there. You can tell I've got some extra free time, right?

It's a bit of an Indian culture clash on the plate - gobi aloo, which I think is a northern Indian dish, and avial and upma, which are southern. I can't remember where the gobi aloo recipe comes from, but the avial one was adapted from the recipe here, just swapping beans for veggies.

Have you tried upma? Upma is savoury semolina, and I love it. Semolina was always a food stuff of terror in my family due to its regular occurrence as a dessert with school dinners. For that reason, we never had any in the house and I got to try it as a grown up as an Indian side dish. I love it. Top tip - it's about the only thing that kept Mr Flicking the Vs going during a terrible throat infection when he could hardly swallow.

And when it's not hot food, it's cold food. I don't eat a whole truckload of salads (pretty much for the same reason I don't eat quinoa) but when I had some mushrooms and asparagus in the fridge, I felt like frying them with soy and sherry vinegar and piling them on a big pillow of leaves. Note: more pumpkin seeds. I should buy shares in pumpkin seeds.

And you know what's better than getting into your own kitchen? Getting out and getting into someone else's.

The lovely Essential Vegan, whose cakes are truly tremendous, has now moved to a new location (the ever well-informed Fat Gay Vegan has the details) in Shoreditch and is now savoury food  - along with a few cakes too!

Me and Mr Flicking the Vs went for some burgers, and got these fist-filling seitan burgers!

I'm not a huge seitan fan, but these were really great. You can't see it here but there was some homemade cheese (I'm guessing cashew?) that was absolutely fantastic, and I would have happily have eaten that on its own!

Not pictured up there is polenta fries - another thing I was a bit sceptical about before I shoved them down my neck. They were lovely and crispy, salty and moreish. We would have gone back for seconds if we hadn't already had the last portion!

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  1. Yay for getting back into the kitchen and cooking up yummy food! I get the giant bag of pumpkin seeds from Costco and put it on everything. I could be sponsored by pumpkin seeds too. Go team pumpkin seeds! :-)

  2. Hooray for being finished with exams! I fall off the cooking wagon when I'm inundated with work. Looks like some delicious meals! I love quinoa and salads, so I hope they rub off on you. ;) I like seitan in small quantities, I don't know how I'd do with it in burger form - polenta fries are great!!

  3. I have been won over by polenta fries but am not sure about seitan (you have to be suspicious of anything with a name so similar to the prince of darkness). I love all your indian dishes together and your salad and I think you need to get you a pumpkin seed farm :-)

  4. Congratulations on surviving those nasty exams! I'm glad to see that your cooking inspiration has immediately rebounded, and all of these meals look positively drool-worthy. I must say, I've never had umpa before but I'm terribly curious to try it now...

  5. Hahaha "contrarian. That's French for idiot" made me actually LOL. You make the most interesting foods. I've never even heard of umpa, and I'm a big eater. I wanna try it! Congrats on getting through exams :)

  6. Those burgers look and sound delicious! And huge congratulations on being done with exams - I hope you're enjoying the extra time :)

  7. It's always nice to get back into the kitchen after a period of being too busy for it (though there's nothing wrong with lots of bread-based meals!). There are some seriously tempting plates there, I think the asparagus and mushrooms look amazing. And you must have got your money's worth with that burger, it's gigantic!

  8. Huh, who knew you could cook quinoa and lentils together?! Such a great tip! Also yay for exams being over and for spontaneous dancing!!

  9. Glad you're through to the other side of exams. Savoury semolina and polenta fries both sound like things I'd like. I must explore these further!


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