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New discoveries and old favourites: What I've been cooking lately

It's time for another round up of things I've been cooking, without rhyme, reason, or theme to hold it all together - just a few things that have been gracing my kitchen of late. 

First up: a brunch! Mr Flicking the Vs had gone away for a weekend, I'd been hunkered down at home revising furiously for upcoming exams and basically not leaving the house for a weekend. Sadly, that's no exaggeration - when it's exam week, I come home after school on a Friday and lock myself away until I go back to school on a Monday. The only thing that I have to break the monotony is cooking and eating (sad, I know. What kind of a life is that for a grown woman?!)

Still, here's what I made to cheer myself up on Sunday lunchtime:


It's a meal full of good stuff: fried tofu, tomatoes, greens, avocado, roast tomatoes, and potato waffles. Potato waffles should be one of the vegan lunch food groups, and I'll arm wrestle anyone who says different. On a side note, Tofoo tofu is fast becoming one of my favourite brands - mainly because it doesn't really require pressing before you use it and our local supermarket stocks it. I have low standards, I know, but still. Anyone else have a favourite Tofoo brand?

The sweetcorn season is almost done, and I have a last couple of cobs in my fridge, looking for a decent send off. Sadly, I don't think I was the cook to give them the departure they deserved. I made a sweetcorn chowder with onion, garlic, potato, milk, stock and some mustard for flavour. It ended up being watery. Still, as any lazy veg*n will know, a goodly whack of sriracha will fix most things and so it proved to be in this case: my chowder was drowned in hot sauce and became far more edible.


There's one last cob to go - any ideas on how to dispose of it suitably? I'm thinking of sweetcorn fritters. If ever there was a breakfast of champions, it's that. And if it all goes wrong, then at least I know where the sriracha is kept!

And onto another vegetable that's bidding us farewell: new potatoes. I love the new potatoes: they taste of summer. Now summer's well and truly done, it's only fair and right that new potatoes should go the same way. It's not very autumnal, but I had a few salad leaves in my vegbox so it seemed only right to conjure up the last few rays of summer on my plate. I turned the potatoes into potato salad with a bit of smoked tofu, and a side salad with oven roasted chickpeas and preserved mushrooms. Note to self: I should definitely make more roasted chickpeas. Other note to self: learn how not to eat all the roasted chickpeas you make in one sitting too.


After posting a scone recipe the other week, in which I scoffed in horror at the idea of triangular scones, I thought in the interests of fairness I should make some three-sides scones of my own. I used roughly the same recipe as the one I posted only without the fancy ingredients and some blackberries from the freezer instead. I also put some sprinkles on for no good reason, other than, well, sprinkles. (The sprinkles were originally bright colours like pink and green, but in the cooking process they retreated into mid brown. Instead of sprinkles, the scones now look like they've got some awful blistering contagious disease.)

Having made the triangular scones, I now am a total convert. None of that rolling out the dough and finding a cutter and spreading out the scone rounds so they don't stick together and all that. Nope, just whack a blob of dough into a dish, score it, and you're good. This is scone making for the lazy or efficiently minded, and I am now a fan.


Onto a few readymade kitchen discoveries: Nush almond milk cheese. This stuff is a) brilliantly tasty b) stocked in normal supermarkets. I've tried a few cheese spreads before, like Violife's, and they haven't blown me away. They seem to be a bit bland and, based on coconut oil, a bit greasy. Nush's is the vegan cream cheese of your dreams - go introduce your bagel to it right now, and you'll be very glad you did.

Until now, I would have told you my favourite spreadable vegan cheese was Nutcrafter's cashew fauxmage, but at £5 a pot it was a rare treat, to put it mildly.  You can get Nush cheeses for almost half that - or, to put it the right way, you can get double the cheese for your money. Get some oatcakes in (or make them yourself) and indulge.


Another experiment with readymade vegan foods was making a shepherd's pie with Naturli plant based mince. Most of the time, if I'm cooking with vegan mince, it's the dehydrated soya type that looks like kitty litter when it's in the packet but tastes surprisingly good when you've finished with it.

Naturli's mince is one of the recent crop that aim to be more meat like: bleeding, changing colour as it cooks, all that sort of thing. Naturli's has the right look for sure: one of my omni relatives thought I'd gone rogue and started keeping meat in the fridge. If you're in the market for something that looks like meat and has the texture of meat but is made of plants, this is exactly what you're after. If you're after something that actually tastes nice, you might want to keep looking. Naturli mince has a very soapy aftertaste that was just a bit unpleasant. I'm always glad to see new vegan products hitting the shops, but this isn't one that I'll be buying again.



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5 comments

  1. That mince looks disturbingly like what my mum used to buy. But I can give it a miss. I'd much prefer your sunday fry up - wonder if my supermarket has potato waffles - we had hash browns in a salad sandwich last night which was great. I love plain old corn on the cob (microwave it in its husk) but also very partial to a corn and tempeh asian soup and also to corn in fried rice. And I am thinking they could make med exams more interesting by taking your scones along and asking for a diagnosis of the skin condition :-) seriously I ddin't know sprinkles could lose their colour this way

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  2. We quite like the Naturli mince! We've mostly smothered it in sauces though so the taste might be a bit lost :)

    The Tofoo smoked is my faaaaavourite for SURE. So smoky! So yum! And no pressing, yay!

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  3. So interesting to see your comments to things that I have also seen, but not yet tried. I did not like the look of the mince, so will give it a miss and glad that you seem to agree. I may have been a bit harsh on the Tofoo tofu, so will give it another go. Yay to potato waffles. I do like triangle scones but forget about them when I do make scones - by the way what have your sprinkled over the top?!

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  4. Oh just re-read - sprinkles :)

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  5. I would gladly stay home to eat a plateful of any of that. And a scone too. :-) Kinda a bummer the company tried so hard to make the mince so meat like in appearance and all but totally flop on the taste. Just re-affirming to meat eaters who try it that plant based products taste yucky. :-(

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