Monday, 27 February 2017

Comfort Food

For the last few days I have been full of a really bad cold and have the energy of a limp lettuce.  Food has had to be quick to prepare, in small portions and be tempting and tasty.

 A couple of peeled Mandarin oranges and a black coffee is a perfect breakfast when I have no appetite, and the vitamin C will no doubt help drive away the cold germs.

Lunches have alternated between bowls of homemade soup ... thank goodness for the freezer stock, and freshly made salad sandwiches with Violife cheese slices and vegan mayo.

I love these sausages and I've have had one or two or more likely half a dozen meals of a sausage butty with lots of tomato ketchup.  It's funny but this is the only thing I ever put ketchup on!!

When I saw these in the freezer cabinet at Tesco I knew I had found another meal idea.  After eating a couple and going into the freezer  to get out another for tea tonight I had the sudden realisation that it doesn't say  'Suitable for Vegans' on the pack.  But checking on the Linda McCartney website I am very relieved to find out that yes they are totally vegan ... phew  😊

Monday, 20 February 2017

Free Seeds .... and Another Tasty Treat

At the end of last week March's copy of Kitchen Garden magazine fell through my letterbox accompanied by the usual free seeds, this time it was peas, tomatoes and strawberries ... and of course the free elastic band that holds them altogether in the envelope!! 

I throw nothing away!!  The elastic band is added to my stash in a dish on the kitchen shelves, even the sheet of A4 paper that has my address for delivery on is torn into quarters as it has a blank reverse side. it's just used as four pieces of note paper ... ideal for shopping lists or just reminding myself of something ... yes I have gotten to that age where notes are left in prominent places to remind me to 'take eggs to Mum's' etc etc.

These new seeds have been added to the exceptionally large seed stash I now have and will be sorted through later today in readiness for sowing pretty soon.  I am currently working my way around the polytunnel and the net tunnel, tidying, weeding, replanting some of the plants that are keeping on growing and being harvested from, but that are on their own in beds that I need, and picking some of what's left in there either for tasty soups for us or as entertaining and healthy greens for the chickens who are at last coming to the end of the DEFRA free-ranging ban.  Having a bunch of greens to peck at every other day has been a godsend for their health and no doubt their sanity, and I have sacrificed a lot of plants to this cause.  We have more than enough homegrown produce still in the freezer to see us through the 'hungry gap' so the chickens need has been greater than ours. 

There have been other free seeds on my magazines this year, up to now I have had ...

January's edition with a booklet about growing veg and a pack celeriac seeds,

and February's edition with some beetroot, peppers and tomato seeds.

My other subscription has been Grow Your Own magazine.  I got the January edition with some free leek seeds ...

and then the February edition arrived with a free planting guide and a bumper pack of seeds, containing cabbage, lettuce, cucumber, aubergine and tomato. 

Even with just these seeds to sow we would have a good supply of homegrown fruits and vegetables.

  I've found these magazines to be a really good buy.  I got free gifts with both of the subscriptions which more than covered the cost of the year long subscription and have loved having them drop through the letter box on a regular basis.  But with both subscriptions about to end I am not renewing them as I have saved all the copies to reread again this year as each month comes around.

And finally, something really good that I tried for the first time last week were these 'Gosh!' bakes.  They were tasty, spicy and went down very well, the first day served with boiled potatoes and peas and then the next served on a bun with lettuce and mayo. 

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Soup for Lunch

It has to be soup for lunch today.  

Even though the sun came out briefly this morning ... enough to entice me to wash the patchwork quilt and get it on the line ... the icy cold rain came back soon after.  The quilt was brought back in and draped ceremoniously across the front of the Aga and the fridge was raided. Anything and everything that could be thrown into a pot of soup was.  The lumps you can see floating are some leftover boiled potatoes from last night, they made the soup thicker and more stew like after all the other component parts had been beaten into submission by the stick blender.

Now the fridge is almost clear, my tummy is warmer and fuller and it's time to go to the shops to gather in some supplies for the weekend.  It's always better to shop knowing there's space in the fridge and on a full tummy ..... as I remember after last time when I came back with all sorts of weird and wonderful things to try after shopping just before lunch.  😋

Monday, 13 February 2017

Yogurt for Breakfast

Sometimes when someone asks me what I had for breakfast and I answer 'yogurt', I either get a strange look or they come right out and say ...  'is that all?'  Well when I say yogurt for breakfast, something similar to the bowlful in the photo is what I am actually meaning. 

Half a large tub of yoghurt, a whole banana chopped up, a tablespoon or so of flaxseeds and a small handful of blueberries, thawed from the freezer and picked off our bushes last Summer.

It's a good sized and very filling breakfast that keeps me going until well after lunch time. 

And not a little lonely pot of flavoured yogurt like this :-)

This is my current favourite yogurt, it's yummy.

Monday, 6 February 2017

Something For All Tastes

I've been asked a few times how me and Alan combine our differing food tastes, and the answer is very simple, apart from Alan eating 'things from animals'  (too long to list) and me eating anything that is not from animals (also too long to list) we eat pretty similarly.

For instance this was our tea the other night. 

The Six Nations rugby was on and Alan being a fan needed something simple to dig into that wouldn't spill if he rose to his feet in excitement, and me being banished to the bedroom to watch Dvd's on the little television needed something that would balance on my knee and be easy to eat whilst I sat back on the bed.

Buddha bowls it was then, and served in our large pasta bowls.

Saturdays bowls comprised of spicy Vegetable Samosas, leftover Cumin Carrot and Red Onion Lentil Bake,  leftover Rice Salad, two homemade hummus' one beetroot and one extra garlicky, and on Alan's some sliced chicken. Salted peanuts were sprinkled on the rice salad for added crunch just before serving and a couple of oatcakes were added for scooping up the hummus.  Alan's was served with a pint of Speckled Hen while mine was accompanied by a nice glass of white wine.

Sunday's match saw us eating something very similar, with the last of the Rice Salad, Red Pepper Hummus with oatcakes, Garlic Bread, Samosas, Onion Bhajis along with rocket leaves and tomatoes ... and with spicy Breaded Chicken Wings for Alan. All  washed down with a pint of weak shandy as Alan was driving later on.

So our way of eating suits us both down to the ground.  Alan describes himself as  'vegan with meat on the side' .... not something most vegans would like to hear but it does describe what he eats perfectly and as you can see from our plates, his meat consumption is most definitely shrinking ... which makes me very happy.

Friday, 3 February 2017

Veganuary Statistics

Infographic taken from the Veganuary Facebook page.

It's been really good to be a part of this.

I went into the 2017 Veganuary in the United Kingdom as a 56 year old female pescatarian and my reason was for the animals. 

Next year I'll be starting off the 2018 Veganuary as a 57 year old, still female UK citizen, still for the animals ... but my starting point will be as a vegan.

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Magazines and Recipes

Since the New Year I have been doing lots of reading about the vegan diet and lifestyle, and reading through some of my large collection of books as well as some good magazines.  I have taken out a subscription to 'Vegan Food and Living' ... 

... but I also bought one copy of this magazine. 

In my opinion it's not quite on a par with 'Vegan Food and Living',  or 'Vegan Life' which I already had a subscription to, as it seems to mostly have lots of product and food adverts and not a lot of substance.

But it did give me this recipe for Kale Soup and it is one of the most delicious soups I've made for a while, we both love it .... and the colour of it.

Which matches the colour of my kitchen perfectly  :-)