Back in 2010, I entered a competition to win the title of ‘UK’s Tastiest Meat-Free Dish‘ where the winner’s recipe would be included in the range of Linda McCartney products. Fellow food blogger Kate Ford – who blogs at The Veg Space – won with her mushroom and ale pie. I reckon Kate either bribed or slept with the judges because why the flipping flop would they choose a pie over my cheese-covered aubergine, eh? I mean, come on, look – it’s a masterpiece!
I had an urge to make some bread but me being me didn’t have an urge to get my hands dirty and sticky by doing all that kneading malarkey. I dragged out my bread machine from the cupboard, had a look for something interesting in the fridge with which to make some bread but unfortunately, the fridge was a bit bare and I wasn’t sure if pickled onion bread was a thing. However, there was a box of mushrooms that needed to be used up so, after briefly pondering if mushroom bread was a thing, and deciding it was, I decided to make some vegan mushroom bread in my bread machine.
I’ve hankered after an air fryer for a few years but part of me thought, ‘yeah, nice idea but would I ever use it?’ Well, I’ve had my Optimum HealthyFry Air Fryer for a few weeks now and so far in it I’ve made:
A self-cleaning juicer? Well, kind of. The Juisir (thankfully pronounced simply ‘juicer’ – although, in my head, I give it a mock-French lilt and it comes out like ‘joo-sair’ with a flourish on the ‘sair’ bit) doesn’t need any cleaning. HALLELUJAH PRAISE THE JUICING GODS AND I’M NOT TALKING ABOUT JASON VALE.
It’s taken me a while to start eating ‘normally’ again after Christmas. When I say ‘normally’, I mean actually eating something. I’ve been skipping breakfast (okay, so no change there then – I can’t stand the thought of eating first thing; it seems the height of gluttony to me to stuff your face the moment you wake up) and lunch and I’ve only been eating dinner because it seemed like something I should be doing and even then my dinners have consisted mostly of cardboard boxed frozen stuff heated up in the oven. Unsurprisingly, this diet of nothing has made me sluggish and unfocused and so I went hunting and foraging for vegetables in my local Tesco with which to make some soup and get some vitamins inside me.
January is traditionally the time for people to give their bodies a rest from Christmas excess and whether you call it a ‘new year, new you’ thing, a cleanse, a fast or a detox, they all basically boil down to the same thing: ‘I’m a fat, hungover bloater and I need to step away from the cheese and chocolate and put something healthy inside me’.
As a child, my breakfast cereal would be piled high with not just spoonfuls of sugar but fistfuls of the white stuff, not to mention the three teaspoons of sugar I added to my copious cups of tea each day. Then, on top of that were the sweets I bought each week at the local shop with my pocket money. All that sugar probably accounts for why my teeth wouldn’t look out of place on someone you’d see on The Jeremy Kyle Show.
We’re almost halfway through Veganuary and, although I’m not taking part this year, I’m still a supporter of the campaign which, with 50,000 people taking part this year, is more popular than ever. In case you’re wondering why I’m not taking part this time when I loved doing it last year, I’ve had a change in circumstances and, frankly, I can’t be arsed (I know, crap excuse – it’s not like I can’t be arsed to be vegetarian anymore). Still, it’s not too late for you to join in and I’ve posted below an infographic containing some information about veganism in general (ignore the bit about you’re not vegan if you use the new five pound note. Yes, they contain bits of animals but so do smartphones and computers and you’re not going to go back to using smoke signals and abacuses, are you? But if you really don’t want to use the new five pound notes, just send them to me and I will dispose of them for you in the pub.)
As the self-proclaimed Queen of Tofu, when I heard about a new brand of tofu called Tofoo, I was obviously keen to give it a go. Tofoo is different than the usual block of Cauldron found in any supermarket, as it’s ready-pressed (yes, I said ready pressed – no more reams of kitchen roll!*) and ready-flavoured in smoked, Indian spiced and Oriental spiced varieties (the latter two coming in cubes). There’s also a naked one, ready for you to do whatever it is you like doing with tofu (if it’s something other than eating it, you probably need help. Just because it’s called ‘naked’ doesn’t mean you should get pervy with it).
I went to London VegFest the other week and for once, I actually came out looking forward to the next year’s event. On the previous years I’ve been, it’s been cramped, overcrowded and I hadn’t been able to get anywhere near the stalls, let alone try anything or buy anything. This year, although it was in the same space and I’m going to assume they weren’t turning stallholders or customers away, there was plenty of room to walk around and to see and sample everything, and sample things I certainly did.