Even if you’ve never tried a recipe box, I’m sure you’ve heard of them. Boxes of ingredients delivered to your door containing everything you need for two or more dishes, along with step-by-step instructions simple enough for even the most novice cook to follow. On the face of it, these boxes can seem like an extravagance or an unnecessary luxury but, when you think about it, if you had to buy all the ingredients you needed for a meal, you wouldn’t use in that one dish everything you bought – one tsp of a spice out of a whole jar/a handful of spinach out of a whole bag, for example – and, as everything’s pre-weighed for you (if a dish needs one tsp of a spice, one tsp of spice will be in the box) as well as there being no waste, there’s also no messing about with scales and measuring spoons or cups. I’ve tried a few recipe boxes in the past and have been impressed each time (especially as the portion sizes have been generous and usually stretched to double the quantities they say they serve).
This tofu burger isn’t like the others. It’s not one of those yes-it-has-tofu-in-it-but-it-also-contains-about-twenty-six-other-ingredients-and-will-take-about-sixteen-hours-to-make-and-use-a-load-of-pans-you’ll-need-to-wash-up-after. This easy vegan tofu burger contains one ingredient and I’m not going to insult your intelligence by making you guess what it is because it’s obvious to even the most stupid person.
When I make this mushroom soup, I eat at least two servings of it, it’s that good. Despite mushrooms being filling and substantial, there are only about 20 calories in 100g of them and although they don’t have the vibrancy you usually associate with healthy eating they:
Is it possible to use the word ‘brunch’ without sounding like a pretentious wanker? I’m not sure I’ve even heard anyone say it in real life out loud but I’ve been for breakfast-type food mid-morning a couple of times in the last month at The Bistro at Lympne Castle and going for breakfast in a castle is pretentiously wanky enough without bringing the word ‘brunch’ into it too. Despite serving avocado on toast (sorry, I mean ‘crushed avocado on toasted sourdough’), The Bistro isn’t pretentious or wanky in the slightest though and ever since I ate their scrambled eggs on toast with spinach, tomato and seeds, I kept thinking about it. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to go back to The Bistro in the last couple of weeks, so I decided to recreate their scrambled eggs on toast with spinach and tomatoes with my own vegan version made with tofu.
This vegan cabbage soup with harissa and ginger had everyone stumped when I put it on Facebook for a game of ‘Guess the Soup’. The most popular guess was ‘Butterscotch Angel Delight’ but I have no idea why, do you?
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.
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).
Since discovering a few months ago when I made my courgette and broad bean soup with chilli and fennel, how wonderful chilli and fennel is as a combination, they’ve been added to most of my soups. Obviously (to me, anyway) chilli goes with everything and, although fennel isn’t to everyone’s taste, give it a go – just don’t add too much as it’s not a subtle flavour.
Carrots. Flipping carrots. I’m not a fan of carrots (except those ones in a tin – I know, I’m common as muck), so whenever I get carrots in my veg box delivery, they usually stay in the fridge until they go floppy, then they go in the compost bin. I did make some vegan carrot cupcakes a while back but, as I’m trying to cut down on junk food at the mo (not helped by being sent a hamper of Ten Acre crisps), I didn’t want to make them again just yet. Soup is always a great way to use up leftover vegetables but if I didn’t really like carrots much, would I like them in a soup? I decided to find out and I can now confirm that carrots make a perfectly acceptable soup. Especially when you add lentils and some spice. As always, I blitzed this soup to silky perfection with my Froothie blender. I know I’ve said it before but this blender really has transformed my soup into something special, and I’ve been making soup for years.
I have a confession to make. I like – nay, love – those pizza subs you get in the supermarket for £1. Although the ones I buy in Tesco only have ‘normal’ ingredients that you’d find in a pizza you’d make yourself from scratch (wheat flour, tomato purée, mozzarella cheese, cheddar cheese, water, yeast, salt, rapeseed oil, sugar, dried herbs, dried garlic and spices), I can’t help thinking that something in a packet that costs so little can’t be the healthiest of choices. So, I decided to make my own pizza subs but on a panini instead of a baguette and with fresh homemade vegan mozzarella adapted from the moxarella recipe at Vedged Out.