Bowls, biscuits and bargains

The other week I had the house to myself as Matt was away recording the songs he's written as songwriter in residence at the People's History Museum. He's even been doing a blog about it here. I picked meals that were easy to put together and that I didn't mind eating more than once!


This deceptively simple salad was so tasty. It took minutes to throw together and came from one of my Carol Vorderman Detox books. It's onion, cooked puy lentils, cherry tomatoes, fresh parsley and mint and toasted walnuts with a simple dressing made from red wine vinegar and olive oil. The herbs and the salad leaves were all 'free' from the yard as an added bonus. Also, not pictured I made a millet salad from the Candle Cafe book.


I'd decided to dig out my copy of Candle Cafe and try out some new to me recipes as I always seem to do the same ones from it. Above is a Ginger, Miso Stir Fry I had with basmati rice noodles made by King Soba. I love King Soba noodles and I hadn't seen this type before. I baked the tofu first in some coconut oil and it was super filling.



I picked up these Soja Schnetzel pieces in V Revolution a few weeks ago. I dream of the day when we can get soy curls in the UK and these turned out to be a pretty decent substitute. Like curls you need to rehydrate them for ten minutes first in some stock and then you cook them. I made the Mongolian BBQ recipe from Chloes Kitchen which was great and I've since also tried them in a satay sauce we had lurking in the pantry. The bag cost £3 and I've still got over half of it left after making four meals so it's much better value than Quorn.


I'd spotted this new popcorn flavour on social media and thought it sounded interesting. I found some at the station when I was early for a train and gave it a whirl. To be honest I wasn't blown away. It was nice enough but my heart lies with Ten Acre, now if only I could find their new strawberry flavour and cappuccino flavour anywhere. Has anyone spotted them yet?


These guys however are our new favourite crisp. Whilst the taste was great what made them even more fun was that you could pop one on the end of your finger and then keep adding more and more to have a competition to see who could get the longest witchy looking finger. Or you could just eat them of course.


I'd never heard of The Natural Biscuit Co before but when I saw them in Heron last week on 3 boxes for £1 last week and there were 5 packets in a box they seemed worth a punt. I got one box of each flavour - banana, strawberry and raspberry. They seem to be marketing themselves as a healthier biscuit choice for kids lunch boxes and my niece and nephew certainly gave them the thumbs up as well as Matt and I.


Our local Co-Op supermarket seemed to be clearing a lot of old lines the other week with some good discounts. Sadly it looked like some of the things I buy regularly from there like the Merchant Gourmet and Jamie Oliver ready cooked pouches range might have gone for good. I managed to pick up some cartons of Beetroot juice for 85p reduced from £3 and several packets of Urban Fruit which were well discounted to 70p. I'm a big fan of Urban Fruit and love them for overnight oats recipes.


The garden has been continuing to give us some salad leaves. The frisee lettuce hasn't faired well with the slugs and has pretty much disappeared but the rocket, mizuna and spinach are going strong. At the back of the yard we have a raised bed planted up with some lavender bushes, a mini rhodedendrum and various things from cuttings from Matt's mum's garden. The weather has been so bad we've not had a day where we've been free to weed it when it's not been pouring down so it's got a bit overgrown. We will sort it out but in the meantime we've been enjoying the wild flowers that have popped up. The blue flowers are Love in the Mist from seeds we put down and the yellow poppies are everywhere you look round here. Since I took the picture there's been loads more pink flowers and a different type of yellow flower and it's really nice to look out of the kitchen window and see so much colour.


Comments

  1. I'd kinda forgotten that soy curls exist and now I feel sad that I don't have any! I love them!

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    Replies
    1. I only ever had them the once and that was when you sent them in a snack swap after a trip to the states. They were sooo good!

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  2. Those soy shnitzels kind-of look like shrimp in your photo! Very odd. I have an Indian version of soy curls, they are like mini soy meatballs. I haven't tried them yet though.

    It stinks when stores stop carrying your favorite foods. It is why I am not a huge fan of the Trader Joe's chain, they have the business model of having limited edition foods. I remember stopping by Whole Foods and picking up a small vegan caramel every time, and they just stopped selling them! I was so sad. They were such a yummy little treat.

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    Replies
    1. Oh no that is sad. I'm still on the look out for a good veggie shrimp. The last ones I bought by Fry's tasted more like mock chicken but I have had great ones in a restaurant.

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    2. Do you have any Asian Food Markets near you? I thought the faux shrimp at various Asian owned vegan restaurants were pretty good, and I am pretty sure they are all the same brand. I've seen them sold in the frozen faux meat section.

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    3. Yes, there are lots in Manchester where I work. I agree they are definitely the place to look. I need to make a trip there!

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  3. I keep hearing about Soy curls and wish to get my mitts on them some day, but I agree with you the soja pieces are pretty good, I used them a little while back to make an Ethiopian 'meaty' dish and it was delicious. I thought I had the Candle Cafe cookbook, but its Candle 79 that is on my shelves, I will have to put this on my wish list.

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    Replies
    1. Your Ethiopian dish sounds nice. I didn't realise there was a Candle 79 book too. I went to the Candle 79 restaurant for my 40th birthday and loved it.

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  4. I was just thumbing through the Taco Cleanse and thinking 'where can I get soy curls from?' so thank you for solving my problem! The puy lentil salad looks like just my cup of tea. I'm also loving the garden updates - I don't have any outdoors here, so I like enjoying other people's vicariously!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! I've not got the Taco Cleanse but I've found them in a few other books like Vegan Diner too. They are are pretty good sub for curls.

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  5. I have that Candle Cafe cookbook but have never used it, that recipe sounds like a yummy place to start.

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    Replies
    1. I definitely need to try more from it. Everything I've made has been really good.

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