Tuesday, 30 September 2008

New foods!

Although I tend to eat similar meals day in and day out I do love trying new foods! Here is a selection of foods I have recently eaten:

First up is a new product- alpro cheese! It is similar in texture to cream cheese but has quite a tangy taste so reminds me of what I remember cottage cheese as tasting like:

I have enjoyed it both with salads and in pasta dishes like the one below:

I have also been enjoying stir-fries made with this spicy sauce. It is really tangy and gives any dish a fab kick:

Although I do love tofu and tempeh, I do enjoy a bit of mock meat every now and then! I really like these 'chicken style' pieces. I have no idea whether they taste like chicken (it has been so long since I have eaten meat) but they have a nice chewy texture and absorb flavours really nicely.

Here is a stir-fry using the chicken pieces, with wholewheat pasta and loads of veggies! :

I have also eaten some meals that have not included noodles or pasta : 0 ! (this is a pretty new thing for me haha!)

First up is nachos made with soy and flax corn chips, soya mince, tomatoes and lots of fresh chillies:

Next is tonight's dinner- polenta pizza!

It was made using ready-made polenta (as the base), tinned tomatoes and nutritional yeast (for the sauce) and soya sausages for the topping.

This was really yummy and perfect comfort food for the horrible weather here today (wet and miserable : ( )

Sorry for the rubbish picture- the sausages started falling off the pizza because the polenta base was not very even!

Lastly is a sweet treat I found in a local health food shop- a vegan cookie! It also happened to be wheat free (I can't remember the flour it was made from- I think I was more anxious about gobbling it up!) It was nice and sweet (but not sickly) and had a nice chewy texture. I think it would also be great warm so I might buy one to heat up at home next time (this one did not last long enough- I think I will have to buy multiple next time!)

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Random eatings

I don't usually post my lunches (they are usually pretty boring and eaten at work where I feel a little self-conscious about taking pictures) but I thought I would show you my favourite sarnie that I grab when I am out and about. It has a cool title:

Sorry that the picture is not brilliant but you might be able to read the ingredients-carrot, hummous, rocket and alalfa sprouts on wholemeal bread. It is really scrummy and that little sticker that says meal deal means you can get a drink and a snack with the sarnie for a bargainous price! : )

Stir-fries are, of course, still on my dinner menu, alongside my regular pasta meals. I have been very impressed with my friend Katie's posts about innovative and delicious looking stir-fries she has made for herself. Read about them here: http://howtogainweightonavegandiet.blogspot.com/2008/09/stir-fry-salad.html and here: http://howtogainweightonavegandiet.blogspot.com/2008/09/stir-fry-sandwich.html

I have been trying new things for my stir-fries too (though nothing so creative as Katie!):

Unfortunately I was a little disappointed with this soy sauce. I found it VERY salty (perhaps I used too much?) but it was very overpowering and did not make for a tasty stir-fry! I think next time I purchase a soy sauce I will buy a low-sodium one to avoid this problem because I do like to add plenty of sauce to a stir-fry so that it is not dry.

My mum kindly bought me these chillies to try:

I was really keen to use them so put them in my stir-fry last night. I drained them first because I am not a huge fan of vinegar (I tend to find the taste a little too overpowering). However, I think I should have rinsed them first because they still tasted very strongly of vinegar, which I didn't like very much! They did add a great kick to my stir fry though and made it a lovely red colour:

Not that you can tell easily from the picture but the dish also contained these:

I usually prefer to use wholewheat noodles in a stir-fry but bought these as a change and really liked them. They were really thin and I think I overcooked them because they stuck together a little. However, they were lovely and light and absorbed the
flavours of the stir-fry nicely.

Below are some cupcakes that I took into work recently. They were baked by my mum (luckily she never minds my baking requests because she enjoys baking and these are so easy to make) but decorated by myself. I used a chocolate buttercream-style frosting and put some edible stars on top. These went down very well at work and one woman even asked for the recipe! I thought this was a brilliant opportunity to drop into the conversation that these were VEGAN cupcakes. I think it is usually best to reveal this after people have eaten them otherwise they sometimes can be reluctant to try them and will be missing out!

Friday, 12 September 2008

Mmmm pasta!

Recently, the weather has really taken a turn for the worse. It has been cold and wet nearly every day since the beginning of September. It is so depressing!

Since the beginning of September, I have also started a new job. My university course includes a 1 year work placement of my choice and I have chosen to work in a secondary school as a Teaching Assistant. I really love my job because it involves working with special needs pupils, which I find so rewarding but it can be exhausting! All this has meant that I haven't been very inventive with my evening meals so pasta has been on the menu frequently, as per usual!

Anyway here are a few piccies:

1. Pasta 'carbonara' with a creamy cheezy sauce and vegan bacon pieces:

2. Pasta in a creamy tomato sauce with some red and green peppers

3. Pasta in a bolognaise sauce with tomato pieces

The last two meals pictured above used a new purchase of mine- animal shaped wholewheat pasta! It is very tricky trying to determine exactly which shapes are supposed to represent which animals but it is definitely fun trying to guess!