This is embarrassing. I had meant to publish here what I am eating, whether or not it was accompanied by a recipe (some things are made up on the spur of the moment and don't get written down at the time), with the idea that it might make other people interested in eating our way or, at the very least, it may explain to family and friends the kind of foods we like to eat. It might also reassure a few people that there is no reason to go hungry just because you're eating vegan!
What has happened is that I've got busy about some things and lazy about others. This blog has been neglected. But here at least are some quick pix I took of some of the things on the menu in the last while, with a promise of more up-to-date postings in future.
NOODLES AND VEG IN MISO BROTH
First of all, I can't call this Miso Soup with a straight face and any Japanese cook could and should laugh me out of the kitchen. But this is a tasty way to have a healthy snack in a hurry.
There's no real recipe here. I cheated, in this case, and used a vegan miso stock cube, which has, in addition to miso, various vegetable flavourings in there to help things along. Added to this can be a number of things, but the most usual things I now add are: sliced mushrooms, thinly sliced celery, pieces of baby spinach, ginger, tamari, chilies, skinny noodles, sea vegetable of some kind and anything else I fancy, all barely warmed through let alone 'cooked to death'. There was more of the broth to add to my bowl here (and I did add it), but I photographed it as you see it so that the ingredients would show a little better. I love quick and easy things, and this certainly qualifies.
Okay, don't panic, it isn't meant to go with the soup above :) I just thought I'd remind you and myself that the Banana Bread recipes found in the excellent Barnard and Kramer cookbooks are not to be beaten. This is one that took the most bananas and is somewhat adapted from the original (but maybe not quite enough to make it fair to publish the recipe here). Lovely stuff!
ROOT VEGETABLE AND BARLEY STEW
I make a lot of variations on this theme, and it isn't quick although it is indeed easy. I take a varied mix of carrots, sweet potatoes, potato, whatever, and cut up smallish. Then I add onion, garlic, perhaps some grated ginger, vegetable broth or water, Bragg liquid aminos, herbs (varies), chillies (always like to use chillies), a little turmeric when the spirit moves me, and barley. This cooks, usually in a slow cooker but can be made on the top of the stove, until well and truly done, at which time I add such frivolities as vegan Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, more garlic and/or fresh chopped herbs to give zing to the dried herbs previously added to the pot, and maybe even a little red or white wine. It all depends and there truly can be no recipe, although I'll be happy to write it all down next time I make it.
A few more minutes to let the newly added ingredients spread throughout the stew, and it's ready to serve (or for that matter to keep until later - all the better as a 'leftover'.
A good variation on this is to add some cauliflower florets, chopped green beans or the like to the roots, but I prefer to keep the 'roots' theme on this one.
The whole dish is rather old-fashioned, unglamorous, thick and hearty. True comfort food.
EGGPLANT AND TOMATO BAKE
This is almost too easy to mention, but it works just fine. I had an eggplant begging to be rescued from my fridge and I had some homemade tomato-based pasta sauce in my freezer. I sliced the eggplant thinly and baked it in the oven on a flat tray until just tender. (In the past I have simply softened the slices in a pan on the stovetop.) Thawed, the pasta sauce was put in a pan to heat. While waiting for this, I took panko crumbs (but any kind would do, I should think, as long as they're not sweet), some crushed cashews (optional), and nutritional yeast and mixed them together in fairly equal parts, along with sprinkles of herbs and spices, salt and papper - all to taste. (These mixes keep well in a jar in the fridge, by the way, if you need such toppings on a fairly regular basis.)
When the pasta sauce was warmed and the eggplant softened, I layered it in a baking dish, sprinkled with the crumb topping and popped it in the oven at about 375, covered at first and then, half-way through cooking, without its cover. This shouldn't take long - half an hour or so (keep an eye on it) until it bubbles around the edges and the top is a little crisp. Ovens vary and sizes of baking dish vary, so it's hard to be exact, but we all know when things are 'done'.
This simple casserole goes well with green vegetables or a crisp salad - or simply with crusty bread.
I've also made this with a mixture of eggplant and zucchini or eggplant and mushrooms, but I don't put more variety in there because I'm not trying to fake up a ratatouille (although not a bad idea, eh!). Red wine with this one :)
I have more photos still in the camera and I'll post again as soon as I rescue them.