Today’s VeganMoFo theme is Fancy but Frugal. You definitely do not need to spend a lot of money to make a meal feel fancy. There are some vegetables that I rarely buy in supermarkets because they tend to be quite expensive, but from time to time I’ll find them at the outdoor market for a reasonable price, so that’s when I buy them! Case in point: these artichokes, asparagus and several types of leafy greens:
Rocket, red onions, tomatoes, beetroot leaves, baby dinosaur kale (I think?), nectarines, strawberries, sweet potatoes, asparagus, purslane, fresh herbs, and artichokes.
Ideally, the first thing I do after buying fresh herbs is to wash and store them properly. I don’t always remember to do this, but it really seems to help to keep them fresh! I like to store fresh coriander/cilantro wrapped in a damp tea towel inside an airtight container in the fridge. Parsley seems to keep best when I trim off the ends and put it in a glass of water covered with a plastic bag, also in the fridge. (I try to wash and reuse the bags — I think this one originally had tofu in it and it was just the right size.)
The person who sold me the sweet potatoes recommended a recipe and I’m so glad she did, because this was amazing. I think she told me to mash them with walnuts and spring onions — I didn’t have spring onions, so I used fresh chives and sautéed red onions instead. I topped the mash with roasted asparagus and tempeh. This was so good! I’m sure the sweet potatoes would be great with other toppings too, so I want to make them again soon.
I combined the purslane with rocket, tomatoes, green lentils and red onion to make this salad. So summery and refreshing.
On the left: a quick pesto pasta bowl with tomatoes and more tempeh. Not very fancy, but delicious nonetheless. On the right: water flavoured with fresh mint and strawberries. I mostly just drink plain tap water so this did feel slightly fancy! (:
These kale crisps were based on the Cool Ranch Kale Crisps from Jessica Nadel’s book Greens 24/7. I haven’t made a lot of kale crisps because where I live, kale is often sold shredded into small pieces, and in general the crisps don’t seem worth the effort to me. But since I did have whole kale leaves now, I thought I’d give this recipe a try. I like that the leaves are coated in a cashew dressing that adds flavour and texture. Maybe that’s just because I didn’t blend it properly but I liked the extra crunch!
On the right is a dish with chickpeas, rocket and sweet potatoes. I’m sure it was delicious, but to be honest that’s all I remember about this particular dish.
Finally, artichokes always feel fancy to me. I had this one with a vinaigrette for dipping and a spinach and lentil salad and roast potatoes on the side. Eating this meal was actually kind of a challenge, because this cute little guy kept trying to steal my artichoke leaves and potatoes:
This is Nox, who sometimes stays with us when his own humans are on holiday. In addition to being cute, he’s also very clever and a highly skilled thief! We tried to keep him off the kitchen counters (at least while we were in there, haha), so he loved this spot on the window sill where he could look out the window as well as oversee everything we were cooking. I think he also used these moments to decide which foods he was going to try to steal first. :D
Link of the day
Susan from Kittens Gone Lentil has been reviewing recipes from cookbooks and, for the past week, focusing on complete menus in particular. I love this idea because I don’t think I’ve ever actually made a full menu from a cookbook, and now I want to. This also matches today’s fancy meal theme! I’d love to try this autumn-themed menu from Miyoko Schinner’s book Japanese Cooking.