Saturday, January 28, 2012

I Almost Made Soup!

I am really, *really* enjoying the vegan challenge I've set myself for this year.  It's opened up a world to me that I kinda sorta knew existed but had pretty much ignored thus far.  Things like delicious egg-free mayo, fake bacon-y goodness, creamy pretend cheese and garlic ~swoons~ and don't even get me started on the sweets - ohmygosh.

I was on an early start (which means getting up at 4:45am - oi my life!) and didn't eat breakfast until gone 9am, at which point I was starving and could literally have dived head-first into a pile of sausage rolls.  But I didn't; I resisted and instead ate both the banana and the tangerine I'd brought to work with me.  Just a note - thanks Mum for making me do things the night before, you're a gem!

When I got home, I realised I hadn't finished the bacon I'd bought a couple weeks ago and tentatively checked it out to see if it was still go.  Ding ding ding, just as fresh as it was when I opened it!  So I grilled a few rashers and had me some lovely BLTs on brown rolls, yum!

I decided last week that I wanted to try my hand at soup making and had bought a few tasty veggies as preparation for the big day *grins* I chopped up celery, mushrooms and spring onions, followed by a generous helping of frozen casserole vegetables (I prefer fresh but hey, we had these to hand and they were pretty tasty!) which consisted of more celery *I love celery!*, turnip, swede, carrots and tiny little silverskin onions.  I used about a pint of vegetable stock and let the whole lot simmer for about twenty minutes.  I also added a generous squeeze of garlic purée and two tablespoons of tomato purée.

Once all my veggies were slightly soft, I pan-fried some soya chunks in a splash of oil and added those, followed by about two handfuls of wholewheat pasta.  Once the pasta was done cooking, it was ready to eat!  I chowed down on it with a slice of wholegrain bread to mop up the left-over sauce.

I know, it doesn't look much like soup.  In fact, it kind of *isn't* soup, but vegetables in a sauce!  In hindsight, I think I should've blitzed the veggies in a blender, *then* added the pasta and the soya.  It would definitely have been more soupy then!  What I can say to the positive though is that I really enjoyed it; it was hearty and filling, pretty darn tasty and I made enough to have two more portions to freeze for those vegan day 'what am I going to eat?!' moments!

The last couple of weeks I've not really been in the mood to eat sweet things on my vegan days, mostly since the sweet stuff we have in the house is completely non-vegan (chocolate and ice cream anyone?  Anyone?) BUT I thought I'd indulge my sweet tooth this time and checked out the local health food store to see what treats they had on offer.  I was *not* disappointed!

{Sorry it's kind of small, click to enlarge if you'd like to!}
First off, that coconut bar was to die for.  It was moist and scrumptious and not *too* sweet like some coconut treats can be.  It's pretty calorific but as a little slice of sweet goodness, it was definitely a yes.  I was really pleasantly surprised by the vegan chocolate too; it's made locally (which is always a big thumbs up!) and guess what - it tastes like "real" mint chocolate!  Seriously!  *So* impressed by how delicious it was!  There I was, thinking I'd have to get my sweet fix through fruit but hey, I can still indulge in some of the slightly-less-healthy but super good vegan treats!

I hope you guys have had a great week and are up to lots of exciting things over the weekend!  I've got three whole days off (unheard of, yes!) before the onslaught begins again {for the next three weeks, my manager is officially out-of-shop so the assistant manager and I are taking on the running of the shop between us.  It's not going to be pretty.} I hope I can get some of my blanket crocheted, catch up with some friends and make both a birthday *and* Valentine's card (^_^) Have a great one!


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