Day 15: Hitting the High Street

So, despite spending most of the weekend cooking up a storm, we didn’t manage to make anything in bulk – and so today I found myself at work with nothing for lunch. Oops.

I’ve been trying to avoid going down to the High Street to buy lunch as I can’t be bothered with the faff of inspecting dozens of labels before I find something vegan friendly (plus am trying to save pennies by not spending 3-4 quid on lunch every day), but today I had little alternative… plus I’d heard from Jones that Tesco have launched a new vegan range, Wicked Kitchen, and I was interested to see if my local little Tesco Metro stocked it.

Pottering to the sandwich section, I was surprised how hard it was to find the new range – ‘strange that they’re not promoting it’, I thought – although when I finally located the shelf where Wicked Kitchen products were meant to be displayed, I realised that part of the problem was that it had all sold out! Maybe Veganuary is a big thing in Chiswick? The range of restaurants and cafes in the area don’t suggest that there’s a higher than normal number of full-time vegans in the area…

Luckily for me, I found one Wicked Kitchen offering that had been put back on the wrong shelf: a ‘Carrot Pastrami-Spiced Wrap’, which was essentially a beetroot tortilla filled with sliced carrot, leaves, and seasoned veg. It was pricey-ish for the size – £3 – and I do think it’s a bit mean of Tesco not to make the range available as part of their meal deal, there aren’t that many vegan sandwiches (I couldn’t see any) that do fall under that discount, which seems a bit unfair – vegans need to save money too! Nevertheless, needs must – I bought it (and a bag of crisps, in case the smallish wrap wasn’t enough) and pottered out to try it.

Not bad, not bad at all… you have to be careful, as purple from the beetroot tortilla has a tendency to come off on your fingers, but as a whole I found this a very tasty snack. The carrot ‘pastrami’ was maybe a little too hard for my taste, but the filling was full of flavour and texture – and the dressing had notes of tahini or tzatziki, it was rich and zingy. I probably won’t make this a regular feature of my lunch – for one, it’s a bit too expensive – but it was a satisfying solution to not having a pack-up of my own.

Speaking of which… I also didn’t have any dinner on me, and was heading straight to choir after work. Refusing to shell out on two meals I resolved to grab something at home, and nommed the pistachio balls that Lucy had given me as I travelled across the city. It was a bad idea – although I tried to keep myself going during choir with mugs of water and the odd bit of jumbo corn/boiled sweet that Si slipped me, by the end of rehearsal I was tired and feeling a bit down – so much so that I didn’t want to go to the pub with the rest of choir as planned. Boo and hiss.

Resolving not to make the same mistake two days in a row, I headed straight home to make some soup for the next day’s lunch. After a lot of palaver walking around trying to find a shop that was still open where I could top up my electricity key, I finally cracked on with a simple but tasty recipe: broccoli and blue (vegan) cheese. We still had half a head of broccoli left from last week’s tofu dish, and I needed to find a use for the remaining blue from the weekend’s cheese tasting (neither of us liked it enough to eat it by itself), so it seemed an obvious choice.

First things first – to the food processor, to whip up a quick sofrito with leftover carrot, onion, and celery. This I cooked down in a pan, before adding vegetable stock… into this, the harder bits of broccoli stem cut up nice and small, to simmer for 10-15 mins. When they had softened I added the broccoli florets themselves and cooked the lot for another 5 mins. I then transferred the lot back into the food processor and whizzed it smooth, before pouring the liquid back into a large saucepan. While heating this through I also stirred in a cup of cornflour dissolved in water; two big handfuls of spinach which I’d blended with water in the food processor to make a nice dark green liquid; and, of course, crumbled pieces of blue vegan cheese. Stir stir stir till the cheese melted, and then a quick blast with the stick blender to make everything nice and smooth.

The result was a fabulous green colour – and very tasty too 🙂 I had a bit with some of our home-made bread and was soon feeling much better – the rest I have packed up for my lunch, and for Jones’ dinner (he is also getting a vegan cheddar and magic peanut butter sandwich). It also meant a late night and a very messy kitchen, but it was a whole lot of fun to make!

Today I ate/drank…

  • Tea with hazelnut milk
  • ‘Carrot pastrami’ wrap, and a bag of crisps
  • Lots of water
  • Four pistachio protein balls
  • Some jumbo corn (from a Graze snack pack), and a vegan-friendly boiled sweet
  • Broccoli and blue ‘cheese’ soup, with bread

Today’s cravings…

  • Food. Any food. I will never go to rehearsal without dinner again!
  • All the lovely biscuits that I wasn’t allowed to eat at choir tea break.

6 thoughts on “Day 15: Hitting the High Street”

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