Another day, another confession… we’ve had a tiny taste of booze today! But fear not, this was one of the agreed lapses in September’s teetotalism – we were bottling the blackcurrant and apricot wines that we’ve been homebrewing, and wanted to make sure they were worth keeping before storing them out of sight (if not quiet out of mind…). Just a sip of each, honest – but goodness, they’re beautiful. The blackcurrant we have nicknamed ‘cheeky Ribena’ – it tastes just like it, but with a lovely wine-y aftertaste – and the apricot is sheer nectar, like Archers wine.
On a more virtuous note – today has been a great success with vegan-ing 🙂 After yesterday’s frugal fare, we’ve done some proper cooking and experimenting. It wasn’t a great start – having had hula hoops for yesterday’s dinner, I was ravenous by mid-morning and ransacked my Graze box to see if there were any vegan-friendly snacks in it. Fortunately there were two, which I promptly inhaled. Credit where it’s due, though – there was a beautiful batch of baklava in the office today, and I didn’t even lick it. That’s a feat of willpower right there.
I came home at lunchtime to do some work at home/go via Lidl to pick up ingredients for dinner – and had a near disaster/heart attack/breakdown as they have closed my nearest Lidl! Honestly, I’m moving house immediately, this is truly devastating. But sitting and weeping wouldn’t get us a nice dinner, so off I duly schlepped to Sainsburys to get the stuff there instead. The prices aren’t really that much worse, though their vegan section leaves a lot to be desired – I had to stop off at a Tesco Express on the way home to get vegan mayo and yoghurt! But one thing I will say for Sainsburys: they do have an impressive selection of milk substitutes – I’ve picked up a cashew nut one (the kind we voted ‘most convincing’ in Veganuary) as our almond milk is running low, plus a chocolate flavoured almond one as a treat.
And what about dinner? Tonight’s meal was coronation chickpeas, with roasted cauliflower and brown rice. To make it, I popped some little pieces of cauliflower, sprinkled with salt, into the oven to roast for 20 minutes. In the meantime I mixed together vegan yoghurt and mayo, two big teaspoons of curry powder and an extra one of garam masala and turmeric, and two teaspoons of mango chutney. When smooth, into the mix went some sultanas, plus chopped dried apricots and spring onions. It smelled great!
Chickpeas went on, rice went on, multitasking to the max! But when everything was cooked I drained the chickpeas and mixed them into the coronation sauce, then piled this onto the rice, sprinkled cauliflower around it, and topped it with some crushed pecans (because I’d forgotten to buy flaked almonds). The result was a lovely sweet-savoury mix, and very filling. Judging by how quickly Si ate his, I think he liked it!
After dinner we bottled and sampled our fruit wines, and right now we’re sitting sipping a glass of chocolate almond milk each. It’s lovely – thick and very chocolatey, like Frijj milkshake, a real treat. At the end of Veganuary I reviewed all the types of ‘milk’ we’d tried, and I think this comes very close to (almost) reaching hazelnut milk for sheer beauty – though cashew nut milk still reigns supreme for the most convincing in a cuppa.
A final thought: we learned (on QI) tonight that there are such things as vegan tattoos. Si says we can’t go and get one as part of Septofu. Spoil sport…
Today I ate/drank:
- Tea with almond milk
- Lots of water
- Graze peanut butter dipper snack pack (peanut butter with hemp breadsticks)
- Graze Vitamin E defence snack pack (hazelnuts, peanuts, cranberries, and raisins)
- Bread and vegan spread
- Toast and vegan spread
- Coronation chickpeas with roasted cauliflower and brown rice
- Orange squash
- Sip of apricot wine
- Sip of blackcurrant wine
- Chocolate almond milk
- Baklava. Gooey honey-laced beautiful melt-in-the-mouth baklava
- Macdonalds cheese and herb bites