Vegan

Day 4: Sunday seitan roast

Woooo, today we have definitely met our movement goals – we have walked 7 miles and cycled another 6. My legs definitely feel like they’ve done some work. But I’m getting ahead of myself…

Today started with an experiment with aquafaber: could we make waffles in our trusty waffle maker without using eggs? Instead, we followed the recipe as usual but swapped out eggs for the water from a tin of chickpeas. And you know what? It worked!

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We actually had 4 bits each, but they were so delicious that I accidentally ate half before I remembered to photograph them for the blog…

The waffles were different in texture – softer, less chewy – but they held together really well and were super tasty. Si made a tarragon ‘cream’ using soy milk to go on top – beautiful.

Breakfast demolished, we set out – caught the tube to Mile End and walked to Victoria Park where we picked up Boris Bikes (or, Santander Cycles, are they now?) and went for a spin. I do love these bikes, it’s such fun to zip about and only 2 quid per half hour!

Two laps of the park later, and we were nosing around for a drink – I was gasping for a Coke Zero, but turns out all the cafes in the park are super virtuous, all smoothies and ‘karma cola’. The closest we could find was San Pelligrino, which Si calls ‘Tory Fanta’, but it hit the spot…

The lovely thing about Victoria Park is the little market that runs every Sunday. We visited during my first Veganuary, and there’s usually a decent number of vegan stalls there among the other artisan goodies. We went for a stroll through the stalls, to drool over the things that we’re not allowed to eat (ALL the cheese!), and to try the things that we are.

As it happens, there weren’t all that many things that we went over – cheese, yes, but we were encouragingly unmoved by the smoky smells of grilled meat. Moreover, there was an amazing array of vegan stands… We were particularly impressed by some ‘Philly cheese steaks’ made with seitan, and a bunch of different doughnuts (Si was seriously tempted by a peanut butter and blackcurrant one), and there was a bakery stall piled high with different vegan brownies. I did pause to taste some mushroom and truffle ‘paté’ on another stall (very rich and savoury, tasted strongly – unsurprisingly! – of concentrated flavours of both) – but where I stopped and got my purse out was the icecream stand.

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Icecream sandwich – beautiful but so small!

They were advertising icecream sandwiches, including a vegan option that sounded amazing. It was corn and cashew ‘icecream’, with smokey salted caramel, all sandwiched between two corn and miso cookies. How could I say no?

When I was given the icecream, I was a bit disappointed – given that it cost 4.75, it was surprisingly small, about 2 inches square – but goodness it was delicious. The salty caramel and miso was beautifully savoury combined with the sweet icecream, and the warm flavour of corn was fantastic – it always makes me think of our travels in Mexico. I could gladly have eaten another one… though maybe not at 4.75 a pop!

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No stars…

Snacking done, we set off on an epic walk to Kings Cross… We had hoped to visit a vegan shop that we had gone to last year, to buy some particular burger mix that Si had in mind, but alas it had turned into a coffee shop, with very few groceries on sale. Never mind, we consoled ourselves with a couple of tonic waters in the station Wetherspoons. It’s actually very refreshing, and a decent substitute for a G&T, at least until I’m back on the bottle. Si also took the opportunity to try a non-alcoholic Budweiser… he gave it no stars, describing it as ‘both sugary and vinegary’. Sounds like our cue to go home!

With all that exercise, we had certainly earned our dinner! It being Sunday, we were all set for a roast dinner. A vegan roast, that is! We crisped up the seitan that Si had made yesterday, which we served with broccoli, green beans, sugar snaps, roasted cauliflower, garlic roast potatoes, and burnt onion gravy.

I was in charge of the cauliflower, and tried roasting it with a ground black sesame rub. The rub rated delicious raw, but sadly lost most of its flavour in the oven… next time I will add it afterwards instead! But that was the only disappointment – the rest of the dinner was pretty fab.

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20190804_205349.jpgAfterwards, we were still feeling a bit nibbly, so I headed out to Tesco to find us an Alpro pudding. Our nearest store was shut, and I actually had to walk to two others before I found a pudding (adding another mile to my step count!), but it was worth the effort – when I got back, Si made us a little batch of oat-topped shortbread biscuits to go with them. Heaven on a plate.

And just to end on an exciting note: we didn’t eat all the seitan. Instead, we have left some slices in the fridge for Tuesday’s dinner… we’re having vegan ramen!

Today I ate/drank:

  • Tea with soya milk
  • Waffles with tarragon mushrooms
  • Coke zero
  • San Pellegrino
  • Mushroom and truffle paté
  • Vegan icecream sandwich
  • Tonic water
  • Fizzy squash
  • Fake wine with fizzy water
  • Seitan roast with broccoli, French beans, sugar snaps, sesame cauliflower, garlic roast potatoes, burnt onion gravy
  • Alpro dark chocolate pudding with corn/oat shortbread biscuits

Today’s cravings

  • Fish finger sandwich
  • Cheese

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