Happy belated new year to all my readers! I hope everyone had a thoroughly enjoyable and restful festive season full of delicious food.
Apologies for such a lengthy break between posts, it feels like ages since my last post was published and I'm also way behind in responding to reader comments as well as reading other blogs. After my family Christmas obligations ended, we spent a few days away camping in the bush which was relaxing as we spent our days swimming, playing with Ollie and watching the different native birds in the area. Instead of being rejuvenated by the camping experience, I picked up a bug just after we got home (the first illness I've had in over 2.5 years!) and have been feeling extremely worn out after dragging myself back to work last week. Now that my head is finally feeling clearer, it's time to get back on track with the first of a couple of posts I've been working on to sum up 2012 in my kitchen.
Favourite soup - Smoky cauliflower (and tofu bacon) soup. With or without tofu bacon this simple blended soup has become a household favourite. Red lentils are a sneaky ingredient to provide the soup with added protein and make it a more substantial bowl.
Favourite Mexican meal - Tofu adobe with refried beans. This has become our standard Mexican meal, when Mexican is requested this is what my fellows are after! We pile refried beans from Viva Vegan along with Tofu with adobe paste (from the Tofu Xpress recipe booklet) onto tortillas with some lettuce, tomato, cashew cream, guacamole and hot sauce. There's an art to how much filling you can load in the tortillas before they become a very messy eating experience.
Favourite meal that can be served anytime of the day - Mexican inspired tofu scramble. I've been making this scramble for such a long time and it never fails to satisfy our taste buds. It's loaded up with heaps of veggies and beans and pairs well with toast for an easy dinner or wrapped into tortillas for breakfast burritos.
Favourite fried food - Tofu “fish” fingers with tartare sauce. We adore Bryanna Clark Grogan's tofu "fish" recipe and have scoffed them down on a few occasions. I also tried a baked version with a polenta coating but they turned out rather dry so I recommend shallow or deep frying them for the the ultimate eating experience.
Favourite finger food - Gobi (cauliflower) pakoras are superb when paired with a coriander chutney from Vegan Eats World. I made these a few times by frying them in a wok and have been meaning to make them again in our relatively new deep fryer.
Favourite noodles - Steph from vegan about town's Char Kueh Teow recipe isn't actually restricted to our favourite noodle dish of 2012, it first appeared in my kitchen in 2011 and has been on semi-regular rotation since. It's a super tasty meal for minimal effort.
Favourite quick meal – Smoky Alfred with broccoli, asparagus, spinach or broad beans. I've been making this pasta dish for years (originally based on Hurry Up Alfredo in Vegan Yum Yum) and we never tire of it for a speedy weeknight meal. I change it up frequently by adding in some seasonal greens and enjoy it with tofu bacon on occasion too.
Favourite from around the world posts - Sri Lankan pan rolls. Although they took a couple of attempts to perfect, I've been very happy with my version of these deep fried snacks that we used to enjoy years ago. Stay tuned for another delicious Sri Lankan snack soon which I've been playing around with recently.
Favourite sweet - Sfoof (Semolina cake) and Chocolate chip cookies. As I rarely feel the urge to eat sweet things I'm leaving this one up to my fellows. Bryanna Clark Grogan's semolina cake with lemon or lime syrup from World Vegan Feast was the definite winner for the man last year, when he is craving a cake this is what he always asks me to make. The young man's choice is slightly more mundane, chocolate chip cookies are his fave which is fairly predictable coming from a teenage boy.
Number 1 household favourite - Calzones. The regularity of our calzone nights has dropped back from fortnightly to about once a month but they are still without a doubt the recipe I am requested to make if I ask the others what they feel like eating. I can't imagine them disappearing from meal rotations in the near future either!