Three surprisingly good meals this week that all merit a mention, and nothing overly ugly to assault your eyes either!
First up is my new go-to meal when I have a fearsome hunger but not the time or the energy to match.
It's a sort of variation on japchae: veggies, cellophane noodles, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, and Korean soy bean paste (doenjang, I think). Pour boiling water over noodles and leave for five minutes. Fry garlic and ginger, add veggies, fry til done, then add the noodles and soy and doenjang to taste. Job's a good 'un!
It's one of those wondrous meals you can get from chopping board to furiously shovelling it down your throat in 15 minutes or so.
Both doenjang and cellophane noodles (aka bean thread, glass or crystal noodles) are fairly new additions to my pantry, but I couldn't live without either now. Doenjang brings that rich umami flavour that I love and goes perfectly with shiitakes, while cellophane noodles have a wonderfully bouncy texture that's both comforting and addictive.
The other new recipe I gave a go to recently was pastrami-style tofu, courtesy of The Telegraph, of all places (recipe's here - it's veggie but not vegan, though veganising it is no great stretch). There's not much to it, bar pressing some tofu and leave it to marinade in some spices and herbs for a while, then pan frying it.
The original recipe has some odd amount of sugar in it, but I just left most of it out, and it still turned out spicy and delicious.
I can't actually remember what the white blob on the plate is, so I'm just going to guess - magic? Pixie dust? The sound of children's laughter? Or butter bean mash? I'll let you decide... There's also broccoli with peppers, and kale and peas.
Last up - a curry. I've mentioned on more than on occasion how I love eating curries, but struggle with making them. I may have finally exited that dark period - behold the wonder of this chick pea laden glory:
The original recipe (found here, among a bunch of other very non-vegan other recipes. Alternative here) is for a tomato curry, and involves skinning tomatoes and sieving mixtures. These days I don't have time to read the paper, let alone skin a tomato, so I followed the recipe but mortar-and-pestled the spices first and didn't sieve them out later. I also turned the 12 peeled tomatoes (that's twelve!) for a couple of handfuls of cherry tomatoes and a can of chick peas.
The end result was hands-down the nicest curry I've ever made. Oddly, unlike most curries, it tasted better on the day it was made, not the day after. If that means I have to eat it all in one day, I reckon that's probably just another reason to love it.