Sunday, 17 August 2014

Pasta Alfredo with Polenta Fried Courgette


I recall that around this time last year I was suffering from a minor mac & cheeze addiction. I haven't made a creamy pasta sauce in ages and I had a hankerin' somethin' bad last night. I looked at my 'ol faithful' recipe which is the Vegan Yum Yum Hurry Up Alfredo and then with great sadness realised I was cashew-less.... I wasn't about to let something like that stop me though, and put together this weird but ultimately very successful alternative.


  • 1 cup soya milk
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp soya sauce
  • 1 level tbsp polenta
  • 2 tbsp margarine (I used Vitalite)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
  • salt & pepper to taste
Just go ahead and blend all the ingredients together in your blender, and don't be concerned by the weird looking foam on top of the liquid once it's done. Pour it into a saucepan and heat it gently, stirring with a whisk.

At the same time, using your amazing multi-tasking skillz, slice a courgette into large thin slices. Heat up your best non stick frying pan but add no oil or fat. Coat each side of the courgette slices in olive oil, then in polenta. Fry in the pan until nice and crispy on the outside.

When your pasta's cooked, drain it and stir in the alfredo sauce. Top with the courgette slices and you're good to go!

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

On Fried Rice and New Beginnings

Well, Vegan MOFO must have some cosmic significance in my life because once again, Vulpe and I will be moving house during Vegan MOFO month.

The arrangements are slightly different this time as we'll be moving at the very end of the month, and therefore I should be able to get some good MOFOing in before the madness gradually descends...

SO unfortunately relations between me and my letting agency/landlord soured pretty badly in recent weeks and I decided it would be best to find a landlord I can trust and a property I can settle in for the next couple of years at least, which is the duration of the MA I am beginning in September. There's a tremendous free ad listing service where I work and I'd posted a plea seeking a private landlord letting a property within my budget happy to accommodate pets. Within 24 hours, a colleague from elsewhere within the organisation had emailed me about a 2 bed house she and her family were soon due to vacate. I went to see the house the following day and it is PERFECT for Vulpe and Miaowski and me. Check out this humungous garden, perfect for a doggy to romp in, and for me to grow some vegetables (DREAM):

(I feel there's a gap in the market for gardeners to provide a 2 hour-ish session to owners of big gardens who have little gardening experience on how to not fluff it all up completely.....)

There's also a spare bedroom that'll make a perfect study room. The lovely owners are leaving a large desk behind and I scored a perfect office chair off eBay for £3.60. WINNER!

So we'll be uprooting again in about 6 weeks, but I have hope that it'll be a good move, and we'll all be very happy there for a couple of years at least.


So I've self-imposed a Chinese takeaway ban in order to save money, and therefore headed to the Chinese supermarket to stock up on tofu and some other goodies. Tonight I cooked up a teriyaki tofu stir fry and attempted to make some 'egg' fried rice. Hey, I didn't do too bad!

I lightly fried some pre-cooked silken tofu in a little olive oil, salt and pepper. I added a pinch of turmeric and black salt and some frozen garden peas. After a few minutes I threw in some cooked rice, and mixed well.

I've not eaten egg fried rice in at least 6 years and I'm sure using the Vegg would probably feel a little more authentic, but this certainly did the trick for tonight.

If I manage to get through Vegan MOFO successfully while preparing to move house and beginning a Masters degree it'll be some kind of MIRACLE.

Sunday, 3 August 2014

On Imminent Homelessness, Plants, Vegan Knitting and No Food At All

Well now, what an interesting week it's been. I continue to be somewhat under attack from the letting agents from HELL who are effectively threatening me with eviction if I don't remove a negative Google review of their services. Nice! I did spend an hour or so blubbing to my Mother yesterday, which is tremendously mature behaviour for a 33 year old, obviously.

I'm beginning to wonder if signing up to Vegan MOFO is a bit of a cursed endeavour for me but nevertheless, I will not be stopped. Eh, I spend most of my life making mistakes, so why not!

I'm still quite keen on the idea of a vegan knitting theme this year. I ordered some lovely chunky acrylic yarns recently (including those above) and I'm attempting to make a little wee doggy jumper at the moment....

I have a couple of other small projects I'd like to get through during Vegan MOFO month and I'm also on a quest to discover some other nice non-animal yarns.

In other thrilling garden news, my flowers are on the very CUSP of actually flowering...


I was planning to set up my raised bed this weekend and get some veg planted, but since Vulpe and Miaowski and me might be getting kicked out of our little Whalley Range refuge one day soon, I thought I'd better wait.

Vulpe and Miaowski were as unhelpful as usual while I was seeing to the garden today....they seem to be in cahoots about something.....

And my tomato plant continues to expand and continues to offer NO TOMATOES WHATSOEVER....

Vegan MOFO should be interesting this year, but whether I manage it or not, I should at least know whether we all have to up sticks and move house again by the end of it. At least Vulpe's keeping a brave face....