Vegan MoFo 2014 – Final Post!

Goodness me I dropped the Vegan MoFo ball last week!  There were many good reasons for this.  I was without access to my macbook from Monday-Wednesday (I’m a “write-on-the-day-of-publishing” style blogger).  Then when I had the opportunity to blog after that I just couldn’t face it.  MoFo burnout?  Perhaps.  But more likely I think it was due to third trimester burnout.  Food is a struggle these days.  I have little interest in it and get full so ridiculously easily.  Plus, I just feel exhausted.  All I want to do is sleep/veg on the sofa.  Ah well, only 7 weeks to go until due date; woo woo!

Anyway, for my final MoFo post I’m going to share with you some recent food highlights.

1. Vegan Tuck Box!

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They are the best!  I’ve signed up for the next 3 months, and I’ll probably go for an ongoing subscription.  So exciting seeing what goodies you get each month.  I haven’t been disappointed yet :) I particularly love their chocolate selections.  I should probably do a separate post dedicated to them.

2. Dreena Burton’s Chickpea Ratatouille

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Such a tasty, easy dinner.  Made all the better with Nooch, obvo.

3. A variation of Isa’s PB-Choc Chip Oat Bars.

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Again, amazing.  I just subbed the PB for sunflower butter and used raisins instead of the peanuts.

4.  This year’s London Vegfest!

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We were there for the Sunday.  Honestly, for the most part it was really stressful.  Theo refused to nap so he cried the majority of the time despite our best efforts to appease him/help him to sleep.  However, when he was happy I loved browsing around the stalls.  I ate some amazing food.  The above Bahn Mi Buddha from one of the food vans (best stuffed baguette ever), and Ms Cupcake‘s cupcakes were the highlights.  Oh my, I’m still dreaming about those cupcakes.  I think I have a girl crush on her/them (is that possible?).  Darn, I wish there was an equivalent in Bristol.

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Poor Theo was so tired that as soon as the car engine was started, for our return journey home, he was out like a light.  In fact, I think he’s still recovering.

Next year, I’m going to try to go to Vegfest on my own so that I can check out some of the seminars and chat to people too.  It’s easy to feel alone when you don’t know any other vegans in person (other than through blogs).  I’ve really struggled with this recently.  Veganism is a radical lifestyle choice, and I just wish I knew other vegans for support and empathy.  Nevermind.

And there we have it!  This year’s final MoFo post.  I feel a bit sad that it’s ended.  I’ve loved being part of it, discovering new blogs, and checking out all the vegan food porn.  Bring on next year!

MoFo ’14 – Flashback Friday #3 Quinoa, Roasted Veg & Edamame Salad with Balsamic-Tahini Dressing

Happy Friday!

It’s been a week of little sleep but lots of fun.  I started a knitting course last night which has fired me up to get on with my next knitting project.  I’m going to make this brief so I can squeeze in some knitting time whilst Theo sleeps.  I’ve been bitten by the knitting bug!

This week’s Flashback post isn’t from that long ago, but it’s a savoury dish that I really enjoy.  Defo worth a re-publish, I think.  Here it is.  Hope you guys have a great weekend!!!

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Quinoa, Roasted Veg & Edamame Salad with Balsamic-Tahini Dressing


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Quinoa.  How I love thee.  I need quinoa on a weekly basis.  Who doesn’t since it’s full of so many nutrients, minerals and protein.  Red quinoa is my fave type; I find it less bitter than the yellow(?) variety.  One night last week I fancied the heartiness of edamame, the tanginess of balsamic contrasted with the bitterness of tahini (as well as tahini’s healthy fat and nutrient profile).  And roasted veg are always a winner in my book.  I roast a bunch on a weekly basis.  I usually fancy something sweet after dinner but i feel so nourished and satiated after this dish that I just don’t want anything else after it (and that’s saying something).

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It’s not a very fancy recipe and there are 4 super easy parts that come together simply.

Quinoa, Roasted Veg & Edamame Salad with Balsamic-Tahini Dressing

Serves 4 as a side or 2 generously as a main

Dressing

2 tbsp light tahini
3 tbsp balsamic
2-3 tbsp water (depending on thickness of tahini)

Roasted veg

1 yellow pepper, roughly chopped
1/2 red pepper, roughly chopped
1/2 large or 1 small red onion, slices into thinnish wedges
1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed
1 tsp italian herb mix
1 tsp smoked paprika
2-3 tbsp EVOO
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
A handful of cherry tomatoes

Quinoa

1 cup uncooked quinoa
1.75 cups of water

1 cup cooked edamame

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Method

Firstly get the roasted veg on the go.  Preheat the oven to 150C.  Put the first 7 ingredients for the veg (everything minus the balsamic and tomatoes) into a roasting pan and roast for 30-40 mins until almost done.  You want them to be soft but not caramelised and browned yet (note that the paprika can deceive you into thinking the veg are more browned than they are).  Remove from the oven, turn the oven up to 175C, add the tomatoes and balsamic and stir.  Return to the oven for another 15 minutes or until caramelised.   When you give it a stir at the end the tomatoes should burst to create a lovely self-sauce for the veg.

Whilst the veg are in the oven cook your quinoa.  I make mine in the rice cooker by just dumping the rinsed quinoa and water in and hitting quick cook.  If cooking on the hob, just simmer until done.

Whilst everything is cooking combine the ingredients for the dressing. It will look suprisingly thick but when combined with veg and quinoa it works out since the veg already have their own little sauciness.

Once everything is cooked combine the edamame, quinoa and veg in a bowl.  Pour the dressing over and stir well to combine.  Season to taste and enjoy!