Me Myself and Food

Its really odd, the things you do, say and react when you are home alone. I talk to myself, inside and outside of my head, I yell out, “Honey, I’m home” when I walk through the doors knowing that I won’t get a reply (but how freaked out would I be if I did get a reply!), turning really pedantic with little things but there are nice things that happen too. Like waking up and sleeping whenever you want to, eat, drink whatever and whenever you want, cook, experiment and concoct everything you’ve always wanted to, go out, stay in, even walk around the house naked if you wanted to (but make sure the curtains are pulled over!).

I wake up every morning at the same time because I just cannot make myself sleep in. I could kick myself. I haven’t caught up on my sleep since I can’t even remember when and it really frustrates me. My eating times are all over the place and more often, out of boredom and when I head out and cannot resist the smell of freshly baked bread or pastries or a nice big bowl of steaming hot stew. But the weather kinda dictates where I go and how long I stay out for. I didn’t venture as far as I planned to because I was just plain lazy. No mood, no motivation, I have to admit I was angry and frustrated for being left behind. It isn’t very nice. Nothing to do but to accept it.

I did venture out to 2 new places that I’ve always wanted to try out, first of all, Neal’s Yard Cafe which is a popular spot at Covent Garden in London. This place however is a massive disappointment. The thing is, smoking indoors is still legal so the smokers get to enjoy the best seats in the house, which is by the windows, where the non-smokers are shoved inside where there are no windows to look out from and to top it all off, get all the 2nd hand smoking wafting in from the window. It’s like we’re getting punished for being non-smokers, loosing out on the beautiful view but at the same time STILL killing our bodies from the 2nd hand smoke being blown inside the cafe!!! ARGH! SO SO UPSET. I had to stay in and endure it all as I ordered a coffee then quickly made my way out the door feeling nothing but utter disappointment. The place was lovely though, quaint, rustic, cute, kitsch and country-like, wish I could enjoy it more.

My second stop was Jamba Juice’s new branch which I pass everyday and never tried. This place has been opened for about 2 months now, so it is fairly new but because the store is narrow where most of it’s seats have a view, I thought, this place cannot get any better. And with my luck, I got the last window seat, lingering about as they cleared up (don’t you just hate those people that do that? hehe) and walked away. Me being a vulture swooped in and claimed it for my lovely self. I order the hot grapefruit juice, best ever drink found on the face of the planet, better than early morning coffee? maybe… 😉 Freshly squeezed grapefruit which is then heated up  by that hot rod thingy of the coffee machine, bbbzzzzz goes my buzzer and down I go running to my 2nd claim of the day! Yay! It was raining outside, so what more can you ask for? Hot cup of grapefruit juice, cold wet weather outside, gorgeous view from the window. Nnniiiiccceeeee…..

On one of my walkabouts, I spotted this lovely find. Gorgeous big red strawberries, persimmons, figs and cherry tomatoes. I don’t know where it came from but there was a farmer’s truck parked just close by so maybe a farm somewhere local. We get a lot of these farmers just dropping their produce anywhere, big clear signs and displays of their gorgeous hard work. It’s just wonderful. I cannot help but contribute, you see, I have a thing for local farmers.. move aside big corporately owned supermarket.. they’re slowly but surely killing all these local farmer’s hard work.

Eating alone can be a big pain, should I? or shouldn’t I? But on accounts of all the days, I did. I cooked and concocted up some lovely meals that I just put together in my head. Images plucked out from the air, from here, from there and whatever is cheap in the supermarket. Oh, also mind you, having read Forks Over Knives and The China Study books lately, I want to be a stronger (but still part time) vegan/vegetarian. Slowly eating less dead flesh, milk and dairy, focusing more on vegetables and fruits.

I get my inspiration from a lot of reading online and through my copious numbers of cookbooks, health books, links through weblinks in books, just through my rich and abundant books. I remember through images, so these are a few that I concocted up at the top of my head. They are also really quick and easy to make and put together, 20-30min tops. No need to even turn on the stove (oh, except for 1).

Soy Salads and Wraps

Snowy White Salad

Ingredients:

Enoki Mushrooms

Chinese Cabbage, chopped

Garlic, chopped

Ginger, sliced

Fresh green chilli, sliced

Tofu, roughly mashed

Method:

1. Get everything read in one big bowl, boil water in the kettle, pour over the food, wait 5min, drain, mix and mash and eat. ENJOY!

Triple Hotness Tempeh with Onion Stirfry

Oh I love this next one, it’s my absolute favourite, killer to the tongue and heat/spicy thermometer but heck, it’s a great dish on a cold winter night!

Ingredients:

Onions, sliced

Spring onion, chopped

Carrots, julienned

Ginger and Garlic, minced

1 block of tempeh

1. Pan fry the tempeh. I like mine almost burnt, very deep dark brown!

2. Put together the rest of the ingredients in a pot and stir fry with curry powder or chilli powder. Cook till wilted and caramelised.

3. Serve and enjoy! If you want, some sweet chilli sauce over the onion stirfry to make it abit moist!! Lovely.

Citrus Tofu Wrap

This one was inspired by a picture I saw online, a post by another blogger who said she was having it for lunch and so I thought, hey, I’ve got all those ingredients, why not give it a try. And so I did except for 1 substitution. I didn’t have tortilla wraps but I did have seaweed wrap so I decided to still give it a go.

Ingredients:

Chinese cabbage/Lettuce

Enoki Mushrooms, blanched

Carrots, grated

Tofu, roughly mashed

Oranges, peeled and sliced

Tortilla Wrap

Oh, don’t forget the Lingham Chilli Sauce on the side too! MUST MUST MUST. I can safely say that the seaweed wrap DID NOT go together with the other ingredients. DO NOT use seaweed wrap but stick with tortilla wrap. And use humus if you can, or guacamole, salsa or some nutty dressing with this one. It’s bound to be gorgeous! Pile sky high and wrap!

With plenty of spare time and packets of beans, I decided to get down and dirty. No use buying the beans and ‘save’ them for next time, I decided to cook the entire 3packets of striped kidney beans, giant white beans (think these are Greek beans) and chickpeas. They were all 1 kg each. I soaked them for 2 days and they plumped up gorgeously.

Spilling over the pot! Not big enough to fit these gorgeous Greek beans, oh my goodness, I can’t wait to try them. I’ve never had them before but I have read and seen a lot about them and how they’re cooked in Greek recipes. It took me over 2 hours to cook all 3 kgs of beans because I didn’t have pots that were big enough to hold 1 kg of plump beans, let alone 3x pots so they all had to be cooked one at a time. I split them up into a few tupperwares and bowls, some in the fridge, some in the freezer. Let me tell you, having cooked beans in your fridge is oh so convenient! They can be added to anything in a flash and oh super convenient to pop in your mouth as and when you get peckish too! 😉

Trio of Beans Tofu Green Goodness Salad

Another favourite? ABSOLUTELY! Oh, I do come up with the most gorgeous meals don’t I? Haha, hey, nobody’s going to sing my praises except me. This beauty is another quickie, no need to turn on the stove.

Ingredients:

Greek beans, chickpeas and kidney beans, cooked

Baby Spinach, roughly chopped

Brussel Sprouts

Tofu, roughly mashed

Method:

1. Blanch the tofu, sprouts and beans in one bowl.

2. Meanwhile, chop the baby spinach. Place it in 2nd bowl and pour hot/warm water over and quickly pour away. We don’t want to kill them, just lightly blanched.

3. Drain the 1st bowl, mash the tofu, toss in the spinach and toss together well. Serve and enjoy.

4. Season to taste of course. Lingham chilli sauce, Sweet chilli sauce, sesame seed dressing, balsamic vinegar, miso, dochujeang comes to mind… Oh, it’s endless, try everything! Definitely must be good, I think even a good BBQ sauce could do the trick too.

My next concoction will definitely be something with smoked/bbq sauce. Hhhmm… tofu, bbq sauce, liquid smoke marinade on a bed of bean mash… miso bean mash?

Well, my insanity has come to an end, my other half is home. Time surely flies towards the end, but stands still in the beginning. Not looking forward to the next one.  News around the grapevine is that it’s coming again fairly soon… *sigh*

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