Sunday, September 25, 2005

Sweltering September - IMBB #19

Piccadilly arcade Posted by Picasa

Yesterday, I couldn't quite believe it was September. It must have been nearly 20°C in my garden, with the sun beaming down. Having had a bit of a late start I pottered off to the shops to get an ingredient for EBBP (more of which later I hope). I cycle through Sparkbrook and Sparkhill nearly every day and had never found the time to stop and wander around the shops, what with either rushing to work or rushing home! I went to Medina Supermarket and though I had thought of the ingredient I wanted to buy I came away with something else entirely, such is the strength of my will.
From Sparkbrook into town, I went. I felt like a walk but didn't fancy taking a trip into the countryside. So I joined, for a little while, the masses doing their Saturday shopping. For IMBB this time we had been challenged to eat vegan, and not just for one meal. It was suggested by Sam of Becks and Posh to try and last a whole day. With this in mind I was trying out 24h as a vegan.
My walk took me up to Victoria Square and then along to the Piccadilly Arcade, one of my favourite places in the city. Not only has it got a selection of brilliant independent shops but the ceiling is decorated in a fabulous mural (can you have a mural on a ceiling?) that depicts life as seen from ground level (ie by our feet) upwards. Next I struggled through the crowds around the new Bullring and down to the Custard Factory. This is regularly described as the bohemian quarter (which complements at least a dozen 'quarters' in Birmingham!). A brief trip around the second hand books at Oxfam and then into a new gallery, where the owner was so friendly I was invited down to the opening of an exhibition on Thursday night! Tucked into one corner is Rooty Frooty. I can't say enough good things about this restaurant/cafe. I merely had an apple and carrot juice this time but they make fantastic vegetarian and vegan foods. Wandering back home I pondered what to make for IMBB. I had never cooked with tofu, so I thought as it is a staple of many a vegan diet that should be on the menu but may be add a twist.... And then I thought of all the things I normally eat that are incidentally vegan....lemony lentil soup, lentil bolognaise.....ah yes broccolli and peanut noodles. I love them and they are a cobbled together invention of my own so what better to cook. Elizabeth advised me to call into the Day In supermarket in the Chinese quarter for fresh bean curd. I had had it round at her house when we all went for hot pot, and I knew it was good.
Back home I looked up on the internet for a tofu based pudding and found chocolate mousse from the vegan society, and with a little modification to make it less heavy on the fat content I had a dinner fit for a king! So here are the recipes. I have thoroughly enjoyed my temporary veganism - breakfast was easy - toast with peanut butter and apricot jam, lunch pitta bread with hummus and salad. But I don't know if I could keep it cakes, cookies, leather shoes.....Nooooooooo!

broccolli and peanut noodles Posted by Picasa

Broccolli and Peanut Noodles

Ingredients for one:
as much broccolli as you think you can eat - I had about half a small head
1 tablespoon peanut butter mixed with enough water to make a think pouring sauce
chilli powder to taste
1 clove of garlic, crushed
one small onion sliced
one portion thin rice noodles
1 tablespoon olive oil

Fry the onion until soft then add the garlic. Put the noodles into a bowl with the broccolli and pour over boiling water, leave for 4 min. Then add the broccolli to the onion and garlic and fry off lightly. Add the peanut sauce and as much or as little chilli as you like. Then strain off the noodles and stir into the sauce. Season and serve.

vegan chocolate mousse Posted by Picasa

Vegan Chocolate Mousse

ingredients for 4:

100g dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
50g soft brown sugar
50ml orange juice
200g fresh beancurd (tofu)

Melt the chocolate with the sugar and orange juice. The blitz with the tofu. I used a liquidizer, though the original recipe suggested a blender. It took a little time for the mixture to become smooth, though it was still a little grainy. Then I poured it into individual ramkins and out it in the fridge. Now I thought it wouldn't set but a couple of hours later it had a beautiful solidity, just like a non-vegan variety of mousse.

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Sam said...

I have to confess that the only way you will get me eating brocolli is to make into soup with an overpowering amount of cream, butter and cheese, but you could give me peanut noodles any day and I would be happy. Follow them with such a delicious sounding and beautiful looking chocolate mousse and I think you would have me fooled.
Thanks for taking part!

boo_licious said...

That is such a great idea, using peanut butter to make a sauce for the noodles. Yummy stuff and that vegan choc mousse looks good too.

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