“The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you've got to have a what-the-hell attitude.” ― Julia Child

Sunday, April 10, 2011

This Week in Food

Okay folks, how are we all this fine and jolly evening? This is going to serve as a 'veggie update' and a bit of a roundup of food news. In other words, what I do best, a ramblin' random post, with lots of digressions and going off at complete tangents.

As regular readers are doubtless aware, I and my girlfriend Laura have been vegetarian for a week now. It's been quite easy so far what with the ease of finding vegetarian food product in the shops these days compared to what it was like 20 or so years ago, something I touched on last week. I've been looking at a lot of websites dedicated to veggies, vegetarian recipes etc. Last night was our first real challenge when we went to the Honeymoon Chinese Restaurant to celebrate my Mum's birthday. We'd looked at some of the menu online beforehand and I'd had a notion I was going to order a Vegetarian Thai curry, but as it turned out, they had a Vegetarian Feast for 2 on the menu that looked great, so we had that. Some stuff in it I'd not had for a while, such as crispy seaweed which is really nice, breaded mushrooms, lettuce wraps, garlic aubergines and some 'pretend pork' made from tofu, which while not quite the same texture as real pork, was quite delicious. So we did really well.
Laura has on occasion mentioned that she wanted some bacon, but she has stayed strong. I'm happy to say that despite craving chips I have managed to stay clear of junk food, which is always a bit of a pitfall for new veggies. Even at work it is hard to avoid sampling the free nibbles of flapjacks and brownies and such, but I feel pretty good about my progress so far.

One of the things that has helped strengthen my resolve is the PETA website, which has lots of funny-serious videos starring people such as Ricky Gervais, Steve-O, Nina Hagen and Pam Anderson. Also a video hosted by Fab Macca Wacky Thumbs Aloft (Paul McCartney, for those of you who are unaware) entitled If Slaughterhouses Had Glass Walls, Everyone Would Be Vegetarian. Now I am not going to post it here as it is a bit graphic, but if you would like to see it, here's the link.Glass Walls

One of my recent food discoveries is the wonderful range of veg pots made by Innocent  who of course are well known for their delicious if a little pricey juice blends. The veg pots themselves are a bit on the steep side at close to £3.50 each, but recently Tesco has had them at half price, only £1.74, and now Innocent themselves have been putting 50p off vouchers on the labels, so theoretically you can get one for £1.24 which is a significant reduction.

Two of my favourites.
The great thing about them is their convenience, of course, but the fact that one of these pots holds 3 full servings of veg is something to rave about. They are made from veg, wholegrains, or pulses and tasty sauce, with herbs and spices. There are 8 to choose from (Portuguese red pepper piri piri, Mexican sweet potato chilli, Thai coconut curry, Indian daal, Indian Masala, roasted aubergine Moussaka, Italian Mushroom risotto and Moroccan giant couscous, in addition to occasional seasonal special flavours)  and all you have to do is zap 'em in the micro for 4 minutes. Brilliant. Still have yet to try the Thai curry, the Piri piri and the couscous, but the rest are all fab, with my fave being the Mexican dish.

Another neat thing I came across recently (actually, my sister found it and bought it for me) is a limited edition of HP sauce that contains Guinness. Yes!

Now you've got to move fast on this as it's a limited edition, as I said, so it won't be around for ever, but let me tell you - it is heavenly. Deep and rich and gorgeous.
Another condiment I found recently which really floated my boat is Heinz' Twisted Chilli Ketchup. The one I picked up is the Fiery Chilli Ketchup, but there are two other flavours available - Mild Chilli, and Piri Piri & Lime.
Just like the ketchup that you know and love, but with an attitude.
The chilli ketchup and the Guinness HP sauces are both wickedly good.

The company I work for, COOK, has provided me with the last item on my update today. Earlier tonight Laura and I had the Roasted Vegetable Lasagne, pictured below. Unfortunately for me, my branch is closing in June and I am having to look for another job, but the real tragedy is that after our shop closes I'll have to go all the way to Battle (yes, that's where Will The Conk's soldiers shot an arrow into King Harold's eye and won the Battle of Hastings) to the nearest branch so I can find some of this fab food. That's 13 miles as the crow flies, but significantly more when you factor in all the little winding roads I'll have to travel. Phooey.

Nice authentic tasting lasagne with some nice chunky vegetables and a creamy sauce.  Very tasty indeed.

Anyway folks, that's all for now. Kooshti sante!


  1. "Guinness sauce".

    Woof! Need to seek that out!

  2. they sell some cook stuff at Gibbet Oak Jeff

  3. True, but not the full range, and probably not much of the vegetarian stuff. I'll have to go have a look.


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