Unfortunately I can’t be baking cakes all the time, so some healthier food this week. I often feel like encouraging my vegetarian tendencies by looking more into vegetarian cookbooks, after all I always moan there’s far too much meat in normal recipe books. So I had a look at Anna Jones’ A Modern Way to Eat (Anna is one of the original Fifteen graduates), which has some fantastic dishes in (and all vegetarian).
The first one I tried was kale chips, I realise they’re all the rage now, particularly in the States, but I’d never tried them before, as to be honest I’m not a great fan of those sort of vegetables but all the name of being healthy, I gave it a go and omg I’m hooked!
I went for the sesame miso option (but I will so try the tarragon and mustard dressing to and I’ve been busy pinning loads of other variants on Pinterest to) and the dressing added a whole new layer of sweet and sour flavour on top of the savoury kale. I love the texture of the kale to, it’s like eating highly savoury paper (weird I know). One thing though, that I’ll remember next time, I didn’t realise exactly how much the kale would shrink down, so I could have added a lot more to my baking trays with no problem. Reading about the superfood benefits of kale, kale is now going to be in my shopping basket far more often!
Lunch today was a Maple Peanut California wrap, again from the Anna Jones book and it was delicious! I had to substitute the tempeh with tofu as I couldn’t find any (will have to go looking) and to be honest, I would have been perfectly happy with the wrap just with the other ingredients! The tofu is marinated but it’s not massive on flavour, whereas the salad, carrot and seeds on top, that have been covered in the peanut butter dressing (and I don’t even like peanut butter!), are completely overpowering in delicious flavour!
Later on Tuesday
I think sales of Red Leicester (is that cheese known outside the UK? It’s sort of orangey red and a little bit like cheddar but quite mild tasting, but it melts very well) must have rocketed this morning after the nation watched Jamie Oliver make the no.1 toasted cheese sandwich on TV last night. We haven’t had Red Leicester regularly in the house for years, as opposed to when Mr. Lacer was living a more bachelor lifestyle and always had Red Leicester in his fridge because he reckons it makes the best cheese on toast (and Mr. Lacer’s cheese on toast is to die for, although as he makes a pretty good cheese on toast with just cheddar – the secret – way more butter than I would ever put on cheese and toast if I were making it, so we dropped the Red Leicester in favour for things like nappies and baby wipes). Anyway you can make Jamie Oliver’s no. 1 toasted cheese sandwich with any hard cheese but watching Jamie make it with a mix of cheddar and Red Leicester, well I just had to.
The resulting sandwich is delicious but completely rib sticking, it undid all the good work on my healthy lunch and then some and I think I used less cheese than Jamie. It was lovely but I’ve now got the urge, once my food has gone down, to go and refresh my palate with lots of green stuff. It’s a useful trick to know but definitely only once in a very rare blue moon.
If you fancy the recipe it’s here until 22nd September (2014) or you could go and get the Comfort Food book, it’s very good!
More Anna Jones extreme goodness, this one is pan dressed noodles with crunchy cabbage and was absolutely gorgeous!
I can’t go through the week completely bake free, so some rock buns from Jane Brocket’s wonderful Vintage Cakes were in order. I grew up eating rock cakes (as we knew them) – my mum’s baking repertoire was limited (she made a mean marble cake, in a manner which so would not be made today because of all those artificial colourings) and sometimes I just crave them again (and at least the dried fruit makes them ‘sort of’ healthy). I often crave coconut ice (another artificial food dye laden goody) for a similar reason, my gran was not much of a cook either (although she cooked, my grandad was a great vegetable gardener and it was her job to deal with the produce) but she did make a mean coconut ice, yum. Anyway these rock buns are quite different (in a way) from the encased in little paper cases rock cakes of my youth, I don’t want to say mine are better, I think each have their merit, but mine are a bit less rock like ……
(As an aside, it was so good baking these with the dried fruit, nutmeg and brown sugar, it may only be September but the smells ….. they kick started the ol’ Christmas gear!)