Musing on a Tuesday

There seems to be something about the start of a lockdown that makes me want to blog. Maybe this time because it’s the start of the year. A stay-at-home festive season does actually result in feeling rested and ready to go when January rolls around.

Blogging has been erractic over the past few years because I seem to be incapable of treating this as a personal blog. So rather then writing when I feel inspired I’ve felt under pressure to be consistent. That if I’m going to post I need to do so regularly. So any mention of food I’ve eaten must be the first of a series of ‘What I ate’ posts.

I spend all day writing for clients which is glorious fun but doesn’t always leave me much capacity to do it for myself. And annoying when I have felt the spark then I’ve quashed it by overcomplicating it.

So 2021 will be the year of an erratic posting schedule on random topics. Sounds a bit like my head. I think it will be fun. The way blogging is supposed to be fun.

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A change in planner for 2021

It looks like my planner habits might get a shake up next year. For the past five years I used a Moleskin daily planner. Each year they come in a different shade of green so the completed books look lovely together. I though I was breaking out a bit in 2020 when I went for the Millennium Falcon design. But it looks to be all change for me next year.

The Myrtle green Moleskine I’ve had my eye in seems to sold out in every variation.

I’ve looked different sizes, page allocations and suppliers. Green is obviously popular and it looks like everyone did their planner shopping early this year. So I guess it’s time to try another brand. This is quite exciting!

What shape will my planning take next year?

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This week in food

It’s been a week of fighting off the urge to hibernate and trying to get back into an exercise routine. So craving big bowls of warming stuff while trying to avoid snacking.

Saturday 7 November

I made massive amounts of beetroot setian and served it with rice, salad leaves and a garlicky, basil, sunflower seed dressing.

Sunday 8 November

I cooked up a load of soy chunks, butternut squash and aubergine earlier in the week. The remains (because of course there was way too much) got wrapped in pastry.

Add a piece of raw brownie for dessert because we were all out of fruit.

Monday 9 November

Yet more seitan served in rolls with vegan cheese, Mayo and sauerkraut.

Tuesday 10 November

I got what I thought was coriander stock out of the freezer. Worried that I had C19 when it didn’t smell of anything much and then after cooking it with lentils realised it was probably mushroom stock. So the dahl got turned into a spaghetti sauce with some cooked mushrooms and roast garlic. Must label murky jars of liquid before they go in the freezer.

Wednesday 11 November

I’m loving these vegan kievs I found at Tesco. There’s just enough lovely garlicky filling to make serving with plain rice and kale work beautifully.

Thursday 12 November

The last of the seitan got dunked in marinade for a few hours and then cooked up with garlic, mushrooms, Pak choi and brown rice noodles.

And cheese, cracker, fruit and scheese and onion crisps for supper.

Friday 12 November

Lunch was jacket potatoes which (due to a mid morning nap and a breakfast fail) I munched before thinking about taking a photo.

Then I took a contender fir the world’s fullest photo of supper. It was home made flat breads filled with vegan cream cheese, deli slices and kohlrabi.

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What I ate this week – 7 June 2020

I managed 2 nights of earlier dinners this week but then I went back to work after. On the plus side I am so tired when I go to bed that my insomnia has vanished!


For lunch I made a chopped pesto with radish stalks, garlic, oil, nutritional yeast and walnuts. Served with baguette and radishes it was divinely garlicky.

I’ve taken to referring to this as German potato salad. But really it’s potato salad with something pickled mixed into the mayo and some vegan frankfurters chucked on top.


It was Monday so lunch had to either be tempeh, tomato and kale salad. Or pizza salad, right? I was all out of kale so I radically made spinach, tempeh and tomato salad!

And then for dinner I made the tofu I couldn’t be bothered with last week to pair up with more Pak choi.


Tuesday wasn’t a good food day. Once again there was a delivery involved. So lunch was toasties and then dinner kind of got missed.


Back on track (following a bundle of socially distanced house viewings and shenanigans with various parcels) with pizza salad for lunch. I’m definitely getting faster at making this.

How I love chilli. I made a huge pan of this because it’s so tasty. Chilli is about to become a weekly feature on the menu.

And a huge bowl of strawberries and vegan cream for dessert.


Lunch was easy and delicious- a plate of dinner leftovers!

I haven’t made risotto in years and now I remember why! It takes so long while you stand and stir. I added in mushrooms and fennel and served with a rough parsley pesto and sausages.


Friday lunchtime I ate some of the canned soup stash and spent an hour enjoying a talk on kimonos as a virtual attendee of the York festival of ideas. It was a fascinating talk and made a nice change.

For dinner, I made Coconut Samosa potato salad from Salad Samurai again but I added coriander this time. Wow it made it even more awesome!


The freezer has gotten a bit full (and it’s not very big) so we had chicken style burgers for lunch.

And for dinner I veganised a recipe I spotted on Bento Expo. The Ebichiri Bento made in season 3 episode 8 was really easy and really good! Check it out for yourself

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What’s on my digital reading pile?

I seem to be tearing through ebooks. I’m now waiting for the next volume in the St Mary’s series by Jodi Taylor (the shenanigans of time travelling historians).

I’m most of the way 1602 and it is wonderful. I find myself being reluctant to turn the virtual page to make it last longer.

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What I ate – 31 May 2020

I seem to have gotten into a habit of cooking dinner really late. Maybe it’s the heat?


I tried another recipe from Salad Samurai. This is coconut samosa potato salad. I skipped the chickpeas, coriander, mint and cashews and chucked in parsley. It was good enough to make again and I’ll try for all the ingredients next time!


We’re clearly entering the season of potato salad. I added turnips greens, peas, green onion tops, mustard, vinegar and mayo. Then topped it off with a couple of vegan sausages.


Another helping of pizza salad. I cooked the tempeh in the remoska with no oil and it turned out just fine.

The curry sauce was supposed to be put through a sieve but I was tired and chunky is just fine.


Kale, tomato and tempeh salad. I actually made the effort to soak almonds before blitzing them with mustard, vinegar and dates and the dressing was the best yet.

How I love chilli. And This one was super easy. I soaked the soy mince during the afternoon and then sling it in the remoska with other ingredients after a networking call. As a result I got go sit down with a glass of kombucha and a book while it cooked.


Lazy lunch! Toasties with vegan cheese, deli slices and tomato.

I started cooking dinner really late. But this mushroom and pasta dish actually turned out a bit fancy looking.


This was a bitty kind of lunch but the combo of hot green beans, dressing, random vegetables and a handful of poppadoms was most satisfying.

Another end of the week dish. I never got round to making tofu so the Pak choi got added to this dish. It really does have all the random stuff in it.


I shop early on Saturday morning and collect my vegetable bag while I’m out. Hence lunch is never elaborate.

For some reason I thought I’d have more time to cook at the weekend. I don’t know what I was thinking. But the beet balls recipe from Salad Samurai made up loads so I popped them in the freezer for an easy future meal. This was really tasty and worth the effort of shredding beets.

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What’s on my digital reading pile?

I seem to be tearing through digital reading matter. Perhaps I’m just trying to put off reading the print copy of Bleak House next to my bed!

I heard Lori Gottlieb speak on the Tim Ferris podcast and found her very engaging. So I ordered the e-audio from the library so that myself and himself can listen to it together.

Susan Isaacs is an amazing writer. She always draws me in from the first sentence. However, for some reason I’ve never worked my way through everything she’s written. I will now remedy this!

This has not been an issue with Jodi Taylor! I am tearing through her books. Conveniently, the library appears to have all of them in e-format.

I’ve added 3 new graphic novels. I was delighted to find 1602 having read about it somewhere else at some point in the past.

I also noted that the e-magazines I had loaded were pretty ancient so I removed them and selected some new ones to brow. I like the idea of being the kind of person who reads .net! And a friend recommended The Simple Things to indulge in.

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What I’m reading – 26 May 2020

My book pile didn’t change for 2 weeks (although my virtual pile of e-books did). But during that time I finished 2 books and nearly finished a third.

I was drawn back into the Welcome to Night Vale novel and I’m hopi g that the same will happen with Dickens.

Just one more chapter of An Everlasting Meal to savour.

Chapters in The Screwtape Letters are short so I’ve been reading one before bed (part of a master plan to stay away from screens at that point in the day and work on my insomnia).

Asterisk (borrowed from my Mum) is there for jollies!

New to the pile


In progress

Bleak House

An Everlasting Meal

The Screwtape Letters


Finding Your Own North Star

Welcome to Night Vale – A Novel

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What I ate – 24 May 2020

I’m definitely starting to see a pattern in our meals. But I’m also noting that some weeks I have a lack of inspiration when it comes to menu planning. I like to browse and see what looks good or good value and then make a meal from that. Right now I’m doing the opposite with maybe the exception of a Friday. Then I’m trying to clear the fridge for the next week.


I was so excited to find Beyond burgers in the local Tesco. The taste took me back to A&W in Canada last summer. I just need a frosty root beer to go with it.

It’s a while since I used soy mince and I’d forgotten how good it can be. I left it to soak with various seasonings and then added in kidney beans, tomato purée and a drop of super hot chilli sauce . It has a good tang to it.


Monday was a bit of lost day. A lost of time was taken with finding some missing deliveries. Maybe it caused so many emotions because Lockdown doesn’t much in the way of variations. Or things to vent about. Anyway it was all resolved by dinner time which was comforting vegan sausage, mash, spring greens and gravy.


I finally got my hands on some olives to go in the pizza salad. This is always delicious and the olives only enhanced this.

I had loads of the seasoned and hydrated soy mince left over from making chilli. So I added some gram flour and made meatless balls.

Then I kept with the Italian theme that was developing for the day and made pasta.


Another weekly favourite! And to think that when I first made it about 6 weeks ago I thought it had a lot of ingredients. Now I think of it as simple!

The tofu for this nearly didn’t get made. I heated up the soy milk, stirred in the lemon juice and then left it while I ate lunch. But I was a way into my afternoon work when I recalled that I hadn’t drained and pressed it. Happily it separated beautifully and pressed in time to make black pepper tofu.


Potato salad! With gerkins and German sausages! On a bed of rocket!


I saw this recipe on a Japanese TV channel. You basically take a load of vegetables, stir in gram flour and then add sparkling water to make a batter before frying. They were really good. Not healthy but very good.


I got a load of green onion tops so they’re going to be in pretty much everything for the next week. And I’ll probably make some stock too. This was chicken style strips with green onion, rice and a sesame sauce. Served it with Chinese lettuce for a make your own green wraps experience.

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What I ate last week – 17 May 2020

I have no idea what we ate prior to Monday. We must have eaten on Saturday and Sunday. I hope it was good!


More pizza style salad. I think this one is going to be part of my regular rotation forever.

I had some kind of idea about doing a salad with pieces of these vegan southern style fillets from Tesco. I liked the idea of hot and cold.Then wraps seemed appealing and so I made flatbreads and ended up with these. They were surprisingly filling.

But not so filling that I couldn’t squeeze in a bit of frozen cheese cake. this is oat based and the bulk of the recipe came from Vegan Yack Attack. As usual, I had to make a few twists.


And another one for the weekly rotation is Kale, tampeh and tomato salad.

I couldn’t be be bothered to make proper pancakes for dinner so I made gram flour ones. they came out like a vegan omelette which worked great with the filling (mushrooms and greens on a sunflower seed sauce).


What to do with the random beetroot? I recalled a tasty recipes for a beetroot and satsuma salad from last year. That recipe used cucumber and herbs but this version was ok. I chucked in some chickpeas for a bit of protein and added a tahini sauce.

This dish get made every time I get pak choi in my veg bag. So here it is again. The tofu I made didn’t turn out great but held together long enough to fry in cubes with black pepper.


I had sushi rice but had run out of nori sheets. So this was a bowl of seasoned sushi rice topped with green beans, peppers and radish. The tofu feel apart when I tried to fry it so it became tofu scramble. Topped it off with some miso and wasabi sauce.

I’ve done a few weeks now of leek and potato soup. To shake things up a bit I added chickpeas and noodles and ended up with with this. More pasta dish then soup but still tasty. Sling it all in, right?


Friday night is becoming one pan past night. I’ve run out of cooking inspiration and it’s a good way to use up anything lurking in the fridge. Plus I was able to bake cupcakes while it cooked.


I plan the menu on Saturday afternoon so lunch was a roll with with vegan cheese and deli slices and a handful of greens.

This started out a barley/mushroom/Brussels Sprouts harvest bowl. Then I replaced barley with bread and subbed spring greens for Brussels Sprouts. So essentially I turned it into mushrooms on toast. I will make the original at a later point.

And here are the cupcakes with icing!

Eat well folks!

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