Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Things I eat when I'm home alone.

For some reason, I am a very lazy cook when Andy goes away. I don't know why – I love cooking, and I love eating, but I kind of can't be bothered for just me. So I tend to eat a lot of quick things, like noodles. Sometimes I don't even bother with food and just have a juice-meal.

Every now and then, however, I muster some motivation and come up with some pretty good results.

For St Patrick's Day I made a tiny loaf of Irish Soda Bread, from Joy of Vegan Baking. This was enough for me to have dinner and breakfast the next day (with ginger marmalade, yum).

With my soda bread, I had a small batch of Potatoes with 40 cloves of Garlic from Urban Vegan, and also which I saw on Nigella Cooks the weekend before. The squishy roasty garlic went really well on the bread.

A whole block of slightly-jiggly tofu without much flavouring is a major turn-off to some, but I kinda dig the flavour of plain tofu. I did marinate the outside of it for a bit in soy sauce and sesame oil before sprinkling some sesame seeds and nori flakes on top and baking.

Since the oven was on, I made Porcupine Potatoes, inspired by the Radioactive Vegan, sweet potato medallions, and a bit of roasted garlic. I also had a giant salad of cos lettuce which was reduced to clear, with creamy miso dressing. And a flashback to my childhood – quick pickled cucumbers (cucumbers, vinegar, sugar and salt, left to sit for a few hours or a few weeks). We used to call them 'super pickles' and eat them like there was no tomorrow.

Tofu scramblde doesn't require much inspiration, nor effort, although this one did have ceylon spinach from the garden which is a bit of a pain to harvest.

With a few onions that really needed using, and inspiration from VegNews magazine, I successfully made caramelised onions for the first time ever. I usually get impatient and burn them. They made a beautiful topping for foccaccia.

Seitan burgers from the freezer are a great home-alone dinner, especially with a quick side of home fries, and a pile of Ceylon spinach (quickly wilted by putting it in a colander and pouring boiling water over it). And a dill pickle, because I really love pickles.

My fruit-shopping requirements are eased when friends drop off backyard bananas, perfect for adding to morning muesli and smoothies.

In preparation for dinner with a friend of mine, I made some BBQ sauce based on Pomegranate BBQ Sauce from VwaV. Instead of pomegranate molasses, I used plum sauce which goes really well with the five-spice in the recipe. I poured it over some tofu to have for dinner the night I made it (with plenty left for later), with cooked rice and cucumbers and eventually made into yummy wraps.

For a nice relaxed weekend breakfast I made Pumpkin Pie Pancakes from Vegan Planet, which were a little disappointing.

Both the pumpkin and the spice were hardly noticeable.

And finally, to cap off a massive post, I marked easter weekend by attempting Hot Cross Buns. But I'm not religious, and my cross material was hard to work with, so I made maths symbols instead – plus signs, minus signs, multiplication signs, a fraction, and division signs. Here they are before baking.

Unfortunately, they didn't go so well. The tops didn't brown and just got kind of dry and crunchy, and the bottoms overbrowned and went chewy.

But they were edible, and saved me walking to the store.  And that's really what most of my single-food is about -- minimal effort.  Now that Andy is home, however, we have been cooking exciting things again.


steph said...

maths buns!

lisa said...

I hear you about cooking for one - after MANY YEARS of cooking for myself I'm in a serious culinary slump. But your food looks great! I am a big fan of big lumps of jiggly tofu.

radioactivegan said...

wow, that looks great! i hardly have the impetus to make pb&j when i'm home alone :)

Hannah said...

I tend to become a big snacker rather than meal-eater when I'm eating by myself.

I'm tempted to competely disbelieve your first paragraph though, after seeing the loveliness you've been cooking up. Mmm, squidgy roasty garlic. Also...

Jiggle joggle jiggle joggle tofu on a plate!

Vaala said...

Yeah I've discovered I get a bit lazy when it comes to just cooking for myself. It's always really simple. Nice to see someone else who likes the taste of plain tofu. Often I just fry or bake it without any marinade or seasoning and it's really good.

I love your maths symbols by the way! I reckon I might try that idea next year since the whole cross thing is a little too religious for me.

Mandee said...

I think you eat really well, I especially love the potatoes and the onion-topped focaccia!

And I think we have exactly the same baking dishes!

Cindy said...

Awesome maths buns!

This is a great theme for a post - I find that my cooking changes a lot when I'm home alone too. I will make one large serving of something that lasts for days, or subsist on a rotation of toast, crackers and vege hotdogs. Often I pick a dessert that Michael's not a fan of, prepare it on the weekend, and ration it out all week.

I guess I tend to work longer hours and spend less effort on food.

Theresa said...

I should point out that Andy was away for a month, so these are the highlights of my meals ;)

Theresa said...

I should point out that Andy was away for a month, so these are the highlights of my meals ;)

Groover said...

Huh, glad I read your last comment, Theresa, because I was just about to say: not a bad effort for a couple of days home alone. :-) What I hate about cooking for myself is that when it turns out really yummy then there is nobody to praise the food and my cooking skills. :-)

The seasoned tofu looked like a desert at first glance.

dreaminitvegan said...

You still did some nice cooking and baking even though you were alone and it all looks really good! When my husband is gone eats easy for me to throw something quick for my son and I on the stove.

Vegan TV Presenter said...

I always can't be bothered at first then I seem to finally find the knack of cooking for one-and that's when it's time to cook for two again!