Thursday, October 29, 2015

Tomato, red wine and oregano roast tofu and vegetables

After today, I will be taking a short break from blogging as we drive north to Scotland for an outdoor, autumnal, laid back holiday. I am very excited. Work has felt very busy lately and whilst I am blessed to enjoy my job, I am ready for a break. I did a lot of travelling in August and September but those trips all had work included - this one will be entirely work (and laptop) free.

Before I depart, I wanted to share this recent recipe that provided me with lunch on several busy work days. It is a classic roast in that you put everything in the oven and leave it to cook itself. It's also a classic roast in that the flavours and seasonings are full-bodied and comforting. It's a meal to curl up with when you want something hot, nutritious and satisfying. Autumn weather is optional...

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Vegan pineapple-coconut French toast with caramelized banana

There will come a time when I hit saturation point with vegan French toast recipes. After all, there are only so many variations one can share for a dish based around bread. At the moment, though, I'd like to think that day is some way off. Vegan French toast has become my standard Saturday morning breakfast and I love it just as much now as when I first discovered it. It might not be as nutritious as porridge or oat-based breakfasts, but it is a delicious way to start the weekend. Saturday is my long run day and French toast also follows running perfectly!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Out and about in Kent and Sussex #1 - Scotney Castle

Are you glad it's the weekend? I have had a particularly hectic week (thus no blog posts since Tuesday!) and am extremely pleased to have reached Saturday morning. The fact we get an extra hour of sleep tomorrow, with the end of daylight savings, is a bonus.

Scotney Castle, Kent
With being grateful for this weekend, I thought I would share one of our weekend outings from earlier this month. I have previously posted Out and About posts for Perth and London, but this is my first for our new county (we are on the border of Kent and East Sussex).

Scotney Castle is a National Trust property about 10 miles south of Tunbridge Wells. Like many National Trust properties, there is a lot to the estate. The original Scotney Castle, pictured above, is a 14th century semi-ruined castle set in beautiful gardens and woodland. There's lots to explore just with that, but you can also tour the newer country house that was built to replace the castle around 1840.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Coconut flour raspberry and apple crumble

It is crumble season. Also pie season and pudding season, but today we're talking crumble. A simple, fruity, comforting crumble with the sweet tartness of raspberries and the tart sweetness of apples.

My crumbles are more fruit than topping, but the topping here is excellent too (even if I scorched mine a little bit). I used coconut sugar and coconut flour, which gave a slightly different texture and taste to standard sugar/flour combinations. I think coconut flour is particularly suited to crumble toppings because it is inherently quite crumbly. It also has a texture that is somehow light and fluffy but also rich and comforting. I liked it in this dish.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Giant couscous with greens, sun dried tomatoes, chickpeas and tahini

I'm on a real tahini streak at the moment. My jars of peanut butter and almond butter have been untouched for weeks, but tahini is featuring pretty much daily. I've come to expect this from myself and am sure I'll move on to a different ingredient love soon. For now - tahini it is. As a result, you get to share in a few tahini recipes and today's bowl meal is a savoury counterpart to my tahini chocolate oat balls of last week!


Thursday, October 15, 2015

'Honey' soy tofu wraps

We all know how to stir fry and sometimes it is nice to stir fry with lots of fragrant, fresh, aromatic ingredients. Grated ginger. Lemongrass. Fresh chillies. You know the drill.

Today's recipe is for the other times. The nights you get home, haven't stocked up on south-east Asian ingredients, and don't fancy grating ginger, seeking out lemongrass or chopping chillies. The nights you want something fresh and tasty, but also easy. Minimal ingredients and minimal chopping.

These honey soy tofu wraps are the answer. The marinade features nothing more than your honey equivalent and soy sauce. The vegetables will need chopping, but that's as complicated as it gets. You don't even need to cook rice (although you could) - just tear open a pack of wraps and pile the filling in.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Tahini chocolate oat balls (vegan, one bowl, no food processor required)

These energy balls are not hugely different to recipes I've shared before (their closest counterparts being peanut butter cacao energy balls, cinnamon peanut butter oat bites and chocolate fudge bites) but they managed to be just different enough. It's amazing how you can combine such a small number of ingredients and get such delicious, fully-flavoured results. These showcase natural foods to decadent perfection and they make extremely satisfying snacks!

The ingredient list is pretty much summed up in the post title, with the exception of liquid sweetener, which I used in the form of Sweet Freedom low GI sweetener. I have mentioned the Sweet Freedom Choc Shot sauce before and was pleased to recently spot this syrup in their range. It's made entirely from fruit extracts and carob and I think it tastes like a cross between maple syrup, rice malt syrup and molasses.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Vegan Life Magazine, issue 9 (October 2015)

I receive complimentary digital copies of Vegan Life, which allows me to post reviews with screenshots included. My reflections on the magazine are entirely my own.

The latest edition of Vegan Life magazine is out! It features a particularly stunning array of recipes. After my last post on spiralized sweet potato noodles, I was interested to see sweet potato waffles made from spiralized sweet potato. I don't have a waffle pan, but if I did, these would be happening...

In the same section on spiralized treats, there was an equally novel recipe for fruit noodle trifle. This features spiralised apple and persimmon. I think it looks delicious.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Satay sweet potato noodles

Do you read Gena's beautiful blog Choosing Raw? If you do, you may have spotted her curried peanut sweet potato noodles last month. Gena's noodles were beautifully photographed and looked delicious. My version is not as well photographed but I promise was still delicious!

I was actually unsure about these noodles on the first night I had them. However, the leftovers I took to work the next day were great. I think the overnight sitting time allowed the noodles to soak up more flavours and soften a little. You could achieve the same result by making more sauce (which Gena actually did) and allowing the noodles to stand a bit before serving. I have updated my recipe to incorporate these changes.

Monday, October 5, 2015

October running highlights - Tonbridge to Penshurst 13 mile loop

It's been a long time since I've shared fitness-focused posts, which is a shame, because running is still very much a part of my life and it feels odd not to feature it more on here. Historically, I've been mindful that there's only so much I can write on the topic before I bore my regular food-focused readers. Recently, I've been wondering if there's a way to share my love of active pursuits whilst still appealing to everyone. My idea? To share a particularly beautiful run once a month, with the details of the running route (if you care about such things) but also the scenes (which, I hope, will be beautiful even if you don't plan to run them).

Barden Lake, Haysen Country Park, Tonbridge

Today's run is a 13 mile (20.95km) out and back route from Tonbridge to Penshurst Place and Gardens in Kent. Mr Bite can take credit for introducing me to the route, and we first explored it by bike on a dual-use cycle path. We are yet to visit Penshurst Place but the route is a great way to take in some beautiful scenes.

It doesn't matter exactly where you start in Tonbridge, but you'll want to make your way to Haysden Country Park, which is the starting point for many a beautiful run or cycle. If the day is clear you'll have sparkling views but if you're running in the morning in October you may be met with fog such as that visible below!

Approaching Haysden Country Park from the Tonbridge playing fields 

Friday, October 2, 2015

In my kitchen - October 2015

I am linking this in to Celia's monthly In My Kitchen event at Fig Jam and Lime Cordial.

Last month I was feeling nostalgic about the end of summer. This month I am back to embracing autumn, my long-time favourite season. The days have been delicious lately, with clear sunny skies and a crisp but not painful chill to the air. The leaves are yet to turn, but the light has mellowed from summer bright to autumn glow. The only downside is the dark mornings - I am looking forward to daylight savings ending so my early runs are not black.

Other than the weather, I am enjoying some fun items in my kitchen. This bowl came back from Italy with us and is the perfect size for nuts, chocolate or other small snacks.

Not in my kitchen, but related to the bowl, are other small Italian ceramic purchases. We loved this motorbike and curious duck.

More kitchen-specific are another set of new items from Tesco. Honestly, they expand their 'Free From' range by the month! I was delighted to see the vegan strawberry-vanilla ice cream cones and Mr Bite and I both enjoyed them. The only downside is that the vanilla ice cream component tastes creamy rather than vanilla-y, which I don't love. That is motivating me to eat the ice cream in a mixed up fashion rather than taking the flavours in separately (my tendency). When eaten in that way, the cones are delicious.