Today’s mission was rather giddy-fying: we got a voucher for a big distributor of all things (macro), so we finally organized a day to bounce of with my sister in law and go wild. With our bounty we got new headphones for me, usb mouse for man-thing, a small fan for the study, and, best of all, an ICE-CREAM MAKER!!! 😀 It’s a little number, but it will get its own post and everything in due course. Man-thing was so excited that he’s already washed the thing and put it in the freezer to pre-set in anticipation for making ice-cream tomorrow. Anything where a man will willingly read instructions for a kitchen appliance and pack cupboards right to create a “place of honour” must be magical. I suspect this ice-cream maker will be the beginning of dangerous but lovely things!
Speaking of dangerous and lovely, I finally got my act (and ingredients) together and made my very first dumplings! The recipe for the veggie dumpling stew comes from Vegan Mother Hubbard, and to be honest I found no cause to differ much from her recipe, other than to replace the potatoes with chopped up pumpkin. The sweet potato remained since I’m having trouble using up our little packet! The other change was to use nutty wheat bran flour instead of white flour, because I’m crazy for that stuff – white flour just doesn’t sit well with me and also makes man-thing sluggish.
I must say the whole idea of making dumplings was so nerve-wrecking, so that alone was the reason why I’ve been procrastinating on making it, whilst at the same time stalking the poor author with tons of useless and crazy questions. Still, this food is me with my adventure hat on!
Man-thing has proclaimed complete success regarding this recipe – he suggests two dumplings per person (I got 8 out of my batch), but that may just be because he went for seconds. I was very happy with one beautiful dumpling with lots of spinach and mixed with leftover soup (since I have no shame and smushing together my foods).
Speaking of soup, I made some whilst waiting for the dumplings to do their thing! We got a big bag of farm-fresh tomatoes and little store-bought baby tomatoes (those things are like candy!) so I decided to do something a bit more long-serving than just envisaging endless tomato salads.
– 1 onion, chopped/diced
– 6-7 tomatoes, chopped/diced
– 1/2 head of broccoli, steamed then processed into a fine “flour” (man-thing claims to loathe broccoli and cauliflower, but he ate THREE slices of my cauliflower pie today, so I figured what he can’t see clearly can’t hurt him >:))
– 1 green pepper, diced
– 3/4 cup brown lentils, washed and drained
– 3 cups water, boiled
– 1 Knorr vegetable stock cube, dissolved in the above water
– 1 small tub (3 or so TBSP) tomato paste
– 2-3 TBSP digestive bran (I find it helps as a type of minimalist binder)
– anything else! I added some leftover soup that was hellishly spicy (hence the green bits floating around)
– spices galore!
Fry the onion in a big pot til it starts to brown somewhat. Add in the tomatoes, lentils and water and let it boil.
Bring it down to a simmer, add the tomato paste, spices, pepper, broccoli, digestive bran and whatever else and let it go wild for an hour or so, stirring at half hour intervals. Quick, easy, voila!
I can recall lazy days in the past when making soup would’ve felt time consuming, but because of the lack of endless chopping multiple ingredients, it comes off pretty easy. So easy, in fact, that I decided I had time to also make some mini tofu quiches with leftover broccoli fluff, 100g mushrooms, 2 marrows and tomato paste added to the usual suspects. I also added 2 TBSP of oat bran instead of more cornstarch. Over time I’ve learned that pressing out as much water as possible from the tofu is the key to mini quiches that don’t fall apart! I also flip them after baking for 35 minutes and let them bake for 10 more minutes to get rid of excess moisture (hence the uber crispness on the side).
Phew! Tomorrow is another day, another baking mission! I must desperately do my best to stay out of the kitchen between now and then :p