Wednesday, October 5, 2016

In my kitchen - October 2016

I am linking this in to the monthly In My Kitchen event, which has a new host in Lizzy of Bizzy Lizzy's Good Things.

Another month! I am reluctant to start with the stereotypical "I can't believe it's [new month]" but I really can't. Life with an infant seems to drag incredibly slowly at times, but then in a bigger sense time is disappearing. It's nearly 3 months since I started maternity leave and nearly 2 months since Mini Bite was born. It's also well and truly autumn, with the long hot days of summer fading into memory as cooler temperatures arrive and autumn leaves become more prominent.

In my kitchen this month there are rather a lot of store-bought items. Our local Sainsbury's had two flavours of Nakd fruit and nut nibbles on a clearance special for 40p per pack. They usually retail for £1.50 each and I'm not sure I could make an equivalent for 40p, so I snapped up rather a lot!


I also tried Sainsbury's 'Free From' fruity granola slice (vegan although the marketing is about being gluten free). They aren't new, but in the past I figured I could make an equivalent myself easily. Making things myself is a bit harder now my time in the kitchen is governed by Mini Bite's naps (or lack thereof!) so I was pleased to give them a try. They were nice, but I do think homemade would be better. I'd favour more fruit and a softer texture.



I did enjoy a new-to-me snack by Whitworths, in the form of fruit and nut-based vanilla macaroons. Again, clearly able to be made at home but these were worth the purchase with the vanilla flavours at just the right level.


There has been a flurry of new vegan products released in the UK recently. I was pleased to try the latest vegan addition to the Quorn range, breaded fillets, which remind me of Fry's schnitzels but with the chicken-style filling characteristic of Quorn. I liked them a lot although they're probably not something I'd eat too often as they do taste quite processed.


Alpro have also released almond milk ice creams to complement their non-dairy milk and yoghurt products. I was extremely excited to see them and bought the coconut and hazelnut-chocolate varieties to try (there is also a vanilla one). In truth, I don't love them but they are a nice alternative to the Swedish Glace soya ice cream we regularly buy, and the Almond Breeze tubs we ration due to cost. The flavour in the Alpro ones is perhaps a little weak, or I need to get used to the texture, which is harder and a little thinner than Swedish Glace and Almond Breeze. I'm very grateful for their production though and the more vegan ice creams the better!


My kitchen has also featured a twist on my vegan French toast, thanks to trying the concept out with fruit bread instead of regular bread. I recommend it, especially topped with peaches.



I'm not great at freezing meals for future use but did make some batches up before Mini Bite was born. We've recently made use of them, including the Mediterranean pasta salad with tofu I shared back in July (but served hot this time) and Gena's vegan lemon asparagus risotto (with fresh asparagus added to the defrosted risotto).

Mediterranean pasta salad with tofu

What is happening in your kitchen this month?

25 comments:

  1. French toast with fruit bread sounds like a great idea - sylvia would not go for it but I would love it. And I would have pounced on the cheap Nak'd bars too - sometimes I think of buying these style of bars but they are quite pricey - I know nuts can be expensive but it is hard to justify spending so much. And glad you had some meals in the freezer for the tough days - I need a few of them right now!

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    1. I think we could all do with freezer meals and probably none of us have enough! I hear you on the cost of bars - I'm trying to rein in such purchases now I don't really have an excuse for them (they used to be good for work emergency snacks) but at that price it was easy to find a reason again ;)

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  2. Hi Kari, thank you for participating in IMK and thanks also for the very warm shout out! My son is enjoying those quorn schnitzels. Peter, my partner, tasted them and he, too, cannot get over how much they taste like chicken. But they do taste quite processed. Happy cooking and shopping!

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    1. Thanks Liz, and thank you for stopping by!

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  3. I like the sound of that fruity French toast. What a great steal on those Nak'd bars... those are the sort of things that should be pounced on I think! Freezer meals help keep my sane, I definitely recommend them. I hear you about time going so quickly (although, the individual days themselves can feel quite long!!)

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    1. I think I might need a bigger freezer :D

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  4. I love checking out the new things in you kitchen.
    Thanks for sharing
    Julie
    Gourmet Getaways

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  5. I've been making apricot french toast with a delicious fruit sour dough from the local markets. I think that using fruit bread for french toast is a super idea.

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    1. Fruit sour dough sounds excellent too!

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  6. I love getting a peek inside your kitchen each month. So interesting to see what you can buy overseas.

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  7. Kari, combining motherhood with everything else is a challenge, but it looks to me like you're doing exceptionally well -- with or without enough sleep. :)

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  8. Always nice to see whats in your kitchen Kari. I am not mad about Quorn products though I do use them as my husband has got used to it. I went to Sainsbury today to buy the new vegan cheese Gary and see what all the fuss is about, but they didn't have any? have you tried it yet?

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    1. I didn't like cheese before going vegan so am one of the few to not be too excited about Sainsburys new additions - but I did look at my local store out of curiosity and couldn't see them there either. Maybe they're being rolled out gradually.

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  9. It looks like you've found some really good stuff there. I've yet to try any of the vegan Quorn products - I've heard some pretty good things about them, so next time they pass me by, I'll have to grab some. It's interesting what you say about the marketing - I've seen lots of products in that range that are focused on being gluten-free and very few that are vegan. Hopefully that'll change eventually.

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    1. I always check the GF products just in case they're vegan friendly, but so few are! Still, with all the new vegan products I can't really complain.

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  10. Great things in your kitchen! I've been itching to try that Quorn stuff... but sadly I'm sensitive to corn. It looks good though.
    The alpro ice cream looks so good! Too bad it's disappointing. But it's always good to try new products as they come out and appreciate them =)
    Your french toast looks great! That risotto looks so good.

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    1. I don't think quorn products have corn in them so you should be OK :-) The name is a misnomer!

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  11. Obviously I haven't visited your blog for quite some time as I had no idea you had had a baby. Congrats!!

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  12. Fruit bread french toast sounds awesome, it's something I might have to try thanks Kari. Good luck with your new bubba and sleeping - it's always a big challenge and adaptation. Hope to see you next month for IMK x
    https://missfoodfairy.com/2016/10/05/in-my-kitchen-october-2016/

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    1. Thank you - definitely lots of challenges and adapting ;)

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