Wednesday, February 1, 2017

In my kitchen - February 2017

I am linking this in to the monthly In My Kitchen round up, currently hosted by Lizzy of Bizzy Lizzy's Good Things.

We are through January and into the second month of the year. In our part of the UK, January was cold with maximum temperatures often around 0'C. In contrast, my Australian family have described 40'C temperatures in Perth. My long term readers will know what I prefer! Whatever your current weather is, I hope you are keeping appropriately warm or cool.


Indoors from the cold, my kitchen has seen some new vegan products from Marks & Spencer. An M&S foodhall has opened within walking distance of us, which is exciting for me if not for our finances. Fortunately it is a half hour walk so my visits and spending will be moderated! I was pleased to pick up their new vegan sandwiches, shown above, after a long period where M&S lagged behind other food chains in providing vegan sandwich options. I expected to like the Rainbow Veg option best, with its red pepper bread and chilli squash filling, and it was enjoyable. However, I preferred the Super Greens pack with minted edamame and pea crush on linseed and chia bread.



I also purchased mini doughnuts filled with coconut caramel (half the pack) and passion fruit and lime (the other half). This is an example of me buying something just because it is vegan, given I have never been particularly partial to doughnuts. These were fine but won't be a repeat purchase, especially as 12 doughnuts is a big ask for one person, even if they are of the mini variety (the fillings aren't to Mr Bite's taste).

Not pictured, but worth noting for my UK readers, was an 80p M&S salad pot I purchased near closing time on the day it needed to be eaten. A number of pots in the 2 for £3 range were reduced to 80p, which is excellent value if you are able to eat them on the day in question.


I regularly buy Cauldron tofu and was interested to see their new vegan sausages and vegan burgers. The sausages featured 'Mediterranean grilled vegetables, haricot beans and tomato pesto' and I didn't like them at all! I found the texture too soft and the tomato flavours too dominant. In contrast, the burgers were delicious. As shown above, they feature cauliflower, aduki beans, spinach and chipotle chilli. They were pleasingly spicy and had a firm, veggie patty texture.


My kitchen has also seen Tesco's quick cook 7 grain mix, which I show above alongside lentils and mushrooms. The mix includes partially cooked emmer wheat, barley, durum wheat, buckwheat, red rice, black rice and oats. The advance partial cooking reduces home cooking to just 10 minutes and I love the mix of grains.


Visible from my kitchen is a new high chair! Mini Bite will be 6 months on the 9th of February, which marks the current age guide for starting solids. She is enjoying sitting in the chair and playing with toys (and throwing them over the side...).I look forward to introducing her to food in another week or so. We plan to take a baby-led weaning approach, which means there will be no purees and plenty of fun with food.


Last but not least, my kitchen has seen repeat blends of the pear and ginger flavours I so enjoyed last year. I've been particularly partial to porridge made with oats, stem ginger, a mix of cacao, hemp, maca and lucuma powders, unsweetened almond milk and pear.


What is happening in your kitchen this month?

26 comments:

  1. I would have gone for the rainbow veg sangers too, so interesting that the greens were nicer. The doughnut fillings sound good to me!! Love the pic of Mini Bite in her chair.

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  2. Hi Kari, happy February to you. Oh, M&S food hall, nice one! We discovered those in London the year before last year. I also loved Waittrose, too. Love the look and sound of the doughnuts, and the mini high chair is so sweet.Your porridge sounds delicious. Thanks for the peek into your kitchen and the lovely shout out xx

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    1. Thanks for hosting, as always :-)

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  3. Nice, i agree I prefer the M&s supergreens.

    Mini bites high chair is so adorable, sitting at the table with mummy and daddy Bite.

    As a vegeterian i have been eating lot of Cauldron sausages, i prefer them to the Quorn if i am honest - more flavour, i will have to check out the burgers - but i do like making my own, so maybe not and just stick with the sausages, i am glad that they are not suitable for vegans too.

    I am hoping to do my IMK post over the w/e, I am going to Cardiff Viva Festival on Saturday, so hopefully I will not just gawk, but pick up some things from there. I often just like going as it makes a nice day out.

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    1. I've not had the Quorn sausages or the regular Cauldron ones - possibly their original vegetarian ones are nicer than the new vegan variety? We most have Linda McCartney and I still prefer them!

      I hope you enjoy the Viva festival if you make it :-)

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    2. Sorry typo i am glad that they are NOW (not NOT) suitable for vegans too.

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  4. Good luck with starting solids. I have had two sons experience completely different solids food journeys and I am sure that number three will be different again.

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    1. They're all different, aren't they! Thank you :-)

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  5. I visited a M&S food hall when visiting my cousin in the UK last September, what an amazing place! Lucky you. Good luck with introducing solids to mini bite, it will be fun to hear how that goes.

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  6. Ha I can see that Baby Bite is practicing for throwing food over the side of the high chair already! Serious, good luck with it. I am sure it wont be long before she is choosing her own food from the M&S food hall. Those sandwiches look really good - wish they had had them on our visit last year!

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    1. Yes, she is good at throwing things! I think she'll be given food over a heap of newspaper to minimise floor mess :P

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  7. i do love an M&S sandwich! i had never liked mustard till i had a ham and mustard sanger from M&S; they converted me:=) Phew your bub is getting big already. time flies. your kitchen is always full of healthy, interesting food. i'm afraid mine pales in comparison.

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    1. I have to remember to snap the healthy, interesting food because there is plenty of non healthy and boring stuff as well!

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  8. Happy 6 month birthday to the little 'un! I was chatting with a vegan friend the other day about the very phenomenon you mentioned - where you see something vegan that you didn't like when you weren't vegan, and you still buy it! I was never a massive donut fan, but I would definitely still buy a pack of those mini donuts anyway!

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    1. It's crazy, isn't it! Makes life fun at least :-)

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  9. The rainbow veg sandwiches do sound good; disappointing the taste didn't live up to expectation. The doughnuts also sound yum, although I think I'd be partial to the caramel one (12 does sound a large number though). I love that picture of mini Bite in the chair. Our two small dogs loved when we introduced foods - they would always hover underneath the highchair knowing that many tasty morsels would be flung down at them.

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    1. I can definitely see the benefits of a dog when feeding a baby! It would be the highlight of their day for sure :D

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  10. Love the sound of those doughnuts Kari. They would have to be some of my favourite flavours, especially the caramel :) Good luck with feeding little Miss solids, I'm sure she'll love it. See you soon x
    https://missfoodfairy.com/2017/02/02/in-my-kitchen-february-2017/

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    1. Mini Bite has indeed taken to food with zest!

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  11. Good luck with the solids stage. It's always an adventure to see what they like and don't like, let alone the messes they make along the way! I too love the pear and ginger combo, couldn't get enough of it when our pear trees gave us so many pears last fall.

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    1. Definitely lots of mess with weaning here!!

      A pear tree sounds like a perfect opportunity for maxing out the pear and ginger combination :-)

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  12. Your kitchen is always so fun =) It looks extra fun with the baby in it!
    The Cauldron burgers look good. I feel like I am picky with my veggie burgers. I don't like them to really mimmic meat, I want them to taste like veggies ;)
    The M & S sandwiches look good too - I feel like I'm missing out by not having an M & S near me.

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    1. I like meat-like and non-meat like veggie burgers so in theory ought not to be picky, but sometimes I am anyway ;)

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  13. Those sandwiches look fantastic! I actually love to shop in the late evenings just to find deals like those salad pots :)) i will also buy about anything new i see that is vegan- i feel obligated to!
    Would love to see what a typical trip to the grocery store is for you- especially since i haven't been to london (yet!)
    Ttrockwood

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