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?