Sunday, September 2, 2018

In my kitchen - September 2018

I am linking this into the monthly In My Kitchen round-up, hosted by Sherry of Sherry's Pickings.

After missing a few In My Kitchen posts, it is nice to be back for September. Here are some recent highlights from my kitchen, from new products to old staples.

A new product and an old staple comes in the form of tinned barley by Napolina. I love barley, but don't always love the time taken to cook it. Having a tin on hand is excellent when I need a quick meal (which is often).

Tinned barley

Every work day I buy a coffee from the coffee shop at my local train station. (I know this is a luxury). While they are making my oat milk latte, I ponder the cabinet with pastries and muffins. It has been years since I had a Danish pastry, but recently, they have been taunting me and making me wish a vegan alternative was available. I'm not aware of any vegan Danish pastry offerings so I made a version myself with Jus Roll puff pastry, Alpro custard, stewed apples and strawberries. I can't pretend these were authentic but they were tasty.

Vegan 'Danish pastry' variants
Recently, Morrisons have started to deliver to our area. Morrisons is a lower-cost supermarket that is a step up from no frills Lidl and Aldi but a (small) step down from Tesco and Sainsburys (several steps down from Waitrose!). To celebrate expanding their delivery zone, Morrisons have given our area free delivery for 3 months. I am taking advantage of that offer and we have had 2 deliveries thus far.
One of my favourite order items is the 'wonky vegetable box', featuring whatever seasonal vegetables they have to hand and including misshapen varieties as well as 'perfect' specimens. It is good value at £3.50 for an enormous box, and great for providing soup and stew bases.

Morrisons 'wonky vegetable' box
(with carrots, onions, leek, potatoes, sweet potatoes, courgettes, a cabbage and a swede)

Tesco used to offer beetroot wraps and spinach wraps, but discontinued both. Morrisons has stepped in to fill the spinach void and I enjoy the green colour and subtle taste these provide.


I make soup fairly regularly these days but it is nice to have tinned varieties on standby too. The Morrisons chickpea and spinach offering is a new favourite and not quite as salty as many tinned versions are.


Moving from one supermarket extreme to the other, I recently had an opportunity to visit Whole Foods while in London. I was surprised to find little that I wanted to eat fresh, ie, few lunch or dinner offerings that took my fancy. I'm not sure if the store has changed or my tastes have. I did, however, stock up on my beloved dairy free carob bars that I have yet to find anywhere else.



I was also pleased to see and buy a vegan carrot and raisin cake that is naturally sweetened by carrots, raisins and apple juice. It is more of a loaf than a bread, but very tasty.


I discovered frozen veggie gyozas earlier this year and now like to have a pack in the freezer at all times. They make a great (and quick) addition to lunches or dinners.


Our weather is starting to turn autumnal and with the cooler temperatures comes a greater reliance on porridge (oatmeal). Below are two recent bowls: pear, vanilla and dried cranberries, and strawberries, stewed apples and wild blackberries.

Pear, vanilla and dried cranberry porridge

Straweberry, apple and blackberry porridge

Last but not least, behind my kitchen is the hammock we bought at the start of summer. It's been a delightful addition to the garden, together with new potted plants.


16 comments:

  1. Your ranking of the British supermarkets is interesting. I lived there for a while much, but without a car, so I went to a small one in easy distance or to the one that a friend would drive to. Free delivery does sound like a generous offer, but I suppose they hope you'll become a loyal shopper when it stops.

    best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

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    1. Mr Bite also thought my ranking of supermarkets was interesting, and he lives here ;) Apparently some people lump Morrisons and Asda in with Tesco and Sainsburys! I guess we're just lucky to have so much choice.

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  2. I love the wonky vegetable box - I wonder whose definition of wonky though? They look good to me! I have never seen tinned barley around these parts, but I am a firm fan of the cook-it-yourself variety, but I wouldn't mind having a couple of those tins on standy. I like those Everfresh loaves too - the banana ones are good.

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    1. I thought the vegetables looked pretty good too! Maybe they were out of wonky ones :-)

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  3. Love the wonky vegetable box. We have so much vegetable waste in Australia because of "imperfect" vegetables supermarkets won't accept from farmers (and consumers have been trained to only buy things that look a certain way). Only one supermarket has started offering an "imperfect picks" section.

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  4. Great to see you doing an IML post. The wonky vegetable box looks a great idea - there is some similarity to the "odd bunch" in Woolies but a lot of it is wrapped in plastic which is a shame. Your danish pastry idea is brilliant (love the inspiration). And I love the sound of the gyoza - had some vegetarian dumplings on the weekend that I loved and want to find where they were bought! Enjoy the change in the weather and some relaxing hammock time.

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    1. Funnily enough, UK supermarkets use less plastic for wrapping vegetables than I recall in Australia but far more for wrapping fruit. There's no picking out apples from a tub, they all come pre-wrapped!

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  5. So pleased to see your IMK blog post, I hope to join in well before the deadline. Like Joey, I do like cooking my own barley- but understand why tinned can be a bonus on days. ive never seen the beet and spinach wraps in the Tesco here, but found some today at lunch time in M&S - I only every go there for occasional lunch treats. We have switched from Tesco to Asda recently, and Morrisons for a few reasons. I haven't seen the wonky box on offer at the M's in the area. I like Yutaka brand stuff, so know I would like the gyoza. Your hammock in the garden and those pots look fab, we certainly have had a good summer.

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    1. Our M&S stopped selling beet and spinach wraps! It's good to know they're still available in some branches.

      We have indeed had a good summer - very lucky.

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  6. Love your serene little hammock corner of the world!

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  7. Wonky box - I love it! Woolworths here have an "Odd Bunch" range but I like the name Wonky box so much more. Those danishes look super yummy. I've been enjoying trying the vegan doughnuts that seem to be cropping up everywhere in Canberra atm and probably need to stop indulging so much. Hehe

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    1. That's the trouble with new vegan treats...it's suddenly very easy to eat a lot of them ;)

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  8. i've never seen tinned barley before. does it taste good? isn't it great to have shopping delivered? so much nicer than going down to the busy shopping centre, i find. carob and me were never friends! it just doesn't have that same rich chocolatey feel to it. thanks so much for joining in IMK this month. cheers sherry

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    1. I think the barley tastes pretty much the same as fresh! Very handy - just like online deliveries :-)

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