Do you remember a few weeks ago when I mentioned that I'd won a garden? Well it arrived last Friday. I got home very late due to a broken down train so I'm afraid I didn't open immediately and unpack as instructed. The instructions said to do this within 24 hours though so I was up at 7am on Saturday morning and on it!
The prize was one of these Window Box Gardens from Rocket Gardens and the plants arrive packed in damp straw.
It was like an exciting lucky dip going through the box and discovering the different layers.
The first task was to lay everything out, identify the plants and give the roots a dunk in a water bath.
The beetroot, dwarf beans and herbs (chives, parsley and basil) have all gone into pots whilst the leafy greens have their own bed.
There's rocket, various types of lettuces, mizuna and spinach. I posted a picture on Facebook and said how I was worried that the local cats might be tempted to use it as a litter tray like they have done on occasion with our raised flower bed. My friend Tams posted back a picture of her solution to the issue which was strategically placed chippy forks. A trip to the Pound Shop later and we had the same effect. I mentioned that I thought it looked like an art installation and I had to laugh when she called it Forks Over Knives'!
Yoga Kitchen finally went back to the library this week after I'd renewed it once. I made a few things before it was returned though. This mushroom ragu served on a baked sweet potato was one of the first things I'd bookmarked and it was really tasty. The mushrooms are cooked in coconut oil and the sauce is made from stock, tomato puree, fresh thyme and a small amount of raw cacao. I will definitely be making this again. The leftovers were great stirred through pasta the next day with some added spinach.
I made it for my sister when she came for a sleepover. Matt was away in Scotland all week and it was lovely to have her company. Dessert was also from the book and was Avocado and Lime Mousse topped with chopped pistachios. This was really easy to make with everything just going in a blender and then left to set for a couple of hours in the fridge.
We enjoyed the dessert with this vegan friendly and Fairtraided Moscato Rose from the Co-Op. It was only around 5% abv and cost £3.49. I don't drink much these days though I do like the odd glass of wine. I also like finding things that are lower in alcohol like this but still taste good!
This last dish from Yoga Kitchen was a masala dahl which took a bit longer to make as you make your own curry paste. It was served on a bed of brown rice and rocket and topped with Coconut Collaborative plain yoghurt and some homegrown alfalfa. I was especially glad to have leftovers of this the night of the train breakdown.
The curry theme continued over the weekend as I made a couple more to welcome Matt back from his week away. These were both from an Indian book I picked up in a charity shop recently that has some good veggie curry recipes in it. It's the first time I've tried any of them and I picked out this mushroom, pea and cashew nut one.
Alongside it was this fried spiced potato dish which was finished with fresh pomegranate seeds and chopped coriander. I'd really like to get some more good vegan curry recipes. Has anyone got the Vegan Richa book? I'm thinking of getting it.
As soon as he got back Matt cracked open the Follow Your Heart vegan egg for this breakfast bagel. We are planning to have it again soon with an attempt at rice paper bacon. That's if I can track the rice paper wrappers down. I tried everywhere in China Town today with no luck.
Finally I got a lovely gift from Scotland. It's lemongrass bath salts and a matching candle and they smell gorgeous. Matt found this company called Purdies of Argyll and all their products are suitable for vegans. Check them out, it all sounds lovely and they do mail order too.