Sunday, 1 September 2013
Vegan MoFo VII - Overview and Sundae Sunday
I'm having a pretty bad allergy attack for probably the 3rd/4th weekend in a row, but I wrote most of this early. Suck on that, allergies!
I can't believe it's MoFo time already! Well, mostly because it's in September this year rather than October/November. But it's for good reason - different food availability, better lighting, and less chance of a month of pumpkin recipes (though I have no problem with pumpkin recipes).
I'm not gonna go crazy with themes this year. I only have three - budget meals, Southern Saturdays, and Sundae Sunday. I'll also have some lazy days where I talk about products/restaurants, as per usual, and I'll be baking at least once because Mike's birthday is on the 20th.
The budget meals theme is pretty much gonna be an ongoing thing in my life for the foreseeable future. The cost of living keeps rising a lot faster than my salary (we only get c-o-l increases, which don't even keep up with inflation, instead of merit increases, so in real terms, I make less now than when I started), and I'm now paying nearly half of my salary into my student loans. I also put a lot into savings - I suppose I could save less, and tbh I end up spending half of my savings anyway, but it's important to me, as a person who is terrible with money, to have something (anything) going into savings.
But this won't be a month of beans and rice! I'm totally gonna post a beans and rice recipe, but it's killer, and I promise it'll just be the one.
My plan is to live off of my online shop of non-perishables that I did at the end of August and what I have in the cupboards and only buy perishables (bread, fresh fruit/veg) for the rest of the month. I'll be buying as few convenience foods as I can (I still have to buy lunch meat for Mike's lunches because I can't seem to force myself to make seitan often enough, though Mike has volunteered to make seitan) and making as much as possible from scratch (I'm gonna make my own baked beans!). Hopefully this'll force me to get through all the stuff I've been buying over the years and never getting around to using (I'm looking at you, sticky rice and multiple bags of cornmeal). My goal is to spend less than £125 on food for the month (including the rare convenience food) - so that averages to about £25 per week from payday to payday.
I'll talk more about my Southern theme on Saturday. Needless to say, I'm super excited about that. I might (might) buy in extra stuff for these recipes, but I'm hoping I can stick to my budget plan for this part as well. I'm gonna try to pick recipes for which I already have most/all of the ingredients.
And since it's Sunday, it's Sundae Sunday! This one is pretty straightforward - I'll make ice cream, and I might make some toppings (if I don't already have them), and then I'll make a sundae.
For my first Sundae Sunday, I started pretty easy. I made one of my favourite ice creams - PB Speculoos, which is based on the PB variation of the Veganomicon recipe.
PB Speculoos Ice Cream
6 oz silken tofu (about 1/2 pack)
1c soy cream*
1/2 c soy milk
3/4 c sugar
1/4 c peanut butter (or PB substitute like Freenut Butter)
1/4 c Speculoos**
1 tbsp vanilla extract
Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Pour the mixture into a lidded bowl and chill for at least an hour or overnight if you have time/patience. Churn in your ice cream maker as per the machine instructions. You can either eat it as is (I like it melty right out of the ice cream maker) or freeze until hard.
*I use a full container of Alpro soy cream, which is actually 250ml, but those extra 10ml don't really make much difference.
**I use crunchy Speculoos because I always seem to have a jar even though I don't really like it as much as smooth.
I made Cinnamon Pancakes from Cookin' Crunk for brunch, and we had 2 left over, so I used those for the sundae base. I topped the pancake with the ice cream and, because of the allergies, I just topped everything with Hershey's syrup and soya whip (from a can).
I wasn't sure if the pancake would work out, but it was really good! The cinnamony Speculoos flavour from the ice cream complimented the pancake well, and the chocolate tied everything together. The only thing that I thought was not quite right was the spray cream - it was maybe just a bit too beany. Overall, this was a winner.
I know there are lots of other people who are doing some amazing themes (such as Lazy Smurf's taco cleanse and the Seinfeld theme at Naked Vegan Lunch, to name just a few), so I'm really excited to see what other people come up with. Happy MoFoing!