I've thoroughly enjoyed taking part in my first vegan mofo even if it has left me a little shattered creating a new recipe every day for the last 29 days! I will admit some days it was the last thing on my mind especially if it had been a long stressful day at work, but I'm so pleased I stuck to it, it has been an enjoyable experience on the whole.
I believe that I have got more creative in the kitchen especially with beans! I have now grown to love food that I have previously hated and will continue to use in my cooking. Most of my creations have been a success story and it was only yesterday that I had my first disaster, but one out of 29 can't be too bad can it?
OK, so what have I been up to this month then, all my recipes have been created with beans as an ingredient and I have created recipes which have included the following beans:
- Bean Sprouts
- Black Bean
- Black Eyed Beans
- Borlotti Beans
- Broad Beans
- Butter Beans
- Cannellini Beans
- Green Beans
- Haricot Beans
- Mung Beans
- Pinto Beans
- Purple Beans
- Red Kidney Beans
- Refried Beans
- Runner Beans
- Soya Bean Curd
- Yellow Beans
Eighteen beans in 29 days is not bad going especially when you consider the amount of runner beans and green beans that my very small veggie garden has produced. They both featured a lot in my recipes, but it was great as none went to waste. Although I'm pretty beaned out to say the least and looking out the window I can see at least another 2 kilograms of runner beans that are ready to harvest!
During Mac 'n' Cheese Mondays I've created 4 very different Mac 'n' Cheese recipes:
- Mac 'n' Cheese - Simple
- Mac 'n' Cheese - Spicy
- Mac 'n' Cheese - Yellow Peppers
- Mac 'n' Cheese - Sweet Potato
My favourite out of the above has to be without doubt the Yellow Pepper version and I will make this again and again. In fact I'm already considering making it for a Cauliflower Cheese as I bought a wonderful Romanesco Cauliflower the other day, it's almost too pretty to eat!
TV Tuesdays involved replicating a meal from your favourite TV show or movie, vegan of course and I chose 4 of my favourite films and created the following:
- Mystic Pizza - Bean Pizza
- The Breakfast Club - Bean Maki Rolls
- Julie & Julia - Green Beans in a Mushroom Sauce
- Bridget Jones Diary - Leek, Butter Bean & Runner Bean Soup
My favourite recreation was the Green Beans in Mushroom Sauce and it's where my love affair started with the partnering of green beans and mushrooms. They went so well together and something that I will continue to experiment with in the future.
Work With It Wednesdays was a hard one for me, how can you create recipes that you enjoy using foods that you dislike? The foods I disliked (past tense as I now like them) were peanut butter, cannellini beans, butter beans and aubergines and I made the following:
- Bean and Noodle Salad
- Butter Bean and Cauliflower Mash
- Aubergine and Cannellini Bean Cassoulet
- Aubergine and Butter Bean Rolls
My favourite dish was the aubergine and butter bean rolls, but a very close second was the butter bean and cauliflower mash, both dishes using butter beans. I will be using this ingredient far more in the future. I'm thinking a butter bean mash atop a shepherdless pie?
Thankful Thursdays was all about giving to others, which in my case was making a meal for a camping holiday with friends, a homemade Christmas present and a big thank you to my hubby for putting up with me during vegan mofo! I also managed to write about the vegan swap box which to happy vegans organise every month. Food wise I made the following:
The Five Bean Tacos were a great hit, and you can make them as spicy or as mild as you want. The aubergine and butter bean moussaka was a dish made from left overs from the aubergine and butter bean rolls and was surprisingly delicious. I also received a great vegan swap box from Heather too, which made my day.
Fry-Days are pretty self explanatory and involved dishes of the fried variety. We always have a treat for a Friday meal and anything fried is a treat - wouldn't you agree? Sometimes we enjoy a take away but I've not had a take away now for over a month! Perhaps one day this week, probably Friday we will treat ourselves. The dishes I created for Fry-Days were:
It was hard to choose a favourite from these four dishes, fajitas are a standard Friday dish and I use whatever is in the fridge that needs using up for the filling. Stir frys are another standard dish in our house as is a black bean sauce dish. Last Friday was the first time ever I made my own tempura as its normally too much hassle to get out the deep fat fryer and the mammoth task of cleaning up after, but on this occasion I was glad I went to the trouble as the bean tempura was lovely. Note to self though, it doesn't keep! It goes soggy after it has cooled so my compost bin had the leftovers ha ha ha.
Retro Saturdays in my eyes are all about the old favourites, the nostalgic culinary classics, a throwback dish from the 1970's. I've really enjoyed all these dishes and they were:
I love risottos and I have made a few, a lot of people say they are so time consuming but really is 20 minutes cooking, time consuming? OK so you have to keep stirring the rice and adding more stock but in doing so, I say to myself I'm adding in love, care and attention to detail, which in my book is worth the effort. I am a massive fan of Mushroom Stroganoff and I think it has to be my all time favourite dish, the bean stroganoff was good, but in my eyes nothing beats a mushroom stroganoff. So, my favourite of these four dishes has to be the bean and mushroom wellington which not only did I enjoy on Saturday but on Sunday too and I've got it for lunch tomorrow!
Sleepy Sundays are everything related to breakfast, brunch or lazin' in bed snacks. Most of my creations fall under the category of brunch and included these 5 (yes there were 5 Sundays in vegan mofo), creations.
- Broad Bean Pate
- Bean stuffed Mushrooms
- Bean Hash
- Green Bean, Mushroom and Cherry Tomato Pancakes
- Bean Potato Cakes
My favourite without a doubt has to be the bean stuffed mushrooms, where I partnered up adzuki beans and white miso, another match made in heaven. I loved the taste experiments I have undergone throughout vegan mofo but this combination was the winner for me. The least successful dish was my disaster yesterday! The Bean Potato Cakes, although I reheated one up this morning for breakfast and it was OK, quite tasty in fact.
All in all I have thoroughly enjoyed being part of vegan mofo and creating recipes that I will come back to over and over again. Yes it has been a little stressful at times especially when I've cooked late and I am frantically typing up my creation before midnight dawns on us! But I am so pleased that I have managed to create and post a new recipe every day!
I'm going to have a well earned rest, just a couple of days, while I recharge my batteries and my creativity levels increase. So I'll be back soon with more recipes in a few days.
Many thanks to all of you who have left lovely comments, become members, subscribed to emails or just browsed through my blog. I hope you have enjoyed it as much as I have.
See you all very very soon