Now, vegans talking about food is a bit of a cliche - particularly among vegetarians, for some reason. So I guess I *should* make a massive effort to avoid the subject here. Unfortunately, however, what you eat is as big a part of veganism as what you *don't* eat - since we have to eat something and all - so I am going to talk about it and sucks if you don't like that. I promise that food posts will only be made if I've either made something particularly impressive or am lacking something else to blog about.
Anyway, my lunch today (taking advantage of my last few days off work, where I can cook proper food in the middle of the day) was vegetables and tofu in tempura batter with a green salad.
Salad: 'ordinary' lettuce, watercress, spinach and a couple of spring onions. Dressed with a mix of hemp oil (I had olive oil overload during my last attempt to eat healthily, then bought some that had gone off, so now try to avoid it where I can), wine vinegar and agave syrup. (That's the vegan stuff that is like honey. It comes from a cactus, which I guess is the true vegan equivalent of eating the secretions of a stinging insect!) The salad, particularly the vinegar element, was useful in mopping up the grease content of the rest of the meal.
Batter - from a packet mix. These are fairly easily available and most of them seem to be vegan. I'm afraid I don't have a recipe for making it from scratch, but I can tell you that it works better after spending a day in the fridge than it does before. The batter has to be really cold and the oil really hot to get the full benefit of it. I don't own a deep fryer, so used a centimetre or so of oil in the bottom of the wok. (You will hear more about my wok habit!) I left the oil to heat up while making salad, going to the loo (tmi? Gives you an idea about timing though. And I swear I washed my hands...) and getting the bowl of batter and veg out of the fridge. To get individual pieces rather than a massive pancake, use a spoon to scoop out bits of veg/tofu one at a time and drop them in the oil. Try to leave space between them. The oil really hurts if you get it on your skin, so try not to. (I did.) Vegetables used in this instance: cauliflower, baby sweetcorn, carrot, mushrooms (pre-fried in garlic oil - I have a horror of biting into raw mushroom!). Also tofu because I had some left over from something else. Vegetables I want to try doing this with: broccoli, peppers, patra leaves. Vegetables I am curious about using but not convinced it will work: tomato, courgette, aubergine.
The leftover battered vegetables are going in the fridge - I want to see how well they'd work as a cold packed lunch.