Sunday lunch: Artichokes, bread, carrots, chickpeas, cucumbers, edamame, peppers, rice
Buffet lunch for various friends.
Cucumber, edamame, and kelp salad. Scoop out and discard the seeds from a cucumber; cut the rest of it into chunks. Cook some edamame, take them out of the pods if they didn’t already come that way (I used frozen depodded ones). Mix with a packet of spicy kelp. Season with a little white vinegar, sesame oil, and sugar.
Chickpea, artichoke, and pepper salad. Mix cooked chickpeas with quartered artichoke hearts and chopped peppers; dress with olive oil vinaigrette.
Sweet and sour peppers. Slice peppers, fry in olive oil until very soft. Add balsamic vinegar, palm sugar, and a slosh of vegetable stock concentrate; cook down until the liquid becomes a thick glaze.
Vermicelli rice. Made with olive oil instead of butter.
Everything I cooked was vegan, though I did serve some non-vegan things (cheese, taramasalata, chicken wings) on the side. I also served various breads; black Lithuanian bread with cumin, Caribbean mongoose bread, Turkish bread (all these were bought within 5 minutes’ walk of my house).
A buffet lunch for some friends, to serve as both lunch and dinner. Some was home-made, the rest was bought from TFC.
- Aubergine with preserved lemons. Sauté chopped onion and garlic in olive oil; add a bit of tomato purée and some finely-chopped aubergine; cook for about 10 minutes; add chopped preserved lemons and a splash of vegetable stock; reduce heat, cover, and cook until aubergine is soft.
- Okra stew with pomegranate molasses. Sauté chopped onion in olive oil; add a can of chopped tomatoes, a squeeze of squeezy garlic, and a splash of vegetable stock concentrate (I use Touch of Taste); simmer for a bit; add sliced okra and a splash of pomegranate molasses; cover and simmer until okra is very soft and the sauce had reduced.
- Black bean and chickpea salad. Black beans cooked from dried, chickpeas from a can. Mixed with vinaigrette, chopped red peppers, and finely-chopped parsley.
- Vermicelli rice. Done in the rice cooker, with the vermicelli cooked separately in olive oil in a frying pan and added to the rice cooker along with the normal amount of rice and water. Stirred well before serving.
- Borek (spinach/cheese pastries) and vegetable samosas. Bought frozen, cooked in the oven.
- Muhamarra. A spicy dip made from chopped nuts, bought ready-made.
- Hummous. Again bought ready-made.
- Mixed olives.
- Turkish bread. We bought flatbreads and the puffier style of bread; the flatbreads got entirely ignored.
Saturday dinner: Smoked fish, ham, aubergines, green beans, tomatoes, bread
Picnic-style dinner tonight:
- Smoked fish selection (trout, mackerel, salmon) with tartare sauce
- Polish “feast ham”
- Aubergine salad (cut into wedges, brush with oil, cook slowly in frying pan until soft, dress with a little more olive oil and some seasoned vinegar)
- Stewed green beans (with finely-chopped onion/garlic/tomato, ground cumin, ground cinnamon, pomegranate molasses)
- Fresh tomatoes
- Enormous dill pickles
- Rye bread from the farmers’ market
Friday dinner: Brussels sprouts, aubergines, broad beans, cornmeal
Various dishes made in advance or left over from previous meals, and served buffet-style at room temperature. The sprout salad and cornbread are vegetarian, and the rest is vegan. The sprout salad can trivially be made vegan by leaving out the butter or using vegan margarine instead. I also served some parathas (bought frozen).
Citrus sprout salad. Made using this recipe for cabbage salad.
Caponata. Left over from Wednesday.
Baba ganoush. Take whole aubergines and cook on a griddle pan (or barbecue), turning occasionally, until the skins are blackened. Leave to cool, peel (discard the burnt skin), and puree the flesh with lemon juice, tahini, and squeezy garlic.
Stewed broad beans. It’s not the season for them, but I had some in the freezer that I wanted to use up. Stewed with onion, garlic, carrot, olive oil, tomato purée, lemon juice, ground coriander, ground cumin.
Cornbread. Also left over from Wednesday.
Friday dinner: Fish, lentils, and greens
Various dishes cooked in advance and served buffet-style with walnut bread from the farmers’ market.
Breakfast lentils. Puy lentils with peanuts and fried onions; leftovers from Wednesday.
Cavolo nero with garlic and preserved lemons. More leftovers from Wednesday.
Wednesday dinner: Lentils, greens, and aubergines
Various dishes cooked in advance and served buffet-style at room temperature with jasmine rice cooked and kept warm in the rice cooker. It’s all vegan (and hence also vegetarian) apart from the fish sauce in the aubergine dish; I think this does help the flavour, but you can leave it out if you need to for dietary reasons, and it will still be fine.
Breakfast lentils. A very simple but delicious dish of Puy lentils cooked in vegetable stock with roasted peanuts and crispy fried onions. I omit the fenugreek in the linked recipe, and use a generous splash of Touch of Taste vegetable stock instead of just plain water. I use home-made crispy fried onions; I make these in a large batch every so often and store them in the freezer. They don’t stick together when frozen so you can just take out as many as you need.
Cavolo nero with garlic and preserved lemons. Sauté some thinly-sliced onion in olive oil, adding thickly-sliced garlic after the onion starts to soften. When the onion starts to brown, add finely-shredded cavolo nero, a handful at a time, and continue to sauté. When the cavolo nero is nearly done, add a splash of white wine and evaporate the liquid. Add finely-chopped flesh and rind of preserved lemon, stir around for another minute, and serve.
Mashed aubergine salad (拌茄泥). I essentially followed the linked recipe, but I had no oyster sauce so I used half the amount of Thai fish sauce instead — I think this was an improvement. I didn’t bother with the spring onion/coriander/ginger garnish. It was nicer after it had sat for an hour or so.