This second edition of my Food Diary series has a summery theme. Don’t know about anyone else, but as soon as the sun gets its hat on and the weather hots up I go crazy for colourful, fresh food. Over the last several weeks I’ve been really enjoying salad bowls, fruit and anything that requires minimal effort to prepare and eat. Seriously, in this weather, if I can’t just plonk it in a bowl and eat it with fingers or a fork, I’m not interested. I’ve found that making big batches of salad-y things at the beginning of the week and then grazing throughout the week has been the way to go. I thought I’d put together a couple of insta-style collages and give you all some sunshine food-spiration!
The chopped salad and cold lentil salad you see in these photos were made in bulk and stored in tubs (as an added blog bonus, I’ll give you the lentil salad recipe shortly). Similarly, having tubs of shop bought olives, beetroot salad and couscous and a big bag of spinach on hand just adds to the laziness of it all. A lot of the time I do make my own batches of seasoned couscous and/or quinoa for my lunch bowls but, at this time of year, any excuse to hang around the chiller aisle in Sainsbury’s will do for me. As you can see I added various different things to my lunches so that I never actually had the same meal twice. Favourites of mine are sweet pickled onions and cajun roasted sweet potato. You’ll also notice that the Coconut Bacon I got in my #TVK9 box made the odd appearance.
It’s not just my lunches that I prefer to eat out of a bowl lately, it’s breakfasts and dinners too. Cereal and fruit has been my favourite way to start the day, with lashings of ice cold orange juice (I wish i could say I juice my own, but my juicer, sadly, is no longer with us) and a cheeky dollop of Alpro choccy pud here and there. The Sainsbury’s Wholegrain Blueberry Wheats pictured really are lovely and they’re marked vegan. Perfect with an extra helping of fresh blueberries. And who doesn’t love a fruit salad with extra chocolate
Just in case you were wondering, I do actually WASH my bowl between meals. I have several of these shallow, poppy-printed bowls (Poundland bargain) and find them the perfect size for my appetite, as well as helping with portion control. Trust me, if I used a big plate I’d be wanting to fill it. These bowls have seen plenty of noodles, rice, veggie stir fries and pastas in the last few weeks. I really don’t like having the oven on in hot weather so anything I can boil or flash fry on the hob is a winner. Particular favourites have been penne with sundried tomato pesto, spinach and grated vegan cheese and that beautiful sriracha-marinated tofu with veggie fried rice. Mediterranean and oriental flavours make me so happy.
So that’s what I’ve been living off lately. I just love how colourful vegan food can be. As they say, the more colours on your plate, the healthier the plate so go ahead and taste the rainbow! Going forward into Autumn/Winter I’m sure my bowl will more likely be filled with warming, hearty soups, stews and gravies but I’m definitely making the most of summer salads while I can. To keep you inspired, here’s that lentil salad recipe i promised you earlier…
Recipe: Green Lentil Summer Salad
(No particular quantities, make as much as you like and to your own taste)
Green lentils – Boiled and drained
Raw carrot – Chopped
Red onion – Diced
Celery – Chopped
Parsley – Chopped
Combine the cooled lentils and the prepped veggies in a tub and add garlic salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste. Place in the fridge to rest (I find it improves on resting a while) and then eat at will. Lunches for days!