VeganMoFo – The final stretch!

I can’t believe it’s the end of November already. That means that it’s not only much closer to Christmas, but also it’s the end of MoFo. And I’ve managed to post everyday! I was thinking hard about what to focus on for my final day of MoFo and I’m going to share with you some of the blogs and posts I’ve loved reading this month. I’ve still got thousands of unread posts and there are whole blogs I haven’t even opened yet, but I’m going to enjoy catching up on them all through the winter. They’ll probably keep me going right up until MoFo next year! So don’t be surprised if you suddenly get a comment from me in July about something you wrote months and months ago. I can’t wait to see what discoveries wait in store for me.

I’ve already read and enjoying some amazing things and I’m constantly astonished at how creative vegan bloggers are. I’m going to share my 3 favourite VeganMoFo blogs and also my favourite post.

1. The Airy Way. I love this blog all the time but the bravery and creativity of trying a brand new ingredient every day for a whole month has impressed me beyond words. And it’s not as if she’s always shy about new things anyway. I like to think I’ve eaten and cooked a wide variety of unusual things but there’s food here that I’ve never eaten, but that I’ll certainly be looking out for in future.

2. Messy Vegetarian Cook I love reading UK based blogs because there’s a bit more of a chance I’ll be able to get the right ingredients and I don’t need to be jealous of the weather. I’ll forgive the Messy Vegetarian Cook for actually being American because her blog is so enticing. I actually stopped bothering to star her posts early in the month because I want to cook all of her South-East recipes. How beautiful does this look?

3. Vegan Eats and Treats I’d been reading Amey’s fabulous blog for a while before we were matched up as PPK food parcel swap partners. She sent me the most amazing parcel full of Mexican goodies and the cutest ever homemade food zine.

For MoFo she’s been travelling round the world cooking up a storm from a different country every day. What a huge commitment, but how rewarding! I even ordered a new cookbook based on a lot of her choices because it all looks so amazing. Her map and little pictures are so cute I’ll even forgive her for not visiting England on her trip.

And finally, a special award for my favourite post of the month. When I lived in Moscow I frequented a Georgian restaurant and fell in love with the cuisine. One dish that still haunts me twenty years on is the khachapuri – a most delicious gooey cheese stuffed flatbread. I didn’t even attempt to make it as a vegetarian because it was such a perfect item I didn’t ever want to ruin my memory of it. Since being vegan I’ve regretted that bitterly and was resigned to a future without ever eating khachapuri again. Enter Mo Betta Vegan and her truly amazing effort at veganizing this spectacular dish. Mo, I hereby declare this my favourite post of the whole month and it is certainly the top of my starred list of things to try!

Thanks to all you amazing bloggers who have done such a great job of showcasing vegan food this month!

VeganMoFo – panini press

Another two for one “things I like” today. I’d never really made a panini until I started testing for Tami’s American Vegan Kitchen. The first time I made the tuna no melt panini pictured above I had to create a DIY panini maker from a frying pan, tin foil and some old unused floor tiles. This worked out well even though it was a bit messy and precarious. I carried on making panini that way until I finally snapped and bought a proper panini maker. (I say finally snapped but if you know me at all you’ll guess that what I really mean is that I realised there was a kitchen gadget out there that I didn’t own and ordered it). I bought this Gordon Ramsay grill – not because I’m necessarily a huge fan of his (though he’s miles better on any UK production than on US ones), but because I wanted something flexible with interchangeable ridged and flat plates. I’ve already used it enough to justify its place in my kitchen – in fact, it got upgraded from a “lives in the garage” appliance to a “lives in the kitchen” appliance extremely quickly. It would be worth the price just for sandwiches and quesadillas, but you can use it for other things such as grilling vegetables or kebabs. For those of us living in countries with grim weather it makes us feel all Australian or American to throw something on the grill!

On to the panini. Not only did I have to construct my own grill the first time I made it, but I had to use chickpeas because I didn’t have access to soy curls. I really enjoyed it with the chickpeas, but having brought some soy curls back from America I was able to use the curls this time. I haven’t included soy curls in my MoFo “Things I like” theme, because to be honest the jury is still out. I’ve only used them once before and I wasn’t quite convinced (I’ll probably blog it once MoFo is over), but in this application I really like them. The texture is excellent and they combine perfectly with the other flavours. The cheezy mayo which goes into the sandwich to create the melt effect is amazing and regularly crops up in my kitchen on burgers, sausages and as a dip for potato wedges.