Chilli con tofu, see ya Veganuary

Well, Veganuary is offish over. Here’s my two pennies’ worth at the end of the month (find out what was surfing the waves of my mind during the month here).

  1. It is not, contrary to some opinions, a radical lifestyle. I’ve eaten quite a few more beans and developed a terribly sophisticated taste for dark chocolate but asides from that? The transition is not gigantesque – it is easy to eat vegan without necessarily meaning to.
  2. What I thought would be the most creatively stifling and disappointing would be vegan baking. I’m still a bit suspicious of baked goods with veggies in them (I’ll pass on sweet potato brownies and courgette cakes), but I was proved utterly wrong in my chocolate coconut cupcakes – I actually preferred their taste over the often-sickly, overdone cakes of today.
  3. I still find milk a bit of a problem. Don’t get me wrong, I love the alternatives. But these last couple of days the thought of an English Brekky tea with cow’s milk has drifted seductively through my brain.
  4. It is easy to get yourself in knots about the ecological impact of every single food you consume. I feel guilty for eating almonds, wonder about tofu and I wonder whether I should look up the environmental ethics of beans.
  5. It can, sometimes, be a bit unsociable, for example when you don’t partake in two lots of birthday cake in a row lolz. But I’d honestly say try – you’ll be surprised how natural it is.

Personally, what I find most encouraging about being vegan is that it is a commitment to act in the most environmentally-responsible way you can. So it is not about growing your own apple tree and living off that for the rest of your days, but finding, in your own way, a lifestyle that minimises damage to the environment. I find it a super positive message!

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So I’ll leave you with a recipe for chilli con tofu – it has a great ring to it, right? I made it in my slow-cooker but you can adapt this for the hob too.

 

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200g firm tofu

1 carrot

2 handfuls of peas

One can of kidney beans

Seasoning: salt, pepper, chilli flakes, paprika, mixed herbs, cumin, asafoetida (or onion/garlic, vegetable stock powder)

2 tbsp oil (vegetable, sunflower, olive, go with your heart)

1 can chopped tomatoes

2 tbsp tomato purée

1 tsp harissa

  1. Drain tofu and press down into it until it is reasonably dry.
  2. ‘Mince’ it in a mixing bowl (I used a fork)
  3. Chop the carrot, and add it with the beans and peas to the crumbled tofu
  4. Add the seasoning
  5. Add oil and, when warm, chopped tomatoes, tom purée and harissa
  6. Pour the tofu mixture in
  7. Leave to cook for 5-6 hours on medium
  8. Enjoy with rice!

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