Posted in Vegan Recipes

2018 Cookbook Challenge – March round-up

2018 Cookbook Challenge – March round-up Posted on 08/04/20189 Comments
Ahoy, hello! My name is Jenny. I am a thirty-something human female from Manchester in the north of England. I enjoy rainy days and sad songs, custard donuts and salt & pepper chips and beer, lentil dhal and fried okra, X-Files and Twin Peaks, fierce fat heroines and mental health advocates, dogs and cats and otters and a very special beirdo. To paraphrase Sylvia Plath: "I blog because there is a voice within me that insists on writing lots of ridiculous chuff".

Hello pals, and my apologies for the lateness of this post. Perhaps foolishly I am determined to continue on my cookbook challenge journey, and that is helped in no small part by all you lovely folks who are joining in!

In early March we heard that my wonderful Nana, my Mum’s Mum, had been taken into hospital (she lives in a top notch elderly care facility with independent flats up in the north east). My Nana will be 87 years old tomorrow, and the death of my Mum in September last year hit her pretty hard. She was critically ill when she was first admitted to the hospital, with sepsis and late stage renal failure, as well as other issues. So March has been a bit of a tricky month, with a few weekend trips up to Middlesbrough and Saltburn, which are a little knackering for one so feeble as me. I also have two MA assignments due in this month (you can read a little about what I’m working on here) so, in all, not a lot of imaginative cooking has gone on.

A photo of my Nana in her youth sitting on my Uncle's motorbike with a towel on her hair.
My amazing Nana: baker of scones, player of gin rummy, teller of tales, compassionate superstar, and all round hero.

My Nana is stable right now but still in the hospital. We all hope that she rallies and will be able to go home as she misses her pals, but this is a bittersweet time as we know she is still quite poorly. She is comforted greatly by the thought of seeing my Mum again and I’m certainly not one to protest what makes my lovely Nana feel more at peace.

So, with all that preamble, let’s explore the absolutely minuscule pressure-cooker effort of this past month, and reveal April’s book.

A bowl of soup with seed sprinkles and buttered bread on the side.
A mushroom soup.
A bowl of noodles and veggies.
A nutty noodle creation. This was very tasty!
A bowl of curry with chickpeas and kale.
A curry with chickpeas and kale.

Folks, I know it was a busy month, but I think there was another reason we didn’t dip into this book too much in March. I must confess I found the recipes a little bland and uninspiring. I can’t help but feel this isn’t the fault of the pressure cooker as I have managed to throw together some very tasty meals in it before now. It has been invaluable for figuring out cooking times for grains (brown rice = magic) and I’ll definitely keep it handy for that, but I daresay we won’t use it too much for the recipes within.

And so, on to April’s choice. We are definitely in need of some FLAVOUR following the pressure-cooker month and so I decided to pick a book I have (shamefully) rarely used since it was bought for me as a gift…

Vegan Eats World the cookbook!

A photo of a recipe page.

As you can see I’ve already had a thorough look-through and assigned sticky notes to the appropriate pages. Last night I enjoyed a wonderfully tasty tofu dish so I am hoping for more flavourful dinners over the next few weeks.

And friends, I am so happy about those who are joining in! I am so sorry that I am behind on my blog reading and keeping up but I am trying to make time for all of that amongst everything else. Thank you if you are taking this journey with me!

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  1. Yey Vegan Eats World! I will try and do another cookbook update like I did with Isa Does It….. but it is a busy month so I might not be able to. If anything maybe I’ll get a few dishes made.

    Bummer about that cookbook. But at least it will be handy for inspirations. I was listening to a podcast ep about cookbooks, and their conclusion was that be most important role a cookbook can serve is just the inspiration for your own recipes. That was kind-of a nice thought.

    1. Yes I think it’s particularly good for those who are totally new to the pressure cooker (like me!) to give guidance on liquid ratios, etc., so I will certainly take that from it 🙂

  2. That is a GREAT photo of your grandmother. You and your family are going through a lot right now, and I wish you all the best.

    1. Thank you! It has certainly been a very difficult few months and we are ready for some peace, but I think it will be tricky for a little while longer yet. I guess all families go through these periods. Hopefully delicious recipes from around the world will help 🙂

  3. I have heard that about Vegan Under Pressure – that it can be under seasoned and uninspiring. I’m sorry it didn’t do more for you and I am happy to officially cross it off my wishlist (although I will certainly buy it if the ebook is ever on sale)

    Vegan Eats World is SUCH an intimidating book for me, maybe I should try to bang out a few more recipes from it along with you for April.

    Hope your Nana is feeling better soon <3

    1. Intimidating is a good word – I think that’s what’s always stopped me from diving into this book before now. I’ve chosen quite a few recipes that I think are doable if I make sure my herbs and spices are all in order so fingers crossed.

      And thank you for your kind words <3

  4. I will join in with Vegan Eats World! I have hardly cooked from it at all, but there is so many great looking recipes in there. This will inspire me.

    1. It’s weird how most folks who have the book say they’ve hardly used it! Once I went through and did the sticky notes it seemed a bit more achievable. I’ll see how I get on 🙂

  5. That’s such a cracking photo of your nan! I aspire to look even one tenth as cool as that lady. I hope that Vegan Eats World turns out to be a more giving book than last month’s – I’ve heard a lot of people say nice things about it. I hope you get some peace too – cooking and eating are recovery activities par excellence, I reckon. Sending good vibes through the ether in your direction.

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