Puffy naan, saag tofu

Puffy naan, saag tofu

Puffy naan, saag tofu

Little Nettle and I have been upping our flatbread game. While making Vegan Richa’s puffy restaurant style naan we divided the batch: half to hand pat out and half to roll to see how we felt about the difference. It turns out that we prefer the hand patted ones - but the rolled out ones are also amazingly tasty and way faster. Served with Bryant Terry’s brilliant green saag tofu.

Puffy naan, saag tofu close up

Puffy naan, saag tofu close up

(Unicorn food doesn’t have to be sweet - this emerald savory dish is at home in any rainbow.)

Purple sweet potato biscuits

Sweet potato biscuits cooling on parchment paper

Sweet potato biscuits cooling on parchment paper

When Little Nettle was a toddler who refused to sleep past four in the morning, Bake Club was born and one of the first things we made were sweet potato biscuits from Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s Appetite for Reduction. Sweet potato biscuits pretty much became a staple in this house, which is awesome as I am an unabashed fan of both sweet potatoes and biscuits.

Close up of one purple sweet potato biscuit

Close up of one purple sweet potato biscuit

One morning we only had purple sweet potatoes, but we figured we’d give it a go. We were surprised and delighted to discover that the biscuits were not only a beautifully vibrant purple but they were also flecked with a bright turquoise blue throughout! It’s a replicable result: an interaction between the anthocyanin (the purple pigment) and the baking powder. If you want a fun baking science experiment to do with your tiny sous chef - or on your own - this is a good one.

Blueberry-beet waffles

The waffling continues: Little Nettle requested purple waffles, so I roasted up a beet and puréed it with some frozen blueberries.

Extremely promising violet-purple waffle batter

Extremely promising violet-purple waffle batter

The batter was an amazingly intense violet-purple. The waffles themselves a little less so after cooking, but still suitable for unicorn food.

A slightly mauve exterior but a quite purple interior

A slightly mauve exterior but a quite purple interior

I served them with a roasted asparagus tofu Hollandaise, which I don’t have a picture of, but it was a very vibrant meal indeed.

Blueberry-beet waffle topped with vegan butter

Blueberry-beet waffle topped with vegan butter

Calico citrus beet ginger waffles

My sweetheart and Little Nettle got me a waffle maker last Christmas and I’ve been waffling ever since. I got Little Nettle her own copy of Unicorn Food, and these waffles are inspired by the Calico Beet Waffles - you can find the original recipe here.

Calico citrus beet ginger waffles, cooling

Calico citrus beet ginger waffles, cooling

They’re citrusy and sweet and not too earthy; the neon beet color is phenomenal. Next time I might up the beet content, or add blueberries for an even deeper hue.

Close up of calico citrus beet ginger waffles

Close up of calico citrus beet ginger waffles

To freeze, let the waffles cool and separate them, then place them in the freezer, separated by parchment paper. Make sure you lay them flat for easy storage later.

Calico citrus ginger beet waffles ready for freezing

Calico citrus ginger beet waffles ready for freezing

You can pop straight in the toaster or defrost them in the microwave first. Or you can eat them as soon as you make them. What will I waffle next? Green spinach and spirulina waffles?

batch cooking for H. & J.

playing tetris with frozen portions of batch cooking in the freezer

My friends H. and J. are having a baby this month, and I offered to make a few meals to ease a bit of the strain of the first few days of brand-new parenting.  Neither of them are vegans but they're both adventurous eaters and I've made dinner for them a few times before. I cooked up a few things and then - thanks to the folks over at the PPK forums - learned a few things about the things I should be cooking, too!

frozen dal makhani

I wanted to make them things that would freeze, keep and reheat easily and be warm and nourishing. They both really like dals and curries, so I made up a batch of dal makhani - I use coconut milk instead of ghee, yoghurt and cream - and aloo saag with beet greens, spinach and kale.

frozen NOLA red beans in a thick gravy

I also cooked up a batch of NOLA red beans in a thick gravy. I froze everything in 1 cup portions in storage containers and unmolded them by placing the containers in a bowl of cold water until the contents just released from the sides. Once all the different dishes were unmolded, I put the 1 cup portions in individual bags labelled with all the ingredients (in case of looking out for baby allergies) and with reheating instructions (for easy reference).   

molasses cornbread, cooling

I made some molasses cornbread as well, a house favorite, let it cool and then cut into single servings to freeze.

What hadn't occurred to me was this: things that can be eaten with one hand are a serious boon for new parents. So thank you, PPKers, I'll be baking off some empanadas later this week as well. Hopefully this will at least be a small help for H. and J. and their new little person - I can't wait to see what they look like as a bigger family!