Sunday, 14 November 2010

Vegan MoFo Day 14: Barley Couscous and Banana Bread

But not together... I was working this morning so once again I didn't have much energy for cooking. Couscous is always a quick standby and I had some barley couscous I've been waiting to try and salad leaves that need to be used up. I added the juice of half a lime and a pinch of harissa spices to the couscous and mixed in half a diced avocado, some smoked tofu with sesame and sunflower seeds, olive halves and some defrosted petits pois. I put the couscous vegetable mixture onto a bed of little gem lettuce with pea shoots, lamb's lettuce, red chard. cherry tomatoes, cucumber and radish and then topped it with some chopped strawberries, pinenuts, toasted almond slices and cress. Served with a sesame pitta bread, some falafel and hummus and a mug of vegetable bouillon. The verdict - the whole was a great combination. I didn't really notice any difference in the barley couscous but then as there were so many other flavours competing it probably had a hard job making itself known. Since it cost around 3 times the price of wholewheat couscous and I usually eat my couscous with a lot of flavours, it probably isn't worth the extra cost.
  Next weekend some of the Scottish Vegans group are baking for the Compassionate Living Fayre here in Edinburgh. This will be my first time in taking part and I'm feleing quite excited and having people taste my baking. I've already decided on a couple of recipes and then thought I'd also like to try a new recipe. The one I chose was the Best Banana Bread recipe from The 100 Best Vegan Baking Recipes  I've had this book for ages but hadn't yet got round to baking any of the recipes. The best banana bread has had a great write up on blogs I've been reading. My oven isn't the best - it usually runs at a slightly lower temperature. Thie time, however, the outside of the cake was baked long before the inside. When I tested after 43 minutes the outside was already a medium brown colour, but the inside was still uncooked. After 48 minutes it was much the same and I ended up having to bake it for a further 10 minutes before the inside was cooked. By that time the outside was a much darker brown than I would have preferred. I'm still not sure where I went wrong. I used home made oat milk, but the recipe didn't specify any particular non-dairy milk. I baked the cake on the middle shelf of my gas oven so it shouldn't have got too hot. Perhaps next time I could cook the batter in muffin tins so that it cooks through quicker. Any suggestions gratefully received. The middle of the cake tastes great, the outside slightly overdone. I think I'd better work on perfecting my baking of this recipe before I inflict the results on the general public! 
    i had a really hard time uploading this image - is that because all the Vegan MoFo-ers are uploading at the same time?      

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