Here we are at the end of November already - I can't believe it. It seems like only a week ago that I was wondering if I would be able to come up with enough variety in my cooking to blog for 30 days. I've made it! I've tried 7 new (to me) vegan products, attempted 12 new recipes, used 3 previously unused cookbooks and cooked 20 old favourites. I now have enough leftovers in my freezer to keep me going for the whole of December! I've only managed to let go of one of my old vegetarian cookbooks, but I have highlighted another two to look through and then part with over the next few weeks.
I was wondering what to cook for today and then when searching through the kitchen I came across two of the purple potatoes I started out MoFo with. It seemed the right time to come full circle and finish with a variation on the meal I started the month with. So here we have mashed purple potatoes, chickpea cutlet and a rainbow of steamed veggies, served this time with a lemony lentil sauce, based on the Lemony Mixed Bean hotpot recipe I made earlier in the month.
But as a commitment to the future, I also wanted to try a new recipe from a previously unused book. My gaze fell upon Lickin' the Beaters, subtitled Low Fat Vegan Desserts, by Siue Moffat. I bought this book over a year ago and had never got round to using it. I was drawn to the homemade halvah recipe. I associate halva with Istanbul and the most excellent Haci Bekir in Istiklal Caddesi. However, there will be no trip to Turkey for me this year, so making my own halva seemed like a good idea. The ingredients are all very simple - sesame seeds, maple syrup and vanilla with optional cocoa. The first mistake I made was using sesame seeds with their shells on. They were just too bitter for a sweet. Fortunately I had only put maple syrup and vanilla extract in half the mixture, so I can use the other half of the crushed sesame seeds in gomasio. Then I started again with shelled sesame seeds. This worked much better - it looked the right colour and taste much less bitter. I left half of the mixture as it was and added some cocoa powder to the other half. The recipe suggested putting the mixture into a small container and chilling. I used heart shaped chocolate moulds. The finished product was nice - not great, and it really would have been better with more maple syrup added to the cocoa flavoured half of the mix - but it's good as a sweet treat on a cold snowy day. It lacks the consistency of Turkish halva and I'd be tempted to replace half the sesame seeds with ground almonds next time to make it even less bitter. I will definitely be making more recipes from this cookbook.
So where to from here? When I started out, my goal was to blog for MoFo, I didn't believe that anyone would read any of my blog entries and I didn't actually think beyond that. Now I've decided to continue. I can't keep up the same rate of daily entries, especially as i still have all of those leftoves to eat up! But for December my plan is to blog twice or three times a week. I aim to try at least 2 new recipes a week. I'd like to get myself in gear for the PCRM 21-day vegan kickstart in January by cooking mainly low fat recipes, but that plan may change...