Meat Free Monday – spring, week 03

The day began without the breakfast strawberry and banana smoothie because I was so busy doing the ironing yesterday, I completely forgot to get my fruit and veg for today! But fear not, I made it for a mid-morning snack. It wasn’t as good as I hoped it would be as strawberries aren’t yet in season here and I found the ones that I had bought were a little bit firm and lacking in flavour. My banana too was a little underripe. So when you make this smoothie ensure your fruit is as ripe and flavourful as it can possibly be. I also thinned it down a little with some extra milk but that’s just a personal preference.

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For lunch the choice was between hummus and flatbread or vegetarian croque madam. We have hummus quite a lot so I plumped for the croque madam. The bread of my choice (which currently is an artisan seeded loaf) spread with some Dijon mustard and filled with gruyere cheese – toasted – then topped with a fried egg. I think on reflection I should have used white bread but I didn’t have any in the freezer nor did I have time to make any. (I know, excuses, excuses ……..). I also think I should have put it in the panini machine rather than fry it in butter since it has a fried egg on the top. Quite high fat for someone with gallstones (that would be me, just in care you’re wondering). After I took the photo I decided to have some rocket and tomato with Madam Croque. Some baked/grilled tomatoes would also have been nice – just something to cut through the richness.

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Dinner – crispy spring rolls with sweet and sour Chinese cabbage on the side.

Firstly, when you know you’re going to be making the spring rolls for dinner, you should remove the spring roll skins from the freezer and secondly, you should make the filling in advance as it needs to be cool to fill the said skins. Did I do either? Nope. I went to meet a friend for coffee in the afternoon and when I got home, all ready to prepare the dinner, I realised that my spring roll skins were in the freezer frozen solid. I put them on top the AGA lid, on a tea towel, to defrost. I know this is not ideal but needs must. And guess what? Worked perfectly. Meanwhile, I poured myself a glass of wine and got started on the filling which was beansprouts, Chinese leaves, bamboo shoots and carrots with some new season asparagus (yipppeeee!) thrown in for good measure. They had a little sugar, soy sauce and seasoning added for flavour. The recipe said to deep fry the spring rolls but given the high fat lunch I ate, I baked them and they were great. There was a lot of chopping but the spring roll skins are quite stretchy and a doddle to work with. I served them with a little sweet chilli sauce and plum sauce for dipping.

The sweet and sour Chinese cabbage was really good – light and low fat – right up my street. I think Chinese cabbage is the same as Chinese leaves which were used in the spring rolls. Even if they’re not the same, it was what I used in both because they’re huge! I couldn’t get the sambal oelek required for the sauce so I used a different chilli sauce instead and it worked fine.

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Lots of beansprouts left over so it’ll be chow mein for dinner tomorrow!

I didn’t afraid I didn’t make the limoncello and ricotta cheesecake so if you want to know how it turns out you’ll have to make it yourself! 🙂

note: Meat Free Mondays breakfast and lunch post will be done on Mondays
………Dinner will be within the same post but done on Tuesdays

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