Hope your summer is making up for the miserable weather we are having here? Is the rest of Europe hoarding all the sunshine in revenge for Brexit, I wonder? Those of us who have not voted for it should walk under a personal sunny patch, surely? 😉 Instead, the sky is constantly light to dark grey and drizzle continuously morphs into rain and vice versa. I’m sooooo sick of it! Today, I’ve been sitting by my window watching the clouds for the past 5 hours and all I managed to shoot in that time is a few passable photographs…I miss the certainty of the bright blue sky that living in Greece had on offer…
Dark clouds aside, today has been a bit stressful. Duncan has not been feeling quite right since his 26 km race on Saturday. Initially, he put it down to post-race fatigue and did what he always does – pushed through. We went cycling around Bristol for the Let’s Ride event on Sunday and then he went on his usual recovery run yesterday, but something odd was happening. His ribs (not his legs) were hurting like hell. He had trouble sleeping last night despite taking codeine (which he hates taking so he must have been desperate) and then rang me up from work saying that he was in so much pain that his usual walk from the bus stop took 25 minutes instead of 8 and he looks so ill that his team mates are kicking him off to a hospital.
He went to a hospital walk-in centre – the same one that dismissed my shingles as nothing a few weeks ago, but luckily this time they were on their A game. He got seen very quickly and his symptoms were taken very seriously straight away. After a number of tests, it turned out he has a nasty lung infection (pleurisy) that is causing him all this pain. Luckily, it’s painful but not that serious yet – it would have been if he had left it a bit longer. He got a horse dose of injected antibiotics, some morphine and took a cab home. He is now tucked in bed, watching Netflix and dozing and I am relieved that he got some proper medical help and I hope that he will get over this quickly. I’m certainly planning to pump lots of colourful veggies into him for the next few days to aid his recovery.
As part of this I’ve made a Turkish-inspired dish that is traditionally served for breakfast, but it also makes a mean brunch or lunch. It’s called menemen and it’s a dish similar to shakshuka. It’s scrambled or poached eggs in an aromatic and spicy pepper and tomato sauce. As the actual sauce is naturally vegan and contributes the most flavour to this dish, making this dish plant-based requires no ingenuity at all.
My favourite way to replicate the scrambled eggs’ texture is to use silken tofu seasoned with black salt (kala namak) and turmeric, for colour. I recently tested this hack on a couple of omnivorous guests and they raved about it. While some use firm cotton tofu for tofu scramble, I swear by silken tofu instead as it mimics set egg whites the best in my opinion.
This dish is even better made in advance and reheated so perfect for batch prep. The sauce gains flavour as it rests and all you need to do is to warm up some seasoned tofu in it the next day. It goes beautifully with toasted Turkish bread (like this one) and a sprinkle of finely minced fresh parsley and Urfa (if you can get them) chilli flakes. If you happen to live near a Turkish (or Middle Eastern) greengrocer, like I do, you’ll find both of these products along with Turkish peppers with ease. If not, see below for substitute suggestions. Enjoy! x
PS: If you make my vegan menemen, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram as @lazycatkitchen and use the #lazycatkitchen hashtag. I love seeing your takes on my recipes!
**Black salt (kala namak) is a type of salt used in Asia / India (so look for it in Asian greengrocers). It has quite a pungent smell and a distinctive flavour due to its high sulphur content. It makes tofu taste and smell like scrambled eggs. I used finely ground black salt (which is actually dusty pink in colour) and I found it to be much less salty than regular sea salt.