- Sunday, 5 April 2020

2020 recipe resolution: March

sneak peak: I'm following a new recipe every week in 2020 and March included a lot of aubergines, tahini, and the best ever chocolate brownies

In case you missed the January and February instalments, I made a resolution at the beginning of this year to follow a new recipe at least once a week - 52 in total across the year. Here's how March turned out.


March has been an odd month. I moved into a different flat (the landlord of my previous houseshare sold the house, which was a saga in itself) so have been learning my way around an unfamiliar kitchen, and no sooner had I done that than COVID-19 hit and I skedaddled my way back up north to the familiar comfort of Edinburgh. Those two scenarios have meant very different things for the resolution of making one new recipe a week: in London, I was getting to grips with cramming my (multitudinous) vegetables onto one shelf of a half-sized fridge, and not cooking nearly as much as I'm used to, and then when I came home I upped the ante and have been cooking a new recipe just about every day.


There's something very relaxing about being at home home. I know where everything is, nothing in the fridge or cupboards is off limits, it feels like a proper permanent kitchen rather than a 'I'm living here for a bit but not long-term so I don't want to accumulate lots of stuff and it's a shared space so there isn't storage for lots of things anyway' situation. Reunited with my recipe books and lots of niche ingredients, it has been the perfect environment for ideas to grow and dishes to be created. Plus, now that I'm cooking for more than just myself, meals get eaten up twice as fast which means I can make another recipe twice as soon. Does that make sense?


I may need to adjust the goal of 52 if this superspeed recipe-following continues...

10 of 52: one minute chocolate mug cake

Sometimes, when you just want some chocolate cake but you can't really be bothered, a mug cake is a total saviour. This was not one of those times. I won't dwell too long on it but this Chocolate Covered Katie one was not a tasty mug cake. I wanted it to work because it would have been so easy as a go-to, but the texture was weird, the flavour wasn't especially chocolatey, it was barely sweet, the final result was so dry it took all the moisture out of my mouth and I couldn't really talk... I'll try a different version next time. 3/10

[no photo because it didn't even look nice, very sad times :( ]


11 of 52: the best vegan brownies

I didn't give them that name, but I won't disagree because these were exquisite. I've made these brownies from Sweetest Menu twice now and both times they have turned out unbelievably delicious. I prefer a fudgey brownie to a cakey one (yet to meet anyone who prefers cakey, do you even exist?) and these absolutely tick that box - the key is leaving them to sit in the fridge for an hour or two as soon as they're done in the oven, if you can restrain yourself for that long. They became, somehow, even fudgier as the days went on so the longer you can make them last, the better they will be. 10/10


the best vegan brownies, 2020 recipe resolution: March, imogen molly blog, www.imogenmolly.co.uk


12 of 52: carrot, cumin and coconut soup

This soup marked the beginning of a still very much alive love affair with a new recipe book I was given for Christmas. Fearne Cotton's Happy Vegan is instantly one of my most-loved recipe books, and this soup was an excellent way to set the tone. I had a lot (I'm talking a LOT) of Oddbox carrots in London waiting to be used, which I brought up with me when I came home. This dish saw them transformed into a warming, smooth, comforting, *beautifully spiced* soup and Mum and I both enjoyed it hugely. 10/10


carrot, cumin and coconut soup, 2020 recipe resolution: March, imogen molly blog, www.imogenmolly.co.uk


13 of 52: miso aubergines

After the monumentally huge campaign to save the website in 2016, BBC Good Food is well and truly established as a staple of British foodie culture. It was only fitting that I should turn to them for this recipe - this was the latest in my ongoing quest to recreate restaurant-level melty, velvety aubergine at home and it was a strong contender indeed. We did one aubergine and one courgette, and both were delicious if not quite the meltiness I was looking for (and a smidge on the salty side - the miso glaze needed some sweetness to balance it out). A solid recipe but the quest continues. 6/10


miso aubergines, 2020 recipe resolution: March, imogen molly blog, www.imogenmolly.co.uk


14 of 52: blueberry and cannellini bean traybake

Surprise, another Fearne Cotton Happy Vegan recipe! Beany bakes intrigue me - vegetables in cakes are widely accepted as delicious (carrot cake, red velvet cake, courgette cake to name a few) but people can be a little dubious when it comes to beans. Black bean brownies and chickpea blondies are probably the most popular, so I was very interested to see how this cannellini bean traybake would turn out. Verdict: not quite right. I don't think it's a bad recipe, because it did taste nice, but the texture was all wrong. It was very dense and not unpleasant but I don't think it was supposed to be quite like that - next time, I would add in a step after blitzing in the food processor to mix with a whisk (or in a stand mixer) to beat some air into it so it's a bit lighter. The bursts of freshness from the fruit were lovely though and the tahini-yog icing was SO UNBELIEVABLY DELICIOUS. 6/10 (with potential)


blueberry and cannellini bean traybake, 2020 recipe resolution: March, imogen molly blog, www.imogenmolly.co.uk


15 of 52: broccoli katsu curry

I, like probably 90% of people who have ever had one (and 90% of those who haven't?) love a katsu curry. I've been meaning to make my own for ages and am not sure why it has taken me this long, but this one from Happy Vegan (told you...) was excellent. The sauce was so easy to make, but would have been smoother if we had put it in the blender at the end rather than using the stick blender, however that's also partly because it has sneaky carrot in it which is a very good way of a) using up carrots, b) upping your veggie intake, and c) making the sauce go further. I think it could have had a hint more spice but that's personal preference rather than the recipe. Next time I would do a two-step process for coating the broccoli in the breadcrumbs as they didn't really stick with just the oil, so I would use a flour-water mixture as a sort of base layer. Easy, quick, very tasty! 8/10


broccoli katsu curry, 2020 recipe resolution: March, imogen molly blog, www.imogenmolly.co.uk


16 of 52: charred aubergine with tahini and herbs

Lo and behold, another aubergine recipe, another Happy Vegan recipe. This one was better than the miso aubergine in terms of melty velvetiness, and the tahini drizzled on top was the icing on the cake (almost literally). I realised too late you're supposed to keep the ends on for roasting, and unfortunately I had been a little too liberal on the chopping front, but it didn't make any difference other than to the appearance - which, I know, was a little lacking on aesthetic appeal. Maybe I should have put the peas in a dinky little bowl and stacked the tofu slices on top of each other and had everything on big sharing dishes and drizzled the tahini with a sauce bottle but I didn't, and it still tasted excellent. Although it probably would have looked and tasted even better with the fresh herbs we didn't have. This is one I will make again. 8/10


charred aubergine with tahini and sesame coated tofu, 2020 recipe resolution: March, imogen molly blog, www.imogenmolly.co.uk


17 of 52: sesame coated tofu

The eighth (now really confused about the spelling of eighth - why is it not 'eight + th = eightth'?) and final new recipe of March was, quelle surprise, also from Happy Vegan. Pictured alongside the tahini aubergine above, the sesame coated tofu was an absolute delight. The outside went deliciously crunchy while the inside stayed moist and soft, and the sesame seeds provided the perfect extra flavour - especially when mirrored with the tahini (sesame seed paste) on the aubergine. Again, forgive the non-gourmet presentation but I just wanted to gobble it up because it smelled so good. 9/10


You can read the January and February instalments here, and follow me on Instagram @imogenfin to keep up with the (many) new recipes I'm making throughout April!

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