A couple of Mondays ago I was lucky enough to have the company of my delightful friend Sal for a journey way further North than we would usually venture. Why the trip? Mac and Cheese! If anything's going to tempt me away from Brighton for an evening it's macaroni cheese so when Jhenn (aka The Vegan Ronin) announced she was starting a Macaroni Monday supper club I knew I had to go. Due to travel plans and tube strikes it took a lot longer than planned to get ourselves to Finchley to try the good stuff but it was absolutely worth the wait.
Jhenn cooks up a huge pot of stovetop mac and cheese and then you can dress up your mac with any one of six different toppings. There were six mix-in options including sauerkraut, seitan bacon bits, pastrami, toasted panko and sesame courgettes. I started with sauerkraut, seitan bacon and toasted panko, three of my favourite flavours on top of creamy mac & cheese. Perfection.
This really was great mac and cheese, the nutritional yeast based sauce was smooth and velvety and Jhenn's homemade seitan was perfect, really flavourful and the texture was spot on. I loved the crunchy bacon bits! I've never considered making my own sauerkraut before but Jhenn's was way, way better than the cheap jarred stuff I've been buying. This night doesn't just involve mac though, there was dessert and tea too. I skipped the tea but I will never say no to a cupcake especially a Speculoos one.
Jhenn used to be a full time baker at one of my favourite spots, Ms Cupcake, so of course this cake was delicious and perfectly light. I liked that there wasn't too much frosting and it was nice to come home from dinner not feeling super stuffed. Jhenn's supper clubs range from mac nights to five course Japanese feasts and you can book through Eat With. As I mentioned earlier Jhenn makes her own seitan which you can buy on the night, I loved the bacon bits so much that I bought some of her homemade Beican home with me.
I used it to make Nick and I epic breakfast sandwiches at the weekend and they was so good, the bacon crisped up really nicely and tasted great and we ate them on delicious Infinity Foods bakery sourdough baguette. Jhenn has an Etsy store here which doesn't have anything in it right now but hopefully more mock meats will be hitting the virtual shelves soon.
Back in Brighton the sun has finally emerged from behind the clouds so new kids on the block Beelzebab couldn't have picked a better time to launch their brand new vegan doner kebab stand.
I swung by Street Diner for lunch on their first day and Nick and I were their 3rd and 4th customers, not too shabby! We both grabbed the vegan doner of course although Nick nixed a whole load of the salad.
Of course I left off the chilli sauce which made the homemade vegan tzatziki sauce even more exciting. Nobody wants to be eating a dry kebab and tzatziki was a pre-gan favourite of mine.
The huge Infinity Foods made pitta was stuffed full of the duo's artisanal seitan alongside fresh crisp cabbage, onion and cucumber and fresh, flavourful tomatoes. It was seriously delicious and I can see myself making this lunchtime kebab a bit of a habit. I tried to swing by one of my long time favourite Street Diner stalls, Sultan's Delight, for a piece of their delicious baklava but they'd already sold the whole tray! Next time I'll be getting up even earlier to get my hands on the dream lunch combo.
Beelzebab can be found at Street Diner on Saturdays throughout summer and you can keep up with their upcoming pop-up's and events on their Twitter or Facebook accounts.
Last weekend I got to hang out with Sal again because it was her birthday! Nick and I drove up to her place where she was hosting a barbecue for her family and bff's, it was so much fun. Sal had been raving about the chicken seitan recipe from the cookbook Vegan Sandwiches Save The Day for a while so we were super excited when she pulled a few cutlets out of the fridge. We brushed them with garlic oil and grilled them alongside some of our favourite Vegusto Farmhouse Sausages.
The cutlets were perfect on a bun with coleslaw and a side of noochy garlic bread. We love garlic! And bread!
As well as the coleslaw, chickeney steaks & garlic bread Sal had also made one of my favourite salads, the Sweetcorn Edamame Salad from Veganomicon. I love sesame and this is one of the easiest and most delicious sides you can throw together.
I was in charge of cake and I made the s'mlove pie from Veganomicon because Sal had never had it before. Ridiculous!
This is one of the most indulgent desserts ever, I love it. There's a biscuit base then a tofu based chocolate pie filling, on top of that is a layer of peanut butter caramel topped with maple candied pecans and lastly even more chocolate is drizzled on top. It's perfect and if you haven't made it yet you should really get onto it stat!