I’m back!

I am finally installed in my new house, and have wifi back 😀

Keynsham is a lot smaller than Bath, but is still within easy commute by bus or train, and has its own decent selection of shops; a big Tesco, small Sainsbury’s, and a healthfood shop which has a good choice of vegan items 🙂

I have discovered that Tesco is very vegan-friendly, and has its own labelling system. As well as the usual “accidentally-vegan” items, they have a couple of freefrom sections, and a small range of vegan frozen stuff like spicy burgers.

Some excellent dairy replacements I found are:

  • Blackcurrant cheesecakes
  • Strawberry creamy yogurts
  • Cornettos!!!

Apologies for the blurry photo; I was just so excited to eat it!

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P.S. I was very amused by the label on this Booja Booja ice-cream – first ingredient: “water from reverse osmosis”😂 I have never seen a more scientific-sounding ingredient!

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Vegfest, Bristol 2017

Vegfest was brilliant! Such an inspiring day full of delish food and like-minded people :)Our local one took place on Bristol waterfront, and it is still on today. We ate a lot of cake and brought home a lot of paperwork and goodies:

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They included vegan versions of Milky Way, creme egg and Mars bars, flavoured vodka, a T-shirt, and a bat ring (obviously).

There were hundreds of stalls and too many companies to mention individually, but a couple of particular standouts were:

  • Viva! who do undercover investigating into the horrible welfare conditions on farms… even “organic” and “RSPCA approved” ones where the animals are allegedly cuddled to death…
  • A bag, wallet and notebook company called Thamon, who make leather-like material out of leaves! I am not someone who usually obsesses over handbags, but they had an absolutely beautiful electric-blue coloured one which I was staring at for ages! 😀 Future present request…??

In other news, I had my last shift at Lidl last Saturday! I made an Oreo cake which went down a treat:

I finished my last uni assessment on Friday as well, and am moving house on Thursday to a nearby town. I am excited to still be local to Bath and Bristol, which are very creative and vegan-friendly places, and seeing what my next step will be…

Some new things!

I tried some new items from Lidl this week 🙂 I was not expecting any of them to be vegan, but I checked the packets anyway and was pleasantly surprised!

They do vegetable burgers and spicy bean burgers, both of which are very nice (although, like most ready-made items, contain palm oil so avoid if you choose). I was very surprised to discover that their apple strudel is also OK! We had this with Swedish Glace vanilla ice-cream:

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Also, we finally got around to trying the Wetherspoons curry! It was tasty and very good value; a decent portion of curry, rice, two poppadoms and a naan bread 🙂

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Lastly, there was a one-off vegan cake stall in Bath city centre on Sunday! I was doing my penultimate shift at Lidl that day, so Jacob went along and bought rather a lot of things: sausage rolls, a spiced mince tart, and several cakes, some flavours of which I hadn’t eaten since going vegan e.g. coffee cake and mint-choc! A lovely treat 🙂

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Yes, that is edible cat rice-paper…

Some new items!

Hey folks! I have recently been taste-testing a few items which have appeared in my local shops (oh dear, what a tough life…) 😀

Firstly, Follow Your Heart “pepper-Jack” cheese slices, which I found in Harvest!! I used to absolutely love spicy cheese, so this was a dream come true – I made cheese and tomato toasties with sandwich thins from Lidl 🙂

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I know it’s a rubbish photo OK?!

I don’t have pictures of the other items, but I would recommend them:

  • Vegolino chocolates (just about worth the silly price, I think…!)
  • New vegan Cauldron sausages, made with beans and peppers – absolutely delicious
  • Linda McCartney pulled “chicken” – great in pasta!

The Vegolino chocs were also from Harvest, and the last two items are from Sainsbury’s.

Jacob and I treated ourselves to a lovely meat at The Green Rocket last week – I had Vietnamese curry and a vegan “Snickers bar”, and he had posh sausages and mash and sticky toffee pudding and ice-cream. We actually ended up swapping desserts, because we each like the other one’s more! 😀

Lastly, I’m just going to casually drop these fajitas here, as I think it might be my best food photograph so far (I know, I know, that’s not saying much, but hey… They were great 🙂 )

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Chocolate Sunday!

(Pun very much intended)

Happy Easter folks! (If you celebrate it, or at least have some chocolate!) 😀

I have to say that I do find Easter, like most traditional celebrations, very strange if they involve animal products; for example, a lot of people eat lamb at Easter. In other words, they are celebrating the start of new life by eating a new life 😦 And of course all the dairy chocolate which meant that babies had to be separated from their mothers…

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Human hypocrisy at its finest :/

Anyway, we have been enjoying some treats today! Here are some examples of vegan Easter treats you can easily find in the shops: Asda freefrom caramel crispy squares, Poppets, Choices egg, Celtic egg, vegan sweets and freefrom cookies, all from Sainsbury’s 🙂 Omnomnom…

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Also, I wanted to mention a lovely lunch I had with my uni friends recently at Beyond the Kale. Their roasted veg wrap was absolutely delicious, accompanied by an energising juice and spiced wedges, with a strawberry cheesecake for dessert:

Cake and other things

Yo! It’s been a while again; I’ve been very busy with uni recently. I have quite a few exciting things going on at the moment: doing marketing for our summer exhibition in London, having an interview at Bristol Old Vic (fingers crossed!!), and preparing for assessments…

Anyway, it was Jacob’s 25th birthday on Tuesday, and I made him a cake:

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I made this using Betty Crocker devil’s food cake mix, icing, and choc chips from Lidl. For the first time, I used chia seeds as an egg replacer (having suddenly realised I’d run out of Orgran). It’s very simple: for every egg, you combine 1tbsp of chia seeds and 3tbsp of water, and leave for a few minutes to form a jelly 🙂 It went down a treat with our omni friends at the birthday gathering!

Here are a couple of other things:

I finally got around to having hash browns again – fun was had! 🙂

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I put pesto and “cheese” mushrooms ON TOP of burgers!!!!

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I think that, as well as showing some of the yumminess we’ve been having, these photos effectively show my incompetence as a food photographer…

Anyway…

It’s nice to be able to write positive things on here. I’ve actually had a pretty frustrating morning, as last night I commented on an Earth Hour facebook post, basically saying how we should be caring for our planet all the time, not just for an hour, and that switching the lights off it like putting a plaster on a broken arm if you still eat animal products. You can imaging the ignorant backlash I received which I saw first thing this morning… :/

It was a combination of people saying that eating meat has nothing to do with climate change, and calling me a “Debbie Downer” for pointing out these facts. Generally I am a pretty positive person, but it’s sometimes difficult when you are reminded about how in denial, and how mollycoddled, most of the human race is. The frustrating thing is that most people would probably go vegan if they were to actually bother to find out some info and stop burying their heads in the sand.

But, sadly, most people are deliberately ignorant.

And lazy.

And stupid.

We just have to have hope that veganism will soon be so mainstream that people will have no choice other than to see its positive impact, and how easy it is, and how natural it is for humans! Come on 2017, do us proud!! 🙂

Beyond The Kale supper club & more..

Hey folks!

I’ve just got back from having a late breakfast at The Green Rocket, so I’m happy! 😀

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It’s been quite a busy week-or-so with vegan food 🙂 Jacob and I saw an event on facebook at Beyond The Kale in Bath for a vegan supper club with a three-course set menu, which was last Sunday. Apparently this is going to be a regular monthly event 😀 Funnily, enough, despite this being the most vegan eatery in Bath, this was the first time we had been!

This was the menu:

  • Creamy Cashew & Sunflower Pate with Seeded Crackers & Smoked Carrot
  • Beet Wellington with Herby Roasted Vegetables, Roast Potatoes, Braised Cabbage and Red Wine Gravy
  • Sticky Toffee Pudding, Toffee Sauce and Ice Cream

Next, a couple of useful finds:

  • Swedish Glace magnums – omigosh!!! So creamy… so chocolatey… ❤
  • Cheatin’ bacon rashers – excellent in ‘bacon’ butties with brown sauce or ketchup

And lastly, yesterday at uni, we had a bake sale to raise some money for our Bargehouse exhibition in London next July. I made an Oreo cake using Betty Crocker chocolate cake mix, vanilla buttercream icing and Oreos! It was a hit and sold out quickest! 🙂

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P.S. I owned this idiot:

Bat out of Hell trip!

Well the Bat out of Hell musical was AMAZING! WE went on opening night (the 17th Feb) and thoroughly enjoyed it 🙂

It was only a very short trip to Manchester, but I still found time to visit the art gallery, discover what might be my favourite shop ever (Afflecks) and, of course, have some yummy vegan nosh 😀

Coincidentally, Afflecks did actually have a vegan cafe on site, but we had already eaten at V-Rev (which we ended up going to twice!)

V-Rev is an entirely vegan American-style diner, located in the Northern quarter, which serves burgers, hot-dogs, and amazing milkshakes. This is their menu (I wanted everything):

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This kept us full for two days!! 😀

Also, I spotted a couple of other vegan-related things: this cute sign:

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and this chalking in Arndale shopping centre 🙂

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Overall, Manchester seemed like quite a vegan-friendly place. We were hoping to also visit The Deaf Institute, which I heard is great, but sadly their kitchen didn’t open early enough for us to eat before leaving :/

Creamy pasta recipe and useful finds :)

Heyyyyy folks 🙂 It’s been a little while since I last posted again, due to lots and lots of busyness occurring: it’s been a busy time at uni recently, and I have increased my hours at Lidl slightly. Hope everybody had a nice Valentine’s day yesterday, if you celebrate it! Personally I use it as a good excuse to eat lovely food (and chocolate!)

Jacob and I treated each other to lots of Hotel Chocolat, and I cooked a homemade meal in the evening – I will put the recipe below:

pasta-recipe

Versatile Creamy Pasta with Roasted Tomatoes

A very simple dish, which you can adapt to use whatever flavours you want: Italian, spicy or cheesy…

Serves 2-3

Ingredients:

  • Punnet plum/cherry/grape tomatoes, halved
  • 10 ounces pasta
  • Oil
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • A bulb’s-worth of garlic, finely chopped or minced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 600 ml unsweetened almond milk
  • Extra seasonings of choice, such as chilli powder, Italian herbs
  • Vegan cheese, such as Violife parmesan (optional)
  • Fresh basil, to garnish

Method:

  • Put the halved tomatoes onto a baking tray with some oil and salt, and roast at 200C while you make the rest of the dish

  • Put the pasta on to boil for approx. 12 mins

  • Meanwhile, make the sauce in a frying pan: Fry the garlic and shallots in a bit of oil until softened

  • Add the flour, then the almond milk, a little at a time until well combined

  • Let the sauce simmer and thicken for a few minutes. Add salt and pepper, and whatever extra seasonings and vegan cheese you would like

  • When the sauce has reached your desired consistency, stir in the cooked pasta and the roasted tomatoes. Garnish with the fresh basil and enjoy!

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Today’s gonna be good…

I tried out a few new products over these last two weeks:

Linda McCartney’s chorizo and red pepper sausages are awesome! I had them with fried onions, sweetcorn, peppers, avocado and rice, which was a tasty mixture 🙂

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Also, the mock duck is very realistic and tasty in a stir fry (excuse the terribly blurry photo!)

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Remember last time I said I love the newly-vegan Quorn spicy burgers?? 😀

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I also tried a random marinade sauce I found in Sainsbury’s; Levi Roots’ ginger beer! It is marked vegan on the packet, and had a lovely citrusy, slightly hot flavour: would recommend with a stir-fry and sweet-potato fries:

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Lastly, these pineapple fritters were for sale in the Asian specials recently at Lidl! I love fritters, so had them with Swedish Glace ice-cream 🙂

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And here are a couple of favourites:

Mum’s lovely pizza and salad 🙂 Looked so pretty and colourful I had to take a picture!

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And this was my tea, which I had about 20 mins ago! 😀 Lidl’s “Simply” garlic bread is vegan!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Sorry for the lengthly post! Jacob and I are off to Manchester tomorrow to see the Bat Out of Hell musical on its opening night on Friday. I hear that Manchester is very vegan-friendly, so I’m sure I will have lots of eateries to report on when I return…

Until next time 🙂