Surprise finds :)

Ciao peeps! Today’s been a busy but enjoyable one, completing all my assessment work (now done!!) and then going into town for nosh and other things.

Thankfully I had lunch before walking up to uni, as it had slipped my mind that the cafe is currently closed because somebody broke into its cash machine over the weekend (!!). Don’t know why they bothered; we’re students, there won’t be any money in there…

Anyway, by the time I had walked up the massive hill, done three hours of work, and walked back into town, I was famished. I remembered reading on the Facebook Vegan Supermarket Finds page that Pret A Manger does a few vegan options, so I headed there and bought this yummy sandwich (I stupidly forgot to take a picture of the label, but I know it contained avocado, kale and some delicious spicy sauce etc.):

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Nice things in bread

I have heard a lot of people raving about some new sweets from Marks and Spencer, called “Sticks of Summer” spicy fruit sticks, and I’ve tried twice now to get them, but they’re currently out of stock :/ However, I had geared myself up for sweetie goodness, so I got a pack of gelatine-free Percy Pics instead πŸ˜€

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Pigs without the pig πŸ˜€

There was one last nice surprise of the day when I found a load of new organic vegan chocolate bars in Sainsbury’s πŸ™‚ They’re not the cheapest, but as a treat they look fab!

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Yummy yoghurt!

Whilst sitting on the tills for over three hours at a time at Lidl, my mind wanders to either daydreams or annoying little musings. Yesterday it was the latter, when I randomely remembered that I had an unopened pot of soya yoghurt in the fridge, and wondered how to use it up.

Lidl sells tubs of frozen berries and, when I saw a couple of them being bought, I realised that I could combine these with the yoghurt to make frozen yoghurt (which I have always preferred to ice-cream). I tried this when I got home by mixing them together in my blender, which worked surprisingly well, seeing as my blender is rubbish! (You get what you pay for with blenders, and I chose a very cheap one online.) I poured the result into a tub and popped it in the freezer, so we can add a sweetener of our choice onto individual portions πŸ™‚ This was the vivid result:

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Frozen berry yoghurt

I also wanted to share a picture and brief recipe of our dinner tonight – Fry’s chicken tacos -because it was delish and looked nice πŸ˜€

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Tacos!
  • Prepare salad (we had tomatoes, lettuce and avocado
  • Fry the ‘chicken’ strips with onions, mushrooms, a sun-dried tomato stir-in sauce, and fajita seasoning
  • Divide the mixture into soft taco shells and top with grated violife cheese
  • Pop in the oven at 160 for about 10 mins

On a side note, Sacla bolognese sauce (available in freefrom section) is the nicest ready-made sauce we have had (and we’ve tried a few!!)

Food at work and uni

Ciao peeps! It’s been another busy week, made harder to handle because I managed to become well acquainted with a bout of ‘flu which has been working its way around England… Oh well, back on the mend now and ready to tackle the next chapter of uni: a fun combo of assessment and dissertation prep.

In second year?! Apparently so…

200_s

It got me thinking that I’ve never really talked about the foods I eat whilst at uni and work, so I shall tell ye now! πŸ˜€

This is a fairly typical lunch from the Sion Hill campus canteen as, although they do vegan options, there are just two sandwich/wrap options. However, they have been known to do a vegan giant samosa with rice and mango sauce, and an adapted falafel baguette πŸ™‚ If I went into uni for lunch on a regular basis, I would try to bring in my own food, to save money, but I tend to go up after lunch unless I have an early lecture. I have a habit of buying a soya latte or mocha, but have recently invested in a pot of Douwe Egberts instant vanilla coffee, which I take in a Thermos flask, mixed with hot water, a bit of xylitol and soya milk πŸ™‚

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Chilli jam salad wrap and jalapeΓ±o crisps

In terms of work at Lidl, I always take my own food because I never want to eat into my break-time buying food and queuing up in store (no pun intended). To be as easy and quick as possible, as well as filling, I have a noodle- or rice-based snack. Most often, it’s an Uncle Ben’s Mexican rice packet (takes 2 mins to heat in the microwave), accompanied by a bit of vegan butter and avocado/extra sweetcorn/tomatoes πŸ™‚ It’s thoroughly yummy and I’m not bored of it yet, even though I have it A LOT!!

Unexpected treats!

Hey folks, I wanted to share a meal we had the other night, because it included two key ingredients which I thought I would never be able to have again (unless I made them from scratch by myself):

Main course was Thai Red Curry, made with a curry paste from Lidl. I was super surprised that it didn’t have fish in it, and was scanning the ingredients like 5 times to make sure! I made it by frying a combination of Fry’s chicken strips and mixed oriental veg, before adding the paste and some coconut milk. I served it with jasmine rice, and it was thoroughly yummy πŸ™‚

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Thai red curry and jasmine rice

I had read on PETA’s list of accidentally vegan foods that Mr Kipling’s apple and blackcurrant pies are suitable, and so for pudding we had these warmed up and served with a small tub of Booja Booja vanilla ice-cream between us πŸ™‚

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Pies and ice-cream πŸ™‚

Just shows, there are surprises to find everywhere!

Random foodie bits

Hello lovely people πŸ™‚ It’s been another little while since my last post because – you guessed it – I’ve been busy! (Mostly with eating the chocolate we got at Easter…)

Being vegan is totally instinctive to me now, and the idea of eating meat, and many animal products, is as foreign as the idea of eating my sofa. I haven’t been making many meals totally from scratch recently, but have been making a lot of “put-together” meals, such as pastas and roasts made using a combination of fresh ingredients and the occasional jar of ready-made sauce or meat substitute. However, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that; that’s how most people cook anyway! Totally normal πŸ˜€

I just want to share a few foodie bits from the last few days: some nice meals and product reviews. Below is an awful photo of a delicious pasta meal we had, with garlic bread made using par-baked baguettes, mixed dried herbs, vegan butter and minced garlic. To make it, you simply spread a mixture of the butter, herbs and garlic onto each slice of baguette, and bake in the oven for as long as the packet says (usually about 10 mins).

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N.B. the TARDIS salt ‘n’ pepper shakers!

We also had vegan pesto with this meal (Sacla freefrom), and I realised something funny: I used to hate pesto, but that is because non-vegan pesto has a parmesan-like cheese in it. Without the cheesy taste, pesto is delish!

Another meal I made, for the first time, was courgette spaghetti (with smoked tofu which our friends brought Jacob on his birthday) as an appreciation of our favourite starter at The Green Rocket. It wasn’t my favourite thing I’ve made, although Jacob enjoyed it very much, because I think I overcooked it slightly… Oh well, practice makes perfect πŸ™‚

Random intermittent note: Baby courgettes are as cute as baby crocodiles. And the same colour.

I also wanted to include a review of a fake gammon joint I got from Holland & Barrett (the brand was called Cheatin’) and cooked with roast veggies. I was never keen on pork products, but gammon was Jacob’s favourite meat, and he said the taste was pretty spot-on. However, the texture was a bit too mushy; it needed to be smoother and shinier in order to be totally realistic. Overall, I wouldn’t recommend the whole joint as centre stage in a meal, but it would be perfect as an ingredient in something else, such as a pasty or pasta.