London and other bits

Hellooo people!!

Sorry it’s been a while again, so I have a few weeks to catch up on! Friday was mine and Jacob’s second anniversary, and we went to London for the day to see the final version of Bat out of Hell the musical (which was AWESOME!!). While we were there, we ate at two of our favourite vegan-friendly places in the West End: Tibits and Yorica!

Usual messy plate-full-of-everything-imaginable:

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Sadly I forgot to take a pic of my Yorica! frozen yogurt, but it was rainbow candy flavour with several types of sweets and sprinkles 🙂

A few other bits:

We have also been to Las Iguanas a couple of times, as they have several vegan dishes. If I’m honest, the chilli was a bit TOO spicy for me, but their mushroom fajita is yum

Vegan waggon-wheel (the instruction printed on it is unnecessary!):

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Salted caramel ice-cream, which was perfect in the heat wave we’ve just had in England:

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Lastly, Jacob and I have cooked with each other a few times recently, and here are the treats he’s made: a Fry’s ‘chicken’ pesto pasta, (with vegan sparkling wine from Harvest) and a pizza:

By the way, if it’s of interest, please do keep checking my Thoughts, FAQ & Mythbusting page, as it is constantly updates with ramblings; I find it’s a good way to consolidate my many thoughts and get them out of my head 🙂

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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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!! 🙂

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 🙂

Latest yummy things

This week has been a good one for vegan food; Sainsbury’s has recently announced that it is becoming even more vegan-friendly, and the evidence was there to see when I went shopping yesterday! They had new vegan products by Quorn, Linda McCartney and Cauldron, including fishless fingers, chicken-style nuggets, pieces and fillets, pulled ‘chicken’, hoisin ‘duck’, and spicy burgers 😀

‘Chicken’ pasta with garlic bread and avocado:

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New Quorn fishless fingers with chips and mushy peas:

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The fishless fingers were surprisingly realistic, in a good way; they weren’t too fishy-tasting, but had a nice texture and mild flavour.

Quorn’s chicken-style products are OK, but overall I prefer Fry’s for that sort of thing; It’s down to personal preference. Maybe it’s because I used to like real chicken, so I prefer a more realistic taste and texture?

Quorn’s spicy burgers are really nice; they aren’t overwhelmingly spicy, and aren’t too big either, so you can happily have two at a time 😉

I will add other products to my Best substitutes & treats page as I try them 🙂

Latest food!

Hi folks! I wanted to post a few food recipes and images from the past few weeks. I have written about a few new vegan-friendly eateries in my Favourite shops & eateries page recently and thought I would post a few images from them all so you can see the sort of things they do:

My dad and I went to a little cafe in Taunton called The Planet, which is entirely vegan and does fresh hot food and lovely cakes 🙂 I had ‘cheesy’ pasta, which tasted very realistic and was very filling, my dad had chilli, and we both had cake for afters:

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Also, for my one-year veganniversary celebrations, Jacob and I went to Las Iguanas, which has recently expanded its vegan menu, and are currently doing 2-for-1 on all vegan main courses to support veganuary! It was delicious there: we had guacamole to start, then curry/three mushroom fajita, then a really yummy blancmange-type thing called ‘tembleque’, as well as some cocktails!

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Also, here are some of my best home-cooked things from recent times 🙂

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This was spaghetti with a sauce made from Sainsbury’s own vegan mince, their Taste the Difference cherry tomato and chilli pasta sauce, and green peppers, topped with Violife cheese and with garlic bread made from par-baked baguettes and spread with ‘Pure’ sunflower, basil and garlic granules. Yum!

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These are the fajitas I made last night, using Fry’s chicken-style strips, peppers, onions and the same tomato and chilli sauce as above. I also made a ‘deconstructed guacamole’ with avocado, tomato, red onion and a bit of lime juice and black pepper 🙂

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Last but certainly not least, I made Betty Crocker brownies with Swedish Glace ice-cream!!!! ❤

Chwismasss!!

Hi folks! Hope everybody has had a brilliant festive day, whatever you decided to do! Jacob, my mum and I had a lovely Christmas day – I’ll give a brief run-through of what we ate and got up to 🙂

I cooked the Christmas breakfast and lunch: ‘pizza bagels’ for breakfast (tomato pasta sauce and Violife cheese on lightly toasted bagels!) and a full roast for lunch:

  • Fry’s soy and quinoa roast (perfect size for three people)
  • Cranberry & port sauce (Lidl)
  • Roast veg – potatoes, carrots and parsnips
  • Sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower and peas
  • Gravy (Sainsbury’s own vegetarian gravy)
  • Onion and herb stuffing (Lidl)

It was so delicious!! Shameless high-five to me 😀 This was my first fully vegan Christmas, although last year I did cook a vegan lunch for me and Jacob as well (when I made a tofu loaf from scratch!)

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Also, I bought Jacob a bottle of Besos De Oro, which is a vegan cream liqueur very similar to Baileys. They are a brand new company, and apparently they were completely inundated with orders this year! Just shows the popularity of vegan products, and the loyalty of vegan customers – yay 🙂

Perfect accompaniment for watching a bit of Home Alone 😀

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In the afternoon, Jacob and I went up to visit his family. His mum, although she is a meat-eater herself, is always very accommodating and thoughtful and cooks us lovely vegan food and gives us vegan treats 🙂

Obviously it was quite a long time before we were able to eat another scrap, so in the meantime we opened presents, and fell asleep in front of the Doctor Who Christmas special (which seems to be becoming a tradition, as that is what happened last year as well!).

I got some lovely Lush products, and loads of chocolate from Hotel Chocolat, which I can’t wait to try! Then Jacob’s mum cooked us some bubble-and-squeak, using Linda McCartney sausages 🙂

We got home quite late, and I slept like a log! One of my favourite Christmases ever 😀

The hols are here!

The winter holiday is finally here!! Phew – I feel like it is well needed 😀

I had a pretty awful time last week, but I like to keep this blog about positivity and worthwhile information… Let’s just say that a few people really showed their true colours, and their negative opinions about my vegan diet! But that is OK; I already knew they disagreed with me, they are no longer on my social media, and I have enough real friends at uni to not have to interact with the horrible few 🙂

Onwards and upwards.

I had my last dissertation tutorial yesterday, and guess what? IT WASN’T A DISASTER!! My tutor said it all makes sense and didn’t give me too many things to alter 😀 So, apart from actually finishing writing the damn thing, I can truly relax and enjoy Christmas! More on that to come, I’m sure… 😉

My uni canteen is (albeit very reluctantly!) continuing to provide quite a few vegan options, including ‘Meat-free Mondays’, when they have hot meals such as pasta bake, chilli, curry etc. 🙂 They have also updated their sandwich range to include a hummous and roasted veg panino! This sausage and chutney sandwich was a little dry, but very tasty:

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Also, I just wanted to put this plate of deliciousness here 🙂 It is Fry’s steak-style pie, mash, gravy and veg:

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It’s been a while!!

Hi everyone! It’s been a long time since I last posted! Since last time, I have had my 23rd birthday, Halloween, and an absolute tonne of food pics and thoughts…

I don’t want my posts to become too repetitive, so from now on, I will mostly be posting new recipes, useful finds, and thoughts and FAQs. Now that I have become thoroughly confident in veganism, those are the most important elements of this blog 🙂

Since my last post, I have had the pleasure of trying several new vegan products: Vegenaise, Booja Booja ice cream, and some “accidentally vegan” spicy prawn flavour noodles from Lidl!

Do excuse this awfully blurry image of a bowl of chilli (which Vegenaise complements deliciously):

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Absolutely gorgeous Booja Booja chocolate salted caramel ice-cream 😀

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In order to keep this post manageably brief, I will just add a few of the best meals I have had recently:

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Mezze at The Green Rocket Cafe on my birthday 🙂 …
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… and breakfast there with Jacob a few days later!
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Lovely warming Fry’s steak-style pie, mash and veg for the cold weather
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[Very untidy!] fajitas with avocado and Vegenaise
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Linda McCartney burgers with all the trimmings!!

More posts will follow soon – I will try not to leave it so long again 😀 Ciao for now!