Hello again, finally! :D

As I predicted in my last post, due to the busy-ness of my new job (which is going very well), things have been a bit quiet on the blog front recently!

So I’m back to do a few little updates while I can 🙂

The first thing I wanted to mention is that I found a really good vegan vitamin D supplement in Holland and Barrett this week. As the weather is starting to get colder and darker, I think it is very important for everybody (particularly British people who don’t get out enough!) to make sure they get vit D. This one is derived from mushrooms, and I got two bottles on a good price deal:

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Secondly, there has been good news for people of Bath; a completely new vegan eatery has opened in the city centre, called Chapel Arts Cafe! I haven’t had the chance to eat there yet, as they are in the process of adjusting their opening hours, but I am looking forward to going there some time after 1st October, when they will be open in the evenings 🙂

Lastly, I wanted to mention something that happened on social media last week, which was a strange mixture of positive and negative for me:

A well-known Facebook page, called Vice, posted an article about the jobs that would be lost if the world went vegan overnight. The funny thing was, that the top comments (including mine – see screenshots below) were the pro-vegan ones! There were lots of people pointing out the overall importance and benefits of veganism, and the fact that change is necessary, even if some people do have to transfer their skills to cruelty-free jobs.

Somebody very intelligently pointed out that, if everybody followed that same logic as the article, no positive changes or progress would ever happen because of the jobs that would be lost or altered. For example, crime would be encouraged because otherwise police officers would be out of work, or disease would not be fought because lots of medical staff and researchers would no longer be needed. It was a very flawed and short-sighted article.

Anyway, what was positive was that my comment ended up getting over a hundred more “like” and “love” reactions than the article itself. Considering that it was not on a vegan page, I found this very encouraging and surprising. Obviously, there were plenty of hate comments and arguments that I had to debunk, as well as trolls, but overall I was very pleasantly taken-aback by the support, and I had lots of lovely replies too. My follow-up replies, where I was debunking some stuff people said, got lots of likes as well. Maybe the world is changing after all…!

Here are the screenshots of my comment (I have chopped off my profile info at the top):

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I do find social media very overwhelming, and a lot of what I see makes my very angry and upset, so I have made various steps to reduce my social media usage from now on; it is also important to look after my own mental health, as well as being an activist for positive change 🙂

I will be back when I can! Ciao for now 😀

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Another London outing, and new job!

Hi all! Been a little while since I’ve posted, as I am now working full-time at my new job as an artist assistant, which I’m enjoying immensely 🙂

I am having to make myself lunch boxes for the first time in years! For them, I usually make a couple of sandwiches using vegan cheese or vegan meat-style slices and salad, a fruit pot, crisps, and a bit of something sweet like biscuits. Some specific items I have used and enjoyed are:

  • Tofurky slices
  • Follow Your Heart pepper jack cheese
  • Tesco freefrom choc chip cookies

Yesterday we went on a day trip to London, in which I found a vegan-friendly Indian restaurant called Govindas just off Soho Square. It is a totally veggie pace with lots of vegan options including cake! We opted for the veggie platter, which is five items and various chutneys for just under £7 – very reasonable:

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Afterwards, because it was very humid (as if we need that excuse!), we went to Yorica! where I got an extremely pink frozen yogurt:

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Also, a couple of things I never posted before:

Firstly, I need to recommend Vegan Egg from Follow Your Heart! Here it is in all its incredibly realistic, scrambled glory, with a lovely cooked breakfast my mum made:

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Secondly, I eat a lot of Tesco’s vegan bean burgers; they are so tasty and quick 🙂 I wanted to do something different with them, so I had the genius (?) idea of using them in wraps instead by breaking them apart and adding salad and Vegenaise:

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Have I recommended Vegenaise before? Here is my review:

EAT ALL THE VEGENAISE IT IS AMAZING AND IT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE.

Okay?

I think that is all for now, folks! But if you wonder why things are a little quiet, it is because of my new job! Ciao for now 😀

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 😀