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 πŸ™‚ 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! πŸ™‚

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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!! πŸ™‚

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! πŸ˜€

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It’s been quite a busy week-or-so with vegan food πŸ™‚ 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 πŸ˜€ 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! πŸ™‚

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P.S. I owned this idiot:

Cake and things :)

Literally just realised I never posted a picture of my Mum’s birthday cake, that I made a couple of weeks ago! I used Betty Crocker vanilla cake mix (with Orgran egg replacer), Soyatoo squirty cream (which I bought in bulk off the internet to reduce the cost), strawberry jam and fresh strawberries. It was thoroughly enjoyed by me, Jacob and the birthday lady πŸ˜€

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Also some recipes as per usual!

Firstly, a vegetable and Fry’s chicken stir-fry, made with Sainsbury’s own sweet chilli cooking sauce:

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Secondly, spaghetti bolognese made from Sainsbury’s own vegan mince, veg and Lloyd Grossman sauce, accompanied by garlic bread slices made from Lidl’s par-baked baguettes and combined Vitalite spread, mixed Italian seasoning and garlic granules:

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Photo taken with my rubbish camera

Finally, just now in fact, I made baked mushrooms! I had seen a post somebody wrote on Facebook, saying to put Sacla freefrom pesto and grated Violife cheese on top of large field mushrooms, and bake for 15-20 mins at 200 degrees C. Tis worked brilliantly, and we had them with spice sensation couscous, avocado and tomato πŸ™‚

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Photo taken with Jacob’s much better camera

Good memes and good meals :D

Hi folks! It’s nearly time for me to go back to uni for third year (how did that get here so quickly?!) so I will be posting when I get the chance in between writing my dissertation and creating stupidly big paintings…

I am also continuing to write my FAQ & Thoughts page, which is a work-in-progress and a great outlet for me – feel free to have a read πŸ™‚

For now, I will leave a couple of 100% accurate memes here, which have popped up on my Facebook recently…

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… and a (not particularly healthy, but delicious) comfort-food meal of Fry’s sausages, Lidl’s mushy peas, chips, ketchup, avocado and tomatoes, which also happened to be very colour co-ordinated! πŸ˜€

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Veggie-versary!

Facebook kindly reminded me that it’s a year ago today that I went vegetarian! At the time, I was doubtful that I would make it to being vegan, but after just a few months I made the change πŸ™‚ Here are the posts I wrote a year ago, and today:

Last year’s post:

I am finding myself rapidly going off any foods which contain meat and animal products. I’m going vegetarian, as soon as I find a nice-tasting chicken substitute, and hopefully vegan soon after πŸ™‚ I’ve been very aware of the cruelty, and environmental impact, of the meat and dairy industries for ages and feel it would be hypocritical and lazy of me to not make any changes.

This is completely my decision; I’ve had no pressure from Jacob whatsoever. However, being his girlfriend has made me aware of the absolutely delicious vegan meat and dairy substitutes which are readily available at all the shops! I prefer them to the real thing anyway πŸ˜€

Today’s post:

It’s a year ago today that I went veggie! And just five months later I ended up going vegan despite thinking, like most people, that “I wouldn’t be able to”.

But guess what? I was able to. Because all animals are equal, and deserve life without unnecessary interference and exploitation from humans. Especially considering that animal products aren’t meant for us anyway, and that we can get all our nutrients from plant-based foods! (As millions of vegans are already proving every day, despite all the ridicule and arguing we encounter.)

Why choose meat, dairy etc. when it contributes to the needless suffering of billions of animals every day (including ourselves)? We all need to wake up and boycott the animal industries as much as possible. For the planet, for the animals, for our health i.e. for the most important elements of our existence.

Feeling good :)

Ciao peeps! It’s been a while again, mostly due to my having to organise our imminent house move, and rehearsing for a show I’m in this week! It’s been a very stressful time, but I finally feel like I’ve come out the other side, and I want to share some of the lovely things I’ve been eating to help me get here πŸ˜€

There was massive news last week that there are now half a million vegans in the UK, which I’m guessing is the reason why loads of food chains are introducing vegan menus and new options πŸ™‚

One such place I have discovered is The Stable in Bath, where I went for a meal last night with my theatre group and tried a vegan version of their Hawaiian pizza. It was delicious, and the cheese tasted so realistic!

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Also, just after Jacob and I had successfully agreed our new tenancy, we went for a celebratory meal at The Green Rocket, where I tried something new: sesame noodles πŸ™‚ Just look at the gorgeous colours!

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Also also, I made a very easy Thai-style recipe which made 4 portions and has been very handy for quick meals before work:

  • Fry a pack of Fry’s chicken-style strips in a bit of oil for about 5 mins
  • Add a jar of Sainsbury’s coconut and lime sauce and a pack of mixed oriental vegetables
  • Simmer for about 5 more mins (or whatever the instructions say!)
  • Serve with your rice of choice

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Lastly, I made a small snail very famous on Facebook:

πŸ™‚ ❀

Screenshot from 2016-05-22 14:47:28

Answers to stupid questions :D

Ciao peeps! It’s been a while since I wrote a post about general thoughts and/or frustrations regarding the attitudes of defensive omnivores towards vegans. The links below are a combination of serious, informative and humorous answers to those questions which all vegans are tired of hearing. Since reading them, I have ended up discussing some of the topics with a few omnis who were open-minded and interested in going vegan in the future πŸ™‚

http://plenteousveg.com/answers-to-stupid-vegan-questions/

http://vegancoach.co.uk/answer-dumb-questions-youll-get-people-find-youre-vegan/

http://www.thewickedgoodvegan.com/but-why/

https://www.veganmainstream.com/2014/01/08/natalie-slater-snappy-answers-to-stupid-questions-about-veganism/

Something I find particularly ironic is when omnis ask where vegans get their protein, or whether they are getting the right vitamins, because of how hypocritical the questions usually are. The vast majority of omnivores do not make sure they get all the right nutrients, vitamins and protein, and do not take good care of their health, but people never automatically ask an omnivore “Are you getting enough B12? Make sure you don’t turn anaemic!” etc. etc. As a side note, I was talking to a vegan colleague at work yesterday, and she was saying that apparently it is not possible to be deficient in protein but, funnily enough, you can have too much! I did not know this and will have to find out more.

Another question which irritates me is “Do you take supplements?” because it is usually asked with an accusatory air, as if a vegan diet alone cannot possibly provide all our essential vitamins. As it happens, I do occasionally take a vegan multi-vitamin tablet, but ONLY if I feel I need an extra boost (as a lot of onmis also do!). For example, nutritional yeast is packed full of B12, but I do not eat nutritional yeast all the time. Similarly, I am prone to getting leg cramps, and so if I am not currently eating leafy greens, I might take a magnesium supplement to help me along πŸ™‚

So to summarise, all those judgemental and defensive omnivores can move on and stop being hypocritical! πŸ˜€

On a more cheerful note, I made a lentil and spinach curry again the other day (recipe here: Cooking curry!) and this time I remembered to take a picture. I didn’t bother with the raita this time, because the weather has been thoroughly weird and unseasonably cold, so I wanted something warming:

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Comforting curry

On a slightly warmer day recently, we tried Booja Booja’s chocolate ice-cream, which was amazing! Until vegan Ben & Jerry’s becomes widely available, this will be my go-to cinema companion (as well as Jacob of course!)

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Enter a caption

I also tried a simple new recipe for vegan mayonnaise, which somebody posted on Facebook and involved combining 1 cup of oil, 1/2 cup soya milk, salt n pepper, 1 tbsp vinegar and 1 tbsp mustard. It turned out far too runny though, even after being left in the fridge, and was a bit too mustardy for my personal taste as well, so I will adjust this in the future and post an update. I could tell that, with a few alterations, it will be delicious πŸ™‚ Until then, I’m going to add garlic powder and herbs to a tub of vegan mayo from Sainsbury’s, to make an easy substitute pizza dip πŸ˜€

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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Birthday week continued!

LENGTHY POST WARNING!

A birthday at the start of the week = using the entire remainder of the week to continue celebrating πŸ˜€

On Tuesday evening, we invited our friend Genesis over to have some dinner and to try the nut roasts that our pals gave us on Monday. We decided to make it a Mediterranean-Greek-randomness-themed meal, so we had mixed roast veggies, olives, baby carrots, and a couple of hummuses. It all went together really nicely, and we had the rest of Jacob’s birthday cake for pudding πŸ™‚

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Yummy spread πŸ™‚

On Wednesday, I’d organised a day out at Airhop Bristol, which was sooo much fun (and also made us realise how unfit we are!). We travelled to Cribbs Causeway on the bus and ate lunch when we arrived. I fail to remember the name of the cafΓ©, but needless to say it was the first suitable place we could find. However, the falafel wraps we had were surprisingly delicious, and filled us up nicely (but not too much before two hours of bouncing!).

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Falafel wrap with salad and chips

After Airhop, it was early evening and we were exhausted and ready for something more substantial. I’d read on Facebook that Zizzi’s have a brand new vegan menu, and we were eager to try it, so we headed into Cabot Circus in search…

I’d been to Zizzi’s before, but never as a vegan, and so I can genuinely say that the vegan food was just as yummy as the “normal” stuff! We had olives and garlic bread to start, then customised our margherita pizzas with loads of extra toppings, then I had baked nectarines and sorbet for dessert. Phew!

Here’s a few pictures, with Jacob’s obligatory face-pulling:

Jacob said a very sweet thing to me at Zizzi’s which was that he’d never eaten such consistently delicious food, or such a wide variety, before we both went vegan. Just some of the foods he’d never tried before were kale, tofu (now a firm favourite), mangetout, and lentil curry. Yet again, the phrase “what do vegans eat?” seems to be redundant!

Yesterday, I was delighted to hear that Quorn are making their entire range vegan πŸ™‚ Even though Quorn is not my favourite range of meat substitutes, it is great that it will soon be an option for us again, as it is used in a lot of restaurants as their go-to veggie option.

On Thursday evening, I had booked a table at The Green Rocket Cafe for us and a few friends to have a proper birthday meal. Many of the group had never eaten at a vegetarian/vegan restaurant before, but everybody was keen to try the food and, for the most part, they enjoyed it πŸ™‚ Particularly the chocolate cake I had ordered everybody for pudding! πŸ˜€

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The table set up πŸ™‚ It was a lot messier when we’d finished!!

Finally, yesterday I watched a video on Facebook about how to make an easy Mexican-style ‘lasagne’ and decided to try making a vegan version after work. We invited Jacob’s cousin over, and the dish got his seal of approval too πŸ˜€ Here’s a recipe:

Serves 3-4

  • Chilli mixture (either made fresh or ready-bought)
  • plain nacho chips
  • 2-3 tortillas
  • Violife cheese
  • jalapeΓ±os
  • Salsa and vegan sour cream
  • Spring onions (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius
  2. Put a layer of chilli mixture into a baking dish
  3. Follow with a layer of nacho chips and a layer of Violife
  4. Put the tortillas on top and press down gently
  5. Repeat steps 2 and 3
  6. Top with a few jalapeΓ±os and bake for 25 mins
  7. Serve with the onions, salsa and sour cream
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Mexican-style ‘lasagne’ πŸ™‚

What a fab birthday week! Roll on the next one πŸ˜€