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…

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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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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 🙂

Other festive bits :)

Hello again so soon!

I wanted to share a few more food, drinks and thoughts from the past week which were separate to Christmas day itself 🙂

This soft cheese spread and breadsticks from Sainsbury’s tastes just like nice Dairylea dunkers! 😀

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Lovely hot chocolate made with Sainsbury’s hot chocolate powder (which is marked vegan on the back), plant milk of your choice, Soyatoo squirty cream and vegan marshmallows from Holland & Barrett (cute puppy mug optional):

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Mulled cider from Lidl:

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Sainsbury’s now do a freefrom vegan vegetable lasagne! The beschamel sauce tastes exactly like one made with dairy:

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A favourite snack of mine – sliced tomato and avocado on seeded bread with vegan butter and hummous or pesto 🙂

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And, finally, this was delicious – I made a stir fry using Fry’s chicken-style strips, tenderstem broccoli, peppers and a Sainsbury’s satay cooking sauce 🙂 Most of their sauces are marked vegan on the back; there’s loads of choice!

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P.S. A nice thing happened to me a couple of evenings ago. I had a message from a college friend, completely out-of-the-blue, saying that she finds my vegan posts really inspiring and that she is going vegan in the new year 🙂 This was such a nice surprise – I love it when I hear that my friends are giving veganism a try!

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 😀

Lidl being annoying…

It’s not often that I do angry posts, but Lidl is really getting on my nerves at the moment…

Working there is a necessary evil for me at this present moment, because they are extremely accommodating of my uni needs, and pay a good wage. However, their meat adverts are blatantly stupid!

Their TV adverts are sadistic (and have apparently inadvertently turned a lot of people veggie or vegan!! 😀 ) and their posters in store are exactly the same :/ Take this one, for example, which was right next to where I was sitting on the checkout yesterday:

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“This is about as natural as you’ll ever get a turkey”

Yeah, because it’s completely natural for turkeys to be bred in huge numbers, fattened up by humans on farms (whether “free range” or otherwise), slaughtered long before their natural life expectancy, wrapped in plastic, and shipped to supermarkets where they are bought by humans in exchange for money… 😦

They are obviously trying to disarm meat-eaters who care about buying “free-range” or “humanely slaughtered” animals 😦 Well, I and many other vegans realised that those concepts are nonsense a long time ago! Stop trying to cover your back, Lidl!!

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!

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 😀

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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 🙂

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Photo taken with Jacob’s much better camera