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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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 🙂

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 😀

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!

Food pics and recipes!

Here are the food pics and recipes that I wanted to put in another post 🙂

Fry’s steak-style pie, oven chips, mixed veg and cabbage:

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Wholemeal pitta breads with Fry’s chicken-style strips (fried with cumin and cayenne) and tomato, parsley and pomegranate relish (combine bunch of parsley leaves, 130g tomatoes, 1 garlic clove, half small red onion, 1tbsp lemon juice, 4tbsp oil, approx. 1tbsp pomegranate seeds, and salt & pepper):

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Stir-fry using Fry’s chicken-style strips (could also use Fry’s beef-style strips), peppers, pak choi, straight-to-wok noodles, and Sainsbury’s own terriyaki & ginger sauce:

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Pasta sauce made with courgette, mushrooms, peppers, Linda McCartney sausages, chopped tomatoes, tomato purée:

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Theatrical times :D

Wow I can’t believe the theatre show I was in is over! I really miss it already and am excited for when the film is uploaded onto YouTube! It went very successfully and it was great fun to perform in Novato Productions at The Mission Theatre again 🙂 The past couple of weeks have been insanely busy, what with the intensive rehearsals, three show nights and making more arrangements for our house move in mid-June.

So I don’t end up writing an entire dissertation (yet!), I will just post about a few foodie highlights which have happened recently.

Firstly, we paid another visit to The Stable for some vegan pizza, as I enjoyed it so much when I visited with my theatre group. Apparently there was an event there a short time ago, where all the vegans in Bath went as a group for a meal 🙂

I’ll leave out the photo of Jacob eating salad…

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Kidding! 😀

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Next, a couple of my favourite meals we’ve had recently. Sadly, a lot of stuff I’ve had over the rehearsal period has been easy, quick snacks suitable for taking to the theatre dressing room, but has nonetheless included some yummy things, such as a pitta bread wrap from Pret A Manger 🙂

Here’s a stir-fry I made using Fry’s beef-style strips, button mushrooms, green pepper, and noodles and black bean sauce from Sainsbury’s:

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Also, a burger meal using Linda McCartney burgers, fried onions, ketchup, seeded buns, salad, avocado and spiced potato wedges 🙂 omnomnomnom!!

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Lastly, the other day I had a lovely catch-up with a friend in town, where we met in Costa and I ended up getting a strawberry cooler made with soya milk! I wasn’t sure whether I would be able to get one, but I did and it was scrumptious for a sunny day 🙂

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Something else which made me happy was seeing this book near the entrance of Urban Outfitters, which was full of reasons to be vegan and some useful recipes:

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The sceptical side of me was very aware that it was probably there only because a lot of people seem to view veganism as a fashionable dietary choice, which people only adopt to be hipster or whatever… :/ But honestly, I don’t really mind why people become vegan; surely the very fact that people are choosing veganism, and educating themselves on reasons for doing so, then that is great news? Particularly if they then do it for life 🙂

The fact that veganism is getting so much attention at the moment is fantastic because, even if it is ridiculed by some people because they feel threatened or defensive, it is still better than not getting any attention at all, because then more and more people will become aware of it and hopefully do their research and make dietary changes for the better 🙂

Ciao for now, everyone! The next time I post, I may well be installed in my new house 😀

The best flippin’ burger ever!!!

Hiya folks, hope you’re having a great day 🙂 Just so you all know, we have just put together and heartily scoffed the most delish burgers we’ve ever had.

They each consisted of:

You’re welcome 😉 I am now going to have a lie down…

“But what do vegans eat?!”

I have previously mentioned that, for most meals, I just put a few ingredients together, rather than cooking from scratch every single time. So I thought I would post a couple of “put-together” meals we had this week…

Whoever asked “but what do vegans eat?!” 😀

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“Cheese” and “ham” pasties with sweet potato fries, salad and avocado
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“Cheeseburger” with salad, avocado and corn-on-the-cobs

I can pretty much guarantee that most non-vegans would not suspect these meals of being vegan, and they involve such popular foods! The meat and cheese substitutes taste so ‘real’ that I often suspect Linda McCartney, Holland & Barrett, and Violife of fraud! 😀

A few people we know have been puzzled as to why a lot of vegans enjoy eating substitutes which taste ‘real’. The very simple answer is this: most people go vegan because of morals and ethical reasons, not because they dislike the taste of meat! Personally, I was not the biggest meat- and dairy-eater anyway, but I did find it incredibly difficult giving up chicken and some mild cheese. Therefore, it is so comforting to know that there are these cruelty-free options available.

Well into week two!

Ciao peeps! Again, sorry for the absence over the past few days; I was ill, and then Jacob got the same thing and we’ve been focusing on getting better. Anyway, I feel like my brain in functioning well enough to write again now, so I’ll give a brief (?) overview of the past week 🙂

I was struggling with appetite for a couple of days, so wasn’t able to eat much of whatever we made, so it was a relief on Sunday when it sort-of came back in time for my friend’s birthday meal! This was at Cafe 84, a local place down the road which was where I ate my last deliberate non-vegetarian meal (and my last accidental non-vegetarian one too, when the waitress made a mistake and served us chicken soup!). We ordered cheeseless pizza with extra vegetables, which were OK but the sauce could have been more tomatoey (oh well, they had 10 or so orders to deal with, so I forgive them).

On Monday, I went to Holland & Barrett in search of a couple of gammon and cheese flavoured quiches that we’ve tried before and are delish, but they were sold out :/ Instead, I got ham and cheese flavoured pasties which turned out to be equally as good. We had these with just some salad, as I had procured some cakes from The Green Rocket Cafe as a treat for the next couple of days. Their orange and pistachio flavour was incredible and tasted like carrot cake, but even better!!! (High praise indeed, coming from me)

Yesterday, I made sausage pasta for a quick lunch (wholewheat pasta, Linda McCartney sausages, Lloyd Grossman tomato and roasted garlic sauce, bit of water, mixed herbs, black pepper, peas), as we were intending to go out for a vegan curry evening later on. However, Jacob was feeling too chesty to venture out into the cold, so we stayed in and ordered the Two-for-Tuesday deal from Papa Johns 😀 Ironically, their tomato sauce was great, but there weren’t enough vegetables.

I’m popping home for a couple of days now, but when I come back, my next kitchen adventure will be chocolate mousse! I’m finding that, whenever I fancy a non-vegan food, instead of being tempted to eat it, I start researching vegan recipes like:

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I should confess that one of the things we did to distract ourselves from feeling grotty was see Star Wars at the cinema. For the 5th time.

I feel like this is a lot more exciting than heading for the nearest ready-made tub of something, though 🙂 It gives you a sense of achievement, and helps you decide whether you really want something, or if you’re just being lazy. Last night, for example, I was really sad that I couldn’t have the garlic dip which came with my pizza, so I tried dipping my crusts in some humous instead – it was yummy 😀

So, in summary: the sense of challenge has increased, but so has my determination!