THE NORTH!

Ciao peeps!

I recently returned from a few days up north near Manchester seeing family. Sadly we had a funeral, but it was nice to also catch up with a lot of people I haven’t seen for a long time.

I was slightly concerned about the food situation before I went, as none of my family are vegan. However, it turned out to be fine, as everyone was very accommodating and made sure I was well catered for 🙂

I also spent a few hours in Manchester, going around the Christmas market and visiting one of my favourite places, Afflecks (a department store for quirky, alternative clothes and products). The Northern Quarter of Manchester is quite vegan-friendly (including the famous V-Rev vegan diner), and I found a little place called Go Falafel, which is just down the road from Afflecks and provided me with a very substantial lunch! Afflecks is also very vegan-friendly with, not one, but two 100% vegan cafes. I got a delicious slice of banana and caramel cake from one of them.

I also want to mention M&S: they have been well-known for being not very vegan-friendly for a while now, but they seem to have upped their game… Even in a small M&S food hall in a Birmingham service station on the way home, I managed to pick up all these goodies:

23825497_1305778412860826_597409738_o

Their new vegan sandwich, a snack pot of hummous and carrot sticks, crisps and many many sweets (letting the healthy meal down a bit there!) Jacob has always wanted fruit pastilles to be vegan, so I was pleased when I found these 🙂

And now a few randoms, as per usual…

Sainsbury’s now do a ready-to-cook vegan pizza by The White Rabbit Pizza Co. – I was sorry to discover that I wasn’t keen on this, because it is also gluten free and had a bit of an odd texture and could have been more flavoursome, in my opinion. However, I am pleased that a quick and easy pizza option has been introduced for gluten free vegans! Sorry for the awful quality photo:

23828491_1305778436194157_908489182_o

I enjoyed a lovely dessert, though! This lemon cheesecake from Food Heaven is just delish, and is also from Sainsbury’s (although I’m sure it’s available in a lot of places). I just took a photo of the packaging, as we had already demolished the cheesecake by the time I remembered… expert blogger that I am.

23847050_1305778409527493_2113792727_o

Lastly, something from today: I was shopping in Bath and went into Pret for a snack. I bought their new vegan Christmas sandwich and a mint hot chocolate (which is totally vegan if you ask for it to be made with non-dairy milk, as there is no powdered milk in the hot choc powder, unlike in a lot of other coffee chains) 🙂 Both these things were really yummy, and I would recommend very much.

23847943_1305778396194161_438440981_o

Bye for now 😀

Advertisements

Halloween and randoms

Hello everyone, I hope you all had a happy and safe Halloween, if you go in for it! I was very surprised and pleased to discover some vegan-friendly bags of hard gums and bonbons, as well as some other stuff, at a local Spar convenience store, so I ended up having a pretty sweet night (rubbish pun very much intended)

23423460_1293584674080200_1052676883_o

I have a couple of randoms to mention too; firstly, Sainsbury’s now do a couple of curry sauces in their free from section! I like to combine these with some Linda McCartney pulled chicken-style protein and serve them with rice and mango chutney – makes for a very quick, easy and yummy dinner:

23379658_1293584780746856_1854197087_o

Lastly, a word of advice: order an XL pizza from Pepenero in Bristol only if you and your companions haven’t eaten anything for approximately three days…

23377047_1293584787413522_1836438591_o

Frustration, food, and finds!

Lots to write about this time, so brace yourselves 😀

Firstly, a couple of cool things I forgot to mention earlier:

Linda McCartney pulled-pork style burgers are now vegan! This was a big victory, as the only ingredient preventing them from being vegan before was a bit of honey, and lots of people were contacting the company asking for it to be replaced/taken out. Just a few weeks later, it was!

Vegeburgers from Schwarz Bros are vegan too (and very nice), so that’s a useful option to have with chips after a night out 🙂

I’ve had a bit of a tough time this week as, on Sunday night, I happened to tune into a programme called “Oink: Man Loves Pig” which contained a lot of upsetting and frustrating moments, including slaughterhouse footage and people being massive hypocrites… Basically, I had a bit of a vent on facebook, because it was late and I had nobody to talk to in real life, and had immediate backlash from several “friends” who were getting defensive because I had the audacity to remind them that animals are killed. 😦

Anyway, I’m not going to dwell on it here because, as I’ve said in the past, I want to keep this blog a positive place. If you want to see any of my rants, they’re more likely to be on the Thoughts, FAQ & Mythbusting page!

But I saw this meme and it cheered me up immensely:

19858650_1191319407640061_1556036320_n

HAHAHA 😀

Right, on to food.

This was lovely roast my mum made, using Fry’s steak-style pie:

19873891_1191317570973578_2056611079_n

Sainsbury’s has had another addition to its freefrom chilled section – mac and cheese!!!!!! Which is delicious! I was never a huge fan of mac and cheese as I tended to find it a bit samey and heavy, but this was lovely with a bit of salad:

19849048_1191317577640244_1438316972_n

And lastly (notice the improved quality picture, with Jacob’s phone), our favourite roast at The Green Rocket:

19807951_1191320564306612_1001910243_o

One final thing: I don’t write about cosmetics as often as food BUT I have to mention Superdrug as they are fab at labelling all their own-brand products, most of which are vegan. I will also be getting a new supply of make-up when their B. range is back in my nearest store. (Their e.l.f. range is also vegan!)

This salted caramel shower and bath soak smells AMAZING! 10/10 would recommend. Unless you hate sweet things. Or showers. Or baths.

SD-SALTED-CARAMEL-BATH-SHW-SOAK-500ML-727244

I’m back!

I am finally installed in my new house, and have wifi back 😀

Keynsham is a lot smaller than Bath, but is still within easy commute by bus or train, and has its own decent selection of shops; a big Tesco, small Sainsbury’s, and a healthfood shop which has a good choice of vegan items 🙂

I have discovered that Tesco is very vegan-friendly, and has its own labelling system. As well as the usual “accidentally-vegan” items, they have a couple of freefrom sections, and a small range of vegan frozen stuff like spicy burgers.

Some excellent dairy replacements I found are:

  • Blackcurrant cheesecakes
  • Strawberry creamy yogurts
  • Cornettos!!!

Apologies for the blurry photo; I was just so excited to eat it!

18902618_1162065633898772_265761499_n

P.S. I was very amused by the label on this Booja Booja ice-cream – first ingredient: “water from reverse osmosis”😂 I have never seen a more scientific-sounding ingredient!

18928353_1162066010565401_978089580_n

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 🙂

18136625_1127766907328645_343558328_n
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 🙂 )

18159983_1127767573995245_967604842_o

Chocolate Sunday!

(Pun very much intended)

Happy Easter folks! (If you celebrate it, or at least have some chocolate!) 😀

I have to say that I do find Easter, like most traditional celebrations, very strange if they involve animal products; for example, a lot of people eat lamb at Easter. In other words, they are celebrating the start of new life by eating a new life 😦 And of course all the dairy chocolate which meant that babies had to be separated from their mothers…

15996119_1037359409702729_882546932_n

Human hypocrisy at its finest :/

Anyway, we have been enjoying some treats today! Here are some examples of vegan Easter treats you can easily find in the shops: Asda freefrom caramel crispy squares, Poppets, Choices egg, Celtic egg, vegan sweets and freefrom cookies, all from Sainsbury’s 🙂 Omnomnom…

18009391_1118918844880118_349720630_n

Also, I wanted to mention a lovely lunch I had with my uni friends recently at Beyond the Kale. Their roasted veg wrap was absolutely delicious, accompanied by an energising juice and spiced wedges, with a strawberry cheesecake for dessert:

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!

16790474_1064946980277305_1933832918_n
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 🙂

16699776_1064338977004772_210185191_n

Also, the mock duck is very realistic and tasty in a stir fry (excuse the terribly blurry photo!)

16736428_1064338923671444_407043663_n

Remember last time I said I love the newly-vegan Quorn spicy burgers?? 😀

16736502_1064338960338107_1650990456_n

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:

16736568_1064338930338110_1822442086_n

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 🙂

16409145_10154696135646348_1437395118_o

And here are a couple of favourites:

Mum’s lovely pizza and salad 🙂 Looked so pretty and colourful I had to take a picture!

16788018_1064338940338109_23663328_n

And this was my tea, which I had about 20 mins ago! 😀 Lidl’s “Simply” garlic bread is vegan!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

16788313_1065134626925207_1788373337_n

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:

16295914_1048605498578120_350814340_n

New Quorn fishless fingers with chips and mushy peas:

16344149_1048605495244787_1644454327_n

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:

15970651_1033716836733653_354135977_n

15934653_1033716830066987_318740014_n

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!

15995611_1037357709702899_1075306238_n

15996218_1037357736369563_1749713292_n

15978287_1037357729702897_1849901026_n

15979012_1037357673036236_2124097832_n

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

15936015_1033716846733652_1492384444_n

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!

15978609_1037357683036235_1816995403_n

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 🙂

15979020_1037357693036234_614487576_n

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