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!

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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!

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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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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…

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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…

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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!

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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!!!! ❤

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 😀

Our standard shopping trolley

Afternoon folks!

Since my very first post on this blog, I realised I have not posted a photo of a shop we have done, so wanted to post an example on here now 🙂 Every week, my mum and I go to town to Holland & Barrett, Harvest, and Sainsbury’s. Today, I was particularly looking forward to Sainsbury’s, as their new range of freefrom cheeses (or ‘Gary’ 😀 ) has recently come out!

So, here is out shopping trolley at the end of Sainsbury’s today, and what is in there from top to bottom:

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  • Renee Zellweger and blokes ;D
  • Uncle Ben’s Mexican bean rice packs
  • Ainsley Harriott couscous packs
  • Organic potatoes
  • Fries to go (very handy microwave chips which actually taste nice!)
  • Freefrom Wensleydale and caramelised onion ‘Gary’
  • Nerds (this was a pack which had no non-vegan E numbers)
  • Some coconut yogurts (blueberry and mango & passion fruit)
  • Taste the difference pasta sauces
  • Moo Free orange milk-style chocolate
  • Spaghetti hoops
  • Chickpea dhal cans
  • Couple of soups
  • Uncle Ben’s sweet and sour rice time pots
  • Soya milks
  • Chocolate soya milk
  • Vegan mince
  • Cartons of kidney beans
  • Wholemeal lasagna sheets
  • Betty Crocker brownie mix

Maybe it’s just wishful thinking, but I do seem to be seeing more and more vegan-friendly items coming into the Sainsbury’s range these days… It must be the increase in veganism over the last year 🙂

Also, I made a lovely lunch today, from a recipe I saw in Vegan Life magazine: pitta breads with houmous, radish, cucumber and red onion, with avo on the side 🙂

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Also also, I’ll just casually leave this here 😉

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