image6 (2)

This Sunday my mum and I took a trip down to Ozone Coffee in Old Street to grab some brunch.

Being the organised vegan that I am I did some research beforehand on their website and was happy to find that they currently have three vegan friendly dishes on their brunch menu (and three on the week day menu including 2 main dishes!)

Obviously Ozone serve impeccable tasting coffee – my previous trip here was to grab a take-away soya latte and it’s definitely one of the best coffees I’ve ever had. They use Bon Soy milk which in my opinion is THE best soy milk for coffee.
However, at the moment I’m avoiding drinking soy milk on a daily basis since it seems to have the effect of turning my skin into that of my sixteen year old self. Happily though, Ozone serve The Pressery‘s almond milk (for an extra 50p).

My mum and I both had a latte (mine with the almond milk), the coffee blend at the moment being the Empire Blend with notes of dark chocolate, sweet and orange rind. We both definitely detected the dark chocolate!

To eat I chose the Turkish style scrambled tofu menemen with smokey tomato & chilli on seeded sourdough bread and a side of herbed avocado. The other vegan options included Banana & almond milk chia pudding with nectarine & popped wild rice and Bruschetta with smoked romesco, burnt cucumber, heirloom tomatoes & seeds. Obviously there is the vegan staple of chips as well!

The scrambled tofu was very delicious – not too spicy and went very well with the herbed avocado. A successful brunch. After eating we had a look in their cake case and I was so pleased to see a vegan friendly cake! A chocolate and avocado – which we obviously had to take home with us.

I’m looking forward to seeing what vegan friendly options Ozone have planned for their autumn menu but I would come back here for the coffee alone.

You can find Ozone Coffee Roasters online, on Twitter and on Instagram.

1 Leonard Street
London EC2A 4AQ

27722800680_95585a97cd_h

If you happen to read this blog occassionally you’ll know that my husband and I are huge fans of mushrooms. We’ve always enjoyed eating them but since finding wild morels on our honeymoon last year we got a bee in our bonnet about finding them out in the wild.

So far we haven’t really found many edible mushrooms. But the poisonous ones are still interesting to look at. PSA: never, ever consume a mushroom if you aren’t 100% sure what it is. Before hunting invest in a good mushroom identifying guide (I use this one for the UK and purchased this Californian one for Brian) and when in doubt consult people with more knowledge than you – the folks over at r/mycology are happy to help in identifying unknown fungi.

Brian visited me back in April for our one year wedding anniversary and my birthday and I had heard good things about mushrooms in the New Forest. We took a day trip down there with Kim and had vigorous walk around a section of the forest.

We ended up finding a good amount of oyster mushrooms and some other less edible ones. Unfortunately this was the day when my camera decided to die (don’t use third-party batteries, guys) so I never got any photos of our haul.

Anyway, the real purpose of this post was to share some of the photos I took that day. I took my camera in to get repaired today so I’m hoping that I will be able to start blogging FOR REAL again very soon. I miss it!

image1 (5)

Last week I won a Twitter competition with Equinox Kombucha – all 4 of their booch flavours, some 9bars and 2 tickets to Taste of London in Regents Park!

I took my friend Eleeshia who blogs over at Conscious Glow! We went after I finished work on Saturday, the evening session at 5:30! Unfortunately the weather wasn’t great (sooo much mud) but I was super happy to find there was lots of vegan goodies.

The restaurant options were a bit lacking – two options at Amico Bio and a possible option at Vanilla Black but I wasn’t super hungry so I wasn’t too bothered.

First we ended up at Pip & Nut! I’m a huge fan of these nut butters and I’d been searching for the crunchy maple peanut butter in vain for a little while. We had a couple of samples there! I ended up picking up two jars of the peanut butter and their plain cashew!

Thai fruit stall! They had loads of different thai fruit including rambutan, lychee, mangosteen and DURIAN! I’ve only had durian once and it was frozen with sticky rice – my husband and I shared it in California. It’s definitely an interesting fruit experience – like onions, garlic and custard. There wasn’t any samples here to try unfortunately! I did have some mangosteen and longan!

Next we headed over to Plenish to say the secret word and get our free Plenish Water! The ladies there asked us if we wanted to take a photo with their backdrop and props and we said sure! We also tried some samples of their cashew milk which was beautifully smooth!

Next we snagged some sundaes at The Coconut Collab stall! I had chocolate with strawberries and chocolate syrup! Eleeshia had mango with blueberries and granola. Delicious! Just a shame the weather didn’t quite match up.

Obviously we had to swing by the Equinox kombucha stall since they were so kind to send me the tickets! They had cocktails but I don’t drink alcohol so I just got their Wild Berry kombucha on tap! Delicious!

Juice samples at BFresh! The Strawberry Fields juice was great!

Hippeas chickpea puffs! It’s always great to check the ingredients on a packet and see “VEGAN” written on it. The Hippeas team gave us a packet each to take with us!

Everything I picked up at Taste of London! Fresh mangosteen, Plenish Water, Pip & Nut butters, Hippeas and some free basil seeds.

A pretty successful and fun evening! Thank you to Equinox Kombucha for providing the prize!

image1 (4)

So first things first – it’s been FOREVER.

That’s completely my fault. I’ve been completely unmotivated in the recipe department, think more eating to survive rather than thinking of elaborate things to make and photograph. On top of that my husband came to visit for 3 weeks and it was the first time we had seen each other in a WHOLE YEAR. Visas are no joke, people. (Maybe once it’s done I’ll write something about my experience.)

Then whilst I was out on a mushroom hunting foray my camera broke. Like won’t turn on, dead, broke. I think the fuse is busted inside so will be a fun trip down to the camera shop in the near future.

So that leaves me with my Iphone 6s+ to take photos with. So I’m kinda breaking two of my own personal rules with this post. 1) Use the fancy camera all the damn time 2) Make some kind of recipe incorporating whatever thing you’re reviewing.

I’m gonna start going easy on myself with rule number 2, in the past I’ve put a lot of pressure on myself to come up with some amazing recipe that someone has sent me to try, but why not just try it? So from now you’ll see me do little product reviews – sometimes with recipes and sometimes not. Of course they’ll always be vegan products!

Recently the team over at Ugly Drinks asked if they could send me some of their drinks to try. Upon reading that Ugly is naturally fruit flavoured sparkling water but with no added sugar I was really intrigued and gratefully accepted.

Ugly is a bit like an adult soft drink but without that nasty sugar crash and feeling of “oh god what have I done”. I love to drink plain old water – you’ll see me carrying a goblet of it around the house and I’m never far away from my Klean Kanteen when I’m out and about but I really enjoyed the flavouring with Ugly. I think if you were a drinker they would work really well as mixers for alcohol and cocktails.

It was a surprise to me but I really loved the grapefruit & pineapple flavour. I really don’t like pineapple at all but this is amazing! Since it’s been so warm lately I’ve been happily drinking my Uglies. I’d really love to try using them to make an iced tea type drink!

If you’re looking for an alternative to soft drinks and can’t quite leave the flavours behind then Ugly drinks are definitely a good alternative.

You can find Ugly on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Ugly sent me a box of drinks to try – all opinions are my own and I think their products are great! 

24268273213_7801804737_o

I’m a big fan of jackfruit. I’ve made BBQ pulled pork and a jackfruit pot pie. The stringy texture of the young, green jackfruit lends itself well to a meat like texture. I wanted to try and use it as a chicken substitute without shredding it like I did in my pot pie recipe.

The blog turned two the other day! I remember last year I said I was going to remember..well I didn’t! I only realised because Facebook gave me one of those “two years ago today” reminders. I’m a bad blog mum clearly. Anyway, thanks for sticking around and reading this blog for the past couple of years!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 can young, green jackfruit in WATER or BRINE – NEVER IN SYRUP
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup soya milk mixed with 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • Vegetable oil for frying

For the breading

Dry mix

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried dill

Wet mix

  • Reserved 1 cup of soya buttermilk marinade
  • 1/2 cup flour

  1. Mix the soya milk with the apple cider vinegar in a small cup or jug. Set aside for 10 minutes.
  2. Drain and rinse the jackfruit thoroughly. Using a sharp knife cut away the small spongy triangle piece on each of the jackfruit. If you wish, use the knife to carefully pop out the round seeds.
  3. Add the jackfruit to a bowl and add the spices and garlic. Mix well with a spoon.
  4. Pour the soya milk and vinegar mixture over the jackfruit. Cover the bowl with cling film and leave in the fridge for at least 1 hour or up to 3 hours.
  5. Carefully drain the jackfruit, reserving the buttermilk mixture.
  6. Prepare two bowls. In one bowl add the reserved buttermilk mixture and whisk in the 1/2 cup of flour. In the another bowl add the flour, spices and herbs. Whisk well to combine.
  7. On a medium heat, heat about 1/2 inch vegetable oil in a large heavy bottomed frying pan or cast iron skillet. When a little flour flicked into the oil starts fizzing immediately the oil is ready.
  8. Working in stages dip the jackfruit into the flour mixture, shake off the excess then dip into the batter mixture then finally back into the flour before frying each side for 3-4 minutes or until crispy and golden.
  9. Repeat for all the remaining pieces of jackfruit. Serve hot with your favourite vegan mayonnaise or ranch dressing.
24284718750_5234b894ca_o

Bananas and I have reached a sort of impasse. I’ve talked before about how they are genuinely gross and I hate them…however I can stomach them baked and blended into things like pancakes, smoothies and banana bread.

Banana bread is the bomb. However, last time I made it it ended up getting all stuck in the tin and I was eating chunks of it out of there with my hands like a cave person. I wanted to make it again but in an easier and less messy way – in comes my mini muffin tray! Mini food is the best.

I’ll be eating these for breakfast a lot I reckon. Of course if you don’t own a mini muffin tin you can use a normal one – just adjust the cooking time accordingly.

This recipe makes approximately 36 mini muffins.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 large ripe banana, mashed
  • 1/2 cup soft light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup soy milk mixed with 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground flax mixed with 2 tbsp water)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil or other light tasting oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1/4 cup oats
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt

  1. Preheat the oven to 180c/350f. If your muffin tray is not non-stick, line it with mini muffin paper cases.
  2. Prepare the flax egg, mix the ground flax with the water and set aside for at least 5 minutes.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer add the mashed banana and brown sugar and mix on low until combined.
  4. In a large jug add the soy milk mixed with the apple cider vinegar, oil and vanilla extract. Whisk together and set aside.
  5. In another bowl sift together the flour, oats, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Pour the dry ingredients into the mixer, mixing on low until incorporated. It will form a soft dough.
  6. Pour in the wet ingredients and the flax egg, beating on medium until the mixture resembles a batter.
  7. Carefully spoon a teaspoon of batter into each muffin case until all are filled. Tap the tray on the counter a few times.
  8. Bake in the oven for 8 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
  9. Leave the muffins to cool in the pan for 5 minutes then carefully remove them from the pan to cool on a wire wrack.
  10. Repeat for the rest of the batter.
24537256425_3eaeb5b0dc_o

January is one of those tough months. But its also one of the best times of the year! Blood Orange season! I’m using them here with fresh turmeric root to give a anti-inflammatory, Vitamin C and Vitamin A rich juice. It also happens to be a beautiful colour!

If you don’t own a juicer you can add all the fruits and vegetables to a blender and then strain the resulting pulp through a nut milk bag.

This recipe makes enough for 3 medium sized glasses of juice – depending on how juicy your fruit is!

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 medium blood oranges
  • 20g fresh turmeric root
  • 3 large navel oranges
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 1/2 lemon

 

  1. Peel the citrus fruit.
  2. Add all the ingredients to your juicer and juice on high.
  3. Pour into a glass and enjoy!

6P3B2467

If you’re a regular reader of this blog you’ll know I’m on a mission to eat as many different kinds of mushrooms as possible. 2015 saw me consume quite a few! My husband, being the all round sweetheart that he is, decided to increase my mushroom numbers for Christmas.

He sent me 3 huge bags of dried mushrooms – Morels (which we first foraged from the wild on our honeymoon), Chanterelles (which I first tried at Rowena’s dinner) and Candy Caps which I’ve never tried.
Candy Caps are extremely weird – the aroma from the SEALED bag was almost overwhelming – they smell and taste exactly like maple syrup. Some people also believe they have a slightly cinnamon like taste. I’m a huge maple syrup fan – I would pour it on anything, I no longer consume honey and frankly I don’t need it when my girl maple is around!

Coincidentally it’s my husband’s birthday this month and I sent him a giant box full of goodies that he likes (like decent British tea!) and I decided he really should get to try the Candy Caps. One of the things he really loves is granola, so this is for him!

If you can’t find whole Candy Cap mushrooms or the mushroom powder, reduce the olive oil by 2 tbsps and sub for maple syrup.

Sometimes on this blog I’ll include a product that I’ve used in a recipe. When Camano Island Coffee Roasters contacted me about using some of their coffee I was really interested (because I’m a total freak for coffee) – I’ve decided to pair the Papua New Guinea (medium roast) coffee they sent me with this granola. Perfect for a snappy morning pick-up! The maple sweetness of the granola contrasts perfectly with the chocolaty light acidity of the coffee I think.

Camano Island Coffee is roasted in Washington, it’s shade-grown, organic and ethically traded. I really liked the idea of the coffee being ethical! Being vegan I think we need to be aware of our human friends as well as our animal friends when it comes to being mistreated or abused!

If you’re lucky enough to own a Chemex the guys over at Camano have sent me a brew guide to help you get the most out of it. I brewed my Camano beans in a Hario V60 – a beautifully smooth cup with a low acidity, a very good cup of coffee. You can find Camano on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook as well as online.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups rolled oats (gluten-free certified if needed)
  • 1 cup puffed quinoa
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp candy cap mushroom powder
  • 1/2 cup light soft brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup raw pecans
  • 1/4 cup raw cashews
  • 1/4 tsp finely ground Himalayan pink salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

  1. Preheat the oven to 180c/350f. If using whole candy cap mushrooms, grind them in a spice or coffee grinder until they become a fine powder.
  2. In a large bowl combine all the ingredients, mixing well to combine.
  3. Spread the granola on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.
  4. Remove from the oven when golden brown and allow to cool completely before storing. Serve with your favourite nut milk.
6P3B2393

This year at home we had a completely vegan Christmas dinner! We made a plethora of delicious dishes – pan roasted brussel sprouts with toasted pinenuts, roasted potatoes and parsnips, mashed carrots and swede. I made Bon Appetit’s vegan chocolate tart for dessert.
All the food was AMAZING. Then the next day I went to family and ate even more delicious vegan food. Christmas without cruelty.

Cooking so much food and also being able to enjoy the day itself means I elected to make some portions of the dinner a day or two before. You can make the filling for this wellington 1 or 2 days before you plan to eat it. The longer you leave the filling, the longer the flavours will develop.

You may have some filling leftover – this can be frozen in a freezer bag and used for something else later on!

INGREDIENTS

  • 200g chesnut mushrooms, sliced
  • 125g oyster mushrooms, sliced
  • 125g shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 200g coquina (or sub butternut) squash, peeled and cut into small chunks
  • 125g whole cooked chestnuts, cut into rough chunks
  • 4 shallots, diced
  • 3 medium cloves of garlic, minced
  • 150g dry bread crumbs
  • 20g fresh sage leaves, cut into small strips.
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 500g puff pastry (defrosted if frozen)
  • 1 tbsp vegan butter, melted
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds

  1. If cooking the roast on the same day preheat the oven to 180c/350f and prepare a baking tray.
  2. In a large saucepan add 1 tbsp of olive oil, heat on a medium heat. Add the diced shallot. Cook for 3 minutes, until the shallots begin to soften. Add the minced garlic, cook for another minute.
  3. Add the chopped butternut squash. Cook for 7-10 minutes until it takes on some colour.
  4. Add the sliced mushrooms, stir well, cooking for 5 minutes until the liquid is released. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the mustard.
  5. Once the mushrooms are softened, add the chestnuts and breadcrumbs. Stir well until the breadcrumbs soften in the mushroom liquid.
  6. In another small pan, add the other tablespoon of olive oil. Heat on a medium heat, once hot, add the sage, frying lightly for about 1 minute until crispy and fragrant.
  7. Stir the sage into the mushrooms. At this point, you can transfer the mixture to a container and once cooled, store it covered in the fridge until needed.
  8. If cooking on the same day, lightly flour a work surface and roll out the puff pastry to less than 1cm thick. A thinner pastry will yield a crispier roast.
  9. Carefully transfer the pastry to the baking tray. Down the middle of the pastry, spoon the filling, making sure not to take too much of the liquid. Pile up the filling into a large log shape, pressing it down with the spoon. Fold the edges of the pastry over the filling, a bit like you are swaddling a baby. I had some spare pastry so I cut out some shapes to cover the folded seam but this is purely cosmetic!
  10. Brush the top of the pastry with melted vegan butter and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Cut 3 small slashes in the top of the pastry with a sharp knife.
  11. Bake the roast in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until bubbling and golden brown on top.