Category: Events

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!

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It’s Thanksgiving on Thursday! So it’s prime pumpkin pie time. Now that I’m pretty much half American it’s time to make my own. I never made one of these pre-vegan so I had to come up with a way to make the same eggy custard that the “normal” pumpkin pie has.

It was pretty much the worst day ever weather wise when I took these photos so it’s a really moody looking pumpkin pie!

I’m using my aquafaba sweet pastry from my cherry pie that I made back in the summer.

This recipe makes one 9 inch round and 2 inch deep pie. I use this dish from Le Creuset. The pie needs to cool completely before serving because of it’s custard like nature. Serve it cold with coconut whip or soya cream! It’s also yummy with a little bit of coconut sugar sprinkled on top.

INGREDIENTS

For the pastry

  • 8oz plain flour
  • 4oz vegan butter
  • 2oz aquafaba
  • 1oz caster sugar

For the pumpkin pie filling

  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked for at least 8 hours
  • 1 can pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp arrowroot powder

  1. Start by making the pastry. Add the flour and butter to a bowl and either using your hands or the dough hook on a stand mixer, rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles a coarse sand. Stir in the sugar. Make a well in the centre of the mixture and add the aquafaba. Mix well with a wooden spoon or beat with the dough hook until the mixture comes together in a dough. Either continue beating with the dough hook for another 3-4 minutes until smooth or tip out onto a well floured work surface and knead until smooth – about 5 minutes.
  2. Wrap the pastry in clingfilm and place in the fridge for at least 1 hour, preferably 2.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350f. Whilst the pastry is chilling, make the pumpkin pie filling. Drain and rinse the cashews and add to a blender with the 3/4 cup coconut milk. Blend on high until smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary.
  4. Add the pumpkin puree, water, maple syrup, pumpkin pie spice, salt and arrowroot. Blend again until everything is well incorporated. Set aside.
  5. Remove the pastry from the fridge. Tip out onto a well floured work surface and using a floured rolling pin, roll it out into a 10-11 inch diameter circle. Using the rolling pin to help, carefully lay the pastry over the pie dish, letting the excess hang over the sides.
  6. Carefully press the pastry into the bottom of the dish. Prick the bottom of the pie dish all over with a fork – paying particular attention to the areas near the sides of the pie crust.
  7. Fold the pastry over the edges of the pie dish and cut away any excess pastry. Carefully press the pastry onto the sides of the dish – here you can add a fluted pattern to the edges if you like. Any excess pastry can be frozen or used as decoration!
  8. Line the pastry with a piece of parchment paper and fill it with baking beans – making sure to push them right to the edges to support the pastry. Bake the pie crust in the oven for 10 minutes, then rotate and bake for a further 5 minutes. Remove the parchment paper and baking beans then bake for an additional 5 minutes to crisp up the bottom.
  9. Remove the pie crust from the oven and pour in the pie filling, using a spatula to smooth it out.
  10. Bake the pie in the oven for 20 minutes, then rotate and bake for another 20 minutes. The top should have formed a crust and have a golden brown appearance. It will still have a bit of a jiggle to it but should not be completely liquid in the middle. If the middle seems too wet still, move the pie to the bottom shelf and lay a piece of parchment paper on the shelf above – this will stop the pie from catching too much and bake for additional 5-10 minutes.
  11. Remove the pie from the oven and leave to cool completely before placing in the fridge. The pie may crack as it cools – this is purely cosmetic and it tastes fine!

 

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As this is my first 4th of July married to my lovely American husband I felt like a little celebration was in order. Coincidentally we got our first bumper crop of blackcurrants from the garden! Ten minutes later and my mum and I had dessert for what turned out to be the hottest July day on record!

Happy Independence Day to all the Americans out there!

INGREDIENTS

  • 150g strawberries, hulled and cut into quarters
  • 50g blackcurrants, stems removed (sub blueberries to keep the red, white & blue theme!)
  • 50g strawberry mixed grain muesli or muesli/granola of your choice
  • Coconut cream scraped from the inside of 1 can of refrigerated coconut milk
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
  • 1 tbsp Grade B maple syrup

  1. The night before place your coconut milk in the fridge. When you are ready to make the coconut cream, remove it from the fridge and turn it upside down. Scrape out the coconut cream into a bowl and save the water for a smoothie.
  2. Scrape the vanilla bean and add the vanilla to the bowl with the maple syrup. Using a hand whisk or an electric mixer beat until fluffy.
  3. Layer your parfaits (we used tumblers) starting first with the strawberries, then 2 tbsp of coconut cream then blackcurrants, muesli, coconut cream and so on until your glass is full. Top with more strawberries. Chill in the fridge until ready to serve.
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I was invited along with my friend Eleeshia to a vegan bloggers dinner by Millie from La Belle Assiette. The premise of La Belle Assiette is simple – you choose and book a chef, they come to your house, work their chef magic for you and then clear up and disappear! To me it sounded like a really great way to relax during a dinner party. For someone with a vegan or plant based diet it would be a godsend – I often think there’s a need to prove to others that vegan food can be delicious and sometimes after work you really do not want to put the effort in. For more information on La Belle Assiette you can go here.



Our location for the dinner was a flat in Hoxton, in a sort of industrial looking, behind the train tracks area. When we arrived there was a little rave with a bonfire going on next door, so Hoxton chic! Thank you to Jerome for allowing us into your home!

Our chef was the lovely Rowena Humphreys. Before we were served an amouse bouche she explained to us when she became a vegan, her influences in food and what she was going to be serving us! Later on I got to chat with Rowena properly and she’s lovely – she runs a stall at Alexandra Palace market which I am going to go feast at soon. If you want more information on Rowena, you can find her Facebook page here.

Our first course was an amuse bouche called Rowena’s Surprise! It was grapes in a cashew coconut cream cheese covered in nuts. I’ve made a lot of cashew cheese before but never thought of adding coconut to it. It made it a lot sweeter and creamier and I think it went so well with the grape!



For our starter we had a Chanterelle ceviche served with a pineapple and avocado salsa. Since my husband and I found the morel mushrooms in Yosemite I’ve been on a personal quest to try any kind of unusual mushroom I can. I’ve managed oysters, enoki, shiitake and most recently chicken of the woods so I was so pleased to see this on the menu! Rowena had marinated them in citrus juice and with the pineapple avocado salsa (which tasted like a green smoothie!) it was delicious! I don’t normally enjoy pineapple so when I whatsapped my husband to tell him I had had pineapple he was really pleased, haha! Definitely going chanterelle hunting soon!

For the main dish Rowena served us Involtini di melanzane with salsa verde. A mandolined aubergine stuffed with cauliflower rice (what a great idea!), roasted asparagus, sultanas and other goodies. It was completely delicious. As someone who has used their mandolin about 3 times since using it I’ll definitely be getting it out some more now.

Finally for dessert Rowena served us a Coconut Cream Tiramisu. I only recently got into coffee and I can tell you it turns me into She-Hulk. Thankfully the coffee here wasn’t overpowering at all. The coconut cream was super light and fluffy and Rowena had told us earlier that she had made the ladyfinger biscuits herself. As someone who was a former dairy milk lover it was really refreshing to get a really creamy vegan dessert. The tiramisu was probably my favourite dish of the evening.

Overall my experience was great! I really liked the casual feel of the dinner and enjoyed getting to chat to some fellow vegan bloggers. A lot of the time blogging can feel quite lonely and I think a lot of us put pressure on ourselves to constantly be creating and putting stuff out there. It was nice for once not to be the one cooking!

You can read more about Rowena on her La Belle Assiette page here.

A big thank you to Millie for inviting us along to share in the delicious food and a huge thank you to Rowena for sharing your passion for vegan cooking with us!



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Last week I won a pair of tickets to Foodies Festival in Syon Park from the lovely people at Miso Tasty.

My friend Makeda who is a freelance photographer kindly offered to drive down there so on Sunday we set off for Brentford! It was really sunny and the festival was outside so that made for a really pleasant day.



I was obviously on the lookout for vegan goodies but was also aware that unlike my previous festival experiences there would be a lot I would have to decline or just not even look at. There was a lot of alcohol available – I don’t drink at all but if you were into beer, wine, gin and pimms it would definitely be a good event to go to! Even so I was pleasantly surprised and I’ll detail some of the goodies I found below as well as some general photographs I took! I’ll try to provide website or social media info for each company below the photos.


Makeda sampling some Cidre elderflower flavour.

Little Pimms teapot which I thought was so cute!

Vita CoCo
On Twitter @vitacoco
I’ve been on the search for a coconut water that I actually like. In the past I tried a flavoured version and just couldn’t get on with it. I tried the natural version and it was pretty good! They were also sampling their new coconut oil.

Me enjoying my coconut by Makeda!

After VitaCoCo we found a stand selling coconut water fresh from the coconut so Makeda bought one for us to share! I’m now a big fan of fresh coconut water. Later we brought our coconut back and had it split open so we could eat the flesh inside.

This next part was probably the most exciting part of the day for me. We stopped by Cocoa Feliz, a chocolate stall. Makeda asked the man if anything was “vegan proof” and we were told “EVERYTHING!”. So naturally I was like “whaaaaaaaaat?” and the man explained that they were both vegan! We had a lovely little chat and I bought a box of 12 chocolates. I was totally digging on their vegan milk chocolate Millennium Falcons too.

Cocoa Feliz are on Twitter @cocoafeliz

 I confess that I have no idea what this stall was called. I was just too excited to spot the vegan cake! I bought the vegan layer cake and Makeda got some Jamaican rum cake. Trying the cake later on…I can see why it was the only vegan cake. I only ate the buttercream in the end. Disappointing!

Truly Simple Foods
More vegan friendly food! Truly Simple Foods were selling a bunch of jarred sauces, spice rubs and concentrates. I tried their Coconut Curry and Spinach on a cracker and it tasted great. I will definitely be looking out for them in the future.

We obviously had to stop by Miso Tasty and say hello and thank you for our tickets! Makeda tried some miso soup and liked it so much she ended up buying a couple of boxes. Miso Tasty is a staple of my work lunches at the moment so it was nice to share how delicious they are with someone else!



You can find Miso Tasty on Twitter: @misotasty

Next we hit up Supernatural for some vegan juice and smoothie goodness. I went for the Fibre Boost, a smoothie of avocado, apple, lemon and spinach which was delicious. Green smoothies can sometimes be grainy or lumpy but this was beautifully smooth.

You can find Supernatural on Twitter: @sprntrlUK and in Canary Wharf underground station.

After lunch we decided to call it a day and head back home! We both really enjoyed our day in the sun.

 


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The other day I was thinking about nut milk and about how I always use raw nuts. That got me thinking, what would it taste like if I roasted and then soaked them?

I’m pretty happy with the results! Roasting the almonds gives the milk a deeper flavour which enhances the taste. The milk without the other ingredients added in is brown in colour but don’t let that put you off!

Because it’s the holidays I had to make this a chocolate milk recipe! There’s something undeniably comforting about chocolate milk so this is a little pre-holiday treat to keep you sweet!

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups raw almonds (roasted and soaked 8hrs-overnight)
  • 3-4 cups water
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2-3 tbsp pure maple syrup (depending on how sweet you like it)
  • Pinch of salt

Optional variations:
Sub the 1 tsp of vanilla with peppermint extract for chocolate peppermint milk. Sub 1 tsp of vanilla for 1 tsp of espresso powder or coffee extract for mocha milk. Add in 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp sweet paprika for a Mexican style chocolate milk.

  1. Preheat the oven to 350f/180c. Pour the almonds onto a baking tray.
  2. Roast the almonds for 10-15 minutes, turning them occasionally until they are nicely browned and fragrant. Be sure to watch them carefully as they can colour quickly.
  3. Remove the tray from the oven and allow the almonds to cool for about 10 minutes or until cool enough to handle.
  4. Pour into a container, cover with water and add a pinch of salt.
  5. Set aside. Soak the almonds for at least 8 hours or preferably over night.
  6. After soaking, rinse the almonds throughly and add to the blender with the water.
  7. Blend on high until smooth.
  8. Drain the almond water mixture through a nut milk bag into a large bowl, making sure to give it a good squeeze.
  9. Rinse out your blender jug and then return the almond milk to the jug, add in the vanilla, cocoa, maple syrup and pinch of salt.
  10. Blend on high until combined. Bottle and chill until ready to be used.

My nut milks generally last 1-2 days in the fridge if I haven’t drunk them by then!

Sarah xxx

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This Sunday I hit up Vegfest with my friend and fellow vegan, Ratha! It’s the second time we’ve been to Vegfest. Here’s a selection of photos from our day.


rawLicious

Really tasty raw  date and cashew snackaroons!

Vegusto

One of the only things I brought back this time was a block of the No-Moo Piquant cheese – delicious!

Moo Free

Bute Island Foods

Massive fan of Bute Island’s ‘Sheese’ which is sold at Tesco! (Try the smoked!)


Vega

I drink Vega One for breakfast almost every day – can’t say enough good things about them. A big plus was getting to see Brendan Brazier talk about plant-based diets for athletes!

Ms Cupcake

Being fabulous as usual! I hear they completely sold out not too long after we left!

Sea Shepherd

These guys are absolutely amazing and I made my only other purchase from them! If you’re wondering what they do check out : http://www.seashepherd.org.uk/


Rebel Kitchen

I’ve used Rebel Kitchen’s Mylks in recipes here before. They are damn delicious, try the Chai if you get a chance. I just wish they came in bigger cartons!

Lush

Lifefood

Soypresso

Soypresso needs to hurry up and get over here from Germany. AMAZING soya based coffee drink. Tasted damn delicious.

(I forgot to take note of this stalls name but I’m including them anyway because LOOK AT ALL THOSE VEGAN CHOCOLATES!)

Koko Dairy Free

Tried their strawberry coconut milk for the first time. Tasted a lot like Nesquik from my childhood, thumbs up!

Pudology

I’ve wanted to try Pudology for about 100 years it seems. They did not disappoint. The Millionaire’s Pud is soooo dang good. Next Ocado shop they’re going in the trolley for sure.

The Chocolatier

Water ganache chocolate. Tastes incredible. I got some salted caramel spread here last year and it was delicious.

Ombar

Try the Coco Mylk!

Vego

Vego tastes like the inside of a ferrero rocher. I think I squealed a bit when I tried it. There was definitely a lot of “omg omg.”

Kizzy’s Cookies

Tried a little bit of the chocolate chip. Really tasty!


Marking which borough  we live in and signing up for some stuff!


Big Fat Vegan Bakery

I think this stall is basically just a big middle finger to anyone who thinks vegans can’t have absolutely oodles of donuts, strudels and whatever iced and cream filled concoctions you can think of.

Jollyum

Tried a sample of the passion fruit and chocolate. Absolutely incredible! This Yorkshire based ice cream company needs to go nationwide or I’m taking a road trip up there with a freezer bag.

Our lunch from Rupert Street was this really yummy sweet potato burger and salad! I also enjoyed a lemonade from The Electric Lemon 

So there you have it. I probably could have bought more and I was slightly disappointed not to see some of the stalls I had enjoyed last year returning for this year!

Sarah xxx

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On Wednesday Becky and I attended our first blogger event (thank you so much to Olivia and Natalie at Taste PR for inviting us). The evening was an introduction to Miso Tasty, the brain child of Bonnie Chung. Miso Tasty is an instant miso soup range and the saviour of vegans everywhere. You’re late for work and have no time to whip up anything else? Can’t find anything vegan on offer in Eat or Pret? Keeping a pack of Miso Tasty in your bag makes for a great nutritious low calorie and mostly importantly vegan lunch!

When we arrived, we were seated at a long table with other bloggers. We each had our own place setting with a personalised spoon.

The first thing to do was to try the different kinds of miso on offer. We tried the miso with different crudites of carrot, celery and mooli.  My favourite was the Saikyo Miso, a relatively young miso (fermented for 2 months) and had an almost sweet flavour. Becky enjoyed the rice miso the most!

After we had tried the different types of miso Bonnie explained to us where each one is from and how they are made. According to Bonnie, hatcho miso is only made in one region in Japan and is the only miso the emperor will eat!


We were then introduced to Miso Tasty and shown the packaging. With Miso Tasty, it’s not a powdered soup, it’s the actual miso paste! So you’re getting a completely authentic experience. Each serving comes with a sachet of miso and a sachet of umami and other toppings. We got to try both varieties, the Classic made with Shiro miso and a Spicy made with Aka miso. As well as the broth we were given loads of toppings to try in our soup including sesame seeds, nori, wakame, tofu, spring onions and rice noodles. We thoroughly enjoyed both!

After enjoying our soups Bonnie treated us to some different foods cooked with miso paste. We had aubergine marinated in miso, a coleslaw made with miso and tahini (egg-free and vegan!), there was also some black cod with miso and salmon  (which we obviously didn’t eat!) Afterwards Bonnie brought round some miso chocolate chip cookies (unfortunately not vegan) that looked really amazing and gave us lots of ideas!

Before we left we were presnted with some amazing goodie bags by Bonnie  – thank you so much! All in all, an amazing and enjoyable evening. Great company and delicious food. We are happy to say our first bloggers event was such a great experience.

You can buy Miso Tasty online here

and follow  Bonnie on Twitter and Facebook

Sarah and Becky xxx

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