Category: Other

I’m starting a new series of posts here on the blog to share some things I’ve been enjoying recently. I’m hoping to do these once a month. Some of it will be food related but I’m hoping to share something other things I enjoy like music, articles etc. I hope you’ll enjoy!

Products

Sabatino Tartufi Truffle & Salt
We ordered this truffle salt off Amazon recently and whooo, this stuff is GOOD. You only need the tiniest pinch on top of your food to get the full truffle flavour. We keep it double bagged in the freezer – which helps it keep fresher longer and stops everything else in the house smelling like truffles.
Through our research on truffle related products we found out truffle oil isn’t always what it says it is – a lot of the time they add an “aroma” to oil rather than actual truffle. What a con!

Dried Black Trumpets Mushroom
We got these black trumpet mushrooms at the same time as the truffle salt – it was a seriously gourmet shopping cart. As mushroom fans we’re always looking to try new ones. Brian had previously ordered from this company (my candy caps!) and the quality was amazing so we decided to try some of their others. Black trumpets have an almost floral aroma and they taste incredible – we have been eating ours with asparagus and pasta a lot. We also use the flavourful broth from soaking them to make sauces, ramen and stews.

Artisana Organics sent me over some of their nut butters for winning a mini competition they had over on their Instagram last week. The Artisana Organic Raw Cashew Butter and the Artisana Organic Raw Cacao Blisswhich is raw cacao and cacao nibs blended with coconut butter for a sort of high vibe and good for you nutella. I’m enjoying both of these smeared on toast in the morning as well as dipping fuji apple slices in the cashew. I like that they’re just made of nuts without any sugar or weird nastiness thrown in.

Nongshim Soon Noodle Soup! I picked up a pack of these vegan friendly instant noodles from our local H-Mart supermarket (which is totally amazing). It’s a very flavourful soup with no MSG and it’s easily turned into a full meal by adding in a few extras. I like adding frozen edamame, tofu and extra greens. I feel like this would make a great meal for camping.

This past weekend was Expo West! I’ve always looked forward to this expo as it’s usually the time that a lot of vegan or vegan friendly companies will debut new products. It’s pretty much guaranteed that I’m going to be waving my phone in front of my husband’s face saying “OMG LOOK”. New vegan products are as exciting to me now as a nearly 5 year vegan as they were when I was a baby vegan! You can see some of the new products posted on Twitter here, here and here. My excitement for the Field Roast Mac’N’Chao knows no bounds!

Blog Posts & Recipes

This blog post by Hannah of All Good, All Vegan where she talks about that age old question that vegans get asked all the time (besides the whole stupid desert island situation) – “oh you’re vegan? what do you miss?”

This Raw Adaptogen Fudge with Ashwagandha from Wholeheartedeats caught my eye this week. It sounds like a totally decadent treat with the added bonus of the stress relieving power of ashwagandha!

It’s totally not soup weather here in Los Angeles at the moment but I did have serious heart eyes for this lentil and greens soup by The First Mess.

This amazing looking Mushroom Broth from Cook Republic.

Videos, Music, Books & TV Shows

This Youtube video by Peaceful Cuisine where he makes amazing vegan basil walnut ravioli in the calmest and most ascestically pleasing way possible. Just look at his channel, it’s totally relaxing.

Fleet Foxes are BACK! One of my favourite bands ever and they are finally releasing a new album this year.

This Youtube Channel – Jas. Townsend & Son, Inc. where they cook a variety of recipes from the 18th century. Whilst most of them are not even remotely vegan – there seems to be an awful lot of suet involved – the host is very enthusiastic and engaging. We’ve been enjoying watching the videos on an almost daily basis and learning lots about how people used to preserve food, bake bread and make alcohol.

The Expanse. This is one of our favourite tv shows at the moment and season 2 is under way over on the SyFy channel. We call Thursday “good TV day” because we know we can watch the new episode. The series is based on a series of novels by James S.A Corey. I’m not going to say anything else about the series because I don’t want to spoil anything!

I’ve been reading Michael Greger MD (of the site Nutritionfacts.org) book – How Not to Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease recently. It’s all about the plants and foods that are proven to help prevent and even reverse disease. As a vegan I’m already on board with a lot of what Greger is saying but I am finding that I should be adding even more fruits and vegetables to my diet – and that turmeric is a bit of a wonder spice!

Four Sigmatic’s Mushroom Academy and their Facebook group – Four Sigmatic ‘Shroom Club. The mushroom academy is a video based online learning course where you can learn for FREE all about mushrooms and their medicinal properties. As someone who is starting to see the real benefits of adaptogens and mushrooms as medicine this course has been so great. The videos aren’t too long and everything is explained in a way that is very friendly to beginners. They also have a Facebook group where you can talk to other mushroom ethusiasts about medicinal mushrooms, foraging and other mushroom related things!

That’s all for this month, I hope you enjoyed!

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I generally try to keep the tone of this blog as chilled out and cheerful as I am in real life. But sometimes you need a more serious tone. I wanted to talk a little about having confidence in yourself.

Having confidence in myself is something that has alluded me for a long time. Being an adult makes it a lot harder, I remember being 12 and thinking everyone who was 20 had it so clued in! Now at 26 I know full well it doesn’t really work that way. I know a lot of young adults feel pressured to know exactly what they are doing all the time!

I watched the Pure #bakedairyfree competition unfold as I was watching Great British Bake Off and keeping up with the tweets each week. Then I decided, what the heck, let’s take a chance on me. I submitted my overnight pumpkin cinnamon rolls into the competition a few days before it ended.

On October 22 I was shortlisted along with 10 other dairy-free bakers. I was shocked.  The next day I was anxiously checking my phone to see if the winner had been announced but eventually had to go into a meeting – when I came out an hour later I found out I was the winner!

I haven’t stopped smiling to myself since then. It’s hard to believe in yourself – especially in a world that’s saturated with people trying to do the same thing as you. I adore food and I’m passionate about my veganism.  This blog has reignited my love for photography tenfold. I keep muddling on with my blog because I enjoy the creative process so much and if even one person makes some of my food or enjoys what I post then I consider that a win.

I’d like to encourage you if you are reading this to do something that you’re scared of. Maybe submitting that piece of writing to a magazine or that photo to a photography competition. Be confident in your gifts – perhaps you will surprise yourself! It really is the best feeling.

On Saturday my prize was delivered! There were two massive boxes waiting for me when I got home from work. My mum and I went at them with the scissors and spent the better part of an hour unpacking them. There were  a lot of “oooh”s and “aaah”s and “oh my god”s involved.

The prize!

Bundt pan and madeline pan!!!

Pure Dairy Free pretty much sent me an entire kitchen’s worth of Le Creuset kitchenware. I said to my husband that we are basically set in the kitchen tools area for life! The whole time we were un-boxing my mum kept saying “THERE’S MORE?!”.

I guess the jewel in the crown is the Kitchenaid Artisan mixer they sent me. As someone who had a rickety Kenwood mixer that vibrated the entire kitchen counter, the Kitchenaid is AMAZING. It makes virtually no noise and the beating so smooth! I am in love!

The books!

Personalised spatula!

It also happened to be my mum’s birthday this weekend so I made her Fran Costigan’s Chocolate Pecan Cranberry Coffee Cake!

I used the Kitchenaid to beat the cake batter and baked it in one of the new Le Creuset cake pans (the 9 inch springform) In the recipe Fran tells you to invert the cake after baking and when I did this the cake slid out so smoothly I didn’t even need to release the sides!

I can tell I’m going to have a lot of fun using my prize. The first thing I want to do is bake some lovely bread!

Before I wrap this post up I wanted to say a huge thank you to everyone at Pure especially Vanessa for such a wonderful prize, Saskia of Naturally Sassy and Sadie of Hip and Healthy for judging the competition, Le Creuset and Kitchenaid for a whole kitchen’s worth of beautiful things!

Normal recipes resume in the next post!

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About a fortnight ago the kind folks over at Frill contacted me to see if I’d like to try their range of frozen smoothies. Obviously I said yes because 1) smoothies 2) it’s frozen so ICE CREAM 3) it’s vegan! 4) the packaging has a hella cute bear on it.
Frill were really great in getting the products to me (considering they are frozen!) in a little bag complete with Frill sticker. I looked seriously cool on the tube home that night.

At the moment Frill comes in three flavours: Intense chocolate, Bursting Berries and Refreshing Green. Crunchy Nuts and Fresh Strawberry are coming soon!
As well as being completely vegan and gluten-free,Frill has the added bonuses of having 10 x the fibre of regular ice cream and half of the sugar. All the sweetness in Frill comes from the sugars in fruit – so there’s no added sugar!

You can eat Frill straight from the freezer or leave it in the fridge to soften it up. It also tastes great blended with juice or nut milk to make a smoothie!

I’ve really enjoyed trying Frill. I kicked off with the Intense Chocolate which was definitely intense! I’m a huge dark chocolate fan and this had a really distinct and rich chocolate taste. My mum loved it too and said you couldn’t tell it wasn’t dairy ice cream. I don’t think this flavour will last long in the house.

The Bursting Berries is equally delicious albeit not as rich tasting as the chocolate! I feel like it would make a great post-extravagant dinner treat where you want something sweet but don’t want to feel bloated or sad!

Chocolate  and berries aside, Refreshing Green is probably my favourite. It’s packed with fruit and vegetables including spinach, celery, avocado, basil, dates, apple, pineapple and mango. It has a really bright, fresh taste. I’ve whipped up a quick smoothie bowl using Refreshing Green which I will post below!

One of the things I really love about Frill is the convenience. I get jealous of a lot of people who have time to make elaborate smoothies and “nice creams” and all that jazz before work. With Frill all I have to do is scrape it out of the container into a bowl and I know I’m getting a whole bunch of fruits and veggies into my diet.

Would I buy Frill again? I can say with confidence I definitely would! I just need to remember to carry that Frill freezer bag with me!

If you like what you’ve seen here, you can find Frill on sale in Waitrose and Wholefoods stores in London. You can follow Frill on their social media at:
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram

FRILL BOWL (Refreshing Green Smoothie Bowl)

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups Refreshing Green
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • Toppings of your choice: fresh fruit, hemp seeds, nut butter, granola etc.

  1. In a blender, add the Frill and almond milk. Blend on low for 20-30 seconds until smooth.
  2. Pour into a bowl and top with your favourite smoothie bowl toppings!

 

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At the moment the fruit and veg man at my local tube station has a box of 2kg of cherries for £7. Obviously I couldn’t resist. But then came the problem of what to do with them all. I thought about dehydrating them but I couldn’t face the idea of how many trays I’d need to rotate.

So I decided to use 1kg to make jam! I set up my pitting station in front of Orange is the New Black and got to work. Whilst you are pitting the cherries, reserve the kernels from about two dozen – you will need the pectin in them later. I ended up with 3 large jars and one small jar.

INGREDIENTS
Adapted from Taste.com.au

  • 1kg of cherries, pitted
  • Two dozen cherry kernels wrapped in a muslin bundle
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 2 vanilla bean pods, split
  • 1kg sugar

  1. Preheat your oven to 200f. Wash your jars in hot soapy water then place them side down inside the oven. Heat in the oven for 10 minutes then turn off the heat and leave them inside until needed.
  2. In a large heavy bottomed saucepan add your cherries, using a fork or potato masher mash the fruit to break it up. Turn the heat to a medium low and add the lemon juice and vanilla.
  3. Cook for about 3 minutes then add the kernel bundle, turning the heat up to medium. Cook the fruit for 15 minutes until soft. Remove and discard the kernels and the vanilla.
  4. Add the sugar slowly, stirring all the time. Cook the jam for about 10 minutes until all the sugar has dissolved then bring it to a boil.
  5. Boil the jam for up to 25 minutes, checking to see whether it is set every 5 minutes. Place a saucer in the fridge. Spoon a little jam onto the saucer, return it to the fridge for a few minutes. Using your finger, drag it across the jam, if the jam puckers and wrinkles it is ready.
  6. Remove the jam from the heat. Using a metal spoon carefully scrape the white scum from the surface. This will stop your jam from becoming cloudy.
  7. Remove your jars from the oven and carefully ladle in the hot jam. Immediately seal with the lids and leave to cool completely. Store in a dark, cool place.
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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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You may notice the blog looks slightly different! That’s because I am now the proud owner of a self hosted blog. I decided to migrate away from a wordpress.com based site to a wordpress.org site as it will give me much more freedom of creativity. I’ve already added in a few things I wasn’t able to before.

Since it was so technical and coding really isn’t my forte there may be some typos or broken links or the like. It would be a great help to me if you would let me know if you find any.

Because of the migration, most of my subscribers are now missing so I implore you if you were subscribed, please resubscribe.

That’s all for now. I have a really great ice cream recipe in the works for next week which I think you’ll love!

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Since the dawn of aquafaba and the vegan meringue bandwagon I’ve been using a lot of cans of chickpeas. Usually, I’m more bothered about the liquid than the chickpeas themselves. This weekend, I was doing some recipe testing using aquafaba as an egg replacer and ended up with a can of chickpeas that I had no use for.

Normally I would make Isa’s chickpea of the sea faux tuna salad but I had been thinking about protein rich work snacks and so the spiced roasted chickpea was born. You can use these as a salad topping (hello, protein crouton) or just eat them as a snack!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

  1. Preheat your oven to 350f. Melt the coconut oil in a small saucepan and set aside.
  2. In a bowl, add the chickpeas and spices. Pour over the coconut oil and stir thoroughly until the chickpeas are well coated in spices and oil.
  3. Bake on a non-stick baking tray for 20 minutes or until golden and crispy, turning half way.
  4. Once cooled, store in an airtight container in the fridge.
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Exciting times! I’ve managed to make my first video. Today I’m unboxing a Cleanse box from LifeBox Co. They have lots of boxes to choose from (all GF) but the Cleanse box is the fully vegan one. I found out about LifeBox via Bonnie of Miso Tasty and waited patiently until pay-day to order. I bought the box myself and all opinions are my own!

I’ve taken some photos of the products in the box and I will do my best to link to their relevant social medias. This box was really awesome! I’m looking forward to the next one already.

Scroll down for the video below!

Julie’s Jub – Goji Berry
https://twitter.com/juliemontagu

Golden Milk Elixir

Organic Millet – Tree Harvest

Sesame seeds

Green Superfood – Tangerine Immunity Defence

Squeeze – Wheatgrass Juice
http://www.squeezewheatgrass.co.uk/

Pip and Nut – Coconut Almond Butter
https://twitter.com/pipandnut

Gopal’s Power Wraps

Rawr Raw Chocolate – Organic Chocolate with Goji Berries and Vanilla
http://www.rawrchoc.com/

Big Tree Farms – Coconut Palm Sugar
http://bigtreefarms.com/

Aronia Berries

Teapigs – Lemon and Ginger
http://www.teapigs.co.uk/

Rebel Kitchen
http://www.rebel-kitchen.com/

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As 2014 draws to a close I thought it was appropriate to do a round up of your favourite recipes this year!

Enjoy!

Vegan Chai Snickerdoodle Donuts

Chickpea Nuggets

Spicy Aka Miso Marinated Cauliflower Steaks

Vegan Ravioli

Matcha Glazed Vanilla Bean Donuts with Matcha Cream Filling

Cauliflower ‘Fish’ and Chips (GF)

Smokey Avocado Fries

Vegan Caesar Salad with Chickpea Croutons

Here’s to a lot more delicious vegan food in 2015!

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No recipe today, just a quick post to say

Merry Christmas to all our readers!

Thank you so much for following along on our vegan journey for the past 10 months.

Very excited to see what 2015 will bring!

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