Month: August 2015

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!

 

Please follow and like us:
144

Recently I had my first taste of cold brew coffee. It was love at first sip. I don’t know why but cold brew doesn’t effect me the same way as normal coffee does – usually I get super anxious and have general feelings of death but with cold brew I feel like a slightly more caffeinated normal person! Which makes no sense because it supposedly has more caffeine. Whatever body, you do what you want.
The other good thing about cold brew is that it isn’t one of those watery iced coffees. You know when you go to a coffee shop and ask for an iced latte…then you see the barista chuck a bunch of ice on top of your hot coffee…all that water. No thanks.

I ended up searching all over the damn place for someone who sold bottled cold brew because I really needed to try it again to make sure it wasn’t a fluke. I managed to find it in a lovely little coffee place near where I work.

But a girl can’t be spending all her money on cold brew so I decided to make my own. I’m using a french press to make mine but you can just do it by straining it straight from your brewing container. Just make sure you strain it a couple of times!

Walnut eating spoon is from the talented Sophie of Grain and Knot

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/4 cup ground good quality coffee (I used this)
  • 36 oz cold water
  • French press
  • Nut milk bag or  sieve lined with coffee filters

  1. In your french press add the coffee and pour over the water. Stir with a spoon to make sure all the grounds are moistened.
  2. Put the french press lid on but don’t press down the plunger. Leave the cold brew at room temperature for 8-12 hours.
  3. When you are ready to strain, push down the plunger on your french press. Line a large jug with a nut milk bag or with a sieve lined with coffee filters. Slowly pour the cold brew into the jug.
  4. If your brew is clear and free of coffee grains, you can bottle it and store it in the fridge. If it is murky, repeat step 3 until it is clear.
  5. Serve cold with nut milk or add boiling water for a hot brew!

 

Please follow and like us:
144

Afternoon tea is a British institution and Fortnums does it extremely well. Imagine my delight when they did a vegan selection! They also do dairy and gluten free, gluten free and a bunch of other special diet options. It’s always great to see vegans and other special diets represented in main stream places.

I went to Fortnums with a very good friend of mine who had the classic version so you will see some of her food in the photos as well.

Dikom Golden Butterfly

I’m a bit of a tea snob and the tea menu at Fortnums is fantastically long. I went for a Single Estate Assam called Dikom Golden Butterfly. It was beautifully smooth tasting with a slight hint of caramel. I ended up drinking two teapots worth during our time in the restaurant.

Obviously, eating afternoon tea at somewhere like Fortnums is not going to be cheap (£40 for their own classic blends and £44 for a single estate tea like mine) But I’m happy to report that they will refresh any of the plates for you as many times as you like. We had extra sandwiches and scones and left feeling completely stuffed!

The Vegan afternoon tea menu

The sandwiches

 

I started with my sandwiches. The char grilled pepper with salsa verdi was easily my favourite and asked for a refresh! I’m not a huge fan of cucumber but I actually enjoyed the sandwich very much. The bread was light and fluffy and not at all dry – previously when I’ve had afternoon tea you could tell the sandwiches were not fresh due to the bread being dry.

The scones with dairy-free butter

Next the scones! Slightly warm and pillow-y soft. I’m completely aware that many people are scared of vegan baking and I was so happy to see I got scones! A lot of the time vegan baking can be dense and cake-y but these scones were super light. The dairy-free butter was great as well. I had some of the scones with Fortnums strawberry jam – which you can’t really go wrong on!

The final tier – seasonal fruits

I know many people would be unhappy with a fruit salad to top off their afternoon tea but for me it was lovely. After eating all the carbs during the rest of the tea it was great to have something light to finish on.  There was also a lot of fruit I’d never tried before like starfruit and dragon fruit. I’m not a big fan of melon usually but I really enjoyed it here and made my husband proud!

Enjoying our tea!

At the end of our tea we were offered more cake – sadly none of it was vegan but I took a slice of Victoria sandwich home for my mum. We also got to take home the jam and lemon curd.

The service throughout was impeccable, we were offered numerous refreshes on our tea and food. The only thing that bothered us was the tea room was FREEZING so we had to keep our cardigans on the whole time! I would definitely come back!

You can book afternoon tea at Fortnums online here and follow them online on Twitter @fortnums

Please follow and like us:
144

I’m putting these two places together because they are both in BoxPark in Shoreditch!
I’ve been wanting to go to BoxPark for ages, mostly because all the photos of the food I’ve seen from there have been jaw droppingly delicious looking.

First we stopped by Cook Daily for lunch (upstairs in BoxPark, unit 55). I had the Full English and my friend Ratha had the Rainbow. Each bowl is £8. My bowl came with a free cup of tea and Ratha got an iced pea flower tea! The pea flower tea is purple and tastes delicious! The man behind the counter also told us it was a natural anti-depressant. Our food was ready in 3 minutes – my kind of fast food!


A sign inside that made me smile!

The bowls are all posted up on the wall – you just pick the one you want! 

Full English Bowl

The Full English comes with tofu “egg”, vegan sausage, mushroom, tomatoes, spinach and homemade brown sauce on rice. It is ridiculous. Easily the best tofu scramble I’ve ever had. The portion size is great too – I was completely stuffed. I’ve never actually eaten brown sauce before but if that’s what it tastes like I’m now a convert. I can see why everyone was raving about Cook Daily. I’ve already decided I’m going back to try all the other bowls.

Ratha’s Rainbow Bowl – stir fried veggies and tofu on rice and the pea flour tea with lime!

After we stuffed ourselves at Cook Daily we went downstairs to East London Juice Co (unit 35) who I have been Instagram stalking for a while. I’m a big fan of juice and smoothies and all those magical nut milks that people make so I’m on a personal quest to go to as many London juice places as possible. I also wanted to see if they had any of their nut milks in the fridge but they only had their Killer Sunrise juice & the charcoal lemonade. I’m not a fan of pineapple so I gave it a miss!

Update!

The lovely folks at East London Juice Co recently contacted me by email to let me know that they’ve moved from Boxpark!

Their new location is at 100 Shoreditch High Street, Ace Hotel. You can find them online at www.eastlondonjuice.com

I ended up getting one of their Lux smoothies, the Chocolate Acai which was wild Balinese cacao, acai berry, date, banana, coconut, chia seeds + activated house mylk. Absolutely delicious! It was my healthy dessert after Cook Daily. East London Juice Co had a nice relaxed vibe about it that I really liked – I’ll be back – hopefully to get some of their nut milk and bottled juice!

You can find Boxpark at
2-10 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6GY

Find Cook Daily online
@kingcookdaily on Instagram

Find East London Juice Co
@eastlondonjuiceco on Instagram

Please follow and like us:
144

Ever since I made the meringues with chickpea brine I’ve been wanting to experiment with different sugars. I’m not anti-sugar in the slightest but I felt like the taste of the meringues could be improved by the flavour of the sweetener. I’m a huge fan of maple syrup so I wanted to see if it would work in place of the icing sugar! It does!

I’ve dipped these in chocolate – the caramelised maple meringue and the dark chocolate reminds me a lot of Cadbury’s Crunchy Bars – minus the dairy.

INGREDIENTS

For the maple meringues

  • Chickpea brine drained from 1 can of chickpeas – approximately 1 cup of liquid
  • 3/4 Grade B Maple Syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar

For the chocolate dipping

  • 50g dark chocolate (70%)
  • 1 tsp coconut oil

  1. Preheat the oven to 200f. Line two baking trays with parchment paper or silpat mats.  First reduce the chickpea brine. Pour it into a saucepan and boil for 2-3 minutes until reduced 2/3 of a cup. Set aside to cool for at least ten minutes.
  2. Once the brine is cool, add it to the stand mixer and beat on high until foamy. Once soft peaks form, add the cream of tartar. Beat for 3 minutes.
  3. Start adding the maple syrup in 1/4 cup increments, pouring slowly and beating until fully incorporated. The meringue will form stiff peaks.
  4. Beat in the vanilla bean paste. Spoon the mixture into a piping bag and pipe the meringue into medium sized rounds.
  5. Repeat until there is no more space on the trays. Bake the meringues in the oven for 2 hours.
  6. Remove the trays from the oven and allow the meringues to cool for 20 minutes.
  7. Whilst the meringues are cooling, prepare the chocolate dip. In a heat proof bowl over a pan of boiling water, melt the chocolate and coconut oil, stirring to incorporate.
  8. Once the meringues are cooled, carefully peel them off the paper and dip half of each into the chocolate mixture.
  9. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

I had some extra meringue mixture leftover so I mixed it up with some raw cacao powder and drizzled through some of the chocolate dip and froze it! Chocolate ice cream! 

 

 

Please follow and like us:
144

Most of my family is from Oxfordshire but the last time I went to Oxford was a good ten or even more years ago. Obviously, at that point I wasn’t a vegan. I spent the day there today and only ate once but I loved the food so much I wanted to write a short post here.

I’m also really happy to say that I found this place using Google maps and didn’t have to use HappyCow! It ended up being about a 10 minute walk from the Ashmolean Museum! I don’t drink but they also have vegan alcohol on offer.

The Gardeners Arms

39 Plantation Road, Oxford, OX2 6JE
Find them online here
O
n Twitter @gardenersarms

The Gardeners Arms is a vegetarian and vegan pub! It’s on a delightful little side street and full of that English pub charm.

 I went for the Medley Mushroom Pie but switched out the Italian style potatoes for chips because I was craving them! Happy to see it came with some substantial vegetables and not a sad bit of iceberg lettuce.The mushroom pie was rich with gravy and I was glad to see lots of different mushrooms in the sauce (continuing my quest this year to eat lots of different varieties of mushrooms!) The meal really hit the spot and gave me the fuel for the almost 9 miles of walking I did around Oxford during the day!

Whilst I was in the pub some other people on a different table ordered burgers and they looked INSANE.There was a vegan sticky toffee pudding that I was VERY tempted by but we wanted to get moving on so I will have to go back for that sometime!

I’m always so encouraged to find food that is cooked by people who have considered the needs of vegetarians and vegans. We like to go to pubs too! The Gardeners Arms is ticking all the boxes. Next time I’m visiting family I may have to make a detour.

Please follow and like us:
144