Sunday, 6 August 2017

Catching Up On Foodie Finds - Supermarket Treats

Time for another catch up post! This time it's various treats we have found at the shops over the past few months. There's some great stuff out there at the moment!

TESCO



This two-pack of cheesecakes is gluten free and vegan! I was sceptical, as I'm not a fan (at all) of Tesco cheese, so I wasn't sure what the cheesecake would be like. It was nice though! Great to have a lovely little sweet treat!


ASDA


Asda's popcorn chicken is fantastic. This isn't really a new find for us but I don't think I've posted it on the blog before so here you go! We had it with poutine and mushy peas! YUM!


SAINSBURY'S



I needed a quick meal at home and spotted this in Sainsbury's. I'm very glad I tried it, as it was wonderful! I added some vegan quorn pieces to give it an extra protein boost, and I would definitely buy this again.


CO OP



Co Op have really upped their vegan game recently, adding some great options for the meal deal. The Sweetcorn Fritter sandwich is great and I will definitely be buying it again - it's nice to see a sandwich that's not falafel and hummus! The pasta was also really tasty! And I love that you can get edamame beans as the snack!


OUT OF THIS WORLD


This stuff is like crack in a jar. Seriously. It's like eating a jar of white chocolate spread. (And yes, I did eat at least one full jar of white chocolate spread with a spoon back in my non-vegan teenage years. Don't judge me.)



I recently discovered Miiro ice lollies and oh my goodness, they are fantastic! They are like mini magnums but without the cruelty! They taste great and because they are small, they are a reasonably low calorie treat.


THE VEGAN KIND



The Vegan Kind do MAIL ORDER DONUTS! Every Monday and Wednesday you can buy donuts that will be shipped to your house. They are tasty too! (Although the best donuts I've ever had are still the humongous ones from V Rev.) Also pictured is the rest of the stuff we bought so we could get free shipping... it didn't take a lot of convincing that we needed to make it a worthwhile shop! My favourite thing from this hall was the vegan ranch dressing - sooooo good!

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Wellaby's Simple Bakes

A little while ago, I was sent some samples of the new "Simple Bakes" snacks by Wellaby's to review. They kindly sent over three flavours - Tasty & Tangy Spicy Chilli, Pinch of Salt & Pepper, and Smoky BBQ.


Simple Bakes are wholegrain snacks which are free from most common allergens, including gluten, nuts, dairy, and eggs. They also come with the Vegan Society logo on the packet which is always reassuring when buying vegan snacks! The Smoky BBQ flavour even won Silver at the FreeFrom Food Awards earlier this year!


They were all really tasty, and had a great texture. I particularly liked the Smoky BBQ, while Mr Hatter was most partial to the Salt & Pepper. They fell somewhere between a cracker and a crisp, and would be a great healthier substitute for a packet of crisps. In fact, we took some to work in our lunchboxes!


I would definitely buy these if I was on the lookout for a good, crunchy snack - and they get bonus points for being gluten free, so everyone can enjoy them!


Tuesday, 11 July 2017

"Guilt Free Dark Chocolate Cake" - Veganised!



I was sent a chocolate cake recipe in honour of World Chocolate Day (which was on Friday), and asked if I wanted to share the recipe on my blog. Unfortunately, it wasn't a vegan recipe - but they agreed to let me veganise it!


This recipe was originally written by Head Pastry Chef Ellen de Jager-Smith at Michelin Starred Bohemia, and the only non-vegan ingredient was eggs! I swapped the eggs for a combination of ground flax seed and aquafaba, which resulted in a rather dense cake - think lovely brownie texture! I imagine that the original cake was much lighter, and if I had remembered to chill my aquafaba in advance, I think this cake would also have been lighter! That being said, I was really pleased with the cake as it turned out so I will leave it up to you whether to try this with chilled or room temperature aquafaba.


I must note that although this cake is titled "guilt free" it still packs a pretty big calorie punch. The ingredients are all healthy, which is great, but I ended up halving the icing because a) I wanted to make it a bit more waistline-friendly, and b) there was just so much of it!

This cake made me realise that I really really need to upgrade my blender - it struggled to get those dates smooth!

Also, make sure that you use good quality chocolate in this recipe, as that is where most of your flavour will be coming from! It's worth spending the extra bit of money to get some good chocolate.



Michelin Starred Bohemia’s Guilt Free Dark Chocolate Cake
(Adapted from the recipe by Head Pastry Chef Ellen de Jager-Smith at Michelin Starred Bohemia)

Head Pastry Chef Ellen de Jager-Smith at Michelin Starred Bohemia has shared her recipe for her delicious, healthy, gluten-free chocolate cake - which includes no cream, butter or sugar!

Serves 10

For the cake:

20g Ground flax seed
125g Aquafaba
100g Ground almonds
45g Cocoa powder
5g Baking soda
5g Gluten free baking powder
140g Maple syrup
200g Almond milk
200g Pitted dates (soaked in water if your blender isn't that powerful)
50g Grated courgette
200g Olive oil
150g Dark Chocolate

1. Preheat the oven to 160°C and line a 10" cake tin with parchment paper.
2. Whisk together the ground flax seed and aquafaba. Set aside.
3. Sieve all of the dry ingredients together.
4. Add the maple syrup to the flax seed mixture.
5. Blend the almond milk, dates, grated courgettes and olive oil together
6. Melt the dark chocolate either in the microwave, or in a small bowl over a saucepan of boiling water.
7. Add the flax seed mixture to the dry ingredients and mix to create a smooth batter.
8. Fold the almond milk mixture carefully into the batter and pour in the dark chocolate.
9. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin.
10. Bake for around 50 minutes.

For the Chocolate, Avocado and Date Icing:

1 Avocados
125g Pitted dates (soaked in water if your blender isn't that powerful)
7.5g Cocoa powder
30g Maple syrup
175g Almond milk
A pinch of salt
200g Melted dark chocolate

1. Blend everything (except the dark chocolate) in a food processor.
2. Add the dark chocolate carefully whilst blending.
3. Decorate as you please.


Thursday, 6 July 2017

Purple Smoothie Bowl

With our recent health and fitness kick, we have been drinking a lot of protein smoothies, and thinking up new ways to enjoy our protein powders. Smoothie bowls are a great way to do this!


We have recently discovered Vegavero protein powder, which actually tastes great even just mixed with water. It's definitely a huge improvement on the previous unflavoured powder we were using! Vegavero comes in chocolate or vanilla, and I would recommend both. We currently have both in our kitchen and use them with a range of different add-ins! I don't think they're available in shops yet but you can find them on Amazon - just search for Vegavero.


We need to order some more!
This purple smoothie bowl is super easy to throw together post-workout, and also satisfies any sweet cravings you may have. In fact, it is so simple I feel like I'm cheating calling it a recipe!

Purple Smoothie Bowl

30g Vegavero Vanilla Protein Powder
200ml cold water
125g frozen blueberries
125g frozen blackberries
Granola

In a blender or food processor, blend together the protein powder, water, and frozen berries until smooth. Pour into a bowl. Sprinkle with your favourite toppings - the smoothie bowl pictured is topped with homemade granola.

NOTES:

Feel free to add more water if you want to turn this into a drinkable smoothie, rather than a spoonable smoothie bowl.

You can add any toppings you fancy, it doesn't have to be granola! You could try sliced banana, chopped nuts, fresh berries...

You can swap the water for plant based milk if you want it to be creamier, but in my opinion it is fine with water!

Sunday, 2 July 2017

Pictures...

Hi Everyone

This is a super quick post to let you know that I'm aware that none of my pictures are currently working... Photobucket decided to block all links to my photos unless I pay them $400 a year to host. Which is a big fat NOPE.

I'm looking at other options, maybe just moving them all onto blogger for now, so if anyone out there has any suggestions, I'm all ears!

Hopefully it will all be back on track later this week...

Current mood: sulky kitty.


Saturday, 1 July 2017

MOG'S - Awesome vegan junk food near Kirkstall Abbey

Today we trekked over to Leeds to get one of the airbags in the car replaced (due to a recall) - fun stuff. But we thought we may as well make the most of it and go for a wander around Kirkstall Abbey while we were there. Aaaaand, Kirkstall Abbey just happens to be a ten minute walk away from MOG'S, so of course we couldn't leave without sampling some of their vegan junk food...

I've been following MOG'S on social media for ages and drooling over all the lovely vegan photos, so I jumped at the chance to go. (Seriously, go follow their Instagram account - it's awesome.)

I chose the Korean Sticky BBQ Beef Sub with a side of Mac n Cheese, and Mr Hatter had the Double Cheeseburger Box Meal, and upgraded the fries to be Chilli Cheese Fries. AND we shared a portion of Deep Fried Oreos for afters!

Korean Sticky BBQ Beef Sub
Sticky BBQ beef pieces with coriander garlic mayo, pickled cabbage, sesame seeds & salad


This was brilliant - everything I wanted from an early-lunchtime-sammich. Filling, tasty, great texture, and the sauce was gorgeous!

Mac & Cheese


This was tasty, very creamy - so glad I chose mac and cheese instead of chips!

Double Cheeseburger
Two beef burgers topped with melted cheese, pickles & fried onions
Served with fries [upgraded to Chilli Cheese Fries] & coleslaw


Mr Hatter really enjoyed this - apparently "the pickles made it"!

Deep Fried Oreos



HOLY MOLY these were good. I was prepared for them to be a bit too much, but they were like little donuts with a soft oreo filling. YUM! I am glad that we shared a portion though!


This food was fantastic. Like, seriously good. The box meal Mr Hatter had was great vegan junk food, and my sub was just a straight up lovely sammich. None of it was particularly greasy - even the deep fried oreos! If we lived closer, I could see this being a regular take away joint for us... so it's probably a good thing that we live where we do!

This trip was made doubly special because we've been on a healthy eating drive for the past 4 weeks and decided it was time for a cheat day. I think we picked the perfect place! (Full disclosure, we did go for a walk down the River Aire afterwards to try to walk some of it off!)



If you do go, be on the lookout as it's only small - we almost walked past it! Also, be aware that there isn't much space to eat in - we ate at the only table (3 chairs), an then there was a sort of bar seating area with two chairs, and another two chairs in the waiting area. So be prepared that you might have to get it to go! Also, they do serve meat as well, and due to the small nature of the cafe you can smell it if they're cooking it while you're in there. But you could always wait outside if that's an issue.

Here are a few photos from our wander around Kirkstall Abbey - it's very pretty and had brightened up considerably by the time we left!




Sunday, 25 June 2017

Catching Up On Foodie Finds - Food On The Go

I've found a few new lunch time options over the past few months - here are a few of them...


ITSU

Itsu have a few good vegan savoury options but I've always found them to be lacking in sweets - until now! They've started doing their own raw chocolate with pink himalayan salt (which is divine), and The Coconut Collaborative's chocolate pudding! Yum!





PRET A MANGER

Pret have added more to their ever-increasing vegan menu, and I am so glad that they did! I'm in love with the two new cauliflower salad boxes.



CAULI & TURMERIC SUPER-VEG SALAD
A vegan salad of turmeric-roasted cauliflower, spiralised courgette, cucumber, edamame beans and pickled cabbage served on a bed of spinach and brown rice & red quinoa. Finished with a pot of teryaki dressing and toasted cashew nuts.


SUPER BEANS, BROCCOLI & TURMERIC CAULI VEGGIE BOX
A Veggie Box of turmeric-roasted cauliflower, broccoli florets and our super bean mix of protein-rich fava beans & split peas combined with roasted butternut squash, pomegranate seeds and our seed mix. All served on a bed of mixed brown rice & red quinoa with a pot of ginger & turmeric dressing.

Also picture is the DAIRY-FREE BIRCHER Using our gluten-free granola and dairy-free coconut yoghurt, this twist on a bircher muesli is a delicious 'free from' choice, which is fantastic (but not that new!

Pret are currently rolling out veggie fridges to a number of their stores as a test to see how popular they are. I have everything crossed that they will be coming to Leeds...


SAINSBURY'S

I was really excited when I found out that Sainsbury's were going to start selling a vegan sandwich. I managed to get hold of one on the way home from work one day but I found it very disappointing. It felt like there hadn't been much thought put into the flavours - it was pretty much just tomato puree and avocado, with a couple of basil leaves thrown in. I think what put me off the most was that the avocado was definitely not ripe - it was like trying to eat soap.



200 DEGREES

I pretty much ignored 200 Degrees when they opened in Leeds. It looked like a fancy coffee shop, and I don't like coffee, so I wasn't going to go in on the off chance that they had something vegan. However, I saw someone posting online about their vegan options, so thought I'd give it a go! It was great! They only had one vegan sandwich but it was really tasty. Unfortunately, they don't ALWAYS have a vegan option on, so it is very much a gamble as to whether you'll be able to get lunch there or not. However, last time I popped in and they didn't have a vegan sandwich, they did have a very delicious vegan brownie! (It didn't last long enough for a photo...)


Saturday, 24 June 2017

Savsé Smoothies - Reviewed!

Last summer (I know, I know, don't judge me...), Savsé Smoothies sent me a selection of their new vegan smoothies to try out. I tried them all over the course of a few weeks but never got around to writing up my review! I usually just drink water, so didn't want to drink them all at once - and then just never made the time to write about them. However, I've rectifying that now - the sunny weather recently has inspired me to finally write this post! (I handily made notes on each flavour so that I could come back and review them once I'd tried them all... it's good to be prepared!)

Savsé create healthy fruit and veg based smoothies that aren't packed full of added sugar (unlike some!). I must admit, I was sceptical about trying the vegetable-based juices. As I said, I'm predominantly a water drinker, and anything I drink that isn't water is usually sweet. But I said yes to the samples and resolved to try my best to enjoy them!

When the package from Savsé arrived, I was pleasantly surprised to find no less than six smoothie bottles! I think they sent me their entire vegan range! (Note, they have a few smoothies that contain whey powder, so do check the ingredients if buying them in the wild.)


I tried them in the order of I-fancy-this-one-today but I'm going to review them in rainbow order, because who doesn't like rainbows?? Also, I apparently only took "action shots" of two of the bottles, but you can see them all in all their glory in the lovely photo just above this paragraph. So you'll have to make do!

Super Red

Strawberry, Orange, Kale, Spinach, Broccoli, Celery

I enjoyed this one. It tasted strongly of strawberry and orange, while hiding the vegetable flavours. (I hate celery so I'm very glad I couldn't taste it!). The only issue I had was the pulp. I'm not a huge fan of orange juice, especially the pulpy stuff. But the flavour was great!

Super Orange

Mango, Celery, Apple, Lemon, Orange, Passion Fruit, Carrot


This one was great, probably my favourite of them all. It was very fruity and tropical, and was certainly refreshing on a hot day! I would buy this again.

Super Green

Pear, Broccoli, Kiwi, Lemon, Banana, Kale, Spinach, Apple

I was prepared to hate this one. Until recently, I've had a big hang up about green drinks. I don't like spinach, or bitter things in general, and I'm always nervous that I'm not going to be able to drink them. However, it was a nice surprise to find that the vegetable flavours weren't too strong and I was able to drink it all!

Super Blue

Blueberry, Kale, Beetroot, Spinach, Blackcurrant, Apple, Strawberry, Orange

This one was tasty. I liked the combination of fruits and berries that were used, and they offset the earthy flavour of the beetroot well.

Super Purple

Beetroot, Apple, Lemon, Lime, Mango, Avocado, Coconut



This drink was very earthy and the beetroot was a little overpowering - but it's a purple drink, primarily made of beetroot, so that's to be expected!

Purple Carrot

Purple Carrot, Apple, Blackcurrant, Pomegranate, Blueberry



I didn't like this one at first. I made the mistake of drinking it while eating jammy bread, as I thought the sweetness of the jam would help with the earthy flavours. What it actually did was highlighted how not-sweet this drink was. I popped it back in the fridge, tried again a few hours later, and managed to finish it off - but it's not one I'll be buying. A bit too bitter for me!


So, what I learned from samples all these juices is that it isn't necessarily green drinks that I don't like - it's strongly beetroot flavoured ones! I think I have quite a sweet pallet, so I much preferred the fruity flavours. However, I would definitely recommend trying some of these smoothies. The Super Orange would be perfect for the heatwave we're having at the moment!

Monday, 19 June 2017

Catching Up On Foodie Finds - Trinity Kitchen

There have been a couple of vegan options at Trinity Kitchen over the past couple of months, and we've had fun trying some of them!

PIZZA LOCO

Pizza Loco provide wood-fired pizzas that are cooked in a funky train! We opted for the "Vegan Special", which was very tasty. However for £7 it would have been nice to have a few more toppings - it did feel a bit sparse. However, the base was lovely and the marinara sauce was great!





WHAT THE TRUCK

What The Truck had a menu option called "Vegans R Us", so of course we had to try it! It consisted of nachos, topped with veggie chilli and spring onions. This was really tasty, but again we felt like it was a little overpriced for the portion size.




THE BAKING BIKER

I was pleasantly surprised to find that this cake stall had a vegan option! There was only one option, but it was a very tasty chocolate brownie - yum! (And this time, I'm not going to complain about it being overpriced - because it wasn't!)