Tag Archives: what vegans eat

October UK Vegan Foodswap

17 Oct


Coming back from your lunch break to find your October UK Vegan Foodswap parcel on your desk is quite a treat!

This month my parcel came from Rebecca Fox, who tells me that she isn’t ‘cool enough’ to have her own blog, but instead I’m sure she would join me in encouraging you to head over to the To Happy Vegans blog to learn more about how you could sign up for next month’s food swap, or to follow the To Happy Vegans Mitsu (@M_tohappyvegans) and Sasha (@S_tohappyvegans) on Twitter.

Rebecca had selected some lovely treats for me to enjoy. First of all there was a Happy Kitchen Raspberry brownie, which I had received before in August from Rita (@rita_fontes) and had really enjoyed, so that got inhaled right away.

Also in there was a bar of Montezuma chocolate. Montezuma are my favourite chocolate company: I adore their dark chocolate buttons. I’ve not tried their Lime and Sea Salt so I’m really looking forward to trying this flavour – I’m sure it will be delicious.

Also in the box was some Tyrells popcorn. I like their veg crisps, but haven’t tried their popcorn so I’m excited about trying that.

Rebecca also sent me a tub of inSpiral Kale Chips. I snacked on these today, and shared them with the rest of the office. I liked the flavour, but wasn’t sure about the texture: a bit spiky for me. However, we still managed to polish off the whole tub – they are surprisingly moorish. I was warned.

We also snacked on the liquorish pebbles. I like liquorish but rarely get to eat it because it usually has wheat in it, so it was a real treat to receive these.

The best thing in the parcel was Rebecca’s homemade Almond Pate. Oh. My. God. The pate was absolutely amazing. I have inhaled most of the jar already smothered on rice cakes. It’s also really nice for dipping carrots in. Rebecca very kindly shared the recipe for it with me, but really the girl should bottle and sell this stuff, she’d make a fortune.

Brilliant food swap. My parcel went off to Anne Marie (@leicestervegans). If you want to take part in November’s food swap don’t forget to sign up before 5th November, you might be lucky enough to receive a jar of Rebecca’s almond pate.

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September UK Vegan Foodswap

1 Oct

So this month I received a lovely parcel of goodies from Christina Pham through the To Happy Vegans UK vegan food swap.

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I got my parcel a little bit later than usual because I was overseas for most of September, but it was great to come home to a package of vegan yumminess!

I was really pleased with the Lucy’s cookies and the chocolate raisins that Christina had picked out for me because I was sent some of them last month by Rita, and they were delicious, but everything else in the parcel was completely new to me, so I’m really going to enjoy trying everything out.

Thanks Christina! Unfortunately I don’t think Christina has a Twitter account or a Blog so I can’t urge you to follow her, so why not follow To Happy Vegans instead, or sign up to next month’s food swap?

Guest Blogging

28 Sep

Guest blogging for Sean the Fat Gay Vegan about my recent vegan airline meal fail.

You can read all about it here: http://fatgayvegan.com/2012/09/28/vegan-airline-meal-fail-guest-post/

Lake District Bank Holiday Loveliness

29 Aug

It was August Bank Holiday weekend, and for the third year running that meant an escape to the Lakes.

I stayed in my lovely vegan B&B Fox Hall in Kendal, which is always a pleasure, and being looked after by Sylvia and Chris always does me the world of good. It’s only 30 mins from the central Lakes so a great location for me.

I headed over on Saturday morning. The weather wasn’t great, and the Lakes were absolutely heaving. My original plan was to head into Keswick to have lunch at The Lakeland Pedlar, but Keswick was so busy and it was chucking down with rain so everyone was driving about like a nutter, that I thought I would give it a miss. I drove down to Grasmere, which was much quieter, and had a lovely bowl of soup and gf bread at Greens instead.

I then drove over to Elterwater where I parked up and walked along the Cumbria Way to Skelwith Bridge to have a coffee at Chesters by the River. Chesters make a pretty amazing coffee – probably my second favourite. First place goes to Flat White Durham mostly because I adore the barista boys and girls that work there, they are such sweeties. After coffee it was a walk in the rain back to the car, and then over to Fox Hall to check in and chill out.

Sunday morning was mixed – there were showers and the high peaks were covered in cloud. A friend from the NE drove over to join me for a walk. We set off from Grasmere and walked up to Easedale Tarn. The original plan was to head up Sergeant Man, but the cloud was right down and my walking companion was struggling a bit so we had lunch at Stickle Tarn, and then headed across the ridge to Silver How before descending to Grasmere.

It was was a really nice day’s walking, and I really enjoyed myself. We headed over to Chesters after the walk for a coffee, and some cake for my walking companion.

Bank Holiday monday dawned with torrential rain and cloud down to floor level. Frankly, it was vile.

 

I was meant to be meeting Amy for a walk. Amy now lives in St Bees, but used to live in the NE and walked with our Ramblers group. We met up, but decided the weather was far too disgusting for the walk we had originally planned so we cut the walk short and spent 2 hours in a coffee shop instead having a catch up and watching the vile weather out of the window.

After Amy headed home I went into Ambleside for a wander around the shops and a short walk in the rain. Then it was back to Fox Hall to get showered and changed before heading out for a meal. I had booked dinner at Lancrigg, the vegetarian country house hotel in Grasmere. I was thinking about booking there for Christmas this year, but wanted to go for a meal to see what the food was like before I did so.

Sadly, I was very disappointed with the food. Despite mentioning on several occasions that I was vegan and allergic to wheat I still ended up sick the next day, so can only assume that dairy or wheat some sneaked into my meal somewhere. I had the falafel for starter, which turned up with sourdough bread and had to be sent back. When it arrived back without sourdough bread it was ok, too heavy on the mint in my opinion. My main course was puy lentil shepherds pie. It was dull and too heavy on the celery – I hate celery and it was all I could taste. I make a better puy lentil shepherds pie myself, and it came with rather dull steamed veg. The portion was small and it was very disappointing. For dessert I chose the chocolate, toffee nut sundae. I was given some melted chocolate ice-cream in a glass – there was no toffee or nut as far as I could tell, just a lot of melted cheap chocolate ice cream with ice crystals in it – and they charged £6 for this?! The meal came to £30 for the three courses, and no alcohol (I don’t drink). It was exceptionally overpriced for the quality of food, and I was very, very disappointed. It was useful to go because it meant that I realised I did not want to book in for Christmas there at all. Such a shame as this was my birthday ‘treat’ meal out.

On Tuesday the weather was much much better, but it was also the day I was going home. Boooo hiss!

I decided to walk in Patterdale on the way home, so drove over to Cow Bridge and parked up the car. The walk I had planned was Dove Crag and Little Hart Crag: about 8 miles. It was magnificent.

 

It was pretty windy on the top, but I managed to hunker down behind a dry stone wall so that I could enjoy the view with my lunch. The view from the top was great because I could look down the valley to Patterdale, but also in the other direction I could look over to the Langdales, and Ambleside and Windermere – the Lake District really was laid out all around me. Fantastic.

Sadly, it was then time to go home, but I can’t be too sad because after 1 day to clean my clothes I’m off again tomorrow down to Hay-on-Wye for a night, and then on to Pembrokeshire again!

Hurrah for holidays!

 

Vegan Food Swap Awesomeness

17 Aug

What a week it has been! I work for a University and this week was results week, which means mad, mad, mad busy and lots of statistics and phone calls from panicked students and parents, and just general madness, and very, very, very long days, and not much sleep. My desk is a disaster zone. I have been relying on Flat White Durham’s coffee, and chocolate, and porridge, and apples to see me through. And of course, lots of good music.

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All I can say is I am very pleased it is Friday and I get a couple of days to chill before mopping up next week. Friday afternoon was made so, so, so much better by the fact that my Vegan Food Swap parcel arrived from my food swap partner Rita.

To Happy Vegan’s Mitsu and Sasha started organising this for UK vegans so that we could all get to know each other, and eat awesome vegan noms at the same time. I was definitely in. 

Rita, who is my swap this month is from London. I was swapping with a lovely lady called Charlotte. Next moth we will all get someone different.

I felt a bit sorry for Rita because I’m also wheat-intolerant, but she played an absolute blinder and I opened my food parcel this afternoon to a whole host of vegan treats. The girl did good. Lots of vegan chocolate and wheat-free cookies which I couldn’t even hope to source up here in the NE of England. I am really going to enjoy digging in to them over the coming months. 

So, thanks Rita for my parcel of awesome calories! And thank you Mitsu and Sasha for organising this!

And if you are a vegan and are interested in taking part in the food swap, mosey on over to the To Happy Vegan’s website http://www.tohappyvegans.com/wordpress/uk-vegan-food-swap/ and get yourself signed up!

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Vegan Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

21 Jul

Let me share with you a little bit of heaven.

These cinnamon rolls take about 3 hours to make, but they are definitely worth it. It’s a rainy Sunday afternoon activity whilst you read a good book. A treat, because there is so much sugar in these babies that you really shouldn’t be eating them too often.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp vegan spread (I use Pure)
  • 1/3 cup almond milk
  • 1 pack dried yeast
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 egg replacer
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup of white spelt flour
  • 1 cup of kamut flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 1/4 tsp all spice
  • 1/8 tsp ginger

Filling

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp vegan spread
  • 2 tsp cinnamon

Glaze

  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp almond milk
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla

Method

Warm the vegan spread and almond milk until melted together and at body temperature (if too hot leave to cool a while). Add the yeast, give it a mix and set aside for 5 mins for the yeast to activate. (Make sure your liquid isn’t too hot or it will kill off your yeast).

Mix together the egg replacer and pumpkin puree. In another bowl mix together the flour, sugar, salt and spices. Add the pumpkin mix and the yeast mix and bring the whole lot together into a dough.

Knead the dough by hand for about 10 minutes until soft and springy. Place the kneaded dough into a bowl, cover with cling film and leave to prove in a warm place for about 1 hour. Whilst the dough is rising mix together the filling ingredients in a small bowl.

When the dough is risen, punch it down and turn it out onto a worktop. Roll it into a large rectangle, and spread the filling all over the top of it, leaving about an inch around the edges clear. Roll the dough into a sausage with the filling inside, and then cut the sausage of dough into 1/2 inch slices. Place the slices into a casserole dish, cover in cling film, and leave to prove for 45 minutes.

Preheat the oven to GM6. Bake the proved rolls for 25 minutes. Let the rolls cool whilst you make the glaze.

Mix the glaze ingredients together in a bowl. Pour the glaze over the top of the rolls.

Devour with abandon.

 

World Vegan Pizza Day, 30th June 2012

30 Jun

It’s been a long time since I last had pizza. Being wheat-intolerant and vegan, the number of pizza opportunities available to me in the UK were exceptionally limited. I’ve had vegan pizza on visits to the US (usually picking up a frozen Amy’s rice crust pizza) but it has definitely been a while.

So, when I saw it was Vegan Pizza Day on the 30th June I thought, what better excuse to get my bake on, and cook myself up one delicious vegan pizza.

I started the crust first thing this morning. Leaving it to prove I headed out for my run, and continued on it for the rest of the day, slowly growing in a bowl on the living room floor! At dinner time I started to assemble my pizza. I opted for a tomato sauce base, then portobello mushroom slices, green olives and a sprinkling of Redwood mozzarella style vegan cheese.

The conclusion? The great pizza experiment was a massive success. My pizza was delicious and I will almost certainly make it again. However, seeing as I ate far, far too much of it (because it was so delicious) and I now have a stomach ache, perhaps I won’t make it too often! 🙂

Happy Vegan Pizza Day. What did you have?