A Vegan Lunch at Nando’s

Nando’s might not be the first place you think of eating as a vegan, but the choice of restaurant may not always be up to you or you may be somewhere like a retail park with limited options (luckily this is getting less and less likely nowadays) so it’s always nice to know what vegan options are available.

Nando’s have this helpful webpage advising the best way to eat vegan at one of their restaurants.

We started with the houmous and pitta with piri piri drizzle to start. My Husband loves the drizzle so we order a few extra bottles at 50p each so he can use them at home. As you may know from previous posts I am a spice wimp so the drizzle has to stay strictly on his side of the houmous pot!

There are two new veggie burgers on the menu since I last ate at Nando’s and both can be easily veganised. I chose the sweet potato and butternut over the supergreens and had it in a pitta with no mayo. I chose my spice level as plain – no surprises there! I also ordered a corn on the cob on the side and skipped the butter.

The burger was nice with red peppers going through it, although I think it would be better with a sauce. You could add ketchup if you wanted. This was a pleasant enough meal and definitely filled me up.

I also sometimes make my own burgers from the sides. The garlic bread is vegan so I order that with a Portobello mushroom, quarter avocado and some pineapple and I’m good to go! This usually works out cheaper too!

Have you eaten at Nando’s as a vegan? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

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A Vegan Lunch at Nando’s

Veganuary 2018 initial results

Some of you may know I’m an analyst at work and love a bit of number crunching so I always look forward to seeing the stats come out after Veganuary and this year is no different, so let’s take a look!

Its great to see the overall participation increase year on year and a massive 183% increase on 2017! This only accounts for the people who sign up on https://veganuary.com so I am sure there are many others who take part every year without signing up.

It’s also nice to see people’s motivation for trying Veganuary, but whatever the reason the animals and the planet benefit from it! 79,000 were omnivores so that’s a huge number going cold tofurkey for the month!

Younger people lead the way as expected, but my age range of 25 – 34 are slightly leading the pack ahead of the 18 – 24 whippersnappers and the 35 – 44 crew don’t seem far behind them.

Women seem to be leading the way again with 84% of participants but men have increased to 14% from 10% in 2017. I think this is in part due to women more likely to sign up to the website so there may be quite a few more men taking part, they just aren’t in the official figure.

The dairy industry tried to hit back with their #februdairy campaign but as these search stats (courtesy of @vegandon on Twitter) show it paled in comparison.

So there you have it. I’m looking forward to seeing the six month results and how many people decided to stick with it. With all the options now available it just gets easier and easier to transition to veganism.

Did you take part in Veganuary this year? How did it go? Or are you a veteran of Veganuary and still going strong? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

Veganuary 2018 initial results

Vegan Life Live 2018

My friend Maxine visited the Vegan Life Live event organised by Vegan Life Magazine in London this weekend and agreed to share her experience in this guest post, so I’ll hand over to her…

“Yesterday I went to the Vegan life live event at Alexandra Palace. The venue is conveniently located not far from the station and there is street parking as well as a car park. The location is beautiful inside and out.

On arrival we were greeted with a massive goody bag which included magazines, lots of samples, a bottle of water, protein and energy balls, a large pot of mayo and a packet of black Jasmine rice pasta which I’m eager to try out.

The stall holders were all on one levels, although some of the talks were held on the lower ground. There was plenty of seating area and of course most importantly “the food court”. I arrived early so to avoid the queues as it did get really busy just before lunch time. I had BBQ Tempeh ribs for lunch and a maple syrup waffle for dessert but the decision was a hard one to make as there was so many delicious options from Ethiopian food, Caribbean, Greek, Pizza, raw dishes, Mac n cheese, seitan steak sandwiches, wraps n burritos, pittas etc.. etc…

So many free samples were being given out. Lots of protein stalls, clothing, shoes, make up, jewellery, cakes, sweets n chocolate. We sampled raw cheesecakes, raw chocolate, gluten free peanut butter and jello cream cake, soups and much more.

Vida Bakery
Ms. Cupcake

The only disappointment was the lack of cheese and coffee stalls. Only one small stall selling a small selection of cheeses you can purchase in most supermarkets or Holland & Barrett and we only came across two stores selling coffee.

There was a tent where people were getting back, neck n head massages right next to the main stage where we saw some really great performers. Shout out to #JoshTom for his song “I don’t eat animals”.

We stayed a total of 6 hours but we did end up going around 3 times because there’s always something you’ve missed!”

Thanks Maxine, sounds like a great event, I’ll definitely have to try to go next year.

Did you go to Vegan Life Live? What did you think/buy/see? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

Vegan Life Live 2018

A Vegan Meal at Ember Inns

We have a couple of pubs in our area which are part of the Ember Inns chain so when my Mum said she didn’t fancy cooking after our weekly swimming session yesterday I had a look at the menu for the pub near the swimming pool.

I knew they previously had one vegan option but I was pleased to see they have now upped this to three!

I chose the tarte tatin and Mum went for cottage pie (which is the option that was previously available and we have both tried before).

Mum’s cottage pie looked really nice and warming, especially on a chilly February evening after being in a cold swimming pool! She said she really enjoyed it especially the onion gravy in the pie.

My tarte tatin was so good! I loved the sweet sticky vegetables with a hint of balsamic and the pastry was great too. I was glad it came with baby potatoes rather than mash so it was a bit lighter with the tarte.

It is so nice to go to a local pub and have a choice of vegan meals rather than having to amend veggie options or be stuck with a jacket potato and beans.

I have also seen the Vintage Inn chain have introduced a vegan menu so will have to try them out soon!

Have you eaten as a vegan in an Ember Inn? What did you think? What are the vegan options like in your local pubs? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

A Vegan Meal at Ember Inns

Some food I’ve made this week

I wasn’t sure how to word the title of this blog post so I’ve just gone with the above!

Monday marked 11 years (!) that I have been working for my company so I decided to bring in some tasty vegan treats for my colleagues.

I decided to make savoury snacks as it’s my birthday later in the month and I’ll bring in sweet stuff then.

First of all, I made sausage rolls. I know there are quite a few shop-bought vegan ones you can get now but I like to make my own as you play with the flavours a bit. I bought a pack of Granose Lincolnshire Sausage Mix from Sainsbury’s and a packet of Jus-Rol puff pastry and put the two together. I added some garlic granules and rosemary when I was making up the sausage mix too. These always go down well at work and they are so quick to make.

Next I made some almond feta. I think it was my friend Olive who introduced me to this recipe from Maple Spice and I’ve been making it for a few years now. It’s really simple although you do need to remember to do it the day before so you can let it drain overnight. These are also ingredients I generally have in my house so that makes it easy too. I served this up with some crackers.

Lastly we have Savoury Scones from the Vegan Recipe Club. I have taken in sweet scones to work a couple of times with coconut cream and jam but wanted to try my hand at these savoury ones. I added caramelised onions and made them mini so there were more to go round!

I’m pleased to say they all went down well with non-vegan colleagues.

Some food I’ve made this week

The Blacksmith and The Toffeemaker

The Blacksmith and The Toffeemaker in Islington recently went vegan so my monthly dinner companion Jo and I thought we’d take advantage of their January deal of 241 mains if you bring something for the food bank.

They serve a mixture of burgers and toasties with chips or salad. We both liked the look of the chorizo one which came with jalapeñoes, refried beans and cheese. The jalepañoes were a bit too spicy for me so I picked them out but overall it was a great toastie and I definitely want to return to try some of their other options. I went for fries with mine while Jo went for the healthier salad option. Jo said she thought her salad might be a bit more interesting than just leaves in a vegan place but sadly not.

The service was prompt was we done in 45 minutes but not ready to head home at 18.15 (!) so I did a little search for cocktails nearby and we ended up in The Ladybird Bar, they had a happy hour offer of 241 cocktails on those marked on the menu with a ladybird so we both went for a twist on a piña colada and enjoyed it thoroughly. So with all our offers we had a lovely meal and a cocktail for £11.50 each! Not bad for a Tuesday night!

Have you been to either of these places before? What did you think? Where else should we try out in Islington? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

The Blacksmith and The Toffeemaker

Vegan Activism January 2018

I’ve really kicked 2018 to a great start in January with attending some fantastic activism events.

I’ve taken part in two Earthlings Experiences with Havering Vegan Action. We take to the streets of Romford for two hours on Friday nights and plant lots of seeds by showing farm and slaughterhouse footage and talking to people about their food options.

I took part in my first Chelmsford Cube of Truth with their chapter of Anonymous for the Voiceless. We now have four chapters locally, Chelmsford, Southend, Basildon and Romford. Basildon’s first event is taking part on 4th February and Romford’s first event takes part on the 11th February. I like taking part in these events as you can swap from showing footage to doing outreach speaking to people. We usually speak to around 70 people when we do these events and it’s great to see more and more chapters popping up to spread the message.

I attended my first Essex Pig Save which I wrote about here.

And lastly tonight I attended the protest at the annual Great British Greyhound Board awards organised by CAGED, I wrote about last year’s event here. There was a great turnout and luckily it wasn’t raining this year. I hope to attend more events at my local greyhound track this year and see more stadiums across the country close down.

So let’s see how I get on in February.

If you are interested in taking part in activism events I would recommend you have a look at events in your area on Facebook. If you have any questions ask away in the comments below.

Plumes x

Vegan Activism January 2018