Round up of the week’s food 160214

Well I think this week has been a bit healthier than last week! I started off on Monday with oaty sausage patties, cabbage and sweet potato.

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On Monday I was defrosting what I thought was pease pudding which turned out to be parsnip soup, so that turned in to Tuesday dinner!

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Tuesday was of course Shrove Tuesday and I used this buckwheat mix I’ve had in the cupboard for a while. I had one with lemon and sugar and mixed up some chocolate chips into the other.

I carried on with the pancake theme and had a paratha with a matcha latte for breakfast on Wednesday.

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As it was Ash Wednesday this week I celebrated mass at St May Moorgate Church with my colleague Eamonn. On Holy days there are 3 half hour services. There was such a queue, people were taking pictures and asking what was going on. We were tempted to say it was “free burritos” and see if they joined the queue!

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On Wednesday night I had an eggfree omlette with courgette, mushrooms and onions.

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I’d run out of lunches from my freezer by Thursday so I went for this salad from Pod which was rather tasty.

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On Thursday I went out for pizza with my friend Jo, which you can read all about here.

I fasted from Thursday evening to Friday evening and I was glad to break my fast with this tasty stew.

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My colleague Luke, picked up this free coconut water from London Bridge station as he knows  how fond I am of it. This was also really tasty after not eating and only drinking water all day.

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On Saturday I celebrated Galentines Day and had an amazing lunch, which can read all about it here.

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Today I make this lovely sandwich for lunch, containing avocado, beetroot, spring onion, rocket, watercress and spinach.

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My husband and I don’t really do much for Valentine’s Day and we just went into town for a coffee today. I had an Earl Grey tea and as I’m trying to reduce my sugar and Starbucks use sweetened soya milk, I took my own little jar of almond milk. My husband also made me this fabulous roast tonight. I made the mushroom nut roast in pastry for Christmas and this is the penultimate piece from the freezer!

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As I’m reducing my sugar and trying to get most of it from fruit sources I was really pleased when I discovered my Husband had ordered pure pineapple juice in our weekly shop. To get me more in the mood I served it in one of my colada glasses so I can at least pretend I’m in the Caribbean!

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Did you celebrate Valentine’s or Galentine’s day this year? Let me know.

Plumes x

 

 

 

 

 

Round up of the week’s food 160214

Review – Mestizo

Today I spent the day with one of my best friends. We used to live together at uni and I can’t believe we’ve known each other over 12 years! After we arranged to meet today I found out its Galentines Day, a day to celebrate friendships with your fellow gals!

We went to the British Library to see an exhibition on Alice in Wonderland. (It’s open until 17th April you can find the details here). It was really interesting to see original notebooks from Lewis Carroll and original illustrations and how the story has been reinvented over the 150 years since it was first published. I bought a canvas bag as I am always losing mine (or leaving them on trains!) and a little present for someone I won’t mention here!

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After the exhibition we went to have lunch at  Mestizo a Mexican restaurant  nearby. I have been meaning to go for a while and the British Library is so close it was a great opportunity! Mestizo serves meat but also has a vegan menu. My friend is Muslim and only eats Halal meat so was happy to join me on the vegan menu.

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We went for taco tray – four fillings, nopales (cactus leaf), flor de calabaza (courgette flowers), cuitlacoche (black corn mushrooms), and grilled vegetables with guacamole, beans, pico di galo, salsa roja, salsa verde, onion and coriander all served with warm corn tortillas. All this different fillings were great and I especially liked the flor de calabaza and the cuitlacoche. My friend and I also loved the salsa verde which we were pouring on every taco! I will definitely be going back to try some of their other offerings. The only disappointing thing was that they had run out of soya milk so I had to have my earl grey tea black! This was such a shame as if they’d told me before I had ordered I might have gone for a peppermint one instead.

As its my birthday soon my friend also brought me a present her daughters had picked out for me – vegan fudge! As it’ll still be Lent when I celebrate my birthday I’ll save this for Easter.

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All in all we had a fab Galentines Day and were left full and very happy ladies!

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Plumes x

Review – Mestizo

Review – Fed by Water

So tonight I went for dinner with my friend Jo. We work at the same company but in different departments. My department moved offices in November so it’s now a bit difficult to meet for lunch. We both live in the same direction so decided to do dinner, which also means we can travel a bit further as we aren’t restricted to an hour.

I had seen lots of people post photos of their pizzas from Fed by Water and I had to try it out. It’s only a 20 min bus ride from work in rush hour and is right opposite Dalston Kingsland overground station. This place is very vegan friendly, they serve meaty, vegetarian and vegan food which is great for mixed parties but there are lots of “Go Vegan” messages on the walls which I loved!

To start we shared some focaccia bread. I love a good focaccia and this one was lovely seasoned with salt and rosemary. We had oil and balsamic glaze to dip it into.

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I had looked at the menu before hand and spent a long time looking through the long list of vegan pizzas. I chose this one with olives, capers, rocket and smoked tofu. You can have a crispy or soft base – I went for soft. We were surprised at the size of these pizzas, they were definitely value for money!

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Jo went for the “Hot” one with spicy seitan salami. Jo isn’t vegan but she was intrigued to try the vegan cheese. She said she didn’t even notice the difference. I tried a bit of her salami and it was too spicy for me (I am a bit of a wimp!) but she asked for extra chilli flakes!

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We were both well and truly stuffed by this point and so because of this and my pledge to reduce my sugar intake during Lent we decided against dessert.

When we next go we think we’ll share one pizza between us as the sweet pizzas on the dessert menu looked so tempting!

I couldn’t leave my husband out so I got him a pizza and garlic bread to take home and stunk out the train!

Have you been to Fed by Water? What did you think?

Plumes x

Review – Fed by Water

Vegan Kind Beauty Box 6

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I was really excited to come home last night and find my Vegan Kind Beauty Box had arrived. It’s so nice to open a surprise box of treats every 3 months!

Starting with the bottom right we have Amie Morning Clear Purifying Facial Wash (RRP £4.95). I haven’t heard of this brand before but I’ve just run out of cleanser so this has come just in time! I tried this this morning and it’s really lovely and creamy and smells great! It left my skin feeling really soft.

Above that we have Barry M Radiant Rod Highlighter (RRP £3.99). I don’t usually use a highlighter but as it’s so cold at the moment I could probably do with looking a bit sun-kissed! You can use this on your cheek bones, as an eye shadow and even to exstensuate your cupid’s bow! I also love Barry M’s website as they clearly mark all their vegan products. Makes life so much easier!

On the bottom left we have a lipstick from Saturated Colour. This is another brand I hadn’t heard of before. I don’t often wear lipstick but when I do I go all out so I was glad to receive this bright lipstick called “First Kiss”. It feels really nice going onto your lips and they recommend using a lip brush to get the richest colour.

Lastly on the top left we have incense with a holder from Sacred Elephant Incense. I haven’t burned incense in a long time but I’m looking forward to trying this out. The incense I received was sandalwood and smelt great just through packet! If you saw my last post on Positive Thinking I spoke about breathing techniques and I think this’ll definitely get me in the mood for some meditation!

As always a donation from every box is made to the Dr Hadwen Trust which funds animal free testing research.

Have you tried any of these products before? Let me know what you think.

Plumes x

Vegan Kind Beauty Box 6

Positive Thinking

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I do tend to think of myself as positive person. This was reinforced recently when my team took part in a positive thinking workshop at work. We did a number of exercises including writing down lots of things that annoyed us and then crossing out the things we had no control over. This reminded me a little phrase I used to say to myself. “Nothing has the power to mess with your zen” (although I may have used a stronger word than “mess”! More on that in a bit!) In many situations you don’t have control as to what happens but you you can control how you respond to it. This was tested on me last night when there were issues with my trains. We were held outside the second stop due to a problem with the train in front which was taken out of service. Our train become very crowded and then we were informed it would be terminated the stop before mine. There was a lot of huffing and swearing from my fellow passengers but I was just glad I had a seat. Shortly after we were told our train would in fact terminate a few stops earlier. I got off with everyone else and sat down on the bench on the platform. Our trains are every few minutes so instead of pushing and shoving onto the next one I sat and finished reading my magazine, then got on the third train. I was then told that this train was going to terminate the stop before mine so off we all got again. I saw fellow commuters getting more and more stressed while I was calmly reading through my emails. I ended up getting home an hour later than usual and I didn’t get to go to a shop I was planning to on the way home. I still spent a lovely evening with my husband, had some pancakes to celebrate shrove Tuesday and got an early night.

Following on from our positive thinking workshop our team has installed a “swear jar” with a 10p charge per curse word. I am very surprised I have been the top contributor and had to put in a I.O.U. yesterday as I had run out of change!

Recently I have also been practicing the 4-7-8 breathing technique where you breathe in through your nose for 4 counts, hold for 7 counts and breathe out through your mouth for 8 counts, for a cycle of 4 breaths. This really slows down your heart rate and makes you feel a lot calmer. I find this works especially well before bed and since I’ve been monitoring my sleep on my fitbit I have been falling asleep in under 10 minutes.

Today also marks the first day of Lent. I usually try to do something in Lent although I didn’t last year as it was my 30th birthday and we went on our honeymoon during that period. This year I have decided to give up coffee. I don’t drink it everyday, but it is a treat I have a couple of times a week. I also want to try and reduce the amount of sugar I eat (and not just replace it with sweeteners). I don’t think I’ll be able to avoid it completely and will still be eating fruit but I’m interested to see how much it affects the food I eat. I think I’ll be OK avoiding sweet treats but I know I’m going to miss baked beans and salad dressing! I am also going to try and fast once a week and go to lunchtime mass although I’ll see how this goes as I haven’t done this since I was at uni.

I am writing this on the train to work and have just been informed there’s going to a 15 minute delay, better start practicing that breathing technique!

Hope you have a positive week!

Plumes x

The_Power_of_Positive_Thinking

 

Positive Thinking

Round up of the Week’s Food 160207

Last week I forget to include two snacks I had. The first was popcorn from Proper Corn. We have these for sale in our office. I was interested to try the fiery Worcester Sauce and Sun-dried tomato flavour. As Worcester sauce usually has anchovies in it I was pleased to see these were clearly marked as vegan.

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The other snack was one of my favourites – mochi! You can get these giant ones from Wasabi. I had looked in my local branch and the one in my local station but neither had any. I was worried they had discontinued them but spotted them in another station when I was travelling through.

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I met an old friend for lunch on Monday at Pizza Rossa in Leadenhall Market. They have a vegan pizza option and a few pasta options. It smelt amazing so I went for the pizza option.

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I started off my cooking this week by making one of my favourites -BBQ jackfruit. Jackfruit is an Asian fruit which you can buy in tins from Asian supermarkets. It has a chewy texture and soaks up flavours from marinades like tofu so it great from making a pulled pork type dish. Make sure you get the one in water or brine though, not syrup! I used this recipe from more vegan blog and put it in wholemeal wraps with onions and peppers.

On Tuesday I had a quick lazy dinner as I spent most of the evening baking.

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I took some treats into work to celebrate my 9 year anniversary with the company. We get a lot treats at work as we bring them not only for birthdays, but also exam passes, work anniversaries, any excuse really! I like to show my colleagues that vegan treats are just as tasty as their non-vegan counterparts. I went with two tried and tested options. My Jamaica Ginger Cake and sausage rolls. For the sausage rolls I just use some Granose sausage mix, Jus-Rol puff pastry and sesame seeds. They always go down well!

On Wednesday I usually go swimming with my Mum but as she wasn’t feeling too great we just had dinner. I had this shepherdess pie with sweet potato mash she had in the freezer with some steamed veg.

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On Thursday we went to my in-laws. They had had a long day working on-site so had an easy dinner of veggie nuggets, chips and mushy peas.

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Sadly we had a family funeral to go to on Friday. Our journey started early and we stopped at a service station for breakfast. I had 2 hashbrowns from McDonald’s and a soya latte from Starbucks. After a lovely service we went to a local social club. The buffet had a good selection of vegan food. I had samosas, pakoras and Asian pastries as well as some crisps, crackers and a great variety of fruit. We had dinner in another service station on the way home. I had a plain veggie wrap from Burger King.

On Saturday I started the day using up the left over chips from Thursday night. Not the healthiest start but we had had a hard day on Friday.

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My Sister-in-law and nieces came over at lunchtime. We had brought home some leftovers from Friday which they ate. I had two spicy bean burgers from Waitrose with a jacket potato and salad.

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On Saturday I had a lovely tofu curry that my Mother-in-Law had made with a veggie samosa from Waitrose. I am really lucky with both my Mum and Mother-in-Law and the effort they go to in making vegan meals for me when I visit them.

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Today we stopped in Victoria station for food as we were travelling back from home from my in-laws. I had a naked burrito from Tortilla as I wasn’t feeling too hungry. I hadn’t had one before as I usually go for a burrito or tacos but it was really filling even without the bread.

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Tonight I just had an old fave. You can’t go wrong with beans on toast!

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Looking back over my week it doesn’t look the healthiest! Hopefully this will change next week as Lent starts on Wednesday and I plan to reduce the amount of sugar I eat (so no more baked beans!) Are you planning on giving up anything for Lent? Or doing something extra instead? Let me know.

Plumes x

Round up of the Week’s Food 160207

First Charity Shop Clothes Shopping of the Year!

I am quite proud of getting to the last weekend of January before buying any clothes for myself. So I am one twelfth through the year and I’ve kept to my new year’s resolution of not buying any brand new clothes!

I did buy a vintage jumper for my cousin Amanda when I went to a Pop-up Vintage Fair (you can read about it here) and I got a few non-clothes bits in my first charity shopping trip of the year.

My Husband and I visited my cousin Dan and his fiancee Amanda last weekend. On Saturday we left the guys with the PS4 and Rocket League whilst Amanda and I went into town.

Amanda is a lover of charity shop shopping so its great when we get together. We are the same size which has its positives in terms of borrowing clothes but sometimes I get quite jealous when she spots something we both love first when we’re on the charity shop trail!

I bought this skirt for work from Shelter for £3. The tag says “Epilogue” which is not a brand I have heard of. It’s a nice length and works really well with my ankle boots.

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I’ve been looking for some flat black shoes for a while. It is quite difficult finding shoes in charity shops, first you need a style and colour you like, then there’s the size and I have the additional requirement of no leather. I was very happy when I came across these in the Oxfam shop for £7. They were slightly big but I think this will be sorted with a couple of in-soles.

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I came up trumps in the Mind shop. There were quite a few things I liked the look of so was in the changing room for a while! Firstly this dress from Next for £5.50 I really like how the butterfly pattern covers the whole dress and the material felt lovely.

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I also bought this Next t-shirt for £2.75. It’s quite long, but not long enough to wear with leggings so I think I will keep this for when I can get back into my jeans! This, again, felt really soft and looks like it’s barely been worn.

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The third thing I bought in Mind (which I forgot to photograph!) was a London 2012 Paralympics DVD. My Husband and I were lucky enough to go and see some of the events in 2012. We saw Swimming, Table Tennis and my Mum joined us to see the athletics where we saw David Weir win Gold. He is from my Husband’s home town and we were so proud when we saw a local post box painted gold in his honour. I hope watching the DVD will bring back happy memories and get us in the mood for Rio in the summer!

Have you made any good charity shop finds recently? Let me know!

Plumes x

First Charity Shop Clothes Shopping of the Year!