Essex Pig Save October 2018

As I happened to be off work I joined Essex Pig Save for their October vigil this week. I luckily grabbed a lift from my friend Simona but if you are travelling by public transport people will give lifts from the nearby West Hordon train station.

The Save Movement was started in Toronto, Canada a few years ago. The aim is to offer comfort to the animals in the last moments of their lives, repent for the animals we have paid to be killed prior to us going vegan and share footage of these animals to help to persuade others to change their habits and stop eating and using animals.

There is a police presence and we have an agreement with the slaughterhouse that the trucks carrying the pigs will stop for two minutes so we can see them. Often the slates on the lower levels are shut but many have selfie sticks so we can see into the higher levels. After each truck goes in we hold a two minutes silence along the boundary of the property.

This can be upsetting for the activists so we comfort eachother.

In-between the trucks arriving we have placards to show to drivers who drive past and we do receive positive reception from many.

There are animal saves all over the world now so if you are interested I would recommend you go to The Save Movement’s website to find your local group. If there isn’t one you can ask for advise to how to set up your own.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post.

Plumes x

Essex Pig Save October 2018

Genesis and Beanuts Shoreditch

29th October 2018 marks 12 years since I met my Husband and four year since we got married so dinner was a must! I was looking around the new establishments that have opened recently (I’m saving Unity Diner for their weekend brunch menu!) and decided upon Genesis on Commercial Street in Shoreditch. I liked the look of their menu and it seemed like a cool place.

On the way from Liverpool Street station we walked through Spitalfields Market and came upon an Oatly van so I gladly picked up a cookie and some oat milk. Oatly have recently launched a £700k advertising campaign in the UK using the slogan “like milk but made for humans”.

We got to Genesis and I loved the whole vibe. All pink with copper notes I could definitely spend an afternoon chilling out here.

I chose a hoisin jackfruit taco while my Husband had an American woman burger containing barbeque sauce and onion rings. He added coconut cheese and put the coleslaw on the side as he’s always a bit suspicious of it! There was no need to be he loved the lot! We also got some fries with garlic mayo which had a lovely strong garlic flavour. Some garlic mayos I’ve had have barely a sniff of garlic in them!

My Husband is a sucker for an ice cream sundae so as there was one on the menu we had to get it. Chocolate buttons, brownie bites, strawberry and chocolate sauces and honeycomb pieces, this sundae had them all! It was delicious with the soft serve ice cream although my Husband did say it needed more focus!

Since choosing to go to Genesis another newly opened vegan venue was brought to my attention. Beanuts is located in Brick Lane in the site recently vacated by the vegan Buffalo Diner. They make all their own plant milks and served hot and cold food along with cocktails and mocktails. So we headed there for a couple of drinks before we headed home.

I went for a black russian of kahlua, vodka and cashew milk and my Husband had the sober version which came with chocolate.

We enjoyed our drinks and I’ll be heading back to try some of their food, I do regret not getting a portion of carrot cake to take home.

As they are calling this café a pop up I’m not sure how long they’ll be there so you’ll have to head down soon.

Have you tried out either of these places? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

Genesis and Beanuts Shoreditch

The Retreat Animal Sanctuary

Yesterday I visited The Retreat Animal Rescue in Ashford, Kent for their open day with my Mum and friend LJ (Literary Vegan on Instagram).

The Retreat looks after many farm animals to live out their days in freedom and safety. There were some animals who were very new to the sanctuary, some turkeys that had arrived just the previous day and a calf who was saved from the veal trade due to an eye infection while the rest of his brothers in truck are now being fattened in Europe soon bound for somebody’s plate.

The Retreat has a cafe which is exclusively vegan. They explain that it would be hypocritical for them to save certain animals while others end up being eaten.

On the open day they had a range of events including raffles, sales of clothes, second items and cakes as well as lots of activities for the little ones and even some live music.

It costs £500 a day to run the sanctuary and you can support them by heading to their website to make a donation or to sponsor one of their animals.

It helps as an activist to see animals who have been saved from the terrible lives their brothers and sisters have to go through, and give us a reason to continue our fight for there rest of them.

LJ is a poet and she very nicely gifted us a copy of the latest collection to say thank you for giving her a lift to the sanctuary. You can find this and her other work here.

The Retreat is open for one more weekend before it shuts for the winter so you can get there if you get your skates on. Otherwise you’ll have to wait until they reopen in March.

Plumes x

The Retreat Animal Sanctuary

What I Eat In A Day Autumn 2018

As it’s getting colder I thought it would be a good time to do another “what I eat in a day” post. Autumn is a time for comfort food and snuggling down under the duvet on the sofa bingeing Netflix.

Mornings I’m still in smoothie mode. I think this is the easiest way to get loads of nutrition in one fell swoop. I might start heating up my smoothies as it gets colder. Does anyone else do this?

My smoothie is made the night before by soaking 25g of oats with a tablespoon each of cacao nibs and milled flax seed, a handful of frozen blueberries and some unsweetened hemp milk. In the morning I add a banana and whizz it up in my bullet blender. I then eat it once I get to work and this helps me last until lunch.

For lunch I had a channa roti from Baygo (I did a full review for them here) I got this free as my colleague had meal pal (an app that get you cheap meals) and couldn’t get in due to train strikes.

This wasn’t too spicy and filled me up for lunch. It did get a bit messy as the filling was quite wet. I’d definitely get this again.

For dinner it had to be a cosy meal of sausage and mash. I used Fry’s fresh sausages which are new to Sainsbury’s with mustard mash, roasted cauliflower, cabbage, mushrooms, onions and gravy.

You can’t go wrong with that really, now can you?

Recently I’ve been having a hot chocolate before bed but I was so full up from dinner I skipped that today!

What are you favourite mid-week autumn meals? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

What I Eat In A Day Autumn 2018

Kerb Meatless Market

At the end of September food market company Kerb introduced a Meatless Market to their portfolio in Devonshire Square on Wednesday to Friday lunchtimes. I managed to get down there twice this week with friends to try out their delights.

The traders are all existing Kerb traders either those that usually serve meat only offering their vegetarian offerings or fully vegetarian/vegan outfits.

On Wednesday Vegals caught my eye with their vegan bagels.

In my pre-vegan (pregan?) days I was a fan of a salt beef bagel so I decided to go for the seitan version served with cheese, pickles and mustard. It was really tasty, my only slight criticism is that the seitan is quite thick and I would prefer a wafer thin variety akin to the salt beef I remember.

Mitsu went for Eat Chay and ordered the Bao lunchbox which came with two BBQ seitan and kimchi bao buns and a noodle salad. She also picked up a fried rice for dinner.

I went for the bao lunchbox today and it was really great. Mitsu had some seitan that was quite well done but mine was cooked to perfection.

Today my friend Jo went for a stuffed ciabatta from Sugo, this one came with avocado, feta and sun-dried tomatoes although I think there was a vegan option available.

The great thing about Kerb being in Devonshire Square is that I can pop in to Planet Organic to pick up a treat to have with a coffee in the afternoon. On Wednesday I went for a cinnamon swirl and today I had a Crosstown doughnut which are now serving their vegan doughnuts in Planet Organic.

Its great that there are a variety of traders attending this market and I hope it encourages the more meaty ones to up their vegan and vegetarian offerings.

Have you been to Kerb’s Meatless Market? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

Kerb Meatless Market

A Vegan Lunch at Temple Goods

I jumped at the chance to revisit Temple Goods with Maxine after we had enjoyed breakfast there a few months ago.

It was a drizzly day and the café was very full. We managed to find a spot on the end of a sharing table which had another group of people dining.

I was hungry after having no breakfast so I had to go for the full English.

The beans were smoky the bacon was crisp but the star of the shoe has to be the fried “egg” I don’t know what it is made of but it so realistic tasting, the yolk pops and oozes gorgeously onto the sourdough toast.

Maxine went for a toasted sandwich of bacon and cheese with a coffee.

The Hackney Downs Vegan Market went from a one-off seasonal event, to monthly, then weekly and now demand has meant it is on both Saturday and Sunday each week!

The only disappointment came in the bathroom where the soap wasn’t vegan, I have contacted Temple Goods and will update when I receive a response.

Maxine picked up some vegan cheeses from New Roots as well as some pastries from Temple Goods and some spray cream from Vegan HQ.

If the weather had been nicer it would have been lovely to sit on the Downs with Maxine’s beautiful dogs, (who have featured on the blog previously) but we may have to wait for the spring to do that!

Have you eaten at Temple Goods? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

A Vegan Lunch at Temple Goods

Running down my cupboards

We are in the process of selling our flat so I am trying to use up as much of my cupboard goods as possible before we move.

I love my dried beans and have built up a collection. I used my black badger beans by soaking overnight and cooking in a shepherdess pie.

I used a mixture of white and sweet potatoes in the topping and added some vegan cheese in there too.

Next I made some soup using marrowfat peas, green split lentils and dried soup mix. This doesn’t look the most appetising but this is my favourite soup.

My hand blender broke during blending this and I was worried something had come off the stick blender but I couldn’t find anything so I bought a new one and finished blending it. I worked out I’d had my old Tesco value stick blender for over 8 years so it had had a good go.

Now onto the sweet treats. I used up some dates and chocolate in a batch of flapjacks. They were a little well done so not photo-worthy but tasty enough with a cup of tea.

I made this peanut butter bread recipe from Jack Monroe. It was so tasty this will definitely be a regular as I always have all the ingredients in my cupboards. I replaced the butter and milk with vegan alternatives and used a flax egg (1 tbsp milled flax seed with 2 tbsp water).

My Husband made this chocolate tray bake which he enjoyed with some Perfect World mint choc chip ice-cream.

We still have quite a lot of red lentils to use up, which will go in stews and curries. We also have quite a lot rice and noodles which we’ll work out way through over the coming weeks.

What meals do you love to make with your cupboard staples? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

Running down my cupboards

A Vegan Dinner at A Marston’s Pub

I was pleased to see that Marston’s Pubs had recently launched a vegan menu so I was straight on their website to see where my nearest one was.

The Crumpled Horn in Upminster is close to my friend Louise’s house so we decided to meet there one evening for a catch up. Although very local to Louise she had never actually been inside so it was a great new discovery for both of us.

Their menu caters to all tastes with 3 starters, 5 mains and 3 dessert options.

I chose the pie which had lovely pastry and the filling was great too, the only thing I would have changed would be to have mash rather than chips with it.

For dessert it had to be the jam doughnut pudding (although the rhubarb and ginger pudding did look tempting too!) It was sticky and sweet and went well with the dairy free ice cream served along with it.

Our service was impeccable, especially as I wasn’t expecting table service from a pub like this. The waitress commented that they’ve received great feedback on the vegan menu from vegans and non-vegans alike and she was excited to try some of the new options out.

With pubs up and down the country I’d recommend you find your nearest Marston’s and head there soon! What would you choose from the menu? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

A Vegan Dinner at A Marston’s Pub

A Vegan Dinner at The Real Greek

It was my friend, Jo’s birthday in September which meant she got to choose our monthly dining spot so we headed back to the The Real Greek at Westfield Stratford.

The Real Greek launched an impressive vegan menu last year so it’s a great spot to grab some dinner. All the dishes are small plates so you get to try many different dishes which is all part of the fun.

We went for houmous, vine leaves, falafel and jackfruit stifado. I had chips on the side and Jo enjoyed some spinach and feta parcels.

Everything is well cooked and tasted great. i was especially impressed with the jackfruit. It’s great that they’ve taken this non-native meat alternative and infused it with Greek flavours.

My only slight bugbear is that you have to pay separately for bread if you order a dip type dish like houmous. In no other Greek or Turkish restaurant have I experienced this and the bread is usually free flowing!

There are also multiple dessert options in Westfield so we decided to skip the ones The Real Greek had to offer and shopped around.

I went for a doughnut from Doughnut Time who conveniently have a van parked just outside the Real Greek. I chose a “Liam Hemsworthy” which is a smaller version of the giant “Chris Hemsworthy” and comes topped with cookies and cream frosting.

Jo was after some ice cream so we headed to Amorino. She picked three of their sorbet flavoured which all carry the Vegan Society trademark. Chocolate, mandarin and raspberry and she thoroughly enjoyed it!

It’s great to see so many options in a shopping centre I remember a time not so long ago where your only option would have been a jacket potato!

Have you tried out the Real Greek? What were your favourite dishes? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

A Vegan Dinner at The Real Greek

A Vegan Lunch at Wagamama

My friend Mitsu and I met up for our monthly lunch a couple of weeks ago at Wagamama in Moorgate. I’d never visited this branch before, it has lots of seats and low ceilings which makes it very loud. Mitsu and I had to shout across the table to eachother often having to repeat ourselves!

To start we shared a couple of the mushroom and panko coated aubergine buns. We both love a bun and these were light and fluffy the only downside was that the filling was very salty.

Mitsu went for the yasai katsu curry for her main. I’m really happy this dish is now vegan as they’ve stopped using egg to attach the panko breadcrumbs to the vegetables. She found the rice a bit too sticky but other than that enjoyed her meal.

I went for the glass noodle salad. I was surprised at the amount of greens that came with it. It was really tasty the only disappointment was that I had very few pieces of tofu I think it was only two or three.

Overall our lunch was ok. There was something a little off with every dish and with so many places offering vegan options nowadays I don’t think I would rush back to Wagamama, also the level of noise really put me off. I want to be able to chat and have a catch up when I meet a friend and this was near impossible in this branch!

Have you eaten in Wagamama recently? What did you think of the vegan options? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

A Vegan Lunch at Wagamama