New Vegan Foods

Aren’t we so lucky with all the new foods coming out? I’ve tried a few things that are new or new to me over the past couple of weeks that I thought I’d share with you.

First up my fave! The M&S Plant Kitchen coleslaw. I have always loved coleslaw and now I can easily get my hands on some! Perfect on a jacket potato with vegan cheese.

Likewise the potato salad! Lovely and creamy and perfect for a vegan spread.

The last item I’ve tried from the Plant Kitchen M&S range is their spaghetti Bolognese ready meal. This is great to pick up on the way home when I’ve had a busy day and don’t want to cook.

I added some of my own vegan cheese to this and I would definitely buy it again.

I picked up these bars from Rhythm 108 in my small Sainsbury’s shop. I’ve tried their biscuits before which are available in Costa so I was looking forward to trying these.

These are proper tasty but a little pricy at £1.40 for a fun size bar. Definitely an occasional treat.

Lastly we have another product I’ve been excited about. The Naturli spread this is one of the only vegan spreads on the market that is free from palm oil. I asked my local big Sainsbury’s to stock this and luckily they now are. It is currently in the Veganuary area so hopefully this will be stocked beyond January.

I’ve only tried this on a jacket potato with lots of different flavours so I need to try it on toast to experience the full flavour.

What foods have you been trying this year? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

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New Vegan Foods

Cafe Thrive – Bournemouth 2019

I often travel down to Bournemouth at this time of year to celebrate my friend Karen’s birthday. Last year I had the pleasure of meeting another friend, Becky for lunch in Southampton where we visited Cafe Thrive (which I wrote about here). Unfortunately I didn’t have the time to visit Becky on this visit but luckily for me Cafe Thrive have now opened a branch in Bournemouth!

Karen and her daughter Amy went for burgers, her son Aiden had nuggets and I had to try the jackfruit fish and chips.

Karen really enjoyed her wholefoods burger, I had a little nibble too and thought it had a lovely taste. Amy wasn’t as keen on her “chicken” burger. Aiden couldn’t tell any difference from meat based chicken nuggets.

I enjoyed my jackfruit fish and chips, the jackfruit is seasoned with seaweed to give it a fishy taste although I think it could do with being half the size!

I picked up a peanut butter blondie to have on the train home. It went down a treat!

Have you been to Cafe Thrive in either Southampton or Bournemouth? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

Cafe Thrive – Bournemouth 2019

Vegan finds in Aldi

I think today will go down in Vegan history, I’ve never seen so much in my timelines in social media about one product! Today was the day the vegan sausage roll was released in Gregg’s. I pass a Gregg’s on my way to the station in the morning so it would have been rude not to pop in!

It was delicious and I will now have to avert my eyes as I scurry past to get my train in the morning!

The other good news is that Aldi are doing some vegan items – thanks Emma for the info! This was in their special buys section so I’m not sure how long they’ll be there. I assume for the whole of Veganuary but it may be a when they’re gone they’re gone situation so I’d head to your local one sharpish!

I was out of nutritional yeast so I was glad to see that there and with jackfruit for £1 you can’t go wrong! I’ve tried the jerky and it was quite nice but you didn’t get much in a packet. I’m looking forward to enjoying the shortbread with a cuppa! I’ve got a jar of Vegenaise in the fridge else I would have tried out the Hellman’s one.

So there you have it! Have you already been to Aldi? What did you pick up? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

Vegan finds in Aldi

The Suli Box

The Suli Box (short for SUstainable LIving) is an eco-friendly subscription box to help you reduce waste and your plastic use.

I originally bought this box a few weeks ago but as we moved shortly after it’s taken me a while to retrieve it from the mountain of boxes we are still sorting out.

Like many subscription boxes you can choose how frequently you want to receive it and can choose from different size boxes. I’ve decided to go for every other month and the size that has 4 items.

The box uses natural straw for packaging the items which is a first for me, although it did end up getting everywhere! I thought the personalised message inside the box was a really cute touch.

The first items we have are some natural chewing gum from Chewsy.

I’m not a regular chewer of gum, however I do love my garlic so it’s handy to have in your handbag! The gum comes in little cubes and the flavour lasts a long while.

Next up we have a turtle bag. I already have one of these in green so it was nice to get a different colour. These bags are really strong and I love the style of them. Another great one to keep in the handbag. This was an item that I’ll be picking the straw out of for a while!

Next we have some washing powder which I’ll be interested to try out. I’m interested in trying more natural cleaning products and things like the Suli box are a great way of trying out and finding new products you weren’t aware of.

Lastly we have this delightful little package…

Which was some ginger bread soap. I do love a proper bar of soap but they do tend to take quite a while for me to get through so this will stay in the cupboard until I get through my current bar.

If you fancy trying the Suli Box out you can buy a one off box or if you subscribe you can cancel at any time.

Do you subscribe to any eco boxes? What do you think? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

The Suli Box

The Junction – Greene King Pub

It was my Brother’s birthday and he had decided to hold his annual drinks in The Junction in Upminster which is part of the Greene King chain. As we were going to be eating I took a look at their menu online and was pleased to see they had vegan options.

I originally ordered the mushroom and ale pie but unfortunately they didn’t have any left so I went for the vegan fish and chips instead. They use vbites “fish” which I have had in the past and it was very nice this time too. The chips were a bit pale but acceptable.

My Sister-in-law chose the falafel burger and was curious when it arrived with coleslaw, we double checked with the kitchen and they confirmed this too was vegan. It’s so nice to get a vegan version of the trimmings rather than just having them left off!

There was also a cherry chocolate torte for dessert but we decided to skip that after all the excess of Christmas. The menu isn’t as extensive as other chains and there is a Marston’s pub in the same road (which I reviewed here) but it is good to know if you are going to a Greene King pub you will be catered for as a vegan.

Have you tried the Greene King vegan menu? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

The Junction – Greene King Pub

FGV’s Christmas Market @Guildhall

I really enjoyed the market Sean (Fat Gay Vegan) put on at the Guildhall in the summer (which I wrote about here) that I had to go to the Christmas edition, especially when I saw the line up.

I hadn’t had breakfast so I headed down early to beat the queues. My first stop was Vausages. I had seen these folk at different events I had been to but this was my first time sampling their delights they had two Christmas hot dogs on, a Cumberland and an Apple and pork style. I went for the Cumberland which came with caramelized red onions and garlic mushrooms, I asked for it to be topped with their trademark blue garlic mayo.

Although it looks like toothpaste it actually tastes delicious! The bun was nice and soft and the sausage had a lovely flavour on the outside and I surprised to see it was filled with quinoa in the middle. I’ll definitely be heading back to them when I see them in the future.

Next stop had to be Vegan Delice. If you’ve read my posts from previous events you know I always stop by these peeps! I had to get my fave Viennese whirl as well as a peanut chocolate brookie for my Husband and I couldn’t be left out so I had to get a peanut butter and jam brownie for myself. Chanel was nice enough to let me try their raw cake which was a bit different.

After mains and dessert I had to have something to take home for later so I bought some cream cheese and lox from The Kinda Co I love their dairy free cheese and thought this one with marinated carrot (to taste similar to salmon) would be perfect on a cracker over the Christmas period.

I was pleased to see that FGV is bringing the market back to Guildhall in January and March although I am unfortunately unable to make the January date.

Its great to have a vegan market in the city especially so close to work. I would love to see this become a monthly (or even more frequent) event.

Do you work in the city? Would you welcome a lunchtime vegan market close to where you work?

Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

FGV’s Christmas Market @Guildhall

Christmas Menu @ Cafe Forty One

I’ve had afternoon tea a few times (including for my hen do) at La Suite West a boutique hotel in Bayswater but I’ve never had dinner there. Their restaurant rebranded as Cafe Forty One this year and when I saw their Christmas menu I invited my Mum out to try it.

We chose different options so we could mix and match, you could choose an appetizer or a starter so we went for both the appetizers.

I never tasted fois gras when I ate meat so I can’t judge on that basis but it was tasty all the same. The carrot had a really fishy taste due to the seaweed which was really interesting. The cream cheese didn’t have a distinct flavour.

Mum chose the polenta with mushrooms which was really tasty with the polenta having mustard kick.

The filling for my nut Wellington had been creamed which was a bit different. The pastry was crisp but the mash was lumpy and would have appreciated some cooked veg rather than just salad leaves with it.

We wanted the yule log for dessert but unfortunately they didn’t have any ready as lots of people had ordered them to collect to have on Christmas day. (They must have been good then!) Instead we had the other two desserts, baked Alaska and fondant. My fondant was rich which caramel sauce and a perfectly cooked pear. Mum’s Alaska was sweet and sharp with the fruit although it had a rock hard piece of sponge at the bottom.

We gave our feedback to the waitress who said she would convey it to the kitchen and although it wasn’t perfect I think for £35 it was great value for money and I’ll be heading back there.

The afternoon teas on the other diners’ tables looked delicious as well so I may have to get one for my birthday in Feb!

Have you had dinner or afternoon tea at Cafe Forty One? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

Christmas Menu @ Cafe Forty One