February Round Up

How has the month been?

I started the month off by visiting my Husband’s family and catching a cold from our germ-infested nieces! This lasted a couple weeks but ever since I have felt really exhausted. I assume this is just a hangover of the virus but I’m going to get some blood tests to see if anything else is going on there. Although I’ve been very tired it hasn’t really affected what I have done apart from less exercise/running and more naps! It was also my birthday this month and I have had a great time celebrating which I’ll share more with you below.

What new foods have I tried this month?

When I looked through my photos this month I couldn’t believe have many new things I have tried. Who said being vegan was boring?!

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I celebrated 10 years with  company at the beginning of the month so I brought in some yummy vegan treats. I made a jaffa drizzle cake, which is an orange drizzle cake with a thin layer of dark chocolate on top. This was delicious and I’ll definitely be making it again.

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I went out with some colleagues  to Ekachai as one of our work friends was leaving the company. It is a South East Asian restaurant which is very efficient for lunchtime eating! I had this gorgeous tempeh curry and there are a few vegan or easily veganised dishes on the menu.

I went down to visit my friend Karen and her family in Bournemouth this month it was so nice to pick up some provisions so easily in Waterloo station. I got four vegan cupcakes for us to share from Lola’s Cupcakes and it’s great to see them continuing to expand their vegan range.

We went out to Wagamama for dinner and I had the itame coconut, chilli and lime soup with tofu and vegetables. I’ve never had this dish before as I prefer the noodles to soup but as I had this stinking cold I thought it would do me good! It was really tasty and I had some cauliflower in a lovely sticky chilli sauce as a side.

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We stopped for a hot drink and a cake at Sweet Greens which I wrote about in this post.

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I asked Dani from Vida Bakery to make my caterpillar birthday cake and she certainly didn’t disappoint!

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I celebrated my birthday eating food from Vegan Peasant which I wrote about here.

On Saturday I went to a local independent space and had a lovely chocolate brownie and Earl Grey. It’s nice to see small, local places catering to vegans.

On Sunday we took a trip to Green Bay and I bought all this swag I’m currently working through.

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And finally on the food front we used the sgaia bacon pictured above with some mushrooms in a giant pancake to share to celebrate Shrove Tuesday.

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What have I enjoyed?

I went vintage clothes shopping with my Sister-in-law on the first weekend in February which I wrote about here and I also picked up this fab vintage swimsuit in Bournemouth.

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I had a fab time in Bournemouth as a whole, even the body combat class we did on Sunday morning!

I spent some time catching up with friends who I haven’t seen in a while. I’ve now known these ladies over 10 years!

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I loved receiving all these gorgeous presents for my birthday.

I completed my second parkrun of the year and felt better afterwards than the first one and I bought myself a Lush giraffe bubble bar to celebrate.

Plans for March

We are heading down to Ramsgate for a belated birthday weekend away. I plan on taking part in a march against racism and we have tickets to see Post Modern Jukebox at the end of the month. If you haven’t heard them, check them out on YouTube.

How has your February been? Let me know in the comments.

Plumes x

February Round Up

Round up of the week’s food 160807

I’ve had a lovely week spent with friends and family.

On Monday my Husband and I had lunch at Zizzi when we were in town shopping.

I’ve had the vegan pizza a few times and this one was quite disappointing, I went for butternut squash, artichoke and peppers. The toppings didn’t feel that warm and there were only three peppers on there. I was also served a thin a crispy one when I had asked for a classic. We had a long wait for our mains so I didn’t feel like dessert in the end. I had a 40% discount and I don’t think the food we had would have been worth the full price.

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On Tuesday I headed down to Bournemouth to visit my friend Karen who I have known for a long time. She used to work for a broker I dealt with when I first joined my company over 9 years ago. We had to speak multiple times a day and clicked straight away.

She made this lovely pasta dish served with this accidentally vegan stone baked garlic bread from Asda.

On Wednesday we had bubble and squeak with some chard picked fresh from the garden. I don’t eat mashed potato very often as my Husband doesn’t like it so this was a real treat!

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Karen has an amazing vegetable garden and gave me some freshly picked, organic vegetables to take home with me. I’m really excited about the corn cob and the purple carrots!

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Here’s some more pics of her fab garden.

My Brother came over for dinner on Friday and I made a tofu stirfry. When I get the stirfry veg, noodles and sauce from Sainsburys I usually just add a few frozen soya beans and that does it for my Husband as me but as there was three of us I used this marinated tofu my Mum picked up for me in Lidl which was only £1.50. I bulked out the veg with the peas and purple carrots from Karen’s garden.

My cousin and his Wife came to stay with us at the weekend. I had bought some tinned jackfruit a week or so ago and wanted to try something different to the usually bbq wraps I do. I saw this recipe from Leicester Veggie for vegan “crab” cakes that fitted the bill perfectly. The homemade tartar sauce was pretty special which I’ll definitely make again. I served it with some sautéed chard from Karen’s garden.

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Today we went out for a pub lunch. The curse of the brioche bun reared it’s ugly head but I was able to sub it for ciabatta which I saw on the menu was used for the sandwiches. I had a sweet potato and bean burger with chips.

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I tried some of Amanda’s coconut and lime cider from Brothers. I wasn’t too sure about it, I might need a whole one to make up my mind! I think all of Brothers ciders are vegan I picked up some toffee apple flavour in Aldi for the weekend and they are clearly labelled suitable for vegans.

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I’m looking forward to watching lots of Olympic events over the next couple of weeks hopefully my cooking doesn’t suffer!

Plumes x

Round up of the week’s food 160807

Round up of the week’s food 160313

I’d already decided to make a pie on Tuesday when I found out it was British pie week! On Monday my husband was out for the evening so I wanted an easy dinner before I watched some rubbish TV! I found this VBites turkey style, ham style and leek pie in the freezer that my Grandparents had given me. It was a bit salty for me but went well with my roasted and steamed veg.

On Tuesday I made chicken style and mushroom pies using the vegan Quorn pieces I had bought in Asda. The Quorn had a nice texture and soaked up the flavour from the herby gravy I had made. My non-vegan husband also enjoyed the meal.

As I had made four individual pies we had them again on Wednesday, (it was pie week after all!) this time I had lovely fluffy mustard mash with mine.

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On Thursday I had been invited to a screening of the film Pride by a former colleague as part of her new company’s inclusion week. If you haven’t seen the film about the Lesbian and Gay support the Miners campaign it is a must. I first saw it on an aeroplane so it was nice to see it on a bigger screen and have have your tissues ready as I cried both times! They provided catered and did me these lovely chinese buns with red pepper and chili sauce and nachos with avocado and caramelised onion relish. As I didn’t know what would be available I also bought a baguette from Pret a Manger. They always carry a vegan sandwich and this one is avocado, olive tapenade, sun dried tomatoes and rocket. It’s really substantial and great to grab when you’re on the go.

On Friday I came down to Bournemouth to spend the weekend with my friend and her family. She told me she was making homemade pizza so I bought some violife cheese and Tofurkey Polish sausage to go on top. The base was really well risen and this was great after a long journey down from London.

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On Saturday after a morning shopping, (see post here) we had lunch at Mad Cucumber  (see review here).

On Saturday evening we had a lovely meal at with my friend’s daughter at Zoukinis (see review here).

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This morning I had my Amy’s Kitchen breakfast sandwich to set me up for the long journey home. (Don’t you just love Sunday train services!)

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I had a pretty good week foodwise and I’ve got a couple of meals out planned for this week coming, so I look forward to telling you all about those!

Plumes x

 

 

 

Round up of the week’s food 160313

Review – Zoukinis Bournemouth

I had seen some pictures from Zoukinis on instagram a couple of weeks ago so when I arranged to come to Bournemouth I knew I wanted to visit. We booked a table for 7pm the day before and they said would be able to squeeze us in.

I went for the mushroom biryani and vegetable dansak curry. I was a bit worried as the menu showed it with two chilis and I’m not great with hot food. It came with a raita which I did mix in with it to cool it down a bit. I really enjoyed it. It also came with aubergine bhajis and mango chutney, the bhajis were a bit gooey in the middle and had a bit of a raw pea taste from the gram flour.

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My friend went for the winter tart. She described it as Christmas on a plate. The tart was roasted vegetable and goats cheese.

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Her daughter went for the pad thai. She enjoyed it but it was a bit too spicy for her. It was the first time she’d tried tofu and said she liked it. She is now considering going vegetarian too!

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I know I’ve been trying to reduce my sugar intake in Lent but this was a special occasion as I hadn’t see my friend in a long time. My friend’s daughter and I went for the brownie, I had it with forest fruits sorbet and she had it with vanilla. It had a really great flavour and was sticky, which the sorbet cut through nicely.

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I also had some hot lemon which came in this funky penguin teapot.

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My friend went for the chocolate and raspberry truffle tart with an amaretto biscuit base. She said it was very rich but the coulis and the biscuit base complimented it well.

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We had a lovely meal all in all and the staff were really friendly.

Have you eaten at Zoukinis? What did you think?

Plumes x

Review – Zoukinis Bournemouth

Shopping in Bournemouth

I went shopping this morning in Bournemouth with my friend Karen who I’m staying with this weekend.

First stop for me was Sunrise Organics which I had found online when I was looking up vegan options. They had a great selection of products, including fresh vegetables, perishables, dried foods, snacks and chocolate and beauty products.

First I picked up a breakfast sandwich from Amy’s Kitchen to have tomorrow before my long journey home. I love these and their great if your missing a “McBreakfast”.

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I then saw this blue cheese from Risella. I hadn’t seen it before and I really like their smoked mozzarella so thought I’d give it a go. The proprietor was also singing it’s praises so I’m looking forward to trying it.

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I then saw something I was really excited by! Vegan Egg from American company, Follow Your Heart. I have seem so rave reviews online about this product, previously unavailable in the UK. I have also tried their vegan mayonnaise which is so good! I know a couple of stores in London are stocking it, but I’m glad I’ve saved myself a trip as I expect they’ll sell out fast as the man in Sunrise Organics also said.

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After our lunch at Mad Cucumber (see my review here) we headed over to Molly’s Den to get our vintage shop on!

Molly’s Den is an emporium made up of lots of different stalls under one roof selling everything from furniture to crockery to toys to clothes.

The first thing I liked was this dress for £7. I love the colour and I really like this style of dress that ties up at the back.

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I then tried on this fabulous coat. It was a bit snug, but as my parka is on its last legs with a rip near the hood and a zip that pinged off when it caught in an escalator a couple of weeks ago I thought that would see me out until the spring and this could be my target coat for next winter.The tag inside says “made in Paris” and I don’t think I’d find a coat of this quality for £28 brand new.

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The last clothing item I picked up was this 60’s dress. It didn’t have a size on it but for £5 I thought you can’t go wrong! It just needs a bit of sewing on one side where the tie goes round.

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I also bought a couple of presents so won’t post them here. I’m glad I’m travelling home by train and could only buy what I can carry else I might have spent a lot more!

Plumes x

Shopping in Bournemouth

Review – Mad Cucumber Bournemouth

I’ve come down to Bournemouth for the weekend to catch up with an old friend. I had a look up online at what vegan options were about in town and came across the website for Mad Cucumber. As it’s fairly central we decided to pop in for lunch after a morning shopping. We arrived just before 12pm and I’m glad we got a table as some of the review I read said it gets really busy, especially on a Saturday lunchtime.

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It’s really pretty inside and there’s lots of artwork up by local artists which are available to purchase. We were also greeted by a couple of friendly dogs who were going around saying hello and getting a stroke from all the patrons!

I started with an Earl Grey tea which came in this pretty pot and cup set. It came with soya milk as standard but they had a selection of other plant milks available on request.

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I went for the veggies with dips and added coleslaw. I wanted a light lunch as I’d had a Tofurkey sausage sandwich and a banana for breakfast. The houmous tasted great and the other dip was good too although I wasn’t quite sure what it was! The coleslaw came in a light dressing rather than smothered in mayonnaise which was really refreshing.

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My friend went for the mushroom and onion quiche which came with a salad. I tried a bit and it lovely and gooey and had a strong flavour. Karen isn’t vegan but she said she really enjoyed and couldn’t tell the difference with the soya milk in her latte.

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They also had a display of gorgeous cakes, but as I’m reducing my sugar intake I declined to sample any.

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Overall we really enjoyed our meal and it was great value for money. The only negative I would give is that they except cash only. Come on! It is 2016 after all!

Have you been to Mad Cucumber? What did you think?

Plumes x

Review – Mad Cucumber Bournemouth