Food I’ve enjoyed this week

I’ve had some great food this week, but didn’t have enough to say to give them each their own post so thought I’d do a little round-up.

So Veganuary is over and 250,000 took the pledge to go vegan for January. This was more than all previous years put together! We’re definitely onto something! If you didn’t take part and you’re not already vegan you don’t have to wait until 2020, you can get support from the Veganuary website all year round.

So onto my food…

Monday was not only payday but the day Papa John’s in the UK launched vegan cheese. We ordered the garden party pizza and the cheese and marmite scrolls. Unfortunately our branch didn’t have the scrolls so I received a refund for this part. The pizza was really good, I just think there should be a bit more cheese on it.

On Tuesday my Husband met me before in London before we went to our evening class and we headed to Mooshies, a vegan burger bar on Brick Lane. We both chose the guest burger – The Magic Mushroom. This contained deep fried oyster mushrooms with a hash brown and siracha mayo. This was so tasty although a little spicy for me!

On Wednesday I met my Sister-in-law, Gemma to go to a talk so we ate in the nearby Leon beforehand. We both went for the Love burger which is quickly becoming my fave grab and go burger! (I also nabbed one on the way home on Friday!)

On Thursday I was working from home and had a lot of veg in the fridge that needed using up so I made a stir fry of cabbage, radish, spring onion, cauliflower and mushrooms. I chopped up an avocado on the side and stirred in some vegan halloumi.

Dr Michael Greger is a vegan doctor who wrote the book “How Not To Die”. He offers nutritional advice on his website https://nutritionfacts.org. He has a daily dozen of thing awe should have everyday. Beans, berries, other fruit, cruciferous vegetables, greens, other veg, whole grain foods, flaxseeds, nuts, tumeric, exercise, and vitamins B12 and D. I’ve been trying to include these in my daily routine (my morning smoothie helps a lot!) and you can download an app to help track them.

I went swimming with my Mum in the evening and her Husband made us a sweet and sour tofu noodle dish. Great after getting out of the pool!

On Friday it was snowing so I didn’t want to go far for lunch so I picked up a ready meal from Mark’s and Spencer. For some reason some of the ready meals are in foil containers so should be oven baked. I didn’t realise this until I got back to the office so I transferred my cashew mac to a bowl before microwaving it. This was really creamy but lacked a cheesy flavour, I would recommend adding a bit on nooch if you’re at home. The mushrooms are a fab addition to this dish.

The other thing I bought from M&S was their banana and oat drink. This used to be their banana, oat and honey drink so I’m glad they’ve now removed the honey to make this product vegan.

That’s it for the food. In other news I’ve been watching the Marie Kondo show on Netflix, mainly to help with my Japanese studies. I’m pretty minimalist anyway and didn’t have stuff to get rid of. We recently had a clear out when we moved but I did decide to organise my one drawer (my Husband takes up the others in our chest). When I sent the photo to my mum she said she’s been doing this for years and it wasn’t a new craze at all!

The other exciting development is that our new kitchen has been delivered and is currently sitting in our spare room ready to be installed next week. I’m looking forward to having an oven again after six weeks. Expect to see lots of baking!

What have you been eating recently? Any great new finds? Did you take part in Veganuary? Are you planning to stick with it? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

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Food I’ve enjoyed this week

Frankie and Benny’s – January 2019

I’ve only visited Frankie and Benny’s once in the 6 years being vegan and that was a couple of months ago when they did an offer on International Chicken Nugget Day with their vegan nuggets as well as their regular chicken ones.

They have really expanded their vegan offerings and one of things I like is that they are spread throughout the main menu in the normal categories not in a separate menu you have to ask for or a little section on the back of the menu.

We started with the cheesy garlic bread. The basic garlic bread is vegan and then you can choose to add mozzarella or the vegan alternative.

My friend Louise chose the beet burger (which is a beetroot and soya patty) it came with all the normal fixings including vegan mayo and she chose to have it with sweet potato fries. Louise isn’t vegan but eats a lot of vegan and vegetarian food and she really enjoyed this.

I chose the “I’m no chicken parmigiana” which is two Fry’s schnitzels covered in tomato sauce and vegan mozzarella with spaghetti, you can then choose salad, green vegetables or fries. I wasn’t in the mood for double carbs so I went for the vegetables.

I think this could have done with some more sauce but other than that I enjoyed it.

There are plenty of other options that I may be heading back for, such as the Mac and cheese and the not dog.

Update I previously said the only vegan desserts they had were sorbet but I have been corrected by my pals on Instagram (thanks Stephen and Liz!) that they offer a chocolate cake as well as sundaes. I must have missed those VG symbols on the menu. Just need to offer some vegan shakes and they’re all there!

Have you tried Frankie and Benny’s new vegan options? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

Frankie and Benny’s – January 2019

Harvester – January 2019

I haven’t been to a Harvester in a while but they have also jumped on the vegan menu bandwagon so we decided to have a Monday night meal there after a visit to the dentist.

If you download the app you’ll also get offers so we had 33% off our mains. The other thing that attracted us (and especially my Husband) was the vegan sundae dessert option.

As always in Harvester you have to head to the salad bar first.

I think this is one of the only chain restaurants that offers vegan spread as standard alongside the butter for your rolls.

I’ve had a lot of burgers recently so I went for the lentil and red pepper tagine with flat bread. It was tasty and nicely spiced.

My Husband went for the Moving Mountains burger which he really enjoyed. We picked up a couple of sauces, smokey ketchup and bourbon and they both clearly stated they were vegan on the bottles.

Ollie obviously went for the sundae for dessert. It just looks like ice cream and sauce but he really enjoyed it.

I chose the chocolate orange slice, which has a brownie base with a chocolate and orange mousse topping. It was nice because it wasn’t too rich.

There were plenty of other options I’d like to try. What would you pick from the menu? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

Harvester – January 2019

A Vegan Lunch @ Leon – Jan 2019

Leon are great for vegan options and like so many places they have some new options for 2019.

The other great thing is that they list the vegan options first on their menu boards then the veggie options and lastly the meat options, encouraging customers to go for the plantbased meals first.

I chose the Love burger which had a massive poster whereas the two chicken burgers were hidden at the bottom board.

The love burger is a plantbased burger (I know it had beetroot in it) which tasted quite meaty, smoked Gouda vegan cheese, chipotle mayo and salad.

I really enjoyed this burger and was glad it has all the fixings like cheese and mayo not just a burger with all the non-vegan bits removed.

I also ordered the baked fries but they would take over 10 minutes so I got a refund for them which I was glad of as they are £2.45 and not amazing.

I had also seen they had a new vegan cake – the Jaffa cake. This little cake is a tasty little treat. I’m not a fan of marmalade as it’s a bit bitter for me but the sweet cake and chocolate helped balance that out.

There are also some other vegan treats I saw which I haven’t tried yet so I’ll have to make a return soon and with two branches within walking distance of my work it’s not difficult!

Have you been to Leon recently? What did you have? How was it? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

A Vegan Lunch @ Leon – Jan 2019

Honest Burger – January 2019

Neither my friend Mitsu or I had visited Honest Burgers before so we thought we’d meet up for lunch to try their vegan offerings.

They currently offer two vegan burgers both using the Beyond Meat burger.

We both chose the Plant which came with rosemary fries for £11.50 which I think was pretty reasonable.

The burger was great and not one of these full of toppings can’t get your mouth round it situations! The rosemary was a nice addition to the chips but they were quite salty.

I’m not sure whether I would run back to Honest as there as so many options these days but it looks like a great place to go with meat-eating friends or if you just really fancy a really good burger.

Have you tried Honest or the Beyond Burger at another place? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

Honest Burger – January 2019

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

Unity Diner – Guest Post

I met John and Cathy when we started doing the Cube of Truth in Romford. Cathy had been vegetarian since the age of four (!) with John converting shortly after they got together and have now been vegan for a few years. John and Cathy take part in activism events ranging from the cubes, save vigils, protests at London Fashion Week and even braved the rain to attend the one year anniversary of Canada Goose opening in London so they could commemorate the animals who have died to make the garments purchased since it opened last year.

Unity Diner is the latest endeavour of Earthling Ed with all profits going to his campaign charity Surge. I haven’t made it to the diner yet but John and Cathy went on Friday and here’s what Cathy had to say about it…

“On Friday evening me and my husband John visited Unity Diner in Hoxton for the first time. The staff were extremely friendly and offered to go through the menu with us. We were seated in a very nice spot by the brilliant art work on the wall. We were pleased to see they had an alcohol licence so we ordered two glasses of sauvignon blanc which was very nice.

For starters we wanted to order the seitan chick’n wings and the cauliflower wings, but they had run out of the seitan so we went for tofish bites instead. Both were very nice and the cauliflower came with coleslaw and ranch mayo. The tofish came with tartare sauce, we both slightly preferred the cauliflower.

For mains John ordered the Surge burger with extra cheeze, bakon and chunky fries. I ordered the mixed leaf salad with potato wedges.

The burger was massive and very tasty and the fries were nice and crispy.

My salad was lovely and the dressing was very good, the wedges were full of flavour and came with a basil mayo. We also tried their hot sauce which is not for the faint hearted and comes with quite a kick!

For dessert John had the cheesecake which was absolutely delicious and I had an ice cream sundae with strawberry and yuzu and pistachio crunch with whipped cream.

We had a very nice evening, totally recommend it but make sure to book to be sure of gettinf a table. We will definitely be going back to try the rest of the menu as the loaded fries look amazing!!!

Cathy”

Well doesn’t that all sound fabulous? I’ve been eyeing up the weekend menu which includes chick’n and waffles as well as pancakes.

Have you been to Unity Diner? Or have you been somewhere else I haven’t featured on the blog yet and would like to do a guest blog like Cathy? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

Unity Diner – Guest Post