Happy World Vegetarian Day!

October 1st marks World Vegetarian Day and the start of World Vegetarian month. I became vegetarian nearly 8 years ago after a period of reducing my meat consumption and two and half years before I transitioned to vegan in May 2012.

There is sometimes hostility between vegans and vegetarians but I just wanted to use this short post to say thank you to all the vegetarians who have made a connection and to continue their great work. If you decide to make the transition to veganism or are thinking about it, I am happy to answer any questions you may have.

Plumes x

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Happy World Vegetarian Day!

Mildreds Dalston

Mildreds in Soho is an institution. Opened in 1988 they were serving vegetarian and vegan food long before it was trendy. In the last couple of years they have been setting their sights on world domination, first by opening branches in Camden and Kings Cross and just this week they’ve opened a branch in Dalston, which luckily for me is just a bus ride from work!

When I heard they were opening Dalston I knew I had to go, so I invited my friend Jo who I have a monthly dinner date with. It also helped that they are having a 50% off promotion for the first two weeks! 

The restaurant is really light and modern with huge windows, we arrived just before six so it wasn’t too busy yet (by the time we left there was a queue of people waiting to be seated!)

We started with drinks, I went for a Turkish Rose which had almond syrup, pineapple and cranberry juice and Jo went for a Kumquat Mojito.

We chose a few small plates for starters. I love miso glazed aubergine so that was a must! We also had some vegetable dumplings and houmous and flat bread. It was all so tasty!

For mains I carried on the Far Eastern theme and went for the Vietnamese Mock Duck noodle dish. The duck was well flavour and had a good texture and I loved the fresh vegetables and dressing that came with it.

It was a drizzly, wet evening so Jo went for the Mushroom and Ale pie with chips and mushy peas. The mushroom filling was really rich and we both felt this would have been better paired with mash rather than chips.

We were starting to feel a bit full, but when there’s vegan desserts you just have to go for it! I went for pandan panna cotta with lychees which was just stunning. Lychees are my favourites so as soon as I saw them in the menu I knew that was the one for me. I also love the subtle flavour of pandan.

Jo went for the vegetarian (rather than vegan) Sicilian Lemon Cheesecake, she said it was quite sharp but had no issues polishing it off!

We were looked after splendidly by our server Theo and I would never have guessed they had only opened the day before.

We had a fabulous time and I’ll definitely be heading back.

Cheers!

Plumes x

Mildreds Dalston

Ruby and Pickles 1st Birthday

On Saturday I attended Ruby and Pickles 1st Birthday Supperclub with my Sister-in-law. I first attended one of their supperclubs last June which I wrote about here.

Ruby and Pickles have had supperclubs all over London, for their birthday celebration they had chosen to host at Blank 100 in Dalston which was great for us East London vegans!

We had a little trouble finding the industrial style unit and could have done with a board outside or a balloon! The space was gorgeous inside and there were a few benches to sit on. 

We started with a rajma masala (kidney beam curry) taco with pickled cabbage and cashew cream. This was mildly spiced and really tasty. Everything was homemade including the tacos themselves and the cream. This definitely added to the experience. I had read about this family recipe on Sareta’s blog and I’d definitely like to recreate this at home.

Our next dish was biryani another family recipe, this time from Jasel’s family. This was again nicely spiced for my mild palette. We had this with carrot and chilli pickle (which was too hot for me!) and a raita with pomegranate seeds. There was a vegetarian raita and a vegan raita but I’m not sure if any vegetarian would object to a vegan version and I would of thought it would have made sense to make just one.

For dessert we had chocolate and chilli truffles which were coated in crushed pistachios. This were very decadent and fudgey and little bit of heat at the end was nice. 


We were also lucky enough to receive a goody bag which included this cute ceramic and mango burfi. I couldn’t resist eating the burfi straight away and it delicious.

As always the hosts were very attentive, I couldn’t believe Jasel remembered that it had been my Mum’s birthday when we had been a year previously. 

I think this meal was great value for money at £12.50 and I look forward to seeing what Ruby and Pickles have in store for the future and recommend you try it out!

Plumes x

Ruby and Pickles 1st Birthday

Veganuary

When I became vegan I did it gradually cutting out/replacing products a few at a time until I was completely vegan. I used lots of online resources to help me on my journey and found support from groups on Facebook, vegan tweeters and through the London Vegan Meetup Group.

One resource I would have found very useful (but hadn’t launched yet) is the Veganuary Site. Veganuary is a campaign that encourages people to try veganism for one month in January.

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If you’ve been thinking about reducing the amount of meat or dairy you eat, veganuary is a great place to start. Lots of vegan and veggie restaurants run discounts during January and you can get help and support from fellow participants.

The team have also been running some advertising on the London Underground, I haven’t seen it in person as I don’t think I’ve used it since its been up.

As I work as an analyst I love stats and my fave bit about veganuary is after when they release of the figures of participants and demographics that took part that year. The campaign has been running since 2013 and each year the numbers have grown considerably. The percentages also look pretty high as to how many people consider remaining vegan after the month and they re-survey at 6 months to see how they’ve got on.

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The Vegan Society also run a similar 30 day pledge and offer lots of content and support. I used to volunteer as a mentor to pledgers to offer support and answer queries until the society changed the way they did the campaign, withdrawing this facility. Now I reach out to people on twitter encouraging those who have signed up to veganuary or are considering it.

Even if veganism seems too far to you consider going vegetarian or reducing the amount of meat you eat for one month and see how you feel afterwards. Or if it’s not for you please take a look at the website to see the reasons people consider veganism in order to understand and support the vegans in your life!

You never know!

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If you do want to give it a go I am happy to help anyway I can. You can leave a comment on the blog or tweet/instagram me @plumesworld on both.

Plumes x

Veganuary

Review – Ruby and Pickles Supperclub

I first became aware of Sareta of Sareta’s Kitchen when I was searching for a vegan haggis recipe (Sareta’s is fabulous click here to try it for yourself!) Since then we have been commenting on each other’s blogs and conversing on twitter, so I was really excited when I found out she was going to be hosting a monthly supper club with her friend Jasel under the name “Ruby and Pickles”.

Their first supper club was on my Mum’s birthday so we weren’t able to attend, but as soon as I saw their second date I got Mum to pencil it in to her diary!

We walked to The Joker near Angel from Liverpool Street and got a drink at the bar before heading upstairs.

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We were seated on a table with four other guests near the window and we were all looking forward to the meal.

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We started off with Indian style arancini balls, marinated olives, Turkish pide bread and a gorgeous tomato and tamarind chutney which was a recipe of Jasel’s Father. We all really enjoyed the starters but were a bit wary of filling up on bread before the main course! We were served a very refreshing lemon and mint drink with went well with the spice of the starter.

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For mains we had a ratatouille with various salads, an aubergine raita (I had my own dairy free version), couscous and as the name suggests we had a pickle, this month it was lemon. Again everything was fabulous, I particularly liked the garlicky potato salad and the raita. I’m not a huge watermelon fan, but the salad with olives, onions and mint was really refreshing.

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For pudding I was served minted pineapple with a dairy free yogurt infused with cardamon. This was lovely and light at the end of a big meal! The non-vegan option was an Eastern mango Eton mess and my Mum says it was absolutely delicious!

We felt well and truly spoiled! All the food was great and I loved how many fruits and vegetables were included in the dishes. All this for the bargain price of £22.50!

If you get the chance to attend one of Ruby and Pickles’ supper clubs I’d really recommend you go. You can follow them on TwitterFacebook or contact them via rubyandpickles@gmail.com

Plumes x

Review – Ruby and Pickles Supperclub

Review – Terre a Terre

Every time I’ve been to Brighton in the past I’ve walked past Terre a terre and salivated over the menu so I knew we had to book a table for my Birthday weekend. I met up with some friends earlier in the day and they confirmed I had made the right choice and made some recommendations.

I went for the steam dreamer which was described on the menu as below.

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The vegan version had tofu rather than halloumi. I really enjoyed everything in this dish but the char sin roll and pedron pepper stood out for me.

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Ollie went for the tapas dish which included tasters from all over the menu which was recommended by my friend  Fee. He said the stars for him were the deep fried halloumi and the BBQ cheerywood smoked tofu.

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He finished off with a trio of ice creams including vanilla, coffee and tonka bean.

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I went for a liquid dessert, the chocolate orange martini which had been recommended by Fee and her husband, also called Ollie. I’m not a big drinker and it was quite strong and took me quite a while to get through!

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I really enjoyed all the food (and drink!) I had. The only negative I would say was how loud the restaurant was. It is quite a big dining room and when full of people it was quite difficult to hear each other speak, sometimes having to cup our hands around our ears to hear each other!

Have you been to Terre a Terre? What did you think?

Plumes x

Review – Terre a Terre