Wild Food Cafe – March 2019

At the weekend my Husband and I went to see a recording of one of my fave podcasts – Secret Dinosaur Cult hosted by comedians Sofie Hagen and Jodie Mitchell they cover trauma and daddy issues all through the lens of dinosaurs. If you’ve never listened I recommend you get on that!

The podcast was being recorded at The Tap Room on Upper Street so we were looking for somewhere to eat beforehand. As always Happy Cow is your friend and there were two all vegan eateries less than a five minute walk from the venue.

We decided on Wild Food Café which also has a branch in Covent Garden and I was very glad we did.

The interior of the restaurant is gorgeous, modern and full of plants.

The menu is while food plant based with many items of the menu being raw.

To drink my Husband chose a White Zen which contained almond milk, cold-brew coffee, dates, vanilla, fresh coconut milk, cadamom

I went for Rum Spice cocktail – organic spiced rum, fresh apple juice, rosemary, ginger & winter spices which was very tasty.

To eat we both chose pizzas. The bases are made of in-house gluten free flour, which contains protein-rich amaranth, sprouted chickpeas, teff, quinoa and a nutrient-rich vegetable mix. While the bases are cooked in a wood fire, the toppings are kept raw to preserve the maximum freshness & flavour of the amazing ingredients.

My Husband chose the mushroom – almond & shiitake base, marinated and dehydrated mushrooms, macadamia ricotta, pine nut parmesan & truffle oil.

I had the Classic Italian – tomato sauce, wild leaf pesto, cashew mozzarella, macadamia ricotta, olives, artichokes, pine nuts & herb oil.

Both were really tasty and was surprisingly impressed with the base. The homemade nut based cheeses were amazing. The only annoying thing with the pizzas were the boards didn’t quite fit on our table and as we were cutting them I was very worried of slipping and launching our drinks off the table!

For dessert my Husband chose Double Choc Cake & Vanilla Ice Cream – decadent chocolate & coffee infused sponge with a layer of raw cacao ganache.

I went for the White Hot Chocolate – cacao butter, coconut cream, tahini, dandelion root, tonka, nutmeg.

I really enjoyed our meal at Wild Food Café and we will definitely be heading back when we are next in the area.

Have you tried Wild Food Café? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

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Wild Food Cafe – March 2019

My Old Dutch – March 2019

My Husband and I walk past a branch of My Old Dutch pancake house every week on the way to and from the language school we attend near Holborn. I saw a post on the best places to get vegan pancakes (sorry, I can’t remember who from!) and found out that My Old Dutch had vegan options so we decided to go before our class this week.

You can veganise the standard savoury pancakes on the menu with a vegan pancake and vegan cheese.

There is also a completely vegan pancake which oddly we couldn’t see on the menu so we pulled it up from the website to order. As this seems to be the only pancake advertised as vegan I assume it doesn’t have its own vegan menu so it was odd it wasn’t on the main menu.

My Husband chose this one along with with a vegan vanilla shake.

My Husband enjoyed his pancake although he did find it a bit stodgy and could have done with a drizzle of sauce or something. He also really liked his milkshake and it’s great to see an omni place offering vegan milkshakes.

I ordered a vegan version of the asparagus. Described as below –

When it first arrived it looked like this –

I was suspicious the cheese was dairy due to the texture and smell so I called over a staff. Instead of just apologising and correcting me order they argued that I had only ordered a vegan base. As my Husband had ordered vegan pancake and milkshake think it as pretty obvious we were a vegan couple. They also confirmed the spinach is creamed as well although this isn’t mentioned on the menu. If you were vegan and/or lactose intolerant surely you would need the whole dish to cater to those needs? The only situation I can envision that you would not is if you were allergic to eggs. Some staff training required I think

They took this dish away and remade it with vegan cheese and fresh spinach so a little while later (by which time my Husband had almost finished his) I had a replacement come out.

I found it tasty and filling but was a little undone for my liking (and I tend to like things edging on underdone).

Although this was central London I do feel like these were expensive for what they were and would expect mine to be around £8 and maybe £10 for my Husband’s.

We didn’t have dessert but I don’t think I’ll be rushing back to try them which is a shame. If you do go make sure you are very clear about your dietary requirements.

Have you been to My Old Dutch? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

My Old Dutch – March 2019

Recent Mini Haul

I bought these “new items to me” a little while ago but I wanted to wait until I had used them all before I posted about them.

Firstly the snack food. I love these pea snacks, they are so tasty! Aldi do their own version where some of the flavours are vegan too.

I used to have the Rhythm 108 biscuits in coffee shops (I think Costa do them) but I was excited when I started seeing these bars. They do a salted almond (pictured here) as well as hazelnut praline and a coconut bar. They are “fun size” but such a delicious little treat. They’re also doing mini truffle eggs for Easter which are supposedly available in Sainsbury’s but I haven’t seen them yet.

When I was little a fish cake was my go-to at the chip shop so I’m always looking for a good alternative. I like the frozen Tesco ones but I was excited to see these fresh ones from M&S Plant Kitchen range. I also like the fact they contain mashed beans, potato etc rather than a more processed meat/fish alternative. I’ll definitely be getting these again. But maybe I’ll have just one on my plate!

Gardein have been a top seller in the North American plant based food market for a number of years and have finally landed on our shores in Sainsbury’s.

The meatballs were great and savoury but the fennel seeds had that liquorice tang which I’m not a fan of. I’ll stick to my Sainsbury’s own brand I think.

The fishless filets, another Gardein product tasted very nice but were an odd size, sort of between a nugget and a filet.

These products were perfectly fine but as they are imported from America they are on the pricier side. I think in days (or years) gone by we would have rejoiced with the addition of Gardein to our supermarket shelves but now there are so many good British brands at reasonable prices that there’s nothing special enough about Gardein for me to justify the cost.

The last product we have is the smoked salmon slices from Sophie’s Kitchen. When I went into Sainsbury’s to buy some of these foods there was a sample stall for the shrimp from Sophie’s Kitchen. It was served in a Thai coconut curry and I couldn’t really taste much from the prawn/shrimp.

These slices are frozen and you have to defrost the whole pack when you want to use them which was a bit annoying. I first had these “as is” with potato and veg. They smell fishier than they taste although the flavour is not unpleasant. Smoked salmon has an odd texture anyway and this doesn’t match it perfectly but I think it is better served in something like a bagel than on its on.

To use up the salmon slices I used them in an omlette made with Organ easy egg and mushrooms and I think they worked much better this way. Again it’s not a product I’m going to rush out and buy again but it’s a nice option to have when you’re in the mood for it. I was quite chuffed when my Husband said he preferred my marinated carrot lox, but that is quite involved to make.

Have you tried any new foods recently? What did you think? Is there anything left that you still think we need a vegan version of? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

Recent Mini Haul

Vegan Delice @ Westfield Stratford

I have loved Vegan Delice and its owner Chanel since I first tasted her delights at Hackney Downs market. Now Chanel and her team have a month long pop-up in the Great Eastern Market at Westfield Stratford City (the John Lewis end).

As Stratford is on the way home from work I had to go and pick up some treats on their first day trading there.

I picked up a brookie for my Husband as he loves anything chocolatey and this didn’t disappoint.

I bought a couple of Viennese whirls for my friend Maxine as she has bought some in the past to then have them munched by her son before she could get a look in! Maxine is away at the moment so I’ve put them in the freezer, hopefully they’ll be ok! (If not I’m sure she can get down there herself in the next month).

Chanel gifted me a red velvet Viennese whirl type thing which was really tasty and I had to take a break half way through, it was so big!

Lastly we picked up some baklava. I have always love baklava but as it traditionally contains honey I’m always pleased when I see a vegan version. Chanel’s take is perfectly sticky and syrupy and I’ll more than likely be popping back for some more before their month at Westfield is up!

So if you’re in the area (or even if you’re not!) head over to Westfield Stratford to get your fix of vegan treats!

Plumes x

Vegan Delice @ Westfield Stratford

Mini Sainsbury’s Haul

You know how it goes… You go in for one thing (in my case peppers) and you come out with loads. But with all these new products how can we resist?!

The basic garlic baguettes are a sneaky accidentally vegan product and at 75p for two baguettes it’s a win!

My Husband asked for a “treat” so the magnums were a must. We tried the Rhythm 108 bars the other day and they are delish! As both these treats come in packs of 3 I knew my Hubs would have two and I’d be left with one each so I got some flapjacks for myself as he doesn’t like them. (Got to be tactical here!)

There was a samples stand for the Larabars and the four flavours I tried were so great it was difficult to narrow it down to which box to buy. The banana won out but I’ll be heading back for the others soon.

I haven’t had the Linda McCartney shredded duck in the while and as it was on offer for £1.50 it had to go in the basket.

Hemp hearts are a must as I’ve started making my own hemp milk at home. I usually use whole hemp seeds but I’m sure the hearts will be fine.

Lastly we have the Lazy Vegan frozen ready meal. I saw these in Sainsbury’s a few weeks ago but I surprisingly haven’t seen anything about this brand online. They do a few meals with pea protein as the base so it’ll be interesting to see how this tastes.

What’s been in your shopping basket recently? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

Mini Sainsbury’s Haul

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

Food I’ve enjoyed this week

Plant Based Supermarket – Homerton

I’ve been wanting to visit this place for a long time and this week I took the opportunity.

This little shop near Homerton station is packed with vegan goodies, from healthy organic dried goods to indulgent chocolate treats.

These seaweed crisps are a necessity and I love using them in things like crushed chickpea sandwich fillings in place of larger nori sheets so it’s more tuna like.

Stroop waffles are just amazing and these hazelnut ones are just too moreish!

The guy in the shop gave me this for free as it one day past its sell by date but it was still perfectly fine and a great snack on a cracker. These are artisan products and a bit on the pricey side so maybe reserve for your dinner parties to impress your non-vegan as well as your vegan guests.

I’ve tried a few vegan halloumi but I’m not sure if I’ve had this one. Mum and I are going to try it on lentil stuffed mushrooms (inspired by my friend Stella) next week.

I’d seen people post about these online and wanted to try them out. I didn’t realise these were mint when I bought them and the mousse is really solid inside.

I love a good kombucha and this was a fab flavour.

What are your faves vegan treats? Do you have good stockists nearby? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

Plant Based Supermarket – Homerton