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

What I Eat In A Day – Jan 2019

I haven’t done one of these posts for a while and I thought seeing as it’s Veganuary it might be helpful for new vegans to see what a typical weekend menu looks likes.

I bought this Organ Easy Egg from Ocado. I have used the Follow Your Heart vegan egg before that retails at about £7 whereas this is half the price.

I had had it scrambled but tried making a omlette this time and it quite successful.

I added some black salt to give it more of an eggy flavour and had barbecue sauce with it. A great way to start to the morning!

I had a mid morning snack of these hummus chips from Eat Real I got these in a multipack from Aldi and these are my favourite flavour.

My Husband is newly vegan (yay!) and wanted to make some Southern fried chick’n. We used the Oumph! Thyme and Garlic pieces and this recipe.

It came out really well. We were planning to have it with chips and coleslaw but the chick’n had made the oil really dirty and it was spitting furiously so we decided it wasn’t safe to cook the chips. My Husband had his pieces with barbeque sauce and I went for Follow Your Heart mayo (I use the soy-free one)

For dinner I had a portion left over from what I had made the day before which was a combo of fermented tofu, quinoa and vegetables with a mustard dressing. I was inspired to make this by this video from LDN vegans. I didn’t have the same veg so mine isn’t low FODMAP. I used onions, carrots, peas and cabbage. I love Taifun’s Feto fermented tofu with peppers. It has an additional tang and no pressing involved.

We moved a few weeks ago so I spent most of the day unpacking the last few boxes, sorting stuff out and cleaning. So to treat myself I had some Chunky Monkey ice cream from Ben & Jerry’s. We’ve told ourselves we’re not going to buy any more ice cream from next week. Our Sainsbury’s has started stocking the vegan Magnums and it’s too easy to pick some up on the way home from work!

Have you been eating any new foods or recipes? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

What I Eat In A Day – Jan 2019

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

Kerb Meatless Market

At the end of September food market company Kerb introduced a Meatless Market to their portfolio in Devonshire Square on Wednesday to Friday lunchtimes. I managed to get down there twice this week with friends to try out their delights.

The traders are all existing Kerb traders either those that usually serve meat only offering their vegetarian offerings or fully vegetarian/vegan outfits.

On Wednesday Vegals caught my eye with their vegan bagels.

In my pre-vegan (pregan?) days I was a fan of a salt beef bagel so I decided to go for the seitan version served with cheese, pickles and mustard. It was really tasty, my only slight criticism is that the seitan is quite thick and I would prefer a wafer thin variety akin to the salt beef I remember.

Mitsu went for Eat Chay and ordered the Bao lunchbox which came with two BBQ seitan and kimchi bao buns and a noodle salad. She also picked up a fried rice for dinner.

I went for the bao lunchbox today and it was really great. Mitsu had some seitan that was quite well done but mine was cooked to perfection.

Today my friend Jo went for a stuffed ciabatta from Sugo, this one came with avocado, feta and sun-dried tomatoes although I think there was a vegan option available.

The great thing about Kerb being in Devonshire Square is that I can pop in to Planet Organic to pick up a treat to have with a coffee in the afternoon. On Wednesday I went for a cinnamon swirl and today I had a Crosstown doughnut which are now serving their vegan doughnuts in Planet Organic.

Its great that there are a variety of traders attending this market and I hope it encourages the more meaty ones to up their vegan and vegetarian offerings.

Have you been to Kerb’s Meatless Market? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

Kerb Meatless Market

Running down my cupboards

We are in the process of selling our flat so I am trying to use up as much of my cupboard goods as possible before we move.

I love my dried beans and have built up a collection. I used my black badger beans by soaking overnight and cooking in a shepherdess pie.

I used a mixture of white and sweet potatoes in the topping and added some vegan cheese in there too.

Next I made some soup using marrowfat peas, green split lentils and dried soup mix. This doesn’t look the most appetising but this is my favourite soup.

My hand blender broke during blending this and I was worried something had come off the stick blender but I couldn’t find anything so I bought a new one and finished blending it. I worked out I’d had my old Tesco value stick blender for over 8 years so it had had a good go.

Now onto the sweet treats. I used up some dates and chocolate in a batch of flapjacks. They were a little well done so not photo-worthy but tasty enough with a cup of tea.

I made this peanut butter bread recipe from Jack Monroe. It was so tasty this will definitely be a regular as I always have all the ingredients in my cupboards. I replaced the butter and milk with vegan alternatives and used a flax egg (1 tbsp milled flax seed with 2 tbsp water).

My Husband made this chocolate tray bake which he enjoyed with some Perfect World mint choc chip ice-cream.

We still have quite a lot of red lentils to use up, which will go in stews and curries. We also have quite a lot rice and noodles which we’ll work out way through over the coming weeks.

What meals do you love to make with your cupboard staples? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

Running down my cupboards

A Vegan Dinner at A Marston’s Pub

I was pleased to see that Marston’s Pubs had recently launched a vegan menu so I was straight on their website to see where my nearest one was.

The Crumpled Horn in Upminster is close to my friend Louise’s house so we decided to meet there one evening for a catch up. Although very local to Louise she had never actually been inside so it was a great new discovery for both of us.

Their menu caters to all tastes with 3 starters, 5 mains and 3 dessert options.

I chose the pie which had lovely pastry and the filling was great too, the only thing I would have changed would be to have mash rather than chips with it.

For dessert it had to be the jam doughnut pudding (although the rhubarb and ginger pudding did look tempting too!) It was sticky and sweet and went well with the dairy free ice cream served along with it.

Our service was impeccable, especially as I wasn’t expecting table service from a pub like this. The waitress commented that they’ve received great feedback on the vegan menu from vegans and non-vegans alike and she was excited to try some of the new options out.

With pubs up and down the country I’d recommend you find your nearest Marston’s and head there soon! What would you choose from the menu? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

A Vegan Dinner at A Marston’s Pub

A Vegan Lunch at Wagamama

My friend Mitsu and I met up for our monthly lunch a couple of weeks ago at Wagamama in Moorgate. I’d never visited this branch before, it has lots of seats and low ceilings which makes it very loud. Mitsu and I had to shout across the table to eachother often having to repeat ourselves!

To start we shared a couple of the mushroom and panko coated aubergine buns. We both love a bun and these were light and fluffy the only downside was that the filling was very salty.

Mitsu went for the yasai katsu curry for her main. I’m really happy this dish is now vegan as they’ve stopped using egg to attach the panko breadcrumbs to the vegetables. She found the rice a bit too sticky but other than that enjoyed her meal.

I went for the glass noodle salad. I was surprised at the amount of greens that came with it. It was really tasty the only disappointment was that I had very few pieces of tofu I think it was only two or three.

Overall our lunch was ok. There was something a little off with every dish and with so many places offering vegan options nowadays I don’t think I would rush back to Wagamama, also the level of noise really put me off. I want to be able to chat and have a catch up when I meet a friend and this was near impossible in this branch!

Have you eaten in Wagamama recently? What did you think of the vegan options? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

A Vegan Lunch at Wagamama

Vegan MoFo 18 – Day 26

Today’s prompt – Favourite Holiday

My Husband and I were together eight years before we got married and decided on our honeymoon location long before we decided to get married!

We went to Japan in the spring of 2014 (six months after our wedding) to see the cherry blossoms and experience lots that Japan has to offer. We’re hoping to go back next year to explore some other delights.

One of my Husband’s favourite dishes from that trip was curry udon. A curry broth with vegetables and noodles topped with tofu deep fried in bread crumbs. Usually when we make this at home we use a Fry’s chicken style burger sliced up to do the trick!

I didn’t actually have time to make this dish this week so I went back through my camera roll to find this picture.

The curry sauce cubes are easy to find in supermarkets and we usually fight over whether to get the medium or hot ones, when we make it we use a mixture of both. Straight to work noodles are great to make this an even quicker meal!

What are your favourite holiday meals that you’ve brought home? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

Vegan MoFo 18 – Day 26

Vegan MoFo 18 – Day 25

Today’s prompt – Birthday Bash

I was planning on writing about these foods after Vegan MoFo but when I saw this prompt I thought they would fit in well.

In my heart I am a minimalist and I don’t like too many “things” so for my birthday I prefer to be bought consumables and try out some fancy vegan foods I wouldn’t buy on a weekly basis.

I have been volunteering with The Humane League for a little while now, they are a vegan charity who work to reduce the most suffering to the most number of animals. They were established in the US in 2005 and have been operational in the UK since 2016 and have just received their UK charity status. They have a fast action network where members can take part in micro-actions such as commenting on a company’s Facebook post or emailing them to help the cause. This is a great way to get involved if you aren’t able to take part in street activism or other forms of activism.

Recently the data privacy laws changed in the UK which you’ll be aware of if you received all the emails asking you to re-sign up for your mailing list. Unfortunately The Humane League lost two thirds of their fast action network due to people not re-signing up. There was a drive for the volunteers to sign up new members and the volunteer with the most sign ups would win a prize.

Well I was that lucky volunteer and I won a £50 voucher from the vegan supermarket Greenbay. I’ve been to Greenbay a couple of times before and knew they had a great range of products so I was excited to get my mits on some!

First up the savoury stuff! I love a good posh vegan cheese! Some of these are only available at vegan shops or at fairs or via the company’s website. These are artisanal products so can be pricey so I reserve them for a special occasion. I have tried Nutcraft Creamery cheeses before but not The Volcanic so I’m really looking forward to trying this. I have met New Roots at vegan fairs and had a little of taster of their cheeses so I had to buy their camembert. I think I’m going to heat this one up and enjoy with some crusty french bread. The other cheese we have here is an aged smoked cheese from Essential Vegan. I love smokey flavours so this was a must.

The other two items here are pates which my Husband picked out.

Sweet-wise we have Monsters from German company Vantastic. This are similar to UK smarties (I know in the US Smarties are a different kind of sweet altogether. These are like M&M’s) Two Twilight bars which are akin to a Mars Bar. My Husband and I are going to batter these and deep fry them like the Scottish delicacy. I have had the pleasure of trying this before but my Husband hasn’t so I’m looking forward to that. As I have posted before (and I encourage you to go back and find those posts) Solkiki are my fave chocolate so I had to pick up a bar of their salted caramel. Lastly we have some dog treats for our dog-niece Poppy, we recently looked after her for a week and gave her some of these treats which she loved.

Lastly we have a product which I have seen everyone go nuts for on the internet. The vego chocolate hazelnut spread.

This spread just tastes like a melted version of the Vego chocolate hazelnut bar with crushed hazelnut pieces inside. I was discussing the uses of this with my friend Mitsu and we came up with pancakes, ice cream and of course straight from the jar with a spoon or a finger.

These foods are more than enough of a “birthday” treat for me! What foods do you like to eat on your birthday? Let me know in the comments below.

Plumes x

Vegan MoFo 18 – Day 25