Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Heartburntastic!

Happy humpday people!

So earlier this month I went on a trip to Amsterdam with some friends. Really the main point of the trip was to see Maroon 5, which we did on the last night, but we made it into a weekend.

Unfortunately I don't have much good stuff for you because we mainly ate at classy establishments like this....


My travelling companions weren't really into actual food apparently! haha.  We did get falafels from Maoz one day for lunch but I forgot to take a pic - doh! Also I forgot to take a pic of dinner on the first night, but it was a risotto, nice but fairly unspectacular.

This was breakfast on our second day there. No vegan food at all in the little cafe we found, but we were all a bit hungover so I let them get their full English and I asked for mushrooms on toast, no butter (as I'm a baked bean hater). He looked very confused but in the end I got a mushroom toasty!  Weird, but surprisingly not that bad with some ketchup.  They put the mushrooms in raw so they were partially cooked, which I have to say I kind of liked.

But after a weekend of crappy food I happycow'd somewhere to get a decent breakfast on the last day and this ended up being my favourite thing that I ate during the whole trip. The place was a short walk from our hotel and was called Le Pain Quotidien (it's a chain, but not one I've ever heard of) and they serve local, organic food. It's not a veggie place but all the vegetarian and vegan options are clearly marked on the menu with a little symbol.

The breakfast menu had a few items, but nothing that stood out, so I was glad when they said I could order off both sides of the menu.  I got the black bean hummus tartine, which is basically an open faced sandwich. It had really really good hummus on, plus some harrissa and herby dressing and beans and chickpeas. Plus a lovely crunchy salad. Not the type of thing I'd normally have for breakfast but I just cooked some black beans up so I'm remedying that tomorrow - it was so good!  Plus they had soymilk, yay! So I got a soya latte to go with and I thought their coffee was also really really good.

On our last night, we went to see Maroon 5 at the Ziggodome and they were awesome as always. But the food there sucked! Apparently the omni food was also shite, so not just the lack of veggie options.  There was basically one food place and the veggie options were tortilla chips & salsa and a fruit cup. I had both because it was dinner.  The fruit was pretty good and tortilla chips is tortilla chips but that salsa - DAYUM, it was rank! BLAAARRGH.  Had a really funky taste that stayed with me all through the concert and all the way home. Grim.

OK home and a couple of recent pics off my camera.  This first one was a recipe from Anjum Anand's book, Anjum's Indian Vegetarian Feast. I've mentioned before that Anjum is the shizzle! So yeah, I got the book for Christmas and as I'm a massive lover of Indian food, I couldn't wait to try something out.  So I made the Creamy Pistachio Curry, as we had all the ingredients, with just a couple of subs - I used sweet potato instead of butternut squash, which the recipe says is ok to do and I left out the cloves as we only had ground ones and also my mum's not a fan.  It was really good, but I would've liked it a bit spicier. In this recipe you put the chillis in whole and then discard them, I'd probably just chop one up and put that in next time.  It is mean to be mild though and I loved the addition of chopped and blended pistachios. 

If you're wondering whether this book is worth buying as a vegan, I'd say YES most definitely. There's loads of recipes in and nowadays it's so easy to replace yoghurt and cream, which are the main non-vegan offenders.  There's a few things with egg and I'm sure some of them could be veganised.

This was a meal last week when I didn't have much time and it was basically leftover sauce from the roasty soba bowl that I LOVE from Isa Does It mixed into soba noodles and some veg.  Then I just drained a tin of Granose mock duck and baked it at 200C for about 15 mins, then tossed it hoisin sauce to serve on top. Really good and easy.


And did I mention that I love that sauce from the soba bowl? Yeah I know I know, I'm addicted. It's a problem. But my new favourite thing is roasted veg with awesome sauce on, which is basically that sauce but with a shittonne of Franks hot sauce and nooch mixed in.  I had this for dinner the last 2 nights because it was SO good.  I also put some Taifun basil tofu in with the veg when I roasted them for a bit of protein.


That last pic is from my new camera phone - the others all from my old one!  I think it's WAYYY better - whaddya you guys say? 

OK I should probably go do something productive now, so have a good rest of the week everyone. 

And I promise that favourites post is coming, but it's gonna be a 'current favourites' rather than 2013 favourites, because it's now almost February. MADNESS!

Laterz
xXx

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Hoppy Noo Yar!

Well helloooo and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

I hope everyone had a great Christmas / Holiday season if you were celebrating.  Midnight on New Year's Day marked my 6th Veganniversary, 6 years of radness!  If you also celebrated a veganniversary on 1st January - happy radiversary to you!!

Just a few pics today.  I'm working on a big post of some of my favourite things from 2013.  I'm thinking of including beauty / random stuff in there too - not just food... what do you guys think, do you wanna see that?  (As an aside, ff you are interested in beauty related veganness, I am working on revamping and relaunching my neglected makeup blog and making it fully vegan.  I will post a link here when it's done!)

Anyway onto the food.  Saturday i went down to Brighton to hang out with my buddies Jojo and Holley and we went to Moshimo for dinner. Mainly because we were hungry and it was right opposite the pub we were in, drinking gin in a tin! I can't go to Moshimo and not have their fried veggie gyoza dumplings, because my stomach would be super mad at me for depriving it of them, they are delicious.

I usually have the duck terriyaki (it's made with redwoods duck style pieces) but I decided to branch out and have the Veggie Yaki Udon.  You get the choice to have it with vegan duck or chicken pieces, I chose duck (Holley had chicken). It was pretty good, if a little underwhelming. Although when I did as Holley suggested and poured the dipping sauce from the gyoza over it, it made it quite a lot better! Weird. 

I know I know, you're sick of me raving about Isa Does It by now, right? Tough tittay, because I made (and loved) something else from it - the meaty beany chilli. I halved the recipe and still got 4 meals out of this!  First, just the chilli with some basmati rice.

Then  taco night x 2, both looked pretty much like this...

The last of it I had with some home made potato wedges on Friday night and a sprinkle of vegan cheese.  I didn't take a pic though.

Lastly, this is not super exciting looking but .... THE UK HAS SOY MINCE AGAIN!! YAYYY!   It's been AWOL from the shops for months and although I try not to eat fake meat products too too often, it's nice for a quick tea now and again. This is just cooked with some jarred pasta sauce and served on rigatoni, with some noochy garlic toast. Yum.


So what is gonna be new for you in 2014?  For me, it's already a year of change, I have quite my job,  after 13 years in basically the same role (skuurry). I'm working on starting a business and am busy busy busy wondering how I'm going to afford my salsa class next week! hahaha.  Wish me luck for some temp work or something.

I am not one for new year's resolutions as I never stick to them but I have promised myself I'll make some changes to make my lifestyle healthier and to spend more time and effort on my blog(s), so hopefully you'll see this tired old Alien facade get a bit of a facelift fairly soon.

Laterz
xXx