Saturday, 29 September 2012

Get Naked!!!

OK, it’s far too cold for that in Autumnal Britain, but to help get through the winter blues I need chocolate, but it can still be healthy.
The local super market had a special offer on Nakd Bars. I first tried these as free samples at the 2006  Bristol Vegan Fayre, I instantly fell in love with the Oaty Apple Pie and Banana Bread.
The BEST thing about Nakd is you know (and can pronounce) all the ingredients. These usually consist of Cashews, Dates, Raisins and whatever flavour the bar is.
The Cashew Cookie flavour has just 49% dates and 51% cashews THAT’S IT! It has a much softer texture and rich natural flavours, and looked a little bit oily but tastes great and is a bit cookie-ish.
The Apple Pie flavour comes in two sizes, one is bigger than usual the 35g bars, and has chunky dried apple and a hint of cinnamon, these make you want to throw away your baked pies.
My new love is the Orange Cocoa flavour; which has the above ingredients plus cocoa and orange, simple right? It is dryer than the others and lacks the same natural flavours but it’s comparable to a Terry’s Chocolate Orange and might even convert Dawn French. It’s a great chocolate substitute.
They are so natural and so good, it feels like a treat to eat them and they are perfect for before or after exercise, but they are a little addictive, a little high in fat and a little bit pricey. Normal retail price is 75p-99p for a bar.
“Wholefoods smooshed together. Cold pressed, never baked, no added sugar and syrup”
Raw fruit and nut bars, some have oats so Gluten intolerent's keep an eye on the packaging.
Wheat and dairy free, 100% Vegan and less than 150 calories
This company knows it audience and I’ve been pretty faithful since that first taste so many years ago.
The variety of flavours are based on the same ingredients but really help satisfy different cravings, if you are in the mood for a chocolate bar, a cookie or a pie all these Nakd bars will satisfy!

Insanely old photo of me, my bf and my bestie looking so young!

Vegan Mofo!!!


This is my first year taking part in the Vegan Month of Food; to be honest I’ve been slightly oblivious to it all somehow. Now I’m pretty scared. Last year I was about to embark on a ten month trip in Asia which started in mid-October and I didn’t take a laptop with me!

I decided to have a theme to make these posts different to my normal blogging, as it’s my first year as a MoFo, why not explore a few more firsts! Back to basics; making things from scratch! Cooking things, I’ve always been scared to try.


Vegan and cooking 1st’s

My 1st Homemade Scones (too much English tea room envy)

My 1st Vegan Truffles

My 1st Marinated Tofu

My 1st Baking bread (yeast scares me)

My 1st Pizza base from scratch (no boxed mixes here)

My 1st Vegan homemade Cheese

My 1st Gluten Free Bread

My 1st Vegan Homemade Ice cream

My 1st Vegan Stock

My 1st Vegan sausage gravy (USA style!)

My 1st Vegan falafel GF

(Not sure how I’ve never made these I’ve made my own hummus)

My 1st Vegan Super Low Fat Day

My 1st Vegan Tortilla Espanol

My 1stVegan Omelette (I’ve only scrambled)


I’m also going to be keeping an eye out for fruits, vegetables, Restaurants and Vegan products I’ve never tried before.

I’m not sure I can manage to blog every day; this month I will still be skating twice a week with my Roller Derby team, the Basingstoke Bullets, working like Dolly Parton in a new office job and creating Drawings and Paintings to have my own stall at an Art Market.


There’s a lot on my plate, wish me luck!

I will also be plundering my bookshelf and trying a BRAND NEW recipe from each of my cookbooks!

Maoz Falafel London

We recently spent two days in London showing our Chilean friends around and seeing a lot of tourist sights for ourselves for the first time, like Buckingham Palace and Tower Bridge.
We decided to head to Soho for some lunch, near the Tottenahm Court Road Metro.
 I used to hit this area of London a lot, mostly for some delicious Red Veg, but sadly that place is closed now.
Dont fear, Falafels here!
Mmmm roast Cauliflower

I was already a massive falafel fan, and this place has a huge salad bar, hummus and aubergine. They do pitas and salad boxes, and a lot of their menu is vegan.
They have branches all over Europe and know it’s a safe bet for tasty food!


Thursday, 27 September 2012

Ultimate Cheezey comfort food

Grilled Cheezly and tomato on Toast

I drool a little bit on my laptop every time I see this

For me this is the ultimate in indulgent food.

I love savoury food over sweet, and since I got back from Travelling I've really made up for not having vegan cheese for 10 months.

Usually I go for Cheezly toasted sandwiches and use a crusty Baguette, squishing it, Panini style in mini George Foreman grill with some raw red onion and black pepper.

But when I saw a photo of non vegan cheese and tomato on toast I realised I haven't made this in years!

I'm struggling right now to not run in the kitchen to make one.

You need to use Bakery bread to get the right kind of contrast of soft cheese and crusty bread, I don't grate the Cheezly because I find it works better sliced thinly, the tomato cuts through the richness of the cheeze nicely.

I usually use either Red or White Cheddar Cheezly, but at Christmas I was lucky enough to try Redwoods trio which included a Pepper Jack cheeze, which made great but spicy toasties!

I have used the mozzarella in toasties too; it is Super Melty, but a very mild flavour and can be like molten lava if you don’t have patience.

I don’t really eat Cheezly uncooked, as I never liked uncooked cheese before I was vegan.


Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Vegan Apple Turnovers

It feels like winter right now in the UK, what better than a warm Apple Turnover!
Before I went Vegan I loved these little treats, and they are really easy to Veganise, delicious hot or cold.
Just collect some ugly cooking apples (these are from the tree in my garden) and slice or chop the apples with a little water and some sugar.

 The mixture should not be watery, but a thick chunky apple sauce.
Do not over fill, there is an art to judging the right amount to not over or under fill.

Use vegan shop bought puff pasty, and chop into squares (to make triangles) or rectangles and fold in half with a little bit of mixture.

Put on a lightly oiled oven tray in a pre heated oven.
Brush with soya milk and sprinkle with a little sugar.

Bake in the oven and wait for the golden brown colour and delicious smell.
Add a touch of cinnamon if you like too.


We spend one month travelling in china, in possibly the coldest months December/January.
China is portrayed as the worst country for vegetarian.
We travelled without a guide book and used Happy Cows website to scout for vegetarian restaurant.

Yes, there were a few hungry nights, and our appetites shrunk, but we ate some really tasty food too.
Vegetarianism is a strange concept for most chinese people, and sadly of lot of chinese bread is sweet and conains eggs, and meat oil isnt always excluded from vegetable dishes.

Veganism isnt common either, but I met a lovely family of vegans in Kunming.

My favorite foods were Morning glory fried with garlic, spicy fried Tofu, and they cook good Aubergine.

Chinese McDonalds

Birthday treats

Vegan treats from Kunming

Spicy strips of tasty tofu

Morning glory in sticky garlic sauce with fake meat

Morning glory with rice (£1 bargin)

Free Beer in Chengdu's hostel

My first Brown rice in china, Chengdu

Dumplings, Xian

Cougette Salad, Xian

Green beans and aubergine, Xian

Spicy Tofu, Xian

Veggie Supplies.

Drying vegetables in Kunming

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Marathon Cupcake Cherry Bombs

Last week, despite only having a few days back on skates, me and my Mr decided to take part in The South Coast Roll at Goodwood Motor Track.
Also I managed to skate an extra lap of 2.4 miles on top of last year.
Skating 19.2 miles!
Well done to all the Basingstoke Bullets for their skating.
Of course for the occasion I made Cakes!
Basingstoke Bullets Roller Derby

Everyone was very pleased and topping cake with cherries seems to make them irresistible.

I got the recipe for these tasty Vegan and gluten-free from the Dove Farm Website
It uses so few simple ingredients including half a ripe banana.
I adapted the recipe to make cupcakes instead of one big sponge.

Come Dine with me...

Since being back in the UK, Ive been lucky enough to meet up with a lot of friends.
First off we went to visit Grace, our friend who we met in New Zealand on the Kiwi (party) Bus. 
Grace and her mum were also kind enough to let us use their family home in Sri Lanka, the last destination on our trip.
Here is Grace and Lee in Croydon town.
We were treated to a Vegan Chili with TVP, Corn on the cob and sugar snap peas.
Followed by a gluten free summer fruits pudding, WOW gluten free bread totally works better in terms of absorbency. It was the first time I think I've ever eaten this very English Pudding.
The next day I got to see one of my closest friends new house!!
She was a bit unsure what to cook but made an amazing dinner;
Vegetable Cottage Pie
with baby corn, sugar snap peas
Followed by a puff pastry Apple and Cherry Pie.
I will definitely be making this tomato saucy potato topped pie! 
So impressed with my non vegan friends cooking such great food for me! 


Good Chef Bad Chef....Hot Chocolate

So last night for the first time I watched the Australian cooking show; Good Chef, Bad Chef.
Nutritionalist Janella Purcell made a (vegan) hot chocolate, she said "I don't like cows milk so I'm going to use Almond milk." Apparently this drink is also a good sleep aid.
1 cup Almond milk,
1 teaspoon Cashew Nut or Peanut Butter
3 teaspoons Green and Blacks organic hot chocolate powder

on their website they have a selection of vegan recipes to try;
Coconut and Blueberry Mousse Cake;