Friday, 26 December 2008

A lovely Christmas!

I had such a lovely day yesterday! I always enjoy Christmas but yesterday seemed particularly perfect!

The day started when I opened a lovely box of vegan treats that arrived from the lovely gal who has this amazing blog (, Thanks chica!

She also made me this adorable little guy: 'Herb' the 'teabug'- he looks just like a tea bag- he is sooo cute!
Above are the fabulous gifts inside the box! Clockwise from the back is:

*a box of Apricot biscuits (perfect with a cup of tea methinks)
* a face mask (my skin will be looking good!)
*chilli pepper puree (cannot wait to use this in a stir-fry)
*gummi bears (gelatine free- wohoo!)
*rice stuffed vine-leaves (great for lazy people like me who would never be bothered to make them myself!)
* red pepper and tomato salsa (yummy as a dip for crisps!)
* fruit flapjack (filled with sultanas : ) )

I cannot wait to try all of these treats! They all look absolutely scrummy! As you can tell I was pretty excited with my stash of goodies (I somehow managed to grab them all without dropping them for a quick piccie!)

I also received some yummy goodies from my family for Christmas: snack bars!

I have never tried a Pecan Pie larabar before so I can't wait to find out what it tastes like!

Yesterday, I also took a picture of our Christmas tree (yes it really is that huge!):

Here is the table, which my sister and I enjoy decorating every year:

And here is my family sitting at the table about to dig into the Xmas dinner:

Along the left hand side is my sister and my mum, my dad is at the back and then on the right is my cousin and my two aunts.

As Christmas always involves turkey, I always prepare my own dish which I have with the veggies (my mum cooks them without butter- yay!) I was feeling pretty lazy and uninspired this year so I decided to buy something to eat rather than making it myself. However, it was yummy nonetheless (also not very festive!)
My meal was a vegetable curry!

I ate it with lots of brussel sprouts (my fave traditional Christmas veg) although I forgot to take a picture of my plate!

I followed my meal with some Chistmas pudding (I bought my own vegan one as my mum's has eggs in) Here it is:

So all in all a great day- I hope everyone else had a great Christmas too!

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

It's getting closer to xmas!

I have just under 3 days until I have the xmas holidays- yay! This has meant that I have been really busy (everyone is ill at work so we've all had to work extra hard to make up for it!). This has meant unexciting eats (as usual!)

I have also had a few meals out recently, which has meant I have eaten loads of chips (the vegan option!). Therefore, I have been enjoying lots of stir-fries when I have been cooking for myself. I love them soooo much! They are so quick and easy to make and I can get in loads of veggies to keep my immune system up and make up for the lack of nutrition in the chips I have been eating!

Stir-fry 1: With udon noodles, soya chunks, a tasty mixture of veggies and some green chilli peppers for some heat!

I used these noodles (so quick to cook because you can shove them straight into the wok- hence the name 'Straight to wok')

Stir-fry 2: Stir-fry with soya chunks (again), loads of different veggies, green chilli peppers and I think it was some wholewheat noodles that were buried underneath!

I also tried a new product- this Spelt tortellini (filled with veggies) which I ate in a creamy cheeze sauce. I bought it from a trip I made to wholefoods. Sorry for the awful pics- I was hungry!

I was a little disappointed by this product as I didn't think it has much flavour. I preferred the other pasta I tried from this range, made with tofu and spices so next time I will buy that instead.
I also tried this ready meal:

I was so excited to see this in my local health food shop as I have never seen an Amy's meal there before. I enjoyed this meal for lunch earlier this week, which made a nice change from my usual lunch dishes. It was so quick to cook too- only 5 mins from frozen, which is great because I was feeling hungry and lazy!
I still haven't got around to making my Pumpkin pie but I hope to make it soon and I will post a picture of how it turns out!

Saturday, 6 December 2008

New yummy eats!

Although I often stick to similar meals I do love trying new things!

Recently, I have bought some new foods to try, which I have really enjoyed.

Here is what I have been eating:

Yummy seitan strips:

I enjoyed them in a spicy tomato sauce over wholewheat couscous:

I also tried frozen soya beans in pasta (I usually eat them cold in salads):

I wasn't quite so keen on this combo actually, I think the beans where a little too crunchy for my liking- I prefer my crunch in cold foods.

I also bought some kamut pasta to try:

I made a macaroni cheeze: (perfect comfort food- especially appreciated as I have a bad cold at the moment :( )

When I was out and about shopping, I needed to grab a quite bite for lunch and managed to pick up this yummy salad- mixed beans with sweetcorn in an olive oil dressing- yummo!Of course I have not forgotten my favourite go-to meal- the stir fry: (this was made with beans, soya mince, spinach, peppers and wholewheat noodles)

Also this week it was my mum's birthday so we went to a local Italian restaurant and I ordered a pizza with veggies (without cheese)- yummy although I would have loved some chilli peppers on them for a bit of heat!

Here is a picture I took of my family during the meal (my dad looks very strange in this photo because he was about to say something and didn't realise I was taking the photo!)

I also have bought this can of pumpkin (yes it really is huge!) and am thinking I will make an American-style pumpkin pie. I have never made (or even eaten) anything like that before so I will be really interested to see how I get on!
Any ideas of what to do with the rest of the pumpkin I have leftover?

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Simple meals...

Recently I have been finding work particularly draining so my meals have been pretty simple and boring. Despite this, I have still found them enjoyable!

A lot of my dishes have featured the addition of this sauce. It is scrummy; nice and spicy and gives any dish a really good kick! It is made with peppers and vinegar.

Below is a pasta dish made with wholewheat pasta twists, tomato sauce and soya chunks (they do not have a lot of flavour but have a great chewy texture that I love)

Next up is polenta chopped up in a spicy bean chilli made with tvp and mixed beans- it was really yummy!

The next dish features a new product I recently tried, purchased from Tesco. They are large patties made with butternut squash, chickpeas, potatoes, seeds, cranberries and lots of veggies. I wanted to try them but I fancied pasta so I decided to mash 'em up and have them as a pasta sauce.

Here is what they look like smashed up in my pasta:
I was not overly keen on these roasts as they tasted quite sweet (I think due to the addition of maple syrup as well as the butternut squash) but they did have a nice texture so I might try them in a more conventional meal next time (with a jacket potato or something perhaps).

I will hopefully be cooking some less boring meals soon!

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Good and not so good eats!

Ah it is so nice to have the internet back! We lost it completely for a few days earlier this week and I missed reading all the blogs! Luckily, we got it back late on Friday night but I am still catching up on what I have missed!

This past week's eats have not been very exciting (no change there ; 0 ). I have been pretty busy (working over 45 hours) and so my food has not been very imaginative. However, I have enjoyed eating most of my meals and they have been healthy, which is good!

Remember that tofu pasta I bought from wholefoods? I loved it! I enjoyed it with a sauce made from the canned pumpkin (also from wholefoods) and some dried soya mince (for a nice bit of texture). It was sooo nice! I am definitely going to buy some more soon!

Also, I tried the Cherry pie larabar I picked up from Wholefoods. I am sorry to say I didn't like it! I found it very sweet and a little too bitter for my liking! I was really disappointed because I was expecting to really like it! : ( I will not be buying this flavour again! I found out from work yesterday that there is a market stall nearby that sells larabars really cheaply (4 for £1!!) so I am going to check that out soon and see which flavours they have! I think I will probably buy one of everything they have- haha!

I have eaten curry twice this week. I made one myself, using this Jalfrezi sauce:

It was bought from a health food shop and I was excited to try it because I find that lots of curry sauces contain milk : ( I was expecting to really like it because it said that it was really spicy. I used chicken-style soya pieces to make a curry with this sauce and served it over wholewheat couscous.

Unfortunately, I found the sauce to be pretty tasteless and it wasn't even that spicy! : ( I will not be purchasing this brand of sauce again.

Luckily, I did get the opportunity to eat a really tasty curry this week! I went for a meal at Wetherspoons ( Wetherspoons is a pub chain here in the Uk that is known for it's bargain prices and usually pretty decent food! Until recently the only vegan item on their menu was chips, which can be nice every now and then but don't really make a a very satisfying as a meal on their own!

However, recently I noticed that they had added a Sweet potato, chickpea & spinach curry (vegan if ordered with extra poppadums instead of naan bread). The description of the dish sounded good: 'An award-winning dish with sweet potato, fried and tossed in a rich coconut sauce with chickpeas and spinach, served with yellow basmati rice, naan bread, mango chutney and poppadums. ' I was eager to try the new dish so asked a friend if she fancied going there for a meal and drinks.

Here is a photo I took of the meal:

This meal did not disappoint! It had lots of flavour and the textures really worked well together! I think chickpeas and spinach go really nicely together and the sweet potato was great as it made the dish really filling and satisfying. I would definitely order this again!

My friend also bought me a t-shirt, which I love! It really made me laugh! She knows my taste in clothes so well! Here is a picture of the t-shirt:

And here is a photo of my lovely friend (I think she was feeling a bit shy : ) )

Sunday, 2 November 2008

Back from the festival!

I really am lucky to have parents that are so supportive of my veganism. My mum is always happy to whip up a batch of vegan chocolate cupcakes and yesterday my dad showed his support by accompanying me to a Vegan festival in Wolverhampton.

When we arrived in Wolverhampton, I got very excited when I saw this sign:

The festival was inside and consisted of about 40 stalls selling a wide range of different vegan items, with everything from food to cosmetics. They also had various speakers, who were giving talks on an array of topics.

My dad and I went to a Nutrition lecture given by Dr Stephen Walsh PhD (nutrition spokesperson for The Vegan Society and author of Plant Based Nutrition and Health). He covered the basics of good vegan nutrition and then allowed the audience to ask any questions. It didn't really teach me anything new but it was good to reinforce the importance of a healthy diet. I was impressed that Dr Walsh also talked about the importance of eating well within the context of a healthy lifestyle.

The festival was really busy so was it tricky to take any pictures there but I took some of the items that we came back with!

Pictured below is what we bought:

Soy jerky (BBQ flavour), a wallet with the vegan society logo (my dad bought this for me as a surprise present!) and a teddy bear (for my sister).

I had never tried soy jerky before and really loved the taste and texture! They had a nice flavour and were satisfyingly chewy. Sadly, I think this jerky is only available online but I think I will have to order myself some soon anyway!

Here is a picture of my sister with her bear:

Just in case you can't see what is written on the bear's t-shirt:

My sister is a big fan of French Connection (FCUK) so we thought it would make her laugh!
Here is me with my wallet and jerky:

We also bought two cupcakes back for my sister and my mum but they were gobbled up before I managed to take a picture! I took that as a good sign that they liked them though ; )

Saturday, 1 November 2008


I am so excited because today I am off to the West Midlands Vegan Festival:

I have never been before (I didn't know about it last year) and cannot wait to see all the stalls, listen to some interesting speakers and eat some tasty food!

I am taking my camera so will try and take some pictures!

Have a great day!

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Crazy weather and my first trip to Wholefoods!

The weather is still so cold here. However, the other day it actually snowed, which is definitely unusual for October! I took some pictures of the view from my house:

Just outside my front door:

The back garden:
My mum scraping her car!

As you can see, the snow was pretty thick! This meant the roads were a bit of a nightmare for a little while. Luckily, the sun eventually melted the snow, which meant it was easier to get out and about, although it certainly didn't look as pretty!
Also this week, I was so excited because I took my first trip to Wholefoods in London! I had the day off work (half term holidays so no school and no library work) so my mum and I went up to London for the day! I have been desperate to go to Wholefoods for ages so I could not wait to get there!
On the way, we passed this shop:

Sorry for the rubbish picture but it was a shop called Tofu! Sadly, it had closed down but the name made me smile!
This display made me very excited! I had never seen so many flavour of Larabars before!

I could have bought sooo much stuff there but I managed to control myself because otherwise I would have spent too much money! Next time I will have to take an icepack and cool-bag so that I could take home some frozen items. They had Amy's frozen meals, which I didn't even know you could buy here!
Here is what I decided to purchase:

A multigrain loaf (it was a whole loaf but my parents had already eaten some before I took the picture!), a cherry pie larabar (I can't wait to try this!), refried black beans (usually refried beans are made from pinto beans), canned pumpkin (never seen this before- ever!), soft silken tofu (for dessert- making purposes methinks ; ) and some pasta filled with tofu and spices!
I was especially excited about the pasta because I used to like eating cheese-filled pasta in my pre-vegan days, so I hope that this will be a great substitute!
We also picked up a slice of chocolate cake for my sister (sadly it was not vegan). She was very happy with it though!

Saturday, 25 October 2008

More pasta dishes, cupcakes and a fabulous box of treats!

I am such a creature of habit. I absolutely love pasta and never get bored of eating it several times per week! Therefore my dinners this week have not been too different from my usual fare!

Here is what I have been eating:

Veg spaghetti bolognaise made with soya mince and lots of chilli peppers:

Spag bol too but this time with pasta twists:

Soya 'chicken style' pieces in a basil sauce (bought not home made ; ) ) with spaghetti:

And now for the sweet stuff! Here is a picture of some cupcakes I took into work for a colleague's birthday. Someone even asked me for the recipe (and was very really surprised to find out they contained vinegar and no eggs!) Vegan baking is the best!

I was also lucky enough to receive a lovely package in the post yesterday. It was from natural balance foods ( who make the yummy Nakd bars and Trek bars, both of which I adore.
They are also a hit with other bloggers living in England- Mi ( and Peony ( have also blogged about their enjoyment of these products.
Anyway, I emailed the company to tell them how much I like their products and they were kind enough to send me a huge box of freebies in the post! I was so excited to receive the package and it even contained a hand written note from the company!

Here is the box of goodies:

Before opening.....

I was definitely ready to be happy- in fact happy is a major understatement!

After opening...

Contained in the box was:
3 Trek bars (flavours were Mixed Berry, Cocoa Brownie & Peanut & Oat)
3 Nakd bars (flavours were Berry Cheeky, Apple Pie & Cocoa Loco)
4 Nakd Nibbles (flavours were Berry Cheeky, Apple Pie, Cocoa Loco & Banana Bread)
3 Nakd Raisins- fruit juice soaked raisins (flavours were Cherry, Orange & Lemon)

All made from natural ingredients (fruit and nuts) and even better all totally vegan!

This box made my day! I am also in a great mood now because it is half-term at school so no full-time work for a week (although I am still working my other job- the library but I love that so it doesn't really seem like work!)