Thursday, 31 July 2008

Things that are tasty for stir fries and a treat for myself

I am always eating stir fries (as anyone who reads this regularly knows!) but recently I have tried a few new things in them, which I have enjoyed.

First up is a Hot Pepper Creole sauce, which is really scrummy! I have never tried it before. It is quite tangy and gives my stir fry a nice kick! It makes a nice change from the usual sauces I use so I will definitley be buying it again!

Here is a tofu and veggie stir fry using the sauce:

Next up is a Chow Mein mix I bought from a local health food shop. The box contains dried wholewheat noodles with dried veggies (I thought that was weird) and a spice mix. I thought this would be great for when I was feeling especially lazy as the whole thing cooks in about 5 minutes!
The noodles were short and curly and looked really cute. Here is my stir fry with added tofu pieces:

Although the packet was fairly tasty for an instant mix, it didn't have loads of flavour and I think I prefer adding fresh or frozen veggies rather than dehydratying dried ones! However, I think it is good for when I haven't got many veggies to hand and fancy a stir fry.

I also tried using hummous as a stir fry sauce. My mum bought me a few mini tubs of different flavours of hummous. The flavours were lemon and corriander, caramalized onion and roasted red pepper. I don't really eat sandwiches much (just not much of a bread girl) so I fancied using them in my all-time favourite dish- the stir fry!

I thinned out the hummous mixture with a little water and then threw it in with my veggies and tofu. I tried all of the different flavours and I think that lemon and corriander and the red pepper ones worked best. I would definitely use hummous again in a stir fry!

Also I have been on the hunt for new snacks and decided to treat myself to some treats from

I ordered a dozen Clif builder bars! These bars are not available in the UK but I really wanted to try some so decided to go for it! I would have treated myself to some other items (they also sell a white chocolate peanut butter that I have my eye on) but the shipping was really expensive!

I bought 3 different flavours to try: chocolate, cookies and cream and peanut butter. So far I have just tried chocolate and it was really tasty. The bar was like a chewy brownie inside and was covered in chocolate. I couldn't believe it was actually healthy! The nutritional information is seriously impressive:

The box isn't going to last me long.... ; )

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Some old faces and some new tasty foods!

My dinners have been the usual pasta and stir fries mostly (I am such a creature of habit!) I'll post a few pics but they aren't too exciting!

Below is an old fave that I hadn't actually eaten for a while- spag bol made with soya mince and ots of chillies because I love it nice and spicy! It was eaten on newspaper so as not to get any sauce on the table (my mum had just cleaned it!)
Below is a tempeh stir fry that I really enjoyed. I thought that tempeh would be just as yummy in a stir fry as it was when I had it with pasta and I was right! It has such a nice texture and makes a nice change from tofu (although I do love tofu in a stir fry!)
Anyway onto some new foods that I have been enjoying:

I really liked the vanilla swedish glace ice cream but I spotted this new flavour in a health food shop and had to try it! I loved it even more than the vanilla. It was creamy but not sickly and had just the right amount of sweetness. Yummy!

I have also been enjoying larabars recently. I had never tried them before but they were on special in a health food shop near me so I bought a few to try.

I was not so keen on the banana bread flavour. The bar contained bananas, dates and almonds. Although I like fresh bananas I don't often enjoy banana in other products. I think this bar was a little too sweet for my liking because of the dates and the bananas. I think just bananas and nuts would have made for a tastier bar.

Despite my dislike for the banana flavour, I liked the pistachio flavour very much! It contained dates, pistachios and cashews. This combo made for a very yummy snack!

I also enjoyed the apple pie flavour. It contained dates, walnuts, unsweetened apples, almonds, raisins and cinnamon. I sometimes find that cinnamon can be a little overpowering but I certainly didn't find this to be the case with this bar. It was nice and sweet and I liked the nuts in the bar for a little crunch. I will definitely be purchasing this flavour again!

I know that there are many other flavours of larabar but sadly I haven't seen any other flavours available in any health food shops near me. I will be on the hunt though and will post about any other flavours I try.

Another snack I enjoyed trying were these:

These were basically crisps made from lentil flour with added spices. I am not usually much of a crisp person (I tend to prefer sweet snacks) but I polished off the whole tub so I guess I must have liked them ; ) They reminded me of pringles, which I used to like (pre-vegan days):

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

I love Mr Man!

There are not many vegetarian restaurants near where I live. However, there is a lovely Chinese Restaurant called Mr Man (strange name I know) that my parents and I have now visited on two occasions.

The first time that we went, we enjoyed a lovely buffet consisting of lots of mock meat dishes, noodles, brown rice, veggies, spring rolls etc. I knew that the restaurant was vegetarian but our server informed us that the whole buffet was vegan! I was literally in heaven!

My parents and I recently returned to the restaurant in the evening, where an A La Carte menu is served, rather than a buffet. We looked at the huge menu and could not decide what to order! We decided to order several dishes and share them so that we could have a taste of lots of different items.

I took pictures of most of our food but I was really hungry so forgot to take a picture of the appetizers. Here are a few food pictures anyway:

This dish is a 'prawn' dish with stir fried vegetables I have to say the taste was a little scary to me because it tasted exactly how I remember seafood as tasting! I had never eaten any mock seafood before either so this was certainly a taste I have not had in a very long time! My parents also enjoyed this dish very much.

These were Singapore-style noodles and were really yummy (I could not believe the noodles did not contain eggs- they didn't taste like rice noodles I have had before) The noodles were cooked with lots of veggies and deep fried tofu pieces:

This was my favourite dish. It was mock chicken in a spicy tomato sauce with lots of crunchy stir fried veggies. It had lots of chillies in so I loved it!

And here is a photo of my omni parents looking happy after eating yummy vegan Chinese food:

I really like this restaurant so we will definitely be taking a trip there soon. My birthday is coming up soon (August 8th) so we might take a trip there then!

Sunday, 6 July 2008

Old favourites with new twists!

More of my usual eats for dinner this week- pasta and stir fries! I have tried some new foods though, which have been yummy!

Stir fry 1:
Seitan stir fry

I have never been able to buy seitan before. However, recently I went to a health food shop which had a jar and I bought it to try. I loved the chewy texture and really enjoyed it in the stir fry. Unfortunately, the shop is not somewhere I can get to often, so I may have to try making some seitan myself for next time!

Stir fry 2:
Soya mince stir fry

I tried using soya mince, just for a change really. I also used some beetroot in this stir fry. I thought it would add a bit of colour (it turned the mince sort of pink in places!). I also thew in sugar snap peas, which I love in a stir fry. They are so lovely and crunchy!

Stir fry 3:

Tofu stir fry in a garlic and lemongrass sauce sauce

I bought a new stir fry sauce to try when I went shopping the other day. I usually alternative between black bean and spicy tomato szechuan sauces or I just season with a little salt. However, I fancied trying something different and so picked up a garlic and lemongrass sauce, with I thought would make a nice change. It was really tasty as the garlic was really strong in flavour, so it is definitely a sauce I would purchase again.

Pasta dish 1:

Basil tofu pasta with tomato sauce

A pasta dish, which I enjoyed this week, used a packet of basil tofu that I purchased from a earlier in the week. It is basically firm tofu, marinated with olive oil, basil and some other herbs. It smells just like pesto! I chopped it up and put it in a tomato sauce with peppers and mushrooms, which I served with wholemeal pasta twists. Yummy!

Pasta dish 2:

Tempeh with noodles in a creamy sauce

Another pasta dish this week used another new find of mine- tempeh. I loved it! I have been desperate to try tempeh for ages and finally tracked some down in the freezer section of a health food shop I visit regularly. I was really excited to use it but couldn't decide what to cook! I didn't want to use it in a stir fry because I thought that it would get lost with all the veggies etc and I wanted to really taste it. In the end, I made a simple creamy sauce for the tempeh and ate it over rice noodles. I found the texture really unusual but really, really delicious! I hope that the health food shop continues to stock it- next time I think I will have to buy several packets!