Reviews on Vegan and ethical products, recipes and travel
I loveeee a good pasta dish, and all my time favorite before going veggie was Carbonara. The garlic and creamy taste really stuck with me. So I had to find a way to enjoy it and use a recipe that is a great match for the original. The tricky aspect for me was finding an alternative texture for the bacon bits. I tried Tofu which was ok but the texture just isn’t consistent. I ended up using Sgaia vegan mheat's streaky rashers which are flavored and textured just right for a Carbonara. Here’s the recipe I found: 60g cashew nuts 1/2 cup of water 1 tbsp olive oil 2 cloves of garlic Pinch of salt and pepper Blitz and set aside. I lightly fried off the rashers when cubed, in coconut oil then added the Vegan pasta into the pan. Mix the sauce into the pan and heat. Boom it’s a real treat, texture is great and if you have used fresh garlic it it will smell amazing. Excited for you too all try it.
As in my previous post I am always looking into different ways to get protein into my diet. I focused last time on the organic Tofu and Tempeh, range and ways to fit that into a quick and easy dish. Tofu or soy bean are very versatile and can be added to many dishes, however it does have it's limits when in it's block form. I wanted to find other ways to eat soy bean that can still give me protein, but add a little extra to my meals. I found a brand on Instagram called Sgaia Vegan meats who offer Mheats, soy based protein with extra flavorings and likeness to meat. Firstly I love the name Mheat a great play on the word, always good to challenge people's perspective of what meat can be. I ordered a BBQ pack with the view to making a few dishes I really missed initially when deciding not to eat meat, which was a Burger and Carbonara Sauce. The package came neatly wrapped up in a cool bag and cardboard, I put on a video showing the mixed box I received. I initially tried the blend of Sun-dried Tomatoes, Italian Herbs and Onion burger and found it to be a real treat. The texture was full and rich with a cheeky crunch, that I have to say really mirrors the texture of meat. The herbs used blended well and stayed on the tongue into the next bite. (making me salavate just writing this) If a comparison was to be drawn between meat, only the size may differ in that the mheat was thinner, however the texture in the mouth more than makes up for it. But in truth a comparison is not needed, the quality of the mheat should be treated in it's own right a great option to spice up your protein options, adding to a good price and easy delivery(next day if you order on a Monday) they should be viewed as a monthly buy and freeze option. For me being able to grab out a quality protein option out of the freezer is invaluable. Next stop use the rashers to create a Vegan Carbonara dish!!
Meal Prep!! Epic word really and puts a lot of people of making meals. For me it means finding quick meals that allow me to be healthy but also still function. We're all busy and the idea of slogging out an 1hour and 30 minute meal doesn't seem possible. I focus on proteins that I can cook and heat in minutes, and add to rice or cous cous and still hold it's flavor. One way of achieving this is to order in the protein from an ethical source. I chose recently to order a Tempeh bundle from Vegan Nutrition Store. Initially there was some issues around delivery due to the courier, however the store took it upon themselves to hand deliver my parcel to ensure I didn't miss out. Which was incredibly refreshing to see a brand go above and beyond. Even chucking in a free pizza whoop. The bundle itself contained a variety a Tofu and flavored Tempeh. Such as BBQ and sweet and sour. One thing to note is that Tempeh is fermented so can be eaten straight away, and offers some nutritional gut health benefits. I lightly fried the BBQ Tempeh in coconut oil to warm it up, literally for only 1 minute. Added it to rice and hummus with a few green Veg. The consistency was great, had a real bite to it and the BBQ flavor really came through. I tried a bite before heating and although the crisp wasn't there the taste held up. Adding to a salad would be a possibility. The biggest benefit to me was the quickness and nutritional benefit to this product. It came sealed and neatly packaged, wrapped in a cooler bag to maintain it's temperature. I will be ordering from Vegan Nutrition store again as the products were of good quality and the brand obviously cares about me as a customer.
Bank holiday weekends are always great fun, weather permitting of course!! This weekend I enjoyed some much needed time with family and to take in the amazing weather we were having. I was also looking forward to some great food outside, and to try out my new order of Vegan Truffles from TrufflepigVegan. I ordered double choc, with a cheeky addition of the salted caramel. Overall I was really impressed with the time it took to be delivered, and the packaging used. It came in a neat little black box, simple and clean. The great thing about having family over is you have a few testers at the ready!! We all gave them a big thumbs up, however the salted caramel was divided. I personally loved it as I am a real savoury kinda guy. The double choice however was a real treat, soft on the inside and really creamy and smooth. So more-ish you could eat a whole box. Another good reason to have family round so you don't eat them all!!! The truffles were a real find and I will be ordering more no doubt! Perfect for parties after dinner or given as a present you won't be disappointed. Happy shopping! Be happy
So in 2016 we were lucky enough to visit Rio during the Olympics, and boy it didn’t disappoint. During our short stay, we booked a hotel nearby the famous Escalera da Selaron. This was a set of steep and beautiful steps covered in tiles that an artist had designed during his time in Rio. This was a top tourist spot and although it was awesome to see I wouldn’t recommend staying as close as we did, as there was huge parties most nights. Putting to bed the rumours of Rio being a party city. This part of the city showcased a real local vibe with street markets a regular occurrence ranging from fruits, veg and general household items. One great feature of Rio was it’s new underground train system which we found incredibly easy to navigate and used to head most days to the famous Copacabanna Beach. I have to say this beach was epic, stretching miles and offering everything from volleyball to a huge area of umbrella sun lounges. We stopped here to enjoy a mountain view to the left and an awesome drink called the caprinha, which should be tasted but not over indulged upon. (heavy on the vodka)What we found most interesting was the constant shops selling only chocolate and crisps, they were all branded and stretched right along shelves and metal crates. We often bought big bags of crisps to enjoy with a good bottle of Brahma lager sold at most bars. On one day we stretched further a field using the trains to visit the Sugarloaf mountain, you have to get on a huge cable car which takes you from ground zero to right on top the highest point. The views were spectacular and stretched for the whole of Rio, including of the Christ Redeemer statue. Rio was a busy city and with the Olympics it was crazy at times, but it had a real party feel to it which extended all over. It was hard to see at times the level of poverty but I must say they are a truly resourceful country and will always extend you a warm welcome. It has to be visited and with the new transport links it was far easier than I could have ever imagined. Happy Travels.
First thing to point out here is that I love me a honey!!! When being Vegan, honey can be a mixed process and a real try and see approach. I have tasted many standard brands over the time, and often come away feeling mehhh. Things I look for in a honey- 1- Shiny texture 2- Invigorating smell 3- Taste buds a tingling I often eat mine with warm porridge and protein pancakes so an ability to cope well with heat is a must. You'd be surprised at how many split when at a certain temperature. I was scrolling across Instagram (as you do) and came across Grace's Vegan Pantry which was used for a porridge dish. They were using a pineapple honey. I am a massive fan of this fruit especially mixed in a shake. So a honey yes please. (american acccent) After making a warm porridge I mixed in the honey and was really happy to see it had sweetened the porridge using a smooth and deep consistency. The warm and smooth texture is a delight and sticks on your tongue right into the next bite. It's obvious these products are made with love and show a care and attention for detail. They are now stocking in various shops in the south, head to their site to find one near you!! On to the lemon Curd next woopppppp.
Whilst traveling, Bali was the first country I came to that would test whether or not it was possible to eat whilst being a vegetarian. I was very conscious that I could probably not find many foods that I could eat, but that they would be processed and harmful to my body. I also wanted the food to be rich in culture and be based around national dishes of the country. We first traveled to Ubud in the forest region on Bali. Where we first encountered the term Warung which means Home. These are small restaurants that are run by the locals, often serving local or national dishes. These are common places around Bali, and in our experience have offered the best quality foods at the cheapest prices. One of the first dishes I ate was called Cap Cay which is a vegetable broth with beautifully steamed veg. It is spiced with chili, peppers and soy sauce. We ordered a bowl of steamed rice each which was very cheap and filling. We did a bit of island hopping which is recommended to see the crystal blue seas and stay beach side in cool and cosy bamboo huts. Whilst on the island of Lembongan, we ate in several Warungs which varied in offering foreign or local dishes. One dish in particular that stood out was a breakfast toasty called a Jaffle which is simply two pieces of toast melted banana with honey inside. This made our mornings we often added Nutella or cheese which gave it a yummy twist. Lastly if your thinking of heading to the mainland of Sanur then you will be met with a busy main road teeming with shops, bars and local Warungs. Two main dishes that kept me going throughout was Nasi Goreng and Mie Goreng which are simply fried rice and fried noodles. Mix this with Gado Gado a blend of fried tofu and vegetables and you have an epic mix of spices and crispy veg. Wash it all down with a glass of Kopi a local coffee and you have the perfect blend. Happy travels!!
Coffee to your door!! Not only is the coffee taste great it comes straight to your door without you even thinking about it! From the intricate detail on the information cards to the golden crema you get with each coffee, you get a real dive into the world of how coffee should be viewed. Initially I was a little put off by spending money each month on coffee. However after totting up how much I was going through, the cost is fairly comparable to buying a bag each week at the supermarket. The main difference in being that the quality of coffee really notches up a level and is far beyond anything you can buy in a supermarket. The thing I love the most is the information cards they send you giving you blend details, how the beans are sourced and a picture of the coffee farm they source them from. In addition the roasting date is well within the week of delivery giving you the freshest roast possible, only adding to the quality of taste. With all the many brands available in the shops, I feel subscriptions are the way forward to enable us to only spend our time drinking the best coffee out there. Not as a 4 cup a day habit but a great experience enjoying a great taste.
Through our travels, South Korea was one country we knew the least about. It is safe to say it left us thinking it was a truly awesome country to visit. Our first destination was to Seoul, a vibrant city full of young workers looking to make a name for themselves. Firstly we arrived from the airport and amazingly got a train direct to the center of Seoul. After a few changes on the tube we headed to Myeong-dong where we stayed in a cute little hotel offering all you could need for a very good price. The first thing we noticed was there are a lot of coffee shops, and cafes offering a range of options. One aspect of this was their love of the sweet stuff, yogurts and ice creams being the most readily available. The coffee is very good and you can get a range of brands and local cafes offering different prices and offers. Korea was tricky to find vegetarian dishes, so you may have to get creative, often noodle bars will sell tofu and soups and you may have to ask the question to see if meat is added. Kimchi was a staple of many dishes and given on the side, it is a fermented cabbage which is spicy and gives a real kick to the dish. We often went to Paris Baguette which sells many sandwiches and breads to make your own lunches if you are on a tight budget. The national park and Seoul Tower must be visited and both are free! The views at the top of the tower are spectacular and give a real insight into the way Seoul has grown with the cover of the mountains around it. We then go a short flight to the island of Jeju, this is a tourist haven for Koreans as it is a tax free island, so duty free items are aplenty. The island boasts both of natural beauty and sweeping views to the seas. We stayed in both the city of Jeju and of Seogwipo, which can be traveled to by a bus. Much like London you can get a travel card that you load money on and use on any public transport, not having to worry about giving money to the drivers. Heading to the mountains and national parks is a must, and allows you to see stunning views no mater where you may be, Go on walks and explore the nature, with the island being famous for his orange production and natural skin products. One food dish we did enjoy in Seogwipo was called Bibimbap a collection of noodles, eggs and soy sauce, to which you stir and mix yourself to create a blend of flavors. This was washed down with Kiwi extract a digestion boosting drink. Not much English is spoken in Korea but everyone we spoke to were very friendly and super interested in why we were visiting the country. You may have to work hard at times to explain what food you would like but if in doubt on the content you can always have a cup of noodles which they self in all the local shops. We really enjoyed the natural beauty in Korea and loved our time there, really has to be talked about more as a travel destination. Enjoy!!
Visiting Japan was as special as we though it would be, showing us a wide range of lifestyles, history and natural beauty. Our first destination was to the huge city of Tokyo, and after landing into Narita airport it was very easy to travel via train right into the center of Tokyo. We found using the loadable Suica card very easy and just jumped on the many trains heading into the city. During our time in Tokyo we headed to the akinhabara area to witness what can only be described as the electrical district. This is a hive of activity no matter what time of the day, where you can visit gaming stores 6 floors up or grab a coffee in character themed waiters. There are many cheeky food stalls along the road where you can get red bean pastries or a quick bite of noodles. After a brief flight to Osaka we stayed in multiple areas and really got a flavor for how this big city has developed. It acted as a hub for us to travel out and visit the great natural sites of Japan. One that really stood out for me was the mountain called Mount Ikoma, a short train ride from Shin-Osaka station. You can walk all the way to the top, where it hosts this little theme park, which is only open part of the time and boasts views across the city. (very creepy) However my favorite element was the Zen Temple, that zinged with silence and awe. It was a beautiful place that will be in my memories for a lifetime. Whilst in Japan we got trains and flights to visit a few of the key areas, one in particular was Kyoto. This is a small but idylic place hosting some of the most historical sites of Japan, including the Bamboo forest. Most sites you will need to pay for but there are many areas you can just walk through, including the local market. One food that must be eaten and as random as it sounds it’s Lawton’s Egg sandwich. Lawton’s is Japans version of 7-11 in Thailand and will not fail in giving you the bare essentials. You have to try it to see just how great it is!! Japan was a crazy and wonderful place, with many areas of interest, you have to visit and would be on many people's visit list. Food was tricky at times, but they have many options around egg and noodles. We loved scooting around supermarkets finding fresh sushi and yummy pasta dishes. Food could be expensive at times but mostly, if you found the right shops a tight budget could be managed. Happy Travels!!
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