Category Archives: reviews

Gourmet Vegan Cheese!

Vegan cheese: Camembert!

Vegan cheese. There’s a lot of it out there these days, from the cheaper supermarket own brands, to old trusty steadfasts made by vegan companies like VBites and Scheese. But sometimes you need something a little bit different, a little bit special.

From Vegan Supermarket GreenBay (online and in store), vegan Camembert and Herbes de Provence! They have many other gourmet and hard to find vegan products… go see!

These were absolutely fabulous on Christmas Day, the cheeseboard being the star of the show. The Camembert was particularly impressive, being a truly pure product with only four ingredients, and so authentic and real tasting. You have to try it. You really really do 😀 Vegan cheese FTW!

Don’t miss our Vegan Christmas section for LOTS of recipe and gift ideas!

Ailish Sinclair‘s debut novel, THE MERMAID AND THE BEAR, set in a fictional castle in Aberdeenshire, and featuring the 1597 Aberdeen witchcraft panic, is out Autumn 2019. From Amazon UK or Amazon Worldwide or Waterstones

See Author website for more details.

the mermaid and the bear

A Bit of a Pickle! #vegan #plantbased

Vadasz Pickle and Kimchi

Just launched at M&S, with the aim of getting people eating more plants, this range of pickles and kimchi from Vadasz Pickles and Ferments is absolutely delicious.

Our favourite were the fresh pickle with garlic and dill. They were magnificent in a sandwich which went thus: green lettuce from garden, layer of braised tofu, sprinkle of nori flakes, thick layer of pickle (pictured are the red onion, also great here), red lettuce from garden (or shop of course). Yum.

vegan sandwich with  red onion pickle and braised tofu

The kimchi is also lovely; we found it great as a component of a salad. From Vadasz: “Importantly, Vadasz Raw Kimchi is live culture, a result of the magical process of lactic acid fermentation, meaning it contains probiotics which are beneficial to the gut and are not found in many existing products that are preserved using vinegar. Similarly, Vadasz Red Onion Pickles, and Vadasz Garlic and Dill Pickles use a traditional cold brine process, keeping them unpasteurised and retaining their crunchiness and fresh flavour. Together, they offer anti-inflammatory and immune boosting properties, at a time when awareness is growing regarding the link between gut health and overall wellness.”

Try them. You won’t regret it 🙂

Meanwhile, Autumn is well and truly underway, in fact it may be almost over. Soup season is definitely upon us though: do explore our many many recipes

Harvest time in the field
The Mermaid and the Bear

A creepy and romantic read for October, Lucy’s novel THE MERMAID AND THE BEAR blends an often overlooked historical event, the 1597 Aberdeen witchcraft panic, with a love story. Available in paperback and kindle and free on Kindle Unlimited (Amazon offer a free trial of KU).

See Amazon or Waterstones or Author website

Squeaky Bean: Ready to Eat Goodness

salad with Squeaky Bean Sweet Smokey BBQ chicken-style pieces

Squeaky Bean sent us some delicious, ready-to-eat, vegan products to try. And so we did! Above is a simple salad made of their Sweet Smokey BBQ chicken-style pieces, cucumber and yoghurt.

Sweet Smokey BBQ chicken-style pieces

The Kick of Tikka style pieces were amazing in sandwiches with hummus and some lettuce from the garden. They were also great thrown into a curry. The ready-to-eat element of these products makes them so very easy to use. You can just eat them right out of the box (and some of that went on here; they are really tasty on their own). The chicken-style pieces pack quite a protein punch, coming in at over 20% protein.

sandwiches with Squeaky Bean chicken-style pieces

There’s also a delicious vegan tortilla, which can be eaten hot or cold.

Squeaky Bean vegan tortilla

We had it cold on top of a savoury rice dish.

rice and tortilla

Squeaky Bean products are available widely in UK supermarkets. You can read more about the full product range on their website.

Meanwhile in the garden… there’s just enough summer left to make some more redcurrant and rosemary jelly!

redcurrants in the sun

A French Fancy and a Watering Can

vegan cakes

Those are gorgeous vegan cakes and biscuits from local business Veg Oot. Do check them out if you’re in the UK, they’re amazing!

We hope you’re managing to spend some time in the sun, soaking up that Vitamin D, and doing/eating other wonderful things to boost your immune system.

lavendar watering can

 Here, we’re reading Terry Tyler’s Wasteland and highly recommend it.

wasterland

Look after yourselves. Stay safe. Stay well. Stay informed. Eat the odd cake 🙂

Veg Oot cakes

Lucy’s novel, written under her pen name of Ailish Sinclair is now free on Kindle Unlimited! Amazon do offer a free trial of KU. Also available in paperback.

Amazon UK

Universal Amazon link 

Set in a fictional castle in Aberdeenshire, the book features the Aberdeen witchcraft panic of 1597 and a love story.

the mermaid and the bear

Nut Roast, a Book on Abuse, and Some Cake…

Marrow stuffed with Nut Roast

Autumn is well and truly underway. High winds. Flooding. Beautiful trees. Log fires. And lovely roast dinners. Above is a quarter marrow (peeled, deseeded) stuffed with the simplest of nut roasts made by blending/processing walnuts, almonds, sweet potato, celery, parsley, sage and some Vecon stock. Roast for about 45 minutes at 200c/400F. YUM.

Holly Bourne’s new YA novel, The Places I’ve Cried in Public is too important a title for us not to mention. It’s a book about abuse. It could help prevent abuse and even lessen the lasting negative impact on the targets of abusive behaviour.

We follow Amelie as she revisits the places she cried during her relationship with Reese, a relationship that she thought was loving. Through this story the author deftly points out many of the red flags that are hallmarks of abuse and which are often ignored or not noticed by young people (or people of any age). This can be because when you’ve grown up in an atmosphere of abuse and control, these behaviours seem normal, but it can also be because they are new and unknown, or because they are perpetuated as acceptable, as in one conversation we were party to recently where an abusive individual was described as merely having a ‘strong personality’. No. A world of big bad no.

Two of the strongest early indicators of whether you’re dealing with an abusive or narcissistic personality, in any relationship type, are that person’s reactions to both your failures and your successes. A toxic person will revel in your failures, your heartbreaks and, in fact, anything that goes wrong for you at all. They will patronise rather than empathise, and sometimes try to convince you that an event that was simply unfortunate was actually your failure.

And success? Well, you’re not allowed to have any. They will chip away at it, pointing out others who’ve had more success, or are ‘better than you’. You may actually learn never to speak of your own achievements, understanding that it makes this person feel bad. They will attempt, and quite possibly manage, to sabotage you too.

No. Walk away. Read this book!

Amazon UK link

Universal Amazon link

That was all rather more serious than we usually do here now… so do have some cake. Morrison’s chocolate vegan cupcakes and Aldi’s Raspberry Tarts.

Cupcakes and Tarts

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Fabulous Fudge!

From the Fabulous Freedom Factory: Fudge and Chocolate Covered Raisins. Incredibly delicious.

Festive recipe: Carrot, Coriander and Ginger Soup

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Oh, and we’re on Instagram now!

Cheesy Cheesy

Eat Real Quinoa Corn Puffs, white Cheddar flavour, and possibly the cheesiest tasting food we’ve ever had!  We had to check the bag again to make sure a terrible mistake hadn’t been made but there was the Vegan Society Logo nestled securely in the corner 🙂 There’s some Violife Cheese cubes in there as well.

Festive recipe: White Hot Chocolate from Cat

See all Christmas Dish posts.

See all Christmas recipes.

Oh, and our order came from Green Bay. There’s a lot of cheese in there too!

frozen day, frozen pizza

Goodfella's Vegan Pizza

Yes. Frozen vegan pizza from GoodFella’s. It’ll be on supermarket shelves in April, retailing at £2.50, Vegan Society trademarked, and we can verify that it is delicious!

It was perfect on a day like this, when there had been some trudging through snowdrifts.

snowdrifts

Then the courier made it through with our pizzas!

Vegan Pizza!

The crumbled falafel topping makes the pizza dense and satisfying and goes so well with the spinach, always a sturdy inclusion to Italian food. The hummus drizzle is garlic-y and cheese-y and perfect too.

pizza slices

We paired it with leek and potato soup, and with each pizza serving two, that made a big and filling meal.

This will be a great dish to have on standby in the freezer for busy (or lazy!) days.

Okay snow, we’re ready for you again!

snowy path


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Cute Halloween Chocolate for Vegans!

So Free Vegan Hamper

Haribo Halal Bear is SFV

Halloween Frogs

And this delicious Black Forest Gateau Bar

 

And for handing out to Trick or Treaters? Swizzels Lovehearts are vegan! Also vegan are their Parma Violets, Rainbow Drops, Fizzers and their Lovehearts Candy Lipsticks.

Light and Fluffy Chocolate Chip Pancakes

They’re light. They’re fluffy. Gluten free. Soft and gooey too. Welcome to vegan chocolate chip pancakes made with aquafaba and the wonderfully sweet and mild, just like high quality milk chocolate, Moo Free Baking Drops!

This recipe was developed for the #MooFreeBakeOff 2017

Just look at the chocolatey gooey-ness…

And the fluffiness? Can you see the fluffiness?

And the magic ingredient that makes them light and fluffy? Aquafaba, the cooking liquid from beans or chickpeas. Here we used the water drained out of one tin of chickpeas.

Ingredients:
water from one tin of chick peas (or other beans)
1 heaped tablespoon of caster sugar
1 tablespoon of sunflower oil
1 bag of Moo Free Baking Drops
10 heaped tablespoons of Doves Farm Gluten Free Self Raising Flour
soya milk to mix to a good pouring batter (about a cup, but add it gradually)
a dash of vinegar

We used a cake mixer but you could whisk by hand! Pour the aquafaba into your mixing bowl and add the sugar. Then, on the highest setting, whisk for about six minutes: until frothy and possibly forming peaks. Turn the mixer down to a slow setting and add the sunflower oil, baking drops, and then gradually, bit by bit, alternate soya milk and flour until you have a good thick batter that can also pour. Pour in those Moo Free Baking Drops and turn up the speed on the mixer to fluff things up!

Our first batch, with only 8 spoons of flour, was too runny and the pancakes were not fluffy, but we quickly ate those up and added flour 🙂

At the very end of mixing add the dash of vinegar.

Spray or wipe a sturdy frying pan or skillet with a tiny amount of oil and heat to quite a high temperature. We made small pancakes using tablespoons of the batter, three at time, in a large frying pan. Once little holes appear in the batter (probably after about a minute, depending on heat) that’s the time to flip them over and do the other side which generally needs less time.

We ate them while still warm, with strawberries.


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