Sunday, 21 August 2011

Vegan Alton Towers

Last weekend I went on a daytrip with Chris and his family to Alton Towers. His dad drove and we had an amazing time, although we were all shattered by the end of the day! I brought my own food- italiano and steak pasties from holland and barrett, hula hoops, bean pate and faux beef sandwiches, raisins and nakd bars, and the only food I ate in the park was chips, but I did notice a fair few vegan options, as listed here:

1. The Courtyard Tavern

Location: Mutiny Bay

Options:

From Kids meal:

Linda McCartney Sausage and Baked Potato
L Mc Sausage and Fries
Vegetarian Spaghetti

From Sides:
Onion Rings
Chips
Baked Potato
BBQ sauce


2. Mexican Cantina

Location: Mutiny Bay

Options:

Kids Meals:
Vegetable Spaghetti

Snacks:
Chilli Pot with Nachips/ Wedges
Jalepenos
Salsa

Main:
Vegetable Fajita Meal


3. Fresh Fish and Chips

Location: Forbidden Valley

Options:

Sides:
Baked Beans
Mushy Peas
Pickled Onions
Gherkins
Chips


4. Towers Family Restaurant

Location: Towers St

Kids Menu:
Veg Bolognaise

Treats:
Strawberry Pot
Grape Pot
Carrot Sticks and Humous

Adult Meals:
Pasta with arrabiatta sauce
Vegetable fajita
Sweet and sour vegetable noodles
Szechuan vegetable noodles

Sides:
Wedges
Nachos
Salsa
Jalapeno


Not too shabby for a theme park!


More important than food- the rides! I am becoming a coaster junkie and went on nearly everything, including Air (you can fly!), Nemesis, Rita (0-60 in 2.5 seconds), Thirteen (world's first vertical drop coaster) and some of the more family friendly stuff like Runaway mine train, hex and rapids (twice).

I'm off to Dublin on Tuesday, going to see ma coloc extraordinnaire from France, excited!!


Saturday, 30 July 2011

Vegan Package Exchange


Well, ages and ages ago I participated in a vegan package exchange and I'm finally getting around to posting my goodies (see above).

I've eaten it all now, but based on my blog posts you will be unsurprised to find it was the most chocolate- packed goodie box ever!!! I had a box of chocolate chip cookies and individually wrapped boston chocolate chip cookies (and an oatmeal and raisin one) chocolate crisps, chocolate peanut butter and 2 chocolate bars. I also got pita puffs, blueberry syrup, fruit leathers and stickers! Awesome package and soooo yummy. I'm sad it's gone, can't wait for the next exchange.



FAMOUS VEGAN OF THE POST:


Emily Deschanel- Actress from Bones and sister of Zooey Deschanel



QUOTE OF THE POST:

The world, we are told, was made especially for man – a presumption not supported by all the facts.… Why should man value himself as more than a small part of the one great unit of creation?
—John Muir, naturalist and explorer (1838–1914)



Thursday, 9 June 2011

Vegan Bremen

I started writing this but it doesn't appear to have been saved.

Anyway, I meant to write this ages ago and I haven't the hugest amount of time so here's the low-down on my vegfest in Bremen!

DAY 1

We arrived at Bremen airport at about 9am and by the time we'd done the tram, hotel, check in, tram, and reached the centre it was about 11. The weather was warm and sunny and Bremen was bustling, and we found a nice area of patio seating where there was a buffet breakfast, I can't remember the name of the place but it's kind of in the middle of the marketplace round the corner from Aldi, buffet breakfast was about 6e.

We got: Fruit salad, bread, 5 different jams, cornflakes, muesli, pretzels and orange juice.


We spent much of the first day wandering the centre and looking for contact lenses for my brother. I had forgotten to bring deoderant and so went to a Superdrug-stylee shop called Rossman and actually found deoderant labelled as vegan! We went to aldi to pick up soya milk (which had a bit of rice milk in it too for some reason, it was nice though, tasted like UHT milk), water, cereal bars and crisps. We also went to the Wholefoods shop at the marketplace which had vegan sausages, cheeze, tofu, chocolate bars and these kind of veg and rice fried balls that looked like falafel. I got some chocolate bunny rabbit biscuits.

I don't think we had lunch, but after a rest at the hotel, we went for dinner at Vegefarm.


vegefarm


Then went back to the hotel.


DAY 2

My mum's birthday. It was a beautiful warm day so we bought picnic food (bread, soya cheese, falafel, crisps, fruit ice tea and chocolate) and went for a walk in the pretty Burger park. After getting lost, fighting, acquiring an unofficial tourguide and getting out of the park, we went on a walking tour of Bremen that we'd booked earlier. Unfortunately due to a mistake with timings on the part of the Tourism Office, our guide didn't speak that much English, but it was OK in the end. We went back to the hotel to change, had dinner at Vegefarm again, then played cards at the hotel.


DAY 3

Breakfast at the hotel, then we went on a boat trip along the river which wasn't very exciting. We saw inside the Town Hall, which was excellent, we got our own mini tour and it was free, some kind of UNESCO open day, then we looked at the cathedral. Mum did a little shopping, then we went for dinner at a vegetarian Indian restaurant called Veggiehouse.

All in all a good holiday!



FAMOUS VEGAN OF THE POST


Moby


I once watched a video of him living in NYC as a vegan and was very jealous!



QUOTE OF THE POST

Intellectually, human beings and animals may be different, but it's pretty obvious that animals have a rich emotional life and that they feel joy and pain. It's easy to forget the connection between a hamburger and the cow it came from. But I forced myself to acknowledge the fact that every time I ate a hamburger, a cow had ceased to breathe and moo and walk around.
-Moby

Monday, 30 May 2011

Supermarket Sweep

Being a herbivore on the cheap!

I'm a bit of a bargain hunter, and I'm always checking Holland and Barrett for any reduced items they may have- for example I recently found milk-choc style easter eggs (125g) reduced to £1.99 and soya free cheezly on offer at £1.68, plus I love when they do buy-one- get- one half price. Other ways I get cheap vegan treats are via the Animal Aid special offers section- http://www.animalaidshop.org.uk/specials Viva sale section- http://www.vivashop.org.uk/catalog/viva/food/sale-food and Alternative stores sale section- http://www.alternativestores.com/ethical-shop/saleitems/cat_saleItems.html?ccUser=9f81a1808ce72ee9c4a993af08a94af0

However 'special' vegan foods are generally not that cheap so it's often better to go with a diet that's largely pulses, grains, veggies, fruits and nuts. It pays to shop around as each supermarket has it's pluses and downsides. I love food shopping!


ALDI
I only discovered Aldi recently thinking it would be the same as lidl- it's not, it's so much better! One of the great things they do is good prices on fruit and veg: http://www.aldi.co.uk/uk/html/product_range/4862.htm (warning, meat on that page too) watch out they're not spanish cucumbers though! The six 39p items change each week, meaning it's easy to have variety. Last week I really enjoyed the green beans but this week I'm looking forward to the radishes in salad!

A couple of other great finds recently have been the Granovita vegan pates (vegetable, olive and mushroom):


at 59p rather than the £1.29 charged in H&B. Also the humous is quite good, but I prefer sainsburys basic stuff. The spicy crisps at £1 are not bad and the tinned kidney beans at 18p are amazing!



SAINSBURYS

Probably my favourite of the supermarkets, I generally pick up some of their 'no frills' garlic bread, humous


and tortillas (I could dip their humous into tortillas all day) , as well as their 59p soya milk which is fortified with vitamins B12 and D2. Also last time I got a bunch of leafy green pre washed salads reduced to 25p because of their BBE. I love my salads, and I'm a bit lazy with washing lettuce so that was great. I also got some jammy dodgers 2 for £1. I like their basics vegetable burgers which are £1 for 4 jazzed up with vegan mayo and tomato relish:


If You're Feeling a Bit Frilly:
Other great finds at Sainsburys which weren't exactly bargains include 2 for £3 cartons of smoothies, vegan naan (the Be Good to Yourself 6 small ones for £1.29) and chocolate bars:


For 79p each as well as a box of chocolate caramels for £2.99. Oh and swedish glace ice cream for £2.99. Also Cauldron have just brought out a new 'chickpea and sweet potato' roast which we had for dinner tonight and it was yum. They also recently had Pure spread for £1:




ASDA

This is the bf's favourite and the closest to our house. I don't find them particularly great, as their soya milk is expensive, but I have found bargain marzipan and chocolate there before. More generally they do a garlic flatbread for £1 something which is great for a pizza base, and they tend to have Original Source shower gel for £1. They also have a good price on flaxseed at the free from section. I love their dark chocolate spread which is £1, and Linda McCartney sausages are £1 too.


A Less Smart Price

Asda do a good vegan wine for about £6 which is organic and fairtrade:


And Dairy Free Fudge for £2.99 in the free from section. They also sell nice apple and blackcurrant pies.


TESCO

I haven't been to Tesco in a while... can't really think of anything specific except they also do swedish glace. Oh and their value soya milk is well priced, fortified and organic. I think they had the best price for vegan parmesan, but it might have been Asda.


MORRISONS

Have been known to do Redwoods Vegi Deli slices for £1:
Meat Free Sage and Onion slices

I also love their dark chocolate chip cookies which were in the £1 region.


FARMFOODS:

Good for Linda McCartney sausages and mince, and sometimes have Birds Eye vegetable fingers for £1:

As well as 5 Ruffle bars for £1:


and last but not least...



HOME BARGAINS

This place can be an unexpected treasure trove, with 19p Pink Panther wafers and £1 cherry and flaxseed cereal and jammy dodgers.


Ok there were probably hundreds and hundreds more things, what's everyone else's favourite supermarket bargains and luxuries?


FAMOUS VEGAN OF THE POST:

I read his poetry about how vegetarians are cruel to vegetables as a child and didn't realise until recently that he's a long-term vegan himself!


Benjamin Zephaniah recently advocated veganism in a vegan soc video, but here's a slightly older vid from 1994- love the cheesy 90s vibe!:


Freakin' awesome :D and featuring Safeway, ahh nostalgia! Great poetry too.


VEGAN QUOTE OF THE POST:

And he hated the foxhunting season."

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Maquillage

I've wanted to do a post about vegan make-up for ages, I don't know what was stopping me. Maybe it was that unrelenting need to post about chocolate. Anyway, having been a vegan for over a year now, I have had a chance to use quite a lot of different vegan make-up. The main brands I use are Beauty without Cruelty, Urban Decay, Bare Faced Beauty and Barry M.


Foundation
The only liquid vegan foundation I have used is by BWC. I have heard unconfirmed rumours that MAC is vegan, and think Urban Decay foundation may be, but otherwise don't know any other brands. I got a lot of it cheap at the Animal Aid online shop, but they seem to be phasing out the cheap stuff and replacing it with a £12 variety... It's not that good to be honest, I get a lot of spots after wearing it and even the lightest shade is a tad too orange. However I can't afford MAC or UD atm but I might ask for some for my birthday.

I have also tried powder foundation/ mineral make up from Bare Faced Beauty http://www.barefacedbeauty.co.uk/

Mini Foundation
I have only tried the testers as again £14.00 is too much for me to spend if I don't know if I will like it. With these the problem I have had is that the ones I have tried have been too white, and it kind of shows up 'powdery' on my skin and bits of it rub off making my face look red and patchy :(. Which is a shame as I wanted to like it. It also gives me bad skin afterwards.


Eyeshadow

I have much more luck with this than foundation. My favourite is a pallet my good friend got me (her blog is These Violent Delights Have Violent Ends if you want to check it out :) ) by Urban Decay:


The box itself is stunning with lots of animals and the slogan 'We don't test on animals- why would anyone?' And the shades are a mix of neutral and a bit more glittery for a night out.

I also like BareFacedBeauty mineral eyeshadows.

Mineral Eye Shadow


Eyeliner

I love my eyeliner. It's weird because I'm very funny about eyes (I hate when people pull them down and hate to watch someone putting their contacts in... eeee) and I used to hate having eyeliner or mascara anywhere near them. But now if I'm putting on make up, I'll put on eyeliner. My eyes feel bare without it. The BWC eyeliner is ok but a bit 'hard' and can almost hurt to put on:


I love the Urban Decay one but have the opposite problem- the pencil part is so soft it breaks off when I try to sharpen it! And the wood part is really hard so it ends up all jaggy and I'm scared of poking my eye. I probably should get a special eyeliner sharpener rather than using an old blunt one from school :P



Mascara

I have only ever used BWC and it's fine by me:




Lipgloss

I don't really wear lipstick, although I have tried a couple of BWCs and they didn't suit me. I love Barry M's lipglosses though:



And thus concludes my vegan make up collection. Does anybody use anything different? Any recommendations? My birthday is coming up and I'm keen to try something new :)



FAMOUS VEGAN OF THE POST:

I wanted a model because this post was about make-up and I've had an actor, politician, musician and athlete so far. Some sources say Kate Moss is vegan but it seems doubtful as she advertises Rimmel (tests on animals) and has been seen to wear fur, although she did date Jamie Hince from the Kills who definitely is vegan. Anyway I realised that besides Kate Moss, I couldn't think of any models. Although there is a former model and now activist who has had a pretty bad press but who is behind some of the yummiest ready to eat vegan foods I've ever had- redwoods- http://www.redwoodfoods.co.uk/


Heather Mills may not have always been on the right side of public opinion, but having had a look at what she's used her fame for, such as being a goodwill ambassador for work to combat land mines as well as encouraging healthy eating http://www.mnn.com/family/family-activities/blogs/heather-mills-encourages-kids-to-go-vegan. Plus no matter what anyone says I will love her forever for Redwoods <3


QUOTE OF THE POST:

Albert Einstein, physicist, 1921 Nobel Prize recipient:
"Nothing will benefit human health and increase chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet."

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Vegan Characters

A few years ago I didn't even know what a vegan was... now the word is more commonly used and vegan characters appear more and more frequently. The unfortunate thing is that we're not always represented well- the stereotypes appear to be either total hippies or completely uptight. There are some good portrayals out there too though... but even they have their stereotypes, (which may actually be truths) as I'll point out. Here's a round-up of some, the Good, the Bad and the Ugly :P


The Good

1. Mac- Veronica Mars


Cindy 'Mac' MacKenzie is a computer genius and sidekick to the show's title character. She gets her fair share of difficulties, having been switched at birth and her boyfriend turning out to be a rapist and mass murderer and all. The position re her being vegan is mentioned here:http://www.tvsquad.com/2010/10/01/happy-world-vegetarian-day-to-our-favorite-tv-herbivores/ "In her second appearance, the season 1 episode 'Silence of the Lamb,' Mac's mom asks Veronica if she's vegan, like Mac. This fact is sadly later forgotten in season 3 when Veronica and Mac go undercover to infiltrate an animal rights group." However they make up for this by giving her a vegan boyfriend, one of the animal rights activists (who are trying to save a caged monkey subjected to experimentation and due to be killed).

THE STEREOTYPE: Vegan = Smart


2. Ezra Turner- Seven Pounds



Will Smith seems to jump to the conclusion he is vegan because he is 'not much of a meat eater' but apparently the character is vegan. Woody Harrelson the actor is vegan so that may have something to do with it. A piano playing, mild- mannered, blind, vegan meat salesman, Ezra is a 'good guy' and therefore one of the people to receive a donation in the film.

THE STEREOTYPE: Vegan = Calm and Compassionate


3. Peggy and Newt- Year of the Dog


Newt (Peter Sarsgaard) is an SPCA volunteer who tries to make sure animals destined for euthanasia get adopted out. Peggy (Molly Shannon), who loses her beloved dog Pencil and gains a new companion in King Shepherd dog Valentine becomes exposed to animal rights and veganism, and becomes vegan, through Newt. I haven't seen it but Wikipedia has a pretty comprehensive plot summary: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Year_of_the_Dog_(film)

THE STEREOTYPE: Vegan = Animal Lover


4. Practically everyone- Bold Native


A film about animal activism (particularly liberation) I haven't seen Bold Native but it sounds interesting: "Charlie Cranehill, an animal liberator wanted for domestic terrorism, emerges from the underground to coordinate a nationwide action as his estranged CEO father tries to find him before the FBI does."
Diana Agron who plays Quinn in Glee and is a vegetarian who has done work for PETA features in the film.

THE STEREOTYPE: Vegan = Activist


5. Rachel Berry- Glee


We all know about this after Jesse threw eggs on her. Lea Michele, who plays Rachel, is also vegan. I wasn't sure whether her being vegan in this is good or bad, but it's not really portrayed negatively and her character, while annoying, is generally likeable.


THE STEREOTYPE: Vegan = Uptight and Self Involved


6. Jennifer Bowie- River City


On BBC soap River City, there was a vegan character named Jennifer. Kind, idealistic and a closet lesbian (until she came out- see below).


THE STEREOTYPE: Vegan = Naive and idealistic


The Bad

7. Jesse- The Simpsons


A 'level 5' vegan, Jesse doesn't eat anything that casts a shadow:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RtuMIaOGRy8 I laughed a lot- the Simpsons make fun of everyone and I wouldn't expect vegans to be an exception! But I couldn't exactly put him in the 'good' category.

THE STEREOTYPE: Vegan = Extreme, poser, hippy


8. Marla- The Cut


The Cut is an online (although it was briefly shown on TV) teen drama on the BBC. It's very cheesy! A bit like Hollyoaks but with more cheese (vegan cheeze, sure!). Marla is a spoilt rich girl with a background of eating disorders and self harm. She runs every day and is vegan. She gets a mention in the 'bad' category because her eating disorder is impliedly linked to the veganism and her dad offers her cereal at one point and she goes 'Dad! I can't eat cereal. I don't drink milk!' Then has some soya milk shortly afterwards. Also by series 3 she gives it up.


THE STEREOTYPE: Vegan = Health-freak with eating disorder links, Give up easily


9. Todd Ingram- Scott Pilgrim Vs the World


One of the evil ex boyfriends, he gets super powers from being vegan. I can't believe they broadcast that to the world, it's supposed to be a secret ;). He has his powers taken away by the vegan police for drinking a non-soya latte. Firmly tongue in cheek, I think this is funny, but I suppose overall portrayal of vegans is bad.

THE STEREOTYPE: Vegan = A cult!


The Ugly

10. Beth- John Tucker Must Die


One of John Tucker's many (well, 3) girlfriends, she's introduced as a vegan activist and the insinuation immediately afterwards is that vegan girls are promiscuous! I've not heard that one before. Again, I liked the film and thought it was funny, but veganism wasn't exactly portrayed well!

THE STEREOTYPE: Vegan = Promiscuous!



FAMOUS VEGAN OF THE POST:

I've already highlighted two in this blog post, but I'm in an eye candy mood, and since I've already had an actor, a politician and a musician, I thought it was time for an athlete :)

BRENDAN BRAZIER
I'm sorry, did it get a bit hotter in this blog?

This shamelessly posted topless photo is of Canadian triathlete Brendan Brazier. He is the world authority on plant-based sports nutrition having written a book on it called "The Thrive Diet". Apparently there's something called the 'ultramarathon' and according to Wikipedia "During his professional athletic career, Brazier won two Canadian 50 km Ultramarathon Championships (2003,[2] 2006,[3]) and was regarded as one of Canada’s top endurance athletes and among the world’s best ultramarathoners."

Here he talks about how veganism can help with health/ sports/ athletics and the environment:




QUOTE OF THE POST:

"Their plan, as diabolical and as implausible as it may sound, was to convince everyone that the milk from another species, designed to be consumed by its newly-born offspring, was a sensible thing for adult human beings to drink." Brendan Brazier, speaking about the Dairy Industry.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Overeating

Firstly, a disclaimer. I somehow accidentally ended up following my own blog. I will defollow when I work out how to do so, but just in case anyone thinks I did it to make myself look cooler, like, hey, I have 11 followers, not 10! :P

It's that exam time, and I'm recovering from a cold, and I think study stress plus lazing about all day plus having a cold is making me overeat. Today alone I have had a large fruit smoothie, two slices of toast with pure marg, a fruit bowl, 2 chocolate truffles (the indulgent but calorific Booja Booja flamb├ęd banana kind) a huge bowl of 2 veg sausages, cheezy mash , carrots and swede, 3 digestives with chocolate spread, a glass of vanilla rice milk, a cup of tea, 2 plums, and then dinner of stir fry, noodles and a spring roll. This seems like rather a lot, but every hour or so I get hungry! I'm sure it's because of the cold, because I wasn't so hungry before then!


Being exam time, I need to study some more so I have time to watch the Apprentice but I thought I'd pop in since it had been a while. I now have two holidays lined up, and the chance to sample the vegan cuisine of two new countries- I'm going to Bremen, Germany, in June for three days for my mum's big birthday (I'll not say how old she is, just in case, but it's a biggie so I'm sure you can guess!) and have already checked Happy Cow and found 3 veg restaurants. I'll do a post about how it was when I get back! I'm also going to Dublin for 2 days in August to meet up with my flatmate from France who I haven't seen in nearly a year and I've missed a lot! :) She doesn't live in Dublin, she's from Austria, but she'll be in Dublin with friends so I decided to get cheap flights and meet up with them.


Here are some photos of food I've made recently (but before exam time and before I had a cold), since I never put any of my (usually not very photogenic) creations up on here. Nothing like all the other foodie bloggers post, sadly:
Stir Fry with noodles and vegan chicken-style pieces
Chocolate cake I made for my Dad's Birthday
Pizza Kirsti-style with a spicy tomato and pepper sauce and heaps of rocket and parmazano (vegan parmesan)
Chocolate brownie with vanilla ice cream (swedish glace)


Gosh I'm starting to feel hungry again!


Famous vegan of the post:

I decided to go for a food-themed Famous vegan today, but healthy food:


Fiona Apple is an amazing singer, I've liked her music for about 4 years, since I picked up two of her CDs in a boxset for £5 at FOPP. I only found out she was vegan very recently, and didn't realise she was as well known as she is. I don't know a huge amount about her other than I love her music, but here's an interview where she talks about herself and mentions her love of animals and veganism:


Quote of the Post:

A man can live and be healthy without killing animals for food; therefore, if he eats meat, he participates in taking animal life merely for the sake of his appetite. And to act so is immoral.
—Leo Tolstoy, Russian novelist (1828–1910)


Well, I'd better go get a wee bit more studying in, then I'll have to get my sugar fix!! Oh, Alan Sugar that is ;)

Saturday, 23 April 2011

“Sir, the noblest prospect that a Scotchman ever sees, is the high road that leads him to London” (Samuel Johnson)


Well I didn't see much of the road that led me to London being that a) it was dark and b) I was trying to sleep.

Bf and I went to London for a 2 day sightseeing trip- got the overnight coach from Tuesday to Wednesday and boy it was rough! My blow-up cushion had a hole in it, the seat didn't recline and the bus was packed- we were lucky to even get seats next to each other. Plus it was noisy and the vibrations of the bus made it even more uncomfortable! So we got to London tired, sore neck-ed but nevertheless in one piece.

Eating vegan in London is easy, and everything I ate was delicious! But I forgot to take any photos of the food. Nevertheless, here is my London food diary:


Wednesday

Breakfast: C likes to eat healthy so at 7.10am on arrival in London we headed to Starbucks for some porridge. We also shared a large vanilla soya latte (C says he doesn't drink coffee but when I get one he'll always have some of mine). The porridge can be made with soya milk and comes with dried fruit:


It was delicious :) Got changed and brushed teeth in the starbucks toilet (which was a big disabled one so at least there was space!) how dignified! But we couldn't check into the hotel until 3.

At 8am we went and got Oyster cards (the special William and Kate edition):


Then we went to the bus stop for the Original Bus Tour and bought tickets using clubcard vouchers given to me by my mum (it's normally £52 for 2 tickets so we wouldn't have been able to afford it otherwise!) It was about 10 degrees by this point (8.30am) sunny and getting warmer, so we sat up on the open top, plugged in our audio guides, sat back and relaxed. The bus tour was an excellent way to see the sights away from all the crowds, it was an easy way to get photos, it wasn't as hot and stuffy as the streets seemed to feel, and the audio guide was really interesting. I now know the origins of the word 'Taxi' and the phrases 'one for the road' and 'falling off the wagon' (the latter two having to do with public executions!). C loved it, it was his favourite part of the whole trip as he hates heat and crowds.



I had quite an ambitious itinerary and had hoped to get to Buckingham Palace by 11.15am to see the Changing of the Guards but the bus got stuck in traffic and at 11.20am we got off near the Houses of Parliament and went to the palace on foot. We didn't get there til 11.40 and the crowds were too big to see much of the ceremony, so we sat on the grass near St James's park and put on some sun cream as it was getting really hot by that point! Then we decided to walk to Covent Garden as I wanted to get lunch from a vegetarian cafe there.


Lunch: The cafe was called Food For Thought: http://foodforthought-london.co.uk/

The menu is only about half vegan and changes every day, and it wasn't that cheap (£4.80 for a pot of food). I chose the brocolli and coconut curry, (C already had a sandwich he bought earlier) and we went and sat in the main square of Covent Garden to eat. The curry wasn't enough so I had a pack of Nairn's chocolate chip oat biscuits which I had brought with me.

After lunch we got on the Museum tour bus (the Original tour has three routes) and went to the Natural History museum. This was a bit of a mistake as there was a huge queue, when we got in it was packed, we were hot, exhausted, and carrying heavy rucksacks. We left after 20 minutes and went back to the hotel

Dinner: After a shower and nap, we headed out for dinner and to see Blood Brothers the musical at the Phoenix theatre. However, I took a bit longer getting ready and the tube took a bit longer getting there than we'd thought, so we didn't really get time to get dinner. We ended up in Pret a Manger and C had a sandwich. I went for a hummus salad with roasted butternut squash that was delicious! (There appears to be feta cheese in that photo... what I had was almost exactly the same but was marked vegan and had no feta).


Then we got some water and grape pots for the theatre. I also visited Holland and Barrett on the way to the theatre (the shops stay open so late!) and got a cherry and coconut flapjack and chocolate soya milk.


Blood brothers was excellent, I had never seen it before and was really impressed, and thankfully C enjoyed it too.



Thursday

Breakfast- we had breakfast in the hotel. They had soya milk and vegan margarine so I had rice crispies, toast, marg and jam, orange juice and tea.

We spent all morning at the Tower of London, which was amazing, this castle/ fortress/ prison in the centre of London which is home to the Crown jewels, royal armoury, and was the place of both the marriage and the death of Anne Boleyn. C loved seeing Henry VIII's armour and I liked the crown jewels. We used clubcard vouchers for the tickets but you have to pay extra for the audio guides, I would say these are a must though! We spent three hours there but there was a lot we didn't see, you could easily spend a whole day.

Lunch: After the tower we went to Soho, as I wanted to get lunch from a vegetarian cafe in soho called Beatroot: http://beatroot.org.uk/home.html


It's a mix and match salads and hot foods place, and all the cakes are vegan. I had shepherds pie, bean stew, roasted veg and sosage rolls with a coconut chocolate krispie cake. It was all AMAZING, the best food I had while in London, and better value I'd say than Food for Thought. We took it out and found a little park near Leicester Square to eat and relax for an hour.

After sourcing some neck pillows at Boots, we chilled out at Costa with a vanilla soya latte (me) and innocent smoothie (C) for a while. My original plan was to do more sightseeing, but I had learnt my lesson by packing too much in the previous day and not having time for dinner, as well as leaving us tired and grumpy, so we took a chill-out approach. We were running low on funds (transport in London is so expensive) so we went to Pizza Hut for dinner as we had a 2-for-1. Then we headed to Cineworld Shaftesbury Avenue and watched Your Highness, which is a bit too in your face but still very funny. Our final London experience was a pint of cider and a game of monopoly on Chris's ipad (we weren't allowed to continue on the bus because I was winning!) then we got the coach back. The return journey was much better as it was quieter, the seats reclined, and the neck pillows were amazing.

It was a fantastic two days, but there is still so much in London that I want to see! There's still lots of veg/ vegan restaurants to try out next time too!


Famous Vegan of the Post:

Kerry McCarthy- Labour MP for Bristol East
Kerry

Kerry campaigns for animal welfare and has commented on Twitter about the health risks of cows milk.


I will be second voting Green on the upcoming 5 May Scottish Parliament elections, but I haven't quite decided which party will get my first vote yet.


Vegan Quote of the Post:

I chose this quote after hearing in London that 200,000 people used to show up to watch public executions. Death of people may no longer be a sport, but for those campaigning for fox hunting, death of animals still is:

Wild animals never kill for sport. Man is the only one to whom the torture and death of his fellow creatures is amusing in itself.
—James A. Froude, English historian (1818–1894)

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Healthy Cakes

Is there such a thing as a healthy cake, I hear you ask? Well I am sure that there are really properly healthy, sugar free, fat free, gluten free, raw, low calorie cakes out there, but I'm afraid that that would take all the fun out of eating cake for me. So what I prefer is taking a normal, sweet, fatty, yummy cake and chucking something healthy in.

An example would be banana and walnut loaf- all the goodness of banana and walnut, wrapped up in all the yumminess of cake.

I made some chocolate brownies yesterday, and they had a secret ingredient... they were widely held to be delicious, and nobody realised that in fact they contained a whole courgette!


I found the mix a little dry so added a bit of water, and I didn't get as far as the icing as I had to start eating the brownies as soon as they were ready! It was a good way to jazz up some of the Freedom frozen vanilla desert which is not very exciting. Overall I am very happy with the results! (Often my cakes have 'issues', so I was glad that even though I tampered with the recipe these turned out fine). I'll post a pic when I get a chance to plug in my iphone, it's elsewhere just now charging.

Also a quick update regarding my Easter Egg post below, Divine dark choc eggs with brazils have been found with 50% off here:

Also Animal Aid have some Easter specials on their boxes of chocolate:


I had a couple of thoughts of 'features' I could add to my blog, one being 'vegan quote of the day' and the other being 'vegan celebrity of the day' (Ignoring the fact that I don't post anywhere near daily, but once a month would be too infrequent and sometimes I don't post every week, so it can be 'of the time period between this post and the next'). I'm not too sure I like the celebrity worship culture that exists in the UK/ USA, but nevertheless there are some talented, influential people who are vegan and that's worth celebrating, plus I like to post a little eye candy on my blog now and again... and I'm not talking about the cakes.

I thought an appropriate 'Vegan Celebrity of the Day' for the Easter period would be Casey Affleck, since I found this pic of him [eye candy alert]:


I have no idea why he has a bunny on his shoulder but there ya go!! Casey has been vegan for 12+ years, and his wife, Summer Phoenix is also vegan (the whole Phoenix family are/were). He talks about his veganism in the following video:




Vegan Quote of the Day (again appropriate for Easter!!)

You put a baby in a crib with an apple and a rabbit. If it eats the rabbit and plays with the apple, I'll buy you a new car. ~Harvey Diamond


I have always wondered a bit about this quote but I assume he is meaning a 2 year old baby, with teeth.