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Archive for August, 2011

I usually use Lush shower gel, but after my last purchase there cost me a packet (£16.75 actually) I thought it might be wise to alternate between Lush shower gels and less expensive ones.

I’d heard some Original Source stuff was vegan hadn’t thought to buy it for ages, and it turns out they work with the Vegan Society and many of their products are marked as vegan.

At first I was a bit confused, because they have the vegan society logo in the bottom left corner of the website at all times, which made me think all their products were vegan, until I saw they used honey in some (so I wasn’t sure if this meant other ones had other non-vegan ingredients in). So I got in touch with them and they informed me that all their products except the ones with honey in are vegan.

Not bad at all! But just ditch the honey, Original Source! Leave the bees alone.

from the Original Source website

I love refreshing shower gels and this lime one was great. Really zingy and fresh, and quite reasonably priced (£2.15 from Boots).

It smells almost exactly like green jelly babies

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Our second lunch in Brighton was at Infinity Foods Cafe:

Infinity Foods has a shop just down the road from this cafe, which is a vegetarian co-op. The cafe’s menu is full of great sounding fresh foods, with lots of vegan options. Click here to see the menu on the website.

ze menu

Since we’d had a big breakfast and knew we were going out in the evening (Food for Friends!), we shared a sandwich and a slice of cake.

Vegan sausage sandwich with mustard mayo, caramelised onions and salad

coffee and walnut cake

The food was absolutely lovely. Fresh, interesting and healthy – and the sandwich was one of the best I’ve ever had! And J doesn’t even like coffee cake but said that one could convert him (which is good news for me, that now means I can make a coffee cake at home!).

50 Gardner Street,

North Laine,

Brighton

Tel: 01273 670 743

Website – click here

Opening hours:

Monday-Friday: 10:30am-5:00pm
Saturday: 10:00am-5:00pm
Sunday: 11:00pm-4:00pm
Bank Holidays: 11am – 4:00pm

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Anytime Cookies

I said a little while ago I planned to make these Anytime Cookies from Peas and Thank You, so today I got my arse in gear and did it. I actually have the Peas And Thank You cookbook, so I made them from that, but the recipe is also on the website. I changed the recipe slightly based on what I had in the house (no apricots) and my own tastes (obsessed with sesame seeds):

Here’s the recipe (based on this one):

  • Preheat oven to 180 oC
  • Makes 12 cookies (theoretically, this is. I made 11)
  • 4 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup plain white flour
  • 1/2 cup wholemeal flour
  • 1/2 cup oats (I used jumbo)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp raisins
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup rapeseed or vegetable oil (any oil without too much flavour)
  • 1/4 cup soya milk
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup golden sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Mix 2 tbsp flax with the 1/4 cup water and set aside (in a large-ish bowl)
  2. In a big bowl, mix dry ingredients together (flours, oats, baking powder, spices, fruits, nuts, seeds, 2 tbsp of flax)
  3. Add the wet ingredients (oil, milk, sugars, vanilla) to the flax and water mixture
  4. Mix wet into dry
  5. Drop 12 spoonfuls onto a baking sheet lined with baking paper (can do quite close together as they don’t spread out much)
  6. Bake for 12 mins
  7. Leave on baking tray for 2 mins after coming out of the oven, and then put them onto a cooling rack

Ta-da!

I think these will definitely go onto my sunday baking rotation, to be taken to work by me and J for breakfast/snacks. There’s a world of adjustments to be made with these – different fruits, nuts, seeds, chocolate chips etc. They had just the right amount of delicate sweetness, so that they were definitely a tasty cookie but still felt quite healthy!

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Our first evening in Brighton was spent in Terre a Terre.

Terre a Terre has a lovely atmosphere and a big menu to choose from. On the menu, all of the starters/light bites, 10 of the 13 top ups and sides, and 4 of the 6 main courses were either vegan or had a vegan option available. Click here to see the menu on the website.

I had the Cracking Coca (price £14.45), which was “Heirloom tomato salad à la grecque with cucumber and kalamata
marbles loaded with lemon, fresh oregano, mint and flat leaf parsely.Served with a warm springy slab of potato bread crammed with thyme oil and soft onions, piled with peppery rocket pesto. Topped with our lush labne covered in mint oil, and sticky dark kalamata tapenade”

The dessert menu had 10 items on it, 5 of which were vegan or had a vegan option available. I chose the Jammy Dodger, Jelly and Ice Cream (£8.00) , which was “fresh raspberry jammy dodger served with strawberry ice cream and basil syrup, raspberry jelly and almond milk vanilla custard.”

This dessert was SPECIAL. Definitely one of the best desserts I have ever had. The basil syrup was amazing, and the collection of different flavours and textures on the plate was great.

So for me, the highlight of the meal was my dessert, although my main course was really interesting a different (and tasty!) too. The one drawback of Terre a Terre is that the prices are a little on the high side so it can end up being a pricey meal if you have a few courses, but it’s good for the occasional treat!

71 East Street
Brighton
East Sussex
BN1 1HQ

Telephone 01273 729051

Website

Happy cow reviews – click here

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I picked these up at the London Vegan Festival and thought I’d share my thoughts…

These desserts  are “ambient” products which means you can store them in the cupboard before putting them in the fridge to chill when you want to eat them. That means that the use by date is ages away (the ones I bought say mid-November), which can be handy. They are also soya-free, which is handy if you’re allergic or trying to avoid overdoing it on the soya. The desserts are also available in plain or black cherry flavours.

The Redwoods website says these desserts cost 59p, and you can buy them online, or from various shops – click here to see info on the Redwoods website.

Peach and apricot:

This was the first one I tried, and I’m not sure what I was expecting! It’s definitely more of a dessert texture than a yogurt one – the same kind of texture as alpro soya desserts. And as you can see, the colour is somewhat frightening – very bright! It’s pretty sweet and fruity, I think I would have it again if I happened to see it for sale, but I would necessarily hunt it out or order it online.

Raspberry:

I MUCH preferred this flavour. For a start, the colour is much more normal, and it had a nice raspberry flavour. And in comparison to the peach and apricot flavour, it had a lovely amount of sweetness (the other one was a little too sweet I think).

Conclusion: Nice for a change, but not as refreshing as yogurt (such as alpro or sojade) or as indulgent as soya desserts (alpro soya desserts). I think these desserts are something of an aquired taste – I can imagine some people will love them and others will hate them. Not particularly helpful is it, this review!? Sorry!

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I just got back from a few days in Brighton! That place is pretty magic. The pier, 2p machines, awesome shops, nice pubs and bars, and of course, wonderful vegan food.

First stop: Wai Kika Moo Kau

Wai Kika Moo Kau is a vegetarian cafe/restaurant in the North Laines, and it’s in a wonderful busy street surrounded by great shops. There is a nice atmosphere inside, lovely wooden tables and interesting art on the walls (lots of which was for sale). While we were in there (probably for a bit over an hour), the music they played included incubus, red hot chilli peppers, and some wonderful hippy-flutey-lady-singing-panpipe type stuff. Nice mix!

I can’t find a website for this place so thought I would put the main menu on here (click to enlarge):

The dessert section of the menu says to ask about the vegan cake of the day. When we were there they had a carrot and orange cake, and some chocolate brownie bar type things. Both looked really nice.

Here’s the breakdown of vegan options on the menu:

Pitta pockets and wraps: 5 items, 4 vegan options

Burgers: 5 items, 4 vegan otpions

House specials and salads: 6 items, 5 vegan options

All in all, pretty good selection!

BUT while I am talking about the menu, I have one bad point. And quite honestly, I think it’s a pretty big deal. Check it out:

They charge extra for soya milk! 20p extra with hot drinks and 50p extra with milkshakes (maybe the milkshake uses vegan ice cream, but the point is the same). What the hell? If soya milk costs so much more than cow’s milk and you feel the need to serve cow’s milk, why not just increase the price of both on your menu? Or get a cheaper supplier. Don’t make vegans pay more for opting out of suffering.

I had the cajun sausage salad:

It was pretty good! Lots of avocado and sundried tomatoes, and the dressing was nice too. It came with wholemeal baguette bread (it didn't come with margarine but I asked for vegan spread and got it no problem).

I also had a mango and passionfruit smoothie – it was really good:

So all in all, I really enjoyed our meal there. The soya milk thing is super annoying though.

Address:

11a Kensington Gardens

Brighton

BN1 4AL

Read reviews on HappyCow here

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In my pre-vegan (pregan?) days I wore lots of Doc Martens. Leather ones. Even though I was a vegetarian, somewhere along the line what I ate, what I called myself became disconnected from what I actually believed.

So when I decided to become a vegan, part of that was having a shoe purge. To start with I thought I might keep wearing the leather shoes until they wore out, but then I just couldn’t wear them without feeling a bit ill. And I realised that as long as I was wearing them, not only was I saying to the world that it was acceptable to wear leather shoes, but I was also giving people a reason to question my vegan life. You see, quite often people’s response to finding out I am vegan is to say “are your shoes leather?” – sometimes this is because they want to catch me out (they’re hoping they are leather, and therefore my lifestyle is flawed or inconsistent), and sometimes it’s because they want to hear that it is impossible to be vegan. That it’s too hard to find non-cruel footwear which is comfy and awesome at the same time. That really, leather is the correct material for shoes to be made of. Therefore they are right, and vegans are wrong.

But of course, vegans aren’t wrong. We are AWESOME, and leather is unnecessary.

So the shoes had to go. That meant getting rid of LOTS of pairs of shoes I’d paid lots of money for and liked, and also spending a fair bit to replenish my shoe collection. But it was fine – I found lots of friends and family who wanted my shoes, and a few pairs went to charity. And I found a few great places to buy vegan shoes from.

Bourgeois Boheme and Vegetarian Shoes are my favourites.

And these are my favourite of all of my shoes:

Airseal Boulder Boots from Vegetarian Shoes (photo stolen from their website)

This is the view I generally have of them:

You wouldn’t believe how comfy these are! I always remember Doc Martens taking years to wear in to a point where they didn’t rip your feet to shreds. But these are brilliant, they have never hurt my feet and are awesomely cool at the same time.

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