Archive for the ‘Convenience food’ Category

I’ve been meaning to write about this for ages but kept forgetting. I got the Happy Cow phone app months ago and I’ve used it loads – definitely one of the most used apps on my phone (after facebook and instagram :)). It’s so nice to know that you can be anywhere and really quickly see on a map how far you are from any veggie/vegan places to eat.


It uses your current location, and you can either search nearby or search a different location.


If I click “browse nearby” when I’m in Oxford then it comes up with a list like this:


The above search showed everything (vegan, vegetarian, veg-friendly etc) which is why there are quite a few veg-friendly places…but if I did a search for vegetarian (I know there are no vegan places in Oxford! I’ve looked before, but alas no), then I get to see a few more helpful results. As you’ll see, Oxford only actually has 2 veggie places – the other two are quite far away! (it’s great that it shows you how far you are from the places in the list).


Then if you click on the one you’re interested in, you can see much more information about it, like a description, directions, contact details, link to a map etc.


If you click on “map”, it opens in your usual maps like this:


And you can see reviews too:


So there you go. It’s really a great app – I used it a lot in London and it’s how we found Tao. I think I had to pay a couple of quid for it initially but I’d definitely recommend it 🙂

Here’s the website with more info about it


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One of our lovely neighbours recently popped over and gave me some cooking apples. I’ve been meaning to make crumble for a while so tonight I did just that…

  • Preheat oven to 190 oC
  • 400g cooking apples
  • 30g raisins
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 50g demerara sugar
  • 35g oats
  • 35g wholemeal flour
  • 35g margarine (I used pure)
  • 20g demerara sugar
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 tbsp poppy seeds
  • 1 tbsp sunflower seeds
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds
  1. Peel and core the apples, and cut into small chunks (about an inch square)
  2. Put the apples in a pan with the water, raisins and 50g sugar, and cook on a low heat for about 5-10 minutes, and then put into a small oven dish
  3. In a large bowl, mix together the oats and flour
  4. Add the margarine and mix with fingertips until you have a crumb-like texture
  5. Mix in the sugar, spice and seeds
  6. Cover the fruit with the crumble mixture
  7. Bake for around 20-25 mins, until nicely browning on top

This is what mine looked like after it had been in the oven:

I ate some crumble with custard. Did you know Bird’s custard powder is vegan? True story!

The crumble was really nice – the seeds gave it lots of texture and interesting flavours, and the warm apple was delicious. I’m rather pleased with myself! Think I’ll be repeating this recipe as the weather gets colder.

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These are the best vegan yogurts ever. That’s all I wanted to say really.

I bought some of these from Wholefoods in London, some from Infinity Foods in Brighton, and some from my local (and very wonderful) health food shop. They are organic, and come in loads of awesome flavours (lemon is my favourite). And they are quite thin, so don’t have the slightly weird texture alpro yogurts can have.

You can buy them online at places like goodness direct.

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The Linda McCartney range of foods is a mixture of vegetarian and vegan-friendly products. I’m a BIG fan of Linda McCartney sausage rolls, and sausages. I thought I’d have a look on the website to see which other things in the range are suitable for vegans.

It’s a shame that the website isn’t super clear about what is vegan – in the products range section it isn’t obvious which are ok. But I had a bit of a hunt about on the site, and under the FAQs section, I found this:

I had no idea they had pies which were vegan, I’m definitely going to try and find some next time I’m at the supermarket!

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Sometimes I wish I had a smartphone.

I don’t, you see. I have a beautifully simple little clamshell phone which doesn’t have apps or a good camera and I don’t know if it has the internet.

But occasionally I’ll be in a situation where I think man, a smartphone would be handy right now. Like when I take photos of my food at my desk and people in my office think I’m insane, or when I’m eating or drinking something ace which I want to blog about, but I haven’t got a camera with me. And I end up googling to find a picture. Like today, when I had an awesome drink with my lunch…

This is the best ready-made smoothie I’ve found:

Green Machine

I got this from Boots today – it was pretty pricey (about £2.50 I think) but just look what is in it (per bottle)…

The fruit:
  • 3 and a 1/3 apples
  • 1 banana
  • 1/3 of a kiwi
  • 1/3 of a mango
  • slice of pineapple
The extra stuff:
  • Spirulina 1335 mg
  • Chlorella 410 mg
  • Brocolli 102 mg
  • Spinach 102 mg
  • Blue green algae 51 mg
  • Garlic 51 mg
  • Barley grass 76 mg
  • Wheat grass 76 mg
  • Ginger 51 mg
  • Parsley 51 mg
Visit the Naked Juice website here
You can buy Naked Juices from Boots, Waitrose, Wholefoods and Starbucks.

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The Kellogg’s website has a really useful tool where you can just tick the dietary requirement you’re interested in, and it quickly shows you what is available.

Currently, their vegan-friendly products are:

  • Frosties
  • Fruit and fibre
  • Winders (strawberry)
  • Rice krispies
  • Rice krispies multigrain shapes
  • Raisin wheats

Even if you’re not that interested in buying these products, this kind of information can be really useful for things like eating away from home – e.g. B+Bs, hotels or when you’re staying with friends or family.

It’s a good idea to check websites regularly, because until a while ago Kellogg’s coco pops and corn flakes were vegan until they  decided to fortify them with animal derived vitamin D (stupid Kellogg’s). They obviously review and change the recipes quite often so you don’t want to get caught out.

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I love it when you find things in shops and they happen to be vegan! I was so busy reading the ingredients on the back of this pack in Holland and Barrett, that I didn’t realise it had the words “..it is suitable for vegans as well” right on the front!

see? it's written right there!

I found this cake to be tasty, rich, dense, not too dry, and very very fruity (especially raisins and figs).


And I really love the ingredient list – it’s the same as if you were to make a fruitcake yourself (but less labour intensive) – no unpronouncable words, just real ingredients.


Fruit (organic raisins (15.7%), organic dates (6.6%), organic figs (6.6%), organic apple juice (30.6%), organic wholemeal flour (20.7%), filtered water, organic sunflower oil, (6.0%), organic soya flour, raisin agent, sodium bicarbonate, sea salt.

Nutritional Information

Per 100g:
Energy 1111kj/266kcals, Protein 4.1g, Carbohydrate 50.0g, Fat 8.2g.

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