Archive for the ‘Useful info’ 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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I went to Tesco last week and in the UHT milk section there was an array of new soya milks I’d never seen before. And they were on offer too – £1 each.


I got the cappuccino one and tried it last night.

vive soy cap

Oh my. This was delicious. I poured it into a mug and tried a bit, before putting it in the microwave (just incase it was gross – it would have been a shame to warm it, wait for it to be cool enough to drink, only to find it was undrinkable), and I’m sure it would be lovely cold in the summer with some ice. It’s very sweet, but such a delicious taste! I warmed it for 2 mins and then drank it. Yum.

The main differences I can see between vive soy and alpro soya are that alpro adds B12 (which I like – it’s good to know that gets topped up if I’ve not had marmite), but vive soy has a vastly higher percentage of soya beans in the milk (around 13% compared to alpro’s 6.5%).

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Long time no blog. I’m back!

I can’t believe it took me so long to try Alpro’s almond milk. It is SO GOOD. I am currently drinking a glass of it. I got the long life one, which was great because I kept it in the cupboard for a few weeks before I got round to putting it in the fridge. I don’t know why, but I wasn’t expecting it to be quite so awesome! I guess maybe because the only other shop-bought almond milk is the Ecomil one which is crazy expensive and has a vaguely weird gritty-ish aftertaste. But this Alpro stuff is freaking heavenly!


Next plan – try their hazelnut milk. I’ve never had hazelnut milk at all (whereas I’d had homemade and Ecomil almond milk), so I am excited to try 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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I hope the title isn’t misleading. I’m not about to do a 30-day vegan challenge, after all, I am a vegan. No challenge needed! But recently I bought this book, and wanted to write a little bit about it:

The author, Colleen Patrick-Goudreau is also the author of a number of vegan cookbooks (click here to see what else she’s written). She is also the founder of the Compassionate Cooks website.

I had read a few reviews about how great The 30-day Vegan Challenge was, and so decided to get a copy myself. And I’m so glad I did! It’s one of the best books on veganism I’ve read, and I wish it had been around when I’d first started out on my vegan journey. When I became vegan, I used online resources to find out the answers to my questions, but most of the answers are in this book. Things such as how to phrase what you eat when in a restaurant, how to respond to people’s criticism or jokes, and idea for meals.

The book includes a mixture of recipes and really useful information, including chapters on things like:

  • Iron, B12, calcium, protein etc (a section on each)
  • Stocking your cupboards
  • Packed lunch ideas (loved this section – I’m rubbish at thinking of things to take to work)
  • Different types of non-dairy milks
  • Life without cheese (personally this wasn’t an issue but I know it’s a big deal to some!)
  • Tofu (what is it, what to do with it)
  • Eating out (including, as mentioned, what to say to staff, and also what to look out for and what different cuisines have to offer)
  • Social situations (and eating “confidently and joyfully” within them)

…and much more. It doesn’t just talk about food, there’s a section about fashion, and the rationale behind vegan choices is throughout (i.e. it’s not just about diet, it talks about the cruelty and suffering involved in an omnivorous diet).

This book is wonderful, and I’d recommend it to anyone thinking about going vegan, and to anyone who already is. It’s full of photos and useful information, and it is written in a friendly and helpful style.

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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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Earthlings is a film about speciesism. It was made in 2005 and shows the ways (most) humans use animals for food, clothing, entertainment and research. It is narrated by Joaquin Phoenix, and features music by Moby, both of whom are vegans.

I watched it when I’d been vegan for a while, and I think it’s an amazing film. But it’s very full-on; it’s full of images and video of animal cruelty, some of which is now imprinted on my brain forever. Everyone knows as an individual what their tolerance is for seeing such imagery and it’s for each person to judge for themselves – for me, I’ve watched a LOT of videos, and I know I need to be a bit careful not to over expose myself or I can end up feeling pretty miserable about the world. So I watch things ocassionally,  and I try to make the world a better place through promoting veganism where I can, and being a good example of a happy, healthy vegan.

Anyway, I digressed. My point was, did you know Earthlings is available to watch, for free, in full?

Click here to go to the Earthlings site.

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