Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Out and About

I've eaten out a bit more than I usually do recently so here's a little round up. My friend Susan and I had a day trip over to Liverpool for her birthday the other weekend. We took in the Art of Pop Video exhibition at Fact and had a mooch around the Bold Street / Ropewalks area taking our lunch at MelloMello. I had a breaded mushroom burger with fresh pesto and the most amazing rosemary fries.

Susan chose a Thai curry with rice and nan bread. I think Mello has become my favourite place to eat in Liverpool. I was actually too full to have one of their vegan cakes after eating this!

Back on home turf Matt and I had a bit of a Japanese feast one evening at Samsi. This was the fab sushi course. The restaurant has a shop in the basement selling Japanese food so I picked up some sushi rice as it's ages since I've made any.

I met up with my friend Siobhan for tea at Tampopo. Like Samsi, Tampopo is a mini, independent chain of restaurants with pretty good vegan choices. I went for the Nyonya Tofu and Lime Curry. It was really nice. Again I didn't have room for dessert but was pleased to see that there was no less than 3 vegan dessert options.

In other news I won a grow your own Oyster mushroom kit from the Espresso Mushroom Company! This would make a fab present for the foodie in your life. The mushrooms grow out of a bag of recycled coffee grounds. All you vegan Brighton dwellers it could be your used espresso grounds that are fuelling my mushrooms as we speak! Mine are just starting to sprout and are being a little unruly not growing out from the middle like in the picture below but around the side of the box but the owner of the company has kindly given me advice via email so fingers crossed I'll still get a good harvest. I'll post an update on here.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

March Catch Up

Blimey where has March gone! Half way through already and I've not blogged yet. The month started with Matt's birthday which meant me cooking a tea of pies. The main course pie was the fabulous Mushroom and Ale Pie from Vegan Village. I used Black Sheep for the stout. I've made this pie loads of times, it's pure comfort food.

For dessert I made these Chocolate Kahlua Pies from an old favourite recipe. These are really easy and are one of those desserts that people can't believe is vegan when they taste it. I made half the filling recipe which was just the right amount to fit in the six ready prepared Graham Cracker pie cases that came with my January UK Vegan Food Swap box from Rachel. If I recall correctly Rachel said they came form the magical sounding Kosher Kingdom in Golders Green.

Perhaps it wasn't the most healthy of teas but it was a treat and I've been really making an effort with my meals during the rest of the month cutting back on sugar. I've signed up with Viridian to take part in a two month Clear Skin trial. I'm taking two of their products daily - a capsule and an oil supplement and cooking at least one meal a day from the Clear Skin Cookbook by Dale Pinnock.

It's not a vegan cookery book but it does include some vegan recipes and I've really enjoyed the ones I've tried so far. Under the fruit is Dale's museli blend which consists of oats, brazil nuts, pumpkin seeds and walnuts which has become a firm favourite.

I've made the red pepper and sweet potato soup and also the spiced parsnip one in the picture below. This made a good quick tea with a toasted chunk of marmite granary bread from Bakerie Tasting Store and a sprinkling of sprouted seeds on the soup. I've also enjoyed a chickpea tagine and a sweet potato curry.

Today I sent off this months UK Vegan Food Swap parcel which reminds me that I haven't blogged about the one I received in February. I received my parcel from one of the To Happy Vegans organisers, Mitsu. Mitsu pulled off the feat of sending me a parcel full of things I hadn't tried before! I've polished off the caviar and the banana chocolate and I've used the speculoos spread in a banana toastie and in a smoothie. I'm saving the chocolate peanut butter sachet as we've got a couple of weddings coming up where we will be staying in hotels and I'll have to take emergency vegan rations! Do you have an favourite emergency rations you take away?