What can you eat…??

Now this is the question that makes me laugh the most….

Let’s make this super simple….I don’t eat dairy, meat, eggs or honey. I, of course, don’t eat anything that contains any animal products…and so the problem begins if you’re buying pre made or pre packaged foods. But…over a quick exchange, the above would suffice!

People still don’t get it…..

So….what can I eat….

Let’s see what I can think of, off the top of my head. This list will be in no way exhaustive!

I can eat….apples, bananas, pears, grapes, oranges, nectarines, peaches, strawberries, raspberries, pineapples, mango, kiwi, passion fruit, blueberries, lychees, cherries, lemons, limes, dragonfruit, jackfruit, avocado, tomatoes, beetroot, onions, carrots, celery, squash, turnip, cabbage, kale, spinach, peppers, potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, courgette, marrow, aubergine, okra, sugarsnap peas, parsnips, sweet potatoes, peas, sweetcorn, mange tout, lettuce, cucumber, radish (well actually that would kill me….), runner beans…and many many more!!

On the fruit and vegetable front…unless a tomato or carrot is suddenly laid by a chicken, or smothered in beef dripping (btw it would surprise you what they coat fruit and veg in….beeswax, for example) I can eat them….in their pure form, or cooked by a method suitable for vegans!

I can eat a whole host of other stuff. So to name a few….butter beans, broad beans,  blackeyed beans, kidney beans, baked beans, chickpeas, haricot beans, lentils, barley, bulgar wheat, spelt, rice, pasta, cous cous, bread (yup, most bread is vegan), bagels (some brands), potato scones (not all), wraps, bourbon biscuits, oreos, tea biscuits (again some…usually cheap), pumpkin seeds, linseed, chia seeds, hemp, cacao, wheatgrass, cashew nuts, monkey nuts, pistachios, walnuts, brazil nuts, raisins, oatcakes, crisps, popcorn…etc!

Again, in their raw state I can eat all of these things, and this is just the tip of the iceberg!!! You can brutalize any of these foods by adding animal products, but there is NO NEED to do that!!

This list is in no way complete…but it’s an idea of what we can eat. I’ve not even touched on substitutes…like…tofu, seitan, tempeh, soy meat, tofurky, vegan cheese, cashew cheeses, vegetable pate, vegan mayonnaise….or ‘milks’…you have cow or goat, I have…coconut, almond, soya, oat, hazelnut, pea, hemp, etc.

I think it’s fair to say that vegans can and have a wide and varied diet. The things we have in our basket compared to most omnivores are far more diverse and out of the ordinary.

So….never feel us vegans are deprived….because honestly, we probably eat a wider selection of food stuffs than anyone. And…honestly….we hardly ever miss the flesh and bodily secretions of other animals! 🤢

So…I ask you….what do you eat?? And is it as varied as ‘us’?

🤘

Sleep is for the weak!

Today was supposed to be my ‘sleep day’ following a run of nights. Sadly for me I had to collect blinds from Glasgow, so I could only sleep for two hours!!! 😲

Plus side is….we went to Mono for our lunch. I really like Mono!! The atmosphere is lovely…the staff are super quirky and friendly…and the music is always good!!

The service is sloooooowwwww….as in you need to put aside a good three hours for a ‘quick snack’ but as long as you’re equipped with this knowledge you’ll be fine.

Today the theme was sharing. We had the platter…..💖

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The pickled veg is bliss!!!

And followed this up with the raw avocado and chocolate cheesecake to share and an oatly cappuccino (we had a coffee each…wwll, B stole mine!).

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My friend pointed out that the puree looks like a skid mark and now I can’t unsee it!! 😂😂😂

The huge bonus to Mono is location. Ideally situated for a wee walk to Glasgow Green…which is what we did. Baby B played for a while before we found ourself caught in a storm of biblical proportion.

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Trying to shelter!

Despite this severe soaking, we had fun! It’s always fun to be with the people I love the most.

Tonight I was craving vegan junk food, so vegan junk I had.

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Pasta with garlic, chilli & olive oil. My comfort food.

It’s now bedtime. Oh…and the blinds were worth getting up for.

G’night! 🤘

The ‘I’m more vegan than you’ bollocks that surrounds veganism….

Being a vegan. Does everyone know the definition of veganism?

The word vegan was derived from the term vegetarian…they simply removed the ‘etari’ from the word and came up with vegan.

The vegan lifestyle was around in 1944, however a definition of veganism wasn’t created until 1949. Lesley J Cross defined it, at this point, as “[t]he principle of the emancipation of animals from exploitation by man”.

This was further clarified to “to seek an end to the use of animals by man for food, commodities, work, hunting, vivisection, and by all other uses involving exploitation of animal life by man”.

It wasn’t until 1979, when The Vegan Society became a registered charity that the definition was updated to…

“A philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude—as far as is possible and practicable—all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of humans, animals and the environment. In dietary terms it denotes the practice of dispensing with all products derived wholly or partly from animals.”

So, I’m sure you’ll all sleep better tonight knowing that…but seriously, the definition of veganism is important. For me, the glaringly obvious section in the definition are the words ‘as far as possible and practical’. 

As a vegan I am trying to WHEREVER POSSIBLE exclude animal products…and therefore animal exploitation…in the food I eat, the clothes I wear, the products I use, etc.

For me, It’s about doing no harm….believing in love and compassion and living our life accordingly.

This compassion however, needs to be extended to ALL living creatures. So, this is where my bug bear lies with some (not all) vegans. So many vegans that I have met cannot bear the thought of eating an egg because some poor chicken has been exploited for it…in the process it has been treated without dignity, respect or empathy….but…this same vegan is more than happy to tear into someone who takes a teaspoon of honey a day for hayfever (which btw…falls in to the ‘wherever possible and practical bit. Plus, pharmaceuticals have been tested on animals and often contain animal products). They’ll literally stamp all over the person, on their moral high horse, and make them feel like utter shit….declare they’re ‘not vegan’, the end.

But…despite showing no empathy, remorse or understanding to their fellow human, still believes themself to be some kind of super species vegan!

What a load of utter pish!! (Love crowbarring a Scottish word in, when the moment allows).

I am as vegan as they come. I’m passionate about my moral fibre…I’m completely lead by my moral compass through life. But…and I’m going to just say it right now (and you can unfollow me if you want) I wear a RAB jacket that has down feather, I have a pair of leather clarks boots. But, I use these items because I owned them before my eyes were opened, so binning them would serve no purpose. To replace them with new I’m creating carbon footprints that are not required. When they wear out…or I feel I can’t cope with having them on my person before then…then I will gift them to someone or sell on…to fund new (or preloved) vegan replacements. Does that mean I’m not a vegan??? I certainly don’t think so!

As far as I’m concerned….being vegan is more than a diet. It’s a compassionate lifestyle. If you can’t show compassion and basic common decency to your fellow (wo)man….for me, you’ve a cheek to call yourself a vegan!

REDUCE SUFFERING…FOR EVERYTHING!

Rant over….✌

Vegan Voodoo!

Whoever came up with vegan pulled pork is some kind of evil genius.

Today I decided to try out a pulled jackfruit recipe. It’s really important you get young green jackfruit for this meal. You can get jackfruit in every chinese supermarket. It’s in cans and it’s not expensive.

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The jackfruit itself doesn’t have a lot of flavour…maybe slightly tangy, if i had to describe it. But…when cooked, it pulls apart like pork would do (not that I’ve ever had pulled pork!).

I simply drained the jackfruit. Dried it thoroughly and coated it in BBQ rub (I used a pre made one from tiger store, but it would be easy to make!). After 10 mins of marinating I added it to the frying pan, with a teaspoon of oil and some water and cooked on a very low heat for approximately 30 minutes.

I served it on a wholemeal wrap and made a gorgeous slaw to go with it. The slaw was made by shredding half a red cabbage, two carrots and one avocado.

I mashed the avocado with some seasoning and water…then added the cabbage and carrots. Tossed it around and added some lemon to taste.

The result…was glorious….

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Coconut cream topped the deliciousness!

I’d give this a ten out of ten for taste. It would also be amazing with rice and beans as a burrito!

If you’ve never tried jackfruit I highly recommend you get out and buy a can….and leave wee Peppa pig alone!!!

Father’s Day…and he did it vegan!

Today was Father’s Day….if you didn’t know that (and you’re in the UK) then you’ve missed it….and your poor Dad is probably heart broken! 😉

I am in the fortunate position (unfortunate when you need to buy presents) of having two Dads in my life. My own Daddy (Rab) and my step Dad (Michael).

Today Bette and I met my Dad at the market at silly o’clock 😪. He loves a good pruch (those of you who aren’t Scottish will have to google that) round the many stalls at the market. He buys all sorts of rubbish, but insists one man’s rubbish is another man’s treasure!

After visiting two markets, I managed to talk him into a vegan lunch! My Daddy does not understand why anyone would be vegan or vegetarian. He just doesn’t get it and I’m tired of trying to explain it. So, he cooks and buys vegan for us….but eats whatever he likes otherwise and we’re all fine with that. Btw….he is the biggest softy ever when it comes to animals too. He stopped today for 10 mins to give water to a dog tied up outside the supermarket. He stood pouring water into his hand for a full ten minutes whilst the dug drank. He feeds a family of foxes and has done for YEARS….but….vegans are mental! 😂

Despite this, he accompanied us to mono today. Mono is a gorgeous little vegan bar/cafe in Glasgow.

We enjoyed jackfruit burritos, mac and cheese and their gorgeous chips….followed by a banana split and warm apple pie with ice cream. I didn’t manage any pics, which is a poor show for a blogger….but, I was too busy in the moment. 😊 However, I did manage a snowball to take away!!

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My Daddy Bear & my wain in Mono.

In my usual fashion I forgot to post the cards to the men in my life, so i wrote my Dad’s as he strapped B in her carseat and posted Michael’s on the way home.

Michael spent the day climbing or walking his dugs, I’d imagine. I did however see a startrek tattie at the fruitmarket and sent him it….he’s a big fan (of startrek, no tatties!). I considered buying it, but it wouldn’t have lasted until I next seen him!! 🤣🤣

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After a play on Glasgow Green for a few hours, Bette and I headed home for dinner.

Tonight, if I do say so myself, I made an amazing curry. Dead simple….sweet tattie, mushroom, onion, peppers and frys chicken strips in a lovely coconut curry sauce.

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Behold…my fantoosh fabulous curry, with bulgar wheat.

The heat today haa been exhausting, and I’m no doubt burnt….being ginger and scottish does that to you!

Tonight…I’ll leave you with this….

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Do folk carry aboot their own lavvy roll?? 🤔

N’night….😘

D.I.Whyyy????

I’ve not been posting a lot in the last few days. Please forgive me, but I do have a very valid reason…promise!

D.I.Y!

We’ve very recently decided it’s time to relocate and as we’ll be doing this in our usual rushed way….we have had to start tarting up our faithful wee cottage to sell.

I’m on annual leave this week and ALL I have done is paint…paint…Oh, and shop for paint! I’ll be glad to get back to work for a well earned rest! (Ok…maybe that’s an exaggeration…but you get my meaning!)

Due to the fact our kitchen has been in a state of disrepair for a few days, we’ve eaten out mostly. Not good for the wallet….or our health…but needs must.

Today, however…I managed to escape the painting to pop into the shop for a couple of things….

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I got carried away!

A recent discovery to me is Morrison’s Wonky range. They sell big bags of sweet potatoes, maris piper tatties, carrots, avocado (!!!!), etc for crazy silly cheap prices….all because they’re ‘wonky. I don’t get how anyone could say an avocado is wonky…it’s green and avocado shaped! But…I’m not complaining as I got 10 for 2.80! To a vegan, this avocado and sweet tattie find is as good as a lottery win! Well, 4 numbers, a scratch card or the likes….not quite 5 and a bonus ball!

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Bulk buying cashews and avocado. Pure give away you’re a vegan!

Today we finished our kitchen and first coated our bathroom. I was sceptical how a lick of paint would increase value, but now we’ve done it I can fully appreciate how it does. Even I’m falling in love with our wee cottage again.

Because we worked late, tonights dinner was vegan fast food….a peppered steak pie, chips and peas.

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It’s shit being a vegan. You can’t eat anything….😂

The pie was delicious! We very rarely eat any ready made oveny (made that word up!) dinners, but sometimes you just have to…and this was very good.

Tomorrow it will all start again….but for now, I’ll leave you with the present the cat got me last week….

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No birds were hurt. The lovely magpie obliged and hopped right out the window without a fuss.

Peace out! ✌

Ask Italian.

We went out for dinner tonight, mainly because I’m shattered and could not be bothered to cook….or do a shop to facilitate cooking. We decided to try Ask…as Liz had read they had a vegan menu.

They weren’t lying…the definitely have a decent vegan menu…

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They even had a FULL KID’S VEGAN menu! Now THAT is unheard of!!

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Because despite what most food establishments believe….kids can be vegan too!

The menu made me laugh in parts….for example: vegan plum tomatoes and vegan broccoli. Is there really any need for the word vegan before a bloody plum tomato or bit of broccoli. Surely these things are vegan by default….is there any other non vegan tomato or broccoli?? 🤣

Anyway, despite this we are overjoyed to be seeing more vegan options appearing in chain restaurants.

For starters we ordered the dough balls and bruschetta. By the way….we have a taste card so everything we had was two for one…

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Bette has the vegan cucumber and vegan carrot 🤣🤣 and bread sticks. It was served with a side of tomato sauce…not some fancy chef sauce…no, Just Heinz tomato sauce. That was a bit of a fail for me, but it IS vegan!

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For mains we all had the same. A vegan pizza, with olives and caramelized onions with mushroom. They were lovely pizzas. My ONLY criticism is that it could have done with more vegan cheese. It was definitely lacking in creamy cheese….

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For dessert Liz and I opted for the chocolate and blood orange torte….OH MY GOOD GOD!

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This truly was delicious. The orange was amazing and the chocolate was so rich and creamy! The base was to die for…and the sorbet was delish! Ten out of ten for the pudding.

Overall it was a gorgeous meal…the service was very disjointed and slower than a week in the jail towards the end. But this was down to poor management rather than a lack of effort. To us it appeared that one waiter was serving the entire floor…as well as preparing the sweets behind the scenes. Too much for one poor guy…no wonder he only weighed 2 stone wet through!

I’d give Ask 9/10 for their menu. They’ve tried…and they’re doing more than many places.

Thanks for a lovely meal Ask!

Chia give me….strength…and healthy skin…and good heart health….

Hands up if you like chia seeds!

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Chia seeds have become one of the most popular ‘super foods’ of the 21st century. The fact their popular almost puts me off them, I’m much more comfortable swimming against the tide. But…nevertheless…the wealth of benefits are too irresistible to me.

Chia literally translates to strength.  These tiny little seeds originate from Mexico, where they were used as currency (believe it or not) as they were famed for their medicinal properties. If only I could use them as currency now, I’d be a millionaire!!! 🤣

It’s reported that Aztec warriors regularly ate chia seeds to give them energy and endurance. Apparently 1tsp gave them elevated energy levels for 24 hours!! That’s quite a claim, isn’t it?

Truth is….I wasn’t around when the Aztec warriors were devouring their chia, so I cannot confirm these claims…but, I have done a shit load of reading around current claims and can say with some certainty that there is a good evidence base for the health benefits of these tiny little seeds!!

So, what do these things do….I hear you ask! Well, let me tell you….they have a whole host of health benefits.

Including;

  • Promotion of healthy skin.
  • Reducing signs of aging.
  • Supporting heart health.
  • Regulated digestive system.
  • Helps build strong bones & muscles.
  • Halt/reverse diabetes!

Considering chia seeds are almost microscopic, they pack a punch when it comes to nutrients. They’re rich in fibre, with a whopping 42% of your recommended daily intake in every ounce!

They’re also crazy full of omega-3, you know the good stuff that reduces inflammation, lowers bad cholesterol and blood pressure. Chia seeds contain more omega-3 than salmon!!! Can you believe that? So, you can get omega-3 from a seed and nobody has to die for it?? Wowza! Surely that’s all you need to hear….shift to chia….your heart will literally thank you! 💞

The humble chia seed is rich in protein, with 4.4g (9% of your daily allowance) from one portion.

They’re also full of vitamins (A, B, E & D) and minerals also. And…get this…they have 77mg of calcium per portion, 18% of your daily allowance. Which btw….isn’t much different from the amazing and necessary (sarcasm) dairy milk. 100mls of whole milk has 113mg…and considering chia seeds are TINY and cruelty free, whereas milk is literally the work of Satan (too severe?)….I don’t even think milk stands a chance here.

Let’s explore specific claims a wee bit more. Let’s start with one all of us will find beneficial; effect on skin and aging.

So, a recent study in Mexico showed that the levels of antioxidant in chia can stop up to 70% of free radicals. (The easiest way to think of free radicals is to image they’re the evil villain and Antioxidants are the body’s super hero of choice to deal with them!) Antioxidants are responsible for skin repair and play an essential role in preventing further skin damage. So….double bonus….loads of antioxidants = less free radicals and reduction in skin damage with speedy repairs! Win win!

These little beuts are also very fibre rich. We know fibre is essential for good gut health. Fibre assists the body to balance insulin levels. They also have a unique little trick – when ingested they begin to produce a gelatin like substance which works to promote the growth of probotics in the guy = healthy gut and healthy jobbies! (Yup, the world stool would have been more grown up there, but I’d have let the side down if, when presented with an opportunity to crowbar the word jobbie in, I didn’t!)

I could go on and on about these seeds. But….I’ll end on the great diabetes topic. Diabetes is a huge public health issue at present. The levels of diabetes in our population is incredible. Yes, lots of it is type 2 and related to poor diet, lifestyle, etc. However, the disease itself is prevalent at present and we should all be doing out bit to reduce the incidence of developing the disease. There are lots of ways of doing this, of course, but I’m particularly fascinated by the impact the chia seed can have on this disease.

A recent study in Argentina found some interested data when they researched this a little more deeply. To cut a very long story short, they fed a group of test rats a diet rich in sucrose with the addition of Chia seeds as fat. The results for these subjects was rather astounding….their blood didn’t alter. These animals didn’t show any signs of morbidity despite their diet consisting of 65% sugar! 😲

The second group of rats were fed a diet high in sucrose to create insulin resistance. These rats were then fed chia seeds for a further 8 weeks…and….yup, you guessed it…they recovered!!! They actually recovered.

So, from this can we go as far as saying chia can halt diabetes and perhaps even reverse it?? I don’t honestly know if we can claim that, as of yet, but what we can say is that they are having some impact. And…quite possibly…they are beneficial in the fight against diabetes.

Btw, use of rats for this study is in no way vegan, but I am simply discussing the study in its entirety. This does not mean I agree with it.

There is a ton more information out there on the chia seed. I could literally write all night! Do some research, see what you think.

They recommend you begin your chia journey with 15g per day of the seed. I have mine on my toast, in sandwiches, smoothies and even sprinkled on my dinner. But you can soak them, have them in tea or make puddings from them. The possibilities are endless.

In Chia I most definitely  trust!

🥄

 

 

 

Friday! My second favourite F word. 😉

TGI Friday, right?

That shit doesn’t fly with me. I don’t work Monday – Friday 9-5. So, your Friday feeling today is my Tuesday feeling. I have another 6 days at work to go before I get a single day off. 🙈

Anyway, enough about my off duty.

Today has been a pretty good day. I haven’t had a chance to take a lot of photos of food, mainly because I’ve been working.

I started the day off with a slice of rye bread, with some peanut butter and chia seeds. Absolutely gorgeous, highly recommend it.

Lunch was the sandwich I posted about last night…with the addition of an apple, banana and a TREK bar.

But dinner….dinner was a new one for me. Tonight I made scrambled tofu!!

Now…tofu is never going to be scrambled egg, let’s get that clear from the onset. But…it’s got similar features. The texture is the same and if you pop it on a bit of toast or bread with a wee dollop (that’s a great word….dollop!) of ketchup it’s a bit of a mind twister. My brain was VERY confused!

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Scrambled tofu, rosemary & red onion sausages, grilled mushrooms and tomatoes. 

We served it all with a slice of carrot and pumpkin seed bread. It was absolutely gorgeous.

I’d definitely say that scrambled tofu will not be everyone’s idea of heaven, but I enjoyed it.

If you’re brave….and feel ready….have a go!

Let me know how you get on and if you enjoyed it.

Oh, ye cannae fling pieces oot a twenty story flat…

I’m fond of a piece….are you?

Just in case you were unlucky enough not to be born and raised in Scotland 😉…a ‘piece’ is another name for a sandwich.

I love making my piece for work. I get excited deciding what to fill it with, cutting it, wrapping it. I literally build my entire working day around getting to eat the wonderful creation that is my piece! 🍞

When I first became vegan I couldn’t really think what I’d want in a sandwich. I felt panic! No egg mayonnaise; no cheese savoury; no quorn ham with lettuce and salad cream.

How naive I was!

I go through phases with all my food, but at present, my sandwich of choice will always include houmous. I use wholemeal or rye bread…smother it in a good dollop of houmous before topping with seeds. I LOVE seeds!

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Then, if you’re making the dream sandwich, you’re going to need avocado. I can’t get enough avocado. I would guess I eat 7 or 8 a week. 😲

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Once I have my avocado in place I drench the whole lot in freshly squeezed lemon juice. You can’t beat the contrast between the creamy houmous and avocado with the sharpness of lemon. Any self respecting piece has to have tomato…that’s just common sense!!!

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I finish the lot with a big handful of fresh rocket, which adds a lovely peppery taste at the end.

Anyone who believes vegans struggle to eat anything must be insane. Plants are so versatile…and there’s just so much choice!!!

What’s your favourite sandwich fillings?? I’m always looking for new ideas!

Tomorrow I’m planning a blog post about the wonders of Chia seeds. They’re my little wonder seeds…with a wealth of health benefits!

Over the next few days I’ll be blogging about all things chicken related. I’ve been doing a lot of reading and thinking about our feathered friends since watching an emotive vegan video that I very much disagreed with.

Peace and out! ✌