Whole foods and nothing but the whole foods.

So, the Whole Food Market is something I’m very familiar with from my US friends. But, you don’t hear a lot of people in the UK talking about this store.

Thankfully…those of us lucky enough to live in the general vicinity of Giffnock have the pleasure of being able to visit this gem of a store.

Now, before you enter you should know that you’ll need to remortgage your house if you’re planning on doing a full shop here. Also, as good as some of it is…and my gosh so much of it is so good…a lot of it is overpriced pompous pish!

The things I love about it….

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The loose aisle….

I love being able to buy my pulses, oats, grains, nuts and fruit loose. I adore using the little brown paper bags and buying only what I need. I love the absence of plastic bags and tubs. Unnecessary plastic! Plus, overall….it IS cheaper!

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Nuts…nuts….nuts….

Peanut butter on mass!!!! Anyone who knows me knows I LOVE peanut butter….and at wholefoods you can make your own, and bulk buy really good natural peanut butter!

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Salted broad beans!!!

I also love that you can refill your washing liquids and fabric conditioner….so you can reuse your bottles. Again, reducing your environmental impact. It’s not any more expensive than the mass produced supermarket brands either!

The utter pish part, for me…is their fruit and vegetables. Yeah, they’re organic but they’re no more locally sourced than any other veg. And…they’re silly expensive. So, I bypass the pretty displays of vegetables and fruit and go straight to my favourite areas.

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Behold…..2 bags of vegan goodies for a whopping £56!

I’ll continue to visit this shop to get the things I love….but will favour the good ol’ supermarket for my weekly shop! Unless I win the lottery (which considering I don’t do it, the odds aren’t in my favour!) if I win the jackpot, I’ll throw caution to the wind and do my full bi-weekly (I’m rich, it’s my duty!) shop in wholefoods. I may even splurge and buy myself 2 or 3 canvas bags for life! 🤣

On another note….we have our first house valuation next week. Exciting!

It wouldn’t take a Philadelphia lawyer to work out what I made for dinner…

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My spicy peanut tofu was, as usual, amazing. But, the tofu I used tonight was BY FAR the nicest tofu I have ever made. It was actually chewy, rather than just soft. It has the same texture as paneer (from what I can remember), for those of you who can remember what non vegan food tastes like. I loved it and would highly recommend it.

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Go out and buy all the tofu!

Enjoy! 👌

Peely wally Saturdays….

Today I feel rough. We were at the festival yesterday and although I did partake in the most expensive pint of my life….I cannot blame drink or food for my woes. I just generally feel unwell.

Food is making me feel nauseous…head is thumping, I’m more tired than I’ve felt in a long time and I’m crabbit!!! 😷

So, when I feel ill….I look to unprocessed, plant based foods to give me a natural boost.

I started the day with a smoothie….hoping it would make me feel semi human.

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Strawberries, half a banana, 1tsp cacao powder, 2 tsp wheatgrass, chia seeds, 1 tbs peanut butter and some oat milk.

I couldn’t face actual food for breakfast, so waited until afternoon and made a new recipe. Deliciously Ella was the inspiration for the soup (really good plant based book. She’s not vegan, so you need to make some tweaks, but overall very good recipes.)

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Spicy lentil and carrot soup, with chestnut mushrooms and cannellini beans.

Tonight we had a roast dinner….vegan style!

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Roast potatoes and parsnip. Mash. Steamed broccoli and cauliflower with homemade ‘cheese’ sauce. A ‘sausage’ roll and some gravy.

Whoever said vegans can’t eat anything or that vegan food is boring has clearly never actually spoken to a real life vegan!

Early bed tonight in the hopes I wake up feeling better.

G’night…✌

 

Harmonium, Edinburgh.

Last night we decided we’d drive through to the burgh to try out the new vegan bar/restaurant Harmonium.

Harmonium can be found on Henderson Street in Leith. It’s a gorgeous wee building, kitted out very naturally with lots of wood! I believe it’s been open about 4 weeks, so very much still in its infancy!

We arrived at 6.20, which was 20 minutes after the kitchen opened. The place was pretty quiet with a few people sitting at the bar and a couple of tables worth of people eating. The staff were very friendly, but if I’m totally honest a little bit vague. We were walk ins, who hadn’t booked a table (in case anyone doesn’t get the ‘walk in’ terminology). The staff informed us they had nothing until 8.30pm, as they were expecting 8 people in approximately 5 minutes. Ok…fair enough…we hadn’t booked, it’s a chance you take. But…this is when it got a bit weird for me and they lost me.

They told us we could take a seat and have a drink whilst we waited and if something became available earlier we’d be taken. Great! Totally fair! But…then they sat us at a table, and told us we could eat at this table….they gave us menus…🤔 I’m not going to lie, I’m now lost. I assumed they were fully booked until 8.30? But…she then explains…they cannot take our order as the kitchen will be busy when the 8 people arrive, in about 5 mins, so they can’t take our order until the kitchen serves the 8 people and it gets quieter! 😲

That made no sense to me, as they had a table…and kitchen staff and we were there…ready to order…and the 8 people weren’t anywhere to be seen yet!

Thankfully, they spoke to the chef who clearly seen the madness in this idea too and agreed to make the food if we ordered. So, we did so…without haste!

Liz went for the fillet-o-tofish, with added vegan cheese and chips and I opted for the tofu katsu curry with brown rice! Mini me didn’t fancy anything really, so she ordered some chips and orange juice only.

I was well impressed with the alcohol free beer and my other half really enjoyed her red wine. Sadly, she cut her lip on a chipped wine glass, but they replaced the glass and gave her a fresh serving of wine, so all well that ends well. 👍

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Let’s get to the food….

The tofish was absolutely gorgeous. Tasty AF! The batter was to absolutely die for and the bun was lovely and soft. Sadly, the chips were freezing, but again…they sorted that out without any bother!

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The katsu is what I actually drove through for, so I was extra happy it was on the menu. It did not disappoint!

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The sauce was exquisite! I loved it, not too spicy but super aromatic. The breadcrumb coating on the tofu was lovely and although not extra firm, the tofu itself was lush. I’m a tofu addict though, and would eat it in any form!

My only criticism is that the portion sizes are small. The chips are sparse on the side and even the separate portions are very small…about 1/3 the size of a Mono portion. The rice was kind of congealed and there was hardly any at all, no where near enough to soak up the sauce. And…the meal was served just warm, a long way off hot! That didn’t bother me last night, as we were starving…but I may have sent it back on another occasion.

The service is a bit sporadic, they forgot our daughter’s chips and took ages to get us mayo, etc. But…they are just open and probably getting to grips with full service on busy nights etc. I’m sure it’ll come together! Oddly enough, quirky service seems to be the norm in vegan establishments….that and short troosers! 😂 (you’ll be looking for that now).

We didn’t manage a dessert as they’d ran out of chocolate cheesecake (which is odd considering the kitchen had only been open an hour when we were ordering dessert). The sweet selection isn’t up to much, but hopefully they’ll work on this. High street chains have more impressive vegan treats, but give the place time…it’s only 4 weeks old and the main menu is extensive already!

Despite the wee niggles, we had a gorgeous meal and we would definitely go back!

I’d give harmonium a firm 7 out of 10 right now….which I’m sure will improve with time.

They need some music too. I can’t recall hearing anything!

Overall, big thumbs up to a vegan restaurant in auld reekie. They’ve got a long way to go until they’re as pro vegan as Glasgow, so this is a welcome addition to the city I’m sure we all agree!

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’?

🤘

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….✌

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….😘

The Tudor, Ayr.

Tonight we invited ourselves to a family meal. We obviously had to go to the restaurant they picked, so really weren’t very hopeful of a decent vegan meal.

We called the restaurant prior to going to enquire about any vegan choices they may have. Sadly, for us…they had NO VEGAN OPTIONS on the menu!

However, all was not lost…because the staff were super friendly and were more than happy to alter dishes to make them vegan.

After a brief chat with our waitress we agreed on vegetable tempura with chilli sauce as our starter. It was absolutely gorgeous….big chunks of broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms and pepper rings. It wasn’t at all greasy and tasted really fresh, with lovely crunchy veg. I forgot to take a picture as I was too busy laughing and yapping with my uncles.

For the main we established that the vegetarian fajitas could be veganised if we left off the sour cream and cheeses. We added extra guacamole and took our own coconut cream (as you do!) to use as sour cream.

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Gorgeous crunchy vegetables in a sticky hoi sin like sauce.

The fajitas were absolutely gorgeous. They had peppers, onions, mushrooms, broccoli and potatoes. Never would I have thought to include tatties in fajitas, but they REALLY worked!

Overall, considering the Tudor didn’t have a single vegan option on their menu, I’d give them 10/10 for our delicious meal!

I’d suggest they don’t sell themselves short and add a little sentence to their menu saying dish X, Y and Z can be veganised. Because, they pulled it out the bag tonight.

No puddings for us, as you’d expect, but that’s a tiny little criticism of an overall lovely meal.

Thanks for being so helpful and going to the effort of making a dish, or two, for us. We greatly appreciate it.