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! πŸ˜‰

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 πŸ˜ͺ. 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! πŸ˜‚

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?? πŸ€”

N’night….😘

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. Β 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! πŸ’ž

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 Β trust!

πŸ₯„

 

 

 

Friday! My second favourite F word. πŸ˜‰

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. πŸ™ˆ

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.Β 

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.

The Lotus.

I haven’t done a review in a while, mainly because I haven’t had time to galavant around the place trying out new food places.

However, as we were travelling through Glasgow around dinner time tonight (that’s 7ish to us) we decided to try the Lotus vegetarian (although in fairness it’s all vegan except 3 dishes) Chinese restaurant.

The Lotus Vegetarian Cuisine Limited, to give it its official name, can be found on Bridge Street in Glasgow. There is handy parking right outside, if you go after 6pm, and a wee pay and display a stone’s throw away if you visit during the day.

Inside the restaurant is pretty modest. It’s absolutely spotless and the staff are perhaps the friendliest I have ever encountered.

I usually take a picture of the menu, but to be honest I was too excited by the vast choice that I forgot entirely. Let’s just say there is at least four pages of vegan yumminess for you to peruse!

They also make it abundantly clear that NOTHING is too much bother. Everything is made fresh, to order and they’re happy to alter dishes or make up whatever you want.

For us, the most exciting part was the vegan ‘prawn crackers’. I haven’t been able to enjoy a prawn cracker for well over a decade…and tonight…I thought I was going to die and go to heaven! I know…I know…calm down, it’s only a prawn cracker. But…to me, it was a big deal!

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πŸ’—

With so much choice we took a while to decide what we were having, but we eventually opted for vegan prawn toast and deep fried dumplings for starters.

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You get 4 bits, but Liz stole a piece off the plate before I took the photo.

The prawn toast was gorgeous. Have no idea what it was filled with, but it was pink and fishy and the texture was right. It was a really gorgeous dish.

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Little pockets of salty, crispy gorgeousness.

Again, I dont know what these were filled with but I’d guess tofu and veggies. Regardless, they were perfect! The dipping sauce was also lush!

For the main I ordered Szechuan tofu and fried rice. This dish was absolutely amazing. It tasted so fresh and vibrant. It was medium spiced and the tofu itself was exquisite. Soft and creamy but packed full of flavour.

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Szechuan tofu.

Liz had….wait for it…sweet and sour ‘chicken balls’ with boiled rice.

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Delicious little crispy balls! (Don’t pervert the innocence of a food blog!)

These truly were amazing. I again, have no idea what the balls were actually made of. They didn’t taste of quorn or anything, so perhaps a soya protein they make themselves into balls? Regardless, the sauce was THE BEST I’ve tasted, and the texture of the chicken balls took me back to my omni days. For me, this dish was LOVE!

Bette had a love affair with the boiled rice, she ate loads and stated “this is the most good restaurant I’ve ever been to”. That’s straight from a four year old’s mouth. She thought her food was so good it made her want to cry! πŸ˜‚ Β So really, everything I’ve said is totally unnecessary! πŸ‘

Bette enjoyed a BIG bowl of vegan chocolate ice cream before we settled the bill.

If you’re going here you should know, they don’t serve alcohol…or meat, of course. The portion sizes are massive (but shamefully we ate nearly everything). Everything is cooked to order (and MSG free), so its not fast food. We sat down at 8.15pm and didn’t leave until 10pm. We waited a while between starter and main meal, a little bit longer than I’d have liked, but as soon as the food arrived I totally forgot about the wait. You become immersed in the flavours of the dishes and the waiting time seems like a distant memory. I’d do it all over again, rather similar to childbirth! πŸ˜‰ Finally, the price is super reasonable…so you won’t need to remortgage your house for a meal here!

I’d give this little gem of a place a solid 10 out of 10!

A lovely experience from start to finish! We will definitely be back.

Thanks Lotus…for making vegan dining an absolute pleasure!! πŸ’“

Comfort food & chocolate ! πŸ˜Š

Working nights….haven’t had an actual day off since last Thursday. So, this will be brief.

The palm oil in our hazelnut spread bothered me, so I’ve been searching for an alternative.

Finally, I found something.

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Sweet Freedom chocolate spread.Β 

This particular brand is all natural, uses fruit sugars for sweetness and best of all…doesn’t contain any palm oil.

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Ticks a lot of boxes that matter to me!

Truth is….jury is out on the taste. It has a bitterness that isn’t there with the other spread. It has an almost coffee taste at the end. It’s nice….but not comparible with the hazelnut spread.

I’ve slept all day and feel like I’m maybe getting the cold. So, it had to be comfort food for us tonight . What’s the best comfort food??

Macaroni cheese ✌

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The ‘cheese’ sauce blitzed and ready to be added to the pasta!

Tonight we had it with frozen chips and peas . I’m so full now I could burst!!

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Creamy, gooey gorgeousness.

Heading to work now. Would rather stay home and snuggle on the sofa, but such is life.

Day 32….Surely when you know better, you’ll do better?

Enjoying the last few days of annual leave by staying home and cooking. Bette has been tired since Sunday, I think the birthday week of fun has finally caught up with her.

Today my little love and I stayed home and watched TV and played. Liz did the gardening Β (I honestly can’t, my hayfever is super bad! – that’s my story and I’m sticking to It! 🀣).

I did do other things, for example….I ironed a pair of jeans!!! I haven’t done that in a long time, but I truly believe you should do something every day that frightens you. So, I did It!

Tonight I decided to make a Buddha bowl for us. I love picky bowls and thought this one would be a winner.

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Powered by plants!

Even just looking at the ingredients makes you feel healthier. The bowl I chose was creamy sweet potato and chick pea, with kale, broccoli, red onion and crispy baked tofu. I served it with a tiny amount of wholewheat rice and nutritional yeast.

It was absolutely amazing. I’m not going to lie. It ticked every box on my foodie wishlist. Creamy, tasty and fresh! Real plant based goodness. Free from all cruelty and death!

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NOTHING tastes as good as compassion feels. I truly believe this.

We followed our dinner with a lovely wee pudding of soya chocolate pot and fresh fruit. I washed it all down with green tea, whilst Liz had a coconut cappuccino.

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We decided to watch an old classic movie tonight. One of my absolute favourites….’Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?’. If you’ve never seen it I highly recommend it. Bette Davis with her rival; Joan Crawford.

On another note, I watched a bit of ‘Earthlings’ this afternoon. I managed 20 minutes and in that time I was crying like a baby. It’s absolutely abhorrent to see how we treat animals. I honestly felt distraught and now find it hard to comprehend how people can know the things I know and still choose to eat meat, drink milk, etc.

My motto has always been ‘you do the best you can…and when you know better, you do better.’

I find it deplorable that people find it easier to bury their head and not learn about the truth, just to allow them to continue living their life trouble free.

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People should not be shielded from the processes behind the creation of their foodstuffs. I won’t scare people into becoming vegan, but I wont shield people from reality either. We need to work together to drive change….because goodness knows, change is long overdue!

I’m perplexed how society find it so easy to separate their food from animals. We claim to be a nation of animal lovers, yet have no problem with the exploitation and abuse of billions of animals every year, for little more than a steak…a sandwich….a sweetie….a yoghurt. Why do people relate to dogs/cats…but not to cows, pigs, sheep etc?

An example of this is the current media surrounding fox hunting. I literally see people up in arms about the prospect of fox hunting being legalised again. Yet not one of these people think twice about posting the ‘ban hunting’ memes whilst bailing into their steak pie or bacon sandwich. What’s wrong with that picture??? I’m genuinely asking!

I’m heading to bed. I have a date with a gorgeous little four year old tomorrow. She finally wants to see ‘Beauty and the Beast’.

I’ll do a wee recipe blog for the Buddha bowl. Should anyone be interested.

✌

The irony of your face turning to leather when you’re a vegan!

The last week has been HELL for me with hayfever. I’ve always suffered, but never like this. I’m at a point where my entire face is actually turning to leather….a vegan with a leather face??? That’s got to be a cruel joke!

My eyes are on fire. Swollen. Burning. Wattering. My face is so painful and the skin is hard and burning. Even my lips are agony.

I’ve tried all the over the counter and herbal remedies, but nothing will touch this level of irritation. So, last resort…a visit to my local general practitioner. She agreed I’m in a bad way and prescribed some meds that should hopefully help. Anyone who knows me will know I’m very anti non essential medicating…vaccinating…etc. (that’s an entirely other post).

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Now, before we go any further. No medication is technically vegan. We all know this. But…for me…I need to take medication at times and although I’d prefer it to be vegan, if it is not, I’m still going to take it. A dead vegan is no use to anyone! You can’t do much fighting for a cause if you’re pushing up daisys. Of course, hayfever will not end my life…but I’m miserable and I may commit an atrocious act to an innocent by passer because of my constant pain and irritibility. So, for me…the risk outweighs the bad.

Lunch today was left over sweet tattie and white bean chilli, with some rice and a blitzed avocado with loads of chilli and lemon juice.

Now for some house work…and to convince my child that she needs to have a shower.

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Btw…have you any idea how hard it is to find a lip balm suitable for vegans?? I now have one, but there was only one in Holland and Barrett!

 

It’s a gorgeous day. I hope you get to enjoy some time out in the sun! I won’t be….for reasons mentioned above, but I will take the dugs a walk tonight before bed….when the pollen has stopped flying around.

 

Land & Sea…without the death for me. πŸ‘βœŒ

Tonight we rushed to Polmont to experience the vegan menu at Land & Sea.

First off. What a bloody fabulous idea this shop has had. More and more people are ditching animal protein for plant based alternatives and this wee chippie have clearly been paying attention.

It’s VERY well advertised as you approach the chippie. They say placing a ‘vegan’ symbol/sign on food negatively effects sales, but Land & Sea have thrown caution to the wind on this front. They’re doing vegan and they’re proud of it.

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One of the many signs on the front and side of the shop.

When you enter you notice the vegan section is completely separate to the rest of the shop. You order at a different point and pay there too. At first i didn’t think anything of it…but whilst waiting for my order I realised I was standing in a little ‘vegan’ pen. You have to be out and proud to enter the pen. 🀣 I made a wee joke that I was going to mingle with the ‘normal’ people, so I didn’t feel so ‘different’ and I did wait outside the vegan square. I guess it’ll be fabulous if there is a big queue for the omnivore side, because we’ll essentially skip everyone (which is always a bonus) but I don’t truly know if I liked such obvious separation. I’m sure there is a perfectly sensible reason for the little pen, but standing in it I did feel like I was at a ‘come see a vegan get excited about pretending to eat fish’ convention.

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I didn’t get the full pen in, as I was trying to be discrete. If you stand next to the vegan sign with the arrow you could literally be transformed into living art!Β 

Whilst standing in my wee pen a guy on the ‘omni’ side of the fence said “don’t worry hen, I’ll still talk to you”. That made me laugh…but it also showed me that we all seen the vegan pen as just that!

That aside. The menu was extensive, for a vegan. It was well thought out and even had a kids selection (which is super rare, in my experience).

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We went for the ‘Vish’ and Chips, with a portion of mushy peas. Now…to let you understand, I haven’t had a fish supper for about 10 years. The closest I have had has been halloumi in batter, which of course is not vegan, so is not something I could have now. So…you can appreciate how excited I am at actually ordering a ‘vish’ supper. πŸ’—

After a brief wait, I skipped out the shop with my goodies in a MASSIVE bag.

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The MASSIVE bag!!! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Now onto the important stuff. The actual food. I’ll get straight to it. The supper was absolutely amazing! The vish was crispy on the outside, but gorgeously soft and creamy inside. The seaweed batter added a gorgeous hint of the sea, which really made you feel like you were having a fish supper. The chips were perhaps the best I’ve had ever in this area (I’m an Ayrshire lassie, so know a guid chip!) and the peas…well, what can you say about peas. They were lovely!

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My vish and chips! πŸ’“

The onlyΒ bad point for me was that the dish was supposed to be served with ‘ta ta’ sauce, but when I got home I realised it was missing. I was proper disappointed! Although it didn’t ruin my dinner, I think it would have added to the taste and if you advertise it…put it in the box, please.

I’d give this chippie 9.5/10. The food was excellent (which is the most important part), the staff were friendly and I’m always impressed when a business tries to include alternative diets. It’s a shame the vegan options are only available on a Tuesday, but it’s better than nothing. They have committed to cooking all their food in vegetable oil, so at least you can get a wee poke of chips on other days of the week. πŸ˜‰