I defy anyone to have anything other than positive things to say about this food…

We LOVE the Lotus. Chinese food is my all time favourite food…and an entire vegan chinese restaurant is quite simply heaven!

We popped in on Friday night….

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Who would have thought vegans would have such a choice? I mean…what do we eat?

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And, for me, the best meal I’ve had in many years….

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If you’ve never been to the Lotus, I suggest you take a wee daunder there. Whether you’re a vegan…vegetarian…or an omnivore keen to further your food horizons. You WILL NOT be left disappointed!

 

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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…✌

 

The Royal Hotel, Bridge of Allan.

Yesterday I attended a retirement party in the Royal Hotel. Any organised set meals that I’ve ever attended have been a nightmare for anyone with ‘restricrd diets’. (I hate the term restricted diet, as my diet is anything but restricted). Nevertheless, I put my dietary requirments forward and went along hoping for the best.

It was a semi formal affair, and the theme was afternoon tea!

The starters began to roll out and to my shock, the soup was cheese and haggis! 🤣 Possibly the least vegan dish you could offer to a vegan! Despite the manager having had a meeting with the chef prior to the function, they did not have an alternative soup ready and waiting. So, I watched my friends and colleagues eating their soup.

Very promptly, my own wee vegan plate came from the kitchen. Despite no soup, the little platter was gorgeous.

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I enjoyed a small bowl of pickled salad and a wrap…to be honest I can’t with a hundred percent certainty tell you what was in the wrap, but it looked like artichoke, peppers an cucumber.

Mid way through my wraps a bowl of tomato and basil soup arrived, which was delicious.

Sadly though, they failed to supply even a single vegan cake. A gorgeous 5 teir tray of cakes were sat on the table, but…not a single offering for me. I do think this is a poor show, made worse by the fact there had been a meeting beforehand to discuss options, and despite this the chef made no attempt at a vegan sweet thing. It’s really not hard….and as it was a afternoon tea, I really feel a cake should have been standard. I also couldn’t partake in a tea or coffee as they only had cow’s milk. 😲

They did redeem themselves slightly by serving a sorbet…

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Overall I did enjoy the meal, but…I am forever shocked at how much chefs struggle with preparing vegan alternatives. It is as though their entire mindset is geared around meat and animal products!

For my afternoon tea experience…I’d give 5 out of 10. You can’t call something an afternoon tea without tea/coffee or a cake!

I’d eat there again….if they could come up with a sweet thing! 😉

Vegan supermarket find…

Many of you may already know about this, but I nearly hyperventilated in Farmfoods today when I found these by accident.

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Vegan sausages. No palm oil and not full of nasties. Only £1.49 for 8.

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Vegan burgers. Again, palm oil free. £1.49 for 8.

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Vegan mince and meatballs. Can’t remember the price. 

We don’t eat a lot of meat substitutes, well other than tofu. But, I bought some sausages and burgers for quick grab fillings for rolls….plus…baby B loves sausages and burgers.

So, in case any of you haven’t stumbled upon these, you can get yourself along to Farmfoods and grab a bargain!

I’m always happy to see s.f.v foods….and even more excited when they have the courage to label them vegan!

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!

Tofooooo and painting.

Back to the painting today, but before I start I decided I needed some sustenance.

Liz opted for vegan cream cheese on bagels with seeds, avocado and marmite….but, as usual, I had to indulge my obsession and have tofu!

For some it’s cocaine or heroin….or alcohol. For me, it’s tofu!!!

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I quickly threw together spicy peanut tofu with bulgar wheat. It’s  a really simple recipe that I’ve adapted from The Buddhist Chef.

I’m now stappit (a guid Scottish word) and ready to tackle the last few jobs in the house.

Have fun, whatever you’re doing today.

🤘

I love tofu!

My name is Bobbie and I abso-fucking-lutely love tofu!!! Just got to get that out there!!

Today was a quiet day. It started with our usual smoothie….plus an extra two smoothies, as B was smoothie mad today! She couldn’t get enough!! Our favourite is strawberry, blueberry, oatly chocolate, wheatgrass, oats and chia seeds. That being said…B made a gorgeous wee concoction of banana, strawberry, pineapple juice and wheatgrass today and it was devine. She definitely has a flare for flavour combos. I hope she’ll make great cocktails when she’s older! 🤣

Dinner was something new, thanks to The Buddhist Chef. Crispy tofu in a sweet and spicy sauce. We served it with rice noodles, but it would go beautifully with wholewheat rice too.

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This has immediately catapulted into one of my top five meals!!! This will be served a lot in our house. I honestly think omnivores would like this too – tofu often puts people off, but this was exceptional. The texture was just right.

As you may or may not know, depending how well you know me, I have a few pets. I currently have three dogs and two cats.

How to feed my pets is a topic that really irks me. I am not at all comfortable with being a hypocrite…and I am on this front. I don’t consume, use or purchase animal products….I do not believe on ending a life….but, I buy dog food for my dogs. I buy the flesh (and fuck knows what else actually) of other animals to keep my animals alive. 🤔 This is something I’m not comfortable with. But…I had these pets before I was vegan (or even veggie with Luka). And, they rely on me to provide for them.

For dogs…who are scavengers by nature…it would be entirely possible for them to survive off of a vegan diet. But, cats…who are object carnivores…could not survive without taurine in their diet, which is found in organ meat. 🤢

My dogs are all geriatric, and being perfectly honest I cannot afford the vegan dry foods on the market…but…I also hate buying dog meat, as I know logically this has to be the lowest of the low in terms of welfare.

So…for now…I compromise. I feed my dogs a small amount of meat processed food and add fresh fruit and veg (and wheatgrass) to their meal. I do this for several reasons; to reduce the amount of animal products I have to buy  for them; to use up waste products and reduce the amount going to the landfill (Bette will also get a rabbit in our new home to aid this); and to improve the health content of the meal by adding fresh produce. Because fresh produce is ALWAYS best!!

I think that’s a fair compromise. Sure, it may not be vegan enough for the militant vegans…but, I follow the path that makes ME feel content. If I can lay my head down at night and sleep feeling comfortable with my decision, then that’s what counts to me.

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The dugs definitely think it’s a good idea!

Perhaps us vegans should only have vegan pets. I’ve actually heard this being banded about. But…for me, I love dogs and cats and my life wouldn’t be complete without them in it. So, I’ll need to continue to find a way that works to allow us to cohabit and enjoy each other’s company.

If you’re content walking a rabbit round the park, knowing that he fits in to your vegan life…fabulous for you, but I’d feel like a bampot and I’d miss my dugs!

The motto of my story….don’t try to mould yourself into someone elses standards, make your own. Do what’s right for you…whilst always striving to do as little harm as possible.

Peace out. ✌

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! 🤘