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….

20170910_192659.png

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

20170910_192614.png

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

20170910_192639.png

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!

 

Advertisements

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….

Snapchat-1041096865

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!

Screenshot_20170806-222057

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!

screenshot_20170806-222101.png

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.

Snapchat-852707398

20170731_204710.jpg

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

Screenshot_20170806-232910

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.

Snapchat-869710920.jpg

Go out and buy all the tofu!

Enjoy! πŸ‘Œ

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.

snapchat-1338014033.jpg

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.)

IMG_20170805_143235

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

Tonight we had a roast dinner….vegan style!

20170805_203304.jpg

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.

20170730_144737.jpg

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…

20170730_145915.jpg

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! πŸ˜‰

Straws suck!

I’m sure some of you never even give little things like a straw a second thought! But….I do….and because I do, I’m going to blog in the hopes that maybe you’ll read it and feel inspired to make a small change.

Let’s take a wee look at straws in more detail.

Straws are made up from polypropylene, which is a form of petroleum; colourants (self explanatory); plasticizers (to make the straws flexible) and antioxidants.

A straw has an average lifespan of 20 minutes!!! Yes, you read that right….20 whole minutes of use, before being thrown in the bin! Isn’t that shocking?

I really really struggled to find data for the Uk specifically, but it doesn’t make these numbers any less horrific!

500 million straws are disposed of EVERY DAY in the USA alone! Let me put that into some perspective….end-to-end they would circle the earth TWO AND A HALF times!! 😲

So, what’s my point? Straws are plastic, so can be recycled, right? Well…yeah, that’s technically right, but the thing is….straws are very difficult to recycle due to their shape and size. Often they’re not recycled at the point of binning them because it’s just too much like hard work. Think of McDonalds…. (other fast food chains are available)….think of bars, little cocktail straws. They’re mostly just binned.

So, in terms of the environment, up to 43% of all plastics end up in land fill! And…shockingly…250’000 tonnes (hard to imagine, I know, so allow me to give you a wee visual….imagine 570 cram-packed boeing 747s!) of single use plastics end up in our oceans every year.

Inevitably, these plastics end up in the stomach’s of our marine life. One out of every three turtles have consumed marine plastic! 😫

So, what can you do? How the hell does one drink their coke zero from their take away cup without the straw??

Hmmm….let’s ponder it a second. πŸ€”

Ok, I’m going to go a bit way out here and suggest this….just hear me through….take the lid off (also single use plastic!) and sip it right out the top, using ye’r lips??

Or….if you’re a true mentalist like me, you could carry straws in your non leather handbag! πŸ˜‚

 

IMG_20170726_145414

I’m not even kidding!

If you need more of a reason that all of the above….plastic surgeons say sooking through a straw gives you ‘smokers lips’….so, if you can’t make the change for cleaner air, land and oceans…do it for vanity!

Or…for me! πŸ˜‹

Vegan supermarket find…

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

snapchat-1706133501.jpg

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

Snapchat-356757896.jpg

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

Snapchat-1857637170.jpg

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

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…πŸ€” 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. πŸ‘

Snapchat-852470755

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!

snapchat-1347085001.jpg

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

Snapchat-291470498.jpg

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! πŸ˜‚ (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!!!

IMG_20170715_141105_256.jpg

I quickly threw together spicy peanut tofu with bulgar wheat. It’s Β 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.

🀘

Appeal for help….if you can. If you can’t, send some positivity & love. βœŒ

Not my usual type of post this morning. But…can anyone help with this old girl. She’s currently in the Pererra, Murcia. She has been used as a breeding machine and now disgarded because she’s older.

IMG_20170715_102725_034.jpg

It would cost Β£80 to get her from this shelter and Β£200 to transport her to the UK.

Can anyone find it in their heart or their home for this old girl? If you don’t have room for her, are you able to pay something towards her transport or fees to get to the UK, where we can secure foster parents for her until she finds her forever home?

It’s a long shot…and there are hundreds of dogs needing help, i know this. But, older dogs are very often overlooked and she’s had such a rubbish life I’d like to see her getting some comfort and love in her twilight years.