Monthly Archives: May 2016

There’s nothing like a good independent documentary to get you riled on a Tuesday evening. Happy ChooseDay

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Today has been another one of those days.

Witnessing the reactions and repercussions of choices made.

So on becoming vegan, I’ve sort of rewritten my future. Just to give one recent example, I’ve been to three BBQ’s in the past two weeks. With my new dietary requirements, I’m now in a position where I need to prepare and bring my own food (with enough to share, of course). This has been somewhat of a ‘deal’ at all three BBQ’s, not unsurprisingly.

I’ve found being a vegan at a BBQ (at these particular gatherings) was like how being the sober person in a nightclub can sometimes feel; like nobody really knows why you’re there; and they’re certainly not interested in sharing your sinless concoction.

Anyhow, had I not decided to turn vegan the past two weeks, and had shown up with my standard spicy chicken skewers, much of these experiences had played out slightly differently.

Then tonight I watched the documentary,  Cowspiracy. And wow. Just wow when the universe flows so perfectly. (Although we try our best not to doubt ourselves), when one feels the confirmation, the knowing that the choices you’ve made are the right ones, it feels amazing.

Just to sum up Cowspiracy – basically animal agriculture (that’s everything meat-industry related, including rearing and feeding animals) is the biggest cause of deforestation. Erm, we are destroying Mother Earth by choosing to eat animals.

Not only that, but this information is purposefully kept from the public. You don’t even see animal agriculture listed as one of the biggest issues on ‘environmentalist’ websites such as Greenpeace. When it is in fact, having the biggest impact on our planet.

And… we’re destroying land for the purposes of raising animals to sell for food for richer people… in countries where other humans are starving.

The logic. I cannot comprehend.

So yeah, I’m embracing being vegan. I’ve also had a lot of number synchronicities lately, including the 33’s telling me my path is true.

 

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Had the tastiest vegan dinner so far today

Even if I do have to be the awkward twat at BBQ’s and weddings (also got two of those coming up, I’ve had to again be an inconvenience and change my dietary requirements.. 🙈), it’s all worth it.

I can live in peace knowing I’m not contributing to the constant suffering of animals or the rapid destruction of the planet.

And then it’s make some waves… who knows what amazing changes will come about? But they’re bound to happen, all the same.

Peace and love everybody

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Vegan Black Bean Quesadillas with Salsa & Guacamole

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Vegan Black Bean Quesadillas with Salsa & Guacamole

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Mexican food is one my favourites, and I’m delighted to be able to still enjoy those delicious flavours, without meat or dairy products.

In fact, the elimination of these transforms any meal into a powerhouse of nutrients, while masking any suspect ‘healthy’ ingredients with a clever mix of herbs and spices.

So I had a stab at some vegan alternatives this weekend, and they were a huge hit with my meat eater and vegan guests alike!

I’ve included the recipe and method below, and if you’re a fan of Mexican food I highly recommend you give them a go!

(Serves 6)

For the Guacamole:

2 nicely ripe avacados
2-3 large ripe tomatos
1 red onion (finely chopped)
1 chilli (deseeded, finely chopped)
Lime juice

Chop tomatos into small chunks and place into a bowl. Scoop out the avacado flesh, discard the stones and add flesh to the bowl. Mash the avacado with a spoon and mix well with the tomato, chilli and onion. Sprinkle with lime juice.

Tip: Make the guacamole last, right before serving. Or if it needs to be stored, add extra lime, place an avacado stone in the middle of the mixture to stop it browning, cover tightly and refrigerate.

For the salsa:

6 ripe tomatos
1 onion
1-2 chillies (deseeded)
1-2 cloves garlic
Olive oil
Pink salt/black pepper
Bunch of fresh coriander

Finely chop the tomatos and add to a bowl. Blend the chillies, garlic, olive oil, onion, some of the coriander and salt and pepper. Add mixture to tomatos and combine well. Finish with the rest of the coriander.

For the Quesadilla and filling:

1 butternut squash, peeled and chopped into small cubes
2 courgettes, chopped into small cubes
400g black beans
Brown rice
Garlic infused olive oil
Fajita seasoning
1 pack of tortilla wraps

Prepare and cook the beans as you prefer. I used dried beans, soaked overnight then simmered with onion, garlic and cumin for 60 mins. Tinned beans can be simply drained, rinsed and simmered.

Add courgettes and butternut squash to a deep baking tray. Cover with a few tsp of olive oil and coat well. Add fajita seasoning and flip everything over so it’s all coated evenly. Roast at 200° for 40 mins or until cooked; the outside of the veg should be crispy.

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I used a packet of fajita seasoning, but if you’ve taken the plunge of a sugar free diet as well as veganism, you can make it yourself really easily:

Just mix together chilli powder, cumin, paprika, cayenne, garlic, and salt, for a fresh, sugar – free alternative.

Boil the rice to the packet instructions, then once it’s very almost cooked add it to a frying pan with some garlic, freshly chopped tomatos, chilli, pepper and coriander. Fry it off in a little olive oil to infuse the flavours. The rice should become a little crispy.

Once all the parts of the filling are ready, layer a little of each onto one half of a tortilla wrap. Then fold it over and add to a dry frying pan for a couple minutes each side, until the filling is warm and the tortilla pockets sort of seal together.

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Once warm and crispy, remove from the pan and carefully cut into quarters.

Serve with guacamole and salsa. Or for a creamier filling, add some of these to the tortillas as well as the veg and rice before frying. You can even add vegan cheese inside if you wish!

..Delicioso!

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16/05/16: The Day I Gone Vegan

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I just thought I’d write a short post to inform whoever might care, as of one week today I’ve been trying a vegan diet.

I thought it made sense to make it known the reason why all of the recipes I upload from now on will suddenly turn vegan (if not obvious already).

So yes, I’m officially vegan. And to be honest, I’m very surprised at how easy the transition has been so far. I know I’m only a week in, but the array of mouthwatering recipes I’ve seen and foods I’ve tried has already left me super excited about this new endeavour.

And of course, the fact that I’ll no longer be adding to the already huge problem of animal based diets, which is not only detrimental to human health and our planet, but also horrific for our fellow animal beings.

I shall try not to preach; for a few years now I’ve known that the time will eventually come for me to become vegetarian. And more research into veganism led me to realise this diet made the most sense.

I’d already cut out the majority of dairy products, indulging in protein yogurt or a bit of cheese now and then. And my replacement of meat products for veggies and legumes has been going on for a while now too. So basically I was already half way there.

Now I’ve taken the plunge. The biggest challenge will certainly be the chocolate addiction… but I’ve already seen and tried lots of exciting vegan alternatives. And they’re not only dairy free, but actually healthy for you!! Definitely exciting times ahead.

I’m glad I can rest peacefully at night knowing I’m no longer adding to the problem, but doing my best to actively be part of the solution. And although there will likely be some tough times ahead (eating out is my favourite pastime), I’m super excited and ready to embrace change, for the betterment of the planet and my Self.

Go Vegans!
😁✌

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Recipe from Ella Woodward: Pesto Butterbeans with Spinach, Pomegranate and Pumpkin Seeds. My first attempt at a vegan dish, I wasn't disappointed..


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First time being vegan at a BBQ on Saturday.. no biggy: mushroom (instead of chicken), pepper and onion basted in spicy peri peri sauce and cooked until crispy.. I can handle this

Spicy Veggie Burgers

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Veering into the world of the vegetable patty can be somewhat daunting; “how can vegetables surpass a juicy beef burger?” one has probably asked.

As a lifelong carnivore, I myself was always reluctant to even bother tempting my taste buds to adjust to what may be considered a travesty against meat eaters.

But after visiting an all-vegetarian restaurant for the first time this week, I’ve been convinced a meatless diet isn’t as bland or big a deal as my mind might have once tried to tell me.

I’ve dabbled with home-made falafal before (drool), but had continued to shy away from the veggie burger. And these were so easy!

So here is my first attempt, and they turned out super delicious! In fact, there’s so many variations I can’t wait to try mixing it up next time.

These were actually a combination of sweet potato, carrot and kidney beans. And if you’re keen to experiment with a wider range of veggie meals, I’ve included the recipe I used below:

Ingredients (makes roughly 4 patties):

1-2 carrots, grated
2 sweet potatoes
1 can red kidney beans
1 tsp tahini (optional, but adds flavour and helps bind everything together)
Chilli flakes
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Pink himalayan salt/black pepper to taste
Sesame seeds, for a crispy outer layer
1tbsp olive oil

Method:

Preheat oven to 200°

Cook the potatoes  (I boiled until soft but roast is of course an option), then mash up in a bowl.

Drain and rinse the kidney beans, mash them up or put them through a food processor until smooth (I kept a few in chunks as I enjoy the ‘bite’ of a kidney bean).

Mix beans and potato together with the carrot, garlic, tahini and chilli flakes, season with salt and pepper if needed.

Spread the olive oil evenly across a baking tray.

When all ingredients are combined well, roll into patties and sprinkle with sesame seeds (or breadcrumbs, etc) to give a nice crispy outside.

Place onto baking tray and turn over so they’re coated in oil on both sides.

Pop into the oven and cook for 20-30 minutes, turning halfway through.

Serve on toasted brioche bun, topped with houmous and crispy salad (..or however you fancy, baby).

Tasty, filling, nutritous and not an animal in sight! Enjoy 🙂