I am so over complicated desserts. Apart from baking the odd sweet bread I just don’t have the inclination to make puddings of any kind right now. I’m happy to buy them – and eat ‘em – but makin’ em? I don’t know, my sweet treat prowess has left me over the last few months somehow. Most probably not helped by my winter hibernation mode, which seen me bake copious amounts of goodies, ultimately resulting in my clothes feeling just that wee bit tight. Ugh, the winter podge, don’t you just love it?!
Anyway, I am slowly returning to my healthier eating ways and hopefully will trim the excess by the time summer rolls around. This cashew cream – whilst not fat free – is a great alternative to shop bought processed puddings, and quite honestly it tastes phenomenal. You can have it plain or jazz it with whatever flavours you fancy ….I happened to have some coconut milk and leftover soya cappuccino drink, so that went in. But anything could work, I’m thinking a cool peppermint flavour next time.
My Husband keeps telling me that two handfuls of cashews is like having a dose of prozac ….well, that might be a bit of a stretch but if it helps keep me off the cupcakes and feeling better about the impending donning of the bikini then that’ll do for me.
1 cup cashews
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup coconut milk
1/4 soya cappuccino drink
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 tbsp date syrup
Soak the cashews in water for at least 3 hrs. Blitz in a hand blender with the 1/4 cup water until it resembles a coarse pulp, scraping down the sides as you go.
Transfer to a traditional blender, add the coconut milk, cappuccino soya milk, almond extract, date syrup and salt and blitz until completely smooth.
Refrigerate for at at least half an hour and serve. Good with fresh berries, cake, on cereal …..um, pretty much anything you can think of really!
If you visit this blog regularly you’ll know I’m pretty selective about the products I recommend. But, when I do come across something I believe to be blog worthy I have no qualms in giving it a well deserved thumbs up – and this new (to me) soya milk brand most certainly warrants a pat on the back. Up until now we’ve had a pretty limited selection here in the UK when it comes to soya milk, with only one major brand being at the forefront, so it’s great to finally have more choice.
Whilst I love to mix up my plant milks I always have a carton of soya in the fridge – I refuse to give up my morning tea, I only have so many vices left! Obviously too much of anything is never good but i’m happy with the balance we have in our own diet. We tried two different Vivesoy milks – unsweetened and cappuccino (i’m sucker for anything coffee flavoured), and were super impressed with both.
My problem with most soya milks is the sometimes unpleasant aftertaste, even with flavoured milks. Genuinely, hand on heart, not the case with this one. I’m so ridculously over the moon with their cappuccino flavour soya milk (which I served over ice, ‘iced-coffee’ style and in an ‘ice-cream’ float – yes, I went there) I’m in danger of becoming addicted …..seriously could not stop drinking this stuff and will have to stock up the next time I see it in Tesco for sure. Not much can satisfy my iced-coffee cravings other than a Starbucks (feel free to wrap me over the knuckles) but this is as close as it gets.
The other big soya milk hurdle for me is how well it works in tea. Being a total tea drinking nut I need a milk that is sufficiently thick and pourable, and this brand ticks both boxes and more. Oh, and my Husband insisted I mention how easy to pour the carton is – a little bugbear of his (p.s. he didn’t want me to feature his hand – ha, too bad). So yeah, what can I say ….it’s a goodun!
I’m slowly emerging from the fog I feel like I’ve been living in the past fortnight. I haven’t been remotely tempted to lift my camera until today but when I came home from work I just decided to snap some pics of my latest favourite ‘cruelty free’ beauty products…..and as far as I can tell (but do double check) are also all suitable for vegans!
You may have heard me blabber on before about how incredible Superdrug is for vegans – none of their own brand products are tested on animals (yay), many are vegan friendly (double yay) and everything is labelled clearly (mega yay). My kind of store.
I have used the shampoo before but they’ve mixed it up a little since I last purchased it by adding the lime but i’ve never known a dash of lime to diminish anything so I fairly certain it’s a safe bet. You’ll notice I opted for the ‘oily hair’ ‘poo – yes, I am prone to a greasy mop so am hoping this product will keep it in check some.
Skipping swiftly onto the deodorant (and this is why I can’t be 100% sure everything here is vegan friendly although Rituals products are definitely not tested on animals), which admittedly was bought in haste at the airport when I was hurrying home to Ireland last week. Luckily it turned out to be a total winner – double winner seeing as I snaffled both the roll on and spray. I normally avoid sprays like the plague but I felt I need extra underarm protection. Anyway, all I can say is it may be (as in, it totally is) the best anti-perspirant I have ever used and that is saying something. It has kept me completely fresh and dry for the past two weeks during some pretty stressful moments, smells delightful (not too overpowering like many deodorants) and, whilst being a tad pricey, is actually totally worth the money. Okay, so I might be a wee bit obsessed with this brand right now so forgive my overly glowing recommendation.
And now the face oils. Oh man, these are good. I mean, really really good. I’ve taken to alternating between the Nude ProGenius oil and my regular moisturiser for my nightly routine and it is working for me big time. I had a super annoying dry patch on my cheek for months and after using this oil it completely disappeared and hasn’t reappeared since. I haven’t sampled the Weleda Almond oil yet but I’ve never been disappointed with anything from that brand so I’m giving it a preemptive thumbs up.
Eye cream can be tricky one because I still feel like i’m at that in-betweeny stage. Whilst I know I’m no spring chicken I don’t feel like I should be using anti-aging products just yet, so this Superdrug ‘Optimum’ cream seemed like a good compromise. I’ve only been using it a few days so will report back on it’s effectiveness at a later date but so far, so good.
Whilst we’re still on the topic, Superdrug have an excellent make-up range now (much to my delight), which is affordable and really quite fantastic. Thankfully I can assure you this eyeliner is most definitely vegan friendly as it says so on the pen – thank you Superdrug, yet again. I am not easily impressed when it comes to eyeliner but this is a goodun – I could probably put it on one handed if I wanted too, as these pictures demonstrate… ‘cept this is obviously taken longs after the liner had been applied but hey, you get the idea. In case you’re interested I had been wearing the liner all day when these were snapped and not a smudge in sight!
If you like your make-up, happen to be vegan and prefer not to spend a small fortune on cosmetics, you will probably already have heard of E.L.F.. I’ve long since been a fan and actually rate them better than most higher end brands. I’d been having trouble finding a foundation that suited my colouring, and had previously been recommended a terrible shade in a certain well known make-up outlet that will remain nameless, until I came across this one and I’m pretty certain I’m going to stick with it for the foreseeable future. I’ll admit the concealer could give a bit more coverage but for the price I ain’t complaining.
Ooompphh, that was a long one. Until next time folks!
I almost didn’t post this but I needed to take my mind off some sad news I received today. Sometimes focusing on the small things in life can help you appreciate the bigger picture and this Sunday was an exercise in recognising how terribly fleeting our time here can be. With that in mind I might have clung a little tighter to my Husband, hugged my Sister a little closer and tried to be a little kinder to those around me.
These are just photos from our morning meal and I’m not even sure they’re blog worthy – other than to show you a glimpse into our weekend routine. I don’t always make a big hoohah at breakfast, so often rely on cereals and bread. Of course, I can’t resist multiple toppings and one of my frequent favourites is plain soya yoghurt, chopped dates, fresh fruits, nuts and date syrup.
I’m also obsessed with this rye bread, which toasts perfectly and is a staple in my cupboard. This morning I opted for cashew butter, chopped strawberries, desiccated coconut and date syrup. Not forgetting a good grating of nutmeg and generous sprinkling of cinnamon.
Not exactly a recipe, I know, but still delicious and really satisfying on a lazy Sunday morning. Right now I’m preparing myself to travel back to Ireland to be with my family during this difficult time, and tonight I will be savoring every single second with my beloved Hubby knowing that these small moments matter.
When I first heard about this frozen dessert I was more than a little dubious – how in the heck can banana make ice-cream?! Like I said. Dubious. In my pre-vegan days I considered myself an ice-cream connoisseur and truth be told it was the one thing I genuinely missed at the very beginning of my journey. The lack of good substitutes didn’t really help either. In case you weren’t aware the dairy free frozen dessert section in most British supermarkets is not even worth talking about – apart from Swedish Glace there’s not much in the way of authentic tasting ‘ice-cream’, so I have to rely on myself to satiate those urges.
You could say then that this humble little recipe is a bit of a lifesaver for me. I’ve made it in so many variations – adding fruit, desiccated coconut, flavourings, and all with great success. The banana flavour is not terribly strong so even if you’re not a fan of the fruit you can still enjoy it. Texture wise it’s very similar to that glorious soft serve ice-cream you used to enjoy by the seaside (I’m sure you can enjoy it in city centre’s too but I always associate with small coastal towns).
Anyway, it’s a cinch to make, tastes delightful and best of all you can even have it for breakfast – at least that’s what I did when I enjoyed this peanut butter and chocolate version on Sunday. I can’t think of a better way to start the day, can you?
3 frozen bananas chopped into pieces (chop it prior to freezing!)
1 tbsp agave or other sweetener
1 heaped tsp smooth peanut butter
1/2 small bar of dark chocolate finely chopped or grated
blueberries and strawberries to serve
Place the frozen banana in a hand blender and blitz until smooth – it will go through several stages before becoming creamy so just keep blending until it happens, scraping down the sides with a spatula now and then.
Add the agave and peanut butter and blend together before stirring through the chocolate.
Place a handful of blueberries and chopped strawberries in the bottom of a glass. Spoon over the ‘ice-cream’, top with a few more berries, a little more grated chocolate and serve.
Let me tell you why I’m not shy about calling these ‘Ultimate Vegan Stuffed Mushrooms’. Not one for making big claims about stumbled upon creations that are bourne out of what I simply have in the fridge, this recipe was the fluke to end all flukes when it’s comes to stuffed mushrooms. It’s not just that they’re tasty, work well at every meal time or are stupidly easy to make. It’s the fact they put every other stuffed mushroom I have tasted to shame….and I’ve eaten my fair share of stuffed mushrooms.
If you happen to be vegan you’ll be rejoicing at the all encompassing flavour – that certain ‘umami’ you often hear people bang on about (mainly in reference to its apparent absence in vegan dishes) will be silenced because it is totally present here. In bucketloads. If you’re not vegan, I’d be more than a little surprised if you enjoy them any less than their usually cheese laden counterparts – trust me, they do not need it!
There are several secret weapons when it’s comes to achieving such stuffed mushroom greatness and eliminating even one of them will sacrifice an essential layer of deliciousness and may even render them simply good instead Uh.ma.zing.
The nutmeg and cayenne pepper are musts – omit at your peril and against my advice….I can be quite bossy when I want to be. The coconut milk could be replaced with soya cream but it would be a less healthy choice. At a push the leek might be swapped with half a very finely chopped onion but in all honesty the earthy flavour the leek lends to the dish would be sorely missed. I also insist on the double dose of garlic – fresh and pureed…it’s an absolute must! Oh, and the nutritional yeast is crucial in achieving that perfect stuffed mushroom crust.
Ready for the recipe? Here ya go….
4 portobello mushrooms
several handfuls of fresh spinach
3 garlic cloves plus 1 tsp garlic puree
generous grating of nutmeg
1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees celsius/350 degrees fahrenheit.
Peel the mushrooms and remove stalks. Rub each with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper
Finely chop the leek. Heat a little oil in a pan and gently fry the leek until soft. Mince the garlic and add to pan along with the garlic puree (if using – recommended) and gently infuse for several minutes before adding the spinach.
Generously grate the nutmeg over the spinach and sprinkle over the cayenne. Season and wilt.
Add the coconut milk, gently heat through, season and set aside.
Fill each mushroom with the creamy spinach filling and top with nutritional yeast. Bake for 25-30 mins depending on your oven. Serve immediately with hot ‘buttered’ toast. For extra B12 goodness, spread marmite on one slice.
Valentines Day doesn’t have to be a totally commercial ‘hallmark’ holiday. You can make it special in a few small ways throughout the day, and show the person you love how much they mean to you in the best possible way – through food! Without a doubt, food is an incredibly powerful, emotive way to display your affection. We’re not going out for a three course restaurant meal this year but I will sprinkle my vegan love throughout the day. Here are five ways you can make your Valentines Day deliciously vegan and wonderfully romantic…..
Let’s begin with breakfast. This peanut butter, banana and chocolate baked oatmeal recipe is the perfect start to Valentines Day – and that’s not just my opinion. Topped with a fresh strawberry, it’s a cheeky opener to this special day.
Valentine’s is the perfect excuse to eat chocolate for breakfast (check), lunch and dinner, and if it contains avocado….well then, it’s practically an order! This chocolate avocado pudding is a nutritious little stunner that will have him/her guessing what the crucial ingredient is. Topped with another strawberry? Oh, go on!
A mid afternoon sweet treat is a super cute Valentine’s gesture. These gluten free fig and rose cupcakes are a favourite of mine. Delicately flavoured and really simple to make, you could easily whip up a small batch in time for the 14th!
There’s no better way to end this sweet filled day than with a slice of raw vegan cherry bakewell cheesecake. I know Hubbie wouldn’t say no to a serving or two of this creamy layered beauty – good thing it errs on the right of healthy too! Now that’s how I show my love on Valentines, how about you?
instagram , outfits , PeaSoupWears , personal , sustainability , Vegan , Vegan Fashion , vintage
It’s been a while since I did one of these posts so I felt like one was definitely due. I’m still stir crazy about instagram so here’s a weeks worth of my filtertastic pics….. I have a thing for all things nautical so when this parcel came in the post I was just a wee bit ecstatic to find the gorgeously tissue wrapped gift adorned with these super cute anchor stickers. Seasalt sure do know how to make a girl happy! The lift at work has become the perfect place for me to take full length outfit shots without having to trouble my poor Hubbie. I was definitely channelling my inner Land Girl that day. Love a good headscarf, me.New York Fashion week is underway and London Fashion Week is scarily close. I think I have things just about under control at work (crosses fingers and toes) and I’m really excited about this season – my third fashion week, yikes! In particular, I am chomping at the bit to witness this incredible retrospective catwalk show featuring the designs of Mary Quant, Ossie Clark and Vivienne Westwood to name but a few. Stellar stuff!
If you were curious as to what was in the pretty anchor clad parcel above, it was these gorgeous turn up pea green jeans. Seasalt is one of my favourite brands and these fit like a dream. I’ll be doing a more in depth fashion post dedicated to these lovely trews over the weekend.
There I go again, taking pictures of myself in the FT lifts! It was a leopard print kind of day - any excuse to wear this jumper, it is the comfiest thing I own. I wish Zara made them in other colours/prints, I would stock up for sure. Sadly I have never seen another one exactly like this style. The skirt is vintage and I paired the whole outfit with ma black sparkly brogues. Ta da!
Oh my, this dinner was go-od. Vegan shrimp and grits isn’t exactly a staple round here but I have made it a few times. It’s such a satisfying dish with plenty of spice. I think a few more tweaks and we’ll have a monster vegan hit on our hands.
I couldn’t believe how many people stopped to compliment on my shirt today, it went down an absolute treat. This is one of my go to outfits – what you can’t see are my indigo flares, which keep it just the right side of casual. It’s practical, comfortable and smart, so perfect for the office.
I am addicted to this tea right now. Licorice and peppermint are a match made in herbal tea heaven. Just the right amount of sweetness that really hits the spot mid afternoon. I also like it after dinner. And mid morning. Okay, so it’s good anytime of the day. Pukka are my favourite tea brand, the flavours are quite intense but super delicious. Plus the boxes are pretty – ah, such a sucker for packaging!
This is actually what I wore last Friday and granted it’s bright with a captial B. Most people tend to dress down on Friday – it seems to be a thing in offices. I find it a little odd but that’s just me. It also makes me want to ramp it up a bit just to go against the grain….maybe I went too far this time?!
….and that was my week. Hello weekend, I’m ready for ya!
Anyone fancy a totally awesome, fail safe, fool proof, painfully easy recipe for vegan banana bread? Sure you do! I am here to dutifully deliver….
recipe based on my vegan chocolate banana bread
what you’ll need
2 cups plain white flour
1/2 cup organic sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 bicarbonate of soda
pinch of seasalt
3 ripe bananas
1 cup blueberries
3/4 cup oat milk
1 tbsp water
1 tsp cider vinegar
1/4 cup agave
1/3 cup oil
Pre-heat the oven to 175 degrees celsius/350 fahrenheit
Put all the dry ingredients in a large bowl and gently combine.
Mash the bananas to a pulp before adding the oat milk, cider vinegar, agave, water and oil. Whisk until thoroughly combined.
Grease a loaf tin with vegan spread/margarine.
Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and into it pour the wet. Gently fold until everything is incorporated before stirring through the blueberries.
Transfer the batter to the loaf tin and bake for 20minutes before turning the tin. This will ensure the loaf will bake evenly and the top won’t be more raised at one end.
Bake for a further 20 minutes before inserting a skewer into the centre – if it comes out clean the loaf is done! If not, don’t panic, let it bake for a further 5-10minutes and test again.
Remove from oven and allow it to cool for at least 20 minutes before attempting to remove it from the tin.
Et voila! The perfect banana loaf….
It’s been a long winter. I’d almost forgotten how I used to eat – keeping sugar and processed foods to an absolute minimum was par for the course and raw desserts were a regular occurrence.
But then winter came and I resorted to rich dinners and way too many biscuits and cakes, which has left me feeling a bit bleugh.
Thanks to some inspiration from awesome food blog Food.Fashion.Farm I was reminded of many of my old favourites, this chia pudding being one them.
This particular version uses a delicious blend of cardamon, cinnamon and nutmeg, as well as a little hit of agave (go easy on that stuff!) for added sweetness.
The coconut milk can be replaced with any plant milk but goes a long way in achieving that classic chai flavour. Plus, it makes it super creamy. It’s just an added bonus that it’s pretty healthy too!
chai chia coconut pudding
1/4 cup chia seeds
1 cup coconut milk
4 finely ground cardamon seeds
1/4 tsp cinnamon
good pinch freshly ground nutmeg
1 heaped tbsp agave nectar
Place the coconut milk in a blender, add the cardamon, cinnamon, nutmeg and agave and blitz until totally combined.
Stir through the chia seeds, divide into two bowls and refrigerate overnight.
- you could also add a banana to the coconut mixture for a different and equally delicious variation!