Showing posts from July, 2012

Yo sushi!

I've put on a bit of weight from being ill last year and not being very active combined with being stuck inside and eating far too many kettle chips. I've gone up a clothes size and still have some issues with fatigue so I decided last week to try to tackle things by doing some exercise and having a bit of an overhaul of my eating habits. So, the plan is to eat really healthily in the week, uping my intake of raw foods whilst using my exercise bike whilst watching the Olympics on telly for inspiration. Here's a few of the meals I've had starting with a Sweet Potato and Black Bean chilli stew. This is adapted from a recipe that used to be on Post Punk Kitchen which doesn't seem to be there any more but it's a real favourite of mine. At the end of cooking you give it a good mashing with a potato masher which creates a great texture.

Salad with radish, olives, carrot, heirloom tomatoes, alfalfa and mung bean sprouts and a shop bought 3 bean mint salad. The crispb…

Road Trip Picnic

My friends Helen and Debbie live in Hackney. They decided to escape the Olympics and go on a bit of a road trip. They stopped off in Manchester for a few nights en route to the Lake District to go and stay in one of these amazing looking pods! I managed to get yesterday off work and we nipped over to Liverpool to the Tate to see the Turner, Monet and Twombley exhibition. Then we went just a few miles further for a picnic.

Yum, bagels slathered with humous, rocket, tomatoes, olives, kettle chips, vegetable chips, olives, giant crunchy corn, fresh coconut and a little lemon cupcake. We bought extra cake from Meat Free Monday the night before and it was an excuse to get the special cake holders out! Can you guess where we went?

It was my first visit to see the Anthony Gormley installation Another Place. As it was such a nice day it was quite hard to spot some of the figures in the water as there was so many people in there with them! I'm looking forward to going back in the winter t…

Cake Liberation!

It's been a busy weekend of baking related activity. I spent hours yesterday making loads of stuff for the Cake Liberation Front meet up today. I was worried that we might have a low turn out due to a couple of other events happening at the same time and it also being too nice to be indoors. I was also worried that due to the nice weather not many people would have baked as it's not compulsory. I needn't have worried as loads of people came down, loads baked and we even had stuff left for people to take home this time! Here's my contribution in the picture below of white chocolate, raspberry and almond cake (from Vegan Diner), Chocolate Chai cake (from Get it Ripe), Cheesy heart biscuits from this Chef Chloe recipe, Ginger and Macademia Nut cookies + Tahini and Lime cookies, both from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar.

And here's the full list of what people brought - White chocolate, raspberry and almond cake, chocolate brownies, chocolate and walnut biscuits,…

Get Your Grill On

It's been a bit of a busy and stressful week but there have been some nice things to punctuate it. One was a fab vegan wine tasting at the wonderful Bakerie Tasting Store. The Bakerie Bar and Tasting Store are one of the most vegan friendly businesses in Manchester so make sure you check them out if you visit here. They have also just been nominated for Best Newcomer in the Manchester Food and Drink Awards so if you could spare a minute to vote for them that would be ace! Hopefully one days our cities will be full of vegan friendly businesses of the same calibre. I also got round to spending my accumulated Nectar points which I always use for cookery books. I'd read good reviews of this.

I LOVE barbeques. Even when I wasn't veggie I used to prefer to cook veggie stuff on them. I have Rose Elliot's Vegetarian BBQs and Grills which I think is out of print but there are some good used copies here on Amazon from as little as 1p - well worth snapping up. The pictures are lo…

Vegan Eats Nottingham Part 2

During the trip to Nottingham we managed to fit in visits to Alley Cafe bar on both the Friday and the Sunday! I'd had the breakfast on my last visit there and great as it was (the scrambled tofu is really amazing, I think they use smoked tofu), whilst Matt opted for that again I went for the sausage sandwich. They use good quality sausages (Redwood's Sage and Marjoram) with vegan mayo, caramelized onions and salad on thick, soft, granary bread. The perfect thing to enjoy whilst  huddled inside from the torrential downpours that were engulfing the East Midlands.

Once we finished our brunch we were joined by friends Jeff and Jane for a cake off! Starting from 12 o'clock and moving clockwise - Jeff choose Chai Lemon Sponge with icecream, Matt had Chocolate Torte, I had Chocolate Biscuit Cake with icecream and Jane went for Peach Cheesecake. Whilst the menu at Alley Cafe is vegetarian and vegan, ALL of the cakes are vegan so I got to try a bit of each. They were all good but…

Vegan Eats Nottingham Part 1

Matt is from Nottingham and we've just spent a lovely weekend there seeing his family. We went to see his nephew Jono's band on Thursday night and also to a great village fair that a lot of his family were involved with raising money for kids from a local special school to have a trip to the Paralympics. Jono also had a vintage clothing stall at the fair and has a fantastic business called Captains Locker. Check it out if you're into vintage clothing. Nottingham is a good city of vegans and on Friday night we all went out to Aubergine restaurant. As soon as we sat down we were treated to a yummy complimentary 'amuse bouche' of beetroot hummus on sundried tomato polenta.

I've not posted pictures of the starters or desserts (for those of us who had room) but they were all polished off. The menu changes on a monthly basis and it's all vegetarian with more than half of it vegan as are all the wines and beers. Here's a selection of the vegan main courses we…


Last weekend was a really busy one. Matt had a gig in Harrow on the Thursday evening then we spent Friday with friends in St Albans before hoping on the train early on Saturday morning. We shared it with hundreds of Stone Roses fans and the train buffet ran out of lager after 45 minutes! Made me feel old, I remember going to see them a couple of times around 85/86 before they were famous! Once back in Manchester it was time to host a party. One Sunday evening in January I had dinner with my friends Rachel and Marie and we were bemoaning the fact that our birthdays are in November and December so we never get to do things like birthday picnics or sitting in beer gardens. We decided that we would have a joint un-birthday party in the summer and as there is a nice communal garden at my flats we'd do drinks outside.

Of course being Manchester and despite it being June there was a torrential downpour and we ended up holding the whole thing inside! As the flats were built in the 1930s…