It's that time of the week again for a round up of bargains I've been discovering, treats I've been enjoying and things I've been making.
In this first picture are a couple of things from Netto. I remember Netto appearing in a few places in Manchester back in the nineties and they were always at the lower end of the discount supermarkets and not somewhere I ever felt drawn to want to shop at. I didn't even think they were still going until one opened on the road out of Glossop about six months ago. I also wasn't aware that they are actually a Scandinavian company. They don't have the range of stuff that Aldi and Lidl have but there are some good bargains to be have and the specials often include really nice homewares stuff. It's too far out of town to walk too but we sometimes stop in if we're driving past like last Sunday. I picked up a good, cheap planter for the plants I've won that I mentioned in my last post and also these fruit and oat bites and some red onion marmalade. I love red onion marmalade on a sandwich with vegan cheese and it can also work surprisingly well with hummus. You always need to read the ingredients as sometimes the onions have been slow cooked in butter. This is actually marked as vegan and was only 99p. The fruit and oats bites are like the new Nak'd Nibbles and were an absolute bargain at £1 for 5 mini bags. In comparison the Nak'd bags are around 90p a bag. They taste great and I wish we'd bought more!
I also popped in Aldi during the week. I've found them to be really good for cut price baking ingredients and the cheapest place for dark chocolate chips with 100g bags for 49p. I always like to browse the specials section and I picked up these sundried tomato and basil pitta chips. Inside the big bag are 5 smaller bags and they cost £1. They tasted just like the homemade version and would be great for scooping up dips as well as enjoying on their own.
Aldi has got lots of healthy snack type things these days. We really like these fruit bars. They are around £1.90 for 5 bars so again well priced compared to bars like this that are sold singly.
I also picked up some bags of dried fruit so that I could have a go at some recipes from the latest book that I've got out of the library. All the recipes are vegetarian and a lot of them are vegan. To be honest I don't think I'll make that much from it as some of it looks a bit fancy for every day or would work out expensive in the way that gourmet raw stuff can.
I have made a lovely turmeric mylk though and also these matcha, lime and coconut energy balls. I've also got my eye on a recipe for cacao, tahini and date energy balls and a mocha panacotta dessert with baked figs.
When I was in work last Friday afternoon I felt like a bit of chocolate so I popped round the corner to V Revolution. They have a really wonderful selection of vegan chocolate but I ended up buying this coconut jerky instead. It was a product I'd never seen before but I can report that it is really good! They also do a BBQ and a Teriyaki flavour. It's pricey for a 15g snack at £1.85 but I appreciate that it's made by a small company and food made in a dehydrator doesn't come cheap. I definitely want to try the savoury flavours as well.
From pricey snacks to free or almost free food! I got my sprouter out of storage this week. I never seem to have the same success with sprouting in the winter as I do in the summer. I had loads of alfalfa seeds left from last year and should have enough to have a continuous supply through the summer. All these seeding have come from just one dessert spoon of seeds. Does anyone else do sprouting and what seeds do you use? I prefer alfalfa to the mixed seeds ranges with chickpeas that I've tried but wonder if there is something else I should try as I actually have two sets of these sprouting trays.
I have yet to enter the world of foraging for wild food but feel it's something I really should start to explore as I live on the edge of such amazing countryside these days. A friend at work had a vegan guest coming to stay and asked me if I knew of any vegan pesto recipes she could use to make some pesto with wild garlic she'd foraged. I found a few online and she very kindly brought me in a jar of the finished product. I've never had wild garlic before and it tastes delicious! I'm planning to use this with gnocchi and also on a pizza.
I've been continuing to make things from the latest Delicously Ella cook book from the library so watch out for a blog post about that at the weekend. I also made my first cupcakes in ages. My friends Rachel and Liam got married last weekend and as there was a whole table of vegans at the wedding I offered to make cupcakes. They were chocolate with banana, chocolate frosting and vanilla with vanilla, cinnamon frosting. The flavoured icing sugars and the cute heart shaped sprinkles were all from Sugar and Crumbs who are great for vegan friendly baking ingredients.
Finally check out the wedding favours - vegan friendly sweets!
For anyone not from the UK, these are Love Heart sweets and each one has a little message on it. They are a very popular traditional English sweet. Who knew you could get personalised versions!