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Being the only vegan at a party

Being the only vegan at a party

Being the only vegan at a party

I don’t know if it has happened to you before but I sometimes feel like I am the only vegan in the village. Eating a vegan diet does make you the minority, although the number of us are on the increase, so there are things you need to accept.

  • people don’t always understand you
  • people think you only eat lettuce and carrots
  • you may be weird to some people
  • some people assume you are judging them OR that they’re making you feel uncomfortable eating meat near you
  • some genuinely don’t know how to cater for you
  • don’t expect to be catered for at parties and don’t take offence!!

As a result of this you have to be confident in what you’re doing, happy with what you’re doing and always be prepared.

Here are some quick tips to help you feel comfortable in party situations:

  • eat before you go: you wont offend anyone at the party because chances are there’s not much substantial you will be able to eat there. Eating before hand ensures you wont be hungry there so you wont get “hangry” and want to leave. You want to be happy and comfortable there so make sure you’re well fed before hand.
  • take something with you:  super easy tip. Take food with you! Share you’re food with others, it will make you blend in and people will appreciate the gift 🙂
  • don’t make comments about there being no vegan food available: in a room full of numerous “normal” eating people, you can’t expect that on top of catering for all them people that they’re going to go that extra mile for you. They have spent a lot of time and effort into preparing the party so don’t mention you’re vegan and there’s nothing to eat, simply say you’re not hungry or “no thank you” to non-vegan offerings.
  • find any vegan food you can and take it before it goes: there’s a chance that there will be a cheese board with fresh or dried fruits. Take some and pop them on your plate before they all go. Bread is normally available and if you’re lucky some salads or veggie sticks. More times than none there will be vegan options but get them on your plate at the beginning of the party, just incase they run out by the time you’re hungry.
  • don’t worry about it: at the end of the day you’re not there for the food, you’re there for the party. Enjoy the party and be social. Social environments don’t always have to revolve around food and if they do just make sure you’re prepared.

I hope these few, quick tips help you for when you feel like the only vegan in the village 🙂

 

 

Vegan “Mac and Cheese”

Vegan “Mac and Cheese”

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Here is a healthy take on a Mac and Cheese Recipe which is easy to make, versatile and satisfying.

Coconut milk is a great substitute from cows milk and is super high in fibre, B vitamins, vitamin C, iron, calcium and magnesium. Not to be confused with coconut water! Coconut water is fresh from a coconut itself and is clear in colour. Coconut milk, which here in the UK comes in a can, undergoes a straining process and is white in colour and much thicker and creamier. Great for using in curries and soup to give a creamy consistency.

Lets get into the recipe (serves 2 – large portions):

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 Butternut Squash
  • 200g Coconut Milk (canned, full-fat type)
  • 1/2 Vegetable Stock Cube
  • 1 tsp English Mustard
  • 2 tsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • Juice of 1/2 Lemon (optional)
  • Ground Pepper (to your taste – I like lots!)
  • 300g Pasta of your choice

METHOD:

  1. Start by slicing the Butternut Squash into two halves, deseed and place face down on a baking tray with a little water (approx. 100ml)
  2. Bake in the oven on Gas 6 for 1 hour
  3. Once cooked take out Butternut Squash and set aside while you cook your pasta
  4. Cook pasta for 10 minutes (or as packet instructions suggest) and while cooking you can scoop the flesh from the Butternut Squash and add it into a blender with the stock cube, balsamic vinegar, mustard, garlic, pepper and lemon.
  5. Once pasta is cooked, drain pasta and return to the pan with the “cheese” sauce you’ve just blended up and cook for a further 5 minutes or so until it heats back up and gets creamy.
  6. Season to your taste and serve with vegetables or whatever you fancy 🙂

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How to cook quinoa

How to cook quinoa

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What is Quinoa (keen-wah)?

Quinoa is often mistaken for a whole grain, however it is actually a seed but is used in the same way that you would use a grain. It’s grown in popularity over the past few years as its a complete protein source, naturally gluten free, high in iron, magnesium and fibre. It’s nutty in flavour and has light texture to it.

What do I eat it with?

I use quinoa like I would a whole grain, i.e. rice, buckwheat. So you could service it hot with some cooked veggies stirred through, or as a bed for a stew or curry. Why not try it cold as a salad with a dressing mixed through it, raw veggies, nuts and herbs. You could also get really creative and make your own pizza base, muffins, or some like to have it as a porridge.

How do I cook it?

Rinsing: Rinsing your quinoa is really important because quinoa has a natural coating called “saponin” which if you don’t wash off will leave your quinoa tasting earthy and bitter. Not nice. So before cooking it rinse it off in a sieve.

Cooking: Once you have rinsed your quinoa, put 1 Cup of quinoa with 2 Cups of water. Bring to the boil and then simmer with a lid on for 10 minutes, or until all the water has completely absorbed. Fluff with a fork and it’s ready !

Hope this helps 🙂

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Creamy Coconut, Lentil and Squash Curry

Creamy Coconut, Lentil and Squash Curry

Hey Lovelies 🙂

The month of January is over and the mornings and evenings are getting a teeny bit brighter, hallelujah! It feels like it’s starting to etch into Spring now and I felt like making something bright and summery but also filling, hearty and warm as it is still Winter of course.

Butternut squash is under rated in my opinion and always gets wasted in soups. This recipe, cooking it slowly releases the flavours of the squash and it becomes soft and sweet, combined with the coconut milk and gentle spices it’s a real warming winner.

This Creamy Coconut, Lentil and Squash Curry recipe was inspired by Deliciously Ella’s simple style; throwing it all into a pan and waiting. This is perfect for lazy days as it means less chopping, stirring and standing over the pan. It’s also garlic and onion free for anyone with intolerances.

Enjoy and Devour.

Makes 3 servings.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 Butternut Squash
  • 1 Can of Lentils Vert (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 Can of Coconut Milk
  • 1 Can of Chopped Tomatoes
  • 1 Large handful of Kale
  • Handful of Fresh Coriander
  • 1/2 Tbsp Turmeric
  • 1/2 Tbsp Cumin
  • 1/2 Tbsp Ground Ginger
  • 1/2 Lemon

METHOD:

  1. Peel and chop butternut squash into cubes, set aside.
  2. Add coconut milk, chopped tomatoes (rinse can afterwards with a little water and add that in too), lentils, turmeric, cumin and ginger into pan and bring to boil.
  3. Once at boil, turn down to simmer and add in butternut squash and coriander, cook for 35 minutes.
  4. After 35 minutes, add in chopped kale and cook for further 10 minutes (now would be a good time to put on the rice to cook).
  5. After 10 minutes stir in the juice of half a lemon, serve and enjoy. (When ready squash should be soft, if it’s not ready continue to cook until soft).
Cashew Alfredo Sauce

Cashew Alfredo Sauce

Sometimes all we want to eat is a big bowl of creamy pasta and I am here to give you that option with no guilt in sight and a recipe that is packed full of creamy deliciousness! Did you know that cashews could be made into a “cheese”? Sounds crazy but it’s true. Cashew alfredo sauce is a much healthier alternative to regular alfredo; it remains creamy, delicious and the cashews add a slight sweetness to the dish also.

The versatility to this dish is great so I have given you the recipe to a basic alfredo sauce but do feel free to add a fresh raw salad with it or some cooked veggies too. It’s quick and easy to make so try it for yourself and enjoy with no guilt at all 🙂

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 Medium sized Potatoes
  • 1/2 White Onion
  • 1/2 Cup Cashews
  • 1 tbsp. Fresh Coriander (or 1 tbsp. dried herbs of choice)
  • Juice of 1/2 Lemon
  • 4 Cloves of Garlic
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

This sauce is enough for 2 large portions so cook pasta accordingly, (or save a portion for the next day).

METHOD:

  1. Put on pasta to cook
  2. Whilst the pasta cooks boil your potatoes and onion until cooked (should be about 10-15minutes)
  3. Remove potatoes and onion from pan and keep the stock
  4. Put ALL ingredients into a blender along with 1 cup of the stock left over from the potatoes and onion (add more if you want a thinner sauce)
  5. Blend all ingredients together and you have your sauce!!
  6. Voila! Pour over pasta and devour 🙂

 

 

Butter Bean and Kale Stew

Butter Bean and Kale Stew

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Don’t have much time but want something full of flavour, hearty and delicious? You need this Butter Bean and Kale Stew in your life!! I make this amount and save half for the next day but if you’re super hungry then eat it all. There’s no one stopping you, Lol! It’s low fat, high protein and faultless. As for measurements, I sort of make it up as I go depending on what I’m fancying, i.e. add more passatta, more kale etc. So take this as a base line and play with it how you like. Hope you enjoy, and Happy World Vegan Day ☺️

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 Can Butter Beans (rinsed)
  • 1 Can Chopped Tomatoes
  • 1Tbsp Tahini
  • Juice of 1 Lemon
  • 3 Cloves Garlic (crushed)
  • Handful or 2 of Kale
  • 5 Sundried Tomatoes (chopped)
  • 1/4 Cup Passatta
  • Pepper (as in ground pepper, not the vegetable…)

METHOD:

  1. Put on to cook wholewheat pasta or spaghetti (amount you desire).
  2. Whilst that cooks, add ALL stew ingredients into a pan and cook for about 10 minutes, until hot. bubbly, thickened and cooked through!
  3. Both should be ready at the same time, serve and enjoy!