Thursday, 26 February 2015

What do Vegans Eat? Vegan Meal Ideas, February 2015.

People always ask me 'What do you eat?', so here are a few of the vegan meals I've eaten this month.

Vegan Violife cheese and crackers

Vegan cheese and crackers.  I love having cheese and crackers, I'm so glad that I've found a vegan cheese I actually like.  I've got the Violife cheddar flavour slices here, I prefer the original though.  I also have sesame sticks from Holland and Barrett, prawn cocktail Melts crisps from Aldi, a Kallo buckwheat and rice cake and Jacobs cream crackers and black pepper crackers.  Yum.  

Vegan stir fry with onion bhaji and sauteed leeks.

Stir Fry with Onion Bhaji and Leeks.  I like to pack as many veggies as possible into my meals, this stir fry has a red onion, half a red bell pepper, a handful of spinach and a handful of peas. On the side there's sauteed leek with garlic, and it's all topped off with a Morrisons mini onion bhaji cut into quarters. 

Fried mushrooms, potatoes and Linda McCartney Sausages. Vegan.

Pan-fried potatoes and mushrooms, with Linda McCartney sausages.  My boyfriend made this, we're trying to recreate the potatoes and mushrooms from the Birmingham German Christmas market.  We're not quite there yet, but we're getting close! 

Falafel and Salad Wrap. Vegan meal ideas.

Falafel Wrap.  I bought this from a takeaway place when we were in Cardiff.  The falafel were cooked fresh, I had lettuce and sweet onions in the wrap, and then the whole thing was toasted in a panini press, the falafels were super garlicky and yummy.

Falafel Sandwich. Vegan meal ideas.

Falafel sandwich.  Inspired by the yummy falafel we ate in Cardiff!  I use Granose Falafel Mix to make falafel.  You add water to the dry mix in the packet and leave it to stand for a few minutes, before shaping it into balls and frying.  I add in some canned chickpeas, mashed a bit with a fork, and I use two spoons and knowledge gleaned from watching too much masterchef to make quenelles of falafel mix.  Fry them in a little oil, then serve in a bun with salad. 

Vegan chocolate pancakes.  When I was making my Shrove Tuesday pancakes, I had a little batter left over, so I popped some chocolate chunks in it and made this yummy little chocolate pancake-ette!

What vegan treats have you been eating this month?

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Photo an Hour, February 2015.

I loved taking part in Photo an Hour last month, so I made sure to remember to take part (on the correct day!) this month too.  

Photo an hour is organised by Louisa and Jane, and you can take part on Twitter or Instagram.

Here's my day,

8am - I planned to get up at 7am, as I had some tidying to do before someone came to view my flat at 9am, but I overslept a little.  I spent the next hour running round cleaning stuff and chucking things away in the wrong cupboards!

Photo an Hour.  February.

9am - Flat viewer gone (she was lovely, I wanted to be friends with her!), waking up a bit with some TV (Melissa and Joey) and my laptop.

Photo an Hour.  February.

10am - Breakfast bagel.

Photo an Hour.  February.

11am - Today's weather has been snow, then rain, then sun, then sleet, then cloudy!

Photo an Hour.  February.

12pm - Can I blame the fact I'm still on the sofa on post-half-term burn out please?  It's been a looong week at work!

Photo an Hour.  February.

1pm - I've had a nap!

Photo an Hour.  February.

2pm - I made vegan pancakes for lunch.

Photo an Hour.  February.

3pm - No sooner had I thought I feel a bit more awake, I'll pop to the shops, this happened...

Photo an Hour.  February.

4pm - I have left my sofa!  I'm in my second home, a charity shop, having a mooch around.

Photo an Hour.  February.

5pm - I bought a Per Una top for £2.99, a scarf with little skulls on, vegan chocolate and some spices to make Vegan hot cross buns with.  (Loo roll not pictured!)

Photo an Hour.  February.

6pm - Watching Pointless Celebrities, it was a children's TV special.

Photo an Hour.  February.

I skipped 7pm and 8pm, I was watching the film Vamps, and having little naps, then rewinding Vamps back to the last bit I remembered before falling asleep.  I was super sleepy!

9pm - Doing a bit of crochet.

Photo an Hour.  February.

10pm - Looking forward to my bed and my book.

Photo an Hour.  February.

Did you join in with Photo an Hour this month?

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Library Love. Bumped, Thumped, The Invention of Wings and Soppy.

Library Love. Bumped, Thumped, The Invetion of Wings and Soppy.

This month I've been reading, 

Bumped - Megan McCafferty
Thumped - Megan McCafferty
Bumped and, it's sequel, Thumped are about twin girls, adopted and separated at birth, in a vision of our world in the not so distant future where a virus causes infertility, except in teenagers.  Harmony is adopted into a church community and Melody is adopted by a power business couple.  Harmony is expected to fulfil her obligation to 'bump' though an arranged marriage, Melody has been trained and coached all her life to increase her value as a surrogate.  Both girls are clever, they find each other, and see through the expectations of their society and attempt to better the situation for themselves and other teenagers.  I thought these books were a bit of silly light reading to start with but ended up getting really into them!

Library Love. Bumped, Thumped, The Invetion of Wings and Soppy.

The Invention of Wings - Sue Monk Kidd
I loved 'The Secret Life of Bees' by Sue Monk Kidd, so I knew I'd like this one too!  And I did!  An 11 year old girl, Sarah, is 'given' a slave, Hetty/Handful as a birthday present.  The book follows their lives, in alternate chapters, for 40 years or so.  Although much of the book is fictionalised, Sarah Grimke and her sister Angelina Grimke were real women and famous early slave abolition and women's rights activists.  I only learned this when I read the note at the back of the book, but it made me love it even more.

Soppy - Phillipa Rice
I've been reading the Soppy web comics for a while, and they were recently published into a little red hardback book.  I love the style of the drawings and all the cute little depictions of the every day things that happen when you're part of a couple.

What have you been reading?

Friday, 20 February 2015

The Doctor Who Experience, Cardiff.

You've seen my photos of the street art I found in Cardiff, but the real reason for our trip was to visit the Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff Bay.  

I LOVED it!  You go on a little adventure, where you 'drive' the TARDIS and get terrified by some weeping angels, then you're free to look at lots of the original sets, props and costumes from the series.  I was disgustingly over excited, despite having a horrible cold for the whole trip (I had to keep going for lie downs in our lovely, comfy travelodge bed!).

The first two photos are of Roald Dahl Plass and the Millenium Centre, where lots of Doctor Who and Torchwood are filmed (they're not part of the Doctor Who Experience, but they're on the way as you're walking there), the rest are of the collection of Doctor Who stuff you see after your adventure.

The Doctor Who Experience, Cardiff.

The Doctor Who Experience, Cardiff.

The Doctor Who Experience, Cardiff.

The Doctor Who Experience, Cardiff.

The Doctor Who Experience, Cardiff.

The Doctor Who Experience, Cardiff.

The Doctor Who Experience, Cardiff.

The Doctor Who Experience, Cardiff.

My favourite characters, apart from the Doctor (my favourite Doctor is David Tennant) are River Song, K-9, Madame Vastra, Captain Jack and Strax, so I was really happy to see lots of their things.  Also Matt Smith's Doctor's cool bow tie!

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Vegan Pancakes Recipe and Tips, Happy Pancake Day!

Happy Pancake Day!  I love pancakes, and make my vegan, soya-free version quite often (especially for breakfast on a Sunday!).

Vegan Pancakes, Happy Pancake Day! Vegan Soya Soy Free Pancake Recipe.

I thought I would share the pancake-y love and repost my tips for yummy vegan pancakes.

Vegan Pancakes, Happy Pancake Day! Vegan Soya Soy Free Pancake Recipe.
1. My recipe is really simple and makes 4 pancakes, 2 tablespoons of flour, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, 2 teaspoons of sunflower oil and enough water to make a medium thickness batter (still runny but not thin and watery...slightly thicker than non-vegan pancake mix, it needs to be thicker to help it hold together, as it doesn't have eggs or milk to bind it)
2. Use more oil in the pan than you would for a non-vegan pancake, about a teaspoon per pancake, otherwise it WILL stick to the pan.
3. Make a thicker pancake than you would a non-vegan won't get a really thin, crepe type pancake from this recipe, cos it needs to be thicker to hold together (it's the no eggs thing again!).
4. Get the oil really hot in the pan, pour a quarter of the mix to make a thick-ish pancake into the pan then leave it alone...don't prod it or poke it or try to lift up the sides for about 3 minutes to let it form a crust so it holds itself together (there's a theme here right!?).
5. Trying to flip the pancake is probably a bad will fall apart, turn it over gently with a flipper thingy, then leave it to go brown
6. Slide onto a plate, cover with enough lemon and sugar to make your teeth hurt, and enjoy!
Do you have a vegan pancake recipe?

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Street Art and Graffiti, Cardiff.

Last week we popped to Cardiff, and I enjoyed spotting some lovely street art and graffiti while we were there,

Street Art and Graffiti, Cardiff.

Street Art and Graffiti, Cardiff.
Street Art and Graffiti, Cardiff.

Street Art and Graffiti, Cardiff.

Street Art and Graffiti, Cardiff.

Street Art and Graffiti, Cardiff.

The man with the accordion was my favourite!

Do you have any interesting street art where you are?

You can see more of my street art photos from Birmingham and Rio De Janeiro.

Monday, 9 February 2015

How to Make an Easy, Crochet Heart Valentines Card.

I made this card for my valentine, and it was lovely and simple to do.

How to Make an Easy, Crochet Heart Valentines Card.  Papercraft Tutorial.

I used the lovely, free crochet heart tutorial from HelouiseV's blog, a 4mm crochet hook and some cream cotton yarn, the kind sold to make dishcloths.

How to Make an Easy, Crochet Heart Valentines Card.  Papercraft Tutorial.

I stuck the crochet heart in the middle of the card, using those double sided, foam sticky pads.

Finally, I used letter stamps to spell out a message underneath the heart.  To get the letters straight(ish!), I find it helpful to stamp the middle letter first (in this case I lined up the V with the point of the heart and stamped that first), then work outwards.  

How to Make an Easy, Crochet Heart Valentines Card.  Papercraft Tutorial.

And that's it!

I'm adding my Valentines card to Aniko's link up 'Make, Thrift and Tell', the theme this month is letters, and there are letters on my card!  Go and check it out, and join in!  I'm also linking up with Flaunt it Friday and Annemaries Haakblog.

Happy Valentines Day!  I hope you have a happy day, whether you're in a couple or not.

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Charity Shopping, Moroccan Bowl and Creramic Hooks.

My most recent charity shop finds, 

Charity Shop Treasure.  Moroccan Bowl and Creramic Hooks.

I love this little blue Moroccan bowl. 50p, charity shop.

Charity Shop Treasure.  Moroccan Bowl and Creramic Hooks.

I hope these hooks will come in handy when we move home.  £1.49, charity shop.

Have you picked up any charity shop treasure lately?

Linking up with Flaunt it Friday and Thriftasaurus

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Easy Green Actions, February 2015.

Sign (another!) petition from Friends of the Earth to say no to fracking.

Sign Avaaz's petition campaigning for 100% clean energy.

Sum of Us are also running a petition against using tax payers money for fracking.

Take action for wild animals in circuses with the RSPCA's campaign. 

Use the CPRE's online form to create a letter to your MP asking for more local transport options rather than more spending on roads.

And some interesting articles I've read this month,

How Taiwan bucks the trend of richer countries producing more waste.

I think I might like to live in Helsinki in 2050.

I loved Tammy's blog post about eating meat and the environment.  

If you have any causes or actions to add then let me know in the comments and if I like it I'll add it in.  And feel free to share any of this info (or the whole post) wherever and with whoever you like - if you sign any of the petitions and use social media then please consider using the share on facebook or twitter options that pop up, it increases the reach of these actions and awareness of these issues even further.

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Things I Loved, January 2015.

This month I've loved,

* time off work * lie ins * watching Esio Trot, Miranda, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, The 100 * pringles * lush baths * listening to The Wombats, * going for walks * skyping with my friend and her dog * tidy flat * filling 4 more bags to donate to the charity shop * fleece nightie and hot water bottle * new dresses * My cute little nieces, my biggest niece is 18 months and spent a happy morning in the library, sitting on all the different chairs, completely ignoring me but saying 'Hello Lady...Buh-byeee Lady' to any person (male or female) who caught her eye! * lunch at an all you can eat restaurant where I ate 11 onion bhajis * seeing the Hobbit at the cinema * crochet magazine * house buying progress - we have all the stuff for contacts at last (4 months after putting our offer in!) and I've had 2 viewings on my flat already * flowers * my boy cooking me lots of yummy dinners * sunshine * snow * booking all my holiday off work for the next year * reading Our Super Adventure, The Spell Book of Listen Taylor, Bumped and Thumped * buying Russian dolls from the charity shop * helping a lady at work, who then bought us cakes to say thank you (I couldn't eat the cakes, but it was a lovely thought) * Having my own little page on Vegan Life Magazine's website, as one of their bloggers *

I hope you have all had a lovely start to the new year?!