I travel, I plant, I paint (mainly walls), I scoot, I tie dye, I write

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So two things happened in one day, which I don’t want to think so black and white with but it was still disheartening. But I could be PMSing – too much information? I’m just being honest. *News flash* when it’s that time of the month I can’t comfort myself with chocolate.

Which leads onto the first upset of the day, I really craved chocolate. With hindsight, I had just finished swimming and I probably needed a sugar boost, that’s what my body was saying. But when we nipped into ASDA after and had to walk past the Creme Eggs and Mini Eggs I wanted chocolate. NOW. There is no reasoning when you feel like way. I wanted to dive head first, with my mouth open, into that tiny box that holds the Creme Eggs.

Now just imagine chopping down on the tin foil packaging. How many people shuddered?

Anyway, when we were at the check out I searched for something to fill that void which was going to break my vow to be vegan. Starbursts. It was a shining light. Starbursts are vegan. Hallelujah.

Then I was fine. Which made me realise I just wanted sugar, but that didn’t translate in the moment.

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The second disappointment was Linda McCartney mushroom and spinach burgers. My partner loved them but it did nothing for me at all. I ate it, it was fine. I’ve had a good veggie burger (the best one was in Bruge, Belgium) and this was just… blah.

It’s a pretty blah meal in general, after having all these delicious foods, but when we can’t be asked to cook and we haven’t prepared anything, chips are fine. Vinegar and Himalayan salt, yum.

But don’t get me wrong, I love Linda McCartney food. There isn’t a better veggie sausage in my opinion.

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There was a silver lining though, other than the Starbursts, this vegan Sriracha mayo sauce (from Aldi). Yes mate, it’s nice. There’s a big sign on the front saying ‘no egg’ but we still checked the ingredients before reading that on the front.

You learn two things when your vegan; read your body for what it wants and read all the packaging.

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Before being cooked in the oven

I can happily say that before my lasagna dinner (and left over curry for lunch..) I ate 2 bananas and an apple. So that cancels the two huge dinners I had right? What can I say, I’m absolutely loving vegan food. I also tried a Pulsin Peanut Choc Chip Raw Choc Brownie, which I personally thought was bloody lovely! My partner seriously disagreed with me. So looks like I’ll be nabbing the pack of bars we bought.

Eating that raw brownie confirmed, for me, that vegan food can’t look nice. Other than these vegan bowls – breakfast bowls, Buddha bowls, nourish bowls, protein bowls, smoothie acai bowls – and I am yet to try any of them, because quite simply, no matter how beautiful they look I don’t think I’m going to like them.

I need to try one, I need to try one, I can’t write them off. But before that happens, let me share what mine and my partners ‘bowls’ look like.

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I call this the vegan slob bowl. Let’s be real, it looks English and authentic. The country that eats cheesy beans and chips. Yet it was delicious, the best lasagna I’ve ever had.

The title says ‘we’ but we all know my partner made it all. I just stirred the cheese when he was busy doing something else.

So he;

started by frying onion and garlic in olive oil

added frozen vegan mince (Tesco £1.75, left overs from the fajitas)

then after a bit added tinned tomatoes (asda 29p), haricot beans (tesco 55p) and baked beans

cooked on high heat till it thickened up and added mixed herbs

in a sauce pan he added the cheese powder (Holland and Barrett £1.99) to cold rice milk then heated in pan on medium heat

then you start the layers – ‘meat’, then pasta (couldn’t find vegan lasagna sheets so used extra large pasta) then cheese, and so on. Then cooked for 30 minutes.

 

I, unfortunately, am no cook, but this seems simple enough for me to do. And whilst I can say ‘and I will do it’, I don’t think that’s realistic at the moment (I struggle with cooking because I don’t have the freedom of living alone). Plus my partner was a chef.

One day though, one day.

james day 8

 

 

You want to know a secret? I’m a week and one day into being vegan and I still have no idea how to say Veganuary out loud when people ask me about it. I can’t work it out. I’ve never been one for pronouncing words correctly.

Anyway, on with the show. This weekend I had many, many treats – I really am not being healthy. Some say these treats included cinnamon rolls, food from Wasabi, biscuits and a takeaway curry, though I’m not at liberty to confirm nor deny this rumour.

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Though there may be some photographic evidence..

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That Wasabi dish though, omg, I’m not joking – I have fallen asleep day dreaming about eating it again. It didn’t actually say vegan in the shop, only vegetarian, but we did a little Google (the amount of times I’ve typed ‘is so and so vegan‘ into Google) (someone should do a troll site that says things that aren’t vegan, are vegan) and looked at the ingredients and we couldn’t see anything. Fingers crossed ay!

Although we definitely, no doubt want to do this honestly and stay vegan, I suppose it doesn’t worry us if by accident we weren’t. If this was about staying veggie though, it’ll be a different story. I don’t eat anything unless it says ‘suitable for vegetarians’. I’ve been caught out so many times thinking it was fine (thought of two more I was eating before finding out they weren’t veggie: French Fancies and M&Ms) (but at Christmas they do Frosted Fancies which are vegetarian) (I ate boxes and boxes of them) (seriously) (I’ve used more than my quota of brackets in this post).

I’m thinking of rustling up a summary post of good – not healthy – vegan snacks I’ve discovered and devoured.

I swear to you I’ve also been eating apples and bananas.

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So other vegetarians will confirm that pizza is the only reason to live.

This may be a big/false statement, but it is pretty accurate for me.

I can’t have bacon, I will have pizza.

KFC? It’s okay, pizza.

Goodbye Big Mac, hello pizza. 

Kentucky fried chicken, with two beef patty’s and topped with crispy bacon burger?
Papa John, Dominoes, Pizza Hut, Pizza Express, it’s okay, PIZZA!…

Speaking of Pizza Express, my partner got a deal for 2 pizzas for £10. My favourite pizza from ASDA is £4, but 5 quid for a Pizza Express pizza?! You literally have no choice on whether you are going or not.

They may expect you to order loads of drinks, but we had tap water so jokes on them.

James first joked whether we should ditch this going vegan for January project, but it has not been broken yet! They have a vegan pizza – Giardinera pizza. Now, as you can tell, pizza means a lot to me, and James was eating meat less than a week ago so there was a lot of pressure on this experience. We both agreed though, when in doubt, drizzle the whole pizza in garlic and chilli oil. (Side note, we do this anyway, and always have. It’s delicious.)

The verdict? It was genuinely amazing. It’s like a normal pizza. It wasn’t a ‘oh that’s close to the real thing’ kind of situation, a pizza that vegans would like but everyone else would be able to tell the difference. There was no disappointment what so ever and James (like I said, big meat eater) said, and I quote, ‘f**king amazing’.

Vegan cheese, tomato, black olives, artichoke, onions, mushrooms and garlic oil.

This being vegan shindig is easy.

Maybe I should try and eat some healthy vegan foods instead, this is clearly no diet.

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I’d also like to mention that during a argument with my 4 year old brother he called me a ‘babybel‘. Now I don’t know how he knows but that’s very offensive to us vegans for a month. He went below the belt.

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Don’t know if it’s related but I am definitely feeling better – this is the first time out since Christmas Eve.

First things first – let’s mention the elephant in the room.

I don’t know how to photograph food.

Yes, I may have ‘learnt’ it at college when I was 16 (ten years ago) but since then I am very rarely photographing my food. It’s not a thing I enjoy doing particularly, I prefer just to eat, but I want to document this month and so the show must go on.

So although I am not trying being vegan for the cause – I’m really not helping the cause with how bland my photography is.

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Regardless – these fajitas were delicious. So nice that my partners brother, who doesn’t like to try new things, liked it.

All this means that vegan food so far hasn’t been bad at all. It’s actually been good, really good and we are yet to have a bad meal.

So what we did;

We (my partner) started with Tesco vegan mince (£1.75) in a wok with some olive oil. 

We (him) added a bit of Tesco’s medium fajita seasoning (60p), and I’m sure a dash of some hot sauce. Cooked it for a few minutes.

Picked up a bag of veggies for 15p, added them in and then the rest of the seasoning. Cooked for only a few more minutes – I like a crunch to my veg.

Dash of water too, so it wasn’t dry.

We (me this time!) microwaved the wraps (this point doesn’t need to be mentioned, but I’m just proving I was there). 

We even added Tesco free from grated Mozzarella alternative (£2.50) to the wraps and it wasn’t bad at all! My vegan friend, after our shop at Tesco, warned us that Tesco’s cheeses are awful… but it’s not that bad. It’s not cheese, obviously, but I mean it’s like a separate thing altogether which isn’t a bad thing.

We also microwaved a tin of refried beans (£1.15), added the hot sauce again, and dipped tortilla chips in while cooking – because as you can see, I did sooo much cooking. Added it to the wraps too, just to make it taste extra good and look extra bad.

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Seriously, could anything look any worse?! This project is a learning curve for so many reasons.

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*Warning* Not a food blogger!

This blogger does not know what she is doing!

Seriously, she can hardly cook and decided to be vegan for a month!

She’s practically mental!

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Oh, yummy…

So I ate pesto for years and didn’t realise it wasn’t vegetarian. There’s a few products I cocked up on in my 4 years veggie – strong mints was another one. Lindt chocolate. There’s a few.

My reaction was basically a damn and shrug of my shoulders, which is a lot better than when I was a month into being veggie and I was eating jelly babies mindlessly and then realised they aren’t vegetarian and had a break down. I didn’t know what to do (this was the repulsed by meat stage). Should I make myself throw up?!?!

I didn’t – and don’t do that if you’re new to it and accidentally eat something.

I mean, you can do what you want but I don’t recommend it.

So.. a pesto sauce is pretty simple and any recipe you look up is going to be very similar. My verdict on mine? It was alright… That’s about it… It was good, and considering I am a total novice, I’m happy with it. Also, something I haven’t mentioned, I suck at sticking to instructions so I kinda did my own thing.

I didn’t have nutritional yeast for example, and, after Googling just now, it does sound like the one thing I was missing (a cheesy flavour). There was no cheese. I love cheese. I live for cheese. Cheese has become my bacon. Vegans don’t eat cheese.  So maybe all that was missing was that flavour, which I bet you can just get over eventually.

Maybe I’ll buy some nutritional yeast. I wonder if they add that to like pizzas or lasagnas. I bet this is obvious.

My friend keeps recommending Holland and Barrett, because not only do they have all kind of goodness for vegans, but they quite often have reduced vegan bits. Which, to non vegans, begs the question ‘do they always have reduced items because it’s shit and no one wants it?’ I will pop in there soon and will answer this question.

Anyway, in my sauce I blended (no measurements) (oops);

small bag of pine nuts
a bunch of basil
maybe like two tablespoons of olive oil
a bit of salt
a bit of pepper
4 garlic cloves (recipe said more but I wasn’t doing any of it right anyway)
and a lid full of lemon juice (this wasn’t on the recipe I was half following but saw it on another one)

 

I wont wing it like this for other recipes this month, this was just a sauce after all.

Buuuuut, so far so good I think.

And to finish, my partners input with his Veganuary.

day 2

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By my own surprise I am typing the words I Am Doing Veganuary.

It was only decided on impulse a few days ago when I watched a YouTube video by Holly Exley talk about it, then one of my best friends shared a post on Facebook.

You can guess what it means if you’ve never heard of it – going vegan for January.

And what’s the point in it?

Well, I’m not sure because for my partner and I it’s just a challenge. I’m not going to indulge in facts and preach it to others, I’m not sharing the message of being a vegan – it’s simply a project, and I do love a project.

Plus I have been a vegetarian for 4 years – and being a veggie is a moral thing for me – so I don’t feel the need to watch any more documentaries etc. Nah mate, I’m a veggie and I’m cool with that at the moment.

I feel like it’s going to be pretty easy for myself. If I were to go from eating meat to this (like my partner) I can imagine it’s a struggle. 4 years a veggie has been my training I think. I’ve been through the stages of feeling empowered, then feeling disgusted by meat, then indifferent etc. (But you never stop missing bacon). So it’s going to be pretty normal I assume.

Where as for my partner this is HUGE, and I think it’s pretty cool he is trying it. I sit here on my laptop imaging that today, on day 2, he is day dreaming about McDonald’s. I’ve been there.

I’m not hoping for anything other than to do it – I feel like there’s generally a goal with these things…

I suppose I’d like to try new foods and try alternatives for animals byproducts that I currently use – and keep to it.

First day discovery – rice milk is actually nice and very similar to cows milk.

I am not a very good cook, there’s not a lot of cooking knowledge in me other than a nice pasta sauce so it’ll be interesting to say the least. I’ll like to share what I’ve been trying though, regardless of how gross it may turn out (only because of my inabilities, not the recipe).

 

And here is my partners input that he is sharing with his friends. You can follow him in Instagram if you’d like to see more of his trolling.

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Anyway, that’s my January so far. 

Looking good, Billy Ray! Feeling good, Louis!

(Other than this flu/chest infection that won’t go away)

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