the cheese is nice if I can’t see it

While this is going on outside

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and I look like this on the outside

emilyannlou duvet

this is what I’ve been feeding my insides.

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I will share a surprising triumph – Quorn vegan burgers with vegan cheese is really nice!

I was once a picky eater, and while getting these items out of the packaging that 12 year old girl reared her ugly head and was retching in her mouth. They don’t look good. At all. Or at least, they don’t look like what we’ve been taught ‘good’ is.

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FYI, smart price ketchup is delicious.

In fear of it tasting like cardboard, I (vegan) buttered my bread, then sprinkled on a bit of salt and pepper and then covered each side with mustard and ketchup. I was scared. Scared of the cheese.

The first test passed though. It does melt.

(The burger was cut in half, hence the weird melting.)

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And the most important test.

It was good. Reeaaal good.

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Such a shock. The vegan burger was good and the cheese tasted like cheese! I concluded that vegan cheese is nice if I can’t see it. Same with a lot of foods really. I should always eat blind.

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Hackney Downs vegan market – Veganuary

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As we are nearing the end of Veganuary, I can safely say, without a shadow of a doubt, that to my surprise – I still don’t know how to pronounce it.

In other news, we hopped down to Hackney, London, for their weekly vegan market. It isn’t big, not that I was expected Spitalfields but using my awful memory, and no photo evidence, I think there was 6 food stools. Then there were possibly 4 other stools selling things like vegan cheeses (which is food, I know, but you aren’t going to walk around eating cheese) and things like vegan leggings. You get the idea.

Very cool place.

I’m sometimes overwhelmed by cool places – plus I had travel sickness from the bus which lead onto anxiety because bodies are confusing – so I calmed down with a warm mulled cider before choosing food. Meanwhile Roxanne, James’s cousin, bought a Thai dish (below).

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I didn’t try it, although she did offer, because it just seems too rude for me to dip my fingers into her food (she’s Australian so was probably okay with it), but I have a quote from her. ‘It was the best Thai food I’ve had outside Thailand.’ That’s pretty solid. Also, look how pretty and colourful it is.

I went onto my second pint and James went onto a Japanese dish, that I forgot to photograph.

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Once I felt better I decided to try a vegan burger. It seemed a shame to see all these different foods and to go for a burger – but I followed my taste buds oh me oh my it was delicious. I had the Facon Burger (James asked for the Falcon burger). Just yes. I want it now in fact, and I just ate. Easily the best vegan/veggie burger I’ve ever had – and possibly the best burger all together.

I don’t know how they do it. There was even a smoked cheese flavour in there. I feel like they must have been trolling us all and really we were eating the meatyest meat of all time topped with extra smoky cheese. James and Roxanne would be fine with it, while everyone else would projectile vomiting everywhere.

emily and james

Desert? Always desert.

Just how do they make it taste so good?!?!?! Please tell me, so I can make James learn and cook for me.

First vegan market is a big BIG win. The only downside is that it can be expensive and some of the queues were crazy long. Worth it, totally, but you can’t rush in and out. It’s not a place you rush about anyway, everyone is chill and relaxed, and, funnily enough, speak quietly come to think of it.

Also, not a negative in my eyes at all, is that you’re going to get an eclectic bunch of people. I say this only because I know people who would hate that – but technically they hate the hipsters but there wasn’t too many of them, just people expressing themselves.

All in all, I wanna go back. All that matters, right?!

Plus, lots of dogs there.

Burgers and ice cream, but not together – Veganuary

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Although these homemade burgers were gorgeous it kind of looks like a Sunday roast blended into a patty, with some cream drizzled on top. Or melted ice cream. Yum.

In reality they were chickpea, carrot and bean burgers with vegan mayo – James partly followed a recipe for the mayo and partly used just what we had, which is why it was runny. RECOMMEND making your own vegan mayo though!

Then we tried vegan ice cream – like cornettos (but not Cornettos) (though I have seen adverts for vegan Cornettos) from ASDA. Personally I prefer it to normal ice cream, but James (an ice cream lover) is wolfing them down.

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I’m reaching a dilemma at the moment when it comes to being vegan for the month. I am absolutely loving it and going to continue into February, then I’ll figure out the rest when I want to. The dilemma is around the word ‘vegan’ – because like I said I’m loving it and I had no idea I was going to love it. I’ll explain.

I recommend anyone trying ‘vegan mayo’ but not because it’s vegan but because it tastes really good. Like, ketchup is vegan. Everyone likes ketchup. I recommend trying these ice creams because they taste amazing. Oreos are nice. Pop the word vegan in front and people (including me before this month) assume it’s going to taste horrible and are switched off. It’s just food. Although I choose to not eat meat in my food, doesn’t mean the food I’m eating is bad. It’s actually the best food I’ve had… ever.

People around me have really embraced it though and are up for discussion. Pretty cool.

I don’t know the answer to this train of thought at the moment. Food is a personal thing, everyone is defensive on what they eat, so when you use the word ‘vegan’ and it comes across as ‘superior’, their back is up naturally.

I’ll figure it out at some point.

The first mediocre meal and first craving – Veganuary

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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.