Lola’s Cupcakes – raspberry and lemon (and heaven)

Maker:S,Date:2017-10-10,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-veMaker:S,Date:2017-10-10,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-ve

I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day but I so happened to buy these vegan lemon and raspberry cupcakes yesterday and it looked so fitting to the holiday.

Actually, I didn’t eat them all and looking at the photos is making me crave one. Let me go get a coffee and cupcake, then I’ll come back..

I’m settling down with eating vegan. I’ve decided what my diet for the future will be, but I won’t share it because it’s adapted to me and therefore not many others would understand it, naturally.

Obviously I’ll continue to post on my experiments with veganism though, it’s just food at the end of the day.

I’m a moral driven person, I have principles and yet I let them slacken. I allow them to when they don’t fit with everyone else. That’s when I have conflict in myself. (Along with other conflicts of course. We all have storms within us.)

I need to be stronger in that sense.

Also stronger on the sweet things front at the moment.

Maker:S,Date:2017-10-10,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-ve

I am getting better each day at sticking to my guns. At least I have guns, I have to give myself that. (Not literal guns, just encase you really thought my cupboard under the stairs is filled with all sorts of ammunition.)

I also don’t fire my metamorphic guns, that’s part of my principles. They’re mine to live by, others don’t need to know nor do I expect anyone to agree with me.

Funnily enough I’ve been obsessed with The Good Place on Netflix and this bit on what makes you a good person makes me laugh so much.

emilyannlou the good place

I also want a pet sheep.

These are the thoughts floating in my brain as I watch Luther, drink coffee, eat cake and put up Etsy listings of my moon faces.

AND the suns out today. Yippee.

I don’t really mean that yippee. I apologise.

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the cheese is nice if I can’t see it

While this is going on outside

Maker:S,Date:2017-10-10,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-ve

and I look like this on the outside

emilyannlou duvet

this is what I’ve been feeding my insides.

from miles vegan sandwich burger.jpg

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.

Maker:S,Date:2017-10-10,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-veMaker:S,Date:2017-10-10,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-ve

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.)

emilyannlou vegan cheese melting 2

And the most important test.

It was good. Reeaaal good.

Maker:S,Date:2017-10-10,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-ve

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.

Vegan toad in the hole with a moat of baked beans

Maker:S,Date:2017-10-10,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-ve

*you don’t need the moat of baked beans*
*though it may do what moats do, and keep out others from stealing your delicious toad in the hole*

While shopping for dinner, and finding it difficult (I always find it difficult) James suggested toad in the hole – which is, for those who haven’t been graced with this heaven, sausages cooked in like a giant Yorkshire pudding.

What’s a Yorkshire pudding?! Well.. I’ll ask Google. A baked batter pudding typically eaten with roast beef. What a weird discription. Anyway…

Yes, toad in the hole. James said quickly Google it, and me being me, Googled ‘vegan toad in the hole’ and because it didn’t come up it the first three links, I went with a Yorkshire pudding recipe instead. A NORMAL Yorkshire pudding recipe. I could have just Googled a normal toad in the hole recipe and just swapped out the milk and meat!

Regardless, it was lovely jubbly. Only negative was it was a little stodgy but we may have added too much milk, and we used self raising flour rather than normal – because we went for the Yorkshire recipe.

for the batter we used 

225g self raising flour/normal flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
300ml coconut milk/any milk alternative
100ml warm water
Pinch of salt

Once that was all mixed together – in any order – we let it rest in the fridge
We heated the oven to 200C
Linda McCartney sausages were popped in the dish the batter will cook in, drizzled all over with oil
then in oven for 10 minutes
Once they’ve browned a little, make sure the hot oil touched all the sides of the dish and pour in the batter
Cook for 30-40 minutes
DELICIOUS!

And please remember when I say ‘we’, it was all James. I just watch.

Then eat.

Vegan KFC

A lady said to me recently that the thing she doesn’t understand about veggies/vegans is that they want meat substitutes… The only fitting answer is ignoring it and then sharing my vegan KFC my boyfriend and I made at the weekend!

Maker:S,Date:2017-10-10,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-ve

When James and I started dating I was already 2 1/2 years vegetarian. We must have had a conversation about what I miss and of course KFC was in the list (pretty high up too), and so he quickly went about at recreating it with Quorn chicken. It won me over, what can I say – our relationship has strong foundations. It was so delicious that I had it as often as possible. The memories of our first year together are shrouded in fake KFC. (We do actually like each other too).

I’ll always prefer Quorn chicken, but the vegan sh*t is growing on me, and to be honest, I couldn’t really tell the difference. It was wonderful.

(Please remember I’m not a measurement person).

First things first,

KFC’s spices

There’s a lot of different recipes on the internet, I will tell you the one we always use.
Pour some flour in a bowl and add;
oregano
chilli powder
ground sage
dried basil
dried marjoram
pepper
salt
paprika
onion salt
garlic powder

Be generous, the recipe online says a teaspoon of each, but doesn’t say how much flour so.. I’m down with guessing anyway. A tip, vegan chicken isn’t as nice so I recon you wouldn’t need as much flavour with real chicken, or wouldn’t matter if you didn’t add loads. But you vegans out there, go to town with the spices. You can do it.

emily vegan kfc

Get another bowl with a milk alternative – I used rice milk
Throw the frozen vegan chicken in the milk
Then throw it into your flour and make sure it’s completely covered and coated

Cooking

With your boiling oil that I forgot to mention earlier, so better make sure you do that, deep fry your chicken for a few minutes
You could completely cook your chicken this way, but after maybe 3 minutes for each one we popped it into the oven for 20 minutes (again could probably do less but James was cooking real chicken too)

Done and dusted. Gobble it up.

The one negative is that it is dryer than normal KFC (regardless of how long you cook it), and I have nooo idea how you make it less dry other than eat it with ketchup. So working that out will be our next step and if I find out I’ll let you know. It is an important experiment after all. My life’s mission.

Nah only joking. Everyone knows veggies/vegans life mission is to find a perfect substitute bacon.

Veganuary summary – vegan doesn’t mean bad food

So here I am (and my partner, he made it too!) at the end of being vegan for January.

Neither of us had done it before – we once tried it for a week to find out if James might be lactose intolerant but it only lasted two days after having major panic attacks and blaming it on that. So first thing first, did being vegan for the month heighten my anxiety?? No, of course not. I was just being silly, that scallywag anxiety tricking me all the time.

The most important thing I learnt is how delicious the food can be. That’s the one thing I will go on and share about being vegan.

It made me consciously eat and I naturally enjoyed food so much more.

The trick must be because you’re trying new things, you pay more attention to the flavours and texture, but also because you don’t want to eat any any byproducts, and the act of actually checking the ingredients makes you more aware of what you’re shovelling in. Checking ingredients was actually James’s favourite bit of this month. Strange that it’s actually fun.

emilyannlou vegan burger and dog

Unrelated to being vegan, I realised how important it is to try new things. At work, say the 3rd of Jan, someone said to me ‘Christmas and New Year went so quickly, now we are on the 3rd!’ and in the past I’ve said things like this hundreds of times – it can wiz by. And all the bloody memes going around at the moment about wishing January will end, so literally the opposite. Never satisfied.

I haven’t felt like this at all. I’ve had highs and lows, of course, but it’s clearly so important to try new things so you don’t end up just existing, life flying by and wishing constantly. Imagine trying new things every month?? It’s exciting.

I haven’t got much more to say that I haven’t already. I’ve learnt a lot about myself and how I want to live. It’s been a natural progression to go down this route.

To conclude: I’m still a foodie and I’ve decided to go vegan for February.

I won’t be be as strict, if I don’t want to keep to it I won’t but I may decide to stay at it forever (I have been veggie for 4 years, I won’t be going back to meat). So I don’t know. I currently don’t crave anything – apart from sunshine but that’s unrelated.

Whatever I decide, I will keep to a lot of vegan foods. I will also keep documenting the foods I’m trying on here and I definitely want to go back to Hackney Downs vegan market. Like, every weekend please.

My favourite, laziest dish – Veganuary

I’m a lazy cook…

Are you ready for one of my ‘a bit of this, a bit of that’ recipes?!

Maker:S,Date:2017-10-10,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-ve

Sausages and Noodles

Original title. Sounds scrumptious.

I have made this meal for ages, usually with Quorn chicken pieces BUT of course they have egg in, so this month I adapted it to Quorn vegan chicken (I’m still trying to like it) or Linda McCartney sausages.

Like I’ve said with other recipes I’ve posted, you can (I do) add other spices and flavours but I’m keeping it reaaaal simple and reaaaal lazy today.

Probably not good for you at all, but there are not many ‘quick vegan meals’ so this is my go to.

Also, whenever I make it I have to make extra as my 4 year old brother always asks for it – whether he has eaten or not.

You Need

Vegetable oil
Linda McCartney sausages
EITHER lazy garlic and lazy chilli (also good with ginger), or real garlic and chilli
Soy sauce
Straight to wok medium noodles

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Throw some oil in a pan, followed by the sausages
Then clean up the mess from the oil you threw
Add a teaspoon of garlic and chilli and cook till the sausages are browning
Cut the sausages up
Add a little dash of soy sauce

After a while chuck the noodles in
Add a lot more soy sauce
Keep trying it and adding more till it tastes wonderful
Cook for a few minutes for the noodles to soak up the flavours and get hot

Then voila!

I’ve even done this for my family when camping but with rice, not noodles.

The easiest, laziest and delicious-iest dish.

Maker:S,Date:2017-10-10,Ver:6,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar02,E-ve

 

Hackney Downs vegan market – Veganuary

emilyannlou vegan burger and dog

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).

emily thai

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.

emilyannlou burger

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.