Snapshot of my January 2018

Successfully did Veganuary with this guy…

emily and james

 

And ate a lot, a lot of food…

emilyannlou vegan burger and dog

 

Finally begun reading again, in hopes for some quiet…

emilyannlou roald dahl

 

Scooted…

emily scooting

 

And finally, my love for clay deepened…

emilyannlou broken house

 

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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.

Being poor and what to eat – Veganuary

As I sit staring out my window, unfocused through the rain drop marks and hoping the wind won’t snap the open window (which nelly has a window open when its windy and raining AND IN WINTER?) (side note: me), I’m contemplating my almost empty bank account.

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

It’s fine, it is what it is, and James is the same, my friends are the same, my siblings are the same, strangers are the same. I also booked a holiday to Morocco so there’s really no complaining (it was only £294 per person).

PLUS, excitedly being vegan, James and I didn’t hold back on what to buy and although I’ve lost a lot of weight this month I haven’t stopped eating.

I haven’t done research into why eating healthier costs more, I only know from first hand experience that when I lived alone most meals were processed meat and chips – and one really sad time when I just dipped bread into gravy for dinner. To be fair, I really enjoyed it.

BUT the shining light is to obviously NOT be lazy and make dinner from scratch – don’t just have a bag of chilli heat wave Doritos (or bread and gravy again). And when you have a shared fridge filled of food you can’t eat, and also no room for you to buy anything anyway, the answer is canned food.

emilyannlou simplesauce

I’ve always made my own pasta sauce, it’s easy. I add whatever, there’s no structure or instructions, but if you are stuck for an simple, cheap dinner here is Emily’s Simple Sauce. (Terms and conditions may apply.)

emilyannlou onion

Two onions, two garlic cloves and a teaspoon of Lazy chopped chillies. (See, I’m still lazy)
Drizzle some vegetable oil into a pan and fry the onions for a minute or two
Add the garlic and chilli and keep on stirring for a bit

emilyannlou pan

Smart Price chopped tomatoes (29p)
Add the chopped tomatoes and do a bit more stirry stirry
Let it boil and add salt, pepper and basil to taste
Then let it simmer, pop a lid on and cook for 5-10 minutes
Stir every once in a while

(Everything is give or take, it’s hard to go wrong, just be generous with flavours is my tip)
After ten minutes (or whatever) I usually start cooking my pasta, so the sauce cooks for that whole amount of time too.
I don’t rinse the pasta, just drain it and add it to the sauce so it clings to it like a cuddle.

To top it off you could add vegan cheese, but I regret that, It’s not the same.
Something I’m going to do with the left overs is add some crispy onions which are DELICIOUS.

So you still may be poor, like me, buuuttt your tummy is full of goodness.

Getting stuck into something – Veganuary

Not much to report on my food from yesterday so let’s interrupt the vegan express train to throw in something else. Let’s mix things up for today.

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

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

It’s cold and windy. Every year I forget January is like this. I keep getting a hopeless, lowness cloud over me, and each day I’m batting it away like a strangers fart. The problem with lowness is that when you feel like there is no hope, there is no answer to what will help you.

Though I have tried reading, crafting, socialising and I booked a holiday for the end of February, I still feel as empty as my bank account is. I am fine though, and happy. Just wrestling with the blues.

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

Home.

I don’t own a house, but here I am obsessing over the shapes of houses recently. It must be because of the incense burner I bought from Edinburgh. We stayed at the bottom of Victoria Street, which is a windy road with all different coloured buildings – it’s as magical as it sounds. At the Christmas market there was a stall of these incense burners which I fell madly in love with because it reminded me of the road, and I hoped always would.

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

I’m playing with air dry clay at the moment. Seeing where that’ll take me and then pop them onto my Etsy.

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

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

My choice of scent this evening is my wine bottle candle and I’ve gathered my make up brushes to clean later. That’s all I’ve planned, as dull as it seems, for I’m always hopeful for unexpected and spontaneous excitement.

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

Burgers and ice cream, but not together – Veganuary

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

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.

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

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.