Thursday, 22 June 2017

Keeping it Simple

Lunch the other day ... simple, tasty and on the way to being totally homegrown.

From the polytunnel ....

.... and from the shops.

Soon I will have my first pick-able cucumber, the plants have lots of little babies, and the tomatoes in the grow pots and the hanging baskets are there but they are currently just hard green balls, but soon, very soon the makings of my lunch will be totally homegrown again.

Happy days.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Peas and Fishfingers

Oh look what's just about to bulk up in the net tunnel.

I love seeing the tiny peas inside their pods, a sign of tastiness to come.

Everything is doing pretty well this year, the exceptions at the moment being my carrot crop ....which I think the mice discovered, the humane mouse trap is in daily use and I catch quite a few each week, and the first sowing of radish from the polytunnel which have just gone to seed.  Well it's been so hot in there it's no wonder.  Never mind I have a new pot of carrots in the polytunnel and the next sowing of radish from the net tunnel is just about ready to eat.

Lunch today is some Quorn 'Fishless Fingers' ... they are going to be so much tastier with a spoonful of crushed homegrown peas in a couple of weeks ... but I'll make do with some homegrown leaves and spring onion until then   :-)

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Keeping it Simple

My first few months of eating this vegan way have been a whirl of trying all the fantastic (and some frankly not so fantastic) products that are out there.

It's been interesting and eye opening. and once you start avoiding all things dairy you find out that milk is unnecessarily added to soooooo many different foodstuffs it really has no place in, purely I guess used as a cheap bulking agent ... not good when you are dairy intolerant as I am.  I know literally within minutes of mistakenly eating something that I thought was okay to eat, as the more I have avoided dairy the more sensitive to it I have become.

So now after a few months of trying the manufactured products that are out there along side the few over wintered polytunnel crops,  I think it is time to rein things in and to embrace all that is homegrown and home produced. 

After all this is really the time of the tunnels. 

Both the net and the poly tunnels are in full production, and we can nip out and pull up or snip off whatever we are fancying to add to our meals.  A couple of spring onions, just enough leaves for one sandwich, a radish or four.  For tea tonight I will be grabbing a handful of kale for a simple pasta and kale dish.  Simple to do and totally tasty ... and totally back to my simple home grown roots.

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Variations on a Theme

This week the weather here in North Wales has been pretty much consistently lovely, and very, very hot so a breakfast of porridge was not even on the radar.  Just recently I have been over-dosing on toast with peanut butter or homemade orange marmalade, so I decided  with a change in the weather I should have a change of breakfast.

So this week it's been yoghurt on the menu, with a sliced up banana and various seeds ... flax, chia, pumpkin and sunflower ... to which this morning I added a handful of blueberries straight from the freezer.

Yesterdays variation on a theme was lots of grated Brazil nuts instead of the blueberries.

Today, just so I could get out in the marginally cooler air and whilst the majority of the Veggie Patch was still in the shade, I left breakfast until after I had been over on the hillside planting out the pea and bean seedlings into the raised beds, .  Meaning that by the time I got in just after 11.30ish I was pretty hungry ... so I added three of these lovely little biscuits to my bowl.  They were absolutely gorgeous dunked in the yoghurt.

Friday, 19 May 2017

Leftovers Pasties

The other day I had leftover beans and mashed potato in the fridge, I make purposeful leftovers by not always serving up all that I have made for one meal, it keeps the old brain cells working to come up with different ways of using things up and saves money into the bargain  :-)

I gently fried two sliced up onions, four cloves of chopped garlic and two teaspoons of curry powder for about five minutes, then tipped in the beans and mash.

Added a splosh of this ...

... and ended up with a lovely spicy splodge of pasty filling.

Once it was cool I divided it between the rolled out quarters of the pack of ready made pastry, folded the edges over, crimped them well and brushed them all with some almond milk and then popped the pasties into the Aga for about thirty minutes.

My pasties are never uniform in size or shape ... but they are almost always tasty.

Tea for that night was salad and a pasty for two of us ...
... and then tea for the following night pasty and chips.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Pasta Bake, Cheezes and a Cheeze Thief

Last nights tea was a total delicious success. 

I made a pasta bake, using leftover Mediterranean style veggies from the fridge, homemade garlic pesto cubes from the freezer, a jar of homemade pasta sauce from the cupboard and some quinoa pasta that I had bought from a speciality shop to try.  I was going to sprinkle over some vegan parmesan style cheeze, but at the last minute I changed my mind and used a block ...

... of this. 

Just cut into cubes and dotted around the dish before it went into the oven. 

It is totally yummy eaten just as it is straight from the pack, added to salads it tastes like a delicious mild feta cheese just as it is supposed to, but once heated up in the pasta bake and melted nicely it tasted like a cross between feta and mozzarella, gooey and mild.  We were both hooked and ate a pasta bake that should have easily fed three people between the two of us  :-)

And it seems as though my Lovely Hubby is getting hooked on my vegan cheezes, this morning in preference to some 'normal' cheese slices in the fridge he helped himself to the last few slices of my cheeze for his lunchtime sandwiches.  Oh well, luckily there is another pack of feta style cheeze in the fridge if I feel another pasta bake urge coming on  ;-)

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Courgettes in the Tunnels

Things are really starting to take shape in the polytunnel now.  This weekend saw me giving both the tunnels lots of love and attention, and it has really paid off.

At the far end of the polytunnel on the left hand side, just in front of the waiting tomato pots I have just planted two Courgette plants, one on either side of a rogue potato plant.

Each one was  planted with an upturned bottomless plastic water bottle angled towards the roots.  Recycling at it's best!!   When the plant gets bigger I will be able to water into the bottle and know the water is getting right down to where it is needed at root level.

These last two photos are actually two more Courgette plants planted in the net tunnel.  I have a total of  five planted 'inside' now and once the chickens have relocated back to Chicken World I will put a couple more out in the raised beds on the hillside ... they wouldn't stand a chance at the moment, if they didn't get eaten they would be covered in scratched up wood chippings from the paths.

I'll be back out there later today to sow some more carrot seeds in the tyres I have just placed in one of the net tunnel beds, so they can have some extra depth to grow in.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Chickpea Tuna

My latest delicious discovery is Chickpea Tuna.

It's absolutely delicious on a sandwich, in a baked potato or just eaten as it is straight from the bowl.  I guess it's been given the 'tuna' name because it does look a lot like a tuna and mayo sandwich .... and has a taste slightly reminiscent of it .... but thankfully no fish have gasped their last in the makings of this  :-)

I got the recipe out of an old copy of Vegan Food and Living magazine. If you want to read it clearer just click on the photo to enlarge it.

Extremely healthy and extremely tasty .... even if it is a little bit messy to look at!!

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Cheats Vegan Cake ... with Pop

I've heard of this method of making a vegan cake from a cake mix a few times, but I've never tried it ..... perhaps I will next time I'm in the mood for a cake.

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Carrot Hotdogs !!

I was in two minds about these when I first started watching this video ... but when I saw the little boys reaction ... well I might just give them a go  :-)

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

"Where Do You Get Your Protein From?"

I got asked this again this morning 'where do you get your protein from?'.  

In my head the word aaarrrggghhh reverberates round and around but out loud I try and explain ... politely ... it's hard to do.

There is actually protein in every foodstuff we eat with the exception of fats and sugars, so there's no need to panic if you are eating a well balanced diet .

And if you want to ask someone where they get their protein from ask him
.... go on I dare you  :-)

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Happy Easter

There are so many ways to celebrate Easter that do not have to involve slices of dead animal on your plate .... not that the television adverts would make you think this.  Seemingly we should all be buying parts of lambs, fresh chickens to roast and even, in direct competition to Christmas ... turkey.

  Whatever you choose to have I hope you enjoy it, me ... well I'll be eating as normal, just things from the freezer or the cupboard, no special shopping needed.


I could have had a chocolate Easter Egg  .... but I chose a bottle of wine instead  ;-)

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

On a Desert Island

If you don't think this is a real question that people ask vegans .... think again!!

And absolutely brilliant in hot coffee and tea is the new Oatly Barista.

Monday, 3 April 2017

You Can't Beat a bit of Garlic Bread .......

A new obsession  :-)

Totally vegan, very delicious and handy to have in the freezer for those 'aarrgghh I need something tasty to eat in ten minutes' moments.

Yes I could make my own, and I do ... but sometimes it's just nice to have something you don't have to think about waiting to be grabbed from inside the fridge or freezer. 

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Still Drinking Milk ?

Just one of the many reasons I don't drink milk, or use products containing milk anymore.

See the full article here

Then you might want to watch THIS

Saturday, 18 March 2017

The Perfect Vegan

I'm not the perfect vegan, I'm so far from being the perfect vegan it could upset me ... but it doesn't !!  Why doesn't it you might ask, well because I am doing exactly what the meme above says.  'I'm doing the best I can to cause the least harm', and hopefully I will be able to carry on this way for the rest of my life.

I can't stand suffering, I can't stand it when people say one thing and do another.  'I love animals' is an often repeated phrase, nine times out of ten from someone who will then go on to eat a slice of one for their tea with a side of chips and a coating of gravy.  I just woke up one day, did some research and decided I couldn't be one of those people anymore, so I changed.  Be the change you want to see!

My journey over the last fifteen years has taken me from cutting out red meat, to full on vegetarianism, then back to pescatarianism ... because I thought I needed the nutrients in fish ... HA .... I have felt so much better since I cut all animal products out of my diet ... and now I have moved finally and completely into veganism ... or a completely plant based diet as some call it.

Indeed maybe I should say I am 'plant based eater' rather than a vegan, because still in my life is one of the by-products of the animal industry - leather.

I have a couple of leather bags and a few pairs of leather shoes and boots, the sofa I sit on to eat my plant based meals is made of leather, the steering wheel cover and seat trims of my car are leather.  It seems I am surrounded by the stuff.  I can't afford to change everything at once but I can use them for now, respectfully make them last, wear them out and when they need replacing replace them with kinder, more soul satisfying alternatives.

Luckily I have always been allergic to wool so I don't have masses of woolly jumpers siting on my shoulders or my conscience, and to my knowledge there is little wool in the house, maybe a percentage in the carpet, but I really don't know.

Little by little I am moving forward, slowly and gently ... and for me that's the best way to go.

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Somedays You Just Need Pastry

Some days you just want pastry .... yesterday I got a lot of pastry!!

This is one of our large plates, I needed to use because it my pasty was HUGE  ;-)

It all started with half a pack of puff pastry that needed using up. 

I had bought four blocks of ready made pastry from the 'Reduced to Clear' cabinet in Tesco's the previous week, three had gone straight into the freezer for future use, half was used on the day to make two open Sweet Potato and Roasted Vegetable tarts for tea and the other half wrapped and popped into the fridge ... where it lay forgotten about until I moved the carton of yogurt that was in front of it ... ooops!

It rolled out into a rather weird shape ... I've never been good at rolling circles or oblongs ... but it actually worked in my favour as the smaller side folded neatly over and I could crimp the edges really well.  A quick filling of grated Violife cheese with a dollop of Tomato and Onion chutney stirred through and then some more Violife on top and it made for a simple but filling tea after a day spent doing washing ,ironing, hovering etc .... you know all the glamorous jobs.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

We have five acres .....

We have five acres ..... it's a good job I don't eat meat  .... lol  :-)

And I'm sick of being asked 'Can you eat this?', 'Can you eat that?' .... YES I can ...but I won't, there's just no need to.  I'm eating better now than I have ever eaten and feeling better for it too!!