Hello beautiful kittens! How are you? These days everybody is talking a lot about how spring is approaching and they are all so happy, I don’t have the heart to tell them that spring doesn’t agree with me! But yeah, the past days have been decisively milder, although I wouldn’t scream “spring!” just yet as a couple of years ago we got snow in May and two years before that it was “The Beast from the East” in March.
Hello beauties! Just a very short post today. We’re having an unusual mild weather at the moment, but it doesn’t mean that we can’t make some delicious comforting food. So here’s the recipe for Flourless Chocolate Fudge Cookies by Elavegan: you won’t believe how delectable they are…and without flour!
1 1/2 tbsp ground chia seeds + 1/4 cup (60 g) water
1 scant cup (100 g) ground sunflower seeds or almond flour
3/8 cups (75 g) date sugar or organic cane sugar
5 tbsp (30 g) cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp espresso powder (optional, but recommended)
3 1/2 tbsp (50 g) nut/seed butter of choice
1 1/2 tbsp (18 g)coconut oil melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup (60 g) dairy-free chocolate chips or chocolate chunks (or both)
1 To a small bowl add ground chia seeds (or ground flax seeds) and 1/4 cup water. Stir to combine and set aside. Also, preheat the oven to 350 °F (175 °C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
To a medium-sized bowl (or food processor) add ground sunflower seeds (or almond flour), cane sugar (or granulated sugar of choice), cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, and espresso powder. Mix until there are no lumps.
Add nut/seed butter of choice, coconut oil, vanilla extract, and the chia seed mixture. Stir (or blend, if using a food processor) until combined.
Finally, add the dairy-free chocolate chips (or chopped chocolate) and mix with your hands until you have a smooth dough.
Divide the dough into 8 pieces (each weighing about 50 grams / or make 10 smaller ones) and roll each piece with your hands into a ball. You can also use an ice cream scoop.
Place the cookie dough balls on the prepared parchment paper and flatten them with your hand. Bake in the oven for 14-16 minutes. They will be still soft when you take them out but firm up once cooled. Enjoy!
You won’t regret making them and probably eating them as soon as they get out of the oven!
Hello my beautiful kittens! How are you? Are you enjoying the winter weather, with long walks in the cold air, or are you more of a hibernating creature? Here I do enjoy a bit of both. Especially with the increase in bills, to spend less it would be better to go for walks at the weekend to avoid consuming too much electricity and gas. But how good is it to get all nice and comfy, with loads of hot tea, under the blankies and by watching your favourite TV shows?! Love both.
But talking about the “cost of living crisis” (I feel we’ll get a new acronym for this too) there is much advertisement about how to cope with this.
One of these methods would be for consumers to switch to the so-called “value brands”, which usually means buying store-owned brands: in the United Kingdom it would be Tesco, Morrisons, M&S etc instead of the “Big Brands”. This seems to be such a big sacrifice for people because they have always given so much trust to these bespoken companies: true they are more expensive, but you get quality. In theory. So it makes sense that people are disappointed that they won’t be able to afford what they used to. But we should actually be happy that this is happening (not the prices rising, but people buying less of these brands).
Who are the “Big Brands”?
When we talk about these Big Brands, we are talking of the likes of Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Nestle, Mars, Johnson&Johnson, etc. We’ve already talked about how these are just evil incarnate previously, but if this is the first time you’re reading this blog please check this post and this one too.
The main examples I see around, are Heinz beans and Kellogg’s Corn Flakes. These are staple foods in most of the kitchens probably around the world: who hasn’t heard about Heinz or Kellogg’s? Or what about Mars bars?
Everybody knows them, most of these brands have been around for a hundred years. And how much advertisement has been done in all this time? In my work, I sometimes have to search old newspapers, from the 1910s, 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s: they are filled with ads from these brands. You wouldn’t believe how many Bovril advertisements are in each issue of the newspapers I have to inspect: and to add to this, they also had fairly long articles sharing the *supposed* benefits of such foods, writing that they were the very best of the best, top-notch quality so every household should have them because these brands can really be trusted.
In the past decades, they managed to create customer trust that it is difficult to undermine: people will always prefer asking for a “coke” meaning that they want a soda by Coca-Cola or Pepsi. They will ask for “Heinz beans” or “Heinz ketchup”. They will go for Kellogg’s cereals, thinking that they’ll be making a safer choice.
But these brands have become so comfortable that while their products *might* have been decent in the past, now they now put all the different chemicals, extra refined sugar (yes, the beans too), palm-oil and more. Because they know that people wouldn’t even look into the ingredients, consumers will just buy them because of the name.
It seems that in the past years, there has been a fair change in consumers’ behaviours, with more people opting for a vegetarian or vegan diet or also just more interest in how the food is made, checking the ingredients and being more aware of what the food they want to buy contains.
There has also been a boom in small independent businesses, producing handmade vegetarian and vegan food that doesn’t use harmful ingredients. Because of how this is made, it is more expensive than the “big brands” products.
With the rising costs of bills and groceries, people are becoming more concerned about what they can spend their money on and they have to make choices about where to cut their expenses. The more expensive stuff will have to go: good offers on food are now very tempting. People are going to buy groceries at value retailer shops like B&M, which are fully stocked with Nestle, Mars, Kraft etc.
But choosing the Big Brands means that your health will be really compromised: the amount of sugar, palm oil and chemicals used to make these products, eaten in large quantities, will have an impact on your health.
Not only that. Their labour and environmental policies are appalling (see the linked posts above).
How to avoid them
It is difficult, I won’t deny it. They are everywhere, at convenience stores you’ll only find these brands and they can look like the better budget solution.
However, supermarkets like Tesco, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s make their own products: they are cheaper and usually have better ingredients and quality controls than the big brands.
The other solution, is to look into the special offers from the vegan independent businesses: the 3×2 or when products are close to the use-by date, you can buy in bulk and freeze the surplus.
For cupboard items like legumes, you can buy them dried: make a big batch once every 2-4 weeks to use for stews and soups and freeze the rest to use in future dishes.
The “Big Brands” worked hard to gain people’s trust through heavy advertisements to convince the public opinion that they are “good for you”, but they are actually full of food additives and chemicals. If you want to avoid them, you can by purchasing supermarkets’ own brands or buying dry items.
What are your thoughts on this? Let me know in the comments.
Hello my beautiful cats! How are you? It’s been quite a long time since the last time I wrote here! I’ve been away visiting my parents for two weeks during the Holiday season and it’s been great: I spent such a lovely time with them, we’ve been visiting some different places almost every other day, just the three of us and it’s been amazing! The downside, leaving them and when I came back home to the UK I felt I was missing them a lot – but this is not the place to talk about it and will dedicate a post about moving away from home, to another country.
Today it’s Recipe Sunday! And I wanted to share the Vegan Borscht recipe by ConnoisseurusVeg I made this week, which was exactly what I needed for a comfy night after an extremely busy day. It’s an easy recipe with a delicious result!
Vegan sour cream, yogurt, or cashew cream, for serving
Chopped fresh chives and/or parsley, for serving
Coat the bottom of a large pot with olive oil and place it over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the beets, carrot and onions. Sauté until the veggies begin to soften, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté another minute, until very fragrant.
Stir in the broth, tomato paste, cabbage and potato. Raise the heat and bring the liquid to a boil. Lower the heat and allow to simmer, uncovered, until the veggies are tender, 15-20 minutes. You can add more broth or water if you like.
Remove the pot from heat and stir in the lemon juice and dill. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve the soup into bowls and top with vegan sour cream, yogurt, or cashew cream, and a sprinkling of fresh dill, parsley and/or chives.
Hello beauties! Christmas is approaching. This is a time of celebration, of visiting your family and friends and spending time together with loved ones. But it can also bring up some anxiety as we want to find the right presents for these people. In addition to this, there might be concerns about how all this shopping might have a negative environmental impact on our beloved planet. Also considering that during this period it seems that the big companies monopolise the holidays’ scene.
Despair no more! There are many solutions for a more ethical, sustainable Christmas shopping without sacrificing originality, affordability and personality.
Probably one of the best ways for more sustainable Christmas gifts, are those made by you: from knitting to potpourri and wreaths and much more! There are so many things that you can make yourself and gift to your family and friends and it’ll show how much you care for them because you spent time making these creations. If you want to start your journey in the Christmas DIY, APieceOfRainbow really got you covered! ThePioneerWoman is another brilliant place that you can visit to get some more ideas, as well as TheSpruce.
Support Local Artists
Second in the list, I put local artists: look around your area, artists are everywhere and with all sorts of skills! There are painters and illustrators, sculptors and jewellers, just look around you and you’ll find a different world.
For example, in the town where I live, there is a place that hosts creations by local artists on a regular basis. And in another couple of towns not far from where I live, there are similar places.
Local artists have also small businesses where they sell their art. But there are other categories of small businesses that you can support: an example, artisanal food producers – jams, marmalades, chocolates, liqueurs etc. You can find small businesses that make vegan products and are handmade. True, they’re going to be more expensive compared to similar products by the bigger companies, but they usually also have smaller items for sale that would make for perfect gifts.
Last year, I got some sets of lovely handmade soaps for my relatives, while this year I got some handmade candles from a small business I follow on Instagram.
Many lovely small businesses put their stuff up on Etsy.
Good On You is a website that reviews clothing and accessories companies, rating them on a scale from 1 (“We avoid”) to 5 (“Great”) for “Planet”, “Animals” and “People”. While the obvious fast-fashion brands like H&M and Primark are rated “We avoid”, there are so many others that are rated “Great” and “Good” and are also affordable!
Adoption and Sponsor Packages
Probably one of the best gift ideas is adoption packages from animal charities. From the RSPCA/SSPCA, to the Cats Protection and all the different sanctuaries, you can find different adoption and sponsor packages: they usually provide a card with all the details of the adopted/sponsored animal, with a picture and sometimes a little gift such as a keychain or puppet.
Subscriptions to magazines
The Ethical Consumer is the perfect magazine for the person that wants to find out more about sustainable brands and ways to live a more ethical life.
If you are not vegan yet, this is the right time to try out some vegan dishes. If you don’t have time to make your own food, there are many brands that are making delicious vegan food that is also affordable.
Make your own food…and share it!
True, as said above, there are more and more brands making ready food for Christmas. But it’s so nice to make your own food. And yes, it takes time and effort, but there are many recipes that are easy and quick with great results. For example, this “50 Vegan Christmas Dinner Recipes That Impress” by Nutriciously article provides a number of easy, quick and delicious recipes for a brilliant Christmas!
Despite the fact that at Christmas you might find it difficult to be sustainable, I hope that this post
showed that this is easily achievable even during this stressful time. There are ideas for everyone!
Let me know what you think, and if you have other ways for more sustainable holidays.
Hi everybody! How is everything with you? Here we’re really getting into Autumn: yellow, orange and red leaves falling on the floor, the specific autumnal smell in the air… oh, so beautiful! And this really calls for comforting recipes (also, considering all the matter of rising living costs, we really need some good food to lift our spirits!). Pumpkin/squash recipes are usually perfect for this weather, but I’ve never been too keen on them: probably because my family had only made roasted pumpkin, which I don’t think is the best way to eat a pumpkin. However, I have been slowly warming up to this vegetable and last year I’ve been using it to make sweet dishes. And this year, I’ve seen the video by Calum Harris of the vegan PlantBoiis making a Pumpkin Curry where his premise was that he “usually would say ‘no’ to a pumpkin curry, that would be the last of [his] options” except for this recipe, so I decided to try it. And let me tell you, as someone who isn’t a fan of pumpkins: I. LOVE. IT. Dead easy, quick, flavourful and delicious.
4 tsp garam masala (3 for the pumpkin, 1 for the onions)
2 tsp turmeric
1 garlic bulb
Loads of salt and pepper
Drizzle of light olive oil
1 large white onion
4cm ginger (with the skin is fine)
1 red chilli (de-seeded if you don’t like spice)
1 heaped tablespoon mango chutney
1 tin (400g) chickpeas
1 tin (400g) coconut milk
500ml veggie stock
Seeds need big pinch of salt, a drizzle of light olive oil and 1 tsp cumin
Top with pomegranate seeds, pinch of fresh coriander and the crunchy topping
Cut and seed the pumpkin and put in the oven for 40 minutes (recipe doesn’t say, but I guessed 200° C) with the garlic bulb, seasoning with garam masala, turmeric, salt, pepper and olive oil;
Clean and soak the pumpkin seeds;
Chop the onion and put it in blender with ginger and chilli (if you use it);
Transfer the blended ingredients to a pan, stir fry until caramelised then add the mango chutney, veggie stock, chickpeas and coconut milk. Add the roasted pumpkin and let it simmer for 40 minutes.
In the meantime, roast the seeds with some olive oil, salt and cumin for 20 minutes,then take them out of the oven and grind them with the poppadoms. Use it to top the curry with also pomegranate seeds and coriander.
Hello cuties! How is everything with yous? I hope you’re having a brilliant weekend, spending it doing what makes you feel good. If you’re not, and you have to deal with unpleasant things, I really hope you’ll get over this soon. In any way, I feel that the recipe I’m sharing with you today will bring a smile to your face.
Pear muffins are something I wouldn’t have thought I would have loved this much because I’ve never been a fan of pears. But at some point, I found myself with so many pears and wasn’t sure about what I could do with them: a browse online for “quick vegan pear recipes” and there it was, Comforting Wholesome Pear Muffins by SeitanIsMyMotor! Tried it, absolutely loved it and you will too!
140 g (purple) whole wheat flour (1 cup + 2 Tbsp)
50 g sugar (¼ cup)
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
120 ml soy milk (½ cup)
70 g apple sauce (3 tbsp)
30 ml neutral oil (2 Tbsp)
2 tbsp lemon juice
zest from one lemon
½ tsp cinnamon
6 mini pears or six pear quarters (or ½ cup diced pear)
Preheat oven to 200°C and grease 6 muffin tins with oil.
In a bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and baking soda and mix well.
Stir in remaining ingredients except for pears.
Pour the batter into the muffin tins and press pears into the batter. Or, if you are using diced pears, mix them into the batter before pouring the muffins into the tins.
Happy Sunday, beauties! The past three weeks have been busy, had to work two Saturdays in a row and also helped cover for other members of staff during the week, and I’ve been getting at the end of the week just drained, no matter all the “keeping hydrated + exercising + sleeping 7 hours per night + eating healthy”. But Saturday night means also cabbage soup! Comforting and warm, full of healthy veggies, it’s the perfect dish for the end of a long week.
This is my favourite Vegan Cabbage Soup by LovingItVegan. The recipe calls for Cayenne pepper: I don’t really use it, but obviously, if that’s your taste go for it! Same goes for the broth/stock: the end result is already flavourful so you can skip this (perfect if you have to keep an eye on your salt intake too!). Also, I like to switch the beans I put in the soup: any white beans are great, but also Borlotti and Red Kidney work well in this recipe.
Happy Sunday, dearest! We’re getting into Autumn, my second favourite season, with the leaves turning from green to yellow and orange and all the different tones of these colours, the air becoming less and less hot perfect for snuggling under a blanket on the sofa with a warm mega-mug of tea. Yes, I love Autumn. And with this season we can finally bake and make all that food that heats up your kitchen. So I feel that today is a good time to share this recipe for vegan sufganiyot that I found ages ago, tried and loved it. It’s unclear why I haven’t shared this with you earlier!
I found the recipe by chance, don’t even remember how the search went, but I’m glad I found Mayim Bialik’s recipe for Vegan Sufganiyot because it’s easy to make and oh my goodness! So. Delicious. I didn’t know about sufganiyot (and various other spellings): they are basically Jewish doughnuts made usually for Hannukah. And for those of you who don’t know her, Mayim Bialik used to play Amy in The Big Bang Theory and she also acts and is the executive producer of the sitcom Call Me Kat. On top of this, she has a PhD in neuroscience! And she’s vegan. Really difficult not to like her!
So, here is this delicious recipe!
0.25-oz. envelope active dry yeast
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. warm (about 110°F) soy, rice, or almond milk
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 1/4 tsp. coarse salt
Egg replacer equivalent of 2 eggs
3 tbsp. unsalted vegan margarine, melted and cooled
Nonstick cooking spray
6 cups vegetable oil, for frying
Icing sugar, for sprinkling
About 2 cups raspberry jam (optional)
1. Combine the yeast, sugar, and 1 cup of the warm nondairy milk in a small bowl and let stand until foamy, about 8 minutes.
2. Whisk together the flour and salt in a bowl. Add the yeast mixture, egg replacer, and margarine, and beat until the dough is soft but not sticky, about 3 minutes.
3. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough until smooth and elastic, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the dough to a medium bowl coated with nonstick cooking spray, and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.
4. Punch down the dough. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough a few times, and roll out to 1/4-inch thick. Cover with a clean dish towel, and let rest for 5 minutes.
5. Using a 2-inch-diameter cookie cutter, cut out rounds and transfer to a lightly floured baking sheet. Re-roll the scraps, and cut out the remaining dough. Cover the rounds with a clean dish towel and let rise in a warm, draft-free place for 20 minutes.
6. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot until it reaches 375°F.
7. Place a wire rack on top of parchment paper or on a baking sheet, and line with paper towels or brown paper bags. Working in batches of four or five, add the doughnuts to the hot oil and fry, turning once, until golden and puffed, about 1 minute per side. Using a slotted spoon, place the doughnuts on the paper towels to cool.
8. Sprinkle with icing sugar. You can also make some jam-filled doughnuts, by spooning jam into a pastry bag fitted with a plain 3/8-inch tip. Pierce a hole in the side of a doughnut with the tip, and squeeze in jam to fill (the filled doughnut will feel heavy). Note: Be sure to drain well before serving and enjoy!
Hello, hello, beautiful cats! I hope you’re enjoying your weekend! A few days ago was my birthday and nothing scream “birthday” to me as tiramisu. It has been the dessert that my aunt used to make for all my birthdays and although my mom would make a delicious cake for my birthday parties, my auntie’s tiramisu has always been a favourite.
In a heat-safe bowl, combine instant coffee granules, sugar, and boiling water and stir to dissolve the sugar. Let come to room temperature. Take out the Cocowhip from the freezer and let sit out at room temperature to soften while the coffee mixture cools down.
Fully dip your Biscoff cookies, one cookie at a time, into the sweetened coffee mixture and layer in a flat and shallow container (I used a 3.2 cup Rubbermaid [affiliate link] container). Work quickly as the cookies start to disintegrate fairly quickly once soaked.
Then add a layer of Cocowhip on top of the soaked cookies, about 1/3 cup per layer.
You’ll be adding 3 layers of soaked Biscoff cookies, and 3 layers of cocowhip. I did 6 cookies per layer, with a thin layer of Cocowhip between each layer.
I like to add an extra thick layer of Cocowhip on top, then dust with a coating of cocoa powder to finish. I dust using a fine mesh sieve to create a light, even layer of cocoa powder.
Cover and let it set in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.