Vegan Liverpool Pt.2

I’m coming at you today with four new eatery’s that are a must-visit on your next trip to Liverpool! We’ve got a mixture today: one place is fully vegan, the others have some damn good vegan options. I hope you like delicious food, otherwise you’ll hate this post!

Chamber 36

I don’t think I can fully articulate to you just quite how amazing this food is. The salt and pepper tofu is known to change lives. Fair warning. This restaurant is situated right next to the largest Chinese arch outside of China. Makes sense that they serve Chinese food then! They’re actually a Pan-Asian dim sum (think tapas) place that also boasts award winning cocktails. The vibe inside is very chill with some nice private booths. I like it because you could go in jeans or dress up fancy and you’ll always fit in. The tofu and aubergine is a must, as is the tempura. Couple it with an espresso martini and your taste buds will be thanking you for days. Also, I was actually facetiming in the bathroom here when my sister told us she was engaged! So I’ll always love this place.

Frost Burgers

This has become a new obsession of mine. I’m just thankful that it’s nowhere near my office otherwise I’d be buying this every day. I’d seen a couple of Monami Frost’s Youtube videos a few years ago but when this venue was announced I had absolutely no idea it was the same Frost. Turns out it is, she lives in Liverpool, who bloody knew. Anyway, the clue is in the name really, they do burgers. But they also do the most incredible skin-on fries, they have donuts and milkshakes and their famous soft-serve vegan ice cream too. Don’t kill me but I haven’t tried that yet! The burger is just so filling! I can definitely stand behind the garlic mayo chicken burger, that thing is unreal. Their dips are amazing and, to me, the mayos may be even better than Down the Hatch’s! If that wasn’t enough, you can also crush your own can before you recycle it.

Mayflower

Also situated in Chinatown is this amazing restaurant. (We’re Liverpool, we have the oldest Chinese community in Europe, you better believe we’re all obsessed with Chinese food.) Now let me paint a picture for you. You’ve been out since 6pm, a couple of drinks with friends turns into a messy night out, because when does it not? You get to 3am and you’re just gasping for some food, you skipped tea (remember the spiralling drinking?) but you really can’t face another kebab (or vegans, another side of plain chips). What you’re actually craving is a delicious Chinese meal. You know, like a sit down, classy affair? Well, look no fucking further. The Mayflower opens in the evening and serves at their restaurant until 4am. You did not read that wrong. This place will change your life. For all you naysayers, I’ve eaten here sober before and it was equally as incredible. You can’t go wrong with the tofu with straw mushrooms and the salt and pepper tofu (I’m obsessed, can you not tell?).

Wagamamas

I have a lot of time for a big food chain who takes time to make a boss vegan menu. People might be surprised to know that even two/three years ago, vegan options were almost non-existent in mainstream restaurants. All veggie options were heavily cheese-based. So the chains who got out there early (Zizzi, Pizza Express etc.) I actually am happy to give my money to. Wagamamas is definitely one of these. I love having them everywhere in the country for those evenings when you’re starving and just can’t be bothered to work out where will actually have decent options. I can’t lie, every time I go into one I swear I’ll try something new, but every single time, without fail, I’ll order the vegatsu. What can I say? That’s some damn tasty seitan! Even the side salad it comes with is unreal, that’s the level we’re at here. I’ve had the yakisoba before though (back in those pre-vegatsu days) and it was great. Recently they’ve added a dish to their menu that includes a vegan egg. Like come on. Just go!

And that’s it! If you’re mouth isn’t watering then you must be a robot. I’d love to hear your veggie/vegan recommendations – whether they’re in Liverpool or elsewhere!

Confusion – The Zutons

Just Saying Hi

So it’s been a while since I’ve written a blog post. Even longer since I’ve written a post that wasn’t a book wrap up! Radio silence all summer. But you’ve got to assume I’ve been doing something, right? We all know how bad I am for staring at walls and letting life pass me by! However, I think I’ve done quite a bit this summer! But I’ve missed writing posts so want to ease myself back in. Today, I thought I’d give you a quick overview of what I’ve been getting up to recently in everyone’s favourite form: a list!

I completed a week-long readathon, reading seven books in total.

Did a run in the rain. (Thanks, British Summer)

Met my friend and did tequilas at 5pm on a Monday.

Watched hours of a Devil May Cry Let’s Play on YouTube with Danny. (Mainly assume Danny’s with me for most of the list so I don’t have to keep typing his name!)

Tried to eat at two pubs on a random Wednesday and was told there was no seats so settled for a chippy instead with my nan.

Finally completed a 750 Harry Potter jigsaw after a long ten-week slog (we thought it would be a piece if cake, how wrong we were). Thanks Dad, Claire, Neil, Jules, Keith and anyone else for your help!

Opened an ISA to buy a house cos I’m an adult.

Sat up chatting all evening with my sister. Mainly about her upcoming wedding!

Went to The National Gallery in London and realised, damn, art is stunning.

Did a morning run in Hyde Park.

Went to so many London book shops including one on a boat!

Met a couple of friends for a drink in Camden and then went to an arcade.

Played board games for hours at Draughts.

Went for a fancy tea and drinks with my family and listened to live jazz with espresso martinis.

Celebrated my mum’s birthday by baking loads of cakes.

Rearranged my bookshelves!

Played mini-golf with Danny’s mates then drank too many beers.

Saw Feeder play four songs.

Got insanely drunk with Danny and my brother and did karaoke.

Went to Frost Burgers (a vegan junk food place) in Liverpool and wanted to cry about how good the food was.

Drank more beers with Danny’s friends and played board games.

Watched Love, Simon then Rambo: First Blood immediately after, you know, for variety.

Walked around Ogwen Lake in the Wales with Danny and my dad. Then we visited every takeaway in Bethesda to create the ultimate combination feast.

After camping overnight we went to Penrhyn Castle and Gardens and it was amazing, go.

Did a run after a two-week break, we almost passed out.

Had a big nap.

Read loads as I was doing a month-long readathon and after 19 days of August had read 1 of my 9 books!

Went for a walk on Crosby beach with the Iron Men.

Danny made me a Katsu Curry from scratch.

Went to Birmingham with my sisters for lots of wedmin (Wedding Admin).

Made a set of cupboards for my dad that had the absolute worst instructions I’ve ever seen in a flat pack. Got treated to a Pizza Express for our efforts!

Made another cupboard and wanted to jump off a cliff. (Still one to go!)

Won my first ever game of Blob (it’s a card game.)

Went back to Frost Burgers.

Saw Once Upon A Time In Hollywood.

Downloaded an app called Libby that let’s you rent all the e/audiobooks your local library has to offer!

Drank more beers and played more board games with the Wirral Boys.

Finished my ninth book of August on the last day of the readathon.

And there’s my summer! I hope you enjoyed the endless scroll there.

How was your summer? I’d love to hear the most bizarre thing you did. If you’re sad that summer is over, just remember it’s autumn now and that’s even better!

Soothsayer – Of Monsters and Men

Easy Summer Smoothie Recipes

Hey kids!

This week’s self-care post is super quick but unbelievably tasty. You guys know how I love a homemade juice. Especially in summer, they’re just so refreshing. I’ve been enjoying the heat we’ve had recently. Coupling an ice cold beverage with it? Perfection! I’ve got two for you. I’d say they cost under 30p per serving. Fuck shop bought. Super simple. Eyeball all the ingredients. Let’s go!

This first one I call Sunshine:

Frozen Pineapple

Frozen Mango

Orange Juice

Water

This second one I call Burst:

Frozen Strawberries

Frozen Raspberries

Apple Juice

Water

And there you have it! It’s almost like this post only took two minutes to write. Hehe.

True – Digital Farm Animals

Berlin Vegan Food + Drink

I’m currently sat on the Eurostar to Paris for the week with Danny, so I thought what better time to continue the world adventures series. Today we’ll be flashing back to February when we were in Berlin. I love Berlin. If I could live anywhere in the world it would be Liverpool, Dublin, Berlin or New York. I’ve always felt an unusual affinity with Berlin and I have no idea why. Before I ever went there I knew I’d feel at home. And since going in twentyseventeen I’ve been rushing back whenever I can. One of my favourite parts of Berlin is the insanely good and varied vegan food as well as the relaxed, alternative nightlife. We only popped over for a quick couple of days this time but we managed to fit in some delicious food and, of course, unlimited bier. Okay, let’s get going!

Dada Falafel

My sister recommended this to us and as we arrived at our Airbnb in the early evening we were famished! I got a falafel platter and it was amazing. Gigantic, crunchy falafel balls as well as hummus’, salads and pittas. Beware: there was an insanely hot sauce on this plate that looked like an innocent tomato sauce, don’t be fooled! Not solely vegan but very tasty and lovely staff who were happy to politely take the piss out of two English dickheads trying to use German fresh off the plane.

Die Bar

This little bar is in Prenzlauer Berg right by our apartment. It’s small and cosy with very low atmospheric lighting. Table service when it’s not rammed. This gin bar has over forty different gins as well as good beers and moorish cocktails. One thing to note about Berlin is it’s still legal to smoke indoors. If that’s something that might bother you then just be careful where you go. This place had a very cave-like ambiance that we really enjoyed but it meant smoke was very much in your lungs the entire time!

Samadhi

After spending a morning touristing around the Reichstag Dome and the Tiergarten we were ready for some delicious food. After a quick look on HappyCow we saw this little southeast Asian place just past the Jewish memorial. And man, are we glad we found it! It was delicious. They’re fully veggie but more than happy to make most of their dishes vegan. I had a tofu fried rice which just makes anything you cook at home taste like utter garbage. We also had a beer there that was like a German Guinness type thing. Was tasty.

Brammibals Donuts

Need I say more? This is a fully vegan donut shop! Really cute interior and friendly staff. We had oat milk lattes and too many donuts. They seem to switch the donuts around a lot however if the chocolate peanut butter one is there, get it! So good.

Soulcat

This bar is a lovely cosy venue with bright red walls that plays only vinyl records selected by the bartender. Very welcoming and great music choices. The Liverpool/Bayern Munich game was being shown when we were there (we tried to keep our scouse voices on the down low, turns out most of the people were actually Liverpool fans since Munich is obviously a Berlin rival) but we just sat in a little nook away from the big screen and it was perfectly pleasant. Another thing to note about Berlin is a heck of a lot of the bars are still cash only so don’t be caught out!

Lerchen&Eulen

This is hands down my favourite place in Berlin. What I love most about the Berlin nightlife is the fact you don’t have to go to the pub then come one am go off to some horrendous club and dance. A lot of bars are open til five and six am but they just stay as relaxed, causal, cosy places to sit and drink wine by candlelight. Literally so calming and fun. I first stumbled across this place a couple of years ago when I was with my sister and her boyfriend. She wanted to go in cos they had lots of nice plants outside! So glad we went in and now it’s a cosy bar I’ll head to every time I’m there.

Street Angels

This place, man, this place I had the most disgusting burger of my life. Zero exaggeration. I was so feeling just like a really good veggie burger and then we found this place on HappyCow so headed over. I don’t want to slate the venue itself because the place was nice, very quiet but it had just opened, and the staff were very friendly. But under no circumstances do I want anyone reading this to ever eat that burger! So I had to warn you. It was all kinds of wrong. Had like potato in, looked so crispy and good on the outside but then was just like a weird mushy fiasco inside. Tasted of nothing. Don’t do it. On the plus side, for any meat eaters, Danny had a schnitzel and said it was very good!

Bämeräng

On our last night we went to this vegan rock bar and boy, we were not disappointed. We had some nachos and garlic bread and some really weird Berlin delicacy which was just like dense bread with thick butter on and crispy onion bits (we were not a fan). We also had some huge steins of beer, cos, Germany. It was a small little place and we didn’t want to take up space for too long but the guy was really friendly and when he brought us another beer he brought some pretzels. Then he convinced us to try the tiramisu and I was easily convinced because I love tiramisu but have never had a vegan one. It was incredible. Next thing we know the guy puts a shot down on our table and we’re thinking errr we didn’t order those and then he said it’s a peppermint liqueur that’s very popular in Berlin. Oh, and it was free. It was delicious and we left feeling completely satisfied but also happy about how fucking lovely the service had been. Feels intimidating at first because it’s so small but we would definitely go back!

Hunger – Of Monsters and Men

The Green Juice Hype

Today we’re gonna do my little tactic of writing a quick one cos I don’t have a lot of time/I’m lazy. First off, how fucking beautiful is the weather today? I mean, like where I am. I don’t know where you are. But here in Liverpool it is excellent. Endless blue skies, sun so bright I can barely open my eyes. Oh yeah, that’s a welcome change after all the cold and dreary weather we’ve had the last few months. Is this the start of summer? I totally hope so.

So I’m toying with the idea of readjusting my posting schedule. Self-care Fridays have been a thing on my blog for a surprising amount of time now. Yes, they’re not every week, sometimes months apart, but just calm yourself, we all know the situation. However, I often find myself doing things on Friday nights recently so all that means is my post is sacrificed. But I really enjoy the self-care posts because I think they’re super important. So I don’t want to lose them. My experiment for the next few weeks is to transform Self-care Fridays into Self-care Thursdays! Subtle difference, I know. But it means you can still do these activities or tasks during your relaxing weekends but now you have a day to prepare in case there’s needed supplies.

Funnily enough, today’s self-care activity does require supplies! Green Juice. Now I know a lot of people are weirdly intimidated my green juice and I’m here to address that. With the sun coming back out and the nights getting lighter, I’ve been whipping out my blender to get my daily fix. Green juice is so fucking tasty, and super simple to make. And also, you can put like whatever the heck you want in it. So there’s literally no wrong way to do it. Make it your own. I hear a lot of people saying ‘urgh spinach though? I don’t wanna drink that’. YOU CANNOT TASTE THE SPINACH. I’m not sure how many more people I can say that too without flipping the fuck out. The spinach gives the stunning bright green colour and all the good nutrients but what it does not give is taste. My main issue with this is that spinach actually tastes delicious anyway so I never know what people are even talking about. But for anyone hesitating about trying green juice because they don’t like spinach, or kale, or celery, or whatever then don’t worry. You can make a very vegetable-heavy green juice but most are going to focus on the fruit. They’re sweet and refreshing. That’s why they’re so perfect for summertime.

I also hear people saying it’s expensive. If you’re gonna buy ready-made green juice, then Christ yeah, that’s shit is gonna set you back a lot of pennies. But to make your own? Couldn’t be cheaper. There’s a misconception about what needs to go into a green juice. You do not need spirulina and flax seed and hemp seed and matcha powder and mulberries and goji berries and the elixir of the mythical mermaid plant Magenta. (I made that last one up.) Personally, I like to keep mine super simple. Frozen fruit, kids. That’s where the gold is. Frozen fruit is so cheap. I also use Tesco value orange juice and tap water as the liquids. I use the occasional banana. You’re more than welcome to use the luxury items but they’re definitely not necessary.

Price also comes into the tools used. I fully appreciate people don’t have a Vitamix just lying around. Neither do I, but I wouldn’t say no if anyone wanted to buy me one. I got myself a mid-range blender a few years ago because I knew I wanted to make juice regularly but also start making the thousands of vegan pasta sauce recipes I see online. So I’m all set there. But before that I had a thirty quid blender from Tesco or Argos or something. Before that I had a £5 emersion blender. But if none of that is in your price range just get a bowl and a potato masher and get that arm workout going. My top tip to anyone without a juicer (which I’m assuming is going to be most of us!) is to strain your juice! I often love just drinking it out the blender but when you start throwing in berries I find it a bit too seedy. So to stop that you simply have to strain the juice from the blender, ie. the step the juicer would also do for you. I’ve used nut milk bags in the past, they’re great but I found my hands get EXTREMELY cold because I tend to use a lot of frozen ingredients. So right now I’m using a fine mesh sieve. It works well enough. I find it also helps keep the juice fresh in the fridge for a couple of days. Unstrained, be prepared for the liquid to separate and look gross. Nothing a good shake can’t fix though!

Anyway, I said this would be a short post and now I’m still talking about green juice. So I’ll shut up now and leave you with my favourite recipe right now. I usually just eyeball the amounts, depends on the quantity of juice you want. I tend to just do relatively equal parts of my fruits and a giant amount of spinach pressed down at the bottom.

Sarah’s Green Juice

Spinach

Frozen Banana

Frozen Pineapple

Frozen Mango

Orange Juice

Water

And it’s literally that easy! That juice creates a beautiful green juice. Fair warning: if you start adding berries, it’ll taste amazing but it will turn a weird brown colour. So maybe don’t Instagram that one. Happy juicing!

I Wanna Know – Best Coast

World Adventures: Manchester Food + Drink

As promised, here, for our second World Adventures post, is my food and drink recommendations for Manchester. Where to even begin! Just reading this is gonna make you feel full. Not hungry, full. We were so full all weekend we could barely drink a pint! Just too much liquid. All the vegan food we had was absolutely amazing though! We also found a few favourite pubs around the Northern Quarter. Everything we went to was less than ten minutes walk away from our Airbnb. We’re now big fans of the Northern Quarter! Let’s stop this chit chat though cos we’ve got a lot to get through!

Go Falafel

Dude, best falafel in the North West. Without a doubt. It saddens me every day that I haven’t found a better one in Liverpool and I’ll keep looking. But for now I’d rather pop on a train when I’m craving insanely tasty deep fried chickpea goodness. Get a wrap or get a bowl, you literally can’t go wrong.

Pasta Factory

My first time at the pasta factory. It’s an authentic Italian restaurant with fresh pasta made in the kitchen. And a surprising amount of vegan options. I got a creamy, pesto, courgette spaghetti. Was fucking divine. Note to self: you will not need a starter, even an innocence breadoilolive combo. Also try the red Coca Cola, really good.

Little Aladdin

Dude, where to even begin with Aladdin’s. It’s a little kebab looking shop with plastic seats that turned vegan a while back. But don’t let your prejudices cloud your judgement. This place is no bullshit. The curries are amazing. There’s cheesy fries and burgers and wraps and homemade brownies. The people are always very friendly. Great value. And I’d definitely recommend the tofu/falafel wrap combo.

The Koffee Pot

Our apartment was literally on top of this place and people always looked like they were having a great breakfast inside! We finally caved on the Sunday and went in. They boast a different cooked breakfast from all four corners of the U.K., Danny can recommend the Scottish. The vegan breakfast was great though, could have done without the vegan black pudding but that’s just me!

V Rev

This I’ve known about for ages and just figured it wouldn’t live up to the hype. I was, of course, wrong. Burgers don’t come with fries, if you want to leave with your jeans closed I wouldn’t add them. I got a Jimmy Pesto which was buttermilk seitan, cashew pesto goodness. Such delicious goodness. Also loads of cocktails. Just go.

Castle Hotel

Probably my favourite pub of the weekend. Can be a bit of a squeeze if busy but if you get a seat you could stay all night. Nice atmosphere, dingy in all the right ways. Open late and even had mulled cider on! It was Christmas like, but still! Also has a venue room where live bands play.

Crown & Kettle

This place is a must if you love cider cos they have a cider bar! Yeah. An entire bar for cider. It’s bliss. There’s also lots of games to play. It’s a nice circular pub with a few nooks to sit. Just a lovely chilled out vibe, definitely recommend.

Shakespeare Pub

This one we honestly ran into to avoid the rain. I did appreciate the name though. It ended up being quite cute, aside from the loud drunk people next to us at three pm. But it was pay day weekend and the week before Christmas so what can you expect? Nice little place.

Sinclairs Oyster Bar

Right round the corner from Victoria station, this small and very old pub is a delight. Small selection of drinks but cheap. Lots of chairs and little hidden areas. We spent hours here just playing cards. Very relaxed.

And there you have it! I’d love to know your Manchester recommendations. Next week we’ll be jumping on a train to Birmingham!

Hey Now – The Regrettes

Veggie/Vegan Liverpool

I think the world would be a better more fabulous place if it was just a tad more veggie so here are four of my ultimate favourite veggie/vegan joints in Liverpool!

The Egg Café

No Liverpool vegetarian or vegan article would be complete without The Egg. This is the original Liverpool veggie hangout and a great place to start your adventure. Housed in a listed building off Bold Street, The Egg offers delicious casual dining. Perfect for meeting friends or enjoying a quiet lunch to yourself. There’s some staples on the menu like soups, hummus, quiche and cheese on toast. The garlic bread is a must! However, the café also rotates ever-changing mains like lasagnes, moussakas and curries. If that’s not enough they also have a BOYB policy! Corkage is a quid each and makes the treacherous walk up the infamous spiral staircase worth it.

http://www.eggcafe.co.uk/index.html

Sanskruti

Liverpool’s first ever veggie and vegan Indian restaurant, housed in the business district, is the perfect next stop on your veggie journey. Located right by Moorfields, Sanskruti offers a wide variety of dishes to match India’s vibrant cuisine and culture. Whether it’s the ‘Thalis’ of Gujarat, the ‘Dosas’ of South India or the ‘Chaats’ of Mumbai you’re in for a unique experience. The daal makhani is an absolute must as is the mushroom rice. Your visit is also not complete without ordering the family naan (even if you’re on your own). It’s gigantic and comes presented on a massive skewer. Lovely staff and very pleasant atmosphere.

http://www.sanskrutirestaurant.co.uk/liverpool/

Down the Hatch

Possibly the place you’ve all been waiting for. Praise for this relatively new venue has been spreading like wildfire. Although when you’re boasting vegan junk food how could it not? People are curious what that looks like, possibly deep-fried salad? Well what it looks like is decadent burgers, delicious pizza fries, comforting mac and cheese as well as endless homemade cocktails. Residing in a basement on Duke Street, the restaurant has a cosy and casual feel. The staff are very friendly and helpful to any newbies. They’ve also started selling their own vegan mayo and the sriracha one is not to be missed!

https://www.facebook.com/downthehatchLIV/

Greendays Café

If you’re looking for something a bit out the city then this gem on Lark Lane is perfect. It has a similar vibe to The Egg and is very bohemian and relaxed. The portions are huge and the prices are low. The veggie breakfast is a definite must! The staff are friendly and the venue feels very homey. This is partly due to size, so try to go off peak if you want to ensure you get a table! There’s also a Groupon for vegan brownies and milkshakes currently on offer: https://www.groupon.co.uk/deals/greendays-cafe-2

https://www.facebook.com/greendayscafeliverpool/

Best of My Love – The Emotions

Indie Liverpool Pt.2

The long-awaited second instalment of Indie Liverpool is here. In case you missed the first one, I’m just telling you some of my favourite independent bars, pubs, clubs, restaurants, cafes in Liverpool. If we’re honest, this series could go on for another sixty-three parts because there’s just so many boss places in Liverpool! I’m glad a get to call it my city and I’m glad I get to show you some of the cool hideouts. Enjoy.

HUS – If it’s a great pint you’re after, look no further – HUS offers the first Tank Beer in Liverpool. This new venture by the Baltic Social owners has Scandinavian vibes, a rooftop terrace (I’m super excited for this to reopen) in the business district and amazing cocktails with chilli in them. Weird, I know, but worth a try. https://www.facebook.com/HUSLPOOL/

The Egg Cafe – An awesome hideout off Bold Street if you can hack the winding stairs up to the cafe. It’s BYOB as all the best places are, just pay a contribution. The Egg is one of Liverpool’s original vegetarian hangouts featuring many classics on the menu as well as new rotating mains, very quirky and excellent anytime of day. I would definitely recommend the garlic bread meal after years of eating maybe eighty of them. Offers Independent Liverpool Card Discount. https://www.eggcafe.co.uk

Leaf – Whether it’s food, tea or a boss gin cocktail you’re looking for, Leaf has it all. Obviously named after their tea, this venue offers a ridiculous array of lose leaf teas just waiting to be brewed for you. With a relaxed atmosphere in the day time, Leaf also turns into a pretty busy bar at night with live music. I don’t think you could go wrong with any time of day. Offers Independent Liverpool Card Discount. https://thisisleaf.co.uk/liverpool/

The Grapes – This hideout is a must for any good city centre pub crawl. It used to be known for the squish you’d have to endure from one side of the venue to the other but after having a facelift last year, the pub now boasts almost double the amount of seating space as well as an upstairs roof terrace. Fair warning, it will still get crammed in the evening, what can I say, everyone wants to go here! There’s not much to say about The Grapes other than that it is quintessentially Liverpool. It’s good booze and good people. And what more could you want? https://www.facebook.com/pages/Grapes/160498220633965

Matta’s – Something a bit different. Matta’s is not a bar or a restaurant but a supermarket. Why is it on the list? Because it has literally everything you could ever want. It has all your bougie grains and nuts available in bulk. It also has a wide range of vegan essentials that you can’t find in many other places, for example Vegenaise! The grocer also offers almost every spice, herb or condiment you could dream of including a lot of great international foods. Offers Independent Liverpool Card Discount. https://www.mattas.co.uk

Pt.3 is coming.

Mersey Paradise – The Stone Roses

vegan snow-survival recipes

For this week’s self-care post I thought I’d move out my comfort zone to something I’m terrible at. Baking. As a kid I had a massive sweet tooth but over the years it’s kind of disappeared. And I always thought that was a bit weird. To go from loving something so much – and believe me, I loved chocolate – to just being indifferent. But I’ve figured maybe the reason is actually that I’m just a shocking baker. So it’s not that I don’t like sweet treats, it’s just that I can’t cook them for myself. Or maybe I’m just grasping at straws. Either way.

Don’t get me wrong, I love cooking but baking has just never been for me. I’m the kind of person who just throws things into meals until it tastes good but with baking you actually have to be precise. If you put too much oregano in a pasta sauce you may eat it and think ‘yeah, too much’ but you can still eat it. If I fuck up flour to baking soda ratio that cake is going to be inedible. And the whole idea of putting a substance into a bowl to weigh it and then put it into another bowl immediately after just seems like madness to me. So it’s just not for me. But when I was thinking of what to write today I realised, hang on, if I don’t at least reference the snow am I even a millennial?

So here we are.

When it’s bloody freezing outside there’s nothing we’d rather do than lock ourselves inside, put the heating on full blast, get under a blanket and watch Netflix whilst eating junk food. So I figured I’d give you a couple of vegan comfort recipes I’ve tried recently that actually turned out edible. I know, I’m really selling these, right? No honestly, they taste delicious. And they’re probably at least fractionally better for you than that bag of donuts from Tesco. Also these recipes are so simple otherwise I never would have made them!

Peanut Butter Cookies

Ingredients

1 cup peanut butter

1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 tsp baking soda

1 tbsp ground flax seed

Method

Preheat oven to gas mark 4.

Mix the flax seed with 3 tablespoons of water and refrigerate. It’s ready when it looks mucousy.

Mix the sugars together with the peanut butter in a bowl. Once combined, add the baking soda too.

When the flax egg is the right consistency add that to the mixture and stir.

Place the mixture on to a baking tray in small spheres using a tablespoon measurer as your scooper.

Cook for 8-10 mins. Leave to cool. Enjoy!

Original Recipe: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=914pRN9GLiU&t=326s

Blueberry Muffins

Ingredients

2 cups whole wheat spelt flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

2 cups blueberries

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 soy milk

1/2 cup maple syrup

1/4 cup agave nectar

Method

Preheat oven to gas mark 5 and get your cupcake cases ready.

Mix the wet ingredients together in a bowl.

Next stir in the dry ingredients, then the blueberries.

Divide the mixture evenly amongst your cupcake cases.

Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Original Recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.ca/recipe/healthy-blueberry-mini-muffins/14280/

Disclaimer: Now if you’re reading this thinking ‘ugh whole wheat spelt flour, where am I going to get that?’ Well for one, any supermarket, you oaf. But two, just feel free to sub any of these ingredients. For example, use white flour instead. You could sub the flax egg for a chia egg or half a banana or an actual egg if you don’t care about it being vegan. You can use any peanut butter you have in your cupboard, though I think crunchy works nice. You could switch soy milk for almond milk. You could use just brown sugar instead of two types. The substitutions are endless. So stop making excuses and just go get baking.

Short Skirt / Long Jacket – Cake (See what I did there?)