I always feel a little down after returning from a trip, adjusting to the reality of not getting to hang with Nick every day on top of having to do mundane tasks like laundry and cleaning the damn bathroom is tough for me and we always seem to arrive back during bouts of terrible weather which doesn't help. I am aware that I'm ridiculously lucky not to be having to go back to a soul destroying 9 to 5 right now which I think makes me feel more guilty for feeling down. Vicious circle! I do have a few tried and tested methods to pull me out of the post travel funk though - not being hard on myself when I just want to hide indoors, friends and food. Brighton, as you already know if you're a regular reader of my blog, is an amazing place to be vegan and I love exploring what the city has to offer.
Over the bank holiday weekend at the beginning of the month VBites tweeted that they were making a triple burger special which was enough to pull me out from under my blanket especially as both Nick and my bff Tabitha were free to come and chow down with me. Marketed as 3Bites, Mini VBeefy, Hickory Chick & VFishy I was imagining something akin to sliders but these were definitely bigger than that.
Each burger came on its own perfectly soft hamburger bun, the VBeefy burger came with the classic burger toppings - lettuce, tomato, ketchup and a gherkin. The VFishy - a whole VBites Fishless Fish Steak - was served with rocket, tartar sauce and capers and my very favourite, the Hickory Chick, came atop delicious creamy crunchy coleslaw. This is definitely one of the best dishes I've tried at VBites and I'm pleased to announce that they'll be adding it to their permanent menu. I for one can't wait to eat it again.
Breakfast is probably my favourite meal of the day, I literally cannot function without it, and recently I've been loving The Vegg. It's so simple to blend it up with water in my mini food processor and after 30 seconds in the microwave you have the perfect egg yolky dip for your toast soldiers. Even I can manage this one in the morning!
Toast and soldiers brings back memories of my childhood but something I associate with my late teens and early twenties is pesto! Sacla pesto to be precise. Back when I was vegetarian I could only cook one thing, pasta. And I would eat pasta with pesto and cubed cheese for dinner almost every day. I was totally one of those "I can't give up cheese" vegetarians but the second I found out that my favourite pesto was made with animal rennet meaning that animals died in the making of the cheese I immediately went vegan. I remember being so upset that I hadn't really been eating vegetarian all along despite my good intentions and then I was almost that upset again when I realised that at the time there was no decent vegan pesto. The stuff I tried was horrible and I quickly moved on to eating homemade risotto with tonnes of Cheezly every day until I finally bought Vegan With a Vengeance and broadened my kitchen horizons! Thankfully my diet these days is much more varied but when I stumbled upon this pesto in Sainsbury's last week I squeaked with delight.
I found this in the free from aisle and I love that a mainstream brand like this is making a specifically vegan product, it even has tofu in it! Sacla have made a vegan aubergine pesto for a while and in the new wheat / gluten / dairy free range there's also a tomato pesto. Obviously I ate this with pasta and cubed Vegusto just like the good old days but vegan style!
Sal from alien on toast came over the other day for a full on girly sleepover, there was nail polish, we watched 27 Dresses, Pimm's got involved. It was awesome. We also got to chow down on the new Manomasa chips I was sent to review. There are two vegan flavours Sea Salt & Cracked Black Pepper and Chipotle Lime which I didn't eat too many of due to the chilli factor!
Sal, Nick and I ploughed through both of these bags with a tub of avocado hummus in about 20 minutes whilst our crepe batter was resting and they're great. I really enjoyed the salt and pepper variety although they weren't as salty or peppery as the Kettle Chips of the same flavour. Nick and Sal enjoyed the subtly limey chipotle chips which were't overly hot even for me although I only managed a small handful. Nick's not usually the biggest chip fan but he said he'd buy these if he saw them again. I feel bad that I don't have a giveaway to go with these but apparently you can pick them up in Whole Foods, Ocado and independent farm shops.
The morning after our awesome slumber party Sal and I woke up late and hurried to breakfast at Iydea as lunchtime was rapidly approaching. The reason for going all the way to I2 on Western Road when I have three wonderful breakfast spots within spitting distance of my front door? Tofu scramble! The UK is slowly but surely getting in on the tofu scram game and in Brighton you can now enjoy it at Iydea 2 as well as Infinity Cafe...which I'm 99% sure I forgot to blog about. It's coming soon I promise! You can only get I2's vegan scramble as part of the Big Breakfast so that's what we went for. This breakfast beast includes the scram, two huge sausages, two homemade hash browns, mushroom and avocado stir fry, two tomatoes, baked beans and toast.
Honestly this breakfast even defeated me and you guys know I can eat! Nick was pretty pleased with the sausage and hash brown I took home though and he crafted himself a wonderful breakfast sub with my leftovers and a whole lot of ketchup.
I surprised myself by enjoying the beans, I'm usually a canned beans all the way kinda girl but these were a wonderful homemade option, the stir fried part of the brekkie was unusual which I loved and it may have been my favourite part overall. The sausages were delish too and the scramble was decent - I would advise adding more nutritional yeast and more garlic as it was a little bland when held up next to the rest of Iydea's bold breakfast flavours.
One thing about Brighton that has changed for the worst whilst I've been travelling and focussing on other things is Duke's at Komedia, the vegan friendly cinema I blogged about here a while ago. It's become WAY less vegan friendly. Nick and I tried to go there for tofu dogs before catching The Wind Rises earlier and now they're served in a buttery brioche bun!! So ridiculous! Way to cut out half of your tofu dog market guys. The vegan cakes, sausage rolls and nacho casserole are also off the menu. I'm definitely sad about this change and I will be in contact to see if they can at least change that bun but with only 25 minutes until the movie started we were pleased to realise there were 6 places we could get a super fast vegan meal and be back in time not to even miss the trailers. One of my favourite things about Brighton is how close everything is And the place we ended up deserves it's own blog post so watch this space!