Monday 26 April 2010

I Heart Infinity Foods!

Not only is Infinity Foods right near where I work but it's also my local shop. I'm in there for groceries all the time. Alongside delicious local, organic fruit & veg they sell a great selection of vegan goodies including nutritional yeast, loads of great tofu's, Booja Booja truffles & ice cream and a whole world of Redwood Foods products. They also have an on site bakery which churns out delicious artisan breads, scones, chelsea buns and sometimes gluten free vegan chocolate raspberry muffins - yum!

Infinity Foods now even stocks Go Max Go bars. I'm so excited that we can now get hold of the best vegan chocolate bars ever right here in Brighton! For those of you who don't know Go Max Go bars are amazing vegan versions of Mars, Snickers, Bounty and (the US style) Milky Way.

(The above photo is from Cosmo's Vegan Shoppe because Go Max Go bar's never last long enough to be photographed around here!)

They sell some Infinity Cafe products in the chiller section which is great for lunchtimes. They always have the meze box...

Salad leaves, grilled courgette, falafel, dolmades & a selection of dips make this a great meal.

They also do organic salad boxes, I really enjoyed this one. It had a delicious dressing, yummy seeds and the gluten free pasta was great.

I really love the sandwich selection too, the vegi BLT is by far my favourite

Since going refined sugar free about 3 weeks ago (not forever, I will be eating Go Max Go bars again!) I've noticed that Infinity also do a great selection of raw agave sweetened desserts.

I tried the raw chocolate bites and the raw chocolate and almond slice.

Both are sweetened with agave and are super delicious! One chocolate bite was just enough on it's own to satisfy my chocolate craving but once I started eating the chocolate and almond slice I had to eat the whole thing in one go!

It was really good and I love that I can just pick something like this up in my lunch break.

There are plenty of other things to love about Infinity but you'll just have to come to Brighton go there and have a look for yourselves one day!

Saturday 24 April 2010

Pizza Party!

So my awesome friend and fellow blogger Kip brought some Daiya back from her recent trip to the US and was generous enough to share it with PPKers Holley, Sal, my husband Nick and I.

I was super excited as Daiya hadn't come out when I was last over in New York and I'd heard great things about it, also a pizza party sounded pretty damn fun!

Upon arrival at Kip's place I soon realised she's the bestest hostess ever! This was no ordinary pizza party, firstly she'd made canapes...

...puff pastry, cream cheese, maple bacon and apple canapes! There's a bit of a foodie craze for bacon at the moment and I was certainly super impressed with this vegan twist on the craze using Redwood's vegi bacon.

She'd also casually knocked up some garlic dough balls which impressed the hell outa my husband as I don't think he'd ever considered them to be a food you could make at home!

Pretty soon it was pizza time. This is Daiya, Redwood's bacon, chicken burger pizza! Amazing!

Here it is all plated up with salad and some delicious dough balls!

Kip also made a hawaiian pizza and a cheese & tomato pizza which were both equally delicious but I was too overexcited to remember to take pictures. I really like Daiya, It's perfect melted, really creamy and it certainly does go stringy like milk based cheeses. I hope it comes to the UK soon, it'd be great to have another meltey cheese on the market alongside Cheezly.

To continue her awesomeness Kip even made desserts!

Cookies, biscotti, homemade Newman O ice cream and marshmallow fluff. You can find one of her cookie recipes right here.

Here's my dessert plate!

Alongside Kip's desserts I had a Lazy Day Foods Millionaire shortbread (these are totally delicious and can be found in the free from section of most Waitrose supermarket's) and a piece of Sal's delicious pie.

It was a super awesome day, I love hanging out with my vegan ladies and eating until I feel a little sick!

Friday 23 April 2010

Aloka, Iydea & VBites

Just a heads up, Aloka is now closed and VBites is open in the same location.

I promised you some reviews of great alternatives to The George and here they are!

Recently I went for dinner at Aloka with some friends and I think I've found my new favourite place to eat! The food's pay by weight and it's a little cheaper at lunchtime than at dinner. Takeout's even cheaper so it's perfect for grabbing some lunch to eat in the park now that the sun's out.

For dinner I grabbed a little bit of everything vegan and I was pretty impressed with the selection.

Right at the front there's huge piece of seitan and mushroom pie, I've never seen seitan anywhere in Brighton before so I was pretty excited! I assume it's because Vital Wheat Gluten's hard to get over here but seitan is definitely more prevalent in the US and mainland Europe. I also got a piece of cashew cheese lasagna and some mixed vegetable pasta salad to go along with my mixed green and grated carrot salad.

They also had a huge choice of vegan desserts. I went for the raw chocolate pie... was seriously delicious (not to mention beautifully presented!). I think I'd expected it to be more bitter but it was just super creamy and chocolaty, it went perfectly with the berry coulis.

Recently my blogging friend Melisser and her husband Ryan came to visit so we went to VBites to test out Brighton's only all vegan restaurant. Now I didn't have the best experience last time I went there but I thought I should give it another try. Now anyone who's been reading my blog for a while will know that I used to order the George burger every time I went there but now I've found myself a new burger!

Even after removing the raw onion (blergh) this burger was still almost too big to fit in my mouth! Brilliant! It was the cheesy and rashers burger and as advertised it came with Redwood's bacon, Cheezly, mayo and salad - yum! I went for a side of chips which were just oven chips but the lack of deep frying made me feel like I was being slightly healthy whilst eating chips! VBites have quite a few different burger options alongside sandwiches, pizzas and pasta dishes.

They also have vegan desserts, there are a few different cakes to choose from and a cool looking cake conveyor belt.

I tried one of the chocolate muffins and wasn't overly impressed. It certainly wasn't awful, I enjoyed the icing, but the actual muffin was a bit dry and not really that chocolatey.

I actually enjoyed VBites that much that I took my husband there the next time we had a day off together as he was super jealous of the awesome looking burgers Melisser, Ryan and I tried last time!

This time I ordered a sandwich...

...a cheese and ham toastie on really yummy bread. This sandwich was huge!

I also gave the muffins another go, this time I tried the raspberry muffin.

It was much more moist this time but I found the icing a little sweet, I would definitely order this again though.

Nick had a slice of the chocolate cake, which was pretty good and I think made by the same company that supply Iydea, Infinity Cafe, Sanctuary Cafe & Komedia.

I'll definitely be going back to VBites again, I think it'd be a nice place to hang out in the summer.

Iydea is another great place to eat out in Brighton, they serve up vegetarian food canteen style and always have vegan options. This time I got the lentil shepherds pie with a side of green beans and cous cous salad.

The only problem here is that if you don't like spicy food there isn't always a vegan option you'd like. I often find myself wandering in there and back out again because it's occasionally a bit spicy or cheese centric for me. Vegan dishes that often pop up on the menu are vegetable roti, Thai red and green curries, sag aloo and chili. I'm always hopeful for the wellington or mushroom stroganoff!

It's also a real shame that Iydea closes at 6pm as it would be awesome to have some more dinner options in this town!

Just writing this post has made me decide that I'm definitely going back to Aloka for dinner after work tomorrow so look out for more pics of their delicious food!

Saturday 3 April 2010

The George - Part III (or The End!)

The George used to be awesome! As you can see from my previous blog posts I loved The George a lot. My favourite things to order were the awesome meaty or chicken burgers with Redwood's bacon and Cheezly. Some of my friends favourite things were the nachos with Cheezly, vegan sour cream, salsa and guacamole and the vegan banana split.

Unfortunately The George has decided that they don't really care about vegans any more. They've been taken over by local pub chain Indigo Leisure and given a new manager who certainly isn't interested in the food side of things. He's explained that he wants to move away from veganism as he doesn't want people coming into his pub, ordering food and not drinking alcohol...vegans, apparently, don't drink enough. He's planning on focusing on the drinks side of things just like all the 100's of other pubs and bars all over Brighton.

So firstly they're not going to be getting any vegan substitutes for things any more, that means no Cheezly, no Redwoods bacon, no Fry's burgers, no vegan sour cream, no vegan ice cream, no vegan cream and no vegan mayonnaise. Secondly it seems to mean that they're going to be using Quorn sausages and labelling them as vegan and thirdly it means no more of my awesome vegan cakes!

When a friend spoke to him he said that if vegans wanted to eat there they could just order stuff without the cheese, nice!

I tried to eat there again. I perused the menu and ordered the pasta with tomato garlic sauce served with a side of garlic bread.

Now I'm not suggesting that this was by any stretch the worst thing I've ever eaten in a pub but it's nowhere close to how awesome The George used to be. The pasta was pretty bland and boring and the garlic bread...well that's just toast! It's nothing I couldn't throw together myself for a quick, cheap weeknight dinner and even though I do say so myself, I think I'd do it better.

There are loads of other great places to eat in Brighton, places that are vegetarian owned and operated and places that actually care about their vegan clientele so join me in saying screw you to The George try eating out at Aloka, Iydea, Terre a Terre, Wai Kiki Moo Kau, VBites, Infinity Foods Cafe, Red Veg, Food For Friends or Planet India instead.

Stay tuned for my reviews of VBites, Iydea and Aloka coming very soon...