Monday 19 November 2012

Food swap & a new falafel joint.

This weekend was pretty rad! Nick was around all weekend so we got to hang out loads, yay! We went shopping for fun ingredients for Vegan Eats World recipes on Saturday and whilst we were out we checked out the new falafel place on Sydney Street called We Heart Falafel.

We Heart Falafel make a vegan falafel wrap and a falafel salad bowl as well as some things with cheese in that we didn't pay attention to! The wrap and the bowl are vegan if you leave off the yoghurt sauce. I was a little disappointed when I realised that the only vegan sauce was chilli (allergies!), why no tahini sauce? But I was soon happy again after I tasted this delicious wrap.

It has hummus so it didn't really need another sauce and it was stuffed full of falafel and yummy salad which included crispy lettuce, beetroot, tomato & grated carrot. I loved this slightly toasted wrap & at £3.50 it's a total bargain. I'll definitely be eating it again soon.

On Saturday night we went to the Reclaim The Night march organised by Brighton Feminist Collective. It was such an amazing and inspiring evening. I was stewarding which meant that I helped keep people outa the way of oncoming traffic & I got to wear a fluorescent jacket! There's a video of the march and some of the speeches and poetry at the rally afterwards here.

On Sunday we dyed our hair, I've been bored of my blonde hair for a while now & I'm excited that it's pink & blue again!

My UK Vegan Food Swap package arrived just before the weekend and even if the box had been empty I think I'd have still been happy! Look...

I love Hello Kitty! How did they know?!! Normally I re-use boxes asap to send stuff but I might have to keep this one for storing things in! Unsurprisingly the stuff inside the box was great too.

The package included Love Hearts, banana chips, lots of healthy bars, Kettle Vegetable Chips, pea & hemp protein powders, a Cat & The Cream cupcake and an adorable card.

The cupcake didn't survive so well in the post and the cake part had dried out a little but the frosting was still absolutely delicious. I ate the Love Hearts at the Reclaim The Night rally, they were fun to pass out to friends new & old, and the vegi crisps lasted the time it took for me to drink a Hollows Ginger Beer. What a perfect combo! I've been a bit slack at sending my parcel out but I'm heading to the post office right after I publish this, I promise!

I also recently received a package of Trek bars from the people over at Natural Balance Foods. They sent me a whole box of my favourite flavour, Cocoa Brownie. Yum!

The people at Natural Balance Foods are also the people behind the Nákd bars I know & love. Small world! I still haven't tried the new Cafe Mocha flavour or the Cherry Infused Raisins, I'll have to try to pick some up when I head to the post office.

Last time I posted that my copy of Vegan Eats World had arrived, I've been steadily collecting ingredients and trying out new recipes and I'm loving it so far. My next post will be all about what I've made, see ya soon!

Monday 5 November 2012

MoFo might be over but I'm still here!

So, Vegan MoFo is over for another year but unlike past years I'm feeling less burnt out and more determined to keep on blogging regularly. Usually after MoFo I end up taking a two month blogging break and when I come back the blog is filled with travel posts. This year I'm going to try to inject some home cookin' & eatin' into the blog all year round, I am Vegan In Brighton after all!

This week I tried a new seitan recipe, the Chicken Style Seitan from Vegan Diner.

This is probably one of the easiest seitans I've ever made, there isn't even any kneading, just throw everything into a bowl and stir. It gets wrapped in a tea towel & steamed for 50 minutes. Mine was still a little soggy in the middle after 50 though so next time I'd give it a full hour.

What did you make with this seitan I hear you ask, well, firstly I made a delicious sandwich with cranberry sauce. The Thanksgiving flavours of the seitan worked perfectly here and I'll definitely be repeating this tasty sandwich before the loaf-o-seitan runs out. Secondly I made a stew I'd been eyeing on the PPK for a while, the Seitan Porcini Beef Stew. Now a chicken style seitan probably isn't the perfect choice for this recipe but I figured what the hell!

The meatiness in the stew comes from the seitan, porcini mushrooms and beef broth. I used the Edward & Sons bullion cubes I brought back from the US. This thick & flavourful stew was really easy to make, a bit of chopping but nothing complicated. I'll definitely be making this again.

On Friday night Nick & I went to the Gourmet Girls Pop Up Restaurant at Fanny's of Hannover. This week they has a special menu of their favourite dishes for World Vegan Day & it seemed like the perfect way to celebrate.

The first course was what immediately tempted me to book our spot at this dinner and boy was I glad I did. This Roasted Pumpkin & Cashew Cheese Ravioli was perfect.

I'm a huge fan of stuffed pastas and this heavy-on-the-cashew-cheese filling exceeded my expectations. The pine nut & sage butter complimented the ravioli beautifully and I only wished that there was more of it!

The main course of Smoked Garlic & Mushroom Arancini nestled on wilted spinach & served with a macadamia nut truffle cream and a watercress, pomegranate & rawmesan salad with a balsamic reduction was, of course, as amazing as it sounds. It looked so amazing that I actually forgot to take a picture of it! Luckily for you, if you want to take a look, I've eaten a very similar dish before at the Gourmet Girls Pop-Up, back when it was popping up at secret locations all over the city. I have to say that this time around it was even better, the macadamia truffle cream was amazing and added an extra something to the dish.

For dessert the Gourmet Girls made their Divine Chocolate Marble Cheesecake.

This comes with a chocolate orange & maca sauce and it's deeeelicious! A year and a half ago when I last tried it I was a huge cheesecake hater and I still quite enjoyed it, this time around I loved it. I think that I might finally like cheesecake but only if it's really fucking good! Nick said that it's the best cheesecake he's ever tasted & he's an actual cheesecake fan!

As it was World Vegan Day we even got gifts, cocoa and white chocolate buttons. Such a lovely touch and a wonderful surprise ending to an amazing meal.

If you haven't been to the Gourmet Girl's Pop-Up yet what are you waiting for? Check out the upcoming menus right here & get ready for wonderful meal.

The last exciting thing of the week was this package arriving from The Book Depository. Finally the two cookbooks the MoFo blogosphere was going crazy for this year are mine.

I'm super excited about both Artisan Vegan Cheese and Vegan Eats World. The rave reviews I've read and the pictures I've seen from Artisan Vegan Cheese were enough for me to get overexcited without even seeing the book & I can't wait to get started with some home cheese making.

Even before reading anything about Vegan Eats World I knew that I'd be buying it, Terry Hope Romero could release a book about something I had no interest in and I'd probably still buy it, use it & love it but a world cookbook is exactly what my collection needs. I love Chinese and Japanese food already but I hardly ever tackle them myself and I'm excited to try cooking up Thai, Indian and Middle Eastern food too. The other thing about this book is that it's stunning, seriously, so pretty. It has a similar layout to Veganomicon which I love and Terry's writing style always makes me smile. I have a whole list of things I need to buy before I can get cooking but I can't wait & I'm sure I'll be telling you all about it soon.