Tuesday 25 June 2013

Street Diner: Now with vegan crepes!

If you live in Brighton I hope that you've already been frequenting our new friday afternoon street food market, Street Diner. I previously blogged about the tasty treats you can pick up from Sultans Delight, Big Pan Cooking & Crocus Paella right here but now I'm back to tell you that there's another amazing vegan option at the market. Crepes!

I spoke with the people from The French Revolution at the first ever street diner and this 100% gluten free company let me know that they had a vegan crepe in the works. OMG! I popped along to Street Diner as soon as I got back from my travels and was excited to see that yes, indeed there was a vegan crepe on offer. They aren't on the actual menu yet so just ask!

I went for the Berry Jam, Coconut & Roast Nut crepe and boy was it delicious.

Since going vegan I have had all manner of pancakes but never a crepe and to have one cooked for me was fantastic.

From looking at the menu I would say that these are the vegan options:

Freshly Squeezed Lemon & Sugar
Berry Jam, Coconut & Roast Nuts
Amaretto, Roast Nuts, Coconut & Vanilla Sugar
Amaretto, Organic Maple Syrup & Banana (minus the whipped cream)

Whilst I was waiting for my crepe I chatted to the proprietor about vegan options and he's looking into a vegan Belgian chocolate option which would be AMAZING! I didn't get a chance to ask any questions about the morello cherries on the menu but if you visit this friday and get the chance to ask about food colourings etc let me know & I'll update my blog post. If they get the chocolate and the morello cherries are vegan I am having one of their cherry chocolate crepes as soon as I get back from Zagreb! I don't care if it's a Friday I will find The French Revolution and eat the shit out of all the vegan crepe mix!

Hopefully enough vegans will visit this delicious pop-up creperie that it'll be worth their while veganising the Vegetarian Galette section of their menu with some Vegusto vegan cheese. That would just about make my year!

The French Revolution will be at Street Diner this Friday June 28th but not Friday July 5th. Street Diner change up the stalls weekly so follow them on Twitter to keep up to date with which vegan options are there each week.

Thursday 6 June 2013

Vida Vegan Con 2013

Hey y'all! I'm back in Brighton! I had an amazing time travelling around the Pacific Northwest, I was away for almost a month and whilst I was there I was lucky enough to attend Vida Vegan Con in Portland! I know! So exciting! I'd been dreaming of going to this vegan bloggers conference since I first heard about it's inception back in 2011 and it was everything I'd imagined and more.

The weekend kicked off with an Unofficial Meet & Greet at local vegan friendly bar White Owl Social Club. It was fun but kinda overwhelming to meet so many bloggers in one go hence the lack of photos, I was far to busy talking to everyone and cramming the mac 'n cheese burger into ma mouth!

Yup, the mac 'n cheese IS the burger. This carb on carb meal with a side of carbs was one of my Portland fave's but I would perhaps suggest that eating it three times in one week like I did could be a bit much. If you can eat it four times in a week I'll hand over my Carb Queen crown!

The next morning everyone was up bright and early to grab their Swag Bags...I was too excited to photograph the whole thing but it was epic, like, almost the same size as my suitcase epic! My first class of the day was Food Styling with Hannah Kaminsky where she showed us amongst other things how to turn this messy looking Whole Foods takeout Pad Thai into a beautifully plated meal. This was amazing to watch and I'll certainly be trying this next time I grab some takeout from Street Diner or Iydea.

Continuing the photography theme one of my favourite classes of the weekend was Isa's iPhone photography class. Isa is totally hilarious and the class was was super practical (we could follow along using the app's on our phones) and helpful, there were tips on everything from taking the photos to styling (swatches!) and editing.

I don't actually own a camera, I take all of my photos with an iPhone so this was the perfect class for me.

Erika from Sews Before Bros wrote some really in depth write ups of the classes she attended so follow the class name links below for the full scoop on some of my favourite classes.

One of the most enjoyable classes I attended was the Vegan MoFo Workshop with Amey, Kittee and Mo, these gals are super funny and it's no secret that MoFo is one of my favourite times of year. There were some great tips for both MoFo veterans and for newbies to the crazy month long blogging event.

I started looking forward to Restaurant Reviews with Authority with Grant Butler as soon as the agenda was announced. Grant writes restaurant reviews for both The Oregonian and MIX magazine and as a blogger who mainly writes restaurant reviews I was excited to learn some new things and to see where I'd been going right or wrong. Thankfully I haven't been making any massive faux pas and his class gave me some great tools to deal with how to write about places I don't love immediately.

The Making of a Zine: From Concept to Distribution with Amey, Joanna and Kittee was one of the most inspiring workshops for me.  I love zines and I have a pretty decent collection including zines written by all of the members of the panel. I've wanted to write a zine of my own for ages and this really gave me practical tips about how to get started. Amey even has a great DIY zine making how-to on her blog.

I also really loved listening to Jasmin Singer and Mariann Sullivan from Our Hen House discussing how to expand your message to include animal rights and the Body Image Acceptance and Veganism panel actually made me cry. I loved everyones honesty and bravery in the face of such a tough topic.

The Portland Breakfast Showcase had to be the foodie highlight of the weekend for me. There were so many amazing options and I did my best to try them all! It was served on a first come first served basis so I made sure I was first in line for Sizzle Pie's brunch pizza. I went for the Drugs Benedict which is topped with a white bean & shallot spread, cheesy tofu scramble, bacon bits, hashbrowns & green onions.

I definitely made the right choice here and I even got a bonus slice for being first in line! I fully believe that pizza is the breakfast of champions (I even have a badge to prove it!) and this one even had ranch for dipping.

Obviously I couldn't only try one option at a breakfast showcase, I also tried all of these. Clockwise from the top left, the Meatloaf Benedict from A.N.D Cafe, Tempeh Bacon Quiche from Back to Eden (I have more to write about Back to Eden - it might be one of my favourite places ever), Chocolate and Lemon Doughnut halves from Cinnamon PDX, and Summer Vegetable Panissa from Portobello.

Alongside the meet & greet, the classes, and the breakfast showcase the Galarama was one of my favourite parts of the weekend. I put on a dress and make up and made a beeline for the food!

The first thing I headed towards was the So Delicious ice cream bar. I'm pretty into ice cream, especially if it's chocolate, but my main reason was that I'd heard there were brownies from Capital City Bakery in Austin - these are my favourite brownies in the whole wide world and this little sundae was perfect.

There were also two food trucks at the galarama, Tandem Treats and Taco Pedaler as well as trays of cheese made by Miyoko Schinner from Artisan Vegan Life. It was a tough decision but I couldn't resist a Tandem Treats dawg topped with sauerkraut, onions and a classic mustard / ketchup combo.

I did actually manage to take some pictures of people at this event, not many but I tried.

L-R Mandee AKA Cupcake Kitteh, Randi, Me.

L-R Paul, A Chimp, Lisa AKA PandaWithCookie.

L-R Stephanie AKA Lazy Smurf, Me.

Sunday's non-class highlight had to be the Vegan Battle Royale and Ice Cream Social. I kept score for one of the teams in the Battle Royale and I certainly made the most of the ice cream social! These almond milk based Mocha Almond Fudge mini bars from So Delicious were the best ice cream bars I've ever eaten. I really, really wish we could get them in the UK. Sort it out So Delicious!

As you can probably tell I really, really loved Vida Vegan Con. I learnt so much and I met and hung out with so many positive, inspiring and all-round awesome people, there are far too many of you to name - you know who you are! Thank you for making VVC so rad!

Whilst I was having all of the fun at Vida Vegan Con I was also thinking about my blog readers who couldn't attend. I really, really wish that everyone from the vegan blogging community could have been there! In an attempt to spread the VVC love I started collecting things for a giveaway because, let's be honest, the pictures of the Swag Bags all over Instagram and Twitter were probably making you pretty jealous! It's also my birthday really soon (less than a week, so excited!) so I bought you some presents and threw them in there too!

All you need to do to win this Peanut Butter & Co tote stuffed full of all of the goodies pictured below is to leave me a comment telling me which class on the VVC agenda you'd have been most excited to attend.

This goodie bag contains a jar of Booda Butter Organic Moisturiser, a Booda Butter lip balm, a Hurraw  almond lip balm, Amey's Unofficial VVC Cookbooklet, a Vegan Dish keychain, a Field Roast t-shirt, stickers, a bag the new of Earth Balance Pops, two Peanut Butter Cookie Luna bars, a Go Max Go Thumbs Up bar, an Eli's Earth Dream Big Bar, a Chocolove Almonds & Sea Salt bar, Tofurky jerky, sample size packs of Nacheez, Dandies, Simply Hemp Milk, Surf Sweets and a whole lotta PB sachets from PB & Co, Artisana and Earth Balance. 

The competition is open to anyone living in Europe who didn't attend Vida Vegan Con. The competition closes on Monday June 17th. Don't forget to leave me some kind of contact details and good luck!

The competition is now closed. The winner, who I picked at random, is SarahByng! Congrat's Sarah! I'll be getting in touch with ya soon.

I also wanted to mention that I'm currently up for the Best Blogger award in the UK's Veg Fest Awards! If you haven't voted yet I'd love it if you'd consider voting for me, here's a link so that you can check it out if you want to.