I did Veganuary in 2016. I didn’t do it in 2017 because – to be blunt and because I haven’t really got a valid reason – I couldn’t be bothered. However, I’m now practically plant-based, partly thanks to moving to a town with a veggie/vegan cafe just down the road and an Italian restaurant that has vegan cheese for their pizzas and partly thanks to living on my own again and being able to eat whatever the flipping flop I want no matter how vegan it is. (Yes, me and The Meat Eater have parted ways but don’t worry, it’s all amicable. And I mean properly amicable, not amicable as in publicly-announce-on-Facebook-it’s-amicable-then-publicly-slag-each-other-off-on-Facebook-a-week-later-amicable.)
I love the summer. I love the sun and the heat and it motivates me to drink more smoothies and juice and eat more salad. I moved to the seaside in July and although I thought it must be illegal for it to be anything but the summer at the seaside, it’s not, and winter arrived along with the cold and the rain and the wind and the sleet and the snow just like everywhere else.
Vegetarianism and veganism is unarguably on the upturn. I mean, even McDonald’s is offering a vegan burger now, and the-McDonald’s-of-the-pizza-world-i.e.-nothing-like-pizza-really Pizza Hut is offering vegan cheese on their pizzas (although the far superior Zizzi and Pizza Express got there first), so things are definitely on the up. Who knows, maybe one day there’ll be more choice on all restaurant menus than just a flipping veggie lasagne or – sigh – a veggie risotto.
But vegetarianism and veganism is about more than just food (apparently) and so here’s an infographic outlining some of what a vegetarian world would look like.
Although I’ve been a fan of Masterchef since Loyd Grossman presented the show in its primary-coloured-cornered olden days, it’s rare for me to remember any of the contestants. Jackie Kearney, however, is one I remember because, as far as I was aware at the time, she was the first vegetarian cook to be on Masterchef and, not only that, she was the first vegetarian chef to get to the finals in the show. (I also remember Jackie because, despite being vegetarian, she cooked meat on the show, which I thought was a shame but I suppose she couldn’t just sit out the rounds where they had to cook badgers’ eyeballs with prawn brain jus or whatever weirdo things they make them cook on there).
To help safeguard our nutritional intake and strength our immune system, we need to keep our hearts healthy, but what foods are actually good for our hearts?
Last week I toasted a sandwich in my HealthyFry air fryer and it was undoubtedly the best toasted sandwich I’ve ever had, so yesterday I experimented with a wrap and made an air fried wrap with Violife Creamy (vegan cream cheese available in most supermarkets – you can find it in the chilled ‘free from’ section), olives, mushrooms, capers and sriracha (hot chilli sauce available in most supermarkets) and that was just as good, if not better, so I decided in the interests of the human population (or at least in the interests of the three people who read this blog) to make another and photograph it to share with you before gobbling it up.
We all know about safety in the kitchen – don’t cook with saucepan handles sticking out where they can be easily knocked over, don’t leave hot oil unattended, don’t leave tea towels near the hob where they can catch fire, don’t have plug sockets near the sink, don’t stab someone for interfering while you’re cooking, etc. but what about other less life-threatening kitchen disasters that can occur? Here are a few of mine:
After recently being deported to London from Kent while waiting for my house sale to go through, I’ve been living on Tesco Meal Deals for lunch (much better value than the Sainsbury’s one, in case you were wondering) and pizza for dinner. I’ve had the new vegan Giardiniera from Pizza Express (not as nice as the vegan pizzas in Zizzi, in my opinion), a tandoori paneer pizza at Mr Singh’s (an all-vegetarian pizza place that will also sub dairy cheese for vegan cheese but, trust me, it seriously mings. I’d just go without cheese if you’re vegan) but mostly I’ve been heating up frozen pizza and especially ones from Dr Oetker, such as their Spinaci Pizza which has made a comeback after originally being a limited edition pizza back in 2013.
I am a mother-fucking goddamn genius. After ‘potato cakes’ being on the shopping list for two weeks and being ignored for two weeks and upon me enquiring why my potato cakes had not been forthcoming told ‘I don’t know where they are in Tesco. We have potatoes – make some’ decided that, okay, yes I will indeed make my own potato cakes. They weren’t as good as the ones in Tesco – Tesco ones are dense and you can hold them in your hand, like crumpets (or probably like any other potato cake but my experience of potato cakes begins and ends with the Tesco ones) and the ones I made were like fried mashed potato, probably because they were, um, fried mashed potato.
I’ve been attempting to up my exercise lately, which is all well and good but, with exercise comes appetite and if I burn off 300 calories, it makes me want to eat 1,000, so some healthy snacks were needed to stop me munching on crisps and chocolate.