Waitrose Vegetarian Foodie Wine Case


What a great idea – a vegetarian wine case, complete with a booklet of recipes to accompany the wine. Or does the wine accompany the food? Either way, I applaud Waitrose Cellar for coming up with this. I applaud them even further for sending me a case to try.


The case contains six bottles – three each of red and white –  A South African Chenin Blanc, a German-sounding French Gewürztraminer and a more French-sounding French Roquefortissime, an Italian Barbaresco, an Australian Pinot Noir and an Argentinian Malbec.

Inside the recipe booklet are six recipes, one to go with each of the wines. I quite fancied making the Sri Lankan Nut Curry but, even though he hasn’t explicitly said so, I’ve always had the feeling The Meat Eater doesn’t like nuts in curries so I decided to make the Spanakopita as I’ve made that before with no complaints (I told The Meat Eater I’d got the feeling he didn’t like nuts in curries and he confirmed my suspicions).

Waitrose’s recipe makes 20 small spanakopitas but as I have mentioned previously, I’m a lazy, impatient cook who avoids any faff, and fiddling about with filo pastry making 20 spanakopitas definitely falls into the category of faff, so I made one big spanakopita. And very nice it was too. You’ll have to forgive the terrible photograph, just be assured it tasted nicer than it looks.


The wine that went with the spanakopita was the Waitrose Cederberg Chenin Blanc 2013, which clearly has the vegetarian ‘V’ symbol on the back of the label (the only one in the case to do this).


I’m not going to even attempt to try and sound like I’m the slightest bit knowledgeable about wine, so I’m just going to say it was white and it was nice. The Meat Eater doesn’t drink wine (yeah, I know. Weirdo) so he accompanied his meal with a pint of non-vintage Tesco Summer Fruit Squash 2014.

The Waitrose Cellar Vegetarian Foodie Case costs £70. For more information and to order a case, visit the Waitrose Cellar website.

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Win Tickets to Vegfest London 2014!


When I went to Vegfest London last year, my bag was nowhere near big enough to cram full with all the veggie stuff I wanted to buy – although I gave it a good go – so this year I’m going to be prepared and take a rucksack with me.

Last year’s Vegfest was a hugely popular event, being almost too busy as I couldn’t comfortably get to look at everything I wanted to. I’m sure the organisers and stallholders didn’t complain about the crowds though. We spent most of the day there, browsing the stalls, having a go on the tombola (I desperately wanted to win a bottle of Choc Shot but failed and ended up with a bottle of cardamom flavoured tomato ketchup instead) listening to a couple of talks and watching a bit of comedy. The only disappointment was the advertised licensed bar wasn’t there. Still, if there had been, I’d probably have spent even more money.

This year’s event takes place on Saturday 27 September 2014 and Sunday 28 September 2014 and tickets are on sale now with advance tickets at £10 for adults, £6 for concessions and free for kids under 16. These are available on buy one get one free until 23 August, and on buy one get one half price until 15 September, at www.london.vegfest.co.uk/ticket-info, or, if you’d like to get in for free, enter my giveaway below.

Win Tickets to Vegfest London 2014

I’ve got a pair of Sunday 28 September tickets for Vegfest London to give away and all you need to do to be in with a chance of winning them is leave a comment below and I’ll pick a winner at random shortly after the closing date of Sunday 31 August. The tickets will be sent by post in plenty of time before the festival. UK entries only please.

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Juice Master’s Super Chute Juice

Just reading the ingredients for this juice makes you feel healthier before you’ve even tasted it. Because it has so many vegetables in it, I was worried it would taste a bit ‘green’ (despite it being red in colour) but I needn’t have worried, it was just as fruity as a normal glass of juice.


Okay, so here’s the bit where I tell you what I left out: 1/2 an inch of broccoli stem (because I didn’t want to buy a whole head of broccoli just to use a bit of stem and didn’t know if I’d be able to use the rest of it up in the next few days) and a small handful of alfalfa sprouts (because I have no sprouts at the moment).

Apart from that though, these are the ingredients as listed in Jason Vale’s 7lbs in 7 Days Super Juice Diet book.

2 Golden Delicious apples
a small chunk of carrot
1/2 stick celery
1 large handful of mixed greens – watercress, kale, parsley, spinach and whatever other green leafy veg are available (I used spinach and parsley)
1 inch slice cucumber
1/4 inch slice unpeeled raw beetroot
1/4 inch slice courgette
1 small piece of lemon
1/4 inch slice ginger

Juice all the ingredients and pour over ice.

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Back On The Juice With Jason Vale’s Super Juice

Jason Vale's Super Juice

I’d been doing well making my fresh juice every day, then I contracted shingles and, just when I needed fresh juice more than ever, I didn’t have the energy to make any. Or, more to the point, I didn’t have the energy to muster up the motivation to make juice and then clean up the juicer afterwards.

But, now I’m better, I’m back on the juice and this morning’s one was Jason Vale’s Super Juice, taken from his 7lbs in 7 Days Super Juice Diet book (not that I’ve done the 7 day thing; I just like the juice recipes in it).


In Jason’s original recipe, he adds 1/4 ripe avocado, 10z of fresh wheatgrass, 1 level tsp of spirulina and 1 capsule of acidophilus bacteria powder and although I have spirulina, there’s no way I’m adding a teaspoon of it to anything as that would absolutely ming. ‘Ming’ is also the only word that comes to mind when I think of avocados so I left that out too and I’ve got to admit the wheatgrass and the acido-thingy doesn’t sound appetising either. Without these extras though, it’s delicious and surprisingly creamy and filling. Add the avocado if you like it though as they are super-healthy (and I’m aware I’m us avocado-haters are in the minority).

Jason Vale’s Super Juice

1/2 lime – peeled
2 Golden Delicious apples
1/4 pineapple
1/4 medium cucumber

Juice everything and pour over ice.

If you’re using the avocado, spirulina powder, etc., add these to the juice with the ice cubes, then blend.

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Vimto Squeezy Water Enhancers

Vimto Squeezy


I thought I could remember when Vimto first burst into the playground, but apparently it was invented in 1908 and I’m not quite *that* old. Still, as my dad worked for Coca Cola, it was the law in our house to only drink that and I still feel I’m betraying my dad if I drink Pepsi in establishments that don’t serve Coke (why would they only sell Pepsi though? Why, dammit? I don’t know anyone who prefers Pepsi to Coke).

Anyway, so, yeah, Vimto has been around a long time and now it’s available in teeny tiny squirty bottles around three inches high (that’s 50ml in liquid language). Because they’re teeny tiny bottles, this makes them ideal to carry around with you on days out or in your lunchbox to liven up plain water. Just a couple of squirts is all you need and each bottle contains around 25 servings.

Originally, I thought they’d give water a slight hint of flavour but, no, because it’s concentrated, you get a full-on taste just like you would out of a regular large bottle of cordial.

Vimto Squeezy is available in three flavours – Original, Cherry or Strawberry, RRP is £2.49 and you can find it in Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Co-op.

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Gold Kiwi Fruit

Gold Kiwi Fruit from Chingford Fruit

I’ve eaten the regular green kiwi fruit many times, but I’d never heard of gold kiwi fruit until Kent-based Chingford Fruit (yes, it is a confusing name, isn’t it? Maybe they started the company in Chingford or something, I don’t know) asked me if I’d like to try some.

Well, of course I did, so they sent me some gold kiwi fruit in a cute little box, tied up with a beautiful purple ribbon (sorry, I’d taken the ribbon off before getting a photo).


They came with a little leaflet outlining the benefits of kiwi fruit. And what a lot of benefits there are:

  • Research shows eating two gold kiwi fruit a day can significantly improve your mood and give you extra energy.
  • Kiwi fruit relieves the pain of poor digestion by breaking down stubborn proteins effectively and efficiently.
  • There is twice as much vitamin C in kiwi fruit than there is in an orange.
  • One serving of kiwi fruit contains more potassium than a banana and more fibre than a bowl of cereal.
  • Kiwi fruit is really low in calories – only 57kcal per 100g.

There you go then, lots of reasons to get more kiwi fruit in your diet. It’s so easy to eat too – just cut the top off and scoop out the flesh with a spoon, or add it to a fruit salad, layer it on top of a fresh fruit tart, use kiwi fruit chunks as an ice cream topping, or do what I did and make it into a smoothie with strawberries, blueberries and soya milk.


Gold kiwi fruit is in season from the end of May through to the end of August in the UK (from New Zealand).

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Cashew Butter and Spirulina Powder

The people from My Vitamins and My Protein asked me if I wanted to try some of their products. Not being particularly into supplements which I assumed is all they sold, I wasn’t expecting there to be anything I fancied but thought I’d have a look anyway and on the My Protein website I saw a tub of cashew butter. I’ve seen other butters aside from peanut in Holland & Barrett but have never tried any, partly because of their price and partly because I’ve always been happy with peanut butter.

On the My Vitamins website, I saw a packet of Spirulina, which is also something I’ve never tried before but have seen mentioned lots of times as being some kind of superfood.


The cashew butter comes in a massive 1kg tub. I say ‘tub’, but ‘bucket’ would be nearer the truth.


Don’t be put off by the clinical packaging  – there’s no additives or chemicals in it, it’s purely roasted cashew nuts (96%) and organic sunflower oil. If you’ve never had cashew butter before, it’s similar to peanut butter but has a milder taste. I’ve been eating it on rice cakes.


On to spirulina. I don’t care how many benefits to your health, spirulina has, it stinks. According to the packaging: ‘spirulina is a nutrient dense algae that grows abundantly in fresh water’. If you swap ‘fresh water’ for ‘a swamp’ that sums up exactly how it smells. Still, no one’s asking you to eat it straight from the packet so I’ve been hiding it in smoothies where I can’t taste it.

For more information and to have a look at their other products (the ones suitable for vegetarians are all clearly labelled), visit the My Protein and My Vitamin websites.

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Juicing Again

Wow, is it really almost four years since I did Jason Vale’s 3 Day Detox? (If you want to read my posts from then, here’s day 1, day 2, day 3 and the conclusion.) Although after doing the challenge (I prefer the word ‘challenge’ to ‘detox’), I had said I was going to have a juice for breakfast and lunch, then have a normal dinner but, yeah, that didn’t quite happen.

Recently though, I’ve noticed friends on Facebook have been juicing and posting photos of their creations. This inspired me to dust off my juicer and give juicing another go, especially as I’ve been feeling a bit of a fat bloater lately.

I’m not following a plan or even following any recipes (although I am taking inspiration for combinations from Jason Vale’s Juicemaster Keeping It Simple book, which contains over 100 recipes for juices and smoothies.

Over the last few days, I’ve been having a smoothie or juice for breakfast (no change there then), then a juice for lunch. My fridge is currently bursting with spinach (chuck in a handful to each smoothie or juice – you won’t taste it), celery, apples, pineapple, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, cucumber and ginger.

This morning’s smoothie was spinach, raspberry, strawberry and soya milk, and lunch was spinach, celery, apple, ginger and pineapple. Delicious.


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National Vegetarian Week: Pom-Bear



It’s been ages – years in fact, since I had some Pom-Bear, so it was a surprise to discover they now come in more flavours than the no-flavour one I had all that time ago.

Now as well as the original flavour, they’re available in Really Cheesy (not just bears but farmyard animal shapes), Cheese & Onion, Salt & Vinegar, and new to the range – Prawn Cocktail, and Smoky Bacon.

Despite the weirdness that is prawn cocktail flavoured bears, the whole range is approved by the Vegetarian Society so if you, like me, haven’t had Pom-Bears for a while, why not give them a go?

For more information, visit the Pom-Bear website.

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Nairn’s Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Biscuit Breaks


I said recently on Facebook that I seemed to be amassing a collection of gluten-free biscuits and, as I’m not a coeliac, I don’t need gluten-free biscuits and why couldn’t I be sent Chocolate Hob Nobs instead?

Unfortunately, no Chocolate Hob Nobs were forthcoming (yeah, okay, I could have gone to the shop and bought some), so I cracked open the packet of Nairn’s Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Biscuits Breaks I’d been sent to try.

There’s something about the words ‘gluten-free’ that makes me think less ‘mmm, yummy biscuit’ and more ‘these biscuits are going to taste of cardboard’ but these are nice biscuits and totally undeserving of my preconceptions. Crispy, crunchy, chocolatey and perfect for dunking in your tea.

In each box are four pouches of four biscuits, so they’re handy for taking out with you in case you come across an emergency requiring a chocolate chip biscuit.

Nairn’s Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Biscuit Breaks are suitable for vegetarians, vegans and coeliacs and available in Tesco and Sainsbury’s.

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