Wild Garlic, Swiss Chard & Lemon Cream Linguine

My favourite park is abundant in wild garlic at the moment and I used my outdoor exercise allowance yesterday to take Dolly out on a walk and collect some.

I also had some swiss chard from last weeks veg box delivery so came up with this very easy and oh so delicious wild garlic, swiss chard and lemon cream linguine recipe!

Serves 2

Ingredients

I bunch swiss chard

1 small bunch wild garlic (about 10 leaves)

1 small onion, chopped

1 carton vegan unsweetened cream (I actually only had Alpro in the fridge which is slightly sweetened although it was fine because the lemon took away the sweet taste)

Juice from 1 lemon (3 tbsps lemon juice)

1/2 pack linguine

1 tbsp vegan spread/butter

Salt

Pepper

Method

Put water on to boil in a large pan for the linguine (you could use an alternative pasta)

Remove the stalks from the swiss chard and chop them in to small pieces like the onion.

Chop swiss chard leaves and wild garlic.

Place linguine in the pan of boiling water foe about 15 mins or until cooked.

Melt the vegan spread in a pan.

Sauté onion and chopped chard stalks for around 5 minutes or until the onion starts to become transparent.
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Stir in chard leaves and wild garlic.
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Pour in cream and add lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.
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Turn heat down and let simmer for 5/10 mins until the chard and wild garlic wilts and your linguine is ready.
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Drain Linguine

Serve

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Remember, when foraging, only take what you need, pick from different spots and leave enough for others and for wildlife.

New Look Vegan Range

Vegan footwear.

The problem I used to find with vegan footwear is that it just wasn’t that stylish. 

Functional, yes and good quality, well some arguably but not always fashionable.

Not only that but the solely vegan brands I’ve come across can be quite expensive. 

That is up until now with many of the high street retailers having seen the huge surge in demand for vegan products have brought out their own vegan ranges.

There was a time when we simply used to call it PVC and by some it was looked up on as cheap but gone are those days. Now it’s been rebranded as ‘vegan leather’ and is much more sought after.

I’m very much a casual dresser day to day but I like to look nice at the same time which means mostly I’m a t shirt, jeans and boots kind of girl so was delighted when last year, New Look who to be honest already had a great range of fashionable non leather footwear went a step further with the vegan labeling and brought out a whole new vegan range of shoes, boots and also handbags!

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Here’s what new Look have to say about their range.

What makes shoes and bags vegan?

If you thought that you were shopping vegan all along, you’re not alone. It’s easy to think that if it’s not leather, it must be team vegan. We went straight to the experts at The Vegan Society to discover more about the shoes and bags, and this is what we found…

The PU leather

Here’s a surprise: not all PU leather is vegan. Most PU leather is finished with ground-cut leather sprays to give it a textured appearance, which features animal product. These vegan styles are leather-spray free.

The adhesives

Some adhesives, like glue and tape, are prepared using collagen from mammals, insects, fish, and products found in mammal milk. Unlike other shoes and bags, ours are free from any liquids and bonding materials that
have animal traces or produce.

The metal hardware

Metal is vegan. However, the process that it goes through to prevent it from rusting often isn’t. Most zips, poppers and other hardware details are exposed to chemical treatments with elements that feature animal products. We keep our supply chain transparent. This ensures that the hardware and adhesives on our vegan shoes and bags do not undergo chemical treatments that contain animal products.

Black boots that easily go on over skinny jeans are a must for me so these black boots were the first thing that went in my shopping basket.

And I fully believe that if you find something you like, you should buy it in every colour way so I also added the dark red (ox blood in name only) too!

And of course I couldn’t resist these stone faux snake heeled knee highs at £44.99 . . . 

When the boots arrived, they all fit perfectly. Sizes can vary shop to shop but I’d say these have it right so when ordering, order the size you usually are.

Oh and I bought A handbag too, because a girl can obviously never have too many handbags!

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As a whole I’m hugely impressed with the collection, there’s a broad range of styles to suit all tastes and it’s affordable and cruelty free.

Click Here to shop online during lockdown and fingers crossed that we’re allowed back out to shop in store soon!

 

Pease Pudding

My Dad was originally for ‘Up North’, County Durham to be precise and he loved pease pudding. 

Pease pudding for those who don’t know and to be fair, most people who do not hail from ‘Up North’ do not, is a traditional northern delicacy.

Although the word ‘pudding’ in the name might suggest a sweet treat, a sweet treat pease pudding is not, it is still however, very much a treat.

As the rhyme goes:

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Personally, I like it both ways, hot straight from the pot or cold in a crusty roll.

You can buy it in a tin but nothing tastes quite like the home made version and at a family christening last year, my Aunty Brenda gave me her recipe which was my Nana Jenny’s recipe which was passed down to her I assume from her parents (my great grandparents) before that and so on.

The recipe however wasn’t vegan but I adapted it and I’ve decided to share.

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 cup yellow split peas

2 cups water

1 onion, chopped

1 tsp vegan bouillon or stock

1/2 pack Vivera plant bacon pieces 

Pepper

Salt

1 tbsp cooking oil

Method

Fry the onion in cooking oil for around 3/5 minutes or until it starts to become transparent.

Add the lentils, water and bouillon and bring to boil.

Turn heat down, add plant bacon pieces, put the lid on the pan and simmer for around 45 minutes or until lentils are soft and mash easily when stirred.

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Stir with a wooden spoon until lentils are almost of a paste consistency. You can use a hand held blender to make it really smooth but I like mine a little lumpy.

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Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve

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Superdrug Colour Sensations

Well the Corvid – 19 apocalypse has called for a lockdown but that’s no excuse for a girl to let herself go!

I mean there’s a lot going on in the world right now and I grant you that having perfect hair might not seem like a priority but if you look good, you feel good so do your hair, paint your nails and put on your lipstick, even if you’re quarantining alone and nobody can see you!

All the salons are closed but before the lockdown, I managed to get my hands on some Superdrug Colour Sensations semi permanent hair dye. (Superdrug also being a drug store, might well still be open so you could be lucky, obviously be responsible though and only visit if you absolutely have to for medicine and then whilst you’re there . . .) 

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I’ve been dying my hair since I was a 14 year old Spice Girl wannabe, ginger to be precise . . . and have been various shades of red, blonde and brunette ever since so I don’t even know what my natural colour is anymore, before I ever tampered with it, it was medium brown but prone to blonde streaks in the sun.

I’m a big one for DIY beauty, it’s only when I was blonde that I had my hair coloured professionally.

I used to use permanent colour but found it tried my hair too much and although the semi permanent colours are only supposed to last 28 washes, I always find my hair holds the colour so it’s only when my roots need a touch up that I need to refresh.

When it comes to buying cruelty free, hair dye can be tricky as most of the big brands that produce home dye are owned by companies that still test however all Superdrug own brand products are Leaping Bunny certified and cruelty free.

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So I went with the 5.0 Dark Chocolate.

The contents of the box are pretty standard and easy to use, mix tube 1, the creme colour in with bottle 2, the creme developer and shake, put on the gloves, apply and leave for 20 minutes ,wash off and condition with tube 3, the intensive conditioner.

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After drying my hair, the colour looked great, a nice, even, rich brown and my hair was glossy too.

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Picture taken immediately after colour refresh for a Jawbreaker themed shoot! Jawbreakers are also vegan FYI.

The only fault I found was not in the product itself but that there wasn’t enough of it, luckily I’d bought two bottles as they were on offer at 2 for £5 so I had enough for full root coverage.

Maybe one bottle would suffice for root coverage for someone who has finer hair but I do have quite thick hair so definitely needed two just for roots and would probably need three for a full head coverage.

At £3.59 though or 2 for £5.00 the dye is great value and works out much cheaper than the big brand equivalents even if you do need two bottles.

Would I buy again? Yes!

Eat Seasonally Through The Apocalypse With A Veg Box

I really, really hope that one day when I grow up, I’ll have a garden of my very own with a vegetable patch where I can grow my own produce.

It’s so satisfying being able to yield your own produce and cook with fresh ingredients straight from the garden.

One of my fondest childhood memories is of being in the garden, helping my dad to harvest what he’d planted.

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Oh yes, I was a natural blonde. Butter wouldn’t melt . . . 

Bus alas, I live in London, Zone 2 to be precise and I’d have to be a multi millionaire to be able to afford my own house here, which unfortunately I’m not so for the most part I have to go to the supermarket for my veg and then it’s hard to know what’s in season.

One of the best ways to make sure you’re eating seasonally, eating food when it’s actually meant to be eaten is with weekly veg boxes.

I used to get one every week but as I live alone and don’t always eat at home, I was struggling not to have waste but I did love the surprise element of not knowing what was going to be in the box every week until I’d opened it, it’s was like the vegan equivalent of a kinder egg but without the toy and also the challenge of cooking with ingredients that sometimes I’d never even heard of before. 

Before I discovered veg boxes, If I’d have heard the word salsify, I would have thought it  was something that might be yelled at you if you were taking part in a duel at Hogwarts and I remember the first time I saw a kholrabi in my box and was convinced it had landed on the farm in a spaceship and stowed away in my box.

Well, due to the current Corvid 19, Corona induced panic buyer infested supermarkets at the moment, venturing back to one after standing for 50 minutes in a queue last week amidst the madness isn’t overly appealing so next week it’s Tower Green Hamlets to the rescue!

I have a medium box on order, it will be delivered straight to my door, no queues, no stress and all locally grown, seasonal, organic goodness.

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Boxes come in 3 sizes, there’s the option to add fruit supplements if you want and you can order weekly, fortnightly or monthly boxes or alternatively just order one off trial boxes whenever you fancy!

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If you’re East London based, check them out, they either deliver to your door or you can pick up from various drop off points.