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.
img_0809
Stir in chard leaves and wild garlic.
img_0810
Pour in cream and add lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.
img_0811
Turn heat down and let simmer for 5/10 mins until the chard and wild garlic wilts and your linguine is ready.
img_0817
Drain Linguine

Serve

img_0825

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

Plant Powered Expo

Last weekend I popped along to the first London Vegan expo of 2020. The Plant Powered Expo.

Although on a smaller scale than some of the other expo’s like Vegan Life Live, or Veg Fest, it’s timing was perfect for anyone who might have just completed Veganuary and decided to continue the plant based lifestyle.

Occupying one hall at Olympia, the expo had everything from vegan food tasting (I must have eaten my body weight in vegan cheese and chocolate), cookery classes, speakers, lectures, music and shopping to an art exhibition.

img_9807

img_9809

I went first thing to avoid the rush and although it was quiet at that time, it still took me almost 2 hours to have a good look around, shop and of course eat!

Often you see the same exhibitors doing the shows, which is great because you can stock up on all your favourite vegan goodies under one roof but with the vegan boom, there were so many new and innovative companies and products on show too. I made a little Eden Perfumes purchase at the Viva La Vegan stand (Click for more on Eden Perfumes) and stocked up on pepperjack cheese from Follow Your Heart. 

img_9796

Just some of the new products I discovered are Veggie Sheet who provide Nori style sheets made from carrot, radish, tomato, pumpkin and spinach, tomato was my favourite, a great alternative for sushi making but also for spring rolls and samosas, they’re available on Amazon now and Unlimeat who are a Korean brand yet to launch in the UK but are a meat alternative made from brown rice, oat and nut, delicious!

I also managed to finally get my hands on some Marigold brand Tuno which I haven’t tried yet and a Mummy Meagz vegan creme egg from the Newcastle based Alternative Stores stand, I’ll definitely have to pay them a visit next time I’m in the toon and before you ask, I bit off the top and licked out the middle of course! How do you eat yours?

img_0158

After walking around the show and visiting the Art Of  Compassion exhibition where I bought no 1/250 of a limited print from the very talented Philip McCulloch, I’m going to frame it for my Mum for Mother’s Day, to go in her healing  hut (I’m banking on her not reading my blog and finding this out in advance . . . ) it was time for lunch and deciding what to have was tough. I really wanted to try a burger from The Green Grill and had worked up quite an appetite as, as well as walking around the show, I’d also been to the gym in the morning but as it was a bit early, I opted for what I thought would be a lighter option, a hot dog from Pig Out – well it didn’t turn out to be all that much lighter topped with mac n cheese, but it was worth it! 

img_9814

img_9803

After consuming all of this, you’d think I wouldn’t to eat for the rest of the day but you’d be wrong, I went home and sat down with a cup of tea and cake, the Oggs chocolate fudge cupcakes that were in the goody bag – I did share though, I didn’t eat both!

img_9935

Hmmm, maybe I should sign myself up to that Vegan Runners group what were exhibiting . . .

img_9806

 

 

The Spread Eagle

img_6168

London’s first ever fully vegan pub opened it’s doors last year, The Spread Eagle in Homerton, East London.

There was a time when even though I’ve lived in East London since I upped sticks and moved from Norfolk to London 12 years ago, I would have considered myself more of a West end girl in regards to where I went out, the restaurants, bars and clubs I frequented and the circles I mixed in but I’m so happy that I remained living east as now it really is London’s vegan hub. From Shoreditch to Hackney, vegan restaurants are opening up almost weekly and the vegan boom is, well, booming!

img_6169

The Spread Eagle is only a few minutes in an Uber for me, I could drive but the cocktail menu is just too good, they even do a black cocktail called Lavender is The New Black, perfect for a vegan vamp! I’d also recommend the Smoked Pineapple Cosmopolitan.

 

I’ve pretty much sampled EVERYTHING on the menu and the restaurant is run by Club Mexicana and the food, glorious, I have to say, the tofish taco’s feature probably the best tofish I’ve ever tasted, the tempeh bacon taco’s are just divine and it really is hard to decide what I like best out of the MFC (Mexican Fried Chicken) burger, the Club Mex Cheeseburger or the Sticky Ribs Burger, they’re all just too tasty and the wings and nachos are amazing too.

 

 

The best Mexican food outside of Mexico? Yes, in fact, even better because it’s all vegan!!!

Dessert wise, I love the cheesecake but it’s the chilli chocolate tart with vegan whipped cream that really tantalizes my taste buds.

cf81b4ea-0205-4129-8e59-f98ab8ce6630-1

If you live in london and haven’t been, you must go, it’s also dog friendly so take your pooch!

 

Location

224 Homerton High Street, London, E9 6AS

Hours

Mon – Thur 4pm – 11pm, Fri –  4pm – 1am, Sat – 12pm – 2am, Sun – 12pm – 10.30pm 

Phone

020 8985 0400

Fly Vegan

img_4711

It’s certainly much easier to be vegan now than it ever has been before but travelling can still sometimes be tricky.

Not only the cuisines in the different countries you travel to but also when you’re in flight.

I recently went to Mexico and flew with United and although the in flight main meal vegetarian option was luckily vegan, they didn’t actually offer specifically vegan meals and the snack options later in the flight were not vegan so had I not been prepared and stocked up on expensive airport snacks after going through security, I’d have been one hangry traveller! 

Home page

Well now The Vegan Society and The Humane Society have joined forces and launched a brilliant website called Fly Ve where you can go and rate your in flight vegan meals and read other peoples reviews.

Basically like trip advisor but for plant based meals. 

With such a recent rise in people switching to vegan diets, it’s really important that they’re catered for and it’s not only vegans who enjoy vegan food, I know that through my experience, since becoming vegan, many of my non vegan friends have gone for vegan options when we’ve been out together and when you’re on a long flight and you’re not actively burning calories, vegan or not, it makes sense to go for a healthy vegan option.

At the time of writing this post, the stats show that Turkish Airlines and Air New Zealand provide the best food for vegan travellers and the more people that contribute to the site, the more accurate the stats will be although in flight meals might not be the only factor to consider when booking flights, it’s definitely one to consider when deciding which airlines to fly with.

img_4915

www.flyvegan.org

Win Tickets – Vegan Life Live 2019

Back with a Bang! – Vegan Life Live 2019

It’s just over a month until Vegan Life Live makes it’s way back to Alexandra Palace, one of the biggest and in my opinion the best Vegan lifestyle shows on the calendar.

veganlife

2018 will go down in history as the year of the vegan. With numbers sky rocketing to an estimated all new high of 3.5 million vegans in the UK alone, this figure is only set to rise in 2019.

The future is bright, the future is vegan and Vegan Life Live is at the heart of the vegan revolution and courtesy of Vegan Life Live, I have 5 pairs of tickets to give away to my readers!

Ticket-giveaway

All you need to do to be in with a chance of winning a pair is follow and DM me on and of my social media pages, Twitter, Facebook or Instagram – @veganvamplife by 22nd of February and I’ll pick 5 winners out of a hat!

You will be informed if you win by 24th February.

img_9837

Veganism is not just about the food we eat but the choices we make every day. It is a lifestyle encompassing everything from the clothes we wear and the cosmetics we use  to the products we use to clean our houses, and excluding anything that has been involved in the exploitation and unnecessary suffering of animals. This is a celebration of the vegan journey, whether you are a long time vegan or just starting out on your vegan journey, there’s something for everyone!

This year there will be over 200 exhibitors, providing everything from vegan cheese, burgers and brownies, to handbags, supplements and spices. There will be cooking demonstrations from leading vegan chefs and bloggers, inspiring visitors to take new ideas home to their own kitchens.

This will be the 3rd year running visiting the show myself and every year I’m been excited by all the new foods to try, I even had a unicorn burger back in 2017 – obviously no unicorns were harmed in the making of that one.

img_9944

New this year too is the EcoLiving zone. As a society, we are gradually waking up to the damage that the human race has wreaked on the planet and are keen to make changes. The EcoLiving zone brings over 40 exhibitors focusing on how to live an environmentally-friendly lifestyle.

There is also a full schedule of lectures and seminars, allowing visitors to hear from experts about the ethical, environmental and compassionate effects of living a vegan lifestyle.

It’s impossible not to go home laden with shopping, best to empty your cupboards before you go!

img_9943

Vegan Life Live will return to the beautiful venue of Alexandra Palace in the north of London on March 9th & 10th 2019.

Vegan Life Live
9th & 10th March

Alexandra Palace, London, N22 7AY

Opening Times
Saturday 10am – 6pm | Sunday 10am – 5pm

Admission Costs
Online: Adults £12 | Concessions £10
On the door: Adults £15 | Concessions £12
Two day tickets are also available

Free show guide
Register for your free show guide at http://www.veganlifelive.com

Fajitas

40337334_265190330787626_9179418724526981120_n

I love Mexican food and am a big fan of DIY fajitas, sitting at the table and assembling them as you eat.

I’m not a massive fan of salsa though so instead of cooking my fajita filling dry, I add tomatoes and leave out the salsa when it comes to assembly.

This recipe is so quick and easy!

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 300g bag of chicken style pieces (I used Tesco own)

1 pack of flour tortilla wraps

1 green pepper, sliced (other colour peppers also work but green are my favourite)

1 tin of chopped tomatoes

1 onion, chopped

2 tsps of chilli powder (or more if you’re a rock star)

1 tsp of paprika

1 tsp of cumin powder

1 tsp of cayenne pepper

1 tsp of garlic powder

1 tsp of salt

1 tbsp of olive oil

Juice of 1/2 a lemon

Method

In a pan, fry the onion in olive oil gently for around 2 minutes.

Add the chicken style pieces and the tomatoes and stir.

Stir in the spices and lemon juice and add the pepper and stir for around 15 minutes until the juice from the tomatoes has reduced.

Serve with optional chopped lettuce, vegan sour cream, guacamole, jalapenos, grated vegan cheese and of course tortillas which are best warmed.

40330029_2188862784726355_736282189104152576_n