Stories of 2019 #54: Vegan Sauce Recipes

For the past six months I have switched to a fully plant-based diet. Before, I was mainly vegetarian whilst still eating or drinking dairy produce and on the odd occasion eating some fish. I first decided to try a plant-based diet because of the nutritional benefits but then I began to sway towards the ethical side of a plant-based lifestyle, especially after reading the book, Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer.

But what I have loved about following this type of diet is the cooking! I did cook before but I do feel like you have to be more prepared and more willing to cook from scratch. I have put together marinades, used a variety of spices and tried different veggies, fruits and vegan substitutes like tofu and tempeh that I have never tried before.

However, some things have not changed and for breakfast I still remain faithful to my delicious oats that I was having before (the same breakfast for about 5 years now lol) but now, if I have it with milk, I have it with a plant-based milk like almond or oat and then top with nut butter and more often than not, dark chocolate because why not! Recently I have also been making overnight oats which I am currently loving. I put my oats, truvia sweetener, raisins and chia seeds into a jar (which I have up-cycled) and cover it all with almond milk and leave it all overnight in the fridge. Then, in the morning either eat it from the jar or pour into a bowl and pair with coconut yoghurt and banana for breakfast.

Lunch and dinner is a very similar set-up. I have some sort of protein, whether that be tofu, tempeh, lentils, pulses or vegan chicken pieces. Alongside this, I will have a carb which most nights is noodles (soba or udon) because I am literally oodles for noodles. Alternatively, I will have some cous cous or rye bread. I am not really a person to have much pasta or rice unless I really fancy it. I did today, however, have quinoa for a change! Another option if I am at work, at my mums bakery, I will usually have a granary bread sandwich as the bread is vegan and sent in fresh, daily, and it would be rude not to test to products. For the safety of our customers of course… Then alongside these two food groups, I will have a ton of veggies. The usual suspects are courgette, broccoli, spinach, mushrooms and red onion and then, if I am fancying being a bit out there with my veg selection, I may have the odd avocado, sweetcorn, new potato or edamame bean.

Sauce/marinade wise I normally make my own also in preference to buying a jar. I have four favourite, go-to recipes…

Tarami sauce, garlic clove, sesame seed oil, maple syrup, smoked paprika and ginger.

Coconut milk, peanut butter, tamari and curry powder – more thick, creamy and tastes indulgent.

Coriander, pea, spinach and almond milk (add water if a little too thick).

Chickpeas or butterbeans, tahini, garlic granules and some water (hummus).

I usually put these all in my nutri-bullet and blitz it up baby!

Keep scrolling for some plate-spiration, nicely put together with flowers, plants or my legs :).

This post is a bit of a ramble but I wanted to show you how delicious and easy plant-based foods can be to put together. I do have other foods, less often, which are more processed such as vegan croissants, chocolate, vegan yoghurts and pastry but I much prefer to cook using whole foods and delicious, fresh fruits and vegetables.

What is your favourite plant-based dish?

More recipes coming soon…

Stories of 2019 #45: Pancake Day in Hitchin

Wasn’t pancake day good! I mean, I and my mum did not even bother to attempt to make them, we chose the sensible choice and decided to head out for elevenses pancakes. We are not just pretty faces, we knew somewhere else would make them better than we ever could!

Already in the area, we went to my absolute favourite cafe – Chia Naturally Healthy. A cozy plant-based health cafe in the center of Hitchin. So aka, we had healthy pancakes…

Every time I have visited this cafe I have had the most delish food so it is no wonder they have been voted top three of The Sunday Times best plant-based cafes.

For pancake day they were also offering not only 10% off pancakes but also had two exclusive flavour toppings. Pancakes on offer were…

Coconut sugar and lemon

Banana, pecan and maple syrup

Cinnamon and blueberries

Thankfully the words, “shall we get two different and share” come out of my mum’s mouth and I was at the counter ordering one maple and pecan, one blueberry and cinnamon. Coconut sugar and lemon sounded lovely too but I mean if I am going for pancakes, I want all the toppings! We also had an English breakfast tea with oat milk and a matcha latte with coconut milk.

My excitement was building when they arrived and we tucked straight into the three-stack, heavily (thank god) topped pancakes. I was in almond butter heaven and we were switching forks trying to decide which ones we preferred. Both equally as good I reckon and thinking to myself what a great idea this was whilst trying to savour every last bite.

Eyes bigger than my belly, I also ordered a slice of their ginger cake to-go… I mean by the time I am writing this blog post (2:30pm) I have had a sneaky spoonful and I mean it is safe to say the cake will not be there for long!

Once again, Chia Naturally Healthy has wowed my tastebuds and I am itching to go back already!

Not only do they do pancakes but they do a whole range of tasty, wholesome food from burgers to smoothie bowls, to beetroot lattes to protein smoothies.

I am beyond happy that this gem is in Hertfordshire and I highly recommend a visit if you are nearby, even if you are not plant-based.

What did you top your pancakes with?

Stories of 2019 #3: Back on the Health Kick

“Skip the diet. Just eat healthy.”

Lunch 02.01.2018 // Vivera kebab salad

Have you joined the Veganuary tribe? Have you been thinking about the idea of dipping your toe into the world of a vegan diet? Well, since coming back from Australia I have been trying my hardest to eat a vegan diet as much as I can. And, most importantly, if I have slipped up here and there, I have not punished myself because sometimes it can be hard and you know what, I am human and people make mistakes! It is all a process and about learning along the way.

What I enjoy most about following this plant-based diet is that it gets me cooking and I find cooking very therapeutic. And there is so so so much out there now to try and lots of restaurants popping up, it is an exciting time to be making the change to vegan. For example, some of my favorite supermarket brands are Vivera (the vegan kebab is so good), Oatly and Violife.

Sometimes I do find myself just having a stir-fry of veg and rice and I do enjoy this dinner but after a while it gets boring so I now am a proud owner of a variety of vegan/vegetarian cookbooks to add some spice into my life!

Joe Wicks // Veggie Lean in 15
Nina Olsson // Bowl of Goodness
Lucy Watson // Feed Me Vegan
So Vegan in 5 // Roxy Pope and Ben Pook

P.S The Veganuary website is packed full of information from eating out and what to order, to what’s best to order in a certain cuisine and free recipe books. Take a look and see how easy it is now to have a plant-based diet.