Friday, 30 August 2013

Terrace Arts Cafe Seaton

I've been here once before, but Mr B has been multiple times. We've had long waits before, but the food has always been good quality.


We arrived to a very polite, but seemingly stressed member of staff who told us he was very busy and to take a seat. There were four tables occupied and the cafe was less than half full so we weren't sure what was going on, but took a seat anyway.


The fact that they warn about possible waiting times in the menu made us chuckle. Mr B has told me about previous visits where there has only been one member of staff doing both the cooking and serving, and the food has taken 2 hours.


We ordered a VO of the Potato Skins to start from the menu. Our mains were from the specials board - I had a VO & GF Shepard's Pie and Mr B had a VO Italian Inspired Linguine. We also ordered iced coffee, but as there was no ice we had hazelnut hot chocolate instead. 


The potato skins were quite nice. They came topped with vegan cheese (it was the Tesco Free From stuff) and the vegan mayo and salsa was pretty nice too.


 Mr B's meal looked ok, but as it wasn't gluten free I didn't try any. I was told  the bread roll that came with it was nice, but he actually struggled to eat the rest.



I'm really not sure what to say about mine. At £10.50 for a main course it wasn't cheap, yet the only thing I can say it reminded me of is hospital food (that's if vegan food in hospitals existed of course). It was supposed to be Shepard's Pie, but it was actually just TVP and mashed potato. It wasn't a pie or browned and was actually quite soggy. The best bit was the parsnips as they were nice and crispy.
We didn't stay for pudding as we really weren't enjoying our meal. I'm not sure we'd go back after this experience, and I rarely ever say this. 

 

Thursday, 29 August 2013

Tierra Kitchen Lyme Regis

As we often visit this part of the world, we were pretty pleased to learn there was now somewhere for us to eat out. It's always exciting getting to try somewhere new so we headed down there pretty early on on our stay. Sadly the first day we tried to go it was closed and were a little confused due to the restaurant itself having no opening hours on any signage. After digging through the website we realised it is closed on Mondays & Tuesdays so we headed back later in the week.


The menu seems to change almost every day. I'm not sure if this is a good thing or not, but this is what was on offer during our visit. To start I had the 'Sweet Corn and Cashew Nut Cakes with Sautéed Runner Beans and Mint Jelly'.


Mr B had the 'Warm Salad of Girolles'.


I enjoyed my starter and the combination of the sweet corn cakes with the 'mint jelly', however it tasted more like a chilli jam - nether the less it worked well. I tried Mr B's and that too was yummy - delicious mushrooms with a creamy sauce.

For my main I had 'Aubergine Roulade with carrot and almond filling served with red chilli quinoa, marinated courgettes and caramelised peach'.
 

We had our mains with a vegan option side of 'Sautéed Samphire in a lemon & thyme dressing'. 


I didn't enjoy my main as much as my starter. It was well presented but I felt it lacked something. All the vegetarian mains on offer included cheese, pasta or pastry - whereas we had one each of the vegan mains which were both made up of vegetables and nuts. I would have loved all the flavours of my dish in perhaps a small pastry roulade or perhaps with a cashew nut 'cheese' and Mr B felt exactly the same way about what he ate. We mentioned this to our server who removed the price of one main from our bill and genuinely seemed interested in our comments.


To finish I had the 'Dark Chocolate and Hazelenut Torte'. It may sound odd to say, but considering it was largely dark chocolate, that flavour really didn't come through enough. The dish as a whole was pleasant. 

Small had the 'Vegetable Sausage with chips' from the children's menu with the vegan sage and pumpkin seed sausage. 


I am always impressed when a restaurant has a well thought out children's menu as many places just offer half portions of adult food which are often too salty or made up of complex flavours little ones don't like.


Small's meal was lovely and both myself and Mr B loved the sausages, to the point we wish we could of had this too!
Overall, despite not enjoying the mains we would still return - it's great it's opened in this area. The problems with our main dishes are why I wonder if changing the menu daily is a good thing - perhaps more regular well thought out vegan mains would be the answer. At the higher price point they set themselves at it'd be good to see them take this on board.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Aroma Cafe Lyme Regis


We love coming to this part of the country and do so regularly as we have family here. It's always nice to be able to get vegan food and be able to pop out for lunch in this lovely town. I'd not been to Aroma Cafe before, but it's in a lovely spot at the bottom of the high street. Sadly I didn't get chance to get any snaps of the interior, but it has a lovely modern & unique style.
There wasn't many vegan choices and we had a soya latte each along with a falafel pitta stuffed with houmous and chilli jam. Despite the lack of choice, what we did have was lovely. What actually sold the place for me was the kid's menu. Small had a little platter made up of kiddie houmous, pitta breads and veggie sticks all served on child friendly plastic plates. It's so nice to visit a place that has it so well thought out in terms of it's smaller customers. They even have a kids play area.


This was my badly snapped picture of Small's kids meal after she'd already attacked it. They had also lots of gluten free options, and although they had no vegan cake today we were assured they often do.
 

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Twinwood 2013


Yesterday we headed down to Twinwood Festival for the day. It's the third year in a row we've been, and Small's 2nd time.


The weather forecast all week had said it'd be ok, but at the last minute changed and there was supposed to be LOTS of rain and maybe even thunder storms. We still wanted to go, so armed ourselves with wellies and Small got a new puddle suit.


We all had an enjoyable day, and in previous years I've enjoyed this festival so much because it's small, family friendly and a bit different with it's vintage theme. I have to say though, I feel as if it wasn't as good this year. Some of the headline acts such as The Lamours and the Jive Aces were great, but the schedule printed in the programme was changed without telling people, and we almost missed things we wanted to see. There was also a girl who won a competition in the karaoke last year who was on at 'prime time'. I'm sure it was great for her to get to do that, but along with a tap dancing child I was left feeling we weren't really getting our money's worth. 
One of the great things about this festival is also the big selection of vintage and repro vendors they have on site. It's where I first heard of The Vintage Salon who I ended up using for my hair & makeup when I got married. They still had a big selection, although not all those I was hoping to see from last year were there again.
I don't want to sound grumpy, but they also have very little vegetarian and no vegan food options at all. Even local free festivals in parks I've been to have at least one veg*n caterer there, and the big festivals I've been to have loads.  Despite asking the festival for several years I've never even had an answer on the subject.
I think despite enjoying the festival for three years it's time to find a new one for next year with kids entertainment - it was tiring chasing Small around the main arena!

Friday, 23 August 2013

A Week In iPhone Pictures


We've not really been doing anything too crazy recently. We've as ever been hanging out at our local park, going to vegan picnics, eating pizza.......


We went to another of the Moseley Vegan's picnic in the park events last weekend. The sun wasn't quite as shiny this time but it was a lovely afternoon.


We've been back at Mr Singh's having car picnics - we even got vegan cheesy garlic bread this time!


I've been making gluten free cookies....


Getting new mugs to add to my collection...


Even getting my hair cut.....


I enjoy doing these 'random picture' posts as I get to enjoy and remember all the little things we do as a family, and it's the little precious moments that are so important.



 

Friday, 16 August 2013

Bluurggh

I haven't posted anything the past week, well because it was that time of year once again when Mr B has to head off for work for the week (to Vegas! SO bloody jealous) and I'm home alone with the little miss. I think this time around I wasn't fully prepared - I'd done this several times already in her 15 month long life, but I think actually it was easier when she was smaller. Yes, she would keep me up most of the night (nothing has changed there!) but in the day I knew was I was getting. Now she's walking, exploring and getting upto mischief all day long! I am in awe of single parents - you are all amazing! I'm worn out after just a week!


She's also this week learnt to do so many new things! She can say cat & no (and she's been saying a lot of no, no, no!), she learnt how to eat with a spoon and use her 'big girls' straw cup. 


I've also been having laser removal on some of my tattoos which has been hard to deal with at times with a little one constantly jumping, kicking and pinching you. I've been having it around 8 months, and this week finally came the time to start my cover up. When I booked a WHOLE day I didn't reslise Mr B wouldn't be here. It has been tough! 
It's not all negative though, Small & I have spent some lovely time together and I have the makings of a pretty new tattoo. I guess I am just writing this at the end of a very tiring week! 


Thursday, 15 August 2013

August Adventures

I'm getting pretty excited about a few things this month. It's August which means that we'll be off to Twinwood Festival. It'll be the third year in a row we've been now, and it has become a bit of a tradition since Mr B and I have been together. We considered camping this year, but with small being 15 months now we weren't brave enough. I'm really looking forward to going camping with her, although I think we might test it out with one night somewhere to see how we get on before we attempt anything longer!


This was us last year and Small was only 3 months old. Despite this we had a wonderful day and she loved listening to some of the fabulous big band music and seeing all the pretty vintage frocks. I'm hoping Dead Men's Spex will be there again this year so I can try on some fabulous cats eye frames. We've also brought her a Radio Flyer for getting around the festival site - I absolutely didn't even want to attempt to take the pushchair again this year.


In other news I'll be taking part in Vegan Mofo (Vegan Month of Food) this year. It's a crazy blogging event starting on the 1st September where vegan bloggers talk about food as much as possible! I'm going to be looking at food for little vegans and have already got some great things to share with you!

Monday, 5 August 2013

Reboot - One Week In

I stopped posting about this every day after the first couple of day because honestly, there wasn't much to tell. It's now exactly a week after I began, but I've not switched to having juice for all my meals. The plan includes food for days 1-5 and that's still what I'm doing.
Around day 3 I attempted to switch to 'all juice' and apart from an avocado I did this for almost 2 days, but honestly - I felt ill. I had headaches, dizziness, stomach aches, no energy and I was really spaced out. I know this is supposed to be part of the 'detox' process but I just couldn't afford to feel like that with a little one to look after. I spent those days miserable, and that's no good!
I've since been having juice plus at least one meal a day - mostly raw stuff and I've felt loads better, and still loosing weight! 
These are a few of the things I've been having for meals:

Raw Carrot & Avocado Soup


Ingredients

1 good size avocado
4 carrots peeled & chopped
2 tsp crushed garlic
1/4 onion chopped
2 tsp sunflower oil
450ml water
1/2 tsp salt

To top soup: 1 diced tomato & a dash of pepper or raw himalayan pink salt 

I loved making this, and as long as you have a high powered blender it's really quick and easy! Just pop everything in (apart from diced tomato) and blend. I've been a little put off raw food in the past due to a lot of recipes containing way too much coconut oil or raw soya sauce and taking hours in prep to make. This is actually realistic raw!

Raw Crackers & Dip
 

I've been snacking on these tasty raw crackers from Raw Health along with some tasty raw dips I've made at home. I'm planning to make some of my own crackers in my trusty Excalibur this week too.
These dips are my favorites and easy to whip up in a food processor.

Avocado Dip
 
2 avocados
2 tomatoes
2 Tbsps chopped onion
Handful of fresh corriander
Pinch of raw pink salt
1 TSP fresh lemon juice

Raw Nacho Cheese

1 cup cashews (soaked for a couple of hours beforehand)
1/2 red pepper - i like the sweet pointed kind the best
1 cup water
1/2 cup nutritonal yeast
2 cloves garlic
2 Tbsps lemon juice
1 tsp salt

Raw Sweet Potato Chips


Again these are super easy to make, although they take a bit of time in the dehydrator. The results are worth it!

I have a 4 tray Excalibur and use about 2 good size sweet potatoes to fill it. You'll want to wash them, then leaving the skin on slice really thin. It won't work with a knife, ideally you want to use a mandolin but I use my Lurch Spirali (which is also great for making raw pastas).
Place all sliced sweet potato in a bowl and add 1/2 tsp each of raw pink salt & cumin. If it doesn't seem like enough, don't add more. The flavour becomes more intense once dehydrated.


Place your chips in a single layer in your dehydrator for around 6-8 hours. Have your dehydrator set below 42C!

Friday, 2 August 2013

Summer Bliss


Yesterday evening as the weather was so lovely I got to head over to our beautiful local park with my two favorite people. As we only have a small garden it's nice to go over there and let Small have a good toddle about on the grass. She's really getting quite good at this whole walking thing now! 


It's little family moments like these that are so important to me. Small learning to walk, like all phases will pass all too quickly and I'm trying to enjoy every special moment with her as much as possible. 
It's now August and she's almost 15 months old. I guess I say it far too much, but I just don't know where that time has gone (apart from maybe when I'm up at 3am grumbling)!
There's lots I'm looking forward to this month - several picnics with other lovely vegans, Mr B taking some time off work and the fabulous Twinwood Festival that has become a bit of a tradition and we've been every year since we've been together. I've even got my fingers crossed for a trip to the seaside :)

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Reboot Day Three

Yesterday was the hardest day yet! I was expecting to get the headaches and caffeine withdrawl at some point - but damn it's not nice. I was feeling really energised until evening, then it kicked in. Pretty much as soon as Small was in bed I headed off there too! 


I was trying to ease myself into just juicing by having an avocado for breakfast and then my ginger green juice all day, but by 9pm the sickness felt so bad I had to eat something. I didn't go off plan so quickly made some plain steamed vegetables to eat then hurried off to bed. I really didn't expect this to be easy and I guess this is the point where it could be make or break, but despite the gloom today I'm really determined not to give up!
According to the scales I'm now 3.3kg down!