Sunday, 28 June 2015

The Garden Shed Cafe - Leamington Spa


I'd been meaning to try this place out before, I'd even tried to go once and it was closed. The Garden Shed Cafe opened it's doors at the beginning of 2015 in Leamington Spa, right behind Gaia health food shop in the old part of town. It's really nice to have a totally vegetarian place to eat in Leamington Spa as before now the choice has been a bit limited - especially if you are vegan.

We both had their vegan breakfast which came with 'lawn sausage', a hash brown, beans, mushrooms, tomato and toast. The lawn sausage was made by themselves and overall it was a really nice meal - a nice change from having a cooked breakfast at a cafe where all the elements are from a packet.


We were also tempted by their good selection of vegan cake and opted for this blackforest cake which was really nice. I was particularly impressed with their ability to cater for my 3 year old mini me with small portions and adapting what was on the menu to suit her tastes. We've been to many places that really don't do kids food very well - but The Garden Shed Cafe was great and she got a cheese toastie and a kids portion of cake which she wolfed down. We paid about £21 for the three of us which was a bargain. The only thing I'd like to see more of would be a bigger selection of drinks - perhaps some of the Fentimans range or Fritz Cola?

Overall we really enjoyed our food and I'm sure we will be back again soon.
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Monday, 22 June 2015

Just V Show 3rd - 5th July, 2015 London, Olympia

V Delicious is on soon and they've changed their name! 

Now in its third year, our show has quickly become the biggest UK weekend event for anyone that’s vegetarian, vegan or looking to reduce their meat intake.
We don’t need to tell you that whether you choose to live as a vegetarian or vegan, or are simply making the choice to reduce the amount of meat products you consume, there’s a complete spectrum of ‘V’ living choices that you’re interested in, and are adopting in your day-to-day life.
When we launched this event back in 2012, we set out to create a fabulous celebration of gorgeous v food and drink.  With 30,000 of you attending last year, the show has clearly struck a chord and we are delighted that so many now enjoy the event.  The thing is, though food and drink will always be a massive part of our show, it’s clear that you are looking for MORE than that; more clothes and shoes, more beauty, more household, more health and ethical products…

…so that is what we are going to provide you in 2015!

We thought that we would start with a new image that reflects everything we are about, i.e. the wonderfully diverse, multi-layered motives behind modern ‘v’ living.  From the ethically-committed vegan to the curious health-conscious ‘meat reducer’, there will be something for everyone in 2015.

Just V Show… just for you; vegans, vegetarians and meat reducers.

If you would like free tickets to the show then check this out! http://www.justvshow.co.uk/go/blogger1

Monday, 15 June 2015

Nama



As part of Mr B's birthday weekend we stopped off on our way home for lunch at Nama. I'd been once before but only tried their deserts, so had been really excited to try more. 
I kicked things off with this amazing green juice - 'Tropical Bliss'. It was really nice and even the toddler braved a try.



For my main I had the 'Raw Sushi Platter' and Mr B had their Cheese Board. I have a bit of a love affair with raw sushi and really like the ones at Manna V, but these were just amazing. Mr B's cheese board was so so good - I wish I could of had both! 



To share between us we also had their Cannelloni as Mr B has tried it before and said I couldn't leave without trying it! We also had a desert platter to share and they made small a special coconut free pancakes and ice cream (she is allergic to coconut) which I didn't have time to snap pictures of before they were eaten!



I grabbed a few treats to take home with me too! If you are into raw food I REALLY REALLY recommend you check this place out. I can honestly say it was one of the best meals out I've had - raw or not. I'd absolutely love to do one of their raw cooking classes and learn how to create things that delicious myself!

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Veg Bar



Ever since Mr B first told me that deep fried mac n cheese balls existed I'd been dying to try Veg Bar. We got a few hours toddler free so headed over :)


We didn't have time to have starters and mains so just ordered a couple of things each and got it all at the same time which equalled into a huge pigging out fest. This was the 'Southern Fried Gold' - the menu says it's supposed to come with BBQ sauce but we got tomato. It was pretty good. I guess the Mac could have been a bit more cheesey - it didn't seem to have much sauce inside, but maybe that's a limitation of making it stick together into a ball?


For my other dish I had 'Bartolomeu's Adenture Playground' which was a hotdog, beans and salt n pepper home fries. This was nice too - I was less keen on the homemade hotdog sausage and maybe might have preferred a faux 'meat' style one, but that's a personal preference. 
We really enjoyed the meal and our only con at this point was the price - £10.50 is quite a lot for a main dish given their style of food and location. This is more than Manna V charge for their lunch burger & fries (they charge £8 at time of writing).

I kind of debated for a while about what to say at the end of this post, but as they say I guess honesty is the best policy and in all honesty although I enjoyed the food I wouldn't return there again. Like ever. 
As I said - both me and Mr B were really enjoying our meal until the point we both found hairs in our food. Mr B found his first inside one of his Mac n cheese balls - he showed me but we just thought it might of come from him. Then I found several hairs underneath food on my plate I hadn't even touched until that point.


I found several bits, but only got a clear shot of this. At that point we stopped eating, felt a bit ickky, paid the bill and left. I don't like saying stuff like this about v*gan places because I want them to be successful and I want them to exist, but it's just like the situation where The Waiting Room served us a kids hot dog where the bun was covered in disgusting mould (I emailed them and they apologised profusely), it has put us off and we probably won't be back. 

London Noms

I have just had a pretty epic weekend away for Mr B's birthday. We hadn't been down to our London pad for ages so decided we'd go there and do what we do best - have an epic vegan food tour :) We almost didn't make it as I was in hospital last week, but I'm glad we got there in the end!



On our way down we stopped for dinner at Mana V in Primrose Hill. This has been one of our favourites for a while, but I have to say I found the food a little disappointing. This was the sharing starter plate we had - I had some of the raw sushi and raw tacos which were divine.



This was the raw pad Thai I had for my main - to be honest I didn't eat most of it. It didn't have enough flavour and it had way to much cashew!



Black Cat remains my favourite place in the world to have breakfast/ brunch. Even though I ate mine whilst Mr B sat in the car (toddler antics) I still really enjoyed it.



Small hung out with daddy a bit more than usual to give me a bit of a break and I was still feeling pretty rough from being in hospital. We had a great weekend though and hopefully we'll be back down there soon.

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Refried Beans? Burrito It! - Suma Bloggers Network


I absolutely LOVE making bean based dishes. I'm often a slave to my pressure cooker and make huge batches of bean based goodness and use it up in various ways throughout the week. Burritos are a great way to do this, and they give you a chance to please various members of the family. Mr B and I are always cooking ourselves something different, but with a dish like this each person can choose which elements to include.

Ingredients

500g Pinto Beans (soaked overnight and cooked or cooked in a pressure cooker for around 40mins)
2 x Tinned Chopped Tomatoes
50g Chopped Sweet Red Peppers
3 Tsp Magic BBQ Dust
2 Tsp Liquid Smoke
1 Tsp Organic Suma Cumin
1 Tsp Organic Suma Smoked Paprika
1 Tsp Garlic Granules
1/2 Tsp Cinnamon
1 Tsp Marigold Bullion
Pinch of salt

Combine all the ingredients into a heavy bottomed saucepan or a pressure cooker if you own one. Make sure everything is well combined, cover and simmer for around 25 minutes.
Once ready, carefully mash beans (a potato masher is ideal) until they are combined, but there is still a little structure left.

The beans go great with vegan cheese, avocado, salsa, cashew cream cheese, rice, faux meats or even with corn chips for nachos.