Love it or hate it, these chocolatey, gooey marmite brownies complete with marmite caramel sauce will be your new favourite! I know it sounds weird but hear me out – the sweetness of the chocolate & banana balances so well with the salty marmite kick. These simple brownies are not only easy to make but full of healthy ingredients too! Plus they’d be a great conversation starter at your next dinner party.
The recipe below makes six brownie bites. There are no exact measurements for the caramel sauce as you can add as little or as much as you like depending on your taste and how thick you would like it to be.
MARMITE BROWNIE BITES:
1/3 cup or 80ml cashew butter
1/4 cup or 60ml cocoa powder
2 medium bananas
1 tsp marmite
Mash the bananas in a bowl
Add in the cocoa powder, cashew butter and marmite and stir until all mixed into gooey but smooth consistency
Transfer mixture to baking tray and cook on gas mark 4 for at least 20 minutes / until the skewer comes out clean
Leave to cool before cutting into six
MARMITE CARAMEL SAUCE:
Syrup (maple, sweet freedom, golden etc)
Marmite to taste
Melt the coconut oil and syrup together in the microwave until liquid
Whisk in the cashew butter to your desired consistency (more for a thicker sauce)
Add in your preferred amount of marmite. Taste as you add so you don’t add too much and lose the caramel taste
Pour over your cooled brownie bites and enjoy
Let me know if you make these! Would love to know what you think. x
You know how it goes – it gets to Sunday night and you realise you’ve not made any lunch for the next working week and you have no idea what to make. Maybe you work somewhere where you can grab and on-the-go sandwich instead , if so lucky you! I however currently work in the middle of nowhere and the only shop within five miles has a vegan section consisting of pot noodles, crisps and not much else. It’s also way cheaper to take your own lunch and if like me you’re currently saving up for that non existent house you’ll never be able to afford, then every saving counts!
Below are a few filling, healthy and most importantly easy lunch ideas that can be prepared in advance to save yourself some of that Sunday night dread.
Batch cook chilli
Starting of with one of my favourite go-to lunches that never fails. Making up a load of chilli is super easy and you can make as much or as little as you want, meaning you can freeze loads of it for another time. All you need to do is fry onions and garlic, add in your veg (peppers, mushrooms, whatever you fancy) with some chilli powder and paprika until soft, add in your choice of ‘meat’ (I usually stick with Tesco soya mince or lentils ), chuck in some tinned tomatoes and kidney beans (the ones in chilli sauce are the BEST) and leave it to simmer for about 15 minutes. Once you have this, you can team it with whatever you fancy! Rice, couscous, salad, potatoes, the list is endless. Split it into separate storage tubs and freeze for when you need it.
When you google ‘vegan curry recipes’ a lot of the results will tell you to make your own sauce from scratch. This is a lovely idea but let’s face it, who REALLY has the time? In my opinion there is nothing wrong with using shop bought curry sauces in a jar. All you have to do then is decide on your curry ingredients. I normally try and use up any random veg I have that looks like it’s on the way out, tofu, potatoes or lentils. The choices are endless! I’m still a little bit wary of reheating rice so I normally soak a load of couscous to have with it. Again, split your curry & couscous into separate storage tubs and freeze for when you need it.
As we all know, pasta is one of life’s greatest food groups and should not be limited to just dinner time. It could not be easier to boil up some pasta, add some free from pesto and veggies to create a super filling and delicious lunch. I’ve recently discovered pea pasta which is not only DELICIOUS but counts as one of your five a day. What could be better?! Other topping ideas include your favourite sauce or cheese, houmous and salad.
Sometimes you really just want to eat a sandwich for lunch, don’t you? Well thanks to the influx of new vegan products it has never been easier to create a tasty sarnie. Quorn vegan ham and chicken slices are amazing for this and taste great with a slice of your favourite vegan cheese and some salad or pickle. Linda McCartney sausages are also one if my go-to sandwhich fillers – so comforting!
When the weather is good I think it’s quite nice to make a ‘picky’ lunch, so you can pretend you’re having a picnic and definitely don’t have to go back to the office in half an hour. I know that a packet of Rivitas sound bloody boring but I have recently become a convert! Teamed with your fave meat alternative or dairy free cheese, vegan mayo and a salad they are actually super tasty and surprisingly filling. Plus, it doesn’t take much preparation as you can put it all in a lunchbox and make them up as you’re eating it!
Okay so this doesn’t taste EXACTLY like tuna but it’s sooo tasty, easy to prepare and makes enough for a good few days. There are loads of variations depending on your taste but the basics are: one can of chickpeas, vegan mayo, mustard, onions, sweetcorn / peppers, lemon juice and black pepper all smooshed (technical term) together in bowl. I don’t use exact measurements because I’m a rebel (read as: lazy) but use the amount of each ingredient that you desire and it will taste delicious. It’s a perfect sandwich filler or jacket potato topper. It’s even ideal with just a salad.
As the colder months are on their way it only seemed fair to include trusty soup on this list. Luckily for us there are a generous amount off decent shop-bought soups available now, one of my favourites being lentil dahl from The Coop. However, it is actually pretty easy to make your own and some recipes barely require any ingredients at all. You can batch cook a load and freeze it ready for those cold days, giving you one less thing to remember.
I hope this list has given you a few ideas! The best thing about all of these lunches is that they can be easily varied so you never get bored of eating the same thing all the time. However if you still run out of time to prepare your own, I highly recommend heading to your nearest supermarket near closing time and picking up reduced items – there is nothing worse than food waste and you can get amazing bargains!
Let me know below whether you try any of these out. or have any other lunch time favourites.
Okay, so I didn’t exactly book a trip to Finland specifically to try their vegan McDonald’s burger (it was actually so that my mum could meet her pen friend – how cute?!), but it was certainly high on my list of priorities when we got there.
It didn’t take long to find of course and was all sorts of mind blowing. Just seeing something called ‘McVegan’ on the menu felt so bizzare when in the UK all we can manage is a dry bean burger without mayo. It tasted amazing too – from what I remember, it was pretty much identical to a ‘normal’ Big Mac, with vegan mayo and sauces thrown in. Pretty sure I’ve been craving this ever since!
I know that the subject of eating in McDonald’s at all can be quite controversial in the vegan community, however personally I am a firm believer of supply and demand. Yes, in an ideal world I would love to be able to buy my food and eat solely from local, independent vegan stores and restaurants who hold the same values as me. Unfortunately, that is almost impossible right now, for geographical reasons as well as the cost involved. The best thing we can all do is to show demand for vegan options where we can. We’ve seen over the last few years how much this has affected the vegan food market – it’s expanded so rapidly and it keeps on going. There’s a vegan option in most restaurants now and supermarkets are expanding their plant-based ranges weekly. These little choices we make each day are truly making a difference, and if that means by purchasing a McDonald’s every so often then so be it.
As well as the McVegan, there seemed to be absolutely loads of vegan options in and around Helsinki. Even in the local supermarket opposite our air b’n’b I found vegan magnums, Oatly ice cream, ‘pepporoni’ pizza, seitan sausages and more. We actually ate dinner in the flat most nights because it certainly isn’t a cheap city, however there was no shortage of vegan cafes to enjoy in between touristing. Their go-to dairy alternative seemed to be Oatly, which was more than fine with me!
Aside from eating, we spent most of our time on foot walking around and taking in the city. It’s such a clean and chilled out place – especially compared to somewhere like London. Meeting my mum’s pen friend of over 40 years (yes, really) was amazing and she told us all about what it’s like to live there. I would adore the long summer days when the sun literally doesn’t go down but not sure I could handle the dark winters! Most people have saunas in their homes (we had one in our air b’n’b – bonus!), which I suppose helps a little bit.
We also had time to visit Tallinn, Estonia for the day and we spent our six hours in Old Town, which was absolutely stunning. It is like as a fairytale come to life, with stone buildings, cobbled streets, colourful walls and tall spires. Certainly the most beautiful town I have ever seen. For lunch we stumbled across a cosy vegan restaurant, V, where I enjoyed some delicious tacos. I even found a vegan bakery and couldn’t resist a chocolate cinnamon bun for the ferry home.
I loved my five days in Finland so much and would absolutely go back again, even if just to taste that delicious McVegan burger once more. However if they could bring it to the UK that would be even better! Here’s hoping.
As the rain continues to fall on the first miserable day in England in months, I already feel the need to jump on a plane to someplace sunnier. This time last year my friend and I took a trip to Ibiza in search of sun, sand and cocktails. We found all of these things – as well as some delicious vegan food!
We stayed in San Antonio and there were so many cute cafes lined along the beach front and marina. It was the ideal place to enjoy some food whilst looking out into the sea and people watching (I loove people watching!). One of the first meals I enjoyed there was just a simple but delicious pasta and tomato dish, with a ridiculously strong drink on the side. I’m convinced no other countries have spirit measurements.
One night we headed to the Ibiza Rocks Diner and I was really impressed to see a vegan burger on the menu! Even to this day it remains one of the tastiest vegan burgers I’ve tried. A must if you’re in the area.
Exploring the island’s bars and clubs by night, we spent most of our days chilling around the pool and trying not to let the hangovers defeat us. The vegan food choices at our hotel weren’t great – breakfast was mainly bread rolls and fruit, whilst bar snacks were chips and beans. Luckily, we were pretty central and there was a Subway just around the corner. The veggie delight never fails, and I was surprised to see avocado as an option here – I’ve never seen that before! Also, why do Lays taste so much better than Walkers?!
As we all know, breakfast is the best (and most important) meal of the day and on a holiday where rather a lot of drinking is involved, it’s important to find some good places to eat! There seemed to be quite a few restaurants with some great options – one called Bondi Ibiza we stopped at had even had oat milk and Linda McCartney sausages.
On our last night we took a walk to the famous Cafe Mambo to watch the sunset, which was incredible. The atmosphere is so relaxed but also buzzing at the same time – the ideal place to end a holiday. Cafe Mambo itself was obviously super busy but there was a restaurant right next door called Fresh Ibiza, boasting the most amazing view across the water. I enjoyed this delicious spicy veggie curry (and another strong cocktail, obvs).
Overall it was such a fun holiday and I’d definitely want to go back again, perhaps to explore more of the island too. Being at the centre of the party capital was such a brilliant experience but part of me feels like I’m getting too old to drink this much anymore, sob.
Now, if it could stop pouring with rain in the UK now, that would be fantastic…
Have you ever been in a situation where you meet someone new, they discover you’re vegan and their first reaction is “wow, what do you even eat?!” It feels like there are so many people out there who still believe we all live off lettuce and are barely functioning due to protein deficiency.
Luckily for us, we have amazing businesses out there like Temple Of Seitan who are helping to change people’s perception of vegan food and showcase all of the amazing possibilities that go with it. TOS started their 100% vegan fast food venture back in 2015 and now have restaurants in Hackney and Camden, which serve amazing burgers, wings, wraps, pastries and much more. Their latest venture is an exciting partnership with Lost Rivers – a newly refurbished bar & restaurant at 122 Old Street. The location will be used as a Test Kitchen for TOS’s new vegan concepts and dishes. It opened its doors to the public today (17th March) but I was luckily enough to get a sneak preview last night at their launch event!
As I arrived I was greeted with a can of Crooked Beverage Co alcoholic soda. They had three flavours to choose from but I was informed that Raspberry & Lime was best and it certainly was absolutely delicious! The flavours were lovely but not too sickly like a lot of fruit flavoured alcohol can be. I can imagine they would taste amazing on a hot summer’s day or at a festival and definitely want to try more of them soon.
The launch party menu consisted of Ribs & Chips, a Temple Deluxe ‘Beef’ Burger, a Chick’n Parma Burger and Mac n Cheese. After sampling all of them (obviously) I would have to say the ‘Beef’ Burger and Mac n Cheese were my favourites.
The burger was genuinely one of the tastiest I have ever had in my life. I’m sure if you told someone it was meat they would probably believe it. The bacon and burger sauce really topped the whole thing off too (no pun intended), I’m craving another one already!
The Mac n Cheese was also incredible. It was so cheesy and just as good as I remember the ‘real thing’ being. The mayo and bacon bits made it even better, my only complaint was how small the pot was because I could have eaten 10 times as much (maybe I’m just greedy though…).
Although the ribs weren’t my personal favourite I am still mind blown by how clever it is. The ‘bone’ is made from hardened seitan with marmite flavour filling. It felt SO weird eating something that looked and tasted so similar to meat but it just proves how we don’t need to use animals to create the delicious food people love! Sometimes for me eating things that feel really similar to meat (especially with a ‘bone’ in!) freaks me out a little bit but I fully appreciate why people enjoy it. It’s also an amazing way for dedicated omnivores to try vegan alternatives and see that not everything we eat is green and boring. Since going vegan I’ve tasted more delicious junk food than ever before! It was a great evening and I hope it won’t be too long before I can visit again.
So, next time you’re in London, make sure you check out Lost Rivers’ Test Kitchen or Temple’s other locations in Hackney and Camden. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.
The sheer amount of new vegan products that have already been released in 2018 is truly mind-blowing and trusty Fry’s* have been at it too. They have launched a new chilled range that consists of 13 products, perfect for those days when making dinner from scratch feels like far too much effort. As someone who is a big fan of their nuggets, I had high hopes for this new range.
Check out my thoughts on three of the new products below.
Chargrilled Beef-Style Strips
First of all, I was really impressed with how fast these cook! They take just four minutes when fried and only a few more minutes in the oven. They have a really great smokey taste and a good texture. They definitely have more to them than a lot of other vegan meat replacements I’ve tried, it really felt like I was having a hearty meal! I decided to fry them with veggies and added some spice mix to make fajitas. So simple and quick but dee-licious! I also had loads left over for the next day and it tasted just as good re-heated.
Spicy 3 Bean Pasty
Admittedly, this was definitely large enough to eat on it’s own but I couldn’t resist teaming it with a jacket potato and veg. Along with a generous helping of gravy it was SO tasty and filling. The pastry was also really crispy. My only slight criticism would be that it takes rather a long time to cook (it says 15 mins on the front but was more like 30 in mine, but maybe I own a crappy oven) and I would love to be able to grab something like this that I can quickly heat up in the microwave for lunch.
Veg & Bean Country-Style Pie
Have you noticed a theme yet with this range? That’s right, everything is SO comforting and filling – absolutely ideal for these dark winter months. There are so many delicious flavours in this pie and the crust is lovely. I teamed it with sweet potato chips but it would be ideal with mash too.
Overall I am super impressed with this range! I would definitely pick all these products up again and can’t wait to try the rest. They can currently be found in Holland & Barrett and Ocado but I would love to see them stocked in Sainsbury’s or Tesco one day soon!
*This product was gifted to me by Fry’s. This is in no way a paid post and the opinions expressed are completely genuine. I would never recommend a product or service I didn’t truly enjoy.
October 2017 marks exactly one year since I finished up all of the meat and dairy in my fridge/freezer and decided to go vegan. In all honesty, my main reason at the beginning was a selfish one – I’d heard and read so many things about how meat and dairy makes eczema worse and as someone who has suffered with it for 27 years, I decided enough was enough. It was only after starting my Instagram account, watching documentaries and doing more research that I realised there were so many, arguably more important reasons, to keep at it. I’ve always referred to myself as an ‘animal lover’ and never really thought about how hypocritical I was being whilst still supporting such cruel industries. Not just food wise either – it has completely changed my perspective on how I buy beauty products and clothes too. At times it’s been hard but I don’t regret my decision at all. In fact, it feels great to be doing my little bit to help the animals and our planet!
I’ve learnt a lot about the world and myself over the past year and below I’ve listed five things I wish someone had told me when I started this journey. Enjoy!
1) It’s okay to make mistakes
No matter what the internet tries to make you believe, nobody is always 100% perfect at this whole vegan thang. It’s so easy to slip up, especially at the start when you’re not into the swing of things, but it’s totally okay! It just makes you human. I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve bought something thinking it was sfv only to realise later that it wasn’t. It doesn’t make you a bad person, we’re all out here just doing our best.
2) Google is your best friend
I’m sure my most googled term is “is….vegan?”. More often than not Google finds exactly what you need to know within one or two clicks. I have noticed that a few websites pop up regularly which are packed full of amazing info, including The Vegan Womble & Vegan Society. Even if you think you’re sure about something, a quick search can easily put your mind at rest.
3) Double checking ingredients is key
This is sort of connected to point 2) I suppose but I think it deserves its own number too! These days most packets put all of the main allergens in bold, which is really helpful for quickly spotting milk and eggs in things, however there can be pesky hidden ingredients that you may not be looking out for. Honey for one will most likely not be in bold, so keep an eye out for that. There’s also the issue of E numbers and vitamins. For months I was happily eating Veggie Percy Pigs before someone broke the news that E901 was in fact beeswax. Another one to look out for is Vitamin D3, found in a lot of cereals, which is made from lanolin. It’s a bloody minefield! But like I said above, you can only do your best and mistakes will happen but hey, it’s a learning curve.
4) Yes, you can live without cheese
If I had £1 for every time someone said to me “I could be vegan but I just CAN’T give up cheese” I’d have enough money to create my own dairy free range. To be honest, I know I’ve said similar things in the past and I am not going to pretend it was an easy transition to make for me. When I was trying to eat less meat a few years ago I would literally eat cheese with everything. I still sometimes get cravings for it now but luckily there’s a huge range of vegan cheeses available to help take the edge off. No, they don’t taste anywhere near the same as ‘normal’ cheese, but the key is to try and think of it as a different food altogether. Once you stop comparing things to the stuff you used to eat it becomes a lot easier. I still live in hope that someone, somewhere, will create a vegan cheese that tastes exactly like cheddar, but until then, Violife and Sainsbury’s freefrom range will have to do.
5) Vegan doesn’t equal healthy
There is still a common misconception that vegans can only eat salad and therefore must be healthy. My god, how wrong these people are! I’m actually sat with some chocolate whilst I write this. A vegan diet can be looked at the exact same was as any other; if you want to eat healthy foods you can but if you want to eat burgers, chips and nuggets every day you can do that too. I’m certain I eat more biscuits and treats now than I ever did before. It is in no way a restrictive lifestyle – the only thing you cut down on by going vegan is your carbon footprint. I do take a daily vegan multivitamin (and extra Vitamin D during winter) to ensure I get all the stuff I need but I think MOST people should be taking these anyway, no matter what they choose to eat.
So there we are! My hope is that this blog post may help anyone else thinking about going vegan and is feeling a little bit overwhelmed by it all. By even considering the change you’re doing an amazing thing, so keep going! 🌱💚
“Are you sure about going vegan? It seems very restrictive” they said. And yet, walk into any supermarket today and you’ll be greeted with a plethora of dairy free alternatives on the shelves. There’s even loads of choice in most coffee shops now too.
One of the best things about the amazing amount of choice available is that it means there’s an alternative perfect for every situation. Why use just one when you can enjoy them all?! Below are my four favourites.
Great for: porridge, cereal & tea
I feel like Soya gets a bad rep a lot of the time but I’ve never had an issue with it. This was the first dairy free milk I tried so it’s one I come back to all the time. I have found that supermarket own brand versions are much nicer than the likes of Alpro, which can leave a strange aftertaste, and they also seem to work way better in tea. The cheaper versions don’t curdle at all unlike some others. It’s perfect when you fancy a cuppa and a biscuit (or 10).
Great for: porridge & hot chocolate
If I had to choose an outright favourite, it would probably be this. More specifically, Oatly. This stuff is seriously delicious! It goes perfectly with porridge (probably because it’s made from the same thing) but the very best thing to do is buy the chocolate version and warm it up for 60 seconds. Voila – there you have the most yummy hot chocolate ever! If I feel like treating myself I’ll buy some veggie marshmallows from Holland & Barrett for some extra indulgence. Mmmm.
Great for: porridge & coffee
If you’re looking for a milk that basically tastes like a liquid Bounty, coconut is what you need! It’s super tasty but for me a little bit sickly to use all the time. It’s great for a treat though. It tastes amazing with coffee and certainly makes porridge more interesting.
Great for: pretty much everything
I know that almond milk is a very popular dairy free choice but I personally prefer cashew! When I first saw it I had my reservations about how it would taste but it’s actually surprisingly creamy and seems to be really good for most things. It’s certainly a great all-rounder but I’ve only ever seen the Alpro version which can be quite expensive, so I only tend to buy it when it’s on offer (hello cheapskate)!
Hopefully this post has provided a little dairy free inspiration. Next time you go to grab some milk, why not try one of these delicious alternatives instead? The cows will love you for it. Promise. 🐮🌱
I’d love to hear what your favourite dairy free milks are. Let me know below! 🙂