Diet Schmiet!

So the last few weeks I’ve actually eaten salad, you know, because even junk food lovers must sometimes diet…(and I’ve proper chunked up!)

But that doesn’t mean it has to be dust and twigs! Hey, even stodgy comfort food can be good for you..

And seeing as all this food helped me lose 5.5lb at chub club… It seemed only fair to finish off the week with the fattest grub of all!

Crispy Cheesebake, Cheese-Topped Cheese Potato Gratin with Cheese & Cider Apple Sauce… and some veg! (I quite like cheese..)

image

Yo Sushi! Hello Tokyo..?

So a favourite food haunt of mine is definitely Yo! Sushi.. and I’ve been super excited that there was one in Cardiff (after I got over my fear of going in that is!) So much so that I’ve been once a week for the last month and a half!

Well I was even more excited to find out the were launching a new menu… what goodies would be in store?

image

image

So there’s the new menu… and it’s honestly not as fabulous as I’d hoped for. It looks awesome and the redesign is amazing… but I now can’t find anything! Also…big disappointment – look how many dishes they now do?? You want to know how many are veggie? Or how many of the new dishes are veggie? Hmm..

Anyway.. we’ll come back to that. On to my favourite dishes!

image

1 – Avocado Maki – Thin slices of soft avocado in sticky rice and wrapped on seaweed.

You get six but my hunger wouldn’t wait for the camera! This has to be my first dish… I love it and could easily eat plate after plate.

Cost – £1.90

image

2 – Pumpkin Korroke Katsu – Pureed pumpkin and spices coated in panko breadcrumbs and deep fried, served with a sticky sauce.

This is really good but I definitely recommend ordering it fresh rather that taking off the belt. It’s so much better hot hot hot than when it’s done a few laps of the conveyor!

Cost – £3.40 (£2.70 on Blue Mondays)

image

3 – Kaiso Salad – Shredded seaweed with crunchy veg, sesame seeds and a sweet sauce.

For a salad, this is great. The seaweed is really juicy without being limp and soggy like lettuce can be. The sauce it great too. Just sweet and salty enough to match. The crunchy veg gives it texture too.

Cost – £2.70

image

4 – Miso Dumpling Ramen/Rice – Vegetable Gyoza in a Miso broth with crunchy shredded veg and a choice of rice or Ramen at the bottom.

Now this is sort of new. You could get it as a sumo bowl (massive portion – £8) but it wasn’t listed as Vegetarian so even though clearly ok, I steered clear. It’s officially veggie now so I tucked in. The Gyoza are just as good as on their own, you get two here. The veg and the Miso is great, really salty but I like that. I had rice but it was a little plain – will definitely try Ramen next time!

Cost – £3.90

There are a tonne more things I’d love to try! Sadly none are from the new menu.. oh ok apart from the new cakes.. which are to die for!

I am honestly a little gutted that with so many veggie opportunities the selection is slim and nothing is overly impressive but then on the other hand it does make a veggie bill a lot less than a meat bill haha. Silver lining!

image

Happy Sushi Guys!! Xx

screenshot_2016-03-03-02-58-09-1.png

Veggie Goodies!

Since going vegetarian in June last year.. While I have not missed meat in the “dead animal” sense, I have missed certain food items where I just have not found a tasty alternative! Now I know some people find eating meat alternatives almost as bad as eating meat itself but come on… I am no clean eating health machine! I like junky stodgy gloopy food and a Quinoa and Avocado Super Salad just ain’t gonna cut it please and thank you.

So there are some downright awful foods I have been missing and the hunt has been on from day one.

And here they are –

* Spam
* Corned beef
* Fish fingers
* Black pudding
* Battered fish (think Chip Shop)
* Pies.. and I mean the type you stick with mash and gravy, none of this funny flavoured “tart” mush!

I have yet to find anything even remotely close in the veggie world, that is til now!

After a trawl around Cardiff I popped in to the indoor market to Clancy’s Vegetarian Emporium (definitely check it out!) and to my delight they stocked V-Pud – and I believe it was only £3 and some pennies. I have found it a little hard to cook as it’s much softer than its meaty friend so you have gotta be gentle. It’s also more.. spiced (almost nutmeggy) than real black pudding but then beggars can’t be choosers and for a meat free alternative it’s pretty impressive.

image

So that’s one thing checked off the list, on to the next! My local Holland and Barrett is, for the most part, useless – they haven’t even had a fridge/freezer section for… far too long. But all was forgiven when I came across new goodies I’d not seen before!

image

Well hello my pretties! It may not quite be the local chippy but it’s pretty good either way. They are surprisingly prawny for a fake food… I had them with rice and curry sauce in a sort of “chicken ball chinese” replacement and it was amazing! Next time I’m going to try them with chips and see how they compare.

NEXT! Fish Fingers!

image

Now if you don’t like the occasional fish fingers and mash sandwich then you may as well just give up now. Best. Food. Ever. These were pretty darn good too.. not as fishy as the prawns but flaky like fish and close enough for a good Sammy!

What else did I buy.. Polony!

image

Now this is as close to Spam as I think I am going to get. I think cold is not the best idea…but then neither is real Spam. Fried is a different matter – slice and fry and I’ll eat the package! Next attempt is going to be trying to batter it and fry it to recreate authentic (ish) Spam Fritters!

And finally… Mushroom Pies!

image

Biggest pet hate – making everything vegetarian… spiced. Spicy this, spicy that. No. Stop. I just was a proper plate of pie, mash and gravy. Is that really too much to ask? Well apparently so until I found these! Oh God yes. Pastry, check. Creamy filling, check. And not a spicy anything in sight. It is just perfect with a tonne of mash and puddles of gravy! Yay!

Sadly corned beef seems to be a thing of the past for me right now but I will keep looking!!

20160221_170744-1.jpg

Review – The Phoenix Bar, Dundee

Not often can you go in to a food place and be greeted with anything other than the two standard veggie options : veggie burger or cheesy pasta.

Well behold The Phoenix Bar on Perth Road/Nethergate (depending on your views) in Dundee! A veggie heaven in the food department.

At first glance you might not notice just how many options there are – unlike typical menus where Vegetarian options are sidelined with salad and fish, Phoenix mixes them in with all the regular sections. There is literally a vegetarian option for everything.

image

Starters

You’ve got the choice (yes you read correctly) of garlic mushrooms, vegetable pakoras, mozzarella sticks with dip or cauliflower cheese soup..

I’ve not personally tried them as I’m not a starter girl but they all looked amazing when others ordered them.

image

Mains

This is where the action starts! For the first time it took me half an hour to choose what to have, not because I didn’t really want anything.. but because I wanted everything!!

There is a vegetarian version of their chilli, pizza and several different veggie burgers (Including the Vegetarian Dirty Harry!)

image

And the chilli is to die for! You can get it with pitta, chips, jacket potato or rice too. It’s pretty hot but not too scary to put you off and for a veggie mince it doesn’t have the typical too-sweet Quorn taste that puts me off making my own chilli. It comes topped with cheese and if you want you can order a pot of sour cream for £1 to cool it down if you prefer a chillier chilli!

…..

So if in Dundee, definitely check out Phoenix! (If anything, their tower of sauce is worth the visit!)

image

20160218_131753-1.jpg

Recipe – Halloumi & Avocado Mushroom Burger

It’s about time there was a fancy burger on the scene. And if there is one thing a burger should be it’s juicy!

So here it is – not a dry crumbly veggie burger in sight. No, today we have the juicy, gooey and mostly cheesy Halloumi & Avocado Mushroom Burger!

image

Ingredients :

1 × Avocado
1 × Pack of Halloumi
1 × Portabello Mushroom
1 × Burger Bun

Extras

Mayonnaise and salt & pepper

image

Step 1 – Grill the mushroom.

Chop off the stalk and place in grill/pan for a few minutes until soft, turning regularly.

image

Step 2 – Add the cheese.

Slice the Halloumi in to cm thick slices and add to the grill. Turn regularly until brown and slightly crisp. Alternatively place in a frying pan or Actifry for a few minutes.

image

image

Step 3 – Mash The Avocado.

Slice up an over ripe avocado. Mash up with a fork until soft but coarse. Add salt & pepper, and chilli/garlic if desired.

image

Step 4 – Pile It High.

Spread mayonnaise on the bun and stack the mushroom, Halloumi and avocado mash on top. Add salad if the healthy thing is your kick.

image

Step 5 – Eat!

Pretty self explanatory!

20160217_145201.jpg

Pie In The Sky

If there is one food that should be an entire food group all by itself it is the mighty pie. The pastry alone is worth writing home about. With an abundance of imaginative and cuisine-spanning fillings, there is something for every meat-eater out there. Sadly however, if there is one food that so drastically lets down the Veggie Team it is also, you guessed it, the pie!

For those of you who have seen the previous post (Banish The Bean!) and are aware of my mild(!) dislike of palming the common Vegetarian off with a Spicy Bean Burger, this apparently is not a contained issue, oh no. It has a friend, the Spicy Bean PIE!

About 3 months in to my Vegetarian journey I had been eating the same things over and over for ease as I hadn’t really looked in to the more interesting options yet (read: Quorn&Veg…daily) and while out for dinner noticed a little green V sparkling in the pastry section of the menu – Vegetable Pie and Mash? Yes please!

While I was expecting a creamy sauce and a selection of root vegetables with maybe even a cheesy mash and some gravy, what I actually ended up with was peppers shoved in a luminous orange spicy pastry, with spicy sweet potato ‘crush’

Tears were shed.

But all is not lost! It turns out that there is hope still out there!

All hail the Macaroni Cheese Pie – Thanks Scotland.

The one above was from Clarks Bakery in Dundee and is the best yet – I may even have stocked up for late night snacks. They are so, so tasty and moreish and roughly £1.50 each hot (you can get them cold too for less) They also sell a cheese and veg pie though this is not as impressive and the mix of vegetables is a little unusual, though if you’ve suffered through spicy pies for ages it is still a nice change. One thing to bare in mind is the bean and potato pie, do no be fooled – this is actually a minced beef pie TOPPED with potato and beans and thus not vegetarian like I at first thought, just palm it off on a meat-eating pie lover as they’ll enjoy it for you!

 

 

veggie_burger_faeryboots_flickr_creative_commons

Banish The Bean!

veggie_burger_faeryboots_flickr_creative_commons

Hi there,

I’m Binny and it’s coming up to my one year veg-iversary! It’s been an eye opening twelve months of missing a lot of go-to snacks but also discovering a multitude of previously unknown vegetarian gems!

But if there has been one thing I have taken to heart when it comes to the diet of a vegetarian… It is the popular belief that our main staple is the coveted “Spicy Bean Burger”

To this there is just one word. NO. No, no, no.

There seems to be a great misunderstanding going on in the food for vegetarians/cooked by non-vegetarians world. While our meat eating friends are privy to a literal world of menu choices; from Indian curries, Italian pizzas, British fish and chips right down to the drunken kebab after a night out – the poor Vegetarian, no matter what, is lumped with – you guessed it – the Spicy Bean Burger.

Is it really too much to ask, to want to have a meal (or even a snack would suffice!) that has absolutely no resemblance to a Mexican Bean?? Unless of course we are in a Mexican diner, in which case I’m sorry I take it all back.

So here I am, starting my very own crusade to address this heartbreaking issue. I am on the hunt for calorie-laden cruelty-free JUNK.

Look out Spicy Bean Burger, I’m coming for you!