Dinosaur Kale Mac and Cheese

Because dinosaurs are cool.

Chili and Lime Black Bean Burger

The perfect vegan burger!

Beer Battered Halloumi

Nom, nom, nom.

Ginger and Chili Tofu

Crispy delicious tofu that's easy to make... say what?

Chocolate Cake Balls

Cakes, but not as you know them.

Friday, 24 August 2012

Cherry Trees Coffee House, Padstow

To be honest, I just wanted to show you all a bit of veggie food porn here. Mr Hef and I were in Newquay last week for Boardmasters and although we didn't actually go to the festival, we sunbathed on the beach, played in the sea, watched skating competitions, drank some cornish cider and best of all... ate loads of Cornish food. We were only there for 3 days, but I managed to fit all of the essentials in! Mr Hef and I are quite a lazy couple, he takes ages to wake up and then once he does we take even longer to get out of bed. We only usually have Sundays off together and we never make it up past 12 then he ALWAYS wants a full English breakfast. This is a massive problem in Milton Keynes because there is no where that does one (and I'm often feeling too lazy to make one!). After staying up quite late to watch the meteor shower (mainly him, I kept falling asleep) the same thing happened in Newquay, despite it being 1 in the afternoon, Mr Hef still wanted breakfast, I did protest (as I usually do) and tell him it's lunch time, but once his mind is set thats it!

I was a bit bored of Newquay by the 3rd day, I love the beaches and the atmosphere for Boardmasters, but I know there are much nicer places is Cornwall. So Mr Hef and I popped in to Padstow to soak up the last of the sun before the long drive home. After looking around (unsucessfully) for some breakfast for a while we stumbled across Cherry Trees Coffee House. There was a table right in the front, facing the beautiful harbour which was enough to make us go in. I was also drawn in by the giant, delicious cakes in the front (although I was so full I didn't order one). After scouring the menu and realising they did an all day breakfast (Mr Hef was ridiculously happy) I battled with the decision of a veggie breakfast or Cornish cider and cheddar welsh rarebit with apple chutney. Obviously I ended up going for the rarebit and I'm glad I did. It was seriously good, in fact it was the nicest meal I ate whilst there. It was one of those things that you crave immediately after you've just eaten it. There were loads of veggie options on the menu at Cherry Trees Coffee House, so it's the perfect place to stop if you're soaking up the sights in Padstow.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Vegan Tales From The Creepy Death Cabin: Part 3

I never wanted to leave the wagon, I could have happily stayed there forever and lived a wonderfully self sustained, eco friendly life, but unfortunately it did have to end. Knowing we were nearing the end of our little holiday we took the boat out, did LOADS of relaxing and of course made use of the pizza oven. I was pretty excited about this and to be honest it was the thing that sealed the deal on booking the cabin for me. So after collecting what seemed like a million sticks of all varieties (choads, spaghetti's and big sticks) I tried to light a fire in the pizza oven. In my head it would work spectacularly well and I would be queen of the pizza oven. 
Vegan pizza
Unfortunately it wasn't that simple... parts of it kept going out, I kept burning my hands and after an hour it still didn't seem that hot. We decided to try it any way (I'm very impatient) and after a while we realised they were cooked, but the vegan cheese wasn't completely melted despite being boiling hot! They we're delicious anyway and I would definitely rate Tofutti mozarella style cheese, it tasted no different to me and was proper nice on top of a pizza. Vegan Emma made an amazing pizza making station and I got a bit over excited, topping mine with everything on the table, asparagus, peppers, onions, artichoke and olives (I even put a token mushroom in the middle).
Vegan Emma's spectacular pizza making station
We covered our bases in pre brought pizza topping (we were away from cooking civilisation after all) and topped them with Tofutti mozzarella style cheese. I feel slightly bad that we've given it the name of Creepy Death Cabin, as it is actually the most wonderful place I've ever been too. I'd highly recommend it if you need a bit of peace and quiet and want to get back to nature, you can find it here.  
Annie (resident dog friend) guarding the pizza oven

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Vegan Tales From The Creepy Death Cabin: Part 2

Vegan Emma did most things for me in the cabin, she cleaned up my mess, brought me breakfast in the mornings and made me tea. It was quite possibly the best thing ever, especially as this included her making me an amazing vegan meal on the second night. It did contain two of my most dreaded foods, mushrooms and aubergine, but I would eat anything Emma put in front of me (She'd be the best vegan housewife ever). To add to her super woman cooking skills, she managed to do this all in the dark with only a torch, some candles and a paraffin lamp. 

Emma's Peperonata

Serves 4:

A glug of olive oil 
1 large red onion chopped
1 glove of garlic 
250g mushrooms chopped 
1 aubergine chopped
2 red peppers 
250g passata 
1 tsp mixed herbs
A good pinch of salt and pepper
  1. Heat the olive oil in a pan, add the onion and garlic and cook on a low heat until softened. 
  2. Add the rest of the vegetables and turn the heat up, give them a good old fry for around 10 minutes, then add the passata, herbs, salt and pepper. 
  3. Simmer for ages! (an hour and a bit) Until all the vegetables are nice and soft. 
  4. Then serve up with some cous cous and toasted bread... it really is as simple as that! 

Then after scaring ourselves to death on the second night and hiding behind the locked wagon door we decided we needed to man up, go outside and light a fire. The main reason for this was that we wanted to make BBQ'd bananas. I've tried for many years to convince people they're amazing, but it just hasn't taken. Luckily, Emma and I are pretty much the same person so she loves BBQ'd bananas too! They're very simple to make, just slice the banana length ways, fill it with goodies, wrap in foil and chuck it on the fire, it's done when it's hot and squishy. I filled mine with vegan chocolate and marshmallows and Emma had a more refined carmelised banana with vegan marg and sugar. They were both delicious and we didn't get killed by a mass murderer hiding in the woods. Smiles all round! 

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Vegan Tales From The Creepy Death Cabin: Part 1

Horah! I made it back from the death cabin, vegan Emma didn't kill me off (I was slightly worried) and we had the best few days ever. We frolicked in the woods, foraged for sticks to make fires, took the boat out on the lake, showered under a tree, read hundreds of magazines and newspapers and most importantly ate loads of yummy vegan food. We decided that I would cook the first night, Emma the next and on the final night we'd try and master the pizza oven. I thought long and hard about what kind of fancy vegan meal I could make for Emma, but decided to just go with good old sausage and mash. 
Vegan sausage and mustard mash.
I know most people probably know how to make bangers and mash, so I'll just tell you my top tips. I always use ASDA Lincolnshire sausage mix because they're the best I've found so far. They have a nice taste, the best texture and the packet is only £1 for about 8 sausages! I like to fry the sausages up with some chopped red onion and once the sausages are done remove them from the pan, (leaving the onions) drain the water from the potatoes and pour it on top of the onions, adding some vegan gravy granules to make some lovely onion gravy to pour all over your sausage and mash! And I always add mustard to my mash because I'm a massive mustard fiend who could eat it all the time. If you haven't already tried it, give it a go, it's the perfect friend for your mashed potato!

Cooking in the death cabin.
Vegan Emma mashing outside.
Before we left, we made some vegan marshmallows to toast on the fire. I still haven't managed to perfect them, but this batch was much better than the last (they didn't explode this time!) They managed to stay on the stick just long enough to get nice and toasted on the outside and warm on the inside. If you're ever going camping I'd recommend trying your hand at making them if you're feeling brave (you can buy the kit here) or ordering some from Sweet Vegan (seriously good marshmallows!) If I go again I'll be ordering them out of sheer laziness!

I don't normally dress like a crazy person, this just happens to be my pajama bottoms and the warmest jumper I own.

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