Life BV….

One of the tricky things about turning vegan, is what to do about your life before vegan (BV).

Chances are, in your BV days, you bought stuff you wouldn’t dream of touching with a barge pole now.

I got lucky when it came to food:  I turned vegan before the husband so I just sent him into the cupboards like a human hoover, clearing out all the lactose and honey ridden naughties. By the time of his AV (anno-veganni?), I’d long since secretly veganised our food hoard.

My BV clothes were a little less easy to deal with, apparently dressing your husband in your leather purses and cute woollen sweaters is less acceptable than having him polish off the Crunchy Nut Cornflakes. Besides, he would never have been able to squeeze his big man toes in to my pretty little lady shoes.

I took a picture of my hoover wearing shoes and a hat. I have way too much time on my hands.

I took a picture of my hoover wearing shoes and a hat. I have way too much time on my hands.

I donated a lot to the PDSA for onward sale (I didn’t feel right e-baying things and making money out of something I no longer ethically agree with), other items were gifted to friends, but some things I have continued to use because I was concerned that they were not of sufficient quality to be re-sold or gifted and because it felt wrong, and disrespectful, to simply dispose of them.

One of those things was a leather purse. I probably bought it about five years BV and it was pretty tatty last January when I turned vegan, but this week, some eighteen months after my transition, it finally gave up the ghost, the lining now ripped beyond repair and the clasp distinctly unclaspy.

At last…

At last…..

A new purse!

And check it out, its soooooooooo pretty. Why did I ever think I needed leather anyway?!

non-leather purses

Yay, another step toward a life free from animal products.

Sunday Treats – Mmmmmm nut butter cups….

I happened across a cracking recipe over at ‘this world i live in’ for nut butter cups.

These amazing little treats are raw vegan (and possibly also paleo friendly – but don’t quote me on that cause I can never quite keep up with what is and what isn’t pale-ok)

Had to share the link to the recipe here because they are simply divine…..

 

Raw Vegan Nut Butter Cups

 

I strongly recommend that you all go straight to your kitchens to make some for yourselves!

Happy sunday people, mwah xxx

 

 

btw you guys on Instagram? If so hunt me down @sookisu or post me your user name and I’ll pop by to admire your pics xx

VB6 : Yo Sis…. (Basil and Tomato Pasta)

 

she’s got that VIBE (she’s got that vibe) VIIIBBEEE (that vegan vibe) VIIIIIBBBBBEEEEEEE!

Nope, not me: My big sis who texted me this week to tell me that’s she’s going to try VB6.

Even though I consider myself a vegan officianado (I have three cookbooks and a t-shirt), I hadn’t heard of this before, but check it out:

Mark Bittman's VB6

Mark Bittman’s VB6 (don’t click to look inside, I blatantly stole this image from Amazon, I’m hoping I won’t go to jail if I post the hyperlink here)

There’s a whole book about being plant based before 6pm.

Super cool.

Now, you guys all know that I’m down with this whole vegan thing because I think pigs, cows, chickens, even tuna and monk fish in the right light, are cute*. But anything that gets people thinking about an alternative way of eating, for health or any other reasons, is good with me.

Sooooo, any hoo, Big Sis texted me for ideas for lunch and that was the inspiration I needed to hop back on here and share a recipe.

Vegan Lunch Ideas

I’m not going to lie, there are days my lunch looks like this:   

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But there are other days that I get it right, and then fail to take a photo.

I’m a huge fan of salads for lunch but when I suggested this to my sister, she surprised me by confirming that salads are a no go for her (apparently the leaves get in her files, wtf?).

So I had to come up with something else. I think this recipe has a lovely mediterranean vibe and so is perfect for this summer heat wave we’re having. It’s also one of those meals that is super simple, it will serve for both dinner and then as a cold lunch the next day.

Simple Basil and Tomato Pasta

(Serves four (two for dinner and two for lunch))

  • 300 grams penne pasta
  • 3 cloves of garlic – finely chopped
  • 300 grams cherry tomatoes (use smaller sweeter tomatoes such as cherry or baby plum, not huge great hulking things) – halved
  • 2 good handfuls of fresh basil leaves
  • Salt for seasoning
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • A generous drizzle of Garlic Oil

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Method

1. Put the pasta on to boil. Follow whatever method works best for you here, I’ve always followed the principle that you should allow 1 litre of water for every 100 grams of pasta and salt the water well, but I get that tonnes of salt is considered baaaad, so do what works for you. I spend a little extra on pasta to get a good quality thick shell that tastes good a al-dente.

2. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan and fry off the garlic on a low heat, you don’t need to brown it off just soften it ever so slightly then add the tomatoes. Continue to cook for no more than two minutes – you want the tomatoes to be warmed but not to have lost any of their structural integrity.

3. Drain the pasta and drizzle with the garlic oil. Add this back into the pan with the garlic and tomatoes for a quick stir, season to your taste and then serve.

4. Put your lunch allocation in your lunch box and leave it to cool before adding your torn basil leaves (otherwise they will be wilted and mushy by the time you come to eat it at lunch tomorrow). Serve the remainder piping hot on the plate and tear the basil over the top.

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Super simple, super delicious. Also being as it is, a pasta recipe, this is probably the kind of food you should be steering clear of if you’re making the switch to VB6 for health reasons (white pasta = simple carbs and processed = not soooo good).

Mmmm, I’ve not had this in so long, I think I know what I’m having for lunch today…..

 

*Before anyone gets over excited about that little comment I’m just going to confirm that I’m being glib: there are a whole series of ethical and spiritual reasons I chose this lifestyle

I trust too…

This tiny little narcissi (the photo doesn’t do its size justice, it’s literally two inches tall), has braved the snow and the gales to burst into life in a bare and stoney patch of dirt outside our house.

It reminded me of my favourite John Masefield poem, that has seen me through good times and bad times alike, so I thought I would share.

I have seen flowers come in stoney places

I have seen flowers come in stony places,
And kind things done by men with ugly faces,
And the gold cup won by the worst horse at the races,
So I trust too.

                                                                                     John Masefield

Happy Sunday everyone xx

Cinnamon Breakfast Pancakes : Let’s not kid ourselves ….

Vegan Cinnamon Pancakes

…. no matter how much coconut oil and wholewheat flour you throw in, pancakes drenched in maple syrup are never going to be a healthy breakfast, but still, let’s give credit where credit is due, they are healthier than the average pancake.

I spotted this delicious recipe for vegan cinnamon breakfast pancakes on The Sparkle Side Walk and I’ve literally been looking forward to trying them ever since!

Just one little over share before I go, hangover clothing is sooooo not my strong point:

This is not a squat booty

This is not a squat booty

oh yeah, that’s how I’m rollin’ this morning.

 

Hard work and creativity…..

I went to a talk this evening by one of Nottingham’s favourite sons, Sir Paul Smith, at Nottingham Business School.

He came across as a really inspirational guy, tonnes of charm and energy, everything you would expect from such a successful person.

From my pre-vegan life, silk :-(

My Paul Smith Scarf from my pre-vegan life (silk – sad face)

He also came across as down to earth and hugely passionate about his business. The key theme that he kept repeating throughout his presentation was that creativity was nothing without plain old hard work, he kept returning to the theme of building strong foundations through focused effort.

In this ‘something for nothing’ era, where tv show after tv show encourages us to expect instant and high level success and when it can be easy to get sucked into glamorous pictures presented to us in magazines and adverts (including those of Mr Smith’s company!), it’s good to have a reminder that in the real world, perseverance and a good old dose of perspiration are essential.

Being the good little geek that I am, I took notes, so here are my four favourite quotes from the evening (ok, they were rough notes, so you’ll have to forgive me if they’re a couple of words out):

   ‘You can find inspiration in everything. If you can’t you’re not looking properly.’    (I know this is a variation on the theme of one of Paul Smith’s books – but I still love it and it is soooo true);

‘Nobody cares how good you used to be’

 ‘Effort is free of charge’

and finally…..

‘If you want to get somewhere in business, you need to know that VAT doesn’t stand for Vodka and Tonic’

A sneaky, if blurry, little shot of Sir Paul mid-lecture

A sneaky, if blurry, little shot of Sir Paul mid-lecture

Mmmmmm Sandwiches (and a mushroom pate recipe)

I love bread. Bread, bread, bread.

I read so many blogs of people who are well behaved and who don’t touch the evil spawn of grain. But I do.

I’ve been having a sandwichy couple of weeks recently, I blame my sister for buying me this bit of neatness for my Christmas present:

Re-usable sandwich wrapper

Best present ever – a reusable sandwich wrapper!

My favourite sandwich at the moment is mushroom pate with sliced cucumber. Go on, have a go, it’s delicious:

Reusable Sandwich Wrapper

Sandwiches and saving the world all in one lunch break? Oh yes.

Peppery Mushroom Pate with Thyme

Ingredients

  • 250 grams chestnut mushrooms
  • 50 grams bread crumbs
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • Half a fresh chilli de-seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic finely chopped
  • 1 good handful of fresh thyme
  • 2 tsp course ground black pepper
  • pinch salt

Homemade mushroom pate

Method

  1. Fry off the onion and mushrooms in a frying pan until the onion is just beginning to brown then add the chilli, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper and sizzle for another five minutes
  2. Allow to cool and then place all the ingredients into a mixing bowl and blitz with a hand blender.

Voila – a delicious herby and very peppery mushroom pate!

This isn’t a sponsored post but if you did want to grab yourself the bit of neatness that is the reusable sandwich wrapper they are available here : Ananda Foods