Sunday, 29 March 2009

thoughts on burgers

One of the times when I've been food shopping with the boys, the lady at the checkout scanning our food commented on all the vegetables we were buying and we got chatting and I mentioned we were veggie (well, almost vegan). Because she had been admiring the aubergines etc, I think Id assumed she'd be an ally (!) but she suddenly looked genuinely aghast and cried 'Oh no, they'll never be able to go to Mcdonalds!' Looking back, the idea that never going to Mcdonalds is going to blight their experience of childhood is a strange one. True, I will never go in there with the boys or anyone; their disregard for animal welfare has been very publicy exposed, needless to say more. It does bring up social issues though, or at least raises them for the future. I don't want the boys to feel like their missing out on things. But I want them to know the origins of foods, and if their friends like burgers for their tea I want the boys to have an equivalent; actually, one that leaves it far behind. Made tofu burgers a while back which Rohan ate, but they didn't really go for them, but they hadn't eaten anything in that sort of form before. Tonight we had roast potatoes, lots of vegetables and I bought some Cauldron carrot and onion burgers which they had with a little organic vegan gravy. They did like these; and I tasted them too (very nice) as I noted that they were vegan with lots of good ingredients like chick pea and brown rice as well as the carrot, with salt reasonably low down on the list. Cauldron foods are really tasty, I only really buy the tofu now (the smoked is delicious) but when was more vegetarian I bought more of the range, but not so much now as they use egg, presumabley to bind. It would be so good if they could use a replacement for this, because the products are really excellent. I would probably take the boys to Wimpy though, if they were desperate. For the chips and veggie option. I've got some completely irrelevent pics to post! One of the boys with their cart (they got it for their 3rd birthday in November, but hadn't used it much but now its warmer out they have had fun being out with it and pretending it's a train etc!) Plus a pizza we had the other eve, with Cheezly's melting mozzarella on top, very tasty. Oh, and more cakes! Celebratory cakes when some lovely friends came to visit with their gorgeous new baby girl. Fluffy white cupcakes from Vegan Lunchbox.

Friday, 20 March 2009

carrot cake again! and April exciting food date

Carrot cake; I've mentioned it before but posting another pic as didn't take one of the actual cake last time:

Really recommend this recipe; its delicious. Left out the raisins this time as Rohan isn't keen on them. Cake is cake I know, and there's sugar within as well as icing sugar atop with vegan cream cheese BUT there are also a good handful of carrots in there, an apple and some linseeds so it definitely has some nutritional offerings!

Made this broccoli and almond quiche from Vegan Feasts. Make it every few weeks, it's got a lovely luxurious taste. Lately I've been lazy on the shortcrust pastry front, as JUSROL do ready made pastry cases in the fridge section of Waitrose; calcuates as cheaper with no waste.

Where I'm at in terms of veganism; I'm not a full vegan, although aspire to be. From home I am totally vegan in all the meals that I eat. My stumbling block is that I still look to milk chocolate for the occasional treat.
My approach to the boys diet has not been to aim towards them being totally vegan; the reasons for this are partly because I didn't start looking at veganism until around the time they were born, so it felt very new to think in terms of making that choice for them. I'd say about 70 percent of their diet is vegan. When it comes to dairy products such as yogurts and cheese, I'd say at least half of these things they eat are the soya versions. Thing is, I know they can be brought up on a vegan diet incredibly well; as long as they are eating lots of vegan food and loving it then I am happy.

Just been browsing the talks list for 'The Incredible Veggie Show'- taking place on Saturday 18th April at the Royal Horitulctural Halls, London. I'm not yet sure if we can make it this year, but it would be brilliant to go- there' so much to inspire new veggies and vegans, old ones too. Helped out last year with a hot food tasting and had a really great time, met some lovely people whilst serving up samples of pad thai!

Monday, 16 March 2009

A breath of sea air

Saturday was spent in a couple of our favourite Sussex haunts; we checked out Lewes, walked around the castle, popped into my friend's shop to leave her birthday present. Walked past a little basement cafe with blackboard mentioning 'vegan' food in large, if we'd had more time... we'll be back soon though!

In Seaford we had a lovely time seeing my parents, brothers and a friend. It was one of those unusual days when the pace seemed really slow and time went blissfully slowly. Rohan, Luca, Mit and I went down to the beach late afternoon. The fun had through throwing stones into the water was amazing! Luca has a bit of a fear of the sea though.. so understandable. Always feel so small standing on the shingle looking out on water and sky, and taking in the force of the sweeping tide. We'll have plenty more beach days over the next few months though, so chance to reduce the fear. Stocked up at the Seaford Health shop, and got some dark chocolate coated crystallised gingers to munch on. Very yum!

My parents had soya milk and soy cheese in especially. Am always touched by this, something I don't expect and am always happy to bring the supplies.

I know I must be far from alone with attempts to defy the credit crunch. Took the step of cancelling our organic vegetable delivery today. It's been so good to have, since the boys were born but something's got to go, and going to try a fortnightly supermarket shop to include most things bar the extra vegan goodies from the Health shop and fresh fruit and veg.

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Hats, books & vegan lasagne

The boys are still playing as I write; they seem to have boundless energy, even after three full days at pre-school and are usually chatting well up to around 9pm each night. After story time and some playing I have do other things really.. I'll go up again soon and tuck them up, they are playing well together so little point in interrupting.

We had fun making some hats on the theme of R and L's favourite books. I decided on hats
because I didn't think I'm ready to tackle a full-on costume! R loves ' What makes a rainbow?' and Luca 'There's a dragon at my school', they are amongst their favourites.

I don't know where the time is going- so thursdays and fridays are our treasured free days together. We have some regular things we do, friends we all see regularly so the boys are developing some regular friendships. There's such a lot to fit into two days. Monday and Tuesday I work, Wednesday being the free morning and I seem to be establishing a pattern. After going with Mit to take the boys to pre-school, I go for a swim, coffee on the way home, then back to work on the house- at least making it hygienic, don't know about tidy! I don't think tidy's possible at this point in time- well its possible but it would come at such a price.

I've only been doing the swimming for a couple of weeks but even though I'm tired in some ways it's quite energising and keeps the levels up for the rest of the day.
Tonight we had vegan lasagne, bit of a mish mash of ingredients, just wanted to get a lot of good stuff in: Roasted some vegetables such as aubergine, courgette, carrots and peppers with onion for an hour then added them to a sauce made with garlic and passata. Made a separate mixture of crumbled tofu and defrosted frozen spinach and layered them with a white (soya milk) bechamel sauce topped with ground, roasted cashew nuts in place of cheese.

We all ate heaps except for L who just managed a little bit, but he's got a bit of a cough which always affects his appetite. He asked for macaroni 'cheese'... again....!

I am supposed to be reading the nineteenth century novels on my course list for September. It'll be the fourth year of my OU degree (It'll take 6 part time) but so far I'm struggling to get into the books! Its just they are all lengthy and my rate of 3 0r 4 pages a night before I'm asleep just isn't cutting it! Short cuts won't really help for September, but they are a start.. I watched George Eliot's 'Middlemarch' on dvd the other night- well, over several nights- and really enjoyed it. Loved what it had to say about life choices then, the ethics of them, especially women's choices.

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Veggie/vegan dining with a twist

M went out with some work colleagues the other night. Check out where they went:
A vegetarian/vegan restaurant within a converted bus!
Hadn't heard about it before, but M came across it when doing a search for somewhere to eat on a work night out. Found it hard to visualise the interior, but when I saw his photos of the night, inside it looked just like a very nicely decked out restaurant. The kitchen was downstairs, the restaurant the upper deck. The menu looks gorgeous (especially the Tofu tower to me). M was the only veggie in the group; apparently everyone said the food was absolutely delicious, especially the deserts!

Can't really post pics because they feature all his work colleagues but the website shows some photos...

What a fab idea. Next time we muster some money up to eat out, or have something to celebrate I know where we'll be heading.....