Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Spicy Thai Soup

I've been meaning to post some vegan noms sooner than this but I came down with an awful cold. I've hardly been able to get out of bed so creating anything blog worthy in the kitchen was out of the question. I managed to cook up one of my favourite soups as I recovered though so I thought I'd share it with you all...

Spicy Thai Soup

This is a recipe I have adjusted from Please Don't Feed The Bears, which is a must buy for everyone. You can change so many things to suit your own tastes, which is why I love it so much. It also tastes like one of Wagamama's noodle soups and I looove Wagamama!

  • 1 red onion
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • 1-2 tsp of minced or finely chopped ginger
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped
  • 1/2 a pint of coconut milk
  • 1/2 pint of vegetable stock
  • splash of soy sauce
  • splash of lemon juice
  • splash of hot pepper sauce (I use Encona hot pepper sauce but you could use Tabasco or something similar)
  • a few handfuls of spinach
  1. Heat some oil in a large pan before adding the onion, garlic, ginger and chilli. Fry for a few minutes until soft
  2. Add the coconut milk, vegetable stock, soy sauce, lemon juice, hot pepper sauce and spinach. Stir and simmer for 5-10 minutes
  3. Serve with rice, noodles or it's even great on it's own



Spicy Thai Soup

I love to make this soup extra hot, especially when I have a runny nose, but you can adjust the spice to fit your tastes. Adding a chilli is optional but I find that the hot pepper sauce makes the soup nice and sweet so I'd definitely keep that in. You can try it with extra vegetables and it's great with rice noodles.

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

The Brighton Vegan Fayre - Saturday 21st March 2009



Last Saturday I went to the Brighton Vegan Fayre and had a fantastic day out. Tickets were £8 on the door and £6 in advance, not too pricey but still a lot more than the £2 the London Vegan Festival charges.

We arrived in Brighton at around 8.30am and decided to find somewhere for breakfast. It’s amazing how many veggie restaurants Brighton has to offer and I only wish we could have found an all veg place to eat. We ended up in Puccino’s though and had a really good vegan fry up. I chose mushrooms, hash browns tomatoes and toast with a vegan hot chocolate. Unfortunately I ate everything before I could remember to take a photo, but here are our empty plates...



Empty Breakfast Plates

The doors opened at 11am and the queue moved pretty quickly. I was surprised to see how spacious the Brighton Centre was! At the London Festival it can be almost impossible to move, but here there was plenty of room to get around. I enjoyed most of the stalls, with the exception of two. One of them was the first stall I went to, where some guy was showing off a blender or something. Anyway, on his table there was a sign of a McDonalds McFlurry. I asked him why he had it up and he said because McDonalds uses the blender. Fair enough, but it was very inappropriate to have a McDonalds sign up at a Vegan Fayre and really unnecessary too. He also acted like I was being a bit fussy by pointing it out and complained that I wasn’t the first person to say it. I don’t think he understood that for a lot of people the Vegan Fayres and Festivals are so much fun because you get to escape from the real world for a while and be in your own little vegan bubble...and my little vegan bubble doesn’t want to know about McDonalds!

The other stall that bothered me was a stall that had lots of marinades on it. I can’t remember the name but it wasn’t the Jethro stall which I bought a lovely ginger, soy and molasses marinade from. Anyway, my friend asked if the woman had any water because she had tasters of spicy sauces out, and she replied snottily saying ‘Well that won’t help anyway, what you really need is cow’s milk’...yeah, I’m not sure she really knew where she was... and my friend didn’t appreciate being told that her plant based milks don’t work as well.

There were a crazy amount of hemp stalls that I felt could have been more interesting stuff, there’s only so much hemp vegans want! I was a little disappointed that there wasn’t a vegan store stall as I wanted to get some seitan mix and other random food bits I can't usually find. I loved the Secret Society of Vegans stall, the Sheese stall and talking to people about all the different campaigns going on. I managed to get a signed copy of From Dusk Till Dawn by Keith Mann and a signed copy of Vegan a go-go by Sarah Kramer. The Vegan Society were extremely helpful and the last ten minutes of their talk that I caught was very interesting.

Unfortunately Keith Mann was unable to make it to give a talk, but in the end the film ‘Behind the Mask’ was put on and we managed to watch a good 45 minutes of that. The other entertainment looked good but we didn’t manage to catch any of it. I would have liked some more animal rights based talks as there didn’t seem to be as many as London has.



Sorbet!

Me and my friend decided to go to the Skyline Restaurant for lunch, we decided that after all the free chocolate and Sheese that we needed a more healthy option and everything else was burgers and hot dogs. Healthy came at a price as the meal was £15 for two courses. It turned out to be well worth it in the end though! The service was awful; we ended up waiting over 10 minutes for a menu and were asked our order on five separate occasions. The staff really didn’t seem to know what was going on, but they were generally helpful and polite. I decided to order a vegan steak and my friend chose fish and chips. Although the service was bad our meal turned up extremely quickly...and it was delicious! The steak didn’t taste like steak at all, but like roast chicken. It was lovely and crispy and reminded me of the bits of skin on chicken that I used to love as a kid. I would have been more suspicious of its vegan-ness if it had tasted like the meat it was supposed to be!



Vegan Peppered Steak

I tried a bit of my friends fish and that was scarily like the real thing, amazing. I am not a fan of fake meats at all, but I loved these. We both had the sorbet for afters and that was as equally as delicious as the main course, I definitely felt that it was money well spent. It’s a shame it wasn’t a little cheaper, so many people left after seeing the prices and hardly anyone ate there at all.



Vegan Fish n Chips

We looked around the stalls one last time before leaving to spend some time at Brighton Pier. Overall I thought it was a great festival, I had a really good day out. Although it was a far more spacious building, I felt that the London Vegan Festival has more to offer and at a cheaper entrance price. The highlights of the day were definitely the free food (which was ace), The Skyline Restaurant, the campaigns and the signed books at the stalls. I’m just looking forward to the next Vegan Festival now, bring on September!

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Welcome to Hasta La Vegan

Hello!

Originally this was going to be a website to host a cooking show I started working on. Unfortunately, although we managed to film the first episode the friend who helped me set up and come up with the idea is far too busy and unreliable. It was unlikely to get anywhere anytime soon so for now I’m going to focus mainly on recipes. I apologise to all the people who signed up and were promised a show over a year ago, I feel terrible that it didn’t work out as planned. I’m hoping that in the future I can get some kind of show together, so fingers crossed on that one! Please let me know if this interests you, a good kick up the bum will probably get me to move a bit faster...

I guess I should start by introducing myself. Most of the important information about me is on my profile here and I’ll probably end up repeating myself but this will include photos!

I’m currently a student, finishing my second year of Film Studies and Screen Practice at Roehampton University. I share a room with two adopted guinea pigs, Terk and Tantor who are probably the best room mates I’ve had and will ever have. Yes, sometimes they smell like hay and wheek for hours on end, but I’m sure I’m the noisiest out of the three of us.

Here's a few photos of the little rascals



This is Tantor, he's the moody one. But when he's being a bully it's pretty funny



This is Terk, she's the ultimate cute


I spend far too much time in my room, playing with the interwebs or with my videogames. At the moment I’m obsessed with FMyLife. What can I say? Other peoples humiliation makes me feel better. I love my uni course and I love living in London, sometimes I forget how lucky I am to be in such a vegan friendly place. I’ve spent a lot of time reading up on Animal Rights and have just got to the point where I feel like I should be getting out there and doing something about it, so expect posts on any events I might attend or set up. I’ve just got back from the Brighton Vegan Fayre so I’m sure I’ll be reviewing that in the next few days and the weekend before that I helped a friend with a vegan bake sale. It was pretty successful for our first attempt and we made just under £100 for the charity of her choice.

This is looking far too long for an introductory post so I’ll wrap things up. I hope you enjoy the blog, any feedback or questions are welcome. I also apologise in advance for any photos I take, I’ve only just got a new camera so I’m still practicing on getting nice shots.

Laters!