Sunday, 16 November 2014

Week Two of the Great Vegan Challenge

These weeks are just flying by and I'm still amazed at how easy I'm finding this challenge. I'm really started to notice the benefits of being vegan now, too. I'm far less bloated than I used to be, and my skin is looking really lovely and clear. Even my hair seems to be in better condition.

This week I've really discovered just how easy it can be to eat out when you're vegan, if you know where to go. I ate out at four different restaurants this week and I was really happy with all of them.  I also mentioned last week that a local falafel bar (Moorish Falafel) sells lovely vegan millionaire's shortbread made with peanut butter, and this week I actually had some around long enough to photograph so I thought I'd share it with you (prepare to drool).

 First up was Pizza Express. They actually have a vegan pizza on their menu (the Pianta) which has spinach, chestnut mushrooms, pine kernels and artichokes on a spicy Arrabiata base. They also state that they'll hold back the cheese on any of their other pizzas if requested, and if you bring in your own sealed, in-date vegan cheese they'll happily put that on your pizza for you. I wasn't actually in the mood for pizza when we went, so instead I opted for the Leggera Superfood Salad without mozzarella and I really enjoyed it.

Second up was GBK. I did a little online research before going and learned that their falafel burger is vegan as long as you ask for it without the cucumber raita and the garlic mayo. I wanted sweet potato fries with my burger, and asked the staff if I could swap the baconnaise that comes with them for the satay sauce, as that's the only vegan sauce they have and they very kindly agreed. The satay sauce actually went really nicely with the sweet potato fries, and the burger was great even without the raita/mayo. It does state on their website though that the falafel burger and fries etc. are fried in the same oil as products including dairy. Personally I'm not that fussed about things like that, but it's something to be aware of if you are.

Third was Nandos. I wasn't actually very hungry when we ate here, so I only ended up having chips with garlic peri peri sauce. But the Nandos site does state that their veggie burger (when ordered without mayo) is vegan friendly, so I'll definitely be trying that next time I go.

Finally was a lovely restaurant in Lowestoft called Daisy's Urban Farm Kitchen. I've been here before when I was just veggie and I was really impressed by their vegetarian menu. A lot of burger joints simply offer up a standard veggie burger and that's it. But Daisy's have a selection of six different burgers which all sound amazing. A number of them are also vegan if you ask for them without mayo/cheese/yoghurt, and if you ask nicely they'll give you the burger without the bun, on a bed of salad. I never eat the bun so of course I love them for that. I remembered to snap a quick picture of my Chickpea, Red Chilli & Sweet Potato burger on my phone, not the best quality but you get the idea.

In terms of cooking at home, James and I haven't actually done much of that this week. We did make a very tasty stir fry, and I was really happy to find that Blue Dragon makes loads of vegan friendly stir fry sauces (and even labels them as vegan friendly). Tesco also had a 3 for 2 offer in their free from section so I took the opportunity to stock up on Alpro dark chocolate soya desserts and nakd bars, which make great snacks and are a really healthy way to satisfy as sweet craving.

Bryony :)

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