Best Vegetarian, Gluten Free, Dairy Free Products & Places 2019

Best Meat Free Options

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Oumph! Kebab Spiced (soya based, gluten free) Incredible flavour, very filling, really easy to stir fry or grill, chunky and chewy!

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Like Meat, Like BBQ Chicken (soy based, gluten free) Ah-maze-ing! Similar taste and texture to a BBQ thigh but nicer. Another very versatile replacement but this time not as chewy.

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Quorn Fishless Fingers (Vegan, Not gluten free) Better than the fish fingers that I remember; these are lovely on a butty with citrusy or vinegar flavoured crisps or on a plate with beans and chips.

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Aldi No Sausage Rolls (Vegan, Not gluten free) If I didn’t already know these were vegetarian I would never have guessed. My only complaint is that the filing only fills 2/3rds of the width.

Best Dairy Free Ice Cream

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Perfect World, Caramel Pecan Ice Cream (Vegan, gluten free) This is full of flavour and vitamins and minerals. Personally, I’d have made the pecans chunkier but I’d still buy it again.

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Cornetto Vegan (Vegan, gluten free) The only noticeable difference between these and the usual ones are that they’re quite a bit smaller.

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Ben & Jerry’s, Coconutterly Caramel’d Ice Cream (vegan, gluten free) Gorgeous! As good as Chunky Monkey, almost as good as Cookie Dough :op

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Bouja – Bouja, Caramel Pecan Praline Ice Cream (dairy free, gluten free, organic) Very strong – almost smokey – flavour, really creamy consistency but the pecans and pralines are too blended. I add broken up digestive biscuits for more texture.

Snacks and Treats

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Manomasa, Tortillas (gluten free, dairy free) – Full of flavour and perfect for scooping up dips.

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Bouja-Bouja Chocolate Truffle Collection (dairy and gluten free) – Vanilla and rhubarb, cherry, salted caramel, caramel, hazelnut, ginger, rum, Champaign, espresso are the flavours in these truffle selections. Possibly the best dairy free chocolate in the world.

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KIND Snack Bars Caramel, Almond & Sea Salt (gluten free, NOT dairy free). Dark Chocolate, Nuts & Sea Salt (gluten free, dairy free). Peanut Butter & Dark Chocolate (gluten free, dairy free). These are expensive at £1.50 each (!) but they are full of complementary flavours and really substantial.

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Genius Double Chocolate/Blueberry Muffins (gluten free, dairy free) Nommmmmm, that’s my breakfast and supper, right there.

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The Coconut Collaborative, Banoffee Pots (dairy free, gluten free) If you are getting these teeny pots of joy for your kids, you’ll want to buy a second lot for yourself – believe! Similar to creme caramel that’s been stirred around but with the addition of banana.

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Gu, Strawberry & Rhubarb/Lemon Cheescakes (gluten free, dairy free) Not quite as solid as traditional cheesecake but equally delicious, these two flavours are both sweet and refreshing.

Manchester Vegan Takeaway/Dinner

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V Revolution This is the place for an incredibly creative take on traditional American junk food. Vegan mains, sides, milkshakes, cocktails and cake. The atmosphere is pop-culture with a twist. In the photo above my expression is a mix of excitement and wondering how the hell I’m going to fit this burger in my mouth!

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Zad’s Vegan with very little gf options but incredibly well thought out food. The ZFC (rather than KFC) fried cauliflower is an utter revelation, the pizzas and burgers are well balanced and not too sweet and they sometimes give away free cupcakes. Hardly any remote customer service but lovely and friendly in person.

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Vegan Shack This is the place to order from if you are either dairy free or vegan and gluten free as they have gf options of pizza (including the above topping) and one of their kebabs (on request). Their online customer service is fantastic and delivery times are reasonable. My only complaint is that the cheese is on the sweet side as is the sauce. More salt please!

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Pizza Express They have many gf, df and veggie option for mains, sides and deserts and can be flexible (up to a point) with changing food to suit dietary needs. It will be such a shame when they cease trading late next year.

Bonus

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Aside from the Gu, these are free-from items I like but don’t absolutely love. Clive’s gf pies are surprisingly good microwaved (like a chip shop Pudding); This Gosh! falafel is the best falafel I’ve tried; Dragon fly make small but substantial gf burgers; Soulful pots make two wonderful nut curries/meals that I would happily pay for in a restaurant. Their other options have the usual veggie/bean tangine flavours.

I hope you found this helpful and it gave you food for thought – sorry!

🍔Chrissie🍔

 

 

My Cruelty Free Beauty Awards 2019!

Best Liquid Highlighter – The Body Shop Drops of Glow

This pearlised one is a little too light for me so I should have gotten the more golden option. Still a great product though!

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Runner up Charlotte Tilbury Hollywood Filter. Shite as BB cream or sheer foundation but amazing as a highlighter.

Best Hair Dye – Manic Panic (Pretty Flamingo)

The choice of colours are amazing, the consistency is nice and thick so easy to apply and it’s really conditioning. It can last up to six months if you gently wash your hair every 7 – 14 days or it can be nearly washed out after around 5 washes with stronger shampoo.

Runner up – Nature Tint. Lasts forever but too runny and messy to apply easily.

Best Lipstick/Gloss/Balm – The Body Shop, Colour Crush Lipstick (Luanda Peony)

This glides on easily, has a very subtle and flattering shimmer, huge colour payoff and it moisturises!

Runner up – Charlotte Tilbury Lip Plumping Gloss. Works almost too well!

Best Hair and Body Care Brand – Yaoh! (Coconut and Lime)

Affordable, natural (everything is based around hemp seed oil), it smells heavenly and every product delivers results.

Runner up – Neal’s Yard Remedies. Natural and pampering but too pricey for me.

Best Nail Polish/Care Brand – Ciate (Nail Super Hero)

Affordable, an astounding range of colours, textures and finishes, and nail treatments which actually work.

Runner up – Barry M for very similar reasons.

Best Facial Skincare – The Body Shop (Vitamin C)

This Range is strongly scented of oranges, which I find really refreshing. It’s affordable as a little goes a long way and leaves skin clean, smooth and moisturised immediately and clearer and glowier after around five days.

Runner up – Murad (Age Reform). Incredibly effective and a similar price bracket to TBS these days so this was a tough decision!

Best Everyday Facial Oil – Superdrug own brand

I would describe this as a dry oil as it’s non-greasy and works perfectly under primer and foundation (or at least the one’s I use), or on it’s own for a naturally healthy appearance on any skin type.

Runner up – Weleda. Their facial oils are rich and really nourishing. They all have a very strong (natural) scent and take a while to sink in so best for an overnight treatment.

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I’ve covered all of the products and the brands that I have used in 2019. So if there is a category or product missing it’s because I didn’t need or use a new a one of those. Above are some products which I loved but didn’t quite make the ‘best of’.

Have you tried any of these?

🏅Chrissie🏅

 

Would You Rather tag (with bonus christmas questions)

I came across this on the awesome Hunida’s blog. It originated with The Newbury Girl  (I think) but I wanted to keep the chain going so I joined in!

1. Would you rather lose all of your money or all your sentimental items?

When I first read this question I immediately thought I’d want to keep sentimental items (I do have a giant shoe box as a ‘memory box’) but having no money would take away all of my independence and make me totally reliant on others. So it would have to be the items *sob*

2. Would you rather experience unrequited love or never love at all?

I don’t think I’d like to be incapable of love. The guys I’ve loved haven’t loved me back to the same extent and vice-versa. So to never be madly, intoxicatingly in love again would be okay with me!

3. Would you rather own your own business or work for someone else?

I don’t have the executive functioning to be my own executive (bad Aspie joke) and I’ve actually liked a lot of my bosses, so I’d work for someone else.

4. Would you rather give up television (including streaming/YouTube) or reading?

I get eye strain really easy when reading and I love that I can watch telly with people and chat about it.

5. Would you rather give up sushi or tacos for the rest of your life?

I’d give up tacos. The ones in the UK are really hard and crispy and just break in half as soon as you bight them. I love veggie sushi, it’s so refreshing but filing.

6. Would you rather live in your hometown and never travel anywhere, or live in another country but never visit home?

I have lived in my hometown all my life and love Manchester but it would be cool to live somewhere else and have my Dad visit me (he loves travelling btw).

7. Would you rather live in the desert or live in a frozen tundra?

Hmmm, extreme heat fatigue probs or terrible circulation probs. I’d be unconscious with the heat so frozen tundra it is.

8. Would you rather eat dessert (but never dinner) or dinner (but never dessert)?

I’m such a salty person – so to speak. I find a lot of deserts too sickly after a while.

9. Would you rather run a successful blog or a successful YouTube channel?

Blog! I hate the sound of my voice as my Dyspraxia means my pitch and tone can accidentally be a bit over the top (too dramatic) or really monotone (too sarcastic sounding), plus when I’m fatigued I sound a bit pissed, ha!

10. Would you rather give up all makeup/cosmetics products or give up “dressing fashionably”?

I need skincare but I actively try to avoid wearing anything that happens to be in fashion at the time. So I’d bin fashion (or the idea of things being in or out of fashion) in general actually.

5 Bonus Christmas Questions!

1. Christmas jumper or Christmas Jewellery?

These 5 are my questions so I can cheat and say both jumper and jewellery, and a Crimbo scrunchy and pin badges and socks and…

2. Classic or Contemporary Christmas Songs?

Contemporary as in Stay Now by East 17 and All I Want For Christmas by Mariah.

3. Christmas dinner with ALL of your family or dinner cooked by your fave chef in a restaurant?

Well seeing as my Dad is going on holiday and he’s my only family, it would have to be a restaurant in this scenario. There’s a really fit Asian chef that was on Celebrity Masterchef this year.

4. A big surprise present or five things off your wish list?

As I’m (just about) financially stable and can’t buy my own stuff, I’d love a big surprise! Maybe a trip to see The Northern Lights.

5. Snowball fight outside or ice skating at a rink?

I tried to ice skate once, for fifteen terrifying minutes. I’m ace at snowball fights though, tactical and ruthless!

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Please feel free to join in with this tag and include your own photos of your choices if you want, or just comment instead!

🎄Chrissie🎄

GOSH Veggie Cocktail Sausages

These are not like the ones you’d get at 1980’s parties on sticks with pineapple, these are like mini Cumberland (UK) sausages.

They are very soft and almost bread-like unless you grill or fry them as they don’t have a skin around them. I really like them in a sun dried tomato and buffalo mozzarella salad.

These taste very strongly of sage, so if you just warmed them up (rather than properly cooking them like I have here), they could make a good gluten free alternative to stuffing balls.

Free From

  • Egg
  • Dairy
  •  Nut
  • Soya

Rating (as actual cocktail sausages) 1/5

🎄Chrissie🎄

Zad’s Vegan Takeaway Manchester

Last Saturday I treated myself to Zad’s takeaway in Chorlton; it was a treat because the minim order for delivery (even if you are only a mile away) is £15 which is expensive for me. Still, I’ve had their wonderful food before and thought it was worth it.

I ordered a 9” vegetable pizza, curly fries, ZFC – spicy fried cauliflower instead of chicken – which tastes weirdly like KFC and a salted caramel cupcake.

I ordered using their app at 8.00pm and selected delivery for the earliest available 9.00pm as I was starting to feel hungry. By 9.50 I had to make a snack as I was getting really bad hunger pains. I’d tried to phone several times but it just rung out. My food arrived at 10.10pm! No apology or acknowledgment that it was over an hour late .

The pizza was hardly warm, the fries were cold and soggy. I was so hungry and gutted! The ZFC was amazing as was the cupcake. I didn’t have the energy to reheat the pizza and bake the fries in the oven so I had to save them for the next day. They were both awesome once heated/cooked again but that’s the opposite of why people get a handy takeaway.

I left a polite complaint via email but that as well as two other phone call attempts have been ignored.

I really want to give Zads a great review but I can’t because of how late the food was, how soggy the food was and how non- existent their customer service is.

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

 

Yaoh! Mini Haul

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I use Yaoh! because their products are hemp oil based, which really conditions my skin and my hair, they are BUAV (leaping bunny) approved, they don’t use palm oil and are affordable on a budget; the perfect brand in my opinion!

The Coconut and Lime scent of the Shampoo is as wonderful as the shampoo it’s self. It leaves my coarse, frizzy hair so soft and shiny it totally transforms the texture. I don’t need to add hair oil afterward either, just curl cream. I’ve bought the body butter to match and I’m going to get the shower gel too next time.

The Mango Lip Balm is hydrating and adds important oils, while smelling like a Mediterranean cocktail. It’s nice and thick but it does sink in, unlike other brands that are too heavily wax based.

I decided to try a Tropical Fruits Body Butter (not shown) as the scent sounded lovely and exotic. The body butters feel light on the skin and sinks in easily but it’s still incredibly hydrating. The scent isn’t as strong as I’d prefer but it is pleasant.

The Tropical Fruits Moisturiser barley has any scent, which I prefer. It sinks in quickly but I think this would be best for dry or possibly combination skin as it is rather rich. Considering it’s slightly scented and rich, it doesn’t

Because I’d bought 4 items amounting to £25 I got the face moisturiser free!

Rating 5/5 for everything!

Chrissie

Guru by Rupaul

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Guru by Rupaul (Sphere publishing £14.99) is 191 page photograph book that is also full of wisdom, insight and and one-linners that slay, proving she’ll never sashay away.

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I decided to treat myself to this for Christmas and I’m so glad I did! This would make a great little coffee table book for anyone who’s more creative and quirky, rather than pretentious and snobby.

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A lovely detail I found at the back is a list of Ru’s fave books, films and music!

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🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

Vegan Shack Review Manchester

I first heard of Vegan Shack from the Manchester Vegetarian and Vegan Group on Facebook. MVVG are a friendly bunch and so helpful (anyone who gets arsey and argumentative, rather than constructive, get called out by moderators or other members)   they are worth checking out.

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Menu

Vegan Shack provide all of our vegan junk food desires, including kebabs, pizzas, burgers, ‘chicken’ poppers, frickles (fried pickles) garlic dough balls and loaded fries. They deliver around a large radius of Central/South Manchester so Chorlton is included and I think they just about cover Denton, I’m not sure about North Manchester, sorry!

The five gluten free offerings on the menu are three pizzas, basic fries and on request kebabs too! I chose the Chick n’ Chunk with a 10″ stone baked base (my fave) tomato and herb sauce, ‘cheese’ and strips of ‘chicken’.

Ordering

I used the website on my iPad and it kept saying there was something wrong and to try ordering something different (even though what I’d chosen wasn’t ‘sold out’). I gave up in the end and asked the online customer service person. They were incredibly helpful and told me to give them my order and they would do it for me. My food arrived so fast, I’d not even sat down on the couch and got settled for the evening!

The Pizza

The problem I’ve always had with vegan cheese is that it’s too sweet and when paired with a fairly sweet (but tasty) tomato sauce you have a very un-savoury pizza. The ‘chicken’ strips had a realistic texture and really balanced out the overall flavour. I ended up scraping off half of the cheese (which they were almost too generous with) and adding a lot of salt. Then it tasted awesome!

Verdict

I would say Vegan Shack is up there with V Revolution and Zads when it comes to creativity but a hot dog option and some deserts would be great additions.

Chrissie

Breakfast, Dinner or Tea?

I only got out of bed just over two and a half hours ago so who knows lol

Corn thins with dairy free spread, cucumber, sun-dried tomato (out of a jar, not those plastic unrecyclable tubs, cheaper too) with oregano, artichoke hearts (again out of a jar) and jalapeños. I did eat a giant handful of salted, roasted cashews before this so protein isn’t an issue, for anyone wondering.

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤