Bol Plant Based Dinner Boxes

Whilst shopping online at Tesco I stumbled across the Bol range of dinner boxes, which are plant based ready-meals in a cardboard tray (thankfully not plastic, which is a bit of a deal-breaker for me).

Fire Roasted Cauliflower-Tikka Masala

The Tika Masala wasn’t quite sweet enough and I had no idea where the ‘sweet pickled onions’ were!? I did really like the combination of ingredients though.

Caribbean Jerk, Rice and Peas

This tasted like it was homemade comfort food at its best.

Thai Panang Coconut Curry

I thought this contained too much lemongrass and citrus flavour and not enough coconut so I added two pinches of sugar. The butternut squash was cooked perfectly.

South Indian Spiced Chickpea Curry

Again, the flavour of citrus overwhelmed the other flavours, which I balanced by adding some sugar.

Overall

I noticed that every meal had a lot of ‘leafy greens’ in them, which I didn’t mind but it was rather repetitive.

I loved all of the chutneys and used them on the rice and greens. I don’t usually like quinoa but mixed with rice it tasted lovely.

I’d buy these again because they are a quick and simple way of getting vegetarian and dairy free, balanced meals for one, which I’d never be able to cook for my self.

Rating 4/5

✨🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤✨

Delicious Gluten-free Plant-based Mezze

Toofoo (smokey version) coated in sesame oil and chilli oil and grilled so it tastes like roast chicken, which I’m dipping into Helmans vegan mayo.

PICKLES!

Batata Harra (lightly fried potatoes with red peppers, coriander, chili, and garlic).

Falafel (from a shop bought dry mix, then shallow fried) which I’m having hot with caramelised onion humus.

The falafel and tofu are easy to prepare and store in the fridge until you want to cook some. The potatoes are a simple and quick dish to cook fresh.

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

The Best of Vamp It Up 2020 – Style, Plant-based Food and Lockdown Lifestyle

Even though this has been one of the weirdest years I’ve had, being in ‘lockdown’ isn’t that different from having chronic fatigue anyway really. Lots of telly watching, reading, putting outfits together for no particular reason, eating copious amounts of takeaway and going out to have a quick drink, when I’m able.

Leave your questions or comments below and I will consult my foggy (but sometimes, strangely encyclopaedic) brain to reply to them lol

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

Gluten and Dairy Free Savoury Snack Haul

It wasn’t until I went gluten and dairy-free that I realised most crisps have lactose or wheat gluten in their flavouring. I’ve often walked down a whole crisp (and flavoured nut) isle, reading all of the ingredients on everything, only to end up buying salt and vinegar or Thai sweet chilli flavour yet again.

So I thought this might be handy for anyone with the same intolerances/allergies.

L-R

Top: Cofresh Corn nuts (also have lemon and chilli one’s), The Foodie Market Bites, Specially Selected (Aldi) Sririacha Nachos, Specially Selected Root Veg Crisps.

Middle: Oh So Delish (Aldi) Wasabi peas, Ten Acre When the Cheese Met the Onion, Bombay Mix, Salted roasted Peanuts.

Bottom: Oh So Delish (Aldi) Thai Spicy Bites, Manomasa Chipotle and Line nachos, Salted Roasted Cashews, Manomasa Green Lemon and Pink Peppercorn Nachos.

These have been gathered from Tesco, Ocado, Aldi and my local corner shop.

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

December in Photo’s

Christmas fleece – Cotton Traders

Joggers – Hunkermoller

Ugg/Emu style boots – Dorothy Perkins

Making the most of the dark afternoons by making the living room feel all cozy.

Lots of natural skincare and lifestyle goodies in this Freedm Street advent calendar (items available to buy individually from heir online shop).

Making ‘special coffees’ by adding Baileys or Sailor Jerries Spiced Rum and throwing in pieces of salted caramel or hazelnut caramel choccy.

Jumper – Shein

Joggers – Cotton Traders

Bizarrely, for someone who has disabling arachnophobia when I see one, this was one of my favourite books as a child. It’s magical and a little creepy!

Little reindeer I found at the back of a cupboard!

Sparkly chocolate vegan brownie from Zad’s takeaway.

Dad decorated the whole downstairs in under 15 minutes. Secret festive ninja!

I’ve been watching His Dark Materials on BBC iPlayer and I am so impressed with this adaptation. Especially my favourite bad-ass actress, Ruth Wilson as Mrs Coulter.

I’ve developed quite a obsession with cute cartoon penguins so I was really happy to get this card from my Dad ^_^

Tee – Next

Christmas fleece – Cotton Traders

Joggers – Cotton Traders

At the Blokes flat we have our 22inch Christmas tree. I swear, after Christmas this is being packed away exactly as it is now – it was so fiddly to decorate!

Like most people in he UK we don’t have candy canes but we do have gelatine-free sweets!

This wonderful wreath gives me serious Narnia vibes. Unfortunately where we live, neither of us can put wreathes on our front door as they would get nicked and given to someone’s Mam or Missus.

MOOEY CHRISTMAS YOU LOVELY LOT

🎄✨Chrissie✨🎄

My Fave Dairy – free Chocolate & Gelatine – free Sweets!

Biona Fruit Bears – Full of natural fruit flavour, these are even liked by my friends and family who don’t usually like sweets. Organic. Gluten free.

Tribe Nature Bombs Chocolate, Caramel and Almond Butter – Caramel and Almond Butter mixed together and covered in chocolate. These are so more-ish, the two pack isn’t enough so treat yourself and get a bag.

Love Raw Peanut Butter Cups – These lasted all of two minutes nom! Vegan.

Candy Kittens Eton Mess – These creamy, chewy sweets taste exactly like the dessert. Quick, take them away from me, before I go through the whole bag. Palm oil free.

Bouja-Bouja Truffle Selection No1 – I actually prefer the purple selection as these chocolates were almost too rich in flavour for me, especially the champagne and espresso but I loved the rum and cherry cognac flavours. Best to keep these cool or they become sickly, quickly. Organic. Vegan.

Rhythm 108 Hazelnut and Praline – This small Swedish brand makes bars that are the most like traditional chocolate bars – delicious. Gluten free. Organic. Vegan.

Pulsing High Fibre Brownie – Although it’s called a brownie, it isn’t squishy in the middle. It does have nice big chunks of choccy and it is very substantial. It did give me a good start to the day, energy-wise.

So lovely people, do you want me to review more choccy, sweets or both?

🎄✨Chrissie✨🎄

The ‘Zadams Family Pumpkin Spice’ Vegan Pizza from Zad’s, Manchester

The Zadam’s Family Pumpkin Spice Pizza from Zad’s is THE best vegan pizza I have ever eaten!

Not too sweet (like a lot of vegan pizzas tend to be), but savoury, with just a little sweet spice. Perfect balance!

‘Pumpkin, squash and sweet potato puree base, with garlic drizzle, sage, thyme, crispy kale, cheese, red onion, roasted chickpeas, sun-dried tomatoes, apple chunks and diced walnut coated with cinnamon and dash of chilli flakes to warm your soul’.

The most Autumnal thing I’ve eaten this year!

🦇✨Chrissie✨🦇

Visit to Bundobust – Indian Vegetarian Street Food and Bar – Manchester

Spot my bloke on the right

I’ve always loved that Bundobust is a no frills, eco friendly canteen and bar (even the cutlery is biodegradable), serving Indian street food.

It’s really spacious but still manages to be cozy and friendly. We reserved a booth because I’m not able to climb into and sit on the bench seating, plus we wanted to be isolated because of Covid.

They have gluten free beer, mango lassi, cocktails, chai tea, the most delicious peshwari paratha (sweet bread) and kulfi (pistachio ice cream).

Saag Aloo (spinach and potato); Paneer, mushroom and pepper kebabs; Peshwari Paratha (sweet bread); Sev Puri (Dry noodle, layers of samosa, yoghurt and tamarind sauce); Okra fries.

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

Monthly Round Up – September

Now the weather has cooled my chronic fatigue and brain- fog has calmed a bit. Unfortunately this makes my ADHD (self diagnosed as a teen but wildly obvious) a lot worse. It’s like I’ve drunk three espressos all of the time. Nice to have some energy and my quirky personality back though! 😄 It took me five six attempts to be able to write this properly. 😆

Style

MY SLIPPERS
CUTE…
CREEPY (but very adorkable)

My ‘sensible dress’ which I hardly ever wear. However, I got so many compliments on it (over on my Instagram) that I’m going to wear it a lot more.

Food

We went to Allotment Vegan Eatery in town, which had beautiful food and cozy decor but would have been too dear if we hadn’t taken advantage of the government ‘eat out to help out’ scheme.

Had a lovely meal at Sai Spice in Chorlton. Here are leftovers of Mutter Panner (peas and cheese which tastes nicer than it sounds), Young coconut and green beans and vegetable Kolpahuri which was really piquant!

Vegan and gluten free cheese-on-toast using Genius bread and Follow Your Heart, Pepper Jack flavour. Wow!

Beauty

After three months of loosely following The Curly Girl Method (but with other products) my hair is shiny and soft, with less frizz AND holding it’s curl shape.

Lifestyle

The most geeky and awesome book I have ever read! This is like the crazy dreams I’d have regularly as a kid in the 80’s.

Still writing down happy things that have happened, as and when they occur, so I can read them back when I’ve been having a succession of shitty mental/physical health days, to give me some perspective.

Watching

Dark – Complex, family oriented sci-fi

Boardwalk Empire – Sprawling 1920’s Gangsta series set in Atlantic City

Hero’s – Series featuring time travel and a big cast of characters discovering they have unique powers.

The Months Most Used Emojis

_______________________

Really looking forward to a chilly but beautiful Autumn and Halloween of course. 🦇

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

The Allotment Vegan Eatery – First Impressions

The Allotment Vegan Eatery, located on Lloyd Street, makes fine dinning simple and relatable (and gluten free too). As soon as you walk in it feels welcoming and cozy, even though it’s quite spacious.

We visited early on a rainy Monday to take advantage of the Eat Out To Help Out scheme, which they are continuing through September. I really liked the simple and natural feel to decor and layout. There is an extensive drinks menu offering juices, bottled soft drinks, beer, teas, cocktails and wine.

Small Plates

My bloke’s tiny dish was too tiny to eat out of properly but he found the Edamame Salad, with kale, chilli, spring onions, soy and tamarind dressing was really refreshing.

I found the little boats made from Chicory leaves to be the perfect way to eat tenderstem broccoli with black olive tapenade, toasted hazelnuts and pumpkin and pomegranate seeds. A unique combination which worked really well.

Large Plates

My bloke likes a good risotto but he’d never tried a beetroot risotto with ricotta before. This dish had a lovely flavour but both the maple glazed beetroot and the ricotta were similarly sweet, so it needed another salty or sharp flavour to break them up and help define them both.

I ordered the ‘fish’ and chips. Wow, we’re those chips big and crispy! The minted peas had a subtle flavour which was just right and the homemade tarter sauce was a perfect accompaniment. The ‘fish’ was made from banana blossom which had a texture similar to shredded duck and tasted strongly of lemon. The batter had a nice crunch but the fish was crying out for some kind of salt but there was no salt and pepper on the table, a trend which is becoming more common I’ve noticed.

Dessert

There were only two desserts so we ordered one each to share. Blueberry Cheesecake and a Hazelnut Slice.

The hazelnut slice base was made of crushed hazelnuts, with a thick layer of salted caramel praline, topped with solid Belgian chocolate ganache. The portion of this delicious desert was so big I was glad I was sharing it.

The base of the blueberry cheesecake was made of crushed pea cans and almonds, topped with a vanilla and blended cashew filling, topped with blueberry and chai seed compot. Such skill must have gone into making this as it was wonderful!

The inclusion of fresh fruit and ice cream with both deserts was a nice touch and lifted their flavour, rather than just being sweet deserts.

One thing I have to mention is how uncomfortable the wooden chairs are if you don’t have any back fat. The next day a part of my spine actually felt bruised! There is a settee (which was taken) and I noticed other metal chairs when we were leaving.

Service was timely and friendly although we did arrive early and it got a lot busier later. We wouldn’t eat there again unless it was for a treat like a birthday as we found it to be too pricey for our budget but I can understand why, as it’s evident a lot of thought, skill and care goes into the food.

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤