‘Everything Curry’

Made this curry a few days ago from everything I had in the kitchen cupboard, fridge, freezer and vegetable rack.

Ingredients used

1 tin of chickpeas

1 tin of sweet corn

Frozen ginger and garlic paste (pre-frozen into portions in an ice cube tray)

Frozen edamame

Frozen green beans

Frozen chillis (from chilli plant)

Fresh button mushrooms

Fresh courgettes

Fresh sweet (Bell) pepper

Ancient potatoes

Ancient onions

Forgotten about chunk of ginger

Box of corn flower I found in the back of the cupboard to thicken sauce

Curry paste from opened jar in fridge

A load of basmati rice from giant 10kg sack

8 servings!veggiecooking #simpleveggiecooking #simplevegancooking #easyvegancooking #easyvegcooking

#viruscooking #isolationcreation #isolationcooking #makedowithwhatyouhave #cookingonabudget #simplecooking

I’m interested to know what’s the nicest meal you could knock up from what’s in your kitchen right now?

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

Protein Salad using Gosh falafel and Violife Greek White Block.

I know blogging about a salad is a little like when Carrie in Sex and the City resorted to writing ‘Men are like socks…’ because she’d run out of shit to say BUT we are on lockdown and to be fair it is a great salad, with two of my fave products, hopefully still available from your local supermarket.

Gosh Mediterranean Falafel

Black olives

Red and green bell pepper,

Ice berg lettuce

Rocket

Cucumber

Humus

Violife Greek White Block

Olive oil, salt and pepper

Sprinkle of mixed seeds

The Violife block wasn’t remotely salty or crumbly enough to be feta but Is was uncannily similar to goats cheese, yum!

I always steam falafel for a minute in the microwave to warm and soften it up a little. Gosh falafel is always tasty and never dry but if you get a brand that is, steaming will also help with that.

What are your fave salad additions?

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

Can You Make a Cheese & Ham Sandwich Gluten Free & Vegan?

I used to love the cheese, ham and English mustard or pickled onion butties my Mum used to make me for my packed lunches at school and even work if I was running late. As a lot of you will know, now I have a gluten and dairy free diet and I’m veggie, I try most of the time to be vegan because it’s the kind thing to do and I’m nearly there anyway.

Here’s what I used

Genius Seaded Loaf

Vitalite Vegan Spread

Violife Flavour Ham Slices

Violife Epic Mature Cheddar Flavour Block

Colman’s Mustard (a teeny bit)

Verdict on the Ingredients

The ham had some decent flavour and the texture wasn’t too bad, just a little soft. The last ham substitute I tried had the texture of a damp flannel, so this was an improvement.

The block was, almost aggressively, cheese flavoured. It tasted more cheesy than cheesy puffs, Wotsits and Mini Cheddars put together and I have to admit that I liked it!

OMG I do not remember English mustard being blow-your-head-off kind of strong. Whew!

I love all kinds of Genius bread because it really is THE best gf bread you will find.

Vitalite do one of the best dairy free spreads. It doesn’t taste strongly of olive oil (like some) and it’s not as wish-washy as others.

The Result

The ‘ham’ and ‘cheesetasted unexpectedly similar and the textures were identical. I should have cut the cheese chunkier but then the flavour would have been overwhelming. The ‘ham’ and the mustard where perfect together so I just stuck to that for the next sandwiches I made. Ive been eating the cheese on crackers with different sandwich pickles or in a toasty with fresh spring onions.

Can you make a ham & cheese sandwich gluten free and vegan?

Nope!

Hope you enjoyed my little experiment. At least now you know what products are good for other things.

What are your suggestions for gf vegan sandwiches?

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

Monthly Life Update – February

I’ve broken my record for often being ten minutes late by being ten days late as I thought I’d already posted this. Here’s everything I’ve been doing and reviewing!

Sorry I’m a bit grainy. Manchester doesn’t get much daylight in February.

Lifestyle

I created a list post called Self Imposed Ban on Buying and wrote down everything I have a lot of, the reason why I have a lot of it and why I shouldn’t buy any more of it. It’s a lot easier to realise what’s going on and to harden your resolve when you can see it in black and white.

I reposted Spring Cleaning My Beauty Cupboard from last year because I’ve done so well with keeping it ordered and thinking thoroughly about my purchases, that I’ve not needed to do it again this year.

Food and Dinning Out

Me and the Bloke have decided we are going to take it in turns to choose where we want to eat out for the evening (and who pays), at least once a month. The bloke chose Sai Spice an Indian place in Chorlton.

We ordered the veggie starter platter to share and four smaller curries. One spinach and dumpling based, one chickpea dahl, a nutty yoghurt based one and a spicy but not too hot Kolhapuri. Everything tasted amazing! It’s a brightly lit, affordable, family style place and I think Lilly’s would have some competition if they were closer to each other. Couldn’t resist grabbing a kulfi to go.

Here’s my review of Vertigo, the plant based restaurant at First Street, Manchester, which was my choice. I’d been wanting to go for a while but waited until I heard some good reviews as I’m not exactly rolling in cash.

I bought some ‘facon’ in the form of Coconut Bacon by Pimp my Salad, which I’m throwing on pretty much everything or just eating straight from the jar.

We made English Gluten Free Pancakes for pancake day or Shrove Tuesday as they call it.

I sampled one of Clive’s Tarts which I realised tasted lovely chilled or heated up. I was surprised it was both dairy and gluten free.

I’ve finally discover how wonderful Tika is! Tika panner, Tika broccoli (Yeah, I wasn’t expecting to come across that one either) and tika mock chicken. I reviewed two very different Tika Masala Veggie Readymeals, one from Tesco and one from Asda.

Skincare and Makeup

On my never ending quest to find a base that makes me look all glowy and healthy, rather than matte and a bit sallow, I bought Pixi Beauty Balm. Did it do the trick? You’ll have to click!

I’m trying to reduce my carbon footprint bit by bit, so I was pleased to find Zao essence of nature, a natural beauty brand that uses refillable bamboo packaging. I bought the essentials: Concealer and Mascara.

Thank you lovely people, for catching up with me.

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

Mummy Meagz Vegan Chuckie Eggso

These Mummy Meagz Vegan Chuckie Eggs are the perfect sweet treat for Easter, along with free-from hot crossed buns or maybe as a melted sandwich filling in hot cross buns! They taste so much better than cream eggs as they are made with darker chocolate, so not as sickly but the fondant is still lovely and sweet!

I love how easy they are to crack open and eat. I bought these from Holland and Barrett and they are also available from Alternative Stores and other alternative health food shops.

Rating 5/5

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

Clive’s Vegan Tart, Tomato and Olive Provancale

Clive’s Vegan Tart, Tomato and Olive Provancale is gluten free and obviously dairy free as it’s vegan. It has such a thick, almost creamy filling, that I thought I must be eating dairy by mistake!

I either eat this tart hot and just in its own for a warming breakfast or I have it chilled (like quiche) with salad for dinner. I’ve not found a way to eat it for my tea yet as it doesn’t go with gravy. Any ideas lovely people?

Rating 5/5

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

Gluten Free English Pancakes

I call these English pancakes because they are thicker than French crapes but no where near as thick as bread-like Scotch or US pancakes.

Ingredients for normal pancakes is always equal amounts of:

Eggs

Milk

Flower

Ingredients for gluten free pancakes is equal amounts of

Eggs

Milk

Cornflower

You will need to keep slowly adding more cornflower and blending until you get your desired consistency.

Top with masses of sugar and lemon juice.

Here’s The Bloke being a right tosser. 😉 I managed one perfect flip and then tossed the second one so enthusiastically, it landed on the floor – on the other side of the kitchen! 🤣

Hope you have a flipping good time!

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

Coconut Bacon by Pimp My Salad

This is a vegan and gluten version of bacon bits, made mostly of dried (not baked) coconut so it retains all of the nutrients. They are fairly thin, crunchy flakes and have a strong bacon flavour, like Frazzles crisps!

The seasoning on the coconut bacon is slightly powdery and dry, so it’s preferable to eat with sushi and salad or to top stew and buttery baked-potatoes.

This brand originates from Australia and is also widely available the US. There are some health food shops which stock it the UK though, like Holland and Barrett, Planet Organic, Alternative Stores and Healthy Supplies.

If you adore bacon, this is not for you. If you’ve been veggie or vegan for a while and like various brands of ‘facon’ then I think you will appreciate this.

Rating 3/5

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

Self Imposed Ban On Buying…

This list is me banning myself from buying more of the things I already have far too much of, and why.

Food

Thai curry ‘flavour’ things – They all taste like lemons, perfume and disappointment.

Oat/Rice cakes – They last five minutes and then taste like a limp biscuit (not the band).

Tins of Indian style curries – Let’s be honest, I’m just going to order one from Uber anyway.

Vegan/dairy free cheeses – I love the vegan Applewood Smoked, anything else is just a bit meh.

Supplements (apart from Omega’s) – These either give me indigestion and I should be getting them from food anyway.

Takeaway – Yeah, right! 😆

Clothes

Those ‘waterfall’ cardigans that don’t close – They’re a bit shit when worn with leggings. “Hell no, don’t want no camel toe!”

Trainers – I rarely wear them because I’m always in boots.

Boots – 10 pair 😐

Yoga/lounge pants – Always either too tight, too hot or far too short. Seriously, is it just me, seriously?

Pointy toe’d shoes/High heel shoes – Oh the horror!

Countless Tees and Hoodies – Even I’m getting bored of seeing me in this combo.

Flannel shirts/Big Jumpers – I swapped the above obsession for this obsession instead!

Hair accessories – I wear my hair in a low bun with curly/spiked bits fanned out 95% of the time. Who am I buying these for?!

Dressing gowns – 6! To be Fair one has ears and another has ears and embroidered raccoon eyes on the hood. I’ll give a few to the charity shop.

Stationary

Partly this is because I’ve gotten gifted quite a bit, through brands or for Christmas but mostly it’s because I can’t resist cute journals.

Jewellery

If it’s dainty I either break it or loose it. I have amassed so much medium-chunky stuff, I’m only buying charity items like pin badges now. I like how I found a reason for more pin badges there. 😁

Certain Disability Aids

Some joints just don’t want to be braced it seems, or shouldn’t constantly be braced anyway, plus they’re too bloody expensive and I can’t try them on beforehand.

Heated neck & shoulder pads – One wouldn’t switch on. One eventually scorched and welded it’s wires together, WHILE I WAS WEARING IT. 😳

Nail polish

I stopped painting my nails for a year because they were too weak but every time I’d see a polish that had an unusual look I’d still buy it. Now my nails are healthy I have a lot of catching up to do!

Makeup

(I should just stop at ‘makeup’ lol)

Foundation/Base – I’m sticking with the one that works. I need to buy more of that actually.

Eyeshadow – I have a whole rainbow of colours in every finish/texture. Enough!

Eyeliner – Too subtle on my narrow eyes. I slap a load of eyeshadow on instead.

Liquid Lipstick – I don’t want my lips to look like shrivelled prunes after an hour cheers.

Books

I’m a slow reader in the sense that it takes me ages to get around to even starting new books. My reading list is ridiculous and my physical ‘to read’ pile is actually intimidating.

Skincare

This is the one category I use constantly so I’m applying a one-for-one rule. Use one item up – buy another one to replace it. No multiple versions of the same item.

No face masks – I can never be arsed to use these.

Bath bombs – I don’t own a bath. 😶

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

I Try Vertigo plant based Restaurant

There are quite a few vegan and vegetarian eateries that have opened in Manchester the past few years and first on my list to try out was Vertigo. Located at 1 First Street (a relatively new area including Indian Tiffin Room, Home cafe/restaurant complex, Junk Yard Golf where you get pissed and then play crazy golf and Bunny Jackson’s a dive bar-esque place with live music) Vertigo is an airy, contemporary, yet cozy little place.

Yes, it is a tad hipsterish with it’s glass jars and bottles, mini condiments and teeny clipboard menus but everything is well thought out; functional and quirky.

This is me eying up my food arriving. We snagged a cozy booth for four even though there were just two of us. I ordered the homemade pink lemonade which was lovely, if a little too sweet. All of the beer was local and gluten free and they had a great range of fresh juices.

Small plate (to share)

3 Chickn’ Lollipops with satay and sambal dipping sauce to share. The chickn’ was quite dry but tasty and the satay sauce was one of the best I’ve had. Not keen on the sambal though as the flavour was too sharp for me.

Small Plate (starters)

Eee yuh can’t beat a bit’uh veggie/vegan black pud! This was lovely and rich with the complimentary flavours of black pudding (from Bury Market), beetroot ketchup, a huge heap of mild rocket and a light mustard dressing. I wish the pud was crunchier on the outside but is that even traditional?

Large Plate (mains).

I’m English, it’s been winter and somehow I haven’t had pie and mash for four months, four! This was a well filled mushroom pie, with savoury gravy, mash, pickled cabbage and….where are my crunchy onions!? Now, I love anything pickled but would have preferred peas (mushy or otherwise) with this particular dish. The Bloke makes the creamiest vegan mash, which still has a bit of texture to it and sadly, this slightly bland (and suspiciously smooth) offering just didn’t compare.

Desert (pudding)

Seeing as me pie want gluten free (I’m sounding Northern again), I decided not to push my poor tummy and to order a gluten free apple and plumb pie to go. Our lovely server knocked a quid off because we didn’t want to try and package the ice cream or to carry it around. Perfect pastry to fruit ratio and perfect sweet and tart ratio. Perfect apple to plumb ratio? I reckoned so.

Overall

I really like the sustainable ethics (glass not plastic bottles, paper straws and paper takeaway boxes), the simple cross-cultural menu and the styling of Vertigo and will be visiting again.

————————

Vertigo, Unit 9, Jack Rosenthal Street, Manchester, M15 4RA

vertigomcr.co.uk

This post is not sponsored in any way.

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤