Is Greggs Vegan Stake Bake any Good?

The Bloke surprised me with this the other day and I HAD to share it with you!

First off, Id never know the flakey pastry was vegan, in fact it holds together much better so you don’t get covered in it. More importantly, it tastes EXACTLY like meat in a thick savoury gravy.

One thing to mention is The Bloke cheated on me and ate one without me! Seriously though, he said his was “…a bit more chunky, like proper little steak pieces.” My two bakes where more mince meaty; you could have had the filling in a (vegan) Cottage pie. Hmmm, not sure what to make of that inconsistency!?

I’m sure all three were vegan though, otherwise our tummies would have let us know very quickly!

Verdict Amazing! 5/5

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

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🍔

 

 

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🎄

Tips For a Stress Free and Safe Night Out

Learned from over 21 years of Friday and Saturday nights out, my realistic tips include prep, keeping track of your mates, getting there and back and keeping the fun going while you’re there.

1. If you’re unsure about the area, speak to friends or locals to find out about the streets or places to visit AND to avoid.

2. Phone a taxi company before hand a book a return cab for a realistic time (probably a little bit before the club/bar chucking out time) and agree where to be picked up. Have other local cab company numbers in case it doesn’t work out or find where the nearest base/office is.

3. Buy a stylish cross-body handbag bag that has a zip or solid clasp so your bad doesn’t get ‘dipped’ by thieves. Wear it inside your coat when out on the street.

4. Always store enough money for food and a taxi in a separate part of your purse, bag or (ideally pocket) so you don’t accidentally spend it.

5. Have a pair of fold up ballet flats in your bag. So no limping around on blistered feet at the end of the night. Practical and it doesn’t make you look like a target.

6. Always be friendly to the door and bar staff, you never know what they might be able to help you with.

7. If you are in a big club or area and go separate ways, agree on a place to meet back up.

8.  If your good mates say you are too pissed, believe them and get them to escort you to the toilets to freshen (sober) up a bit. You do not want to get suddenly thrown out on your own by the doormen, making you vulnerable.

9. If you do end up worse for wear, it’s safer to trust groups of women rather than a man, no matter how charming they may seem.

10. Keep an eye on your drink at all times or ask someone you know and trust to watch them. Don’t accept physical drinks from strangers, instead go to the bar with them, order it and then let them pay.

11. Before leaving a place check you have everything (coat, bag, phone) and everyone. No one wants to get left behind because they went to the loo!

12. When walking to a place either walk the same speed as the slowest person or break into two groups (if there’s a lot of you), with clear agreement on where you are heading.

13. Same as when you are getting food. Everyone needs to make it clear where they are going and who they are going with or if they want someone to wait for them.

14. Don’t be that dick who just goes home without telling anyone. People will be worried if you just disappear.

15. Make sure you are getting into a registered taxi. Is the logo familiar? Do they have photo ID with their driver number on ? If you have booked it, they should know your name and address. Agree on a price first so they can’t inflate the fare.

16.  When you’re at home, message each other to say you’ve had a top night and you’re home safe.

Happy partying people!

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✨🖤

 

The Perfect Winter Jumper

You know that common response when people are asked what they are going to wear out somewhere and they respond with “Oh, just jeans and a nice top”, well here’s my Winter edition.

It’s the Sparkle Jumper by Soon at Matalan also described (rather misleadingly) as ‘pearl’, which is also available in teal. I’m wearing it with tight Topshop boot cut/kick flare jeans and black pointy-toed ankle boots with a small heel.

Please tell me I’m not the only one who’s searched EVERYWHERE for a fancy Winter jumper?

Most were either off the shoulder, (brrr!), got cut-outs (they call them cold shoulder tops for a reason), open back madness, really small round necks (choke!) or turtle necks (get it me, get it off me, get it OFF!) , long length (am I the only women out there that actually likes her bum?) or cropped (it’s SNOWING in parts of the UK), so I was really relieved to find this.

I need to tell you that the sparkles are actually IRIDESCENT! It’s a light, medium length jumper; the sleeves are good but I’d love them right to my knuckles like the secret Emo I am. It’s warm but not too thick so you won’t melt when you encounter central heating. It’s also soft and a little stretchy, with gentle shaping so you could go up a size and it wouldn’t look too baggy or a size down for it to be really fitted.

I’ve just realised I don’t have any hoop or sparkly earrings in – my ear lobes are naked!

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✨🖤

Manchester Street View: 7 Years Compilation

This month I’ve had this blog for 7 years! I’ve decided to have a look through all of my Street View and Street Art posts and some other event posts to make a best-of compilation.

Moss Side Caribbean Carnival held in Alexandra Park

Pride parade

Hulme/motorway underpass

Street art from the Cities of Global Hope campaign, spreading messages of social injustice and hardship

One of the statues created for the Commonwealth Games 2002 held in Manchester, with the Hilton Hotel & Apartments in the background.

Mega Mella held in Platt fields park

By Qubek

The giant maze of wonder that is Afflecks on Tib Street

A tiny staircase in a wall, where a pot rabbit was found sitting a week later!?

An Asian bar with veggie food

Heading toward Oxford Rd from Piccadilly (look left)

John Ryland’s Library

The Predator visits Market Street

Oxford Rd

Stevenson Square

My fave open fronted shop on Church Street for veggie and vegan food.

Tony Wilson ‘Mr Manchester’ the creator of Factory Records and The Hacienda nightclub – by Stewy

I hope you’ve enjoyed my eclectic tour of my hometown and maybe recognised some parts or found new and interesting parts of central Manchester.