Sneak a Peak Into My Kitchen to See What Vegetarians Who Are Gluten and Dairy Free Really Eat!

I’ll be showing you what’s in my cupboards and freezer in a moment but first, a little context…

I think because the majority of food that the UK produces is milk and wheat based, it’s easy to think there isn’t anything else. All you have to do is look at other cultures and continents, Asia being a specifically apt example, to realise there is so much choice! Coconut milk instead of cows milk; gram (chickpea) flour instead of wheat flour and pea protein or tofu (bean curd) instead of meat are three of my most used swaps.

Pantry

(Clockwise)

Coop Free From noodles – I add chopped up veggie sausages and tomato pasta sauce with added tomato paste to make Spaghetti Bolognase.

Nairn’s Wholegrain Crackers – Much crunchier than original oat cakes

Grano Vita Mock Duck – Apparently it can be eaten cold on a sarnie or hot with your Sunday lunch but not tried it yet so take take my word for it!

Asda Free From Fiery Chilli Rice Noodle Pot – These are perfect for when you need something really quick.

Alpro Hazelnut – OMG this has to be the best milk substitute ever.

Pine nuts – Adds crunch and flavour to pasta with red or green.

Amy’s Kitchen Chunky Tomato Soup – I cannot believe this is dairy free and it is even richer with nutritional yeast flakes added for a cheesy/creamy flavour.

Free and Easy Chickpea and Lentil Curry – I’m glad they haven’t called this Daal because it doesn’t taste like the authentic Indian curry, more like a Mexican dish but it is lovely and very filling.

Tesco Free From Red Pesto – (I often get Saccla brand as well) for spaghetti bolagnaise or pizza.

(Out of shot)

Huge bag of rice, Genius Seeded Loaf.

Snack Cupboard

(Clockwise)

Kettle Chips, Sheese and Red Onion – I could eat these ALL day!

Eat Real, Lentil Chips, Chilli & Lemon – I love how chunky these are and that you get a robust flavour from the lentils along with the added zingy flavour.

Kind bars (just seen) – These are made of different kinds of nuts held together with dark chocolate, peanut butter or (contains dairy) caramel. Gives me lots of energy quickly.

Roasted Salted Peanuts – Great to put into Satay Sauce or Nasi Goreng Indonesian Chilli Salad or a Waldorf salad but also great to snack on while drinking beer. Cheers!

Pom-bear – Does anyone else buy a huge bag of these when on self-catering holidays abroad?

Tesco, Free From Onion Rings – So much better than those little 20p bags you used to get as a kid. I’m quite gobsmacked by them being free-from actually.

Ten Acre, The Story Of When The Cheese Met The Onion – Apart From the highly pretentious and, let’s face, weird tittle, these are delicious! You won’t believe they are dairy free. Their Pastrami flavour is fantastical well.

Freezer

(Clockwise)

Linda McCartney’s Rosemary and Red Onion Sausages – Not the best veggie sausages but certainly not the worst I’ve had, these are lovely with gravy; not so much for a sausage butty with brown sauce though.

Applewood Vegan Smokey Cheese – Wow! How on earn does a vegan cheese taste this good!? It even grates and melts perfectly.

Oomph! Kebab Strips – The best meat alternative I’ve ever found.

Deliciously Ella, Cauliflower and Lentil Dahl – Nope! Lovely flavour but tastes more like a mild Thai curry made with coconut milk. Tiny for the price but I like them breakfast/lunch on colder days.

Quorn, Comforting Cottage Pie – I add a bit of tomato or HP sauce and have this with steamed veggies.

Amy’s Kitchen, Veggie Lasagne – I add a tiny bit of Sriracha sauce and nutritional yeast to this. Really nice with the spinach inside.

McCains, Potato Smiles – Crunchy on the outside and fluffy in the middle. 😊

What do use as substitutions and/or what tinned or packet ingredients do you mix together to make a meal? Have you tried any of these and do you have any recommendations?

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

Can This Jackfruit Ready-meal Really Work?

I decided to get this ready meal as an introduction to Jack Fruit. I’ve tried other things from Tescos Plant Chef range and been woefully underwhelmed so this was more of an experiment for me.

Cooked (supposedly) after only 35 minutes in a pre-heated oven…

It looks so watery! Lets poor some of that away and sprinkle some nutritional yeast on the top. I hope the sauce is a nice flavour and that there’s a load of jackfruit underneath the potatoes….

Oh shit, it’s stone cold in the middle!

After another 15 minutes in the oven…

This tastes really nice! The BBQ sauce has a strong flavour and isn’t overwhelmingly sweet. Some of the potato is crispy with a nice flavour and the red pepper works well, not sure where the onions are though. I wish there were more Jackfruit, although there are some big chunks underneath the potato.

The texture of the Jackfruit is like pulled pork and it’s really absorbed the flavour of the sauce. It cooks much better in big chunks as the smaller pieces are a bit mushy.

The answer to ‘Can this Jackfruit Ready-meal really work?’ is Not without a lot of faffing about!

Rating 2/5

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

Trying to Get Naturally Healthy Skin in Just One Month – Week 1

My Skin History

In my teens and early twenties I had terrible skin, with lots of tiny bumps under the surface as well many active spots. I wouldn’t say it was full blown acne but it was close enough for my GP to say it was hormone related and to put me on pills aged 16. They did nothing. Then at 28 the spots were mainly on my T-zone and only around four at a time by now but I’d still look bright red without full coverage foundation, so I went on the contraceptive pill. It helped my crazy oily T-zone and therefore my spots, as well as being a handy form of birth control. Age 30 after a lot of research online about hormones and inflammation and healthy diets etc. I took a food intolerance test. I tested a big positive to milk and gluten. After cutting way down on gluten my tummy and face was less bloated and my eyes less puffy. After cutting way down on dairy my skin cleared completely! I stopped waking up with a bright red face as well, which was such a relief!

These days I usually have fairly blemish-free skin but it’s actually very dry and dehydrated. The texture has always felt grainy (even though you can’t see it) as if my skin doesn’t produce enough natural acids to melt away the dead skin. I also go randomly go bright red every now and then, due to dust allergies and water temperature sensitivity.

Goals

  • Stick to my skincare routine (exfoliation/cleanse, tone, serum, moisturiser, oil)
  • Hydrate enough in general
  • Eat more fruit and veg
  • Avoid ALL dairy for a month (surprisingly tricky)
  • Blemish free skin
  • Even toned skin
  • Moisturised skin
  • Hydrated skin
  • Plumper skin

Products

  • Murad, Age Reform, AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser
  • The Ordinary, Lactic Acid 5% Superficial Peel
  • Nip + Fab, Dragons Blood Hyaluronic Acid
  • The Body Shop, Vitamin C Moisturiser
  • Murad, Essential C Moisturiser, SPF 30
  • Herbal Dynamics Beauty, Revit Age, Concentrated Face Balm
  • Love Beauty Foods, Clay Face Scrub

[I will use The Ordinary Lactic Acid Peel if I’m too tired to use the Murad exfoliater as it takes a lot of massaging and rinsing. I also have a weird sensory-avoidance thing about splashing my face with water some days!? I will use the Murad moisturiser if I need any sun protection.]

Week 1

Monday

My skin is very dry and dehydrated. My oil/balm seems to just be sitting on top of my skin. Need to keep on top of my healthy eating better.

Tuesday

Still feel dry and dehydrated, even though I’ve done all of my skincare routine but at least I look a little glowy. Existed on watered down energy drink and takeaway today so not the best but it was vegan and so dairy free.

Wednesday

I have 7 spots which could be due to previous dairy intake. After three days of gentle exfoliation, my skin is absolutely sucking up the moisturiser and facial balm. Had a big protein salad and drank all of my water bottle.

Thursday

Made a fresh banana milkshake with a very ripe banana, some hazelnut milk and a stick blender. Spots are still lingering and I’ve run out T-tree gel and Witch Hazel so I applied a little Savlon antiseptic cream instead!

Friday

It actually worked! Spots look much calmer and smaller. I somehow managed to forget to do any of my skincare. I got up mid-afternoon and just couldn’t keep track of what time or even day it was, all day.

Saturday

Woke up looking rather red, which I think is because I’ve been sat on the sofa that gets four hours of sun all week. This might be a little much for my skin when it’s got the Glycolic or Lactic Acid on it. I’ll be applying the Murad moisturiser with sun protection the next time I do this!

Sunday

Before I’ve even applied any skincare my skin feels softer and smoother (apart from my stubborn nose) than I have ever felt it before, as if I’m wearing a really good primer! I’ve (mostly) been keeping hydrated and I’ve been eating little salads before meals to get some fresh veg everyday.

I’ve no idea what that big chunk of blonde hair is trying to do!?

Week 1 Conclusion

I was so sceptical that I would stick to this routine with my brain fog but I did, apart from just one day. It made me feel better about myself, because I’m actively doing something for my health and well-being.

After just one week, I didn’t expect my skin to feel and look good before I’d applied any products but it’s already working and my eye bags (I’ve had since I was a teen) have virtually gone!

The scar I have below my nose and mouth has flattened out more and looks smoother too.

I’m going to introduce a micellar water from Neal’s Yard Remedies next week to be able to cleanse without water if I wish and to get rid of any left over exfoliator gritty bits left around my hairline, which is where I think some those spots came from.

I forgot to do the face mask oops!

As always I love hearing what you think and if you have any tips, advice or similar experiences.

💛✨Chrissie✨💛

Monthly Life Update – March (Yup, I know we’re well into April)

March was a bit of a non-month really. Me and the bloke started our quarantine, apart from him having an hour in the park every few days. It’s a big park with wide paths and wide gates so no need to be anywhere near anyone else. A Submotion Orchestra gig (dub, orchestral, hip-hop) got cancelled which was sensible but sad. Luckily we hadn’t booked anything else or made plans to go anywhere else.

Lifestyle

In January I made a secret resolution to avoid gluten as it effects my breathing and doesn’t help with my naturally challenged memory and concentration skills, as well as making me bloated. I’m doing better with the above which is wonderful and I’ve have discovered I have a little square chin, rather than the two (or even three) rounded chins that I normally have. Bonus!

At first I thought the Jay was screeching at me for food, until I put some out and it ignored it. It carried on screeching right next me. I went into the kitchen at one point and noticed it stopped. I came back and it started. I realised it had looked at me, sat in my living room and decided I was too close to the branch that it had chosen and was shouting at me to go away! Erm…..!?

This is Little Groot, the huge chilli plant we cut right back to a tiny stump when it stopped giving us chilli’s. It’s a tenacious little fecker and has come back with a vengeance, which we hoped but didn’t really expect.

I find the trend of young women shaving the peach fuzz off their cheeks such a shame. It’s natural, your skin isn’t supposed to look as smooth and shiny as a Barbie Dolls and why are we adding yet another step in the relentless quest to look perfect’? Here’s me with my fluffy face (you can see it on the right hand side in contrast with the shadow) which most people find really sweet.

Style

I went through a pastel-goth moment (perfect style to cheer up grey, cold weather) and found this huge metal quote pin from Crazy Crafty Chick Club.

I’m still rocking my custom Airforce 1’s and find that they go with basically everything. I can fit my orthotics in them and I can wear my ankle brace with them too. If you need spacious, stable but fairly light weight footwear, these are dream shoes!

I’ve finally got all of the styles of boots I’ve ever wanted so I will not be buying any more, ever. The chunky pair are from Koi and the slimmer pair are from Newlook (detachable wings from Koi) and everything is vegan.

Beauty

I stumbled across this independent soap brand in Tesco of all places as it was the only soap left but it’s the best soap though, how odd!? Vegan, cruelty free and genuinely natural. They do a range for pets too!

Cheered myself up with a sparkly coral mani.

Food

I bought this beautiful vegan porcini mushroom sauce and gluten free gnocchi in a huge (and perfectly timed) shop from Ocado just before all of their delivery slots got maxed out.

First salad of the year! With Violife Greek Block (supposed to be feta, tastes exactly like goats cheese instead) and Gosh! Mediterranean Red Pepper Falafel. I do get boxes of cheap falafel mix from the corner shop as well but these are quick and easy for when I’m fatigued.

Amy’s Burritos are the perfect size between a snack and a meal. This one is the tofu breakfast scramble and there are several others with rice and one with cheesy baked-beans. So good!

I tried Violife extra cheesy block and ‘ham’ slices, which had such similar textures and even flavours, that they blended together to create one weird flavour in my sandwich. Fail! The ‘ham’ is perfect on a sarny with pickled onion/cauliflower or a teeny bit of mustard. The cheese is perfect on a sarny with spring onions or on a cracker with sandwich pickle.

What a strange, almost surreal month that was.

🖤✨Chrissie🖤✨

Limited Edition Barry M Wildlife Eyeshadow Pallets

Barry M have collaborated with the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation and artist Emily Lamb to create three limited edition, vegan Wildlife pallets (£7.99). The special thing is that 20% of the net profits go straight to the specific animal on the pallet you have chosen. The tiger pallet has neutral and very warm tones but I’ve always loved pangolins and rhinos so I chose those two. They happen to really compliment each other too.

The Pallets

The Pangolin is the brightest little pallet that I’ve ever seen!

The Rhino is much more neutral but shimmery.

The Pallets

These prove that pallets made out of cardboard can still be sturdy and durable. I love how light and transportable these are and the small but functional mirror is a great touch.

The shadows

The immediate colour pay off isn’t quite as much as I was expecting from such velvety soft shadows and vibrant colours but to be fair, they are very solidly pressed in the pan. They do glide on and are very easy to build to get the depth of colour you want.

The pigment doesn’t shift easily so they aren’t the easiest shadows to blend but because I have oily eyelids and hooded eyes I prefer that they stick around.

The matts have great depth and even the neutral tones show up against my warm skin tone. The shimmers are beautiful with ‘Powerful’ in the Rhino pallet being an actual pan of glitter!

Applications

Ideally I would use the shimmers for my lid, inner corners and under the highest part of my brow. I’ll use the matts in a rounded shape above my lid and outer corners. It would look stunning with just two colours applied all around the eye, like teal and bronze or purple and pink, which is what I’ll do most often.

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

‘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✨🖤

The Best 4 Natural Deodorants

Our bodies need to sweat so we can cool down, rather than passing out. Usually we don’t need to sweat excessively, unless we are pushing ourselves physically or we’re in a hot climate and we certainly don’t need pong, yes even with natural deodorant!

Ohii Pure Stick Deodorant in Rose or Citrus Tea 72g £10

This very chubby stick uses charcoal to absorb sweat and treat odours. I recommend the Citrus Tea scent to Male you smell as fresh as a mountain top. Don’t use this if you are wearing a black bra or top as it can leave white marks if you spread it on your body very thickly.

Amphora Aromatics Roll-on Deodorant in Grapefruit & Cedarwood 50ml £4.90

There are three scents available but I find this unisex scent so sexy that I bought a vegan perfume which smells exactly like it! It doesn’t contain any aluminium, synthetic perfume or alcohol.

Your Nature Life Stick Deodorant in Sandalwood & Bergamot £7.95

A stick with oils and butters to nourish skin and arrow root powder to absorb sweat, this push up deodorant stick is packaged in cardboard only. Available in six scents, I love the sexy warmth of the Sandalwood & Bergamot scent.

Ku.tis Natural Deodorant £6.59 55g

This vegan deodorant is made with sunflower oil, rather than beeswax and comes in a biodegradable or recyclable cardboard tube. Available in five very mild scents, this little stick is really handy to pop in your handbag.

_____________________

All of these deodorants are cruelty free and work reasonably well but do need reapplying toward the end of the afternoon/early evening. I’ve not found any of them to block my pores or irritate in anyway. Another big plus I’ve noticed is that after a night out, even though I’ve been sweating, my top still smell great. I hope I’ve made your natural deodorant journey easier, lovely people!

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

Discovering – Little Soap Company

One good thing about all of the big brands selling out is that smaller, independent brands get chosen by shoppers instead. I found a soap from the Little Soap Company for sensitive skin which my face and body love!

Little Soap Company was created ten years ago by Emma Heathcote-James who wanted natural, organic and cruelty free soap to be available to everyone when doing their normal weekly food shop. Her soap is available at Tesco, Waitrose, Ocado, Whole Foods and Sainsbury’s.

Their products are recognised as Vegan, Cruelty Free and organic are free from:

  • Detergents
  • SLS
  • Alcohol
  • Parabens
  • Sorbates
  • Silicones
  • Sulphates
  • Synthetic fragrances
  • Synthetic preservatives

The companies products include:

  • Bar soap
  • Liquid soap
  • Soy candles
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Gift sets
  • Pet shampoo
  • A Mum and baby range
  • A range especially for men
  • This has come at the perfect time for me as I want a British, independent brand where I can shop online for simple blocks of soap and natural shampoo and conditioner that are reasonably priced.

    What’s one of your favourite natural skincare/haircare brands?

    🖤✨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✨🖤