Really Easy Way to Make: Dairy-free, Gluten-free Mac n’ Cheese

Hi lovely people!

I was having a very Dyspraxic day (knocking everything over/dropping everything/getting stuff tangled up/bumping into stuff/tripping up/behaving more drunk than when I’m actually drunk!) so upon arrival to his flat, my Bloke surprised me with (gluten free, dairy free) Mac n’ Cheese to cheer me up.

Ingredients:

Any own brand Free-From (gf) Pasta

@freeandeasyfoods (df) Cheese Flavour Sauce

Rice or Oat Milk

1 heaped tbl spn Nutritional Yeast

A pinch of Garlic salt and Pepper

Nommm 😋

✨✨🖤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✨🎄

First Impressions of Ruyi Vegetarian Restaurant

Finally visited Ruyi Vegetarian House (Withington) who do delicious vegetarian and vegan food, specialising in mock-meats.

They are doing the #eatouttohelpoutscheme during the week.

The general standard of cooking was fantastic and the staff (even though they were so busy) were so attentive. Really relaxed, friendly atmosphere too.

I ordered: Peking Ribs (lovely), Salt and Pepper Tofu (quality), Mixed Veg (subtle seaweed flavour).

My Bloke ordered: Peking Ribs, Satay Chicken (amazing) and Stir Fried Mushroom (lovely).

They’re moving to Chorlton very soon, which is a very trendy and unique place to be. I do think it will be such a shame for this part of Withington that another veggie/vegan place has gone, along with the closure of Boho Utopia cafe recently.

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

20 Tips for Living a Greener, More Sustainable Lifestyle

TIPS ON LIVING A GREEN LIFESTYLE

  1. Recycle/Upcycle
  2. Reuse/Repair
  3. Buy organic
  4. Reduce plastic consumption (use wooden/fabric/glass/metal alternatives)
  5. Avoid single use plastic
  6. Support independent companies
  7. Buy local produce
  8. Campaign/fund raise for wildlife and nature
  9. Drive an electric car or cycle or use public transport
  10. Use cruelty free and natural skincare, selfcare and household products
  11. Buy from and donate to charity shops
  12. Sell quality items on Depop and donate the money to smaller charities
  13. Use fabric tote bags for shopping
  14. Grow your own veg (growing a little tomato or chilli plant or regrowing veg ends like lettuce on your windowsill counts)
  15. Avoid fast fashion as much as possible
  16. Get clothes altered and learn how to hem and use darts to alter size/shape (fairly easy but makes a huge difference).
  17. Buy your electricity and gas from Good Energy/Ecotricity
  18. Use the phone provider Eco Talk
  19. Turn off the light when you leave the room
  20. Wear another layer, rather than turning up the heating

Just do your best and don’t stress!

💚✨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✨🖤

Asda Plant Based Tika Masala V’s Wicked Kitchen Tika

I’ve recently discovered that I love Tika ‘curry’ sauce, which is the sweet and creamy Westernised version of an Indian curry (very similar to Red Thai curry as it happens). A few days after my discovery I found that both Asda and Tesco do Tika veggie ready meals so I bought them both.

Asda Plant Based, Tika Masala with Pilau Rice 400g

Vegan (so dairy free) and gluten free this curry is half chickpea and cauliflower Tika Masala curry and half strongly flavoured pilau rice. It Microwaves throughly (in an apparently recyclable dish) within minutes and retains a decent texture.

The tikka sauce is delicious and as authentic as any that I’ve had from a restaurant. Sadly, the perfumed flavour of the rice (which contains a large bay leaf and cloves) totally overpowers it, to the point where I can’t eat the two together.

Sadly, this meal didn’t really fill me up and I was looking for a snack only a few hours after. I seem to metabolise carbs surprisingly quickly and need a decent amount of protein for lasting energy.

Manchester City council only recycles plastic bottles, nothing else so I’m using the bowl as my everyday microwave dish now.

Rating 3/5

Wicked Kitchen Cheeky Tikka 380g

Gluten, vegan and dairy free this is 2/3 Saffron rice and 1/3 curry with pea protein chunks (like chicken), roasted chickpea and sweet potato, with a topping of green beans.

I didn’t particularly notice the sweet potato as it was so similar in flavour to the gorgeous tikka sauce but I appreciated the green beans. I loved the texture and flavour of the pea protein and wished there was more of it. The saffron rice was so authentic and tasty that I didn’t even mind the large quantity of it.

As I don’t need anymore draw separators, storage boxes, microwavable containers, lunch boxes or spare-change tubs, the large plastic container is now in landfill or a giant rubbish heap somewhere. Sad but true.

After eating this I didn’t feel peckish again for around three and a half hours so I would recommend this as a full vegan meal, with enough carb and protein content for my body.

Rating 4/5

….

Result

I really need to learn how to batch cook Tikka Masala and Saffron Rice for myself so I can freeze them and make my own ready meals!

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

Trying the Autumn Menu from Pizza Express

Me and the bloke decided some Italian inspired food was well overdue and booked ourselves in with Pizza Express in Piccadilly to try their new Autumn menu.

I did a little fun poll on Twitter and Instagram (which got a whole 8 participants lol) to decide what to wear. Urban/Street 20% , Alternative 40%, Mix it up 40% Fancy-ish 20% so I went with a sailor tattoo inspired rockabilly blouse, a little black shrug, kickflare fitted jeans and feminine but chunky-soled boots. I would never have thought of putting all of them together but it worked!

Pizza Express’ new veggie dishes include a starter of Creamy Baked Garlic Mushroom with vegan mozzarella or goats cheese. Battered Halloumi bites are a new side. A main of Calzone Verdure with roasted peppers, aubergine and courgette with spinach and smoky tomato harissa. The Carbonara Romana Pizza with pancetta, mozzarella and garlic oil on a béchamel base, baked with a free-range egg. Risotto con Funghi creamy white wine risotto with Portobello mushrooms. Two chocolate deserts and an Orange & Cacao Gin Buck cocktail.

For starters I got Tomato, mozzarella and pesto (I asked for the vegan mozzarella as I love it but was told it wasn’t an option, even though it was an option with the blokes starter!?). He got the new Creamy Baked Garlic Mushroom which he thought was well balanced and tasty but not worth over £6.00! We got a huge Superfood Salad to share which is always delicious.

 

I ordered the new risotto which was delicious and very filling but not heavy. I didn’t get why it had so much rocket on it though. I had halloumi in the fridge at home so I  ordered (my fave side) polenta sticks with honey and mustard dressing. The bloke got his usual understated and under rated pizza with olives, capers, sultanas and red onions. Sounds weird but it works!

Staff were helpful and friendly and service was speedy as usual. Our only complaint was that the temperature was way too hot, even though me and the bloke were only wearing thin tops and jeans.

What would you have eaten?

Chrissie

Wicked Kitchen Naked Burrito

I noticed this Wicked Kitchen Naked Burrito (400g  £4.00) by chance in Tesco next to the Quorn section. I figured this would be a handy ready meal bursting with flavour.

I liked the different textures of the rice, shredded Oyster mushrooms, kale and beans and found it very filling. Here I’ve added veggie pepperoni slices, a torn up Violife ‘cheese’ slice, sliced roasted peppers, gerkins, lettuce and green and black olives. Considering this is based on a Latin dish I didn’t notice any heat, just very mildly spiced tomato rice and hardly any jalapeños.

Good Points

The fresh lime wedge was a nice touch

Incredibly quick and accessible snack

Full of protein, just half of this is really filing.

Fair price for the large amount that you get and the quality ingredients

Vegan

Gluten free (for me personally this is a huge plus)

Bad Points

Would have been more practical at half the amount and price, in cardboard tray. I think this maybe too expensive for some people to include in their weekly shop and not easily recycled in a lot of cities.

I’ve had 75p boil-in-the-bag Mediterranean rice more piquant than this – snooze.

Rating 4/5

Chrissie

Kirsty’s Classic Margherita Pizza Gluten & Dairy Free review

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It’s unusual for me to find a pizza that is GF and DF, especially one that has a fair amount of toppings. I found this in Tesco.

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Studies have found that our gut health does directly relate to our emotions because they are connected by the vagus nerve, which transmits signals between them. Ever been really nervous and had a slushy feeling in your stomach or received bad news and felt your stomach drop? Ever eaten something you know doesn’t agree with your stomach in the evening and then had really chaotic anxiety dreams? It does make you wonder!

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They could add more cheese around the edge but the sauce is delicious and the thin base is lovely and crispy so I wasn’t too bothered. My only complaint is that the ‘cheese’ was too sweet. Nice flavour to it but I had to add salt and pepper to make it more savoury.

In my gas oven I had to put this on the shelf that’s above middle but not right at the top, rather than the middle as suggested. I also had to put it on gas mark 7 (higher than the temperature suggested) and leave it in for five minutes longer. Frustrating at first but I’m glad I persevered.

The bloke cooked his in a microwave-combi oven and followed the instructions exactly. It came out perfect!?

Rating 4/5 (depending on oven)

Chrissie

 

Dairy Free, Veggie Goodies!

As I’m vegetarian with a food intolerance to dairy and I use cruelty free household products I thought it a good idea to sign up for The Vegan Kind lifestyle box. Here is the dairy free yumminess it contained.

 

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Clockwise from top left

Terra Vegane, Easy Cheezy

This is amazing! The texture and the taste is so similar to cheese sauce and it was really simple to use. I added rice milk rather than soy milk, as suggested on the packet as I think it tastes more like milk.

Hoots

I’m gutted to tell you that I’ve lost these. I have no clue where they could be! I love crunchy, savoury foods so I looked forward to trying them all week but they are no where to be seen. Humph.

Clearspring, Organic Sea Veg Crispies

You don’t get very many paper thin sheets of this seaweed here but it is tasty and crispy. I wish they were a little thicker and there were more of it. A good source of iodine but a bit pointless as a satisfying snack.

Melting Pot, Handmade Madagascan Vanilla Fudge

As a kid on holiday my parents would always buy fudge so I’ve fudged my self around the UK coast essentially…Yeah that does sound wrong, ha! Anyway, this is the creamiest, most delicious fudge I’ve ever tried, which is quite a feat considering it’s dairy free!

Sarelle

Yes, this sounds more like a birth control pill than a chocolate bar but it’s absolutely delicious. Think of this as the dark chocolate version of a Bueno or a Forrero Rocher.

Oatly, Oat Drink in Chocolate

It got to a point were I stopped buying chocolate milk shakes because the chocolate flavour had such a bitter taste but this is lovely and sweet. It’s another wonderful example of “I can’t believe it’s not dairy” which all brands can achieve if they bother to try.

Garbanzo (chick peas), Cajun Kick

I completely understand why gram flour is made with chickpeas now. These are so dry and floury that when you start chewing them they absorb all of the moisture in your mouth. Not at all pleasant. I also think Graze have a better idea by mixing crunchy ingredients together like peas, corn and nuts and complimentary flavours (such as chilli and lime) to create snacks which are more interesting in flavour and texture.

Chrissie