An Afternoon in Manchester’s Northern Quarter

 

I think the reason me and the bloke haven’t gone on more city breaks for long weekends is that living in Manchester can sometimes feel like a city break in itself.  It has a vibrant city centre including shops, bars, restaurants and unusual fun things to do, axe throwing, climbing, trampolining, mini golf with cocktails, Crystal Maze and Escape Rooms anyone? It has little mini town centre’s like Chrolton, Didsbury, Fallowfield and Denton with high street clothes shops, quality charity shops and independent cafe’s. For a city it also has surprisingly large parks like Alexandra, Debdale and Heaton park.

It was my birthday recently so we went to V Revolution again. Is it possible to get tired of yellow stretchy cheese, too many sauces at once and fried/pickled things? Probably not.

If you ignore my double chin, I swear this burger was as big as my head. The Bloke commented ‘It’s a shame that your jaw isn’t hyper-mobile as well’ with a wink. I tried my first ever Long Island Iced T and was a little disappointed it didn’t taste anything like traditional iced tea but I did like the watery raspberry flavour. It would certainly do the trick on an empty stomach, even if you did eat a literal tower of food afterward.

I nipped in Forbidden Planet and the ever-friendly Travelling Man to pick up some comics thanks to Free Comicbook Day. I chose these four as I thought they were all pretty individual and something I might want to check out further.

 

I could have spent hours documenting the cute and sometimes thought provoking, wheat-paste art that was on every lamp post and bollard. But you know when you’d rather enjoy the feel of a place, rather than obsessively recording it?

I decided to try some new things and the lady who works at McCall’s Organics is so friendly and knowledgable about everything, you don’t feel silly asking for ‘kefoocha?’ and ‘Kimishi?’

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I bought Kingfisher Aloe Toothpaste as my teeth are getting more sensitive. My gut is also on the sensitive (read big giant diva) side so I got the above drinks and kimchi which have live cultures that help digestion.

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As the queues for gelato were astounding, I decided to treat myself to these dairy free dreams that McCall’s keep in their fridge.

 

 

 ❤ Chrissie

 

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3 of the Best Vegetarian Sweets 


Jealous Grizzly Bears taste so much like soft gummy bears but fruitier! It’s the fruitiness that makes them so refreshing.

Candy Kittens Sweet Peaches are the most more-ish sweets I think I’ve ever tasted. Realistically sweet, with a hint of milkyness, they taste more like peaches and cream and a have a chewy texture to them. They have achieved this without using milk or gluten.

Good Stuff Summer Peaches are soft and sweet and taste like fruit punch.

I was going to add Veggie Haribo onto the list but if they make some packets veggie, why not make all of them veggie?! I do buy them sometimes (companies like that need encouragement from consumers) but I want to support smaller totally cruelty-free companies more.

Which are your favourite veggie sweets?

Chrissie

Foodie Review – Veggie, Gluten free and Dairy free Items



grano Vita, Nut Luncheon 

This is probably as weird as you are thinking it is. It has a mushy texture and tastes like un-roasted cashews. I tried to cook it under a halogen hob but it sort of dried up and died. I tried to fry it in a pre-heated pan but it absorbed all of the oil and fell apart. I tried eating it cold on a butty but the texture reminded me too much of posh cat food for me to make it past the second bite. Major fail.

natures energy meridian Korma Cooking Sauce

This is a very tasty sauce, with a flavour reminiscent of korma and a medium-thick consistency but it does not taste creamy enough to pass for a dairy korma. I added ground almonds to create a sauce which tasted a cross between a korma and a pasander, which worked really well.

Natures energy meridian tikka masala Cooking Sauce 

I have to confess I’ve never had tikka masala before (I’ve always thought it would be better with chicken, rather than tofu or veg) but I can tell you that this one is a creamy tomato based sauce with coconut cream. It remindes me of Heinz Cream of Tomato Soup if it were a little spicy and not quite as sweet. I just had the second half of the jar with rice and pea as I didn’t have anything else in the cupboards and it was such a nice light tea for summer.

Natures energy meridian green pesto (What is it these days with no capital letters in names?)

I’m the Goldilocks of pesto, I either find it too oily or too dry, too salty or not salty enough. I have found the perfect one (by Sacla) but this one is also acceptable. It’s packed with nuts (and therefore protein) and really fills a hole if you are hungry. I found I had to add a little oil and salt to it for it to be just right.

grano Vita Pepperoni 

Obviously this does not have the fat of a pepperoni and as a result it is much more dense and heavy.  This does taste exactly like a sausage though, which is sort of creepy and cool. I would definitely buy this again for when I need something more than just a snack.

Ten Acre, How Chicken Soup Saved The Day

Taste exactly like roast chicken crisps! I didn’t realise how much I’d missed them until I tried these. Teamed with a can of cola, these are the perfect quick and simple hangover cure.

Which one’s would you like to try?

Chrissie

 

Sacla Italia Free-from Sauces

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I thought I’d share these with you as I’ve never made a sauce from scratch in my life but I can knock up a pretty decent dish, with these gluten and dairy free sauces. I usually add pine nuts to the pesto when using on pasta or I just add a little pesto on my pizza or on ‘cheese’ and crackers. The risotto I have just the way it is, as it’s amazing. To the tomato sauce, I add some black olives and halved cherry tomatoes and have it with pasta or gnocchi.

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