Oumph! Kebab Spiced

Oumph! Kebab Spiced strips really do taste like Greek or Turkish kebabs made with traditional spices.

I’ve used them to add texture and protein to a salad; I’ve had them in a wrap with fried onion, mushroom and bell pepper with a little yoghurt sauce and thinly sliced cucumber and as a simple burger replacement topped with melted cheese, tomato sauce and lettuce.

The first word that comes to mind when describing the texture is chewy. ‘Very resilient hot dog sausage’ is a fair comparison. Be aware that this does not change, no matter how much you fry them.

I love them for their authentic flavour, versatility and yes, even the texture. A girl can only eat tofu for so long without wanting a change.

Rating 5/5

Chrissie

Gluten and Dairy Free Crisps from Aldi

I think I’ve found the Holy Grail of crisps for people with dairy and gluten intolerance!

Wait, what actually is a food intolerance?

Food intolerances, although not as dangerous as some allergies, can have a very real and detrimental affect on daily life. Sometimes causing severe bloating/water retention, facial redness, shortness of breath, bad skin, serious gut pain, bowel problems and fatigue. As a result of the body seeing this food as alien, it not only raises histamines (very stressful for our immune system) but the body doesn’t absorb much goodness from the food so vitamin and mineral deficiencies are common.

Can’t you just avoid cheese, milk, pasta and bread then?

This is exactly what I thought at first, until I discovered that Lactose (a milk sugar) and Gluten (a grain protein) are often used in flavourings to bulk them out and to get them to stick to the snack. I’ve honestly been in so many supermarkets where I couldn’t buy ANY crisps or flavoured rice cakes or popcorn, not even trusty Salt & Vinegar flavour sometimes because of either Lactose or Gluten in the flavouring. The big bags of ‘posh crisps’ tend to be a little better I’ve noticed but they are so dear!

So do they taste any good?

All of these flavours taste unique and wonderful. Ranging from sweet but spicy Serrano Chilli & Yucatán Honey along with Tomatillo Salsa, to the spicy, smokey but slightly sharper Chipotle and Lime, to traditional Sea Salt and Black Pepper and the more unusual, zingy Sea Salt and Lime. My fave surprisingly.

Any other good stuff?

Both ranges are pleasantly affordable and the textures are crunchy but not too hard, a lot like handmade tortilla chips you would get in a hipster bar.

The Specially Selected range contain 2.5% seeds, including Golden Linseed, Sunflower Seeds, Brown Linseed and Millet. The Tortillas With Spirit are made from Whole White Corn and Green Lentils.

Nom, nom…

A big handful of these dipped into hummus, chunky salsa or dairy free yoghurt are so filling and energy giving that I’ve been having them for lunch (on slower days) rather than just as a snack. Also, very nice crushed and sprinkled over salad for extra protein and texture.

🖤Chrissie🖤

September – Monthly Round-up

Food & Drink

My Bloke got me these posh teas from Twinings so I can have hot drinks that aren’t builders tea (strong, milk, two sugars) which I’m not overly fond of. I can’t attest to their waking and sleeping powers as my brain seems to function in any other way possible, than what’s expected; I can say they both taste lovely though. Fairly subtle and fresh in flavour and not too perfumy.

We are successfully growing chillies! The plant is both male and female so you get a really soft and narrow makeup brush and act like a bee and go around all of the flowers pollinating it. We planted it at the start of summer and now have seven decent sized chillies, with lots of tiny little green globes that will hopefully grow bigger.

I’ve figured out the perfect way of making a vegetarian Roast ‘Chicken’ Salad & Fahita Filling.

Style

This is the one of my trusty styles for autumn, along with a more dressy look I’ll post next month.

Of course there had to be something Halloween related as we near October. Unbelievably some of the things I wanted to include in Halloween Fashion were already sold out!

I’ve never been a big Disney Princess fan, in fact the words used to make me shudder as a kid BUT I’ve always loved a good baddie. Perfect for Halloween Disney Style.

Beauty

Here’s why this GOSH BB Cream was both a hit and a miss.

Ooh pretty! See what I thought of the Barry M Holographic Eye Toppers and what look I created using the green one.

If you want an everyday mascara which will be kind to your lashes and the environment then PHB Natural Mascara is the one you need.

Random

Even though my Bloke has never watched friends he has somehow picked up on the recent resurgence of it and has started saying Joey’s expression “How you doin’?” to me. He started off enthusiastically (and hilariously) saying “How ya doing!!!” while wiggling his eyebrows up and down. Bahahaa! Nope. I told him it’s “How you doin’?” with one eyebrow raise to accent the word ‘you’, that makes ALL the difference. He is now utterly and disarmingly brilliant at it! I seem to have subconsciously picked up on the Joey look too.

Squirrels hate me. Yup. On three separate occasions I have been screamed at by a squirrel. Walking by one on a footpath, walking under a low hanging branch and yesterday one was on a tree, next to the window and I was inside the flat! I’m starting to agree with Carrie Bradshaw that they are indeed ‘Just rats in cute outfits.’ Although, that may be an injustice to rats.

Here’s an honest and lighthearted list of 15 Relatable Ways Brain Fog Effects People. You might think of someone or even yourself as rather ‘ditzy’ or sort of ‘head in the clouds’ but it could be brain fog if they/you have chronic fatigue or various other conditions. I’ve come out with some great one-linners and wonderings while feeling brain-fogged however.

 

Chrissie

Monthly Round-up June

Style

img_3537

Find this in a pile of the Bloke’s old clothes and ‘adopted it’.

Screen Shot 2018-07-01 at 17.16.30

36465363_10156419316857487_4268244305837031424_n

I finally found two dresses, that hide my pizza handles; are a practical but un-frumpy length (at least for me) and aren’t too prom-dressy. Both from EMP.

Screen Shot 2018-07-01 at 17.51.03

When you can’t be arsed hiding your natural resting bitch face, ha! This Casual Urban Summer outfit felt surprisingly cool (before the heatwave) and also worked well with gladiator sandals for casual evenings.

Screen Shot 2018-07-01 at 17.53.18

I’ve been trying to find sunglasses like these very old ones but haven’t been having much luck, as I guess they are very early-2000’s in style. I’m also learning how to take selfies with a point and shoot camera…I need more practice.

Food and Drink

Screen Shot 2018-07-01 at 17.13.33

Someone gave us an Aloe plant about a year ago and this is the first time that I used it in a drink. It tastes so bitter but if you only use half a finger, somehow that tartness goes away when you mix it with anything sweet, like perfectly ripe strawberries.

Screen Shot 2018-07-01 at 17.21.45

The Bloke has bringing me veggie koftas by Gosh from the ‘posh’ Tesco in Didsbury. I don’t always have enough energy to make and fry my own falafel or to get to the deli before they close so these are a great alternative and last for ages in the fridge.

Screen Shot 2018-07-01 at 17.15.55

We bought some chilli seeds around two months ago and now we have this lovely gangly thing. In the morning it raises it’s leaves and then bends toward the sun in an arch throughout the day. Just after sundown, it lowers it’s leaves again and stays still. I’ve just pollinated it, with it’s own flowers but I can’t see any yellow pollen so I have no idea if it worked and we will get chilli’s.

Beauty

36223479_10156402917542487_640816503611981824_n

Hempz, Herbal range are some of the best products I’ve ever used to style my crazy, frizzy natural hair so they were a joy to review.

32736382_10156312314292487_6603196460194332672_n

These three are the most borrow-able items in my blokes bathroom and they smell great too so I thought I’d review them in Pinching My Blokes Skincare.

Lifestyle

img_3488_facetune_28-06-2018-19-11-34

I was offered a free star map from Modern Map Art and chose to get one done for my Dad for Fathers Day. Here’s my review if you want to know more.

Screen Shot 2018-07-01 at 17.16.08

I found this, which made me laugh as it was so appropriate at the time ^_^

gotham_season_4_cast_5k_2017-3840x2400

I’ve nearly finished series 5 of Gotham. It has it’s usual gangster slant and a new intelligent baddy for young Bruce. They’ve added more of a horror element this series and also the violence is less comic book and just plain graphic. I’m not a big fan of either of the above. Poison Ivy and Butch aren’t pictured here, probably for good reason, so as not to spoil the surprise of how they look.

I made this using the Geek Alphabet created by The Nifty Nerd. Such a great idea!

Chrissie

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

Sweet Freedom, Choc Pot Chocolate Spread review

DHDhGetXYAA1aCZ.jpg-large

Don’t compare this chocolate spread to Nutella, this tastes a lot different, in a good way. It really reminds me of the lovely chocolate on the top of traditional chocolate eclairs.

It’s completely dairy free and spreads really easily, even when it’s been in a very cold fridge. It’s perfect for spreading on white bread, adding to sweet pastries or eating with a spoon – 14 cals per teaspoon to be precise. ^_^

 

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.

 

Screen Shot 2017-03-21 at 18.58.30

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

 

 

 

My Lifestyle Lately – January

I thought I’d start this up again as it’s a nice way for you to get to know the person behind the blog and it’s a nice way for me to remember what I’ve been up to.

Lotus Vegetarian Kitchen

Me and the Bloke celebrated new years eve by visiting Lotus a vegetarian restaurant in Withington which is often overlooked due to it’s location. We love it there, the food (which includes the most amazing mock meats) is superb. Then we came home and watched The X Files and Grimm and enjoyed an awesome firework display by a neighbouring family from the comfort of our sofa!

new-years-day-dinner-1

The Bloke cooked us a New Years day meal which was even better than Christmas day’s with Quorn roast, al dente green beans, carrots, broccoli, sprouts, mashed potato, Yorkshire puds, stuffing, roast potatoes and veggie sausages.

screen-shot-2017-01-10-at-18-45-25

You know those thrifty programmes where they tell you to look in your parents or grandparents loft (attic) where you will almost certainly find hidden treasure? Well not exactly anything of value but I did find this vintage rucksack which would be perfect for festivals. Weirdly, no one has a clue how it got there!?

screen-shot-2017-01-10-at-18-45-14

I’ve added to my collection of the weirder kind of Funko Pops and bought Deadpool, The Cheshire Cat and Alien. As you can see Deadpool is the only person looking figure in my little collection.

screen-shot-2017-01-10-at-18-44-57

 I love it when it gets all foggy at night and makes everything under the street lights look all eery.

screen-shot-2017-01-10-at-19-53-00

I was emailed by vegetarian restaurant 1847 offering 50% off, yup half price! So obviously wanting too support Manchester veggie eateries we thought it rude not to book a table.

moon-and-church-1

trees-and-moon-1

The Bloke managed to get these cool shots of the beautiful super moon and I (using the same model of camera) managed to take a big fuzzy orange blob which I won’t bother showing you lol

screen-shot-2017-01-10-at-18-44-34

I’ve been trying to drink only gluten free beer lately but my local Coop run out so I bought this Brewdog beer (which isn’t one of their gluten free ones) instead. It’s the most fruity and refreshing beer I’ve ever had. Such a shame it isn’t one of their gluten free offerings.

 screen-shot-2017-01-10-at-19-04-16

I’ve discovered an online shop called EMP which apart from stocking some amazing rock chick apparel also do Funko Pop! and other random cool stuff. I’ve been in need of a mug for ages so bought this kawaii version of Deadpool.

So to some up my purse is a bit lighter and my belly is a lot fatter ^_^

Chrissie

Veggie, Wheat & Dairy Free Haul

IMG_4599.PNG

Raw Health Cacoa Brazilnut Bliss Spread
Not as sweet as I hoped it would be but very tasty with a strong Cacoa flavour.

Illumi Singapore Style Rice Noodles
Exactly the kind of savoury, slightly spicy flavour that you would expect from Asian noodles. After 5 minutes he sauce sauce and the noodles really thicken up.

Meridian Creamy Mushroom & White Wine Cooking Sauce
I think it was the white wine in this which threw me off a little. I added a tiny bit of sesame oil and some nutritional yeast flakes to really bring out the nutty mushroom flavour. I had this lovely creamy, chunky sauce with gnocchi and it was the loveliest dish I’ve ‘cooked’ for weeks!

Punjaban Tasty Tamarind Curry Base
This has some moderate heat to it, good rounded flavour including tomato and onion as well as slightly sweet tamarind.

Engevita Savoury Yeast Flakes
I tend not to use this in food much as the flavour gets overwhelmed easily and I don’t do baking. I love eating them in crunchy nutty/cheesy handfuls though lol

Free & Easy Green Pea Soup
The only way I can describe this is that it tasted of perfume. The herbs totally overwhelmed the flavour of peas!

Free & Easy Tomato Soup
This was a lot tangier than I expected and I sprinkled some sugar in before heating it up which made it taste more like a cream of tomato soup, which complimented the medium consistency.

Amy’s Kitchen Spanish Rice & Red Bean Soup
This was so incredibly filling and ever so slightly spicy.

The Foods of Athenry Lemon & Poppy Seed Cookie
Sweet with an undercurrent of saltiness, zesty flavour and a nice crunch. I actually preferred it a few days after I’d opened it when it had softened up a little.

Plamil Egg Free Mayo with Tarragon & Chives
The texture of mayo but slightly tart like salad cream. The (too sweet) Sour Cream and Chive Popcorn tasted great dipped into this as they balanced each other out in flavour.

Ten Acre Pastrami in the Rye Crisps
Perfect meaty, smokey flavour but veggie of course!

Ten Acre When Bombay Got Spicy Crisps
Mild, medium spiced, traditional Indian curry flavours.

Ten Acre Sour Cream & Chive Popcorn
Absolutely nothing like sour cream as it’s too sweet! Does have a very cheesy flavour though.

Nakd Pecan Pie Fruit & Nut Bar
Tasted way too much of dates and not pecans.

Raw Health Blissed Chocada Truffles
The most solid truffles you will ever eat. Fairly sweet Cacoa flavour, very chewy in a satisfying way. Just one at breakfast gave me enough energy for around 3 hours. You may want to avoid if you have loose fillings or caps though!

I bought all of this from Holland &a Barrett but I’ve seen a lot of these brands in the free-from sections of big supermarkets like Tesco, Morrison, Sainsbury’s and Coop as well as Unicorn in Chorlton and The Eighth Day on Oxford Rd.

<3Chrissie

v–v

1847 Vegetarian Restaurant

I’ve reviewed 1847 Vegetairan Restaurant twice before, first in 2013 and second in 2015 but it’s such a great restaurant I think it’s worth a mention every time I visit.

P1000265

I was hoping to get a cocktail down me before my starters had arrived, as my body was a little tense and needed to relax, however the drinks order was taken with the food order and both cocktail and food arrived around the same time. Some might say this is an improvement on the way most restaurants take orders. I was surprised to see the only cocktails on offer were either gin based or vanilla vodka based so hating gin I ordered a vanilla vodka, rhubarb and Prosecco creation, which was sweet and really refreshing.

1847 Manchester review

For my starter I ordered aubergine rolls stuffed with buckwheat, soya yoghurt (which tasted incredible), parsley and sorrel. The bloke ordered the Spring Pie, puff pastry stuffed with smoked cheddar, beetroot, greens, marrow served with cress & marjoram pesto.

My first thought when our starters arrived was “Restaurants are still using slates?” and then “My god the high pitched screeching of cutlery on slate is physically going to be painful to me” but only two minor screeches ensued so it was totally fine. Both of our starters were well balanced, a little sweet, a little savoury and thoroughly enjoyed.

1847 Restaurant Review

With my mains I ordered an American chardonnay which was really quite different to any white I’ve tasted before, fruity and slightly biscuity. Such a change from crisp fruity wines.

I ordered my usual ‘fish’ and chips (halloumi cheese) with mint peas and lemon curd and the bloke ordered herb breadcrumb oyster mushrooms, sautéed asparagus and quinoa with a roasted garlic sauce. Yes he’s got into quinoa finally! We ordered a side of roasted vegetables, with the sweetest, flavourful radishes I’ve ever eaten. I really liked that the peas were al dente and not mushy peas this time but I also noticed the portion size of the halloumi had been reduced. As traditional fish and chips often come with a slice of lemon, I wished the lemon curd had a little more zing and less sweetness but that’s just my palette. The coating of the blokes mushrooms tasted so wonderful I should have asked what the flavours were.

1847 Restaurant review

The bloke ordered the 1847 brownie, which he really enjoyed but wished it were a little more gooey inside. He didn’t think the chilli brittle was strong enough in flavour until I told him if it were any stronger it would over power everything else. He’s such a chilli freak! I went for vanilla ice cream which was simple but beautiful.

I was incredibly impressed to see so many vegan and gluten free options included, often both together in the same dish. I stupidly forgot to ask for gluten free batter on my halloumi but I don’t feel bloated today at all, which is a nice change.

_______________________________

1847 Vegetarian Restaurant, 58 mosley street (entrance on booth street), manchester, m2 3hz.

Tel 0161 236 1811

Monday-Friday: Midday-3pm & 5pm-10pm
Saturday: Midday-10.30pm
Sunday: Midday-8pm

Chrissie