Can a BBQ 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.

Great intro to Jackfruit but a pretty crap ready meal if you eat it as-is, without doing anything to it.

Rating 2/5

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

Trying to get Naturally Healthy Skin in Just One Month – Week 3

I’ve realised that the first two weeks were about finding the best products for the job and how best to use them. See week 2 here.

On the rare days I wear makeup I use the Vit C Daily Glow (by foaming it up, rather than massaging with the scrubby bits). I only use the Pixi Glycolic or The Ordinary Lactic Acids every other day. I use the micellar cleanser, moisturiser and oil everyday.

  • The Body Shop, Vitamin C, Cleansing Polish
  • Neal’s Yard Remedies, Micellar Cleanser
  • Pixi! Glow Tonic if at home or The Ordinary, Lactic Acid
  • Ecologue Bamboo Face Pads
  • The Body Shop, Vitamin C Moisturiser
  • Neal’s Yard Remedies, Rosehip Oil

Monday

I can see that I’ll be sticking to the above skincare routine from now on as there’s everything I need but it’s still nice and simple. My skin is looking slightly radiant even when I’m not standing in full sun, which is a first. Had crackers and ‘cheese’ with caramelised onion for dinner. Salt and pepper tofu for tea with chilli oil.

Tuesday

Had quite a few beers in the evening and forgot to take my makeup off because I forgot I was wearing any. Doh! Had veggies and cashews in black bean sauce with egg fried rice for tea. At least that was healthy!

Wednesday

Even though the Rosehip oil doesn’t smell great, I prefer it to the rose scent my other oils/balms have and it’s supposed to even out the texture of skin and really nourish it. We’ll see!

Spicy beans, falafel, iceberg lettuce, humus, Violife ‘cheese’ chunks, peanuts and lime pickle for a picnic type tea.

Thursday

The Body Shop Vit C Cleanser removes makeup so easily and leaves my skin so soft and moisturised. Never had a cleanser as good as that before! Had mushroom and onion stir fry with Satay sauce for tea.

Friday

Making a bigger effort to drink enough water, not just energy drink and ‘milky’ coffees. Skin feeling very grainy today as I’ve not used either of the exfoliating acids for the last two days. So doing full skincare routine today.

Had kebab strips with rice, sweet corn, peas and green beans with Soy sauce for dinner and then with chilly oil for tea.

Saturday

Before, when I’d massage in any skincare my face would get so flushed it would stay red for about 30 minutes but now it doesn’t react at all! After weeks of massaging it looks more toned, with a lot less water retention.

Sunday

To sum up at the end of the third week

  • A lot less redness
  • Less puffy and more toned
  • Actually radiant
  • Smoother
  • Balanced so it’s not going from dry when I wake up to slightly greasy on my T-zone before bed anymore.
  • Free-from pesto and pasta for tea.
  • If anyone has any tips, recommendations, or opinions, I’d love to hear them!

    🖤✨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✨🖤

    Monthly Life Update – January

    My memory is so crap for these type of posts, I need to start writing this stuff down everyday.

    Lifestyle 💁🏽‍♀️

    Check out these eyebrows! I’ve fully grown them out so I can tweeze them back into a coherent shape easily. Ive given this top to charity as I constantly had to lint roller fluff off it. Ain’t no one got time for that!

    Carrying on with trying to minimise my impact on the planet, I bought these Sustainable Essentials from Ecologue.

    Me pissing around and doing The Dolly Parton Challenge.

    After 1 wrong order (and a correction) and 2 stunning deliveries with flower delivery company Bloom and Wild, I ordered Lillies and white roses. The roses died long before the lillies even opened. I’ve learned my lesson and shall be buying from Tesco…or the garage from now on!

    Skincare 🧖🏽‍♀️

    The most effective deodorant I’ve ever used is Ohii, Charcoal Natural Deodorant (which I like to think is pronounced ‘Oh, eye?’). It’s vegan, yay! But not refillable, boo!

    Glycolic Acid is my friend once again in – the incredibly effective – Pixi, Glow Tonic. Cleanses, brightens and smooths without being too drying.

    Stressing Less 💆🏻‍♀️

    I’ve noticed that if I don’t pressure myself to go to bed and wake up at a reasonable time, I sleep much better. I go to bed around 1.00am when I’m actually tired enough to sleep and anytime I’ve had enough sleep is when I get up. That’s reasonable for me.

    I’m also stressing less about what is supposed to be happening when and tend to just be content with what is happening now. Not caring about being in control of everything and just letting stuff play out is a lot less stressful!

    Wearing 👚

    I tried to get some style basics in the sales and had mixed success but I like these posts because they give you an idea of various brands sizing and quality etc.

    Eating 🥗

    Having three meals a day and eating a small breakfast before my body desperately needs fuel, so I have a clear head and the energy to put together something nicer later on.

    I’ve gotten back into salad/deli type foods like humus, pickles, roasted peppers and tomatoes, crackers, seeds, nuts, stuffed vine leaves, chilled tofu (fried in toasted sesame oil and then chilled makes it taste like chicken breast for some reason) and so many condiments. There’s half a shelf full of them in the fridge lol BUT I’ve discovered my fave noodle place has stopped doing sushi! 😱

    Greggs have launched their Vegan Stakebake and Vegan Sausageroll, so although I’m cheating with the gluten in the pastry, I still HAD to try them. Sadly I ran out of change and could only afford the stakebake, which was Delicious!

    Reading 📖

    I couldn’t get my head into reading books over Jan so I’ve been reading blogs including Roses Have Thoughts , Square One Notes , Mae Polzine and Cosmopolitan, Red, and Vogue, which was in a two-for-one deal surprisingly. I’ve read some great interviews, features, tips and reviews.

    Watching 👀

    Better than Human (with English subs) – this was similar to, but better than the Humans. Not as preachy and waster pacing and more relatable characters I thought.

    Black Mirror series 2 – I really enjoyed this because it wasn’t as heavy as the first but still very poignant.

    Black Lightning – Pop corn for the mind, with extra cheese. The quality of the fight scenes, the character arcs, the editing and the pacing of the story were all wildly uneven. The characters were likeable and the soundtrack consistently good though.

    Santa Clarita Diet – featuring Drew Barrymore as a zombie and a wife and Mum. Once you get passed the clunky acting and awkwardly timed jokes in the first series and it just gets better and better. Brilliantly bizarre!

    🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

    What I’ve Been Up To Lately

    Well, the answer is not much as I’ve had a cold for a week but luckily the evening before it started me and the bloke went to the pub. We love The Gateway in Didsbury as it has friendly staff and punters, free wi-fi, lots of cheap but tasty veggie food, a nice gluten free beer as well as many guest beers and ciders. Plus, the loos are down stairs so it’s not like navigating that Escher painting trying to find them.

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    I was too hot and restless to sleep in so I got up and ‘painted’ my hair again. Literally just slapped it on the front bits with a tint brush, then read a magazine for an hour and then sat on the bathroom floor, leaned into the shower and rinsed it off.

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    ‘Discovered’ a great takeaway called Saki in Droylesden on Justeat who do veggie sushi, this lovely mixed tofu salad, Gyoza dumplings and ramen. Okay, I’m getting hungry now…

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    I can take no credit for this what-so-ever, it’s all down to my Dad!

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    I found this plastic glass at the back of the cupboard which has inspired me to make banana and strawberry milk shakes, with a splash of almond milk.

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    I changed my avatar to look all summery (they didn’t have a streaky hairstyle, just posh balayage) and then, of course, it pissed it down for the rest of the week.

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    Came across this great graphic on Instagram and gave the little guy an activity to do because disabled people also do things.

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    To use up some stuff I made a deli bowl of Mediterranean salad, pomegranate bits, mixed seeds, stuffed vine leaves, the ever important inclusion of pickles, and pieces from a giant block of silken tofu I cut up into big chunks and fried in sesame oil (tastes like chicken).

    Over the past four months I’ve been watching The Goldbergs, then Schooled, Speechless and Young Sheldon and The Big Bang Theory nearly every evening. I’m at a bit of a loss now that two have ended for good, one might not be coming back (Speechless) and two are in between series.

    I seem to have replaced them with the gameshows Tipping Point (based around the 2p waterfall arcade machine), Pointless, Egg Heads and The Chase. My general knowledge is pretty impressive now and it’s massively helped my recall and logical reasoning. Oh and there’s series five of Black-ish starting!

    Coming up soon I review green mascara and purple lip gloss from The Body Shop and two Rockabilly blouses from Hell Bunny.

    Chrissie

     

    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

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

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    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.

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    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.

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    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

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    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.

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    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.

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    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

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    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.

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    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

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    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.

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

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    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