Saturday, September 4, 2010

Eat Out Vegan Wales

This free booklet and Internet guide 'EAT OUT VEGAN WALES' is a must have for vegans in Wales or a Vegan visiting Wales. Areas are listed alphabetically, and it's a big help for vegan eating in the smaller towns of Wales , where one may otherwise not have known where on earth to find vegan food. It's nice to know, cafes and restaurants are being added regularly, and listings amended when establishments are less than vegan friendly.

Friday, September 3, 2010

A few of my favourite things..............................

 A look through any Vegan Etsy Team Members shop, will show a wonderful array of items all very inspirational and original. Here are a few of my favourite shops and items:

This darling kitty brooch by Mvegan5 is a wonderful example of the creative pieces you will find on Etsy.
Mvegan5 has a shop full of enchanting cards and jewellery. And for those that want something truly unique Mvegan5 offers Custom Animal Paintings.
Another favourite of mine is DaisyWares.
At DaisyWares you will find the most wonderful cruelty-free, vegan suitable toiletries, such as lip balms, face masks, body scrubs and soaps, including this amazing Lemon and Lime Soap - my favourite.
DaisyWares also sells beautiful and meaningful jewellery, some with a heartfelt message.

  MerryBluesArt has a fabulous assortment of art and paper goods that are eco-friendly, useful and very interesting.
Check out these DIY non toxic cleaning recipes. A novel idea, and handy to keep in your cleaning
cupboard for inspiration on green cleaning.

Finally I found this cute print by myzoetrope.
The print is titled "I got your back"
It's from the Forever Friends series of adorable prints.
Myzoetrope also sells cards and original art work. a delightful, colourful shop, with enchanting artwork.

By searching VeganEtsy Team, you will find a superb assortment of vegan items, something for everyone. And with christmas around the corner, maybe it's time to start looking!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Twig and Leaf Botanical - an amazing Etsy shop.

Twig & Leaf is a small, couple owned and operated business in Boulder, Colorado. They use only vegan ingredients and organically grown or wildcrafted plant materials in all of our products.
Their products are made from natural, organic plant material, without any chemical additives.
All of their packaging is RECYCLED!  Their glass jars are thick recycled glass.

A wonderful shop selling a huge variety of natural herbs and potions, that will not only be good for your body and skin but fill your senses with joy. How about a home spa treatment or a coconut body scrub? Something for every skin type.
Want to know more about this wonderful shop? then read on......................

When Kelly was young, her mom thought she would be a chemist - but she is lousy at math - and her dad thought she would be a park ranger.
I suppose she did an unexpectedly splendid job of blending the two together.
Kelly has always been passionate about plants and their properties. Somewhere along the line a few years ago, she decided this is what she wants to do with her life, despite having gone to 3 colleges and changed degrees from photography, creative writing, to elementary education and traveling and living all across the united states.
She is working on her Clinical Herbalism degree, and he is working in economics.
Kelly and Scott are both 24 years old and currently reside in Boulder, Colorado with our rescue cat - kitty face. We live in a small, beautiful cabin nestled at the foot of the Flatiron Mountains, surrounded by plum trees and ivy. What’s not to love?
Kelly has been vegan since she was 6 years old, which started out as a health issue and evolved into a conscious decision. Scott has been vegan for over two years now.
When Kelly started her business, she was just making bulk organic herbal teas, each with different health benefits, and selling them to a cafĂ© in Boulder. We are still doing that, but she decided that enough is enough with having to rely on other shady businesses for every day products. What are those ingredients? Why are they in there? What do they do? She developed her own lip balms and lotions with simple, organic ingredients, with no animal products, and wanted to share them with everyone. So came about twig & leaf botanicals. We use only organic butters, oils, and plant materials, and strive to use organic locally grown plants when we can. We believe that everyone should have access to simple, natural, and healthy products with an affordable price. We also use ALL recycled paper and glass packaging, and no plastics, because plastics contain harmful chemicals that can leak into your products - and we’re pretty sure no one wants to rub that into their skin.

Check out their Etsy Shop and browse the wonderful products, and for interesting information and lovely photos, hop on over to their Blog, wonderfully inspiring, and a fabulous blog.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

On a lovely sunny day, who wouldn't want a delicious vegan ice-cream?

Take a wafer cone - I used one from the Carousel Wafer Company which is vegan suitable, and available from Sainsbury's supermarket.

Fill it with a  mix of chocolate, strawberry and vanilla ice-cream from Swedish Glace. Available from good supermarkets or wholefood shops. Swedish Glace make a wonderful selection of non-dairy "ice-creams", all vegan and kosher certified.

Top if off with a couple of minty crisp wafer thins, I had a box of Mint Thins from Waitrose, that are vegan suitable and very tasty indeed.

The result is a very satisfying, delicious vegan ice-cream cone with chocolate mint wafers.
Being vegan certainly doesn't mean missing out on tasty treats.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Chocolate Rice Milk that hits the spot!

Being vegan, it's not always easy to find a chocolate drink that satisfies you, and lives up to ones expectations.
My two favourite are
Provamel Organic Soya Chocolate Drink
and Rice Dream.
Both companies have an excellent range of dairy free, vegan suitable products. And both companies produce a vegan suitable chocolate "milk". Rice dream is slightly sweeter that the provamel, but I enjoyed them both. As with all milky type drinks they taste better cold, so refrigerate before use, would be recommended.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Introducing a Fabulous Cake Maker and Raw Food Wonder Woman

I recently met the lovely Nicola who makes the most delicious and healthy cakes under the name of Miss P's and divine raw chocolates as Kali Star. All wonderful. Cardiff based. Nicola is expanding her soon to be empire of delicious food. Currently looking for premesis, that need to be fairly central, holding raw chocolate workshops with her good friend Emma Jones, and working at raw food retreats, Phew, a busy lady. Nicola is interested in superfoods, and raw foods. Her blog has some wonderful, nutricious and delicious recipres, and is a jolly good read too. As soon as she has found suitable premesis, she will take orders for ready made meals, bake wonderful cakes, also she's also interested in taking orders for a food co-op. So many ideas. These are indeed exciting times for Nicola.
I sampled her lemon and poppy seed cake. Nicola makes cakes with ingredients that are naturally much better for you than with refined ingredients, that go into most cakes. So they're gluten free, sugar free, and vegan. Nicola used a sugar subsitiute for sweetening (can't remember what it's called), but it works well. The cake was a good size, so plenty to share around. It went down well with friends, and was very tasty indeed.
to find out more about Nicola's plans and latest endevours check out her blog or email her at

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Totnes - a nice town to visit.

I have just come back from a short mid week break in Devon and Cornwall. Because we left it late to book b&b's we had to juggle a bit, so the route went - Totnes - Looe - Totnes, a lot of travelling.

The reason for going to Looe was to visit the Monkey Sanctuary, which I had heard a bit about and wanted to visit. the staff at the Monkey Sanctuary are friendly, and they have a lovely cafe serving vegetarian and vegan food. We had a wonderful carrot cake and coffee, perfect for the start of our visit. The monkeys are all rescued from appalling situations, so it helps to keep this in mind, as they are confined to enclosures with wire runs, and it may on first sight seem a bit concerning, seeing them confined. One of the workers gave a talk about the Sanctuary and it's rescues. It was interesting to learn more about the history of the place, and it's future plans. The layout of the Sanctuary is well thought out, and they do as much rehabilitation of the monkeys as is possible. There are lovely sprawling gardens to relax in, and a pond which is a haven for wildlife. the Monkey sanctuary do admirable rescue work, and the woolly back monkeys are so very cute.
Back at Totnes we stayed at a wonderful  B&B called Dart Villas. It was a lovely, clean, fresh place, with an amazing view from the master bedroom. The bed was very comfortable. I recommend the fresh fruit salad and porridge of the day breakfast, delicious - I've never had banana and ginger porridge before, and it was very tasty.

Totnes is a quaint town, with quite an eclectic mix of shops and people.

We found a fabulous vegetarian cafe selling tasty vegan food, called Willow Cafe:
We had Vegan paella, which was interesting and tasty, and I must look up a recipe for it! this was served with a lovely mix of vegan salads. A very tasty, wholesome lunch! there was also a nice selection of vegan cakes. So nice to go somewhere where we can get vegan food easily.

Another funky veggie cafe was Fat Lemons. They had a basic menu, which was fine for a quick bite or a light lunch.

There was a fab wholefood store, which was a decent size and carried a good range of products, situated in the 'square'. later that day we bought a vegan 'ice cream', made of coconut and rice milk among other things, and sat in the square watching the world go by.

Later we found a beach, just up the road from Blackpool Beach, which was less popular, and paddled our toes in the cold, cold water, then sat on the pebbled beach, enjoying the sea air, and peacefulness.

Altogether a wonderful break, very relaxing and interesting.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

To Happy Vegans

Just come back from a fabulous day at the Eco Veggie Fayre in Bristol. a bit dissapointed that not all stalls were 100% vegan, but the fayre was mainly vegan, so we went along. A website that I have been following with interest had a stall there: To Happy Vegans.
I was excited to meet them, and try their fabulous cakes. I immediately eat their carrot cupcake, and it was wonderful.  Moist and sweet, a perfect little cake. i have bought a mixed box, and look forward to trying them tomorrow, and maybe the next day, although i'm not sure I can be that disciplined. The two women there, were friendly, they had a lovely assortment of cakes, and I am very pleased to say the cakes are delicious!
Anyone in the bristol area, can pop along to the Eco Veggie Fayre tomorrow, as it's still on. i highly recommend it. we had a good day
eating, shopping, socialising and generally relaxing. FAB!

NOTE TO ORGANISERS: PLEASE CHANGE IT BACK TO THE VEGAN FAYRE - that way at least vegans will not have to check what's vegan at the fayre!!!!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

The courage of a dog.

This post about activists in Greece is truly amazing.

Positive thoughts for a very brave dog, that s/he keeps safe amongst the riots and danger.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

next time you're in Brighton.............

I love Brighton! I love to visit Brighton. I must get my Brighton fix about once a year, it seems that a weekend does the trick! It is veggie heaven. Brighton is a very liberal sort of city, a bit alternative a bit touristy, very gay in many ways, and a wonderful place for veggies, especially vegans.
No-one could possibly check out all the veggie places in a couple of days, but there are a few tried and tested cafes and shops, that I throughly recommend.
Firstly, a place to stay. we usually stay at Paskins Town House . The rooms are clean and bright. the owners are friendly, and they cook a very satisfying full vegan breakfast. that'll set you up for the day! A bit of advice though- it's not exclusively vegan, so try to sit as far away from anyone who looks like they may order smoked kippers or a full english breakfast- yuk!
It's a gentle walk, about 10-15 mins, along the seafront to the town. Just take in that fresh sea air, and stroll on down.
The town can get very busy, after all, it's a very well known tourist spot, so I would recommend going into town early to avoid a lot of people traffic. I prefer the North Lanes to the Laines, as the Laines tend to be a lot of expensive shops and jewellery shops, whereas the North Laines are hip, cool, trendy, all styles and prices, something for everyone, lots of cafes in the street, with colourful people watching the world go by.

My favourite shops include Vegetarian Shoes, where you can buy vegan suitable shoes in all sorts of styles, including the famous Vegan Airseal boots.

The North Lanes are full of eclectic shops, and it's easy for the day to pass by while you browse in them.
There happened to be an Art and Craft fair at Komedia, which has stalls of handcrafted items from gifts to clothes to household goods. it's held monthly, and is worth checking out, Free entry.

At Cafe Iydea we had the most delicious vegan cake and coffee. It had pieces of fruit in it, and was sweet and creamy and light, and simply divine. One of the best vegan cakes I have ever had.

Later in the day we called into Terre a Terre. Where we were lucky enough to get seats without a reservation, although it would be wise to book if you had the time to plan it. the food was wonderful, the ambiance calm, the staff attentive and polite. It was lovely.

The next day we visited V Bites. It's funky, it's fun, it's family friendly. The amazing Heather Mills has opened her very own Vegan Cafe , how cool is that! she's also bought Redwoods who sell a range of meat and cheese alternatives that are all vegan suitable.Heather has recent launched V Bites in the US, and I hear it's going very well.
Thank you Heather for having such admirable beliefs, and putting her money where her mouth is. She's a straight talking no nonsense kinda gal, who is a fierce defender of animals rights and human rights, and has done some wonderful work promoting causes and raising funds. I can't praise her enough, and hope her ventures go from strength to strength.

Brighton is the place for fashion, politics, cafes and shopping, and I love it.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Sweet Vegetable Spanish Omelette

1 medium sweet potato
1 medium white potato
piece of swede about 2 inches square
piece of butternut squash about 2 inches square
1 parsnip
1 carrot
1 onion
1 stock cube
8 tablespoons chick pea flour
5 tablespoons soya milk
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
shake of cayenne pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil

Wash vegetables, peel carrot, parsnip, swede, butternut squash and onion. scrub potatoes and cut off any undesirable bits on the skin. chop all the vegetables into small cubes, about 1 cm square or less.
Water in a large pan, bring to boil, add stock cube, add vegetables, and boil until soft (cooked).
Put soya milk, oil, vinegar and and 8 tablespoons of water from the cooked vegetables into a large bowl, and mix (with a hand held mixer if you have one). the consistence should be soft but not slack. add more vegetable water if needed.
Add the cooked vegetables, and mix with a large spoon, turning until all is covered and mixed.
cover a large, deep frying pan with cooking oil, and heat on a low setting. when hot, add the mix, and let it cook with the lid on, still on a low setting. Cook for about 10 minutes or until the mix looks to be solidifying, and going brown on the bottom.
Now this is the very tricky bit - loosen the omelette from the base of the pan, and turn over. Let it cook through for about 5 minutes more. When it loook firm but soft, it is ready.
Can be eaten hot or cold.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Vegan Apple and Cinnamon Muffins for Dogs - But you don't have to be a Vegan Dog to enjoy them!

The wonderful Molly of It's a Vegan Dogs Life very kindly donated recipe cards to the Vegan Sample Bags and I have wanted to try one for quite some time. Finally earlier today, I got baking!
I had some ingredients ready, but the ingredients I didn't have, I decided to 'make do' with very similar. The main ingedient that was different was 'Corn Flour' instead of 'Corn Meal', I sort of thought they may be different, but decided to use it anyway, as I haven't seen Corn meal recently. I discovered that they are quite different in their results. Corn flour is easily available in UK and used to make sauces, or as a thickening agent, whereas Corn Meal is more popular in USA and used to add to muffins etc. So the end result was maybe not quite as it was supposed to be, but edible nonetheless. Also I couldn't find a non sweetened apple sauce, so I used a tin of apples, and doubled the amount, it seemed to need it, but that may be due to the corn flour! I also used plain white flour, as I didn't have any wholemeal flour in the cupboard, and couldn't wait to try out the recipe. So not entirely different, but adjusted to my cupboard! I should say also, that US recipes use cups as a weight measurement, whereas UK uses grams or ounces, I looked up 1 cup= 230g. I decided to quarter the recipe, as my dogs are small, and are a bit overweight already, also I only have a small 12 cake baking tray. That's why you can see pencil notes on the recipe!
I must say, they were really easy to make, very quick, and simple. Took no time at all. I put them in the oven and left them to bake. Now this is where the corn flour mistake made a difference! they came out very pale, and a bit sticky in the middle, even though they were cooked. I had to try them, of course, mmmm not bad, just another bit, mmmm quite nice, better leave some for the dogs!
Left them to cool down. Took the dogs for a walk, to work up their appetite and make them work for their treat!
When we got back the muffins were cool, the house smelled of apple and cinnamon, lovely! I got my camera, and tried to take some photos of the dogs eating their muffins, but they were too eager to wait, and would have had my hand off! Therefore the photos are not brilliant, but as you can see they thoroughly enjoyed their muffins. look at Maggie's eyes, she wild for the muffin! And I couldn't even get a photo of Kady with hers, I just wasn't quick enough, here's the best photo I managed:
The muffins are a hit!
Thank you very much to VeganDogsLife for the recipe. I've put the rest of the muffins securely away, and will ration them, so that Kady and Maggie can look forward to them over the next few days (assuming I don't eat them first! - only joking -as tasty as they are- I'll leave them for Maggie and Kady!). You too can treat you doggie companion by baking them a fab, tasty vegan treat, courtesy of It'sAVeganDogsLife, and either download a free copy (PIF), or buy a hardcopy. Your dog doesn't have to be vegan to enjoy them, they're a healthy alternative to mass produced junk food. Also Molly's website It's A Vegan Dogs Life is a fabulous read with lots of information, adorable photos, and wonderful insights. I thoroughly reccommend it.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Beautiful Handmade Polymer Clay Beads

I recently purchased these adorable beads from ContinuumDesigns. 
They are beautiful. I love the colours and the detail. They remind me of something very sumptious and slightly vintage, kind of like a treasure. I haven't decided where I will use these gorgeous beads yet, but I know wherever i do use them, they will add a touch of opulence.
ContinuumDesigns has an amazing collection of Handmade Polymer Beads, suitable for a multitude of purposes such as jewellery, textile work, card decoration, their uses are only limited by your imagination. Everything in the shop is vegan friendly, and they store owner is a very friendly vegan who lived in the UK. She has a fab blog All Those Things , which is full of information and photos of beads and supplies. Well worth checking out!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Part three of the fabulous Vegan Sample Bag

Wow, the samples go on forever, so many lovely goodies, it's such a treat receiving a Vegan Sample Bag.

This is an amazing Flowering Tea called Shooting Star. The instructions are: place one Flowering Tea in a durable glass teapot. pour water over the tea. Admire the unfolding leaves. Allow to steep 2-3 minutes or to the desired stength. Flowering teas may be re-steeped 2-3 more times. How wonderful. Donated by sbsteas. Their website has delightful gourmet, custom blended teas, coffees, and more. An enchanting website, and a very intriguing selction of goods.

Then there is this adorable handmade card by Scrappy Rat Designs - Your Animal friendly stationer.
Scrappy Rat Designs Esty shop, is filled with the most gorgeous cards for every occassion. Scrappy Rat Designs will even design collage cards with your own pet and it's personality reflected on them.

 Next is a fabulous Peace (CND) pin, in bright pink and black from Teeny Tiny Tantrums. Their Etsy shop has a whole range of pins with funky, fashionable sayings and images. A fabulous accessory with a message.

This wonderful card from Vegan Dogs Life has a sooper-dooper recipe for dogs biscuits on the back. Although I've not got around to trying them yet, they're on my list of things to do, and I'll let you know how well they go down when I make them. I will, of course, try them myself too! Vegan Dogs Life has a fabulous, interesting Blog, with all sorts on interesting and unusual articles. Check it out for a good read.

Here is an adorable Scrabble Tile Pendant from YumYum Pendants. If the idea was to give it to someone you love on Valentine's Day, it didn't work, it was so cute I just had to keep it myself (oops!). Well made, sturdy yet delicate. their shop has so many Scrabble Tile Pendants, at a reasonable cost, it would be hard to chose just one, and you'll be tempted to buy several. Theres one for everyone and every occassion. With cute pictures, quotes, and patterns, who could resist. I want them all!

And finally, my personal favourite, a sample mini zine from Uber Duper Creations. and Ginger Card Co. The zine is packed with articles, information, artwork and more. It's trendy, it's interesting, and not just because I have contributed to it! I love reading it, and the artwork is always fabulous. The Zine focuses on a different topic each issue, so all the articles etc are based on a theme.The next one being 'Civil Rights', and I've already submitted my written piece. Can't wait for it to come out, it's gonna be a good one.

So, the end of my Vegan Craft Samples Bag, a wonderful bags of fabulous surprises. And all helping animals. A chance to treat youself and do some good at the same time, guilt free shopping is the best! Next bag out soon, check out the website for further info.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

These Caramel Chocolates melt in your mouth.

Being vegan, it is not always easy to get chocolates, let alone chocolates that taste divine. So whenever I see chocolates that look good enough to try, try then I must!
I have seen other chocolates by Celtic Chocolates, but I think mainly sugar free, and after dinner chocolate mints. Today, in my local Sainbury's store, although probably in other supermarkets too, I found the gorgeous Caramel Flavoured Choices Chocolates. I just had to have some. And I am so glad I did. They taste wonderful. A firm chocolate shell with a smooth creamy caramel centre. Hard to believe there's no dairy, they are so creamy tasting. They melt on your tongue. They are just too good. Hard to stop at just one, or two. They cost about £2.99 for a box of 12, so not cheap, but nor are they so expensive that they are prohibitive. They are super, smooth, creamy, melting, gorgeous! And so easily available. Chocolate heaven. Well done Celtic Chocolates for making a caramel chocolate that tastes delicious and is dairy free, wheat free, gluten free, egg free. Now if only they could make them calorie free....................

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Third part of the Vegan Craft Samples Bag - such a lot of goodies!

The Vegan Sample Bags contain lots and lots of wonderful vegan goods. Opening the bag is such a wonderful surprise, filled with a fabulous assortment, all from amazing talented artists and crafters. I excitiedly dipped into my Vegan Sample Bag to find this adorable card by Pandabunny:
Just in time for Valentine's day, and such a cute card. Pandabunny sells original artwork, prints, cards and more. A very talented artist, with everso cute designs.

Next out of the bag was this Lemongrass and Clary Sage soap from EatMeAlive . A curious name, I checked out the 'about' section of their shop. None the wiser, but nice to read about the shop. The soap smells divine, so fresh and inviting, I am so looking forward to using it.

The next item was an interesting, colourful packet that contains seeds to grow Ruby Queen Beet from Hudson Valley Seed Library. Inside the packet are the seeds, instructions on sowing, and a bit about the artist that designed the packet. very cute indeed.

Kittyanydots is the designer of the lovely bag that the Vegan Craft Samples arrives in. Their shop sells cute kawaii cat and animal cards, prints, mirrors and other cute and delightful things. An adorably cute selection of birds, bunnies, cats and other animals, all very beautifully designed by Kittyanydots. A real Etsy treasure of a shop!

I absolutely adore this Pink Piggy Keychain/Zipper Pull from Ladies Blend Design Studio. As well as her own website, Ladies Blend has an etsy shop, selling imaginative Jewellery, many with hand stamped messages of inspiration.

 The next item out was this sweet little mini lavender sachet from Brynnalex. I love the smell of lavender. This little lavender sachet is going in my sock drawer, to keep them smelling lovely. The shop Brynnalex at etsy .
was set up as a memorial to Brynn who tragically lost her life in a traffic accident at the age of 12. There is a site dedicated to Brynn, and shares her hopes and dreams, with photos and words. Elaine, Brynn's mother has set up a memorial fund, to grant a bursary to help one student annually, who is excelling in the arts, fashion design or journalism, just as Brynn would have been. A wonderful way to remember a precious child, who was tragically taken away from her family.

The next sample I picked out was this lovely pot of cosmetic mineral eye shadow powder from PURE natural minerals. Wonderful Iced Mocha colour, an easy colour which will go with most things. The list of eye shadow mineral make up is fantastic, with a colour for every occassion. The etsy shop sells eye shadows, concealers, foundations, all in natural minerals.

So, another look at my amazing Vegan Sample Bag and a review of the wonderful items. And you know what? There's still more to come. I look forward to dipping deeper into my fabulous Vegan Sample Bag and seeing what delights I pick out next!