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Lifestyle, Vegan, Vegetarian

The Vegan Kind June Box

June 7, 2014


I had completely forgotten that my #TVK8 box was on it’s way, so I was pleasantly surprised when I answered the door to the postman to be greeted by this month’s box. If you haven’t seen any of my other Vegan Kind posts, it’s a monthly subscription box that has 4-5 Vegan and cruelty free products in, usually snacks and nibbles with at least one lifestyle and beauty product. Each month, 10p of each box is also donated to a charity and this month they have chosen The Fox Project, which you can read more about here.

Inside #TVK8


Ten Acre ‘The Story of when the Cheese met the Onion’ Crisps (RRP £0.85)

I do enjoy discovering gluten free Vegan crisps, and what better way to kick the box off than with a packet something that ticks both of these boxes. Although the best thing of all is that there was only one packet in the box, because the calorie content at a wopping 201 calories per 40g bag is enough to last me a week in terms of snacking! Having said that, the ingredients are fairly minimal, the packaging is adorable and so is the Ten Acre website. After a heavy gym session, I am defo tucking into these bad boys.

If you fancy passing some time and checking out their story and adventure filled website amongst some of their yummy Vegan crisp flavours, head on over to


Sativa Shakes Strawberry and Banana Protein Powder (RRP £2.99)

Gem and I may have mentioned in some of our posts a) we are currently on a massive fitness drive and b) we are trying our hardest to overcome the last few Cheese hurdles in becoming 100% Vegan. One of the downsides for us of leading a 98% Vegan lifestyle, is our lack of Protein and Iron, but the past few months we have been switching to raw smoothies and juices, cramming in as many fruit and vegetables as our breakfast cups will hold to get out 10 a day. We’ve also been experimenting with Hemp powder, Chia Seeds and a few other super foods to try and boost our protein pre and post workout. I’m quite sure that this little packet will come in handy, it says to mix the contents with 200ml of water or preferred beverage, but I will probably add this to a smoothie and only use a quarter of a packet at a time. If you are looking for Vegan Protein powder, I would definitely recommend taking a look at Sativa, their prices are competitive to the average protein powder provider, and they have a lot more information on their products if you are unsure on what to purchase.

For more products, visit the Sativa website here.


Mr Organic Sun Dried Tomato Pesto (RRP £2.99)

I’m very much a “DIY” person when it comes to cooking and try to avoid the use of jars or processed food if I can help it, so I may have judged just a little when this little jar was lifted from the box. Having said that, it’s gluten free, Vegan (obviously) and only has natural ingredients, of which there are only 8. I can definitely live with this and will probably enjoy drizzing this over some Zero Pasta or adding it to some home made Tortilla Pizza’s. This is also an ingredient for this month’s recipe card. A little pricier than I would usually pay, but probably justifiable if you are trying to lead more of an eco-friendly lifestyle.

Click to view the Mr Organic Website


inSpiral Raw Chocolatey Superfood Bites (RRP £1.30)

I first tried some of the inSpiral kale crisps which came in an earlier Vegan Kind crisps, and although the flavour was a little too salty for me Gem really enjoyed finishing off the packet. These are little granola bites packed full of fruits, seeds, nuts and whole grains, described as the “ultimate organic fitness food” with seven vegan protein sources, I really hope we get on. In theory, I should thrive off these and even though I love fruit and nuts, there is something about the texture and taste of sultana’s and dates that I absolutely despise, which is a bit rubbish since most Vegan and Organic food is packed full of these ingredients. Alas I’m going to dive in feet first with an open mind. They also have banana granola bites which seem a lot more up my street so perchance I’ll be making a ‘superfood’ purchase from their website soon. Did I forget to mention that the packaging is biodegradable and can be composted at home? Love it!

Get composting with their product range here


Peppy Galore Diva Toner/ Refreshing Facial Spray (RRP£4.95)

Hello there natural organic facial toner/cooling spray for sensitive skin. Where have you been hiding all this time? I absolutely love finding cruelty free beauty products and it’s also a big part of my subscription to The Vegan Kind, amazing products like this really do make it worthwhile. As I am someone who’s skin is more temperamental than a pubescent incoming teen, I really do have to be careful when applying products, because if my skin has decided that actually it’s Monday, I don’t really fancy the moisturiser you’ve been using for the past three weeks today – I generally end up with inflamed and irritated skin and with a face that could probably pass for an intimate picture of a variety of STDs. (Thanks skin, I really love you too). The less alcohol and nasty ingredients, usually the better for me and I can apply safely, knowing  I’m not going to be mistaken for a tomato half way through the day. This contained rose water which gives it a beautifully refreshing fragrance and feels so delicate on my skin. Not forgetting the fact this can be used as a facial mist too! Kerching … hello extreme festival heat, meet my new friend!

Check out the Peppy Galore site for a range of no nonsense, no nasty products.


Finally, this month’s recipe card is for a “Pineapple Sunshine Deep Crust Pizza” which looks delicious and includes “cashew Parmesan” – a nice Vegan way for me to put my nutritional yeast to use. Of course this will be living in my Vegan Kind folder which is sent to you on your third box.

I’ve really loved this month’s selection and I genuinely can’t wait to tuck into all of these delights and mostly, enjoy the facial toner at some upcoming festivals. To subscribe to The Vegan Kind, simple head over to their website here, each box is £10 + £2.99 p&p and is absolutely fantastic for discovering some hidden Vegan gems!

Have you subscribed to this box? Do you have any particular Vegan fav’s?

Totally hellbent for Vegan facial care just in time for festival season




Lifestyle, Vegan, Vegetarian

The Vegan Kind May Box

May 9, 2014


I had high hopes and the biggest of plans for blogging this week whilst Gem was away in Rotterdam, but after coming down with the flu, I’ve conserved most of my energy for getting through the day job (perks of being self-employed!). Unfortunately this has meant the blog has taken a bit of a back seat whilst I’ve been indulging in a pre-school-esque 8pm bedtime.

Although I’m still under the weather, today I opened the door in my dressing gown, with my eyes half closed and clutching a tissue to the postman, who rewarded my efforts of making it down the stairs with this months The Vegan Kind #TVK7 box.

Those that usually read my Vegan Kind reviews will know that it’s a monthly box with 5-8 Vegan and cruelty free products in. They also donate 10p of each box to a charity of which this month is “Give a dog a bone or an animal a home” you can check out their website here.

I have to say I’m delighted with this month’s treats and can’t wait until my body has learnt how to taste again so I can indulge like an ethical piggy. I’ve also noticed that they have ditched the brown shredded paper that my carpet is oh so familiar with – as much as I enjoyed tipping it into the paper recycling bin, I haven’t missed picking up all the bits I dropped on the floor!


Hectares Sweet Potato Crisps in “Piri-Piri flavour” (RRP £1.00)

This was first out the box and I was super pleased. I’ve recently ditched the potatoes altogether (despite having a batch growing in the garden) in favour of the Sweet Potato, which counts as a portion of veg, despite the starcy and carby white potato. I’m also a fan of savoury snacks and am currently into Popcorn and oatcakes to get my snacking fix and keep the calorie intake down. These look delicious and are Gluten Free which is an added bonus. The downside to this 35g packet is the 172 calories and 16.4g carbohydrates, but for a little treat once in a while, I’m willing to forgo the counting and enjoy some delicious Sweet Potato crisps. I nearly always share my Vegan Kind goodies with my other half Brains, so it’s not all bad!

Check out their range here.


Wholeplus Hot Pot in “Vanilla Spice” (RRP £1.80)

I am a fan of Porridge, but since giving up milk I don’t eat cereal which includes Oats because I find the taste of Soy Milk a little too bitter when it’s not in a nice cup of tea. I was glad to see that that this little packet was indeed wheat free, dairy free and soy free though. Packed with scrummy natural ingredients like Oats, Dates, Coconut, Goji berries, Vanilla bean and mixed spice you simply add boiling water. Although I hate raisins, I can just about deal with dates when they are in food and am looking forward to testing this out. If I like it, I reckon it will be a lovely treat to take along to festivals instead of the usual boring breakfast biscuits we end up with. (Perks of being Veggie at a festival!)

Wholeplus seem to have a great range of snacks, including “Toppers” which are naturally sweet toppings that can be added to food for a bit of a boost – it seems to me I may have just found some new ingredients to add to my morning smoothies!

 See the Wholeplus products here


BIO D Concentrated Non Bio Laundry Samplee (RRP £4.45 for 1L)

I can’t say that I get excited over the prospect of laundry detergent, but it’s something I have to buy regularly so it’s nice to see the options available when trying to buy things a little more ethically. This liquid looks enough for one wash, and the price per litre if roughly the same that I’d pay for my good old Tesco laundry gel. My favourite thing about this though, is that the packaging is recycled and can be recycled again and the detergent itself has a minimum impact on the eco system. If it cleans my clothes, then I am all in! I’ll be trying this out when I feel up to doing the washing this weekend.

See some of Bio-D Company’s other products


Scoff Sweets Chocolate Fudge (RRP £3.50)

I am a fan of fudge, and I’m even more of a fan of people that make Vegan and Vegetarian friendly sweet treats. (Long live the Haribo) Yummy looking dairy free dark chocolate fudge a delicacy to be savoured for when my taste buds work. Who said being a Vegan was hard?

To see all the cakes, truffles and fudge you can get your Vegan chops around, check out their website.


Dormouse Tea Company Loose Leaf Tea and Tea Bags (RRP£1.60)

I’m English and I thrive off tea. Therefore I always get super excited when I receive tea samples. I’ve not had loose tea for years and I was given a packet of Jasmine Tea Leaves with some DIY tea bags that look like the most fun thing to play with ever! They have a beautiful range of loose tea’s on their site and although they don’t have any of these adorable DIY tea bags, they do have adorable tea strainers and tea pots. I’m all up for supporting small business’, especially when it’s something like tea! I’m definitely going to pick up a few of their other teas to carry on the leaf tradition.

If you fancy a different kind of brew, head on over to their site


Golden Apple Hazelnut sand Peppermint Raw Biscuits (RRP £3.95)

A savoury biscuit and a perfect addition to a salad. This is the accompaniment to this months Vegan Kind recipe card which is a Gluten Free SCD and Veggie Roasted Butternut Squash Dip. I’m certainly intrigued by the “Hazelnut and Peppermint” flavour of these biscuits which are made from seeds and spices and dried without the use of preservatives or additives. The ingredients list is probably one of the simplest I’ve seen, with only natural ingredients and although I probably wont be pairing these with a Roasted Butternut Squash dip, I may invest in a few other flavours to add to my salads and dip to my hearts content.

Check out their range of raw biscuits here

I’m really pleased with my box this month and there are lots of delicious things for me to try out as usual. If you want to try out The Vegan Kind box, they are just £10 per month and £2.95 p&p, simply visit their website.

Totally hellbent for all the Vegan sweet treats


Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian

Vegan Banana Flapjack Recipe

April 14, 2014

I came back from my week away to Scotland to a fruit bowl full of blackened squidgy bananas – the only way to resolve this, was to use them in some baking! This is a Vegan recipe, great for using up old bananas, or if you aren’t a banana fan, you can leave them out completely and add a few more oats or dried fruit. This recipe also features my newly acquired Coconom Coconut Sugar from The Vegan Kind box number 6! Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups of porridge oats (approximately 180 grams) (I used just over 1 cup – If you want gooey flapjacks, use less Oats, but remember if you add more oats, this will bump up the nutritional values)
  • 1/2 cup of Soya Spread (approximately 125 grams)
  • 1 tablespoon honey ( swap this for golden syrup or equivalnt for Vegan flapjacks)
  • 4 tablespoons golden syrup ( alternatively you can just use honey)
  • 1 over ripened, squidgy banana you would like to save (mashed)
  • 2 tablespoons Coconom Coconut Sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla essence
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon

Nutritional Information: If like me you like to know the calories and other info for everything, here is a rough estimation of the
Nutritional Values:
Calories: 113
Fat: 9.4g
Saturated: 2.2g
Sodium 52.8mg
Carbs: 6.7g
Sugars: 3.5g
Proten: 0.6g
Iron: 1.1%


banana-flapjack-sugar Preheat the oven to approximately 180 degrees or Gas Mark 4/5. In a saucepan, add the Soya Spread, Syrup, Honey, Sugar, Vanilla Essence and Cinammon. Heat gently until the Soya Spread and Sugar has melted. banana-flapjack-add-oats Turn off the head and add your mashed banana and oats to the pan. banana-flapjack-mixture   Mix the banana and oats thoroughly into your saucepan. banana-flapjack-tray Spread the mixture onto a lined baking tray and place in the oven for 15-20 minutes. banana-flapjack-serveOnce browned, remove from the Oven and cut into slices – I’ve sliced mine up into 15 mini gooey chunks, which is what the Nutritional guidance is based on. Allow to cool or eat them whilst warm! This is a great easy recipe that can be adapted to include lots of different fruit, perfect for nibbling on and great as a basic mix to make some naughtier breakfast flapjacks. I hope you’ve enjoyed this recipe and if you’ve tried it yourself I’d love to see some pictures and see your comments below!

Totally hellbent for using up all my soggy bananas


Lifestyle, Vegetarian

The Vegan Kind April Box

April 11, 2014



After my week away to Scotland last week with an almost full on Internet ban, this was a great box to come home to to ease me back into blogging after catching up with all my e-mails!

This is my third Vegan Kind box – for those that haven’t seen this, it’s a box that contains around 5-8 products that are all cruelty free and Vegan – they also donate 10p of each box to the chosen Charity for the month. It’s a great way to discover new things that fit in with a cruelty free lifestyle. This months charity is The Excellent Adventure Sanctuary for Guinea Pigs in East Hunsbury, Northampton – go take a peek, the pictures are guaranteed to put a smile on your face!

Onto the contents:


The first thing to excite me about this box is that I finally received my recipe binder. This months recipe is a Salted Chocolate Tart – this looks very yummy and I may have a bash at this when my waist line has recovered from my week away! That aside, my previous recipe cards now live in this folder and it remains on my recipe stand in the kitchen amongst my others. If you do sign up to this box, you’ll receive the binder in your third box but you receive your recipe cards each month regardless.



Rebel Kitchen Choco Mylk 200ml (RRP £1)

I’m definitely excited about giving this a try. I’m a fan of milkshakes, although these days they are a rarity – I currently only drink Soya milk, although have tried Almond milk in the past. The bitterness of the Soya milk isn’t overly idea for full on milkshakes, so the addition of coconut milk and spring water sounds very appealing. It’s completely dairy free with no additives or preservatives and also comes in other flavours. With 102 calories per drink, and 2.8g of fat it’s definitely a good snack alternative to a bar of chocolate or a shop bought shake. The price is also fairly reasonable at £14.73 (not  including postage and packaging) for a pack of 12 from their website which works out at roughly £1.20 per carton. You can take a look at their other flavours and purchase a taster pack from their website here.

vegan-kind-april-14-coconut-sugarCoconom Coconut Sugar 250g (RRP £3.25)

Wow – what a beast of a bag this is! I adore baking and always try to experiment with lower fat and sugar alternatives as well as trying to keep my recipes Vegan. Each teaspoon contains 15 calories, no fat, 9mg sodium and 4g of Carbohyrdrate (Sugars) compared to Granulated Sugar which is roughly 15 calories and 14.2g of Carbohydrate. Another interesting thing about the sugar is that allegedly due to the minimal processing of the product, it retains its nutritious components which include a verity of macro and micro nutrients. Having said that, I’m probably not going to start having sugar in my tea any time soon but I am very eager to start baking with this!

For more of their products and also some great recipes, check out the Coconom website here.



Freya Luna Lip and Body balm 10g (RRP £3.50)

This little treasure was almost overlooked, hiding in the deepest darkest depths of the box. Seeing the word Lavender instantly excited me though. I’m  massive fan of most things Lavender-esque, not only does it smell beautiful but as a natural ingredient it’s also great for skin, whether this be for dry skin or sunburn. The thing I like most about this pot is that it can be used seemingly anywhere including lips and face, which is an added bonus. I have a feeling this is going to fit right into my handbag when I need some on the go moisture. On opening the tin, it smells absolutely beautiful and feels a little oily to the touch, but not in an overly greasy way. It glides onto the skin and seems easily absorbed. I reckon a touch of this either on your lips or your chest before bed will also help relax you ready for sleeping! Very impressed with this small but mighty tin of 100% natural balm.

To look at some of their other products, check out the Freya Luna website here.



Landgarten Organic Dark Chocolate Soya Snack 55g (RRP £1.99) 

Since transforming my eating habits, Dark Chocolate has long been one of my staples when I just -have- to have something sweet. I find that one square of Dark Chocolate, gives me as much satisfaction as a whole chocolate bar, plus the added bonus of most Dark Chocolate being Vegan. This tasty looking snack is gluten free and rich in Magnesium, Calcium and Iron – although last time I tried Roasted Soyabeans I wasn’t overly keen, I’m willing to embrace this snack and give the beans another chance!

Landgarten have a fabulous range of Organic, Gluten Free and Vegan snacks that are well worth taking a peek at over at their website here and with 10% off for Vegan Kind customers, I may stock up on a few other nibbles!


Creative Nature Sublime Seed Bar 38g (RRP £1)

Whenever I try most healthy snack bars, they are usually crammed full of dates and raisins – and although I don’t mind the taste of dates, the texture really makes me screw up my face. This seed bar however contains roasted peanut, seed and hemp and is packed full of protein. Although not something I’m going to reach for as a lazy Sunday snack, definitely something I’m looking forward to trying after a hard session in the gym when I need a quick snack to pick me up. It does contain dates and sultanas but I’m crossing my fingers that I can’t actually taste or feel the texture of these so I can enjoy some healthy protein.

They have a few other interesting selections on their website here but nothing that jumps out at me.




Clearspring Miso soup on the go 8g sachet (RRP £1.29 )

I keep hearing about Miso soup and I actually had a packet in my cupboard from another box that I still hadn’t used. This was actually a replacement product as I should have received “Clearspring Sushi Nori” which unfortunately for me, looked quite interesting – a mix of Dried Sea Vegetables, probably right down my street. Alas, I received the Miso Soup and on the very same day my box arrived had decided to experiment and try the packet from my cupboard mixed with some noodles and vegetables. I made the wise decision of pouring the paste version into a jug first and adding water so I could taste it first – since I didn’t want to ruin perfectly good vegetables by throwing everything into a pan. Thankfully my wise decision paid off, since it tasted absolutely disgusting. Now I’m sure there are many people out there who really love Miso soup of all varieties, but it really isn’t for me. This little packet will be going to Gem’s partner Roode since I’ve heard he’s a bit of a fan!

If you fancy trying this out for yourself, simply visit the Clearspring website.

I’m actually really happy with this month’s box, its’ definitely opened me up to a few new brands which I’ll be going back to in the future. This is the main reason I decided to sign up to The Vegan Kind, in the hope I would have my eyes opened to some of the well hidden Vegan gems out there and I have to say, it’s doing exceptionally well so far. I’m already looking forward to my next box and definitely intrigued as to what recipes they will throw in. For some of our Vegetarian recipe posts take a look here.

If you want to try The Vegan Kind box, you can do so for just £10 per month and £2.95 p&p, simple visit their website

Totally hellbent for soup that isn’t Miso and charities that help Guinea Pigs

– Pants




Lifestyle, Vegetarian

The Vegan Kind March Box

March 8, 2014


The Vegan Kind is a new monthly Vegan lifestyle box. It promises to deliver between 5-8 products each month that are all cruelty free and Vegan – they also donate 10p of each box to the chosen Charity for the month. This is my second Vegan Kind box and I’d almost forgotten about it’s arrival until it turned up yesterday morning. The first thing I did when I eventually got into the box, was read the info sheet that came with it. This month 10p will be donated to which I am over the moon with! One thing I like about this box, is the simplicity. Cutting back on unnecessary packaging and leaflets (as much as I love both my Birchbox and Glossybox mags) I really don’t feel guilty for indulging in this simply pleasure and discovery new, ethical products.

Inside the box:harissa-spices   Flavour Magic Harrisa Powder (RRP £3.00) Another favourite about this box, is the recipe card you receive, pre hole punched and after a few boxes, The Vegan Kind will send you a little ring binder to store them in. The first product out of the box was this packet of Harissa blend. Packed with lots of spices – cumin, chill, coriander, garlic, mint, caraway, cayenne pepper and salt – this is sure to fit in right at home amongst my kitchen spices. This months recipe is a Lentil Burger and Sweet Potato Fries which also features the Harissa powder, which I think is a really nice touch and gives me something to try this out with. A generous 70g packet will also go a long way! chickpeasOnthepulse Hot Chick – Spicy Roasted Chickpeas (RRP £1.00) This cute little packet is crammed full of chickpeas spiced in Jamaican Jerk. With 213 calories and 10.7grams of fat it ranks pretty highly on the foods I wouldn’t normally go for, but the 45 gram serving is quite large, and I reckon for the purpose of snacking, a handful here and there couldn’t hurt, especially since it’s high in fibre and 100% natural with no nasty ingredients in. I do enjoy chickpeas so I’m definitely intrigued and can’t wait to crack these open for some snacking of the natural kind! greed-frog   Greenfrog Natural Washing Up Liquid (RRP £1.69) This is an enormous 500ml bottle – and though I have to admit I’m a bit of a Fairy Washing Up Liquid snob, I’m really excited to try out a plant based, bio-degradable and eco-friendly alternative. Infused with essential oils such as Lemon, which contains a natural anti-bacterial – I’m also guessing that this is going to be much kinder to my skin. I also really like the smell – not too lemony but just enough to smell fresh. Perhaps now I won’t let the dishes pile up as much! raw-choc-brownie Pulsin Raw Choc Brownie (RRP £1.91) Allegedly the most chocolate-y brownie using 100% natural ingredients. Wha’ts not to like about this? And actually, looking at the ingredients, I can’t really see anything that would argue this. 50 grams contains 195 calories, 8.7 grams of fat and 27.1 grams of carbohydrates. Not too bad considering the ingredients which include: Dates, Raisins, Cashew Butter, Almonds, Raw Cacao, Brown Rice Powder, Brown Rice Malt, Cacao Butter, Sea Salt and Green Tea Extract are definitely a far cry from the usual sugary contents that most snacks contain. Oh did I also mention it’s dairy free, no added sugar, gluten free and no trans fats? Another -almost- guilt free pleasure. coconut-cookiesSAF Express Raw Coconut Cookies (RRP £4.29)

I know for some people, it’s a bit of a love it or hate it thing, but I definitely -love- coconut. Seeing these, made my face light up and I have no idea how I’ve resisted the urge to nibble on them. Four fairly decent sized cookies – mint, mixed berry and plain. No nutritional details on this packet, but the ingredients look fab – Coconut flakes, Agave, Almond nibbed, Raspberry, Blackberry, Grated Lemon, Himalaya salt, Water, Mint oil and Spirulina. I do enjoy trying new things, especially if they are natural and not processed so this is yet another snack to enjoy without feeling too bad.

Overall, I’m really happy with this month’s box. Although it’s quite snack heavy, I really don’t mind. I’m always on the look out for healthier alternatives to boost me through the day and I can’t wait to start cooking with the Harissa spice mix. I was still quite undecided at the last box and I think a lot of this is due to my masses of beauty boxes I receive, so it was a little different to that and I really had to remind myself of this. But I’m definitely enjoying having my eyes opened to all the Vegan products available out there!

To get your hands on The Vegan Kind action for just £10 per month and £2.95 p&p, visit their site here.

Totally hellbent for cruelty free living and guilt free snacking



Recipes, Vegetarian

Vegetarian Chicken & Mushroom Pie

February 18, 2014

The only time I ever struggle to eat as a Vegetarian is when I go out. Whether it be something as simple as restaurants presuming that fish is eaten by Veggies, going to Subway and getting that irritated look when you ask the server to change their gloves, only to find they have been using the green handled knife to cut tuna mayo sandwiches or deciding to stop off for a quick snack on the way to a gig and you’re offered a pitiful selection of soggy cheese sandwiches on thick white bread. My point here is that anything Meat can do, Veggie food can do too and yes I may be biased but for the most part Veggie food does it better! I know lots of you really enjoyed my last recipe, so I thought I would share another quick one with you all.


For the pie:

  • 2 Quorn fillets/Vegan equivalent (tofu perhaps?)
  • Approx 100grams mushrooms (any kind and the weight really is negotiable)
  • Half an onion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 100ml Vegetable Stock (make sure this is Vegan/Veggie as some stock brands are a little sneaky)
  • 150ml Soya Milk
  • 50ml Soya Cream (if you are watching your weight, you can use more water, less milk and skip out on the cream)
  • Roughly 6oz shortcrust OR Puff Pastry (Depending on how big your pie dish is, mine is roughly 8 inches)
  • 1 tablespoon Soya Spread
  • 1 tablespoon of Plain Flour (You can also use Gluten Free Flour)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Fresh or Dried Parsley

If you want to make Shortcrust Pastry:

  • 3oz Soya Spread
  • 6oz Plain Flour
  • 5-10mls Water (Add water slowly until you have a stiff dough)
  • Pinch of salt (Add a little sugar too if you want sweet pastry)


If you want to make a quick Shortcrust pastry, simply rub the spread into the butter, add the pinch of salt and slowly add the water until it forms a dough. You don’t want it too soft and sticky, I usually leave mine in the fridge for a little while after I’ve made it. I’m using Puff Pastry today because it needed using and had already defrosted, but you’ll see in the photo above there are two round bags near the front. One is diced frozen onion and the other some is Shortcrust Pastry that I threw in the freezer, you don’t need both for the recipe, it’s just to show you an example of the size I would use.



The first thing I usually do, whether I use Short or Puff pastry is line my pie dish and bake it in the oven for about 5-10 minutes. Be conscious that Puff Pastry … well … Puffs. That’s Okay, just pop a hole in the top and it should settle down by the time you come to fill the pie, I find it just stops the bottom of the pie from becoming a soggy mess. I’ve also left a little over the edges, just so it doesn’t shrink into the pan.


Whilst the pie base is cooling, I fry some onions, add my garlic clove (I buy frozen garlic which is much easier and once you have finished it up, you can fill it back up with crushes garlic cloves yourself and chuck it back into the freezer). Once the onions are soft, add the Quorn, or your replacement and mushrooms.


Scoop the mixture out onto a plate and turn the heat down low. If you haven’t made up your stock already, do it now and have it ready to go. I’m just using a Vegan stock cube in some boiling water.


Now we can make the roux, this is why you should ensure your pastry base is already out of the oven so you don’t get distracted and a) burn your pastry or b) ruin your roux. Add the Soya Spread and flour into the same pan you fried your mixture until it forms a smooth paste.


Very slowly begin to add your milk, it’s best to do this with a whisk, but I don’t have one so a spoon it is! Once this reaches a smooth consistency that is more liquid than paste, you can add your cream, parsley and stock. Bring to the boil slowly! Don’t just “give it a quick blast” as Brain’s likes to do.


Once it’s boiled, you should notice it has formed a thick sauce like consistency. Turn off the heat and add your mixture from the plate, mixing thoroughly.


Pour into your pie dish. I like to use a little bit of Soya Spread rather than egg just around the edge of the pie.


Top with the rest of your pastry (I didn’t measure my pastry here and ended up glueing two bits together, which is complete karma for using pre-rolled) and make a slit in the top. If you want to be adventurous you can make some little leaves for the top, but I was saving my scraps for later.


Place in the oven at approximately 180 degrees or Gas Mark 4. You can brush it with egg or milk if you so desire, but whenever I do that I end up with burnt pie, I think that’s mostly to do with the fact that I’m un-blessed with an electric oven which tries it’s hardest to ruin things for me. Cook until Pastry has risen and is a nice golden brown. Usually between 15-30 minutes depending on the temperament of your oven.


Take it out and serve – if you are only cooking for yourself then make these in some foil pie dishes and freeze them before putting them in the Oven, we only have a quarter each and save the rest for lunch the next day.


I hope you like this recipe – but the best part is still to come! The most exciting part about making pastry based dishes is the left over pastry. I made some little Strawberry and Cherry tarts, by slicing some fruit, throwing it into the left over corner strips of pastry, giving them a little sprinkling of brown sugar and putting in the Oven whilst I ate pie for 15-20 minutes at the same temperature. The best thing being that they are still warm after you’ve finished dinner, just in time for desert.



If you’ve made something similar recently I’d love to hear about it. Also, if you have any Vegan suggestions on the Chicken replacement then comment below!

Totally hellbent for “2 for 1” meals



Lifestyle, Recipes, Vegetarian

Vegetarian Chicken Style Roast

February 9, 2014

I used to buy a Meat-free Roast from Tesco’s that Brains and I would have once in a while but more recently, we haven’t been able to find them anywhere! With that, I decided to make my own and figured I could share it with all of you lovely people.

You will need:

  • 4 Quorn fillets or Vegan equivalent
  • 2 pieces of bread
  • Stuffing (e.g sage & onion, garlic & herb, packet or home made)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon Oregano
  • Garlic Clove
  • Pinch of Salt
  • Something to bind the ingredients – 1 Egg (beaten), Oil or Soy butter/margarine for Vegan recipe

Begin by making the breadcrumbs first.

Heat the oven to around 180 degrees/Gas mark 4, place your bread on a baking tray and cook for 15 minutes each side until crisp. You can use any type of bread you like, usually I go for Gluten Free, but the stuff I had in the freezer was seeded, so I opted for some of Brain’s full on “bloating incoming” white bread.


Once cooled, place in a blender until fine crumbs are achieved, add a pinch of salt if desired and half a teaspoon of parsley and oregano. Set the breadcrumbs aside for now. These freeze for up to 6 months, so if you have some stale bread lying around, put them to good use. You can also experiment with the seasoning.



Next for the filling. I am having a very lazy Sunday today and used a packet of Sage & Onion Stuffing, I made this up in a bowl and left to cool before starting. Roughly cut the Quorn fillets or your Vegan replacement and place into your blender. I chucked in a clove of garlic and half an egg into the mix to bind it together, but you can use oil or soy butter for this. (Despite my cutting out of nearly all dairy, I’m still struggling with eggs)



Roll out some cling-film onto a clean surface or chopping board, and spoon your Quorn mixture onto it, spreading it evenly in a vague rectangular shape.



If you’ve pre-cooled your stuffing, spread this in the middle of your mixture. You can keep this in the fridge if the stuffing is still steaming.



Slowly take the edge of the clingfilm and fold the mixture over until you are left with a delightful sausage like roll.



Place this in the fridge to harden a little or place it in the freezer as it is. Once ready to use, remove from the fridge and coat with the other half of the beaten egg, (or oil/butter) roll it in your breadcrumbs and place on a baking tray.



Bake at 200 degrees/Gas mark 5/6 for around 25 to 30 minutes. Again, you can coat with the breadcrumbs and freeze this if you like, just remember to increase the cooking time if you are cooking from frozen. Remove from the Oven and bask in the glory of your very fine creation.



I served mine with mashed new potatoes – skin still on, broccoli, a Yorkshire pudding and some little stuffing balls.



I hope you enjoy this as much as I did! If anyone does find some Vegan alternatives to the Quorn that taste great please let me know in the comments below as I’d love to hear from you. I’m itching to try this out with The Vegetarian Butcher chicken that Gem and I absolutely adore, sadly it’s only available from The Netherlands so we often have to wait for Gem to whisk herself off to Rotterdam to see Roode until we can get our hands on some and because it’s so delicious, it never lasts long once we’ve got it back to England.

Totally hellbent for getting one over on all the supermarket’s and doing it myself




Lifestyle, Vegetarian

The Vegan Kind February Box

February 9, 2014


The Vegan Kind is a new monthly Vegan lifestyle box. It promises to deliver between 5-8 products each month that are all cruelty free and Vegan – they also donate 10p of each box to the chosen Charity for the month.

I knew this box was going to launch some month’s ago, but had forgotten all about it until normal posting resumed on twitter and last month and I was informed by a fellow beauty blogger. Alas I instantly hopped over to their website to see what all the fuss was about and ended up having a sneaky try at their monthly box. *Edit – This actually arrived on Friday (I promise I’d already written this post!) but due to many distractions with it being my birthday I didn’t get around to uploading my photos until today due to our Dakesis gig yesterday evening. *


First out the box was inSpiral Kale Chips – 30g – RRP £2.19.

These look interest and I haven’t tried them yet since I have already been such a piggy today, but being organic, vegan, gluten free, soya free, cholesterol free, trans fat free and no added cane sugar, if I like them – I’m guessing I’m going to be hooked! I’m always looking for healthy yet Vegetarian/Vegan snacks to munch on and Kale holds a special place in my heart since it reminds me of Gemma so I’m looking forward to trying Kale in crisp form.


Organic Surge Sugared Almond Shower Gel – 250ml – RRP £4.35

This shower gel is massive! Opening the top, it smell’s absolutely gorgeous too, an organic 90.8% natural shower gel – and although when I opened my box I thought “shower gel? but I don’t need anymore!” I have to remind myself that this is not a beauty box and is merely opening me up to new products that are natural and Vegan – thus helping me in my quest to make better lifestyle choices. I’m hoping with this being so natural that my Skin isn’t going to shout at me as soon as I apply it.


Choc Shot – 320g – RRP £3.59

I was actually pretty pleased about this, Brains and I often partake in a cheeky hot chocolate/cocoa before bed (mine is Soy, his full fat milk!)  and we’ve just used up the last of it, so a lovely liquid squeezy hot chocolate that only contains 14 calories per teaspoon – yes please. You can also use it in many other things such as baking and in cereal – so psyched to give this a go!


1066 Cake Stand’s Cinder Toffee – 50g – £1.50

I do like Cinder Toffee, unfortunately, since it’s been my birthday today I have already over indulged in too many things that are bad for me, so looking at this is creating a “diabetic wave” beneath the surface of my skin. I just know if I nibble on this albeit Vegan sugary snack, I will end up with type 2 Diabetes. Something for the cupboard though and when I’m feeling peckish I know I’m eating Cinder Toffee from a Vegan Bakery. (See how I justified it there?) *Edit: and by “it’s been my birthday today” I actually mean Friday!*


Braw Bar – 35g – RRP £0.99

This is probably my least favourite out of the box, although under 120 calories and gluten free, reading the ingredients of fruits, dates, oats and flax seed didn’t tickle my fancy right away (especially with the Cinder Toffee) however I am partial to trying new snacks and will certainly give this a try – despite today’s *Edit: again, Friday – but actually I havent stopped pigging out all weekend!* gluttony over handmade chocolates, chocolate eclairs and my very own homemade chocolate caramel birthday cookies, I’m not usually one with a sweet tooth and rarely snack on sugary goods unless I’m out with others.


With each box, you also get a Vegan recipe card and after you have subscribed to a few boxes, you are sent a cute little ring binder to store them in. I love cooking and I love discovering new recipes and although I wouldn’t usually “pay” for recipes or books these days, it’s going to look adorable on my recipe stand when it arrives.

All in all, the total amount of the products in the box came to £12.62, but this isn’t a beauty box (have to keep telling myself this) it’s not about the packaging – it’s about discovering things that fit in with my Vegetarian/part Vegan lifestyle, so I’m going to enjoy the fact that I can’t moan about “never being able to eat anything” allow the box to open me up to new avenues (products) and see what the next few boxes hold.

To get your hands on The Vegan Kind action for just £10 per month and £2.95 p&p, visit their site here.

Have you tried their boxes yet? If so, I’d love to know your thoughts?

Totally hellbent for all the animal – even spiders – and guilt free snacking!




News, Recipes, Vegetarian

How do you like your eggs in the morning? – Baked with Mushrooms!

September 20, 2013


No make up here today, just a lovely easy to make Breakfast recipe!

Since working from home with Brains for his Web Design and Development company BIOSTALL, I have the luxury of actually having cooked breakfast in the morning should I so desire.

I love cooking and I especially love baking so I’m always trying out new recipes and throwing stuff together to see what happens. So here is a recipe I tried for the first time the other day – Baked eggs with bacon and mushrooms.

You will need:

  • 1-2 eggs per person
  • Fresh Chives
  • 3-4 Button Mushrooms or 1-2 Breakfast Mushroom’s per person (remove the stalks)
  • Veggie Bacon (or real Bacon if you so desire)
  • Some Cheese (<obviously)
  • A smidgen of oil
  • Muffin/Cake tray

What to do:

  • Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 5/190 degrees (for those of us with electric ovens, you might need to go up to 200)
  • Oil 1-2 muffin holes per person (*snigger*) and place 3-4 button mushrooms or one Breakfast mushroom in each, putting them in the over for around 5 minutes
  • Take out of the oven, place the Veggie bacon underneath the mushroom to form a little “holder”.
  • Sprinkle half he cheese and chives over the mushroom and crack an egg into each muffin hole.
  • Sprinkle the rest of the cheese and chives over the top and put back in the oven for 10-15 minutes, depending on how well you like your eggs.
  • Dish up on some toast, or muffins … or eat it as it is!
  • Bon Appetit!

For an extra healthy kick, I had mine with some hot water and lemon!

Totally hellbent for quick and easy morning dining



News, Vegetarian

Veggie vs Vaccine

July 12, 2013

Me, feeding a baby calf, on a recent adventure to a farm.


I don’t know how many people know, but I am a Psychiatric Nurse in my spare time (OK for 37.5 hours of the week when I am not playing with metulz and makeup). Part of this role, exposes me to lots of health risks as I work in an environment where lots of bugs are passed on.

Today I had to attend Occupational Health regarding my immunisation status. I was given an MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine when I was a child to protect me like most others. Unfortunately, there was a large population of parents who didn’t vaccinate their children around the 80’s due to fears that it would make their children autistic and as a result there have been a few outbreaks of measles recently throughout this non vaccinated population. Thus panic ensues across healthcare organisations everywhere, and I have to prove my immunity to this!

Now, I’m not sure whether ingredients are common knowledge to people in the production of vaccinations, but as a Vegetarian I hold some very strong morals and beliefs about harming animals unnecessarily. I don’t eat any animal based produce besides milk and free range eggs/cheese – which is more acceptable to me because the animals are either dairy cows or -should- come from free range chickens. They are not butchered unnecessarily for my consumption.

(Before I go on to share with you some horrific news, I want to post some pictures of some cute animals I have recently encountered to get you in the mooood ….)

vegvac2 vegvac3


Alas, it is interesting to know some of the ingredients that are still and have been used in vaccinations:

  • Chicken Embryo (still used in most vaccines)
  •  Pork Gelatin/Hydrolyzed Gelatin
  •  Monkey Kidney
  •  Chicken Kidney
  •  Mouse Brain Culture (used in Japanese vaccines)
  •  Fetal Bovine Serum (I believe this is used in MMR vacines)

Now most of these are self explanatory – although actual kidneys and brains aren’t used, the cells are taken to produce live cultures (to the best of my knowledge anyway). Gelatin is mainly animal by products, and the sheer thought of fetal bovine serum actually sickens me. The process of this involves the collection of blood from the bovine fetus. Or to simplify this, when they take cows to the slaughterhouse, they collect blood from the baby calf inside and allow this blood to clot to use in a serum for vaccines. Now funnily enough, there has been some “ethical” debate/discussion between some people high up there, about whether or not the “bovine embryo/fetus” experiences pain when they are removing this blood from it.

Can you image the uproar involved if you took Ms Smith, a 25 year old woman who was pregnant, to a slaughter house. Whilst killing her with a bolt through the brain, you then proceeded to take blood from her unborn baby to use in a vaccination – and then you proceeded to raise some discussion as to whether said unborn baby experienced any pain during this!

Now I understand that vaccinations are important to prevent some life threatening diseases and of course I would take this into consideration if I too were being put at risk. Working in a very risky environment such as the criminal justice system, where I am around IV drug users and people of poor health who may pass on various infections to me, I have to consider carefully what vaccinations I do need for my own health. In most cases I can justify this – for example, my first hepatitis B course – if I become ill or unwell, not only can I not care for others, but I can also pass illness onto other people who will also then have to go on to use medications that animals have been used for. So in having this vaccine, hopefully I will prevent this.

It turns out that after two courses of Hep B and a booster I still wasn’t immune and as for the MMR I already had that as a child so I presume I have some sort of immunity to that. I had already made the decision before my appointment this afternoon that if my blood results say I am not immune I will not have the MMR due to this. I have to say, the lady I saw (either a nurse of phlebotomist/vampire) was absolutely lovely. She had piercings and slightly zaney hair and she completely supported me, believing that I should stand up for my views and I signed a disclaimer to say this dependent on the results of my test.

I mean in this day and age, are they really unable to produce a vaccination that is animal friendly? Do they really have to use animal by products/animal kidneys or the blood of calves!!! People often frown upon our heavy metal culture and throw ridiculous statements into the mix such as “oh do you worship the devil then and sacrifice goats to Satan whilst dancing around naked?” – perhaps it’s the drug company’s that they should turn to instead of those who are trying to lead a lifestyle that involves being good, kind-hearted people and protecting animals and nature!

Hellbent on saving the animals!

– Pants