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Vegan Friendly Restaurant Options

Today’s Vegan Friendly Find post ponders – What to eat when you’re eating out?

I give the five top and bottom Vegan Friendly Find restaurant options.

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Ok so we’ve all been there – the family/friends/partner/work take you out for a meal and then comes the embarrassment…. You can’t eat ANYTHING.

You try to explain to a waitress; no meat, no dairy, no fish, no eggs – but most of the time a worried looking chef appears and tells you there’s nothing he can do – apart from, oh yes – a side of chips/ French fries.

I know that this is the sign of a bad restaurant, as it shows their food is pre-prepared and probably frozen, but what do you do? After all, you’re the awkward one. You can’t demand to leave and take people to a vegan restaurant!

Imagine the look on your bosses face as his steamed beans arrive! – No bonus for you this year!

So after seven – nearly eight (woop!) years of experience eating in restaurants this is my top five nationality/types of restaurants to go to.

Top 5

1) Mexican is king – seriously, fajitas, guacamole, refried beans, fresh salad – if in doubt, Mexican it out.

2) Indian is the next best bet. Lots of Indian food such as Biryani and Jalfrezi won’t have any dairy in their recipe. Just make sure you ask for NO Ghee and No Paneer and you’re good to go! 9/10 the poppadoms are vegan too! – Plus if you convince your table to get Rottis and not a Naans to split, you can enjoy those too!

3) Italian is your friend – Penne pasta, tomato sauce, pizza without cheese, bruschetta and olives! *droooool*

4) Middle eastern – falafel, hummus, Thani, lemon dressed salad, stuffed vines leaves, Baba Ghanoush – the choices are endless, you can live like a king on M.E food. Trust me, I live here!

5) Spanish – LONG LIVE TAPAS. When you can get over the alarming amount of fish, you tend to find a lot of choices on a tapas menu. Lots of fresh salad, roasted vegetables in tomato sauces and of course – patatas bravas – effectively they’re posh square chips – but still lush.

Top five WORST restaurants to go to:

1)French – butter, butter and more butter. Plus they find a way to put meat in everything! – “Hey can I eat this onion soup?” …. “No it’s made with beef”.

2) American – I know not all American restaurants are the same, but my experience is pretty darn bad, TGFI’s, Applebees, American type ‘diners’ … either there’s limited veg options, or if there are, you can’t really trust that the part of the grill used to cook ‘vegan’ options, hasn’t had a slab of steak on it seconds before.

3) Kebab houses – Its late, you’re drunk, your friends are walking into a brightly coloured room, with what looks to be a spinning elephants leg being carved. Go home my friend. There is nothing in here for you. Even the deep fat fryer oil has been tainted with chicken nuggets at some point in the last 15 minutes!

4) English – I hate to say it, but it’s true! – Mashed potatoes, Yorkshire puddings, rhubarb crumble – they’re all made from animally goodness, or lard. Yuck.

5) Greek – I know Greece has healthy and vegan friendly options, as it falls along the same lines as the Middle Eastern route (sorry to offend people!) but you can’t order a plain salad, or vegetable sandwich or pizza without it being covered in Feta! ENOUGH WITH THE FETA GREECE!

On a foot note – I think I should really put Thai food as number 5, as they add fish sauce to EVERYTHING. But I’ve had too many near Feta experiences to let this one go!

As it’s my 25th birthday very soon, I’ll be heading out and sampling yummy food, and aim to post the top five Vegan Friendly Find chain-restaurant menu options soon!

Let me know what your favourite eating out options are!

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Vegan Friendly Recipe – Easter Biscuits!

Tis the season and all!

Heres my really super- dooper easy, one bowl Vegan Friendly Easter Biscuit Recipe!

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200 g Vegan butter (I used Vitalite) at room temperature
200 g sugar – make sure your Sugar is vegan friendly! (I used 100g SilverSpoon’s Caster sugar and 100 g pure Demerara sugar to add a caramelised taste.)
1 tablespoon olive oil,
400 g plain white flour
100 g raisins – or as many/few as you want.
A pinch of salt
2 teaspoons mixed spice – essentially this is what makes them Eastery!
4 tablespoons Soy milk

Ok I experimented with this batch to make it easier for you all! Aren’t I nice!

Basically I made one batch without raisins, one with, and all at different temperatures and times! And I’d like to think out of all this effort, I’ve got the perfect Vegan Easter Biscuit recipe for you all to chomp on next Sunday.

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So here we go!

Preheat the oven to 180 deg.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until soft and fluffy.

Add your tablespoon of oil, and fold in the flour, raisins (or not if you don’t like them) mixed spice and salt and mix all together.

Add up to 4 tablespoons soy milk to bind the mixture together and to form a firm but soft dough.

Place the dough onto a lightly floured surface, and roll out to about 1/4 inch thick (1/2 cm). You’ll find the dough sticky, so don’t be afraid to use lots of flour on your rolling pin!

Cut out circles with a large cutter/ cup and use a fish slice to transfer them to a very lightly oiled sheet of oven proof paper so that your biscuits don’t stick.

Bake for 8 minutes, then remove from the oven and sprinkle with a little sugar. Put back in the oven and cook for a further 8 minutes until golden brown.

Take out and cool on a wire cooling rack – This is essential! If you cool on a plate they will go soggy!

Wait till cool and crisp and then decorate as desired.

Enjoy everyone! And let me know how you get on!

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Today’s Vegan Friendly Find – Lush Toothy Tabs

Did you know that most toothpastes have animal fat in them? I know EEEEEWWWWWW.

I only found this out a few weeks ago, and living in the Middle East I thought, yeah – good luck finding a Vegan Toothpaste here! There’s calve’s hearts on most menus, so vegan toiletries is not the most demanded produce.

But then, whilst shopping in one of the many air conditioned malls, I came across the glory that is a Lush shop.

Imagine my surprise as I browsed the many lotions and potions, that behind the cashier, there was a shelf of tiny boxes with the word Toothpaste on them.

Hence today’s Vegan Friendly Find – Lush Toothy Tabs

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Toothy Tabs have only been on the market for two months, so lots of you might not have seen them, but effectively they are tablets of solid toothpaste.

Obviously as it’s Lush – they haven’t been tested on animals and theres a big Vegan logo on the box that tells me I can chomp on these till the cows come home!

But before I go into the awesomeness of these little buggers, here’s some more about traditional Toothpaste:

Ignoring the fact that most brands are tested on animals, most toothpastes are not vegetarian or vegan in definition, as they contain glycerin which comes from pigs and cows. Some even use ground bones – for added calcium.

Obviously in this day and age if you see glycerin in a list of toothpaste ingredients, it does not automatically mean that it is not vegetarian as there are now a host of ways to produce glycerin, but there is a chance that it might not be.

You can find an ethical toothpaste brand rating list via this link:

http://www.ethicalconsumer.org/FreeBuyersGuides/healthbeauty/toothpaste.aspx

The toothpaste brand which received the lowest ethical rating was Crest. Other toothpaste brands which recieved low ethical ratings include Rembrandt toothpasteSensondyne toothpaste, and Aqua fresh toothpaste.

This will help so that the next time you go to the supermarket, if you don’t have a Lush shop at hand, you are buying the most Vegan version you can.

Now! On with today’s find!

Toothy tabs, are solid pieces of toothpaste made in pill form.

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They contain all natural ingredients and you simply put them between your teeth, give them a crunch and brush.

Firstly, I need to point out how impressed I am with the branding, packaging and recyclability of this product. Not to mention the natural ingredients!

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Secondly, the range of flavours is great! And depending on how you like your toothpaste – whitening, extra fresh etc, theres one for you! You can view them all HERE.

The toothy tabs foam really well, and once you’ve done the crunching part its just like normal toothpaste.

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I’m using the ‘Dirty’ tabs and my teeth feel really, really clean and look whiter thanks to the bicarbonate of soda in these bad boys!

The only thing I’m willing to say thats negative about these is the taste.
They don’t taste horrible, but they don’t really taste like you expect toothpaste to taste like. If that makes sense!

After three weeks, I’ve got used the Dirty tabs, and now I can really taste the mint in them, when I first started using them however, I wondered how I was going to stick to doing that two/three times a day as it wasn’t the nicest sensation.

Overall I urge you all to give them a go. They’re good for the environment, good for animals, good on your teeth and its good to support a company like Lush.

Let me know what you think. Would you try them? Do you have them?