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Vegan Friendly Find – Johnny Rocket Streamliner Burger

FINALLY a burger from a burger chain that is actually vegan.

Ok here’s the details and below my thoughts:

Note – it’s sometimes called a ‘streamliner’ sometimes a ‘Boca burger’:

Boca JR

Veggie Burger (Soy Boca® Burger) ingredients:

Water, soy protein concentrate, wheat gluten, contains Less Than 2% of methylcellulose, salt, caramel colour, dried onions, yeast extract, sesame oil, hydrolysed wheat protein, natural and artificial flavour (non-meat), Disodium Guanylate, Disodium Inosinate. Allergens: Wheat, Soy, Sesame (note sesame is considered a major allergen only in Canada)

Also note:

Johnny Rockets currently uses soybean oil for its fried foods.”

http://www.johnnyrockets.com/menu/ingredient-allergen-list.html

The verdict – the burger is pretty bland but has some serious home comfort skills going on. The bun is vegan and they don’t put Mayo on the burger – but I ask for it without mustard, as, well…. Mustard is gross.

I do have it with fried mushrooms and the manager tells me that every Johnny Rockets has a separate area for vegan and veggie food to be cooked.

BEST OF ALL – the sweet potatoes fries and APPLE PIE are vegan (if you have it without cream or ice cream) a burger and dessert! Heaven!

Although there’s none in the UK yet, I’m pretty sure with enough emails we can get one in London at the least!

Check the website for more details on branch locations.

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Vegan friendly Find – Lotus Spread

So, you know those little Lotus biscuits you get with coffee? Well they’re vegan. But that’s not what this blog is about, so move onto the fact that some genius has made it into a spread. 

Yep. Buiscuit flavoured spread. 

It blew my mind. It will blow yours. 

Someone needs to make cupcakes with this pronto! 

   

 

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Vegan Friendly Find – Nakd Bars

Cereal bars just got yummy for vegans!

No more searching for hidden honey (I’m looking at you Nature bars! – fool me once!)

Nakd bars are nutritious, and made from all natural ingredients such as fruits and nuts which are ‘smooshed’ together into a handy bar.

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They are wheat and dairy free, with no added sugars or hidden extras.

Nakd bars come in flavours of Rhubarb & Custard Bakewell Tart, Cashew Cookie, Cocoa Orange, Ginger Bread, Pecan Pie, Cocoa Mint, Cocoa Delight and Berry Delight. (My favourite is Pecan Pie <3)

You can pick them up from any UK supermarket – or online here:

http://www.naturalbalancefoods.co.uk/mixed-boxes/nakd-mixed-case/

The Nakd website also has a page dedicated to going vegan – big love! (http://www.naturalbalancefoods.co.uk/community/dietary-needs/thinking-of-going-vegan-top-tips-for-starting-out/)

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Vegan Friendly Find – Jordans Truly Fruity Muesli

Let me start this by saying I’m not great at mornings.

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They say there are two types of people. The ones who set one alarm, and those who set five. I set six and press snooze on each.

I’m grumpy and lazy, and truth be told would make it illegal to go to work before mid-day if I could. I would much rather work at night, and as a ginger it’s not like I’d miss the sun or anything!

Anyway! The point of this rambling is to say that I’m not the type of person who gets up at 6.30am to make a fresh fruit smoothie, or prepare a raw breakfast. I enjoy them immensely, and have respect for anyone who does… but I just don’t have the time or enthusiasm to do this.

Toast is always an easy breakfast option – especially with a bit of Vitalite vegan butter spread on, but if you’re trying to be healthy, or if (like me) you were trying to find enough energy to get through your first Ramadan in the Middle East! (You can’t eat during the days!) then you need something that will keep you full, and give you energy.

Hence why I started my hunt for the best muesli in town, and today’s vegan friendly find is – Jordan’s Truly Fruity Muesli.

Truly_Fruity

I don’t like to diss brands (unless they’re full of animal products!) but I tried several of the ‘top-end’ muesli products during this period – Including the really expensive ‘Dorset’ variety – and found them bland with stupidly small portions per box.

The other problem I found is as Muesli is seen as a ‘healthier’ breakfast cereal, companies shy away from adding too much sugar – and instead chuck in loads of honey!

Obviously some brands – or types – won’t have honey in. But for me, I found Jordans Truly Fruity Muesli the best value for money, the tastiest, and with the most fruit.

Jordans Truly Fruity Muesli is (as their marketing people say) tasty wholegrain cereal flakes with diced papaya, pineapple chunks and diced mango, for folk who like to start the day off feeling a little fruity.

Ingredients:
British Wholegrain Cereals (65%) (Barley Flakes, Wheat Flakes, Oat Flakes, Toasted Wheat Flakes), Dried Fruit (35%) (Sultanas, Raisins, Dried Diced Papaya (Papaya, Cane Sugar, Lime Juice), Dried Pineapple Chunks (Pineapple, Cane Sugar, Pineapple Juice, Citric Acid), Dried Diced Mango (Mango, Cane Sugar, Pineapple Juice, Citric Acid)), Chopped Almonds (0.3%).

All in all good times for vegans – as the website says they use raw cane sugar, and although this cereal doesn’t use palm oil, the company use 100% Certified Sustainable Palm Oil in products that do. Woop woop! (More here – https://www.jordanscereals.co.uk/faq)

I eat these with lashings of cold vanilla soy milk and find it’s the only thing that keeps me full till lunch.

Plus the little dried fruits make you feel like you’re eating something naughty, not nice!

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Benj’s YUMMY Vegan Enchiladas and Cheese

The perfect way to start the weekend.

In the Middle East our weeks run from Sunday – Thursday, so as yesterday was my Friday night, and Benj promised to cook and show you all my favourite meal ever…

Nom nom nom! Its vegan enchiladas!

Ok, so this is a bit of a long recipe, but trust me.. Its worth it.

Not only will you have TWO lots of enchiladas, meaning you can freeze one lot for a rainy day and save cooking it again. (I think thats a basic – cook one get one free) BUT! You’ll have the tastiest, warmest, happiest meal you’ve had in a long time.

So get cooking, pick a good movie and fill your belly with happiness.

Basically you need to make a chilli – a refried bean sauce – and a vegan cheese sauce for this recipe so bear with me!

Ingredients for the Chilli:

1 large red onion,
Oil – to cook with,
Red large Chillies – we used two as I don’t like it that spicy!
Two thirds of a bottle of Corona (if you don’t drink Alcohol replace with a cup of coke – 200-250ml but don’t add the sugar!)
1 teaspoon of sugar,
1 tin of red kidney beans, white beans and chick peas,
2 peppers,
2 tablespoons tomato paste,
Half a teaspoon of cinnamon,
A good shake of Chipotle or hot sauce,
1 tablespoon Cumin,
Salt and pepper – to taste.

To a large saucepan, put on a high heat and add enough oil to cover the base, chuck in your chopped onions, but only cook them until they are soft – not caramelised.

Slice your chillies, (take out the seeds unless you like it nice and spicy!) add to pan and cook. Then slice and add your peppers.

Once softened, add tomato paste and stir, add corona and cook on a high heat until reduced by one third. (Takes 5’ish minutes)

Wash your beans (ooooo errrr) add to pot, then add the sugar, cinnamon, chipotle and cumin. Stir well, cover and turn down to a low heat to continue cooking until it thickens (remember to come back and stir occasionally to avoid your chilli burning to the bottom of the pan!)

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Now make your refried beans, They don’t look the tastiest, but they’re a perfect gooey filling for this hearty dish and full of fibre.

Refried bean filling:

2 x cans of vegetarian refried beans,
One third of the corona from the chilli (if you don’t drink skip this step)
1 level tablespoon cumin

Add refried beans to a saucepan, with the corona and cumin, stir well until cooked through.

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DONE! Easy peasy!

Vegan Cheese:

Vegetable oil,
Flour,
Salt.

This is basically just an over salted vegan roux sauce, but the texture and taste is perfect on vegan pizzas, pasta bakes and these enchiladas.

In a small pan, pour in enough vegetable oil to coat the base and fill by about 1/2 a cm.

Heat gently, then add 15-20g flour and stir on the heat until it forms a liquid.

Add soy milk (add a little bit at a time) and stir until the mixture is the right thickness for you and it no longer just taste like flour.

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Add salt to taste – we always over salt (1 tablespoon) to get that salty cheesy taste.

Please note – the thicker it is the more it browns when baked in the oven. I think it’s best when it’s the texture of a cake mixture.

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Thats the cooking done! Now its time to put it all together.

Add a thick line of your refried beans in the middle of a tortilla wrap,

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roll it up into a parcel,

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And put in a oven proof dish,

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Continue with tortillas until your dish is full. This recipe will fill two medium over prof dishes (or a dish that will fit four rolled tortillas in)

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Add a generous helping of chilli over the top.

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Then your cheese….

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Put in the oven to bake on a medium heat for 20 minutes – until your cheese looks like this:

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Then enjoy!

For the whole Mexican hog, serve with onion rings and tortillas.

Put silver foil over the spare enchiladas and put in the freezer. This dish is OK to leave in the freezer for around a month.

Make sure you defrost the enchiladas for around 6-9 hours in the fridge before reheating in the oven.

So there you go. Yummy enchiladas! X

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Today’s Vegan Friendly Find – Kellogg’s

*UPDATE – Since writing this post it has come to my attention Frosties contain animal derived Vitamin D. Please find below a list of vegan Kellogg’s products. Obviously mistakes do happen and sources can be unreliable – I apologise for the info and hope you forgive me!*

I’m suddenly excited to wake up in the morning!

But before we begin, I need to confess something – This post, was a different post five minutes ago.

It’s not because I’m fickle or couldn’t think of anything to say…. Its because I didn’t trust the information I was being given, and you shouldn’t either.

My post was going to be about –
Kellogg’s Unfrosted Poptarts – Strawberry

Several blogs – including PETA- have said its vegan friendly, and certainly – on the surface the unfrosted flavours look to be ok.

However the more I looked into the ingredients, the more I disliked.

Basically, it comes down to this – nowhere on their website do Kellogg’s say that unfrosted Poptarts are vegan, or even vegetarian. Although the ingredients look OK at first glance, and the allergy information doesn’t state animal, when going through it bit by bit I found a few ingredients I just couldn’t look over; Pyridoxine hydrochloride & Thiamine hydrochloride for eg. Although they could be from plant. I think they’re from eggs. Infact I’m pretty sure that at least three other ingredients in the recipe are derived from animals (e numbers ect) but you think they’re not because PETA and other sources have told us so.

So wheres the evidence? Wheres the letter from Kellogg’s saying it is? Nowhere. And thats why the blog has changed.

If you have any information I don’t have on Poptarts – please let me know!

*Deep breath* …. And let’s begin…

Today’s Vegan Friendly Find is – Kellogg’s Cereals:

There are a few that are vegan and here are a couple of them.
A couple of Special K also don’t have vitamin D.

 

Also, when I was researching Betty Crocker products for my last post I found out that General Foods, (the people who own BC) had caved into public pressure and are now using sustainable and responsible sourced Palm Oil. (YAY!) So I thought to myself…. I wonder what other companies do this? And low and behold….

The Guardian reported HERE:

“The food giant Kellogg’s has caved in to public pressure and agreed to buy palm oil only from suppliers who can prove that they actively protect rainforests and peatlands and respect human rights.

The move, which follows intense pressure from consumer groups around the world, is expected to improve the survival chances of highly endangered animals like the Sumatran tiger and the orangutan in southeast Asia, as well as provide some protection for indigenous peoples in Indonesia, Malaysia, New Guinea, Latin America and west Africa who depend on tropical rainforests for a living.

At least 30,000 square miles of tropical forest has been cut down in the past 20 years to supply the burgeoning global food industry with cheap palm oil to make packaged foods, ice cream and snacks. The deforestation has led to illegal land grabs, forest fires and social conflict in communities which depend on forest resources for their livelihoods. The heavy loss of peatlands has also contributed significantly to the increase in climate change emissions.”

In a statement, Kellogg’s said that it will require its suppliers to “protect forests, endangered species habitat, lands with high carbon content, and peatland of any depth. Suppliers will also be required to protect human and community rights.”

“While palm oil is a very small percentage of our total ingredients, as a socially responsible company, concerns about the sustainable production of palm oil are clearly on our radar screen,” said chief sustainability officer Celeste Clark.”

 

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Today’s Vegan Friendly Find – Doritos; Chilli Heatwave Flavour Crisps

Todays Vegan Friendly Find is the only thing I KNOW I could eat for 72+ hours without getting sick of them.

Its the Doritos Chilli Heatwave Flavour Crisps:

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Ingredients according to the Doritos website: Corn (Whole Maize Kernels),Sunflower Oil (14%) ,Rapeseed Oil ,Chilli Heatwave Flavour [Sugar, Flavourings (contains SOYA, WHEAT), Flavour Enhancers (Monosodium Glutamate, Disodium 5’Ribonucleotide), SOY SAUCE POWDER (contains SOYA BEANS, WHEAT), Acidity Regulator (Sodium Diacetate), Salt, Potassium Chloride, HYDROLYSED SOYA PROTEIN, Colours (Sulphite Ammonia Caramel, Paprika Extract, Beetroot Powder), Citric Acid, Malic Acid] ,Rapeseed Oil, Contains: Wheat, Gluten, Soya.

Yay!!! …

Now how do I know I can eat this and only this for 72 hours? …Picture the scene, its raining, we have £42.50 in our pockets and me and my then boyfriend (now husband) decide to go camping. I swear this product alone kept me from starving to death very dramatically on those 72 hours of doom.

We decided to catch a bus from Bath to Sidmouth in the UK – but to save money we would buy a day pass that means instead of a one, 4 hour journey, we take 5 busses and two days to get there!

I swear, we stopped at every town, at every stop, with people getting on and off every single time along the way.

It was romantic at first, but after 7 hours on this bus, it got tedious to say the least. Eventually we stopped off for the night in Tiverton – about 2 hours from our destination, and headed to the local Tesco and looked for food we didn’t have to cook.

Now vegans you know my pain here, unless you’re going to munch down on a salad and some nuts (which seemed too stereotypical seeing as I was carrying a tent and sleeping bags on my back like some Glastonbury hippy) you’re pretty screwed.

Perusing the crisp aisle I was delighted to find these bad boys were not only vegan, but on special offer, and armed with some vegan friendly sliced bread, I had the feast of kings – the crisp sandwich. And all for the sum of £3.00ish!

We camped down for the night in the most uneven and noisy field I have ever experienced in my life. Cows tried to intimidate us (successfully) and a pheasant nearly ripped a hole in our tent whilst screaming from the top of its lungs. And it rained. A lot.

My face says it all here.

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Needless to say, the next day the Doritos kept me going; breakfast, lunch and then dinner! Through the rain, the walking, the lack of money and the bus journeys – which, if you’ve ever been to England and been on pubic transport system means a lot!

We got to our destination eventually though, and guys, it was beautiful.

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So dip away guilt free, scrunch, crunch and much those crisp sandwiches, and have a spicy treat the next time you go shopping.

I also recommend using theses beauties with a three bean chilli recipe – to accompany the rice, or crushed into pieces and sprinkled on a salad for texture – they make excellent croutons.