Posts tagged Vegetarian
Over the last few months I’ve been trialling a hair treatment from a small hair care company called Old Wives Tail. Old Wives Tail specialise in luxury organic hair treatments, all of which are handmade, vegetarian and vegan, and free of gluten, parabens and sulfates. They’re also animal friendly and aim to eradicate animal testing in the beauty industry, so 10% of their profits go to charities which save animals from being tested on.
The treatment I’ve been using is the Jojoba and Clove Organic Oil Treatment, which retails for £13.99 for a 100ml jar. The treatment is described as a ‘hydrating, natural and balancing hair treatment for dull, thinning, brittle or broken hair’. My hair is quite unusual in that, though it can get quite oily at the roots, the ends get very dry and split easily, especially during colder months, and the overall look is very limp, lifeless and damaged. I opted for this particular treatment as, according to the Old Wives Tail website, ‘jojoba oil gets to work at penetrating every hair follicle to add strength, volume and texture to weak, lifeless hair’, which is just what I want.
The treatment has a very strong aroma of cloves, which hits you as soon as you open the jar, but it isn’t too overpowering as it is offset with a slight sweetness. It’s also quite a dense treatment, with a slightly waxy texture, but as it warms in your fingers it melts into a smooth oil that glides through damp hair incredibly easily.
The directions for use say to massage the product into your scalp, and to leave it on for one hour before washing out with shampoo and water, and conditioning the ends of your hair. As a ‘wash and go’ kinda girl, an hour is quite a long time to wait, so this isn’t a treatment I would use on a daily or weekly basis, but it’s great for a fortnightly or monthly pamper session at the weekend. Especially as it gives quite an intense treatment.
I’ve used the treatment a few times now and the results are brilliant. A little goes quite a long way, so though the jar is small, it will last a good while. The product massages in nicely and feels lovely and soothing on the scalp. When I first used it I was slightly worried that, being an oil, it would leave my hair feeling greasy, but it washes out well with shampoo, although I find it takes a little while to wash out completely. After blow drying and straightening my hair, the difference is really noticeable. It leaves my hair looking silkier and fuller, and the result is also long-lasting.
Unfortunately, as I’ve had an incredibly hectic couple of months, I haven’t yet managed to get any before and after photos of my hair, but I will be updating this post within the next week or two, so check back soon.
All Old Wives Tail products are available online here, and they cater for all hair types. They offer free worldwide delivery on any order too!
*This Jojoba & Clove Organic Oil Hair Treatment was sent to me by Old Wives Tail for review purposes. All opinions expressed are honest and my own.*
I love a bag of salty crisps and a big bar of chocolate as much as the next person, but when it comes to snacking I’m always on the look out for something a little bit different, and a little bit healthier, that at the same time is slightly more satisfying than a piece of fruit or veg. As such, over the last few months I’ve been trying lots of different snacks, and I now have a few new favourites that I’ll be sharing with you over the coming weeks. All of the snacks are also vegetarian and/or vegan, and ethical – two of my favourite things when it comes to food!
Today’s recommended snack comes as a nice alternative to your average potato crisps. Leighton Brown are a British company, run by three friends, who create gourmet vegetable crisps. They pride themselves on using ethically sourced, natural ingredients, with no additives, and aim to provide high-quality luxury snacks, that are also affordable. Their range currently only features three flavours – Parsnip & Manuka Honey, Beetroot, Horseradish & Dill, and Sweet Potato, Cheese & Jalapeno – but they have more flavours coming soon, and I can’t wait to see the range grow.
Parsnip & Manuka Honey
Leighton Brown’s Parsnip & Manuka Honey crisps are made from British grown parsnips which, when combined with manuka honey, give the crisps a pleasant sweetness. However, the sweetness is balanced with a subtle spice and saltiness, which make these crisps incredibly satisfying and moreish. The crisps also have a lovely crunch (as do the other two flavours), that isn’t always present in vegetable crisps, which gets an extra thumbs up from me.
Beetroot, Horseradish & Dill
As you can see, these Beetroot crisps are made from both purple and orange beetroot, which not only looks great but tastes great too, as the flavour of the beetroot is very powerful. Crisps that don’t have much flavour always disappoint me, but these really get the tastebuds tingling with the warm tang of horseradish and the fresh herbiness of dill. Perfect for anyone with a savoury tooth.
Sweet Potato, Cheese & Jalapeno
These Sweet Potato, Cheese & Jalapeno crisps won a Gold Star in the Great Taste Awards in 2013, and I can see (and taste!) why. I have a soft spot for sweet potato so these were always going to be my favourite, but they’re so much nicer than I even dreamed they could be. The balance of cheese and jalapeno is just right, so they’re not too cheesy or too hot. Rather, the flavours mingle to create sweet and savoury perfection with a hint of heat. I love them!
Leighton Brown vegetable crisps are currently available in 130 delis, bars and coffee shops throughout the UK, so check out their interactive map to find out where to get them near you! You can also find them in Fenwick Newcastle and Selfridges.
*These Leighton Brown crisps were sent to me by Leighton Brown for review purposes. All opinions expressed are honest and my own.*
As promised in my National Vegetarian Week post, here is the latest addition to my series of Vegetarian Eateries posts, this time focusing on Nottingham. Though I don’t live in Nottingham, I do visit regularly for gigs and shopping trips, and I have two favourite places to eat when I’m there. I’m sure there are other places in Nottingham to get great veggie food, but I’m yet to discover them, however when I do they’ll be added to this post.
1a Cannon Court, Long Row W, Nottingham, NG1 6JE
Good for: Creative, tasty dishes and vegan options
Alley Café is slightly hard to find (down an alley, as the name suggests, and easy to miss), but once you’re there it’s a real veggie haven. The atmosphere is very relaxed – chilled music and friendly staff, and the menu is even better.
Their main menu features a range of light bites/sides, sandwiches (with quirky names and a choice of breads), burgers, and various creative mains. They also boast different specials every day, and an array of delicious desserts and homemade juices and smoothies.
A lot of the menu is vegan, and everything I’ve ever had there has been so flavoursome and filling. I can highly recommend the Alfie (halloumi, houmous and mint yoghurt in your choice of bread – I usually go for a wrap), the falafel burger (above) and the pizzas (try it with smoked tofu, baconesque and olives as seen above, perfect). The vegan chocolate torte is also AMAZING. Meals average at about £7, most desserts are between £3 and £4, the portions are generous, and the quality of food is very high. Definitely worth a visit if you appreciate an inclusive, non-judgemental veggie vibe!
17 Goldsmith Street, Nottingham, NG1 5JT
Good for: Delicious handmade burgers and double cooked chips
Spanky Van Dykes is located right next to my favourite small gig venues, so I usually fill up here before a gig. The bar has an alternative, music themed vibe which really gets you in the mood for a live band, and they even host gigs themselves (although I’m yet to go to one there). What most people come for though is the handmade burgers.
With an American diner style menu, Spanky’s sell burgers galore, with three veggie options. My particular favourite is the Shroomaloomi, which is stacked high with halloumi cheese and flat mushrooms, served with the best double cooked chips I’ve ever tried. A bit more interesting than the usual veggie offering of a dry bean burger I must say. Their tempura vegetables are also worth a mention, as are their desserts. Cookie ice cream sandwich anyone? Yes please! A burger and chips comes in at just over £7, and desserts are around £3, so you can get a full meal for around a tenner. Although they do two for one on all burgers on a Tuesday, which is definitely the best time to go!
Do you know anywhere else in Nottingham that sells amazing veggie food? If so, leave a comment below and let me know!
Don’t forget to check out my first Vegetarian Leicester post too!
This week, Monday 19th May until Sunday 25th May, is National Vegetarian Week. All around the country individuals, companies, educational establishments, and communities are taking the challenge to go vegetarian, and in the process are having fun discovering new foods, and learning how to adapt their everyday favourites into easy vegetarian alternatives. As a vegetarian myself, National Vegetarian Week is something that I completely advocate, and I hope some of you will be taking the challenge too!
I stopped eating meat, poultry, and food containing gelatine thirteen years ago when I was eleven years old, and a year later, aged twelve, I stopped eating fish. The thought of mass animal slaughter sickened me, and I just couldn’t bring myself to support it anymore, so I made the decision to go veggie. Luckily I didn’t find the transition too difficult, as my mum was very supportive, and to be honest I’d never liked meat anyway, so I didn’t (and still don’t) miss it at all. In fact, I disliked meat so much that I was a fairly fussy eater as a child, and becoming vegetarian actually broadened my horizons and encouraged me to try new foods, and ultimately improved my health.
Since then I haven’t looked back, and I now spend my days experimenting with new foods and recipe ideas. I use a lot of Quorn products in my cooking, and will often make traditional meat dishes with Quorn instead of meat, so I never feel like my options are limited. Halloumi cheese is also an excellent ingredient to use if you want a meaty texture, and is especially great in the summer when grilled or barbecued. Being vegetarian helps me save money too, as meat alternatives and soya products tend to be cheaper than meat, and you can get quite a few meals out of one packet/bag. A definite positive when you’re on a tight budget!
As those who follow me on Instagram will know, I post a lot of images of my vegetarian creations, so I thought I’d share a few with you, just in case you’re taking the veggie challenge and want a bit of inspiration.
Aubgergine, Potato and Chickpea Curry (Vegan) / Sunday Roast / Quorn Moussaka / Grilled Halloumi with Mint and Coriander Cous Cous, and Tomato and Chickpea Salad / Courgette, Sundried Tomato and Mozzarella Creamy Pasta Bake / Jerk Quorn Chicken with Rice and Peas / Homemade Tomato, Basil and Olive Pizza with Salad / Christmas Dinner / Tempura Vegetables with Noodles and Sweet Chilli Dip
If you’re interested in getting involved with National Vegetarian Week, you can visit the official website here, where you can find out more, and download useful literature to help with your quest. You can also check out what local vegetarian events there are in your area. I’ll personally be visiting one of my favourite vegetarian cafés, who are offering a free dessert with every main course!
Also, keep an eye out later this week for another installment of my Vegetarian Eateries posts! In the mean time, you can check out Vegetarian Leicester: Lunch, for ideas of where to get a yummy vegetarian lunch in Leicester.
Will you be taking part in National Vegetarian Week? How are you doing so far? I’d love to hear your stories!
I was recently offered a £10 voucher in exchange for a review of takeaway.com, and on Monday after a nice relaxing day, my fiancé and I decided to use the voucher to order pizza.
The takeaway.com website is really simple to use, and is pretty much foolproof, as you are guided through a four stage ordering process. On the homepage you are met with a text box for you to enter your postcode, and once you hit search you are given a list of takeaways that are registered on the site, and which deliver to your home. My postcode brings up 34 results, and you can choose which type of cuisine you specifically want, so there are plenty of options to choose from. There’s even an option to only show vegetarian takeaways, which for veggies like me is particularly useful!
Once you’ve made your choice (we went for a local pizza place we’d never tried before called Tushba Pizza), you are shown the full menu for the takeaway, including any meal deals or special offers, as well as delivery costs, the minimum amount for delivery, and the payment methods they accept.
Tushba does buy one get one free on all pizzas, which is great as it meant my carnivorous fiancé could have a meaty option whilst I settled for their vegetarian pizza. We also ordered a large portion of chips to share, and the whole lot came to just under £14. To add items to your order, you just hit the ‘+’ symbol next to the item, which then lets you choose how many you want of each thing. Then, when you’ve added everything you want, you can submit your order.
The next and final page is where you enter your delivery address and payment details, and you can also pick a time for your order to arrive (we opted for asap as we were very hungry!), plus any ‘remarks’. I assume this is where you tell them if your doorbell is broken or which buzzer to press, but you could always ask them to draw a face on your pizza box or something…
The whole ordering process only takes a few minutes, and is incredibly fuss-free, so you can just sit back and relax and wait for your feast to arrive! Our order arrived in about half an hour which is pretty good timing. The food itself was hot, looked amazing and tasted delicious. The portions were also very generous, so much so that I couldn’t eat all of my pizza in one go so I had a cold pizza lunch the next day – yum!
Overall, our experience with takeaway.com was a positive one, and we’d definitely use the website AND Tushba Pizza again.
*I was given a £10 voucher on behalf of takeaway.com to review the takeaway.com website. All opinions expressed are honest and my own.*
Though I love going out to eat with family and friends, as a vegetarian it can be difficult to find a decent meal. In my 13 meatless years I have endured more vegetable lasagnes and dry bean burgers than I care to remember, so, for the good of Leicester-based vegetarians, I have decided to put together a series of posts about my favourite places to eat. Today’s post will include a selection of the best places to go for a vegetarian lunch in the city and county, with other themed posts to follow in the coming weeks.
19 Free Lane, Leicester, LE1 1JX
Good for: Homemade, wholesome fare.
Good Earth is 100% vegetarian, and has a different menu every day. You can usually expect to find quite a few hot dishes on offer, as well as fresh salads, soups, jacket potatoes, and their famous homemade rissoles. There are always lots of amazing cakes and fresh juices available too. Everything is made from scratch, and the food is some of the tastiest and most filling wholesome veggie food I’ve had outside of my own home. My particular favourites are the cheesy chilli pasta, and carrot and lentil bake. The decor is slightly dated, but don’t let that put you off as it only adds to the restaurant’s charm – it’s like going round to grandma’s for a good ol’ fashioned cooked meal. Lunches usually come in at around £6, which is pretty decent, and cakes are around £2 each.
99 High Street, Leicester, LE1 4JB
Good for: Sandwiches and Sunday Roasts.
The Orange tree is perhaps my most frequented lunch haunt, and though it isn’t purely vegetarian, it never disappoints. Their menu changes every season, and makes the most of local produce and seasonal ingredients, and they also have several specials each week, including a vegetarian one. The main menu features a variety of different vegetarian dishes, but what I usually go for are their sandwiches and Sunday roasts. At lunch the Orange tree do a deal where you can get a sandwich, homemade chips and a soft drink for £5.95, which is an absolute bargain, and the food is delicious. I really like the current veggie sandwich, which is field mushroom and homemade red pepper pesto, with melted mozzarella. Yum! And the roasts… I can honestly say the Orange tree’s vegetarian roasts are the best I’ve had when eating out. Rather than doing the usual nut roast, they like to mix it up and offer something different every week. I’ve had everything from feta and pine nut stuffed peppers to brie, mushroom and cranberry parcels, and they’re always incredible. Roasts come with roast potatoes, fresh veg and a Yorkshire pudding, and cost £7.95 (or £10.95 with a dessert, which are also amazing).
Nagarjuna Buddhist Centre, 17 Guildhall Lane, Leicester, LE1 5FQ
Good for: Variety and vegan options.
Leicester’s World Peace Café is located inside the Nagarjuna Buddhist Centre, and has a really relaxed and family friendly atmosphere. They’re 100% vegetarian, with a number of vegan options on the menu, and they have a variety of wraps, ciabattas, salads, and daily specials (such as tagines, quiches and bakes) available. I usually go for a wrap and like to have something different every time, but their vegan offerings are particularly lovely. This is a great place to go if you fancy a peaceful lunch away from the hustle and bustle of the busy city. A meal deal comes in at around £6, and will get you a wrap or ciabatta, crisps and a drink.
1 Millstone Lane, Leicester, LE1 5JN
Good for: Quorn sausages.
Admittedly I don’t go to Firebug that often for food (I’m more likely to go in the evening for a drink), and it isn’t completely vegetarian, but they do serve a few veggie dishes. The last time I went I had a Quorn sausage sandwich, with curly fries and coleslaw, and it was fab. I love Quorn sausages, but not many eateries serve them, so it’s always nice to find a place that does – especially when they come smothered in caramelised onions! At £4.50 for a sarnie and coleslaw (or £5.50 with the fries), it’s very reasonably priced, and it’s usually quiet at lunchtime too which is always a bonus.
38 South Street, Barrow Upon Soar, LE12 8LZ
Good for: Celebratory lunches and impressive puddings.
The Hunting Lodge is located on the outskirts of Leicester so is a bit of a drive out of the city, but if you fancy going somewhere a bit fancy for a special lunch then this is the place. My family and I went there to celebrate my Master’s graduation and we all had a lovely time. Their menu is rather extensive, and they have a whole page of vegetarian options, which is both exciting and daunting when you’re used to having one or two things to choose from! My favourites are the mushroom, broccoli and stilton bake, and nut roast with apricots and goats cheese, but I want to try as many dishes as I can in the future. All of their mains come with chips or potatoes, and vegetables or salad, which can be refilled for free. Their puddings are also very impressive, and are probably my favourite thing about the place. The rich chocolate and peanut stack is honestly one of the nicest things I’ve ever tasted, but if you can’t decide which dessert to have, the ‘Give Me Five’ is the way to go. Mains cost around £10.00, and puddings are between £3.00 and £6.00.
1A The Meadway, Birstall, LE4 4NG
Good for: Big portions and jacket potatoes
Ruby Tuesdays is a lovely little cafe in the village of Birstall. It can get quite busy at lunchtime, but if you’re in a pair you can usually find a table for two near the back. The portions here are pretty big, but it isn’t just quantity over quality as luckily the food is also very tasty! I usually opt for a jacket potato with cheese and homemade chunky, creamy coleslaw, but there are loads of other veggie dishes to choose from, including omelettes and sandwiches. Their veggie sausage sandwich with cranberry sauce is also quite nice.
Check back soon for more Vegetarian Leicester posts, with a focus on breakfast, dinner, and different types of cuisine and occasion, as well a Vegetarian Nottingham post! Also, if you have any recommendations or anywhere to add to the list, please leave a comment below.
There are probably thousands of STEAMCREAM reviews floating around in the blogosphere, but for what it’s worth, I thought I’d add my tuppence worth to the mix today.
So first, a bit of background. STEAMCREAM is a multi-purpose cream for the face, body and hands, and is produced in a unique process using steam (rather than emulsification), to create a lightweight but moisturising lotion. It contains natural, high-quality ingredients, including oatmeal, orange flower water, lavender oil, organic jojoba oil, cocoa butter and essentials oils such as rose, and is 100% vegan and handmade.
I hate to admit it, but one of the first things that attracted me to STEAMCREAM was the packaging. The cream comes in a 75g, eco-friendly aluminium tin, which is the perfect size to take with you when out and about or travelling, and each one is decorated with a different gorgeous design. The tins are just so eye-catching and pretty, and I can see how you could get addicted to collecting them! My particular design is a limited edition called ‘Buttons by Lisa Milroy’, and though it wouldn’t be my first choice (it’s a bit too understated for my liking), I still really like it. There are so many to choose from, but some of my favourites from the STEAMCREAM Design Gallery have to be Light From Space, She, and Cosmos.
I’ve seen some bloggers say that they don’t like the smell of STEAMCREAM, but I think it smells absolutely beautiful. It’s quite earthy due to the natural ingredients, but the sweetness of the lavender and rose really shine through. Overall it’s a nice relaxing scent, and I like to use the cream before I go to bed as the lavender is soothing and helps me sleep.
Now, the important bit. STEAMCREAM has a light and loose consistency that is very gentle on the skin. I find it pleasant to use as it massages in well, is non-greasy and absorbs nicely, and it leaves my skin feeling cool and refreshed. I’m sort of in two minds about its effectiveness though. It makes the skin on my face and body feel soft and smooth, but it’s nowhere near intensive enough to help the dry skin on my hands. I do suffer quite a bit with it in the winter, so perhaps it will do my hands more good in the summer, when the dry skin eases off.
All in all, STEAMCREAM is a fab little handbag essential. It’s versatile, smells great, feels nice and looks amazing, and gets a thumbs up from me! STEAMCREAM retails for £12.95 with free worldwide delivery, and can be purchased here.
*This STEAMCREAM was sent to me by STEAMCREAM for review purposes. All opinions expressed are honest and my own.*
Last week I forgot to write a My Week on Instagram post, so this edit features my favourite Instagram photos from the last two weeks.
Mog eating biscuits in her hammock / AngelEye jacket, styled here / Miggley sleeping in my dressing gown / Leicester Christmas lights switch on / Pink orchid I found in the street / Queens of the Stone Age live at the NIA, 21/11/13 / Leicester Vegan Fair / Jennifer Hope waistcoat, styled here / Making the Christmas pudding
If you’d like to follow me on Instagram and see more of my photos, my username is bewitchery_. Please comment on this post with your usernames too as I’m always looking for new accounts to follow, especially fashion and beauty ones!
This week was a rather relaxed week for me, as I had a week off work and decided to do as little as possible. I let myself have some much needed me time, with nice food, a bit of retail therapy, and quality time spent with my fiancé and pets. Here are just a few photos of my week taken from Instagram.
Dopper Water Bottles for my GIVEAWAY / A mini shopping haul from my Christmas shopping trip on Wednesday / Homemade Tempura Vegetables with noodles and sweet chilli dip / Miggley and Mog in their cuddle pouch / New nail varnish from Asda, which I reviewed and swatched here / Kisses with Mog the Rat / Snibston Discovery Museum in Coalville, where my fiancé and I spent the day on Friday / My new leather look leggings with heeled Dr Martens / Dad’s new Crested Gecko, Ylno Tixe. He’s lovely!
If you’d like to follow me on Instagram and see more of my photos, my username is bewitchery_. Please comment on this post with your usernames too as I’m always looking for new accounts to follow, especially fashion and beauty ones!
As you may know, last week I joined Instagram, and so far I’ve really been enjoying photographing my daily happenings and looking at everybody else’s pictures. So, to bring my blog and my Instagram together a little bit more, from now on I will be blogging a round-up each week of my favourite photos. I haven’t yet taken that many so it’s slim pickings this week, but without further ado, here is my first installment! The image is clickable for a closer look.
Our Halloween pumpkin, carved by me / Mog the Rat having snuggles in my dressing gown / My dad’s baby bearded dragon, Russell, who in the last week has turned a lot more yellow! / Fireworks from the Abbey Park firework display on Saturday / My Butler & Wilson skull necklace / Sunday lunch at The Hunting Lodge – Stilton, Mushroom and Broccoli pasta bake with chips and veggies / AMAZING Rich Chocolate and Peanut Stack / Sunday rainbow / Miggley the Rat sitting in my slipper boot
If you’d like to follow me on Instagram and see more of my photos, my username is bewitchery_. Please comment on this post with your usernames too as I’m looking for more accounts to follow!