Two of the three pugs that I had the pleasure to look after. Pugs are hilarious as I had the joy to discover!
The first series of recipes on the new cooking app has been available for a month now. Have you cooked up one of Berlin’s iconic recipes yet? Click here to buy the vegan cook app for iTunes. Or for Google Play Android version.
I had a few go-to ingredients when putting together the recipes for the cooking app. I used Earth Balance spread whenever I was veganizing a recipe that used butter. I put together the series, cooking, photographing etc whilst in the USA and took the opportunity to use Earth Balance to see if it lived up to its reputation. It did. I thought it was such a wonderful product which performed perfectly in all my bakes and sauces.
Now I want to you try it. Earth Balance have 12 VIP coupons to give away (USA residents only). 1 coupon per person to take home any Earth Balance product. FREE.
Up to you what you choose but you could try the Mac n Cheese box that I saw one of my favourite vegan bloggers, Kathy review. She said it was just like the Kraft Blue Box. Well, I have not got a clue what that tastes like but it seems it has the power to bring a watery tear of joy to the eye of many American. So to find a vegan version I guess it must be good.
You could of course download the V is For Vegetable app and make one (or all) of the recipes. Apfelkuchen perhaps? Or the unique, dark, dense, poppy seed torte?
Or maybe try one of Earth Balance’s range of nut butters, or grab a bag of the ‘cheese’ puffs to munch on whilst watching a movie?
The choice is yours.
To enter for a chance to win..
The MOB is baked in ovenware formed to the shape of the Brooklyn Bridge (nice touch). It was delicious. Generously topped and the base, though not like pizza, it had an almost cakey texture but it was good and it soaked up the aioli and the juices from the sauté perfectly. Filling too! I would definitely recommend eating at MOB when you visit Brooklyn. If you come to NYC, Brooklyn is a must. It has a totally different feel. Less frenetic than its island neighbour. I felt I could breathe here.
London Olympia was host to the Natural & Organics show last weekend. I went along to see what new products were being launched. Also, to just take in the atmosphere. When you get a gathering of people who are passionate about what they do, and care about their consumers AND the planet, the atmosphere is quite electric.
Held over three days Natural & Organic have zoned areas Beauty & Spa, Health, Living and Food. Primarily, my interest was in the FOOD but I did stroll though the other zones to see if anything caught my eye.
I thought I’d share some photo’s with you. I was heartened to see many of the Continental European, and American products I love to enjoy when I am travelling are beginning to make their way over here, together with great ‘home grown’ foods emerging.
There was a feast of exciting new chocolate, more coconut products than you can shake a stick at and a substantial amount of gluten free foods. All making it easier and tastier to be vegan and gluten free. The days of feeling like you are missing out are numbered (not that I do, research and persistance pays off in many ways).
My Award For Best New Vegan Chocolate – Goes to Pana Chocolate With quite a few flavour combinations, the chocolatier from Australia certain knows flavour! Soon to be in the UK.
Best Museli I’ve tasted. Made with raw vegetables. It has the perfect balance of sweet and crunch. Filling too! from Primrose Kitchen
Seitan made from spelt that SOME people with gluten sensitivities are able to tolerate. If you know you can then you’d enjoy these products. I cannot so I did not try them.
Delicious cookies. Soon to be sugar free. Punku Quinoa cookies.
Food For Life are coming over from the US with their vegan and gluten free breads.
Look out for these new products. MANY of which will be in the large UK supermarkets. The big stores have caught on. Which of course is great but I am also wary of larger companies getting on the band wagon and touting foods as health foods but when you look at the label they are stuffed full of processed sugar, crappy fats and fillers. All the above are both delicious and healthy. The best combo!
Following on from Paris Part 1, I bring you supermarkets, cafes and a few other vegan cafes I sat and watched the world go by in whilst enjoying a little snack or two. You’ll also find a really useful list of articles on gluten free and vegan eating in Paris, I picked up from the internet. Though of course this is all you need! Do make sure you check if the restaurants and cafes are open every day and check their opening hours. Also, find out if they take cash and/or cards for payment. (You can benefit from my mistakes).
Also known as Sol Semilia. I had a slice of ginger cake here. Made with buckwheat. They serve lunch and dinner on certain nights. I did not try but it looked and smelled great as they served it to the diners beside me. They also sell super foods.
Nestled in a covered market between two butcher (eek!) is My Kitch’n The Swedish founder serves one or two gluten free, vegan dishes.
A totally dedicated vegan supermarket in Paris Un Mond Vegan. They have an extensive range of products. A great little shop, near the Place Du Republic.
The lovely girl at Un Monde Vegan had a list of all the great vegan restaurants and cafes in Paris.
I loved these polenta bakes from Tossolia. They are vegan and gluten free. I enjoyed them with Lima courgette soup and slices of Morsserisella.
Naturalia stock a good selection of vegan, raw, and organic products.
I found a shop entirely dedicated to gluten free items of an Italian bent.
Carrefour a chain who are dotted all over the city. They have many items suitable for vegans, and a gluten free and organic section.
Most of the supermarkets, even the little express stores had a gluten free section. I found these tarts. They were a bit sweet and artificial for me but you may love them.
I lived off these patties from Sojasun. A tasty respite from expensive dining out! Only 3 Euro from most supermarkets. Gluten free and vegan but not for the soy adverse.
I was happy to discover what I consider to the best, hands down, almond milk I’ve had to date (beside my own fresh). La Mandorle actually taste like almonds. Delicious. Not like some of the ones I’ve tried in the US (Silk) which are a bit unnatural tasting.
I discovered this French made Karma Kombucha. It has just the right acidity & fizz. They also sell a kefir which was refreshing and delicious.
cafes in Paris
Chic and bright, Cafe Pinson located at the north end of La Marais in the 10th arrondissement. They have vegan desserts that are gluten free. Though on the day I visited just a syllabub was on offer. Typical cost of a cup of tea, 4 euro. Paris is anything but cheap.
Another hip coffee bar. Intimate and friendly just off the Canal St Martin. 10 Belles is much loved by the discerning coffee connoisseur.
I had to include this restaurant not because I ate there but because I am immature and I thought the name was funny.
Dose Dealer De Cafe is a nice little coffee shop in the Latin Quarter. My second favourite area of Paris.
Whilst wandering the streets away from the tourist areas I stumbled across this covered market. Built on the site of a 16th century orphanage on the Rue De Bretagne. It had lots of food stalls but I did not find anything vegan. It is a good place for coffee/tea and a spot of Parisian watching.
After a little bit of research and planning, I strategically placed myself in the area with the most vegan/vegetarian cafes and restaurants. I was steps from Bob’s Juice Bar, Holybelly, Tuck Shop, Le Bar Des Artisans, and easy walking distance to others.
Useful guides for vegan eating in Paris
There is much written about the vegan and vegetarian restaurants in Paris. I wrote about it in [Paris Part 1]. Top 5 Vegan & Gluten Free Dishes In Paris
These are just a few I found useful when I first arrived in Paris.
I found this really useful, too. It is a mobile app for vegans in Paris, by a Parisian.
Gorgeous Cafes in Paris
I gathered some information on the most happening cafes in Paris, too. Personally, I do not like coffee. The aroma..oh yes but the taste..not so much! However, I like hanging out in a good coffee shop.
Good Coffee In Paris
Have you been to Paris? Leave a comment and let us know which were your favourites.
Did you spot any food trucks? I do not think this idea has hit the streets of Paris yet.
Find yourself hungry and away from a sizeable city and it can be a wasteland for vegans, and slim pickings for those with gluten or other food sensitivities. Jacket potato anyone? Oh yes, I’ll just pop on my 80’s shoulder pads, white stilettos and step back in time to devour this culinary masterpiece!
Back here in the 21st century changes are afoot. A trickle of inventiveness is emerging and SOME pub and cafe chains are offering those who prefer to live off plants and don’t find a plate of raw carrots sticks and tomato sauce a dinner worthy of salivation, a meal with flavour and a bit of thought.
A few weeks back I was staying in a twee little English village. A friend was visiting and I didn’t want to cook. I heard something on the grapevine about a local Greene King pub that was serving a couple of vegan dishes on the menu. Hoorah! I called ahead and, hang out the bunting, ring the bells, they confirmed that they did.
I didn’t quite skip with glee all the way there as I was a bit wary, however I was pleasantly surprised. The salad was tasty and filling. The beetroot glaze was lovely and the tiny chillies added a gentle kick.
roquito peppers, marinated olives, fine beans, chickpeas, broccoli, sun-blushed baby tomatoes, red onion, beetroot glaze £7.45
Did you attend? What was your favourite purchase?
BB cream was a bit of a buzz word in 2013. At the time, I briefly wondered what BB meant and what the fuss was all about, then promptly ignored it. I figured, as the cream was made by huge well known cosmetic companies with reputations for using decidedly unnatural ingredients, or testing on animals, I definitely did not want any of that on my skin. Then, whilst on a recent trip to the USA, I saw a vegan Beauty Balm. Now this time I was intrigued. What was it the cosmetic companies were banging on about? Well, I ignore those that say a product is good for you and one look at the synthetic ingredients has me sure that they are not. But a VEGAN, paraben free, tinted, SPF15 beauty balm!! Now that has my attention.
It is made by a totally vegan and paraben free skin care company called Devita. They have an extensive range of cosmetics and toiletries used by top make up artists who are now embracing vegan products. This is such a huge leap forward.
So what is in it? Here are the ingredients listed:
ACTIVE INGREDIENT: Zinc oxide 9%. INACTIVE INGREDIENTS: Aloe barbadensis (organic certified aloe vera gel), Purified Water (aqua), Capric/caprylic triglycerides (derived from coconut oil), Glycerin (vegetable), Pomegranate extract, Japanese green tea, Hyaluronic acid (vegan source), Glyceryl stearate SE (derived from vegetable oil), Stearic acid, Lecithin phospholipid, Tocopherol (vitamin E), Allantoin*, Vitis vinifera* (grape) seed extract.
Packed full of quality ingredients. One of which is Hyaluronic acid. It helps to retain over a 1000 times its weight in water within the cells of skin, making it an excellent moisturiser. It is reported that no other biological substance can retain as much water. Fabulous! The only question I had was about the addition of zinc oxide. What is that? Is it safe? Am I going to look like I’ve covered my face in chalk, like some sun protection products do? Why does it contain zinc and not titanium dioxide (both physical sunscreens that deflect the sun rather than chemically producing a barrier on the skin (less effective for both types of A & B spectrum rays)? I did some delving.
After much research I discovered that zinc is thought to be superior in UVA & UVB protection then the other minerals used in sunscreens,
here is a report by EWG to highlight different sunscreen methods
Then, as I slipped further down the rabbit hole, concerned that I only recommend safe and effective products to you, I read that some cosmetic companies use nano particles to deliver their mineral sunscreens. Scary sci-fi stuff! Nano particles are so tiny they are absorbed into the blood stream and accumulated systemically in the bodies organs. Tests performed at UCLA showed that (in mice) the particles actually genetically altered the DNA within 5 days! Can this be safe for humans?
The Environmental Welfare Group answer this question on their FAQ page.
Could nanoparticles cause internal damage if they penetrate skin or are inhaled?
Yes. Though sunscreen lotions do not pose penetration concerns, inhalation of nanoparticles particles is dangerous for many reasons. EWG strongly discourages the use of powder or spray sunscreens using titanium dioxide or zinc oxide of any particle size.
I decided to make a call to DeVita to ask them about their product. They told me that they use micronised zinc oxide which is nearly transparent and has a particle size of 250nm, whilst nano is considered UNDER 100nm. You can read about their micronised zinc oxide here.
It seems that more research needs to be conducted on humans but another check under the product list hazard rating at the EWG website listed DeVita’s sunscreen product as a LOW HAZARD.
Enough of the science and research. So, aside from all that, what did I think of the beauty balm?
It is hydrating, non-greasy and has no trace of white sheen. I found the medium a great tone for my olive..y skin. The coverage is light to medium. It didn’t clog my skin or feel heavy, it was whipped and light. The SPF is only 15, but, as I tend to love the sun but seek shade, this is sufficient for the climates I am currently spending time in.
In short, I’m very happy to have it in my vegan beauty box!
UPDATE: The product has just won an award.