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Today we're talking about biscuits, specifically, The Vegan Treaterie's cookies and shortbread, which I have definitely fallen a little in love with.   

The Vegan Treaterie is a small business started by Madi who, after moving to the UK from NZ in 2015, fell into our very British obsession with tea and biscuits. You can't blame her really because who doesn't love a good cup of tea and a biscuit? Vegan biscuits aren't difficult to find - I mean Oreos are pretty much everywhere, however, the market was somewhat lacking a really good quality vegan biscuit brand, which is where The Vegan Treaterie was born from. 

With cookie flavours including chocolate and peanut, ginger and walnut, and pistachio and lemon; and shortbreads flavoured with lemon, spices, and salted chocolate, The Vegan Treaterie is shaking up the biscuit scene, which is so often forgotten about in favour of donuts and cakes (not that I'm complaining). All the biscuits come in really cute tins too, making them perfect for giving as a gift, something other vegan biscuits are definitely lacking. 

Madi so very kindly sent me two tins of her lovely biscuits to try after I discovered her Instagram and went on a bit of a liking party, commenting how incredible I thought her treats looked. She sent me a tin of the ginger and walnut cookies and one of the salted chocolate shortbread. Let me tell you, when you open a package and are greeted with the wonderful sweet smell of homebaked biscuits, you know what's inside is going to be good.  

The cookies were divine; crunchy but with a bit of a chew, as all good cookies should be, and delicious. The shortbread was also lovely but let me just preface this by saying vegan shortbread is damn hard to make and I think Madi has done a really good job, but as a Scot, it wasn't shortbready enough for me - that melt in your mouth, crumbly goodness just wasn't there. However, it tasted amazing and it took much restraint not to eat the whole tin in one go. 

So, in summary, I'm really loving The Vegan Treaterie and can't wait to get my hands on more of their biscuits (and probs give them to all my friends and family this Christmas...)! 

*Madi very kindly sent me these biscuits to try but, as always, all opinions, thoughts, and gushings of love for delicious vegan food are my own. 

This is a recipe I created for the lovely girls at Turah Magazine. The first issue has just come out and it's a truly beautiful piece of work which I am so happy to of been a part of. Turah is all about promoting mental and physical wellbeing and focuses on things like mindfulness, ethical consumption, good food (maybe I'm bias), art and exercise. The magazine is filled with beautiful illustrations, insightful words and a whole lot of positivity. I just love it. If you're in Edinburgh or Glasgow look out for this little gem floating around as it's well worth a read if you can get your hands on a copy (plus it's free!). But, in case you can't pick up a copy, the team have so very kindly let me share the recipe here too so I hope you will enjoy it!

You will need (serves 2):
around 24 spears of asparagus
1 head of broccoli
2 cups pasta

for the sauce
3 tablespoons vegan butter 
3 tablespoons plain flour 
2 cups soya milk 
1/2 cup nutritional yeast 
1 teaspoon dijon mustard 
1 teaspoon onion granules 
1/2 teaspoon garlic granules 
a little salt and black pepper to season

for the topping 
1 slice of whole wheat bread 
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast 

- Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees celsius. 
- Snap the woody end off the asparagus - bend it until it snaps and the bottom piece that snaps off is the woody bit you don't want. 
- Lay out the asparagus on a lined baking tray and drizzle with a little olive oil, a pinch of salt and a sprinkle of black pepper. Pop in the oven to roast for 15 minutes. 
- While the asparagus is roasting, put the pasta onto boil for 10 minutes and then start making the sauce. 
- In a pot, melt together the vegan butter and plain flour until it forms a paste. Gradually add the milk to the pot in small amounts, stirring well, to make a white sauce. Do this until all the milk has been added. 
- Add the rest of the sauce ingredients to the pot and mix well. Set aside until everything else is ready. 
- Add the broccoli into the pasta pot 2-3 minutes before it has finished cooking to heat this through. 
- Remove the asparagus from the oven and chop up the spears up into chunks. 
- Drain the pasta and put it back into the pot. Add the asparagus and pour over the sauce. Mix well until everything is covered in sauce. 
- Transfer the pasta to an ovenproof dish. 
- To make the topping, add the slice of bread to a food processor and pulse up into breadcrumbs. Stir through the nutritional yeast and use this to top the pasta bake. 
- Pop in the oven to bake for 15 minutes at 180 degrees celsius. 

Gosh, it's been a while since I posted a recipe on here but I found myself kind of lacking in food inspiration for a little while there, favouring old favourites over experimenting with new things. However,  I'm back with a good one to make up for it. This spicy bean dish has become a regular occurrence over the past few weeks and I don't see myself stopping making it anytime soon. I love it with black beans the most and I've also used pinto beans with the same delicious result, but you could really use any beans you have and I am sure it would turn out wonderfully because the flavours from the sauce and other ingredients are just so good. I think the secret is the tomatoes - definitely use piccolo ones if you can find them, they totally bring this dish to the next level, along with my new found love of jalapenos. 

You will need (serves 2):
1 pack (220g) piccolo cherry tomatoes
1 400g tin black or pinto beans
2 finely chopped sundried tomatoes 
4-5 finely chopped slices of jalapeno 
1 teaspoon paprika 
1/2 teaspoon garlic granules 
1/2 teaspoon onion granules 
1/4 teaspoon caster sugar
2 tablespoons tomato puree
a pinch of salt and black pepper 

- Chop up the cherry tomatoes into quarters and drain and rinse the beans. 
- Add the tomatoes to a frying pan with a little hot water and cook for 4-5 minutes over a medium heat.  
- Add the tomato puree, paprika, garlic, onion, sugar, salt and black pepper to the pan with a little more hot water to make a paste. Stir in the sundried tomatoes and jalapeno slices and cook everything together for a further minute. 
- Finally, add in the beans and 1/2 cup of water. Using a fork, mash up about a third of the beans into the mixture and then leave to simmer for 20 minutes over a low heat. 
- Serve with rice and veggies or add to a wrap with salad. 

(ps, does anyone actually download these? Please let me know if you do as I don't know if I should keep creating the downloads)

Since my last vegan faves post was back in November (oops), it is definitely time for a little run down of all the wonderful vegan products I am totally into at the moment. Vegan life is pretty damn good, especially because there are so many amazing brands and people out there making the best vegan products (accidentally or not!). These are just a few of the products I've been loving recently... 

Taylors of Harrogate Rose Lemonade Tea

You know, I never used to like herbal or fruit teas that much but since giving up coffee I just can't get enough. This rose lemonade gem is my fave at the moment. The flavour is so delicate yet strong and totally has a summer vibe. I reckon it would be really good iced too, I need to try that. 

The Herbivore Kitchen

Alison who runs The Herbivore Kitchen (previously known as All About Patisserie) seriously makes the best cakes ever. There hasn't been a single thing I've had that she made that hasn't been out of this world delicious. I think the sticky toffee pudding is my favourite, closely followed by her brownies, and then everything else. She's based in Edinburgh so if you're in the area then definitely check her out for all your vegan cake needs.

Eat Real Cheddar and Jalapeno Quinoa Puffs  

My boyfriend and I are obsessed with these crisps. We only know one shop that sells them and we will, and have, driven all the way there just to get them. They are really similar to wotsits but bigger and a whole lot tastier, with a delicious and super moreish jalapeƱo kick. All of Eat Real's products are incredible but these puffs are definitely top of the table for me. I'm craving them just writing this.

Vivani Rice Chocolate 

This chocolate is divine, and perhaps the best 'vegan but tastes like regular chocolate' I have come across. Normally I wouldn't spend so much on a plain chocolate bar but the packaging is so pretty that it totally sucked us in and I am so happy it did. Made with rice milk powder instead of milk and with hints of hazelnut and vanilla, this chocolate is so heavenly and kinda reminded me of the Milka chocolate I used to love. It's seriously good vegan chocolate - if you spot it you definitely need to try it because it is totally worth the money. (Sorry I don't have a pic of the bar, but it's linked above). 

Pacifica Island Vanilla Perfume 

I fell in love with this perfume quite a while ago after trying some in a store and I was lucky to get some for Christmas (I know we're in May now but this is my first vegan faves of the year). I can't even tell you how good it smells, I adore it. There are lots of other scents too, and Pacifica also does skincare, makeup and candles, all of which is vegan and cruelty free. 

Sam Murphy's So Beautifully Real Cookbook 

I wrote a whole post about this wonderful book a while ago but it definitely needed to be mentioned again because it is so great. I am currently in love with the banoffee porridge parfait (pictured above) and have made the satay tofu quite a lot of times. This book would be a perfect gift, it's beautifully put together and demonstrates just how much incredible food you can eat as a vegan.

What are your fave vegan products at the moment?