Using and Wearing Non-Vegan Products as a Vegan

Monday, 28 November 2016

Confession: I'm a vegan and I still wear leather boots. 


Let's just talk about this for a minute though. I bought the leather boots years before becoming vegan, even before I was vegetarian. They were bloody expensive and are really good quality. The damage was done when I handed over the money for said boots so, now that I'm vegan, is it still okay for me to wear the boots? 

Yes. It totally is.

Because the damage has already been done, I've already supported the brand by buying the product and it would be so wasteful for me to throw the boots away; a waste of that animal's life and a waste of a good pair of boots. 

Likewise, I use non-vegan beauty and cleaning products quite frequently because again, I bought them before I was vegan or was gifted them from someone. And that's okay. 

It's okay because I would never buy the products myself with my own money. It's okay because to throw them away would be horribly wasteful and would do no good for the environment. Once the products wear or run out then I will replace them with vegan alternatives. 

I'm still learning every single day about what ingredients are vegan and the sneaky ones to watch out for. I've made mistakes and bought things without thinking because they are things I have always bought. I still have a whole pile of beauty products that I've had for ages and am slowly making my way through that are not vegan. Does that make me not vegan? I wouldn't say so. 

I've seen people talk about how they threw away all their non-vegan products because they wanted to dive right into the lifestyle, which just seems like such a waste to me. You could give things away to friends or family if you really wanted to get rid of them but please don't put them to landfill. 

Veganism is a huge learning curve and it really does take time to make the full transition to living a 100% vegan lifestyle.

As long as you are doing the best you can, that's all that matters.

What do you think about this topic? Let me know in the comments below.

Apple, Blueberry and Cinnamon Porridge

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Hey guys. So, I'm sorry there wasn't a post yesterday. I was away at the weekend and since we were planning on coming back on Sunday I hadn't bothered to schedule this, but we were having such a lovely time that we decided to stay for one more night, hence why this is coming to you on Tuesday rather than Monday. I really had the most wonderful weekend, though. We were down in Galloway which is a really beautiful part of Scotland, especially at this time of year with all the autumnal colours, frost lining the ground and snow on the hilltops. It was a weekend to just totally switch off and enjoy living in the moment without worrying about other things. We did some fantastic walks, snuggled up watching Fawlty Towers by the fire and ate a whole lot of yummy vegan food - I even whipped up my first ever vegan roast dinner and finally managed to get my hands on those coop jam donuts! Coming back to reality after such a lovely time away can be difficult but I am so grateful for the time I spent away and the really great company I spent it with.

Anyway, onto the recipe. There's absolutely nothing more satisfying than a big bowl of hot porridge when the mornings are dark and cold. There's also not much better than cinnamon at this time of year. Yes, I'm pretty obsessed at the moment but you guys understand, right? It's so good and goes so perfectly with apple. This porridge makes me feel all autumnal and makes a nice change from my usual banana based porridge.

You will need (serves 1): 
1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup soya milk 
1 apple
1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds 
1 teaspoon cinnamon 
1/2 tablespoon date syrup 
2 tablespoons sultanas 
a handful of blueberries
1 tablespoon Linwoods milled flax, chia seed, apple and cinnamon mix (optional)

- Chop the apple up into small chunks. 
- Add all the ingredients, except the blueberries and flaxseed, into a pot along with 1/2 a cup of soya milk and 1/2 a cup of water. 
- Simmer over a low-medium heat, stirring regularly, for 4-5 minutes. 
- Add the blueberries and mix through. Allow to simmer for a further two minutes, or until the porridge reaches your preferred consistency - add more water if required.
- Once the porridge is cooked, mix through the flaxseed or sprinkle it on top. 

10 Minute Tomato Pasta Sauce

Monday, 14 November 2016

I've always been a firm pasta lover. When I was at university I practically lived off the stuff, partly due to my lack of cooking skills back then and partly because I just absolutely loved it and it was cheap. Even through all the chat on how you should avoid pasta because carbs, I've always stuck by it because how can anyone not eat something so bloody amazing. Maybe it's a comfort thing, throughout my childhood pasta was a firm staple in our house and both of my favourite meals that my dad cooked were pasta. So basically, I eat a lot of pasta and it's delicious. Don't be scared of it, carbs are good and filling and delicious. 

Normally, I would spend an hour one day making up a big batch of tomato pasta sauce that I would then freeze in batches to be taken out when needed. I still do sometimes but after coming home one evening and having those pasta craves but no sauce in sight I thought I'd try to throw together something quick. It came out so good that my carefully prepared sauce has been shunned in favour of this super lazy 10 minute method. I'm not complaining. This sauce is filled with flavour with a nice kick from the chilli flakes and a hint of cheesiness from the nutritional yeast. I think I've made it every week for the past few months! 

You will need (serves 1): 
10 cherry tomatoes, halved
3 sundried tomatoes, finely chopped 
1 grated carrot 
3 tablespoons tomato puree 
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried mixed herbs 
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon onion granules 
1/4 teaspoon chilli flakes 
1/4 teaspoon garlic granules 
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional)
a handful of spinach (optional) 

- Put the cherry tomatoes into a pot with a little water and fry for 3-4 minutes over a medium heat. 
- Add the tomato puree, sundried tomatoes and all the herbs and spices with a little extra water to make a paste. Leave this to simmer for around 1-2 minutes. 
- Add the grated carrot and 1/2 a cup of water and leave to simmer over a low/medium heat for 5 minutes. 
- Stir through the nutritional yeast and spinach if adding and then pour over some cooked pasta.

Vegan Favourites #2

Monday, 7 November 2016

It's unintentionally been quite a few months now since I posted my first vegan favourites so I definitely think it's time for another. Does anyone else feel like time is just going past at lightening speed? I thought about posting one of these every month but nope, time goes past way too fast for that! Anyway, so many wonderful things have been happening in the vegan food world recently so this post has ended up being almost all food items. Food is my number one love though so that's okay, right? 

ConsiderIt Chocolate (and salted caramel donuts) 

This is another of my vegan market finds. ConsiderIt makes the most delicious vegan truffle bars - the cinnamon and vanilla are my personal favourites so far. AND, they make vegan salted caramel donuts, which are quite honestly heaven. If you're from Scotland you need to track these guys down. I've also just discovered they have a store in the town where I live, which is so exciting because this town is severely lacking in good vegan food, but could also be very dangerous for my bank balance. Must control myself. 

Zizzi Vegan Pizza

I won't talk too much about this one because there's a whole post where I talk in great depth about my love for Zizzi's vegan pizza. It is the best pizza though, and the caramelised onions were to die for! 100% going back really, really soon. 

Geo Organics Satay Curry Paste 

This is the second curry paste I've tried by Geo Organics (the first was their red Thai curry paste, which is so good: recipe here) and it did not disappoint. In fact, it is so good I've been telling almost everyone I know about it. I made a curry using the paste, coconut milk, tofu, courgettes and carrots and it was out of this world, I've been dreaming about it ever since. All of Geo Organics' products are vegan, organic and made with ingredients you will recognise. I can't wait to try more of their range and will most definitely be stocking up on the satay paste.

Sainsbury's Caramelised Onion Cheese 

There isn't a Sainsbury's in the town where I stay so when I was over in Edinburgh a week or so ago I made sure to pop into a store and pick up some of the new vegan cheeses having been dying to get my hands on them since they launched! The caramelised onion one is possibly the best vegan cheese I've tried so far. The flavour is so good and the texture is really similar to regular cheese as I remember it, perhaps just a little softer. It goes perfectly with some crackers and grapes. It's a serious game changer - thank you Sainsbury's!

Laura Thomas' Don't Salt My Game Podcast 

Okay, so this isn't actually a vegan thing, although Laura is plant-based/vegan/doesn't eat anything with a face, whatever, anyway, I had to mention it here because you guys definitely need to know about it! I can't remember how I came across Laura's podcast but I can tell you that I am totally loving it at the moment. I discovered it around episode 15 so I've been binge listening back to all the past episodes and listening to the new ones as they come out each week. Each one is an interview with a different person who is doing wonderful things in the world, all centred around health and wellbeing. The best thing about it though is that it's all based on evidence and science, not just rubbish that's totally made up or 'shit that bloggers say'. I really can't get enough of it right now and it's totally been making my 6am gym sessions more exciting. It is most definitely my jam right now (if you listen to it, you'll get that). 

What are you guys loving at the moment?