Tag: food

#BEDN ~ Food Glorious Food

Cornwall was an absolute delight when it came to food. I was quite surprised that so many places catered so well for vegetarians, it was really refreshing. Naturally I took advantage of being on holiday & pretty much stuffed my face at every given opportunity! It started on our arrival to our holiday cottage, where we had been left some homemade cake. Perfection!

Homemade cakeWhen eating out, we had to find places that catered for me & Poppy and once again, we were quite surprised to find lots of places that welcomed Poppy with open arms.

Veggie cooked breakfastWe googled dog friendly places to eat, and Trevena Cross Nurseries came up and lo and behold, they also did a veggie cooked breakfast. We chose to eat outside so that when Poppy hit her limit of waiting, she wouldn’t bother too many other people, but she was welcome inside too. When they brought our food out, they brought some water & dog treats for Poppy too! Cute!

Cornish Cream TeaAfter one of our epic walks around the coast path, we needed some refreshment and noticed that The Old Cellars Restaurant offered a Cornish Cream Tea. Once again, Poppy was welcome both inside & out. Now I’ve eaten many a cream tea in my time, but this was the best one I’ve ever eaten! Whether it was the hike, the fresh sea air or the fact that we were in Cornwall, whatever, it was amazing! The thought of it is actually making my mouth water!

Delicious lunchVeggie options for lunch can be hugely disappointing. Cheese sandwich anyone? So when we checked out the menu for The Fat Mackerel and I saw the meal above, I knew I didn’t want to look anywhere else. I love olives & hummus and I wasn’t disappointed with this. The only criticism I have is that I could’ve done with more bread, but that’s just because I’m greedy! Poppy was welcome too though I don’t know welcome she was after she barked at a dog that walked by – Poppy has a surprisingly loud bark!

Homemade soupOn our final night, we ate at Cadgwith Cove Inn. I’m not quite sure why we left it to the last night to eat there, but it was amazing! Not only do they sell great wine & have fishermen singing there every Friday, but Poppy was a big hit & earned lots of dog treats from the barman! It’s safe to say she was pretty happy there. I was too, not only because their delicious carrot & coriander soup changed my view of soup, but because the veggie option on the menu was a vegetarian trio.

Veggie TrioThe Vegetarian Trio consisted of risotto, cannelloni & toasted focaccia and it was delicious. It felt really nice to have a meal out that had some thought to it and not feel like they just kind of did whatever. It’s probably better that we didn’t eat there on our first night, as we wouldn’t have left!

There’s nothing quite like eating great food, especially when you’re on holiday. Why? Those calories don’t count of course!

Spicy Szechuan Noodles from Domestic Sluttery

Followers of my Twitter feed will know that I hate cooking. I don’t enjoy it very much and try to avoid it at all costs. But then I saw this post on the Domestic Sluttery Facebook page and was intrigued. I was so intrigued that I emailed the link to my OH & we decided to give it a go. Feeling brave, I ordered all the ingredients online, with the exception of the Szechuan peppercorns as Tesco didn’t have any. (I Googled it & some people recommended using black peppercorns instead. Not the best idea in the world! We’re going to look for the Szechuan ones elsewhere for next time.) So Thursday night came around & it was time to cook.

szechuan ingredients

I got everything together and started on the tofu. Yep. We went with tofu because I love it & I needed my tofu fix. (This has become quite urgent as my favourite Chinese restaurant has changed the way they do their tofu & they’ve ruined it. I nearly cried!) You have to drain the water out of tofu for a while beforehand, then chop it up into chunks. Once that’s done, you need to get the rest of the ingredients ready, as with all Asian cooking, everything moves pretty quickly once you get started. The recipe from Domestic Sluttery is really easy to follow. Each step is nice & clear, even for me to follow. (Seriously, this is important. I can ruin frozen pizza. Fact!) There’s a nice mixture of flavours, though it’s quite spicy. While this is okay for my OH & I, I don’t think my mum could eat it 😉

Spicy Szechuan NoodlesIt was really, really delicious. I could eat tofu all day, every day and this dish is no exception. It’s going be a regular on our menu, that’s for certain. The things we need to remember for next time are: Break up the noodles before cooking or you’ll end up with noodles all over your face, cut all the veg the same size to make it easier to eat & never skimp on the tofu! Can’t wait until I can eat it again! Delicious!

 

How to make Perfect Soft Boiled Eggs

I am no cook. In fact, I hate cooking. If I could eat out/live on takeaway, I would. But having a decent cookbook in the house can make even the most rubbish of cooks look decent. Yes, I have achieved success with boiling eggs. Not only that, I can make perfect soft boiled eggs, with delicoius runny yolks, perfect for dunking soldiers in. How, I hear you ask? Delia Smith. I follow the instructions in her How to Cook: Book One for all my egg-related meals.

Boiled Eggs & Soldiers

First, boil enough water to cover the eggs in a saucepan. When it’s boiled, reduce the heat so that it’s simmering then add the eggs gently. Simmer for 1 minute, turn the heat off, put a lid on the saucepan. For soft, wobbly eggs, put the timer on for 6 minutes. For slightly firmer eggs, go for 7 minutes. If you stick to the timings, you’ll get perfect soft boiled eggs every time  If I ever veer away from them, I make the soldiers pointless!

Happy Sunday brunch everyone!

Why I’m a Vegetarian and other rantings

For those that don’t know, I’m a vegetarian. I’ve been a vegetarian for 10 years and was initially moved to cut meat out of my life after learning about what life is like for the many animals who form part of the food industry. Battery chickens, intensive farming, inhumane conditions – all of it made me sick and I couldn’t be a part of it any more. I couldn’t stop associating the cute animals in the field with what was on my plate & kept picturing Bambi, the adorable pig from Babe, the rabbits from Watership Down & felt guilty. I appreciate that there are plenty of alternatives to mass produced meat and that lots of animals have very lovely lives before they are slaughtered. But I’m not prepared to raise, kill & prepare meat or fish for me to eat it so I wouldn’t expect anyone else to either and so I said goodbye to meat, poultry, fish & any food that contained an animal by-product such as gelatine. And personally, I don’t agree that there is such a thing as ‘humane slaughter’. Not long after I became a vegetarian, I moved to a flat what was in front of a small abattoir which dealt with a small number of animals on a daily basis (The rent was cheap!) so I understand the process. I also know that a lot of the animals used in the food industry wouldn’t live at all if they weren’t bred for food but for me it’s not enough. As a vegetarian, I don’t eat fish either. I don’t see them any differently to chickens, cows, pigs or horse. If only the food industry understood this.

M&S

I’ve seen restaurants label fish as vegetarian, parmesan as vegetarian and this week, prawns, salmon & tuna even made it in the veggie section of Marks and Spencers sandwich selection. Hey M&S! I don’t care how luxurious your prawns are, veggies don’t eat fish! I don’t expect Joe Bloggs on the street to understand the difference between vegetarian and pescetarian, but the food industry should. It’s their business. I’m no Alan Sugar, but surely it makes good business sense to be able to cater for as many people as possible!

Pescetarian: someone who eats fish but not meat

The Vegetarian Society defines a vegetarian as: “Someone who lives on a diet of grains, pulses, nuts, seeds, vegetables and fruits with, or without, the use of dairy products and eggs. A vegetarian does not eat any meat, poultry, game, fish, shellfish or by-products of slaughter.”

So often I go to restaurants to find that the veggie options were clearly an afterthought or they haven’t been thought about at all. And god help you if you’re vegan*! By not understanding their customers makes me think that they don’t want my business. They are not worthy of my money. Lots of people are vegetarian for many different reasons. It’s a choice they’ve made. By ignoring them or not putting much thought into them makes me want to take my business elsewhere. So if a restaurant incorrectly labels food as veggie when it isn’t or doesn’t offer veggie options at all, it won’t be receiving my custom at all. Am I a second class citizen because I made a choice to exclude certain food groups from my diet? Is my money less valuable? Oh well, fortunately for me there are still plenty of great options. That’s why I always try to review places I’ve eaten so that other vegetarians in the area know who does good vegetarian food. Plus, even meat-eaters enjoy meat free food sometimes! Be more adventurous than mushroom risotto or, for goodness sake, Broccoli & Cauliflower bake! Use vegetarian ingredients, label your puddings & don’t just give us cheese and pasta! You’re the chefs – be creative!

Being vegetarian is my decision. I don’t force it on anyone else, and no, Poppydog does not follow a vegetarian diet. She enjoys meat &  some of the by-products of the meat industry, including, as of this week, pig trotters from the local butcher. I don’t feel guilt about it – they didn’t die for me, but waste not, want not!

I eat meat

Forgive me if I’ve not explained myself very well – it’s quite an emotional issue. Have a look at what Luiz Antonio views eating meat – He explains my view very well! Out of the mouths of babes…

*I tried to be a vegan, as there are lots of ethical issues surrounding the production of leather, wool and dairy products, but for me, being veggie is enough. Having said that, I avoid leather as much as possible and buy ethical wool & dairy products as much as possible.