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Thoughts on veggie food, work, play and life in general

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Monthly Loves

Monthly Loves – February

Wow what a month February was.  It started with snow, and then a mini heatwave, then cooled back down to near normal temperatures.  I think this gave us all a pre-spring lift. So this month I was grateful for:

  • Signs of spring – Daffodils, snowdrops and crocuses have brought a lovely splash of colour to brighten up these winter days.  The longer daylight hours are also making the walk to and from work much more enjoyable.

Photo by Simon Moore on Unsplash
  • Bel and Dragon – this small chain of hotels and restaurants may not be the cheapest but the venues, food and service are lovely.  Not the best veggie menu in the world (very cheese orientated), but still worth it for a treat. I was lucky enough to be taken for a weekend to celebrate my birthday!
  • Quiet Time – As you will see from my blogs I have discovered the joy of quiet time and switching off.  
  • Lentil Dahl – a dish that is very simple to make, full of flavour and perfect to have as a main meal or a light lunch
  • Moving Office – my company has moved office to a much more modern, insulated building.  My morale has definitely lifted as I now don’t feel cold at work all day, and I have a window to look out of.

Monthly Loves – January

January – the month of setting resolutions and getting back into work after the the Christmas break.  The days have been dark, and although the daylight hours are increasing, the temperature is dropping. It’s not my favourite month – the dark days do sap my energy, but there are the signs of longer,warmer days to come.  However I have come across a few lovely things this month…..

  • Beautiful lace like jewellery from Ruth Mary Jewellery.  Stunning pieces made by a very talented lady
  • Naughty but nice – my local corner store has started stocking a Mexican Mix by Silver Palm Foods.  I love the dried corn snacks you get and this has a mix of corn, dried beans and crisps in a spicy covering.  Naughty and very moorish!
  • The veggie/vegan options at Las Iguanas.  Great choice of food which made my meat eating friends a little envious!
  • Graze Veggie Protein Power Snack –  a much healthier option than the Mexican Mix with a great flavour.  A good go to elevenses pick me up.
  • Taking time out to have some quiet time.  A recent trip to a spa made me realise that there is too much noise and too many distractions in my life, which stop me concentrating.  But more of that in an upcoming blog…..
Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

Monthly Loves – December

December – that month of cramming in work, parties and shopping before a long break (if you are lucky) where time seems to stand still and days become one big blur..  

  • Christmas Festivities – although Christmas has changed for me a lot over the last few years, I still enjoying to see the energy and enjoyment it brings to so many people.  
  • I had a lovely Christmas meal with a client at The Half Moon at Warninglid.  Probably the best veggie meal I hd out this month. Not sure what the usual menu is like, but I know my other half will love the food there, so planning a trip back at some point.
  • Hot chocolate made with almond milk.  The best dairy free alternative and flavour combination I have found to date.
  • Mal Maison – probably my favourite hotel chain who also cater well for vegetarians.  The staff are always welcoming and the decor is sumptuous. Don’t visit very often but I am never disappointed.
  • Christmas Dinner – I made a simple but gorgeous veggie main using Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s receipe for baked mushrooms with kale and walnuts. It went perfectly with all the roast veg and trimmings and was really filling. And it to no time to prepare and cook! Find the receipe in his River Cottage Much More Veg book
  • If you read my latest blog you will think I did nothing over the Christmas break, however I did spend a good few hours planning my business for the next 12 months.  Business planning sounds quite boring, but I am now focussed on what I want to achieve, and how to achieve it. I found it a very energising process and am looking forward to 2019.
  • Presents – my lovely friends and family showered me with an array of environmentally friendly and home-made gifts, helping my journey to reducing plastic and treading more lightly on the earth.

Monthly Loves – November

November seems to have gone by in a flash.  I was lucky enough to have a few days off work, which resulted in some great restaurant finds!  

  • Winchester -lovely place for a short break.  Beautiful architecture, great museum and lovely shops.  Mkre sure you go when the market is on – a lovely mix of stalls.
  • River Cottage Kitchen – I love Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s Much More Veg cookbook so took the opportunity to eat at his Winchester restaurant.  The food was amazing, although most of the veggie/vegan food options are side dishes. But don’t be disheartened. The portion sizes are good and the variety of choice leaves you wondering what to order, and hoping your meat eating  companions will order some of the sides so you can try them.
  • Incognito Cocktail Bar – An interesting and quirky cocktail bar, serving a lot of different drinks, with modern twists on your old favourites.
helena-yankovska-434536-unsplash
  • Kinder Tech – This is a small, local opportunity to have your tech issues answered and fixed for free.  Run by volunteers from the people behind The Kinder Living Show, this twice yearly event gives you the chance to find out what is wrong with your tech, possibly get it fixed and find out if it is worth fixing.  They will also take your old tech and make sure it is recycled.
  • I was lucky enough to attend the Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall.  A beautiful, emotional and humbling evening.
  • Green People shampoo – the only shampoo I have used that means I don’t need conditioner.  My hairdresser is amazed by it and is looking to get it stocked in the salon.

Monthly Loves – October

What an interesting month October turned out to be.  It started by working for a client in Berlin for a few days and ended with some exciting changes on the job front.  In October I also loved the following:

  • The Ethical Consumer Conference – I have been meaning to go to this for the last few years and this year it happened.  A really interesting day covering various topics from fashion to plastic. It was also very inspiring to see so many women keynote speakers who are running their own ethical businesses.  Ethical Consumer

 

Monthy Loves - October autumnal colours

 

  • Autumnal colours – we have had quite warm weather this year which was abruptly stopped by a cold spell.  I thought I have just missed the opportunity to go out walking to see the changing leaves, but luckily managed  a f
    ew hours enjoying the seasonal changes of colour

 

 

  • A fabulous meal at Sagar Restaurant.  A refreshingly different vegetarian/vegan Indian restaurant with three branches in London.  Sagar

 

  • After a particularly long and testing day at work on a very cold day getting home toIMG_0611 make my favourite comfort food – chickpeas, garlic and pasta – or Tuoni E Lampo as it is sometimes known.  I found this recipe many years ago in Rose Elliot’s book ‘The Bean Book’. Quick and easy to make. You can also add chilli, broccoli and
    pine nuts to make it into a more substantial meal.

 

 

 

 

  • This recipe for baked gnocchi from The Green Roasting Tin. A fabulous cookery IMG_0606book with both vegetarian and vegan dishes.  Will definitely be making more dishes from this book.

 

 

 

 

 

  • The Forge, Slindon, Sussex – I met a client here and we had the most wonderful lunch.  All freshly made, sourced locally and with with a veggie/vegan range of cheeses. It is also the village shop and well worth a visit.  

Monthly Loves – September

I don’t know about you but for me September was very busy on all fronts.  I am glad to say that I did manage to get out and enjoy the continuing good weather and have so far managed to escaped the cold that appears to be going round.  In September I loved the following:

 

  • AdjustusV Bags – some great designs all made in India.  Although some of the bags have leather on them this is being phased out as the collection grows, so well worth a look .   https://adjustusv.com/

Monthly Loves - September - AdjustusV Bags

  • The Refill App – 27th September was National Refill Day  -a day encouraging us to ditch single use plastic and find local stores/businesses that will refill your water bottles for free.  Refill has an app where you can find your nearest refill station. To find out more and download the app go to https://refill.org.uk/

 

  • My gourmet Veggie Burger from The Roffey Griddle.  Every Thursday evening this small cafe opens its door to sell a range of gourmet burgers, including a decent veggie burger.  I am reliably informed that the meat burgers (sourced from a local butcher) are also very good. Well worth a try if you find yourself in Horsham.. Takeaways are also available  https://www.facebook.com/Roffeygriddle/

 

Monthly Loves - September - Gourmet Burger Evening

 

  • Home made veggie chilli – quick and easy to make and great for when the evening s are starting to get a bit nippy.

 

 

  • The Cafe, Bramley – found this little gem whilst  returning from a client meeting that over ran. The freshly made avocado and tomato baguette was an absolute lifesaver http://www.bramleycafe.com/  It also has a lovely garden for the warmer days.

IMG_0520
Hmm so September looks like it was a good food month.  Lets see what we can find in October!

Monthly Loves – August

August seems to have gone in a whirlwind.  My plans to have a bit more time to enjoy the lovely weather didn’t seem to come to pass, however it didn’t stop me having some great experiences, trying some new products and revisiting some old favourite. Here are some of the things that topped my favourites list in August…..

 

  • Belfast – great place to visit for a city break

 

 

  • The Ginger Bistro, Belfast – lovely food, friendly staff and especially loved the separate vegetarain/vegan menu

 

  • Love Corn snacks – great snacks on the go

 

  • One Stop Corn Chips – made simply from corn, oil and salt – lovely!   None of the extra ingredients of Doritos (MSG, cheese powder etc) and half the price  

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Corn

  • Grilled sweetcorn with salt and lemon or lime  (I love this so much I tend to have it all year round – not just for BBQs)

 

 

 

 

  • Grilled Portabello mushrooms with horseradish sauce (another BBQ favourite)

 

  • Green Woman Fit Pit Deodorant – at last a vegan deodorant that works for me!  They do a men’s version and travel sizes.  It comes in recyclable glass jars so another step towards ditching our reliance on plastic

Fit Pit Vegan deodorant

 

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