Sunday, 29 January 2017

The adventures of Blanky and Bicky

This January marks a special time in my life -it marks mine and my beloved's (known as Bicky on the blog -Bicky and Blanky being nicknames we gave each other in the early days) anniversary. Seven years together. Seven fun, dramatic, wonderfully adventurous years spent getting to know each other, and discovering ourselves, too.

So much has happened in that time...

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Veganuary: quick and easy vegan meals

For those of you out there who are contemplating dropping meat and animal products from your diet (even if just for the month of January -something apparently named "veganuary") but aren't sure where to start (especially if you live in Ireland -the bigger chains are getting better, but finding things like vegan snacks and frozen goods can still be hit and miss), here's 3 quick/ idiot proof vegan meals. Simple, ridiculously quick to cook, and nutritious too. Making the transition (even if just for the month, or simply "meatless Monday") doesn't have to be complicated.

I often hear people say they would be veggie or vegan, but they "can't afford it", or "don't have the time to cook like that". And I'm over here nibbling on me Tesco value potatoes, like:

You'll notice I am both terrible with keeping track of portion size and relaying recipes (Bicky can contest to this, the "I don't know what happened, I made it like you said but it tastes shite"). But just be thoughtful -think about how many people you are cooking for. If you accidentally make too much, you can freeze it or refrigerate, and will know for next time! The main thing to note is that because there is no meat, you will want to have extra vegetables. So take that into consideration -you should be replacing your meat, not simply going without it. In some cases this can be done with the carbs portion, if not the vegetable portion of the meal, but I would suggest a balance. E.g., you're having your Sunday roast, but with no meat. If you don't fancy any meat alternatives like Linda McCartney or Quorn (FYI, Linda McC is nicer), then simply have some extra spuds and some extra vegetables (not just extra spuds, on top of extra spuds... as tempting as that sounds).

While on the subject of meat alternatives -you might hear (especially in online groups) some silly noise about it all. Look, they aren't super healthy, you know that. They're mostly frozen foods, same as most frozen, convenient foods. But they aren't the devil either. Some believe "pretending to eat meat" or anything that looks like meat (like when we say veggie burgers, or vegan cheese) somehow takes away from our efforts. Seriously, it's dumb. Who cares what you call it. Plus this thinking gives outsiders the impression that they could never be veggie and vegan, that somehow you aren't allowed miss meat. Just because I don't, doesn't mean I can't understand why some would indeed miss the taste of meats. Honestly, most people who turn to vegetarianism or veganism do so because either a love of animals or they are an environmentalist -rarely simply because they don't like the taste of meat. So it's ok to say you miss it, to find alternatives that might taste similar.  If they help you transition, all the better! Worry about tofu and seitan later (nom nom). You'll get there, you little veggie rebel you!

But for now, lets cheat. On the cheap. These recipes are not only designed to be super quick to make up, but I also reference easy to find ingredients anywhere in Ireland...