Vegan Breakfast Ideas|Tofu Scramble

IMG_3162Happy Friday, everybody and welcome to an edition of- what in God’s name shall I have for breakfast this morning?! Lots of you replied to my questions on my Instagram stories asking which vegan breakfast recipes you would like to see with this little beauty. A form favourite of mine; tofu scramble.

No longer must you miss the comfort of a scrambled egg on a rainy Sunday morning with this amazing vegan replacement!

Read on for the recipe…

Ingredients:
• 225g firm tofu (8 ounces)
• 1/4 tsp black salt
• 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
• 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
Instructions:
Chop the tofu and use a fork to crumble it into bite-sized pieces (I almost kinda mashed mine and that worked fine!)
Add some oil to a frying pan and when it’s hot, add the tofu and the rest of the ingredients. Stir until well combined and cook over medium-high heat for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
I served my tofu scramble over some toasted bagels (because, yum) and topped it with dried parsley.
The great thing is, if you want to make in bulk for a few breakfasts on the go for the week, you can store it in a sealed container in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.

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I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did and tag me in any photos of your recreations!

Have a great weekend all!

`Love xxx

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The Body Shop Vegan Eyeshadow Palette |REVIEW

Hi all!

So here is a fun fact for you; I’m actually level 3 trained in Beauty Therapy, which includes make up. In my opinion, there are SO MANY people out there who are INSANELY good at make up and are completely self-taught, and honestly I was already pretty make up savvy before I took the course- but it makes a nice little segway into my blog post: a vegan MAKEUP REVIEW!

I have tested out a few vegan make up products and I wasn’t overwhelmed by them so I was really looking forward to seeing how this one panned out as I have used other Body Shop makeup and really liked it.

Ok, to avoid a episode of verbal diarrhoea, I’m going to split this review into four parts; pigmentation, blendability, overall quality, price point.

1. Pigmentation

So this palette is called ‘Down To Earth’ and has some lovely dark and earthy tones, which I loved as I’m a sucker for a schmoky eye! The colours in the palette LOOK beautiful but they just lack the rich depth that brands like Too Faced have.

2. Blendability

Ok soo, the blendability and pigmentation are kind of symbiotic, you can’t really have one without the other and this unfortunately proved to be the case with this palette. The blending was not ideal and the colour just seemed faded and definitely did not last the night . THAT BEING SAID… if you look a natural look; this could be for you!

3. Overall Quality

Ok so colours were lovely, unfortunately they did not stay or blend well on the lid. Perhaps this could be amended by using an eye primer. It seemed like the same kind of quality as Sainsburies cruelty-free makeup brand, Boutique, which I reviewed a couple of months ago.

4. Price point

At £20 you do get a lot of colours, but it was very much the same quality as Boutique which was much cheaper so, in my opinion, it’s not amazing value for money.

What do you think? Have you tried it? What vegan makeup brands should I try next time?

Here was the finished look…

The Fluffiest Vegan Pancakes

Here is, as promised, the fluffiest of pancake recipes, which are truly delicious!

Enjoy!

Ingredients:
for 4 servings

1 cup flour (125 g)
2 tablespoons organic sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup non-dairy milk (240 mL)
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Toppings:

Frozen berries (Microwaved for 30 seconds)

Vegan chocolate sauce

Creative nature cacao nibs – go here to get 10% off any of their products with my code: myveganhealthuk10

Preparation:

In a medium bowl or liquid measuring cup, add almond milk, apple cider vinegar, and vanilla, and stir to combine
In a medium bowl, add the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt, and stir to combine.
Pour the liquid mixture into the dry mixture and whisk until smooth.
Let batter rest for 5 minutes.
Pour half a cup of batter onto a nonstick pan or griddle over medium heat.
When the top begins to bubble, flip the pancake and cook until golden.
Serve with the toppings piled up as high as you possibly can!
Enjoy!

Please tag me in any recreations of beautiful pancakes as it sparks much joy!! 🤗

Very easy and very vegan 30 minute lentil Dahl.

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So, I have been meaning to share this recipe with you all for a while (since the summer to be precise!) and there is really no excuse any longer!

 

I did an Instagram poll on @myveganhealthuk on what recipes you guys wanted to see on here and it transpired that you wanted meal ideas for breakfast, lunch and dinner! haha! So, I thought I would begin this rather broad request with one of my favourite recipes; lentil Dahl. It is a great dish for dinner and lunch and there is always lots left over for subsequent lunches and dinners during the week!

The best part is it is SO CHEAP. You can buy a bag of rice and orange lentils for a couple of quid!

 

So, here we are…

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp coconut oil
1 small green chili (optional)
1 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
1 medium shallot
3 cloves garlic (minced)
2 1/4 cups light coconut milk
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp curry powder
1 pinch each sea salt + black pepper
1 cup orange lentils
1-2 Tbsp coconut sugar or maple syrup (or other sweetener to taste)
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 pinch cayenne pepper (optional // for more heat)

Method:

1.Heat a large pot over medium heat. Once hot, add coconut oil, green chili (optional), ginger, shallot, and garlic. Sauté for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat if browning too quickly.
2.Then add coconut milk, turmeric, curry powder, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine.
Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Once simmering, add the lentils, coconut sugar (or maple syrup), and lemon juice and stir.
3.Bring the mixture back to a simmer, and then reduce heat to low or medium-low and continue gently simmering for 15-20 minutes or until lentils are tender.
4.Once the lentils are tender, taste and adjust flavor as needed.
5.Serve the dal as is or over rice of choice

Also, you can store leftovers in the refrigerator up to 4-5 days or in the freezer for 1 month! Yay! You can also add spinach to it like I did near the end (so, it wilts!)

 

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There we have it! I hope you enjoy this staple meal of mine- it has really served me well and is an easy, cheap and tasty meal, which is perfect for batch cooking on a Sunday.

Let me know what you think and tag me in any creations on my Instagram page!

Lots of love, Leila. xxx

Home made seitan

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I cannot believe it took me 6 months of being vegan to discover the joy that is seitan. This wonderful stuff kind of emulates the consistency of meat which I find just gives things like ‘chick’n’ strips and ‘nuggets’ more bite! I also like to use it in stir fry, stews and everything inbetween!

If you are sat there thinking, ‘well, sounds great but what in God’s name is it?’ I am here to tell you just that. It is known as ‘wheat meat’…yeah, it’s really better than it sounds, trust me.

Seitan has been a common meat substitute for over a thousand years was first used in Asian cuisine as far back as the 6th century!

It is acquired by rinsing and cooking of wheat dough to remove the starch leaving the protein-dense substance we have come to know as ‘seitan’. For all those gym bunny vegans out there, this really is extremely high in protein, weighing in at 60g per cup!

So; without further ado, what you have all come here for: the recipe…

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and salt, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until onion is slightly soft.

  2. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the garlic and stir. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until the garlic is also soft. Add the sweet paprika and other spices to the pan, stir, and cook for 60 seconds or until fragrant. Remove from the heat.

  3. Use a spatula to transfer the onion-garlic mixture, including oil, to a blender or food processor. Add the tomato paste, vegetable broth, soy sauce if using, chickpea flour, and nutritional yeast. Blend until smooth.

  4. Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl and add the vital wheat gluten, then stir until evenly combined. Once stirred, use your hands to knead the mixture until it becomes more firm and a little bit springy, about 2 minutes. Do note that this will feel wetter and moister than many other seitan recipes, due to the fact that we are steaming it rather than boiling it. The dough will be quite loose and moist, so this won’t feel similar to kneading bread.

  5. I Chose to use my instant pot to steam but you can easily steam the old fashioned method (Pot with water and colander with lid and this takes 1 hour- remember to flip with tongs halfway through) Roll into a loaf shape and roll up in tin foil and twist each end. Put the steaming rack into the bottom , add one cup of water, put the loaf on the rack and put the lid on. Make sure you turn the sealing valve to ‘sealed’. Choose the steam setting and set to 45 minutes.

  6. Once it has finished , press cancel and wait 5 minutes for some pressure to be released. Carefully turn the steaming valve to ‘venting’. Once the loaf has cooked you can slice it and fry or add to other recipes and dishes as you see fit!

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Homemade vegan sausage rolls

Now, for those of you who have been living under a rock, you may not have heard the furore surrounding Greggs new vegan sausage rolls. Apparently the little parcelled treats caused Piers Morgan quite a considerable amount of distress. So, just for him, I decided to share my very easy and quite hack-worthy way to make your own vegan sausage rolls at home.

Things I used:

  1. Roll out puff pastry from Jus Roll
  2. Vegan ‘sausage’ meat by Granose.

Yes, that is it!!

I had a lot of people over on my Instagram page @myveganhealthuk requesting this ‘recipe’ (I’m not sure it can really deserve that name as it’s literally putting two ingredients together; a glorified sandwich if you will)

Here is a method nonetheless:

Method:

First you take some puff pastry and roll it out until it is approximately 1cm thick.

Next you mix the ‘sausage’ meat up as per the instructions on the packet (it makes soooo much so we also oven baked batches and had it in sandwiches for a few days)

Then you roll up the mixture into long sausages and place at one end of the pastry lengthways and roll until the edge meets the pastry again and trim off.

Make sure you pinch the ends together to ensure they stick and don’t puff apart in the oven.

Leftover ‘sausage’ meat

New Vegan FAQ

Hello and welcome!

I recently had a Q and A on my Instagram stories ( @myveganhealthuk ) asking new vegans any questions they had mid way through their Veganuary journey and here are my answers for all to see!

Are there any healthy protein snacks you like?

Yes, as a matter of fact I recently tried vegan jerky- I mean, who knew that was a thing!? I got mine from Aldi and each pack is 99p!

I also like to snack on nuts and seeds which I find very filling through the day and brimming with protein (though watch the portion size)

I also like Cliff bars for an easy snack- I find them really filling so tend to have half at a time but that’s obviously entirely up to you!

How do you deal with non-vegan friends and family when eating out?

To be honest my friends and family are quite understanding and generally try to make sure there are some options available wherever we go. If someone is being a bit tricky I tend to not engage and show willing, which tends to have the effect of them feeling a bit silly and backing off!

I’ve found that generally people who criticise or challenge your food choices often feel slightly insecure or judged because of your chosen lifestyle. So I find that by showing compassion and kind of just living my life, this is the best way of influencing them by example.

What are the things you eat through the week when you’re trying to be healthy?

I’m quite a fan of making a batch of food on a Sunday then eating through the week. That way you you have time to consciously choose healthy ingredients and also stick to it through the week as you don’t want to waste it! Some of my fave things to batch are Shepherd pies, lentil Dahl, chickpea curry and also roasting big batches of vegetables so I can grab and go for lunch.

In terms of breakfast my favourite thing is to have porridge and mix with berries (frozen bags are so easy) and sometimes a little dollop of peanut butter and chocolate chips.

how do you deal with making sure products are vegan or accidentally eating something that isn’t vegan?

At first I would be horrified/annoyed/pissed off but the longer you are vegan the less you will trip up and eventually it becomes second nature. That’s not to say it doesn’t happen- it will sometimes despite your best efforts but know that you are doing your best and don’t beat yourself up about it!

What vitamins do you take?

As a vegan you really must take a vitamin B12 supplement or eat foods fortified with this (milk, yoghurts and nutritional yeast to name a few examples) This is not present in vegan foods and it is important for your nerve health.

I also take vitamin D3 everyday. I especially need this in winter as do most of the population in Britain as we do not receive enough of it from our wintry, cold, UK sun!

What’s the best cheese replacement to use?

There are a plethora of options out there now which is so fantastic! My favourites include Violife sliced cheese and Follow Your Heart Parmesan. I actually wrote a segment on this in my last post which you can find here

So there endeth the Q and A! I hope that helped and please do leave any more questions you have in the comments!

How To Thrive During Veganuary!

It’s the midway point of the Veganuary challenge! In case you didn’t know, Veganuary ( @weareveganuary on Instagram) was a campaign set up to encourage people to try a vegan lifestyle for the whole 31 days of January. It has been growing year on year at an exponential rate and helping people see how easy and enjoyable it is to be vegan!

I thought now may be the time vegan newbies might need an extra push and some moral support; as I remember how daunting and overwhelming it can be starting out and re-educating yourself!
I thought I would compose a list of handy tips for all of you giving it a go and collect together all my of my best advice into one place.

Plant Milks

My top picks!

Oat Milk: Coffee and Tea 

This steams and froths better than other vegan milks in my opinion and has a consistency that works well in hot drinks. It seems to blend effortlessly with the taste of coffee and tea – Oatly even makes a Barista Edition!

Almond Milk: Cereal 

It has a very light texture with nutty undertones so tastes great with cereals! Plus, it is commonly fortified with calcium and vitamins D, E, and B12. Perfect to start off the day right!

Soya Milk: Baking Dairy Free Spread

If you’re a bit of a Mary Berry and love a spot of baking, soya milk’s the one for you. It can be substituted directly for cows’ milk and with its’ rich and creamy texture and consistency will help you bake using half the fat, a third of the calories and NONE of the cruelty. Win, win and WIN.

Dairy Free Spread

Top picks! (All of these can easily be found at your local supermarket):

  • Vitalite.

  • Pure Sunflower.

  • Flora Dairy Free.

Eggs

I found eggs one of the hardest things to give up when turning vegan and I (and let’s face it, my body) pined for it for the first few months until I found out that you can easily recreate vegan substitutes:

  • Tofu scramble:

This is amazing! Add in a bit of black salt and you pretty much think you’re eating egg but with none of the ethical ickiness. Check out this recipe from the brilliant Simple Vegan Blog.

This is so easy to make and probably my go-to egg substitute @ogran_healthandnutrition and @followyourheart do a super tasty one too!

  • For baking

Just check out the photo below for inspiration!

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Cheese

Cheese was always such a big one for me and something I never thought I could live without. I was really surprised how quickly I managed to ween myself off it altogether and I think for me the easiest option was to just go without. That being said check out a whole MESS of vegan cheeses here (I can’t really put this any better than it’s put there!)

Eating Out

Eating out is really no issue as a vegan, as long as you know where you’re going. So many high street chain restaurants now offer good vegan options, it’s almost hard to choose where to go. Yo Sushi, Wagamama, Pizza Express, Zizzi, Pizza Hut, Toby Carvery, Prezzo, Nando’s, Las Iguanas and Wetherspoons to name just a few! There’s an abundance of choice out there and you may be surprised by just how much you enjoy the vegan options. As long as you have a say in where you’re eating this shouldn’t be a difficult one to conquer.

Quick meals

To be honest, 2019 is truly the year of the vegan, this Veganuary has seen an explosion of vegan products and supermarket vegan food ranges. So, to name but a few…These ready meals are really healthy, convenient and delicious and can be found in Waitrose.

To find a multitude of available ready meals in the UK please check out here

Best Place To Shop Online?

In a word? Ocado. But seriously, also, The Vegan Kind Store is also really good and also offers subscription boxes for beauty products and food.

Cleaning products

With regards to household / cleaning products I tend to mainly buy Astonish products who are a completely vegan and cruelty free brand.

You can also find their products super cheap in shops like B&M, Wilko’s, Savers, Pound World, Pound Land and Ocado.

The only other place I tend to pick up cleaning products is Co-Op whose own brand range is predominantly vegan friendly and all 100% cruelty free.

…and remember

Veganism isn’t about perfection, it’s about doing what you can, no matter how big or small, to reduce harm to animals. Every little counts.

Reviewing Sainsburys vegan and cruelty free make up range; Boutique.

I love being vegan but I have also LOVED makeup for over ten years and have been wanting to do a post merging the two of these together for a while now!

I randomly stumbled by an advert for the new Boutique makeup Range by Sainsburys which is proudly cruelty free and vegan. What better way to start this off with, I thought! So off I tottled to Sainsbury’s, a complete and willing victim of marketing, and bought myself the following;

In order; highlighter, contouring stick, foundation, liquid eyeliner, nude eyeshadow palette and a blusher palette. There were no mascaras left and I forgot to buy a lipstick- doh! So I used some of these from my existing makeup products to finish the look.

Foundation

This was described as ‘light wear’ and this was definitely accurate- I felt it was adequate coverage but definitely a natural look for me and not as full a coverage as I would like, certainly, for an evening look. I did apply with a sponge at first, but ended up applying more with my fingers due to the sparse coverage. Saying this, it could be perfect for someone who only likes a light coverage and natural look.

Highlighter (illuminating fluid)

There are two shades available, much like Benefit has offered historically- one, a more pinky hue named ‘pink’ and the more amber shade- ‘champagne’ I went for the latter as it tends to suit my yellow undertoned skin better. This gave a lovely sheen that catches the light in a sufficiently glowing yet not outrageous way (I don’t want to look like a mermaid, personally!) so that suited me fine! I would say the wear is not outstanding; halfway through the day and it was significantly faded. Though, priced competitively at £4.00, it does a pretty good job!

Contouring stick

I found the shades to suit my skin tone well and were similar to what I have used before. The application was smooth enough but I would have liked more coverage. I had to apply a few more strokes than I have had to with other brands, which in turn makes it a bit more work to blend well and didn’t stand out as much as I would like. Again, it comes to a toss up between wear and cost. In this case, personally, I would opt to pay more for better coverage and quality.

Liquid eyeliner

This has an angled thing sponge applicator which was a bit clumsy to manipulate effectively. I am somewhat of a master liquid eyeliner applicator and even I struggled with this one. However, the wear was pretty good and it lasted well throughout the day. Overall, I would pay more for a more fluid flow and slickness to the application though that is entirely up to you to decide on your preference!

Nude eyeshadow palette

I LOVED the range of colours in this palette and thought they all complemented each other well. The colours stood out well and blended together quite well too. Again, the wear was not exceptional, however, you may find that a good makeup setting spray could sort this out.

Blusher palette

I opted for the brightest colour for my blusher and I definitely underestimated how boldly the colour would come out as the other products had needed a bit of layering so I got stuck in brushing it on and looked a bit clown like! This does show that the pigmentation is much better than I expected and only a bit of product is necessary to long way. So good news for the longevity of the product!

Overall I think this is great for those on a budget who still want to have all the lotions and potions for a great face of makeup for an occasion or night out. For daywear this is effective though I would recommend a makeup setting spray if you are expecting to be out and about for more than a few hours to extend the lovely look you can achieve with this makeup!

Have you tried this brand? What did you think? Let me know!! Below is my finished look!

Vegan ‘egg’nog!!!

Happy Wednesday and a Merry Christmas to you! Can you BELIEVE that the Big Day is less than a few days away!?!

Our friends and I have an annual Christmas meet-up and this year we decided to spice it up a bit with an added murder mystery element to it🎄👏🏻 🔪

My boyfriend and I prepared a whole vegan FEAST of a roast, along with a vegan sticky toffee pudding for dessert 🍮 I also wanted to branch out a bit and try something I had never attempted to create before; you guessed it: VEGAN EGG NOG. A few of the questions my friends asked upon offering this delightful, creamy beverage included-

“Does it have egg in it?”

“Does it have alcohol in it?”

And the somewhat more unambiguous;

“What is it!?”

Now, I don’t know if it’s just me and my friends, where we grew up in the South of England, but I don’t think it has historically been as popular a festive drink here in Blighty as it has been in the USA for example. (Correct me if I’m wrong!) I remember hearing about it on The Simpsons once as a child and so was just *aware* of it. I certainly don’t remember being offered eggnog along with any mince pies growing up.

SO…

To answer these questions in order:-

  • 1. The original non-vegan recipe does have egg in it but this one does not (for obvious reasons) I have replaced the creamy texture with cashews, essentially; but, I will go into that in more detail in the ‘Method’ section of this post.
  • 2. Mine did have alcohol in it though, you can easily just omit this ingredient as you add it in at the end anyway! Popularly, rum, whisky and bourbon are used but I opted for vodka. (It’s all I had to hand to be honest!) Feel free to choose your favourite poison yourself.
  • 3. What’s in it? Well I’m glad you asked…

Ingredients

  • 400ml of plant milk (I used soya milk though I’m sure any works well…apart from maybe hemp!?)
  • 65g (1/2 cup) raw cashews
  • 65ml (1/4 cup)water
  • 3 tbsp maple/agave syrup
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

Method

  1. Soak the cashews overnight or for at least 1 hour (I left mine for a couple of hours)
  2. Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
  3. Keep chilled in the fridge.
Pre-whizzeroo in my nutribullet
Pretty bloody easy right?
So go and try it- it doesn’t take a minute! (once you’ve waited for the cashews that is!)
This drink went down an absolute TREAT with my guests and really got everyone in the festive (and somewhat merry) spirit!
Have you tried this recipe!? Tag me in the finished result on Insta @myveganhealthuk
Merry Christmas to one and allllll! Xxx