New Product Alert: Nakd Bits

Always up for trying new snacks, I stumbled across the newest offering from the Natural Balance Foods company.  They of the famous TREK bars as well as the Nakd bars that you have probably seen just about everywhere. They are made with just raw fruit and nuts making them a great healthy, vegan alternative to those sugary cereal bars.

I love the Nakd bars – favourite flavours being the Strawberry Crunch, Berry Delight and slightly more adventurous Rhubarb and Custard, as they are perfect for a mid afternoon pick me up or pre-gym stomach filler so was excited to try these new Nakd Bits.

Box in the post
Box in the post

I happily discovered that the Natural Balance Foods website are currently offering Sampler Bits for the bargain price of £6.39 which includes Cocoa Delight, Cocoa Orange and Berry Delight. The box arrived extremely promptly (I think within a few days) and was surprised to see that they had also thrown in a few freebies as an added bonus.  Don’t you love it when companies go the extra mile to delight their customers?!

Box of Goodies
Box of Goodies
Close up - ooh!
Close up – ooh!

So as well as my original order, they had thrown in a Nakd Berry Cherry Oat bar and Nakd Crazy Cola raisins which that hark back to those gummy sweets of our childhood.

So, the verdict?  If you like the Nakd bars, you will definitely like these new Nakd Bits as they do taste exactly the same. However, the bite size pieces make these extra moorish and you are a stronger person than me if you can just stop at one handful.  They all have a distinct flavour and I love the combination of chocolate with the tang of the fruit.

Cocoa Orange Bits
Cocoa Orange Bits

These are the perfect snack for taking to the cinema or a bit of mindless eating lounging in front of the telly. I would strongly recommend checking out their website as they often seem to have tempting offers to sample their newest products.

Let me know if you’ve tried these and what your fave flavours are.

Thanks for reading.

London Vegan Bird

http://www.naturalbalancefoods.co.uk/nakd/

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Vital Ingredient

I am lucky enough to be exposed to a plethora of lunching options near Soho and am attempting to try out new places every week to expand my vegan horizons and not rely on my favourite falafel place every time I lunch out (honourable mention to Yalla Yalla).

This week was the turn of Vital Ingredient. In general, I am a fan of Make Your Own salads but find they tend to be a little on the pricey side.  However, VI (my new nickname for them) is not only reasonably priced but also offers an impressive amount of vegan friendly ingredients which are a little different from the normal salad fare.

My concoction
My concoction

Vital Ingredient invites you to create your own salad in 3 easy steps: 1. Choose your base – cos lettuce, mixed leaf, pasta, quinoa, brown rice or baby spinach. 2. Select 5 Ingredients and 3. Add a dressing.

Also, a very big credit to the fact that the menu indicates whether dishes and ingredients are Vegan, Vegetarian, Dairy free, Gluten free, Fat Free etc so it makes life so much easier.  Why can’t every restaurant do this?

I love the fact that you can mix it up and have a different dish each time.  My chosen salad for the day was brown rice, spicy avocado, grilled sweet potato, grilled vegetables and edamame beans with a Mango Chilli dressing. Very delicious.

As well as their own House salads, there is a Hot Food section offering soups, ramen noodle soups,  wraps and other delights and a Grab and Go section which includes raw pots and picnic boxes. I was also tempted by the array of healthy snacks at the till point (Damn that till point up-selling) but managed to resist this time.

Bloke's Concoction
Bloke’s Concoction

Blokes went for a more boy style spicy concoction of brown rice, sweetcorn, olives, chilli’s, grilled sweet potato with a Sweet Onion dressing. The verdict was a big thumbs up and he promptly returned again the next day.

Vital Ingredient is soon to have a total of 14 stores in London. Fingers crossed, this restaurant will expand to other parts of the UK so you can all benefit from this healthy, yummy takeaway establishment. This has definitely been added to my regular lunch options and will be sure to check out the similarly impressive breakfast menu one day soon.

I would love to know your experiences of VI and any suggested salad recipes for my next trip.

Check out their website to find your nearest store if you live in London.

http://www.vitalingredient.co.uk/

Thanks for reading.

London Vegan Bird

Recipe Time: Mixed Bean Chilli

Today’s recipe is inspired by and adapted from one of my favourite, most used BBC Good Food recipes for Black Bean Chilli combined with Oh She Glows’ Vegan Chilli.  If you are not familiar, with the Blogger ‘Oh She Glows’ then please do check her out as she has some great things on her site.

Mixed Bean Chilli vegan style
Mixed Bean Chilli vegan style

Serves 2

Ingredients:

1 tin Mixed Beans in water rinsed and drained (alternatively, you can use a combination of your favourite bean)

1 Onion

1 Carrot, finely chopped

1 stick of Celery, chopped

100g Mushrooms, halved or quartered

1 Tin Chopped Tomatoes

2-3 Cloves of Garlic

1 tbsp Brown Sugar

1.5 tbsp Cider Vinegar

1.5 tbsp Cumin

1 tbsp Paprika

1 tbsp Chilli Powder

2 tsp Coconut Oil

Salt and Pepper

Optional toppings: Tortilla Chips, Pumpkin Seeds, Sesame Seeds, Avocado, Spring Onion, Radishes

Method:

  1. In a large pot, heat the coconut oil and fry the garlic, onions for 5 mins until almost softened. Add the paprika, chilli powder and cumin and cook for a few minutes. The add the cider vinegar, brown  sugar, tomatoes and some seasoning. Cook for 10 mins.
  2. Pour in the beans and mushrooms and cook for another 10 mins. Serve with brown rice and any toppings of your choice.

    Organic Blue Tortillas
    Organic Blue Tortillas

I love topping my Chilli with pumpkin and sesame seeds to add some crunch and  serving with organic tortilla chips for extra dippage.  These R.W. Garcia Organic Blue Maize chips are my current favourite.

Let me know if any of you try this or have your own vegan chilli recipes. I would love to try them.

London Vegan Bird

Rupert Street, Camden

The bloke and I went to Camden a few months ago on our week off and unexpectedly stumbled across the Rupert Street food truck. A van of all vegan food stuffs. This is something we’d not encountered before so thought it the perfect place for a sunny lunch (as there was one table next to it, just for us).

Rupert Street food van
Rupert Street food van
Vegan filled Menu
Vegan filled Menu

The menu is small, but I believe, changes regularly apart from a few signature dishes.  I ordered the tofu and roast vegetable wrap as my boyfriend went for the Black Turtle Bean Burger.

Tofu and veggie wrap
Tofu and veggie wrap
Black Bean Burger
Black Bean Burger

The best thing about this place is that they cook it in front of you, fresh so you know it’s going to be pretty clean. I enjoyed mine as it tasted extremely healthy and like I had done my body a favourable choice.  However, my boyfriend was not so keen as he thought it tasted a little bland.  Plus, he always expects burgers to come with chips so I bet that didn’t help either.

On the whole, Rupert Street is worth a go, especially if you’re looking for a quick and easy, healthy takeaway meal which, lets face it, is hard to find. So if you’re in Camden, give it go (before you undo your good work with some treats from Cookies and Scream afterwards).

Recipe Time: Toasted Chickpea pitta

So here’s my first recipe post, which is actually something I did a few months back and enjoyed outside when the sun was shining.  Yes, that wonderful warm summer seems like a distant memory. Ah well. I can still recreate one of my favourite lunches for the cold, winter months.

Toasted Chickpea Pitta for 2
Toasted Chickpea Pitta for 2

Serves 2 

Ingredients

2 Wholemeal Pitta Breads

1 Tin Chickpeas

3 Table Spoons Vegan Mayonnaise of your choice (I used Plamil’s Egg Free)

2 Spring Onions

1 Stick of Celery

Half a tin of Sweetcorn

Salt and Pepper

Directions

1.Cut pitta pockets in half and put in toaster.

2. Drain chickpeas and rinse thoroughly.Transfer to bowl and mash with fork or potato masher. Alternatively, you can give them a whizz in a food processor/blender if you would like a more together consistency.

3. Cut up Spring Onion and Celery into small pieces. Drain sweetcorn and combine all with chickpea mixture.

4. Add approximately 3 Tablespoons of Vegan mayo (to taste). Add a sprinkling of salt and pepper and mix well.

5. Half mixture in between the 2 Pittas and pat firmly.

6. Put under grill, turning half way through.  I like mine a little crispy on top.

IMG_2558

This healthy and filling lunch recipe couldn’t be easier.  It completely satisfies any craving for egg/tuna and mayo sandwiches. Let me know what you think.

Thanks for reading.

London Vegan Bird

Follow me on Twitter @Londonveganbird

Cakes n Treats, Camden

Now, I will be posting about more than just cake on this blog, but I seem to be visiting a lot of great vegan cafes at the moment and who doesn’t like cake??

I found out about Cakes n Treats when my boyfriend and I visited Vegfest, London last month.  We were drawn to the extremely awesome gothic wedding cake that was on display and were happy to discover that a new cafe was opening up not far from us, in Camden.

Cakes n Treats
Cakes n Treats
Peanut Butter Cake
Peanut Butter Cake
Pistachio Cream Cake
Pistachio Cream Cake
'Cheese' Burgers and Coconut Cream Coffee
‘Cheese’ Burgers and Coconut Cream Coffee

Cakes n Treats also specialises in made to order cakes but this delightful cafe is more than just desserts. A good selection of sandwiches and a plethora of faux meat options can also be found here and craving some ‘not quite junk food’, we both ordered a ‘Cheese’ burger.  Also to my caffeine craving pleasure, there was an extensive hot drink menu and I happily trialled a Coconut Cream Coffee which was a triumph.

Of course, we weren’t still hungry, but who could resist the case of mouthwatering treats at the front of the shop? My boyfriend had a slice of the Pistachio cake and I, of course can never resist anything with peanut butter so had the wonderful Peanut Butter cake. Wow. Both were gorgeous and huge portions so I took mine home for seconds later that day. Always a bonus.

I will definitely be back to this gem of a place and can’t wait to sample more of the unique menu.

Here’s the Facebook page for Cakes n Treats.  Let me know, if you have visited. Would love to hear your thoughts.

https://www.facebook.com/CakesnTreatsLondon

Cookies and Scream, Camden

I love this place!!  Tucked away in London’s Camden Lock, Cookies and Scream is a Vegan and Gluten free cafe serving all sorts of naughty delights. Cookies, brownies and cakes a plenty as well as dairy free coffees and tasty milkshakes.  Now, those of you that know me, know that I am a complete coffee fiend and so only something very special could take me away from my daily caffeine fix. I present to you the Salted Caramel Milkshake. Creamy, delicious and oh so naughty tasting, it was just the sugary fix I was after.

Salted Caramel Milkshake
Salted Caramel Milkshake

I also treated myself (and the boyfriend, of course) to some baked goodies and here’s what we had over the rest of the weekend.  Sunday is tea and cake time for us and what you will come to learn about me is that peanut butter is pretty much my favourite thing ever. Peanut butter and chocolate?? Now you’re talking. Tip: Warm in the oven and enjoy with a steaming mug of your favourite autumnal beverage.

Peanut Buttery deliciousness
Peanut Buttery deliciousness

I would thoroughly recommend Cookies and Scream.  Amazing milkshakes and dairy free coffees, freshly baked treats and friendly staff. Just don’t forget to bring cash. I will be a regular.

Find out more about Cookies and Scream here.

http://cookiesandscream.com/

 

 

Hi, I’m Karen. You can probably tell from the words above that I live in London and I have created this blog to document my life as a fairly new vegan.  I have been a vegetarian for about 4 years now and only went vegan just over a year ago so I am still learning. Hopefully you will join me on my journey to find new restaurants, recipes and vegan treats as well as general tips, health and lifestyle related posts (not to mention, the sure to be copious pictures of my dog, Molly).  I guess I’ll work it out as I go. Thanks for reading!       IMG_3201Me and Molly

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Must Love Jogs

Believe In The Power Of The Run.

No Chick left behind

"Animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment, or abuse in any way" (peta)

Bowl of Beans

Exploring Vegetarian Food from Latin America And Beyond

Sewloveable

A lifestyle blogger with a love for many things!

thehautevegan.wordpress.com/

Vegan fashion, food, travel and other stuff

Style With A Smile

Cruelty-free fashion, beauty and lifestyle blog By Noa

Nick Butter Running

Ultra Runner, Endurance Athlete, Adventurer & Motivational Speaker

therunbetweeners

a help page for running addicts

Running Fast, Lifting Heavy

Running, Lifting, and Everything In Between

Shorter and Faster

The adventures of a 4'11" gluten-free Bostonian runner

simplisticInsights

Simple made easy! psychology love feeling emotion thought behaviour success strategy

Run at Stanwick Lakes

5k, 10k, Half Marathon

Around the world in 80 runs

1 man. 2 legs. 80 runs. Many countries.

Icicle climb | trek | ski | run

'inspirational mountain adventures'

Hannah Eats

Running, making, baking and creating

Vegan Beauty Scene

Ethical beauty and lifestyle

Lazy Girl Vegan

Easy Plant-Based Living For All

Ultra Runner Girl

Writing about running, war zones, and everything in between