Ping Pong vegan menu

Anyone for Dim Sum? I love that more and more chain restaurants are now offering a vegan menu and this was a new discovery for me this week. Ping Pong specialises in Dim Sum and sharing platters all with an asian flavour, of course.

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Vegetable Spring rolls and Mushroom and Spinach Dumplings

If you’re hungry, don’t be fooled by thinking these are small portions, you will be more than satisfied. We started off with  sharing the spring rolls, trying both the tofu and truffle and mixed vegetable varieties. Both equally as delicious.

The spinach and mushroom dumplings were also out of this world. Complete melt in your mouth goodness.

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Braised Chilli Aubergine Rice Pot

We shared the braised chilli aubergine rice pot and the enormous cashew nut rice bowl with bean curd. Both were outstanding.

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Cashew Nut Rice Bowl with Bean Curd

Don’t forget to also try the iced lychee tea. A total triumph.  Unlike Joey from Friends (outdated 90s/00s’ reference here) , if you actually like to share food, this is the perfect place for you. All tied up in a great atmosphere with friendly, helpful staff to boot.

Find out more here:

https://www.pingpongdimsum.com

Thanks for reading.

London Vegan Bird

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2017: In Review

I’m aware I’ve been very quiet on here of late but hopefully that’s about to change as I really want to get back into the LVB blog life again.

To ease myself in and remind me of what a pretty good year I’ve had, here are some of my highlights from 2017.

Moving back to Shire

2017 saw me moving into my own place in the town where I grew up. Something I never thought I would do but I now know in my heart it was right thing. Being back in the countryside, near my friends and family is where I’m meant to be right now.

London marathon

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My second marathon and it was a toughy. In hindsight, I definitely over trained for this one, rocking up to the line with 3 20 milers, a 21 and a 22 under my belt. By the time April had swung round I had most definitely lost my running mojo. Still, the atmosphere pulled me round and the celebratory Wagamama with my friends was nearly worth it.

Lake District and Lakeland Trails

One of my favourite races last year, the Coniston Half Marathon made me fall back in love with running. It was a challenging and hilly course but so beautiful and spending the weekend with friends made it all the more wonderful.

Northampton Half Marathon

Sometimes, not often for me, you get those races where everything falls in to place. Having been ill the night before, my hopes of a sub 2 hour were left by the wayside but my friends who also happened to be Northampton Half pacers had other ideas. Running with my Run Club was so special and I enjoyed every moment. I finally got that elusive sub 2 finish to top off the day. Oh and that’s me in the middle of my gorgeous friends who also smashed it that day!

Florida

One of my favourite places in the world, I was lucky to tag on to a family holiday and visit Indian Shores in Florida again this year. Running on the beach everyday was a definite highlight and it was great to see how many more vegan options/places.

So many events, races and activities planned for 2018 so stayed tuned.

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5 Vegan Easter gifts

Easter is around the corner and every year the vegan offering of Easter eggs and gifts gets more extensive. Here’s my pick of some of my favourites:

 KamAlive Chocolates £3.99

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The first of our veganised creme egg alternates. This egg has a thick and rich 80% raw chocolate shell filled with a smooth cashew cream.

CocoCaravan 4 Boxes £21

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These hand made vegan easter eggs are made with smooth dark chocolate and filled caramel. Each box contains 8 caramel filled easter eggs. Perfect to share with the family…or not.

Moo Free Bunnycomb Egg £4.99 (approx) 

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It’s great to see this brand becoming more widely available as it’s now being stocked in major supermarkets. Bunnycomb is definitely my favourite variety. This dairy free chocolate egg has been infused with pieces of vegan friendly honeycomb toffee. Delish!

Consider It Giant Dream Egg £20

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The second of our vegan friendly creme eggs comes from one of my all time favourite chocolate brands, Consider It. A smaller version is available but really why bother?

Montezuma Dark Chocolate Cheeky Bunnies £4.99 and Dark Chocolate Button Egg £9.99

Montezuema continues to impress with it’s delicious vegan offering. I’m loving their chocolate button filled egg and cheeky dark chocolate bunnies.

Have I missed out your favourite? I would love to know.

Thanks for reading.

London Vegan Bird

I am running the London Marathon for Kidsaid. If you would kindly like to sponsor me, you can find my Virgin Money Giving page here: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/londonveganbird.

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5 Vegan Egg Substitutes

One of the questions I get asked the most, is how do I make the most amazing vegan cakes they’ve ever tasted (or something like that) without eggs. Well, turns out there’s quite a few easy substitutes that work just as well as and taste even better. Here’s just 5.

Cornstarch

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This is actually my favourite easy swap as it’s so easy. For each egg in the recipe, use 1 Tsp mixed with 2 Tbs of plant based milk (I tend to use unsweetened soya or almond).

Flaxseed

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A really simple and cheap alternative is Flaxseed. Just use a Tablespoon of flaxseed and mix with 2-3 Tablespoons of water and put in the fridge for about 15 minutes. Great for making fluffy pancakes. You can get the milled variety here.

Apple sauce

apple-sauce-544676_1920Often used in cookie recipes, this is also a great natural sweetener too. Either simply stew and mash an apple or  get from the supermarket where it’s readily available. A good tip is to go for the apple puree available in the baby food section where the sauce will be lower in sugar.

Egg Substitute

Including the much hyped Follow Your Heart Vegan Egg, which is great for making scrambled eggs and the Orgran Egg replacer , which works well for baking.

Chia Seeds

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Lastly, the versatile and nutritious option is chia seeds. Very similar to using flaxseed, just mix 1 Tablespoon chia seeds with 3 Tablespoons of water and set aside for 5 minutes. Wonderful for cakes or use in a smoothie for added health benefits.

What is your favourite vegan egg alternative and what do you use it for? I would love to know.

Thanks for reading.

London Vegan Bird

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I am raising money for Kidsaid. If you would kindly like to sponsor me, you can find my Virgin Money Giving page here: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/londonveganbird.

 

 

5 Vegan Supermarket Yoghurts

Yoghurts are underrated in my book. A great healthy pudding, the perfect breakfast accompaniment to granola or muesli and makes a wonderful creamy smoothie. Here are 5 of my favourites.

Koko

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Probably my favourite vegan yoghurt right now, these are super creamy and satisfying. Available in Coconut & Lemon and Strawberry varieties and I love them both. Stockists include Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Morrisons, Waitrose and Ocado.

Alpro Go On 

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Alpro’s latest offering are these thicker and more substantial yoghurt pots that are high in protein and high in taste. Available in Mango (my fave), Blackcurrant or Passionfruit. Just delicious. Find them in Tesco and Waitrose.

Provamel Soya-Coconut

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For a lower sugar alternative, this Soya-Coconut yoghurt from Provamel is great, A lovely natural taste and wonderful for desserts or to use in baking. Available in Holland and Barrett, Planet Organic and Whole Foods.

The Coconut Collaborative

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If soya is not your thing, try these coconut yoghurts that come in Blueberry, Mango & Passionfruit, Limited Edition Strawberry and Natural. Available in Sainsbury’s, Planet Organic and Ocado.

Tesco Free From Natural Soya Yoghurt 

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Great over granola and berries for a delicious breakfast or try it in a smoothie for a more filling and creamy option.

If you want to check out 5 Vegan Falafels, you can find my post here.

Thanks for reading.

London Vegan Bird

I am running the London marathon for Kidsaid. If you would kindly like to sponsor me, you can find my Virgin Money Giving page here: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/londonveganbird.

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5 Supermarket Falafel (vegan)

Vegans and Falafel go together like peas and carrots or Sunny and Cher or indeed, Kylie and Jason, so here’s my pick of some of the best readily available in our British supermarkets.

Tesco Sweet Potato Falafel £1.50

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Great Food Mediterranean Falafel £2.40

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Stockists include Morrisons, Asda, Tesco, Ocado, Sainsbury’s and Costco.

Biona Organic Falafel Balls £3.49

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Stockists include Ocado, Planet Organic and Amazon.

Fry’s Quinoa and Cilantro Falafel Burgers £2.77

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Stockists include Holland and Barrett, Ocado, Morrisons and Whole Foods.

Sainsbury’s Falafel £2.30

img-thingI would love to know your favourite falafel choices. Have you tried any or all of these? Check out my top 5 supermarket veggie burgers post here

Thanks for reading.

London Vegan Bird

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Where to get a Vegan Pizza

Who doesn’t love pizza and right now, it’s never been easier to get your carb fix.  Here’s a few places to go in the UK if you fancy a vegan pizza. Let me know your favourite vegan pizza place.

Zizzi

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With 140 restaurants across the UK and a recently added vegan menu, this is definitely one to check out. They have 3 vegan pizzas to choose from as well as a ton of toppings. The vegan ‘mozzarella’ is made with coconut oil. If you’re not completely full, they even have a vegan dessert calzone on offer.

Pizza Express

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An oldie but a goodie, the Pianta vegan pizza from Pizza Express has artichoke , spinach, mushroom and rocket and it’s delicious. Additionally, all of their pizzas are made by hand so can be ordered without cheese.

Ask

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Ask is another chain of restaurants that have recently added a vegan menu. Top your vegan pizza base with grilled aubergines, caramelised onions and roasted peppers amongst other great options. I’m also happy to see a vegan kids menu.

Pizza Hut

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“Vegan Pizza” | avry | CC by-SA 2.0

The Pan Dough, All American Thin Dough and Flatbread Dough are all vegan friendly as well as the tomato or bbq sauce.  They, of course, have an abundance of toppings to choose from and don’t forget to go mad at the salad bar too – where even the bacon bits are vegan (I know)!

Papa John’s

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If you’re feeling a little more lazy and want to order in, all of Papa John’s pizza bases are vegan so just ask them to remove the cheese (I promise, you won’t miss it). The garlic dip is also suitable for vegans. Yum!

Vbites Frozen Pizza

Looking for a quick and convenient option? Choose from Meatless Feast which is topped with Cheezly, vegan ‘ham’, spicy ‘beef’ ; and ‘pepperoni’ pieces or the Cheezly and Tomato. You can find these on Ocado and in Holland and Barrett amongst other stockists.

So here are just a few easy to find options on your high street or to be delivered to your door. More vegan friendly options seem to be popping up all the time so keep your eyes peeled.

Thanks for reading.

London Vegan Bird

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LVB’s London Marathon Training – Week 6

Distance clocked this week: 34 miles. 5 runs. Some great runs this week as I’ve been trying to up my speed a little and have been enjoying the challenge.  I’m also happy to report that even after a long day in London on Saturday at Meet the Experts (see below), I managed to squeeze in a little 3 miler in the dark when I got home.

Long run: 15.5 miles. This was one of those great runs when mentally and physically I was in a great place and everything came together. I followed a route from a  few weeks ago that I had previously really enjoyed but unfortunately, the road was closed to I ended up turning round half way instead. I was planing on doing 14 miles, but was enjoying it so much and felt really strong, so I decided to add on another mile and in the end actually finished at 15.5.

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Nutrition: Post long run I decided to try my own version of a protein shake – oat milk, peanut butter and cocoa powder. It went down very well indeed. For the rest of the week, I concentrated on greens and beans making sure I had one form or another every day.

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Wholemeal pasta with greens, beans and Violife cheese

What am I listening to? Another rediscovery of mine is the No Meat Athlete podcast. A great mix of interviews, motivation and tips for vegan athletes.

Cross Training: Strength training focusing on core and arms. Body Balance class was also great for stretching and focusing on balance and flexibility.

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Lessons Learnt : I attended the Meet the Experts event in London for those running the London marathon which included speakers talking about nutrition, pacing and other top tips for training and to use on the day.  This week, I’ve focused more on my pace and it’s something I want to do more of going forward.

You can find my previous week’s training diary here.

Thanks for reading.

London Vegan Bird

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Vegan Carrot Cake recipe

img_4813Based on a recipe from The 100 Best Vegan Baking Recipes by Kris Holechek, this carrot cake is so easy to make and is deliciously decadent.

Ingredients

2 1/4 cups Plain Flour

2 tsp Baking Powder

1 tsp Baking Soda

2 tsp Cinnamon

1/2 tsp Salt

1/2 cup Vegetable Oil

1/2 cup Brown Sugar

1/2 cup Caster Sugar

2 cups Grated Carrot

1 cup Cooking Apple, stewed and mashed (or applesauce)

1/3 cup Soy milk (you can use any plant based milk)

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

1/3 cup Walnuts

1/3 cup Raisins

For Cream Cheese Frosting

8oz Soy Cream Cheese (at room temperature)

1/4 cup vegan margarine

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

3 cups Icing Sugar (depending on taste)

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Method

  • Preheat oven to 180 Degrees Celcius. Grease the sides and and bottoms of two 8 or 9-inch cake pans and line the bottoms with greaseproof paper.
  • In a small bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. In a large bowl, combine oil and both sugars. Add carrots, stewed apple, soy milk and vanilla and mix. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients in two batches, then add in walnuts and raisins until just combined. Divide batter between 2 pans.
  • Bake for approx 28 minutes, until cakes are golden and a knife comes out clean.  Cool on cooling racks in cake pans for 20 mins, remove baking paper and finish cooling on wire rack.

For Frosting: In large bowl, mix cream cheese, margarine and vanilla together. This can be done by hand or electric mixer.  Add Icing Sugar and blend to taste and thickness. Set in fridge if mixture appears a little runny. Spread thick layer of frosting between cooled cakes.img_4830

Let me know if you give this recipe a go and what you thought of it.

Thanks for reading.

London Vegan Bird

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October Favourites

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This month’s favourites include my favourite haircare products, snacks, lunch ideas and more.

Speak Up for Blue Podcastimg_2514I’m a big fan of Podcasts and was delighted to come across Speak Up for Blue which raises awareness of ocean conservation issues. Topics have included the science behind the documentary Blackfish, an indepth look at sea sancturies and a great series on how to pursue a career in Marine Conservation. The host Andrew Lewin has some fantastically interesting guests. Check it out. http://www.speakupforblue.com/

Dr Organic Pomegranate Shampoo and Conditionerimg_2497This gorgeous scent will always remind me of my holiday as they were my haircare of choice whilst away. I love Dr Organic products and these did not disappoint. Left my hair feeling soft and smelling great. http://www.hollandandbarrett.com/

Whitworth’s Stoned Sayer Dates img_2502I have reignited my love for dates with this perfect snack pack that is great to take to work. Dip them in almond butter if you’re feeling fancy. http://whitworths.co.uk/

Vivani White Nougat Crispimg_2508One of my favourite vegan chocolate bars, Vivani uses rice drink to get that white chocolate flavour and the hazelnut paste is perfectly decadent.

Tesco Seeded Tortilla Wraps

img_2511My current go to for packed lunches. I have been making wraps with hummus, veg and beans. These are great. www.tesco.com 

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer

img_2518This month’s favourite book follows a young boy named Oskar whose father is killed in the 9/11 Terrorist attacks. Oskar sets out to solve the mystery of a key he discovers in his father’s closet which takes him across all 5 boroughs of NY. As we follow his journey, Oskar deals with his grief. This is an emotional read with beautiful writing.  Of course, Jonathan Safran Foer is the acclaimed author of “Eating Animals” so I love that the 10 year old narrator is vegan too.

What products did you love in October?

Thanks for reading.

London Vegan Bird

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