Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Outside Cafe - Hathersage

We've recently got a car which has opened up a world of travel around the Peak District and neighbouring Yorkshire! Our first weekend tip out was to the Outside Cafe in Hathersage. Outside is a big outdoors shop which has a cafe upstairs. It's popular with walkers, climbers and the odd tourist like us. They do simple dishes like breakfasts, sandwiches and baked potatoes and vegan options are cleared marked on the menu boards.


We went for a cafitiere of fresh coffee and the five and seven piece breakfast. You choose your items from the list on the board. We had the same with Matt getting extras of tomato and toast. The rest of the breakfast was a sausage, beans, mushrooms, hash browns and fried bread. I've not had fried bread since I've been vegan and I have to say it was the stand out of the meal, really tasty!


The total bill was around £16 including the drinks. They also had nice organic soya milk. I'm looking forward to more trips out like this to check out other breakfasts in the area!

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Egg Revisited

It's quite a long time since I've been to The Egg Cafe. I've not been to Liverpool for a while and the last few times I'd been to my new favourite cafe - Mello Mello. The Egg is a well established veggie cafe high up in the attic of a building. It's a really nice space, the food is well priced and home made but the menu seems to have been the same for years and a lot of the dishes are too spicy for my palate. Matt had a gig though recently and we stayed overnight. We popped into The Egg which is near Lime Street station for a quick breakfast with friends before catching the train home.


I'd only had the vegan breakfast on one previous occasion and I don't remember it as anything special. I was really impressed by it this time though. The thing that especially stood out was the tofu scramble. I don't know about anyone else but I find the tofu scrambles in cafes to be very bland. This offering from The Egg though was packed with flavour and generous amounts of parsley and peppers. Top marks from me.


I grabbed a couple of cakes for the train journey home. On the right was a chocolate tiffin type slice that was suitably sticky with nice big chunks of biscuit. The lovely looking cake on the left was a chocolate and beetroot gluten free muffin that was studded with big chunks of chocolate. Sadly, whilst the flavours were great it was completely undercooked with the inside like uncooked cake batter, It was so bad I couldn't finish it. Whoever baked it definitely needed to invest in a cake skewer for testing the middles!

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Isa Dinners

As I've been living without most of my cookbooks bar three by Isa Chandra Moskowitz, her recipes have been featuring widely on the dinner table recently. This one is an old favourite that we had for the last Bank Holiday weekend. It's not the most photogenic of meals but it tastes amazing. The green stuff is Cavolo Nero and the orange stuff is mashed sweet potato with apple from Appetite For Reduction. This is topped by tofu baked in BBQ Pomegranate sauce from Vegan With A Vengeance. This sauce has been nicknamed Elvis BBQ sauce after the generous amounts of Peanut Butter it contains!


This was an previously untried recipe from Appetite For Reduction that Matt whipped up on a day off. The 'meatballs' are made from tempeh and beans and baked in the oven.


They were served in a classic home made tomato sauce with broccoli and lots of nooch. They were lovely, really nutty tasting.


Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Nice Eats

Here's a mini round up of some recent nice eats. Since I've moved I now have a thirty minute train journey into Manchester. I'm enjoying the time to read but I've found getting up earlier means I'm not that hungry first thing. I've been having my breakfast once I get to work at 8. I spotted the other day that M and S had some new granolas. Out of the three in the range, one was sweetened with honey, one with sugar and the one that I chose with agave. It's really different from other granolas I've had. There's loads of crunchy seeds in it and I've been loving the flavour as well as the texture. It tastes delicious with M and S soya drink which is much sweeter and creamier than other brands and which is fab in coffee and hot chocolate too.


I've been aware of Isa's recipe for Chickpea Picatta for a long time and remember bloggers raving about it when Appetite For Reduction first came out. Somehow it had just never appealed to me though after finally making it the other day I can see that was my mistake! Wow, what a fantastic quick and easy dinner. I loved the flavours and how easily it came together. I served it as suggested with caulipots also from Appetite For Reduction over a bed of rocket. Caulipots are basically boiled and then mashed and seasoned potatoes and cauliflower. This was a Monday night dinner but it was so good I would definitely serve it to guests.


We are still in the rented house at the moment waiting for our house purchase to go through. The oven is terrible so most of the cooking goes on via the hob. Matt had two friends up to stay for an active weekend of bike rides and hill walking. I made a huge pan of this old favourite, the Morrocan Tagine from Vegan with a Vengeance to fill everyone up on Saturday night. We had it with couscous, salad, pitta bread, fancy olives and avocado hummus. I made the tagine the night before to give all the different herbs and spices the chance to blend. I've not made this for ages and I'd forgotten how lovely it is.


I can't wait to move and get my hands on this little beauty which comes with the house! It will be quite strange not to be working with a temperamental oven!




Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Dandelion and Burdock Review

Back on St Patrick's Day Matt and I got the train over to Sowerby Bridge in West Yorkshire and met our friend Sarah for brunch. The venue was Dandelion and Burdock which is a completely vegan restaurant. The English head chef and owner spent time in the past working in California and Oregon and developed his style of vegan cooking after his son was born with a number of food intolerances. I've eaten at D and B many times and enjoy the clean, fresh style of food they offer.


The day we visited there was a brunch deal. I think it was 2 courses for £12 and 3 for £15. We all went for this vegetable fritatta for our starter which was lovely and light.


Sarah and Matt had a quiche style main with veggies whilst I opted for this  Irish stew and dumplings which was great comfort food without being too heavy.


To finish off Sarah had a cookie sandwich whilst Matt and I got the pumpkin cheesecake with ice cream. It was great to see the restaurant nice and full and I'm sure that lots of the diners weren't vegan just people drawn in by the offer of good quality, healthy food.