Harlech Revisted

If you're a regular reader of the blog you may remember that we had a really lovely break in Harlech in Wales last October. We stayed in a wonderful apartment right next to Harlech Castle and we had such a fantastic time we took to selling our worldly goods on eBay in November and December to raise the funds to go back for New Year. Sadly when we got there at New Year there was water damage to the apartment and we were unable to stay. We were given some alternative accommodation and also 4 free nights at the Castle apartments to take this year. We used these two weeks ago.


We stopped at the Rhug Estate Farm shop and cafe on the way for a comfort break and had a look round the shop. There's not usually much for vegans so we were delighted when we spotted these indvidual nut roasts baked like muffins on the deli counter. With some mash, roasted sprouts, carrots, parsnips and gravy that was our first evening meal sorted and very good it was too.


When I go on holiday as we tend to do self catering I like to choose to focus on one of my cookery books to try some new things from. This time it was the turn of 'Oh She Glows'. I'd been eyeing up the Tex Mex Casserole recipe for a while and using a couple of sachets of ready cooked wholegrain rice it was a perfect quick and easy holiday meal.


Alongside the rice there's also spices, black beans, tomatoes, cheese etc and the topping is crushed tortilla chips mixed with cheese. I used Violife pizza cheese for it's meltiness.  It was a great bowl meal topped with avocado, salsa and Tofutti sour cream.


We ate the casserole for two nights and on our last night we went to the cinema and took some wraps with us. We didn't eat out on this break down to limited budget and also as we couldn't find much in the immediate area but we did find quite a few places with soya milk so we enjoyed daily lattes. My favourite place for coffee was the Seaview Bistro and Coffee Lounge in Borth-y-Gest, just a few minutes walk from Porthmadog. Not only did they make a great latte they also had a selection of different flavours of Angelic Cookies which are both vegan and gluten free.

 More than anything I love to plan some good breakfasts for a self catering holiday. Matt requested chocolate chip pancakes which have become a holiday staple. I make up the mix before we go from a recipe in Vegan Food Gifts. Then they just need some oil and milk adding to the dry mix.


I also made up a dry mix for tomato and spinach pudla from the recipe in The Abundance Diet. If you've not tried pudla then I highly recommend it. The chick pea flour gives it a wonderful omelette like texture and there are lots of pudla recipes on the internet.


This was another dish from Oh She Glows - Spa Day Bircher Museli. I'm really into breakfasts with grated apple in at the moment so we've been eating lots of Bircher Museli and baked oatmeals.



We get the Jus Roll croissants in a tin sometimes for a treat and they are pretty widely available but it was the first time I'd seen these filled croissants from Italy.


We bought all three flavours to try. Pictured below is the chocolate which I think was my favourite and which we ate on our last morning. We had the apricot and cherry ones yesterday and they were really good too. You don't get the buttery taste of a traditional croissant but if you like the Jus Rol ones I think you would like these too.


We found the croissants in what I think is one of my favourite healthfoods shops anywhere. Vegonia is a completely vegan shop in Portmadog. Whenever we visit we always find things we've never come across before and their prices are really reasonable. Seeing as we live near a vegan supermarket (Unicorn) and I work in the next street to V Revolution which are both brilliant for finding new vegan products I think that's really good going!


These Veggie and Kale straws are a total winner. I've never seen them before though I've tried lots of other wonderful things made by Eat Real. I'm regretting not buying more bags of these. If you live in the UK you may know what I mean when I say that the texture is a cross between a chipstick and a wheat crunchie. Whilst that makes for a great texture what impressed me most was that the flavours was like no other crisp flavours I've had before.


Vegonia also had these two new additions to the excellent Vivani range of vegan chocolate bars. We ate the crispy cornflakes bar in Harlech and it got the thumbs up and seeing this picture again has just reminded me that the waffle crunch is still lurking in a tray on our fridge door along with our stash of other chocolate bars!


I'd saved a couple of things at home to bring away with us. The hot chocolate I picked up on a recent trip to Holmfirth from my favourite shop there Fairtrader. It's lime and sea salt flavour and is absolutely delicious. It's made by a company called Choc Affair in York and I always pick up a bar in this flavour when I visit Fairtrader and when I saw that it now came in hot chocolate form too I just couldn't resist.


Do you remember my blog about our recent trip to Ramsbottom and how I mentioned that they have an annual chocolate festival there? We didn't make it to the festival but our friends Robert, Corrine and Tess did and very kindly got us these truffles from Manchester based company In Truffle We Trust. It was the first time I've come across this company and I was hugely impressed by both the look of the product (yes those are gold and copper coloured chocolates!) and the array of flavours which included rose, lemongrass, coffee and peanut butter.


We were really lucky to get sunshine for the three days we were there. There was a storm on the day we arrived and grey mists on the day we left but in between there were blue skies and we were able to get in some nice beach walks. Bit of a change from what we're currently experiencing in Derbyshire.


This was the scene that greeted me when I came out of the Co-Op yesterday after a food shop. It was snowing and has again today! Despite it being nearly May the summer feels a very long way off.

Comments

  1. What a cracking break - I'm very jealous. I'm particularly entranced by those vegan croissants - I've never seen those croissants anywhere, or the kale straws. Proof that even places you'd never think of as being particularly vegan still have wonders to share!

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    1. I know! I hope I find both those things again soon. Someone on FB said they'd found the croissants in 8th Day in Manchester so I'm hopeful.

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  2. WOW!!!! What wonderful vegan finds! I'm jealous (but in a good way) lol

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    1. I've just read your blog about the new burgers at Aldi. Hope they reach the UK soon, they look great!

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  3. Wow, you KILL IT when you do a self catering trip! I love the idea of picking a cookbook and making some fun recipes from it. Me and Nick always eat too much pasta with tomato sauce and seitan and, if we can get it, boxed mac & cheese! We also make pancake mix to take with us though, I love just being able to add the oil and soya milk and have a super fast delicious breakfast.

    I love the look of the new products you found too especially the cornflake chocolate!! Yum!

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  4. You've got me thinking Jojo! Seeing as boxed mac n cheese is impossible to get here I wonder if there is a recipe somewhere to make your own mix. I'm off to search for one!

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    1. I found one! Bookmarked for our next break and to try at home :)
      http://www.vegkitchen.com/kid-friendly-recipes/well-crafted-vegan-macaroni-and-cheese-mix/

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  5. They definitely have those croissants in 8th day and i'm pretty sure they have the crisps too.

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  6. I've never had a vegan croissant! That chocolate one looks amazing! That rice casserole looks delicious, I love bowl meals so much! Pudlas are one of my favorite breakfasts.
    You poor thing, snow in April!! Just NO!!

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    1. That is great to hear! Before I moved to Glossop I lived in Rusholme for years and Eighth Day was my main place to shop. Love that place and I definitely need to make a trip back there!

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  7. The muffin nut roasts look delicious too, especially spruced up with all the fixens!

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  8. Ahh making dry mixes is such a good idea! I have the vegan food gifts book and it's one I've paid shamefully little attention to. I like the idea of giving gifts to myself :D

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    1. There's some good stuff in it. There's a tofu rub mix I like too. Gifts to yourself is a great idea :)

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  9. All the food looks amazing, especially the first dish with the nut roast, and the hot chocolate with all the marshmallows! :)

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    1. I am really into hot chocolate at the moment with the weather we are having! The mini marshmallows are my favourite and they are made locally too.

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