Happy Pancake Day!
PANCAKE RECIPES; NOM!
Happy Pancake Day!
PANCAKE RECIPES; NOM!
I checked out The Change Initiative on Sheikh Zayed Road. Al Barsha for the first time recently and was pleasantly surprised.
According the their website; “(The Change Initiative) is making an effort to equip people to make responsible lifestyle choices. It is an exciting new one stop destination, providing sustainable solutions for the community, business and government”.
“These include a carefully selected range of household products, appliances and building solutions that combine technology and good design. From ideas to improve insulation and lessen energy use, to eco-friendly furniture, paints and fashion accessories, The Change Initiative delivers products that are stylish and ecologically sound”.
There are quite a few vegan items on their shelves in the food sections.
However, whilst the cleaning products may be plant-based in the house-hold section, they do still seem to be tested on animals. So that is extremely unfortunate.
Another thing I noticed was that there doesn’t seem to be any change initiative for the palm oil in a lot of the products on offer. So this too was disappointing as was the chickens in heir freezers…’Organic’??.
Especially as within their intro paragraph on their website they speak of sustainability.
There are hundreds of very graphic pictures of the internet concerning Orangutans due to palm oil. A few seconds can show you the true horror. I won’t post them here.
You can learn all about palm oil and the horrors of it here; especially for the lives and indeed existence of Orangutans, of whos numbers are plummeting at a dangerously swift rate; for the ridiculous ‘reason’ of sugary foods, prepackaged snacks, shampoos and the like.
Check for Palm Oil before you buy!
(Palm Oil can be also known in many guises;…
30 NAMES PALM OIL CAN BE LABELLED UNDER
Foods, Body Products, Cosmetics & Cleaning Agents:
# These ingredients are definitely palm oil or derived from palm oil.
* These ingredients are often derived from palm oil, but could be derived from other vegetable oils.
^ These ingredients are either derived from palm oil or coconut oil).
I spent around ten minutes looking in the crisps/chips section to try and find some that were 1) vegan – that contained no casein, and 2) that contained no palm oil, or derivative of it.
I was quite unlucky in the latter.
But after some searching, I did find a few variations of chips; such as Corn salsa chips that are gluten-free, vegan and contain no apparently palm oil. So that was a win-win.
They would taste great with some hummus too!
I picked up some really nice cereal there – it too is gluten-free, vegan and are very similar to corn flakes.
I was very impressed by the selection of plant-Based milk on offer, all of which I could see that no dairy by-product in.
I also picked up some soya-based dairy-free yogurts, vegan chocolate-chip cookies and gluten-free bread buns.
All in all, success!
They also have some super cute teacups and kitchenware on offer, an upstairs homeware department, and a cafe! (although it doesn’t feature any vegan items; beyond a salad). However they have a lot of teas on offer.
The lovely Sarah at Marhaba recently interviewed me on the House of Vegan blog, being vegan and being vegan in the Middle East.
Knowledge is power and education is key, share!
I explain that the House of Vegan blog “is not geared toward a certain age group, gender, nor nationality. It isn’t about segregation, nor separation. It is about enlightenment from knowledge and education”.
Asked about House of Vegan, I detailed that “(House of Vegan) is a blog about recipes, kindness and compassion. In wanting to educate and show others just how easy it is to live a kind and cruelty-free life; not just for health benefits, but – most importantly – ethically. The centric value of the blog is positivity and education. I am a great believer in action through positivity, and through this I aim to pass knowledge onto others, and for them to do the same”.
On the Gulf region in terms of being vegan-friendly; I stated that “In the past year especially, I have really noticed a rise in even the word ‘vegan’. In Dubai, for example, I see the phrase ‘vegan-friendly’ crop up more and more. It is a wonderful thing. Especially with the surge of social media; it makes the world; a village. So the amount of forums and groups with Middle East and GCC-based veggies running and populating them is so crucial for educating others. It really is a matter of ‘paying it forward’. And in this case, ‘it’ is knowledge…We plant a seed of knowledge and it shall grow”.
It has been making the rounds via Facebook also; which is great!:
You can find the full interview at:
For my fella’s 30th Birthday this year, we took ourselves on a three-week road trip across America.
…IT. WAS. GLORIOUS.
Whenever we go to the States, we always experience the most amazing vegan cuisine, and I can happily states; that was again the case across the West Coast. From actual vegan Fast Food joints, to vegan cookies and juice bars galore. From Vas Vegas, to San Diego, from LA to Santa Barbara, from Heart to San Fran – we ate very well, very vegan and VERY often! Nom.
The above picture demonstrates the areas we drove through and from visiting The Grand Canyon, to The Gentle Barn, to Universal Studios, to Sequoia National Park (with awesome friends), to San Francisco (with awesome friends again!), and much more! We had the most amazing time.
Here’s a small peek into our trip, the yummy vegan foods we scoffed, and the things we saw;
Hi guys and gals,
Following a 3-week road trip across the US, I haven’t even had time to do my much-awaited posts on vegan eateries and yumness that I discovered on my journey, before another gust of news appeared.
I am now UAE-based once more!
You heard it here first!
After having been offered a job as Director at a successful Advertising Agency in Dubai, it’s back to Dubai with me. Yes!
I already have three posts in mind; The Change Initiative – Al Barsha, The new Organic Store & Cafe – next to Time Sq Mall, and a vegan meet-up next week with ‘UAE Veggies’. Exciting times ahead. So stay tuned!
Making Almond Milk is what what I thought I’d be doing…I mean, I LOVE the taste, but making it? Isn’t that difficult? Isn’t that expensive?
The answers dear friendos, is no, and indeed nopes!
It is super-duper easy funnily enough!…I know, I couldn’t believe it either.
Almond milk is one of the most nutritious non-dairy milks available. It doesn’t contain saturated fats or cholesterol, but it does contain omega-3 fatty acids, so it’s very good for your heart. Almond milk is high in protein; the typical eight ounce serving of almond milk contains about one gram of protein. One serving of almond milk also contains about one gram of dietary fiber.
Almond milk is very low in calories; it contains only about 40 calories per serving, and it’s low in carbs at only two grams per serving. Almond milk contains about three grams of fat per eight ounce serving, making its fat content equivalent to that of rice milk.
Almonds are rich in vitamins and minerals, so almond milk doesn’t need to be fortified. Almonds contain vitamin E, manganese, selenium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, iron, fiber, phosphorous and calcium. The flavonoids in almond milk help prevent cancer and slow the signs of aging. The high levels of antioxidant vitamin E found in almond milk make it very effective in the prevention of cancer.
The fella grabbed a whole bunch of packets of almonds (around QAR26.50 per packet) about $7.30, or in GBP just under five pounds.
You only need one cup per recipe. You also need a blender. And some cheesecloth, or new unworn hosiery (tights) – clear/light coloured ones are best.
After seeing Almond Milk for what can only be described as disgustingly over-priced in MegaMart (and literally nowhere else in Qatar), I thought…Yep, that’s it, we’re a’makin’ it! And we did!
After some inspiration from VEGGIEPLANEGIRL aka Tessa, and some Googling; we grabbed our blender, the almonds my fella got, and some new tights from H&M, and did it!
It is crazy creamy! You’ll need to add some flavours to it, unless you like a strong taste of almond. I prefer the flavoured with dates and vanilla approach.
It is essentially a blank slate that you can play and experiment with, with all sorts of pleasing additions. In recipes, you can use cinnamon, vanilla, maple syrup, and nutmeg, but you could easily use agave, honey, or dates to sweeten it too along with any spices you fancy.
Besides creating delicious almond milk, this recipe delivers a bonus byproduct: ground up
Find this below!
In the Middle Ages, almond milk was known in both the Islamic world and Christendom. As a nut (the “fruit of a plant”), it is suitable for consumption during Lent. Almond milk was also a staple of medieval kitchens because cow’s milk could not keep for long without spoiling.
Historically, almond milk was also called amygdalate. It was consumed over a region stretching from the Iberian Peninsula to East Asia.
The Viandier, a 14th-century recipe collection, contains a recipe for almond milk and recommends its use as a substitute for animal milk during fast days.
Yield: About 4 cups
Time: About 30 minutes, partially unattended, plus 8 to 12 hours for soaking the almonds
1 cup raw almonds
1 tablespoon maple syrup or 6 mejooj dates.
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Ground cinnamon to taste
Freshly ground nutmeg to taste
1. Put the almonds in a large bowl and add 4 glasses of water. Soak the almonds at room temperature for 8 to 12 hours. (The almonds will look visibly plumped after soaking.)
2. Drain the almonds and transfer them to a blender or food processor. Process for 1 to 2 minutes. The mixture should have the consistency of a thick paste. Transfer the paste to a medium bowl.
3. Working in batches, ladle the almond mixture into a medium- to fine-mesh metal strainer/tights/cheesecloth/nut milk bag; set over a large bowl. Press the ground almonds with the back of a spoon to extract as much liquid as possible. (Reserve the ground almonds for another use.)
4. Add the maple syrup or blended down dates, and vanilla, plus a pinch each of salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg, to the almond milk; whisk to combine thoroughly. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve at room temperature or chilled. (Store almond milk in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to a few days, stirring before use.)
Having been wanting to juice for a while, the fella and I decided to go find a Juicer; and find one we did!
I was surprised how quickly the fella took to it, but he is more into it than I am. His favourite is his take on the ‘Water Melon Frescas’ (adding more lemon, juicing the watermelon instead of blending, and adding ice via chopping it up in the blender).
Wanting to make a sweet juice, the fella came up with the below:
Juice the fruit and cucumber. Add juiced concoction to the blender with as much as you’d like (we use a tray of about 12 cubes), add the mint and basil; churn that stuff up!
And voila! Serve in a cool martini glass…Or a regular tumbler…Whatever tickles your fancy!
This recipe is heavily based on my Chickpea and mushroom curry http://houseofvegan.wordpress.com/2013/03/26/chickpea-and-mushroom-curry-2/
But changing white button mushrooms for shiitake mushrooms, adding fresh tomatoes, and additional tinned plum tomatoes.
Shittake Mushroom, Chickpea and Tomato Curry
1 medium onion, finely chopped
5 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 Tb oil (I used extra virgin olive oil)
2 X punnets of shittake mushrooms
3 x fresh large tomatoes, chopped
1 and 1/2 cans (400 g per can) pf tinned plum tomatoes
1 can of coconut cream
1 can of cooked chickpeas
5-7 tsp curry powder (dependent on personal taste)
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
A couple of grinds of black pepper
In a large pot or casserole heat the oil on medium.
Add the garlic and cook for a few seconds until fragrant.
Add the onion, sprinkle about 1/2 tsp salt to help soften it faster, cover with a lid and cook for 5-7 minutes until soft and almost translucent, stirring occasionally to prevent it from sticking or browning (you might need to reduce the heat, depending on what type of dish you’re using).
Add the aromatics and mix everything well, cook for about a minute.
Add the chopped shiitake mushrooms, sprinkle another 1/2 tsp salt to soften and release their juices faster and cook covered for about 10 minutes.
Add the tinned tomatoes (with the juice), and fresh tomatoes , coconut milk, chickpeas (drained), adjust salt, cover and cook for 20-25 minutes until thickened, but not dry (after it comes to a boil adjust the heat so that it simmers gently and stir once in a while).
While cooking, chop the tomatoes further with a spatula if you find big chunks. Turn the heat off and leave the pot on the hot burner, covered. That will help thicken the curry further.
Make up some sides to go with it, serve on top of brown rice or couscous, have some wine, bread, good company, and you are good to go!