MY COMPLETE XMAS DINNER

When you read this I’m on my way to the Netherlands. I’m going by car/ferry this year, so I can take my dog Nola. Tomorrow I will celebrate Xmas with my family, as that is the only day we can all make it. After the presents we will enjoy our Xmas dinner. This year I’m making the whole Xmas dinner by myself. Years back we always all made one dish each, last year my brother and sister in law made dessert, but it looks like this year it’s just me. I do like to make everything by myself, but I also think it’s a shame, because I always enjoyed the dishes of others too. And just the idea you made it together is nice. But because I’m making everything by myself, it does mean that I can share a complete Xmas dinner with you (8 dishes in total). I will give you all the recipes I made for the dinner itself and I will give you dessert separately (so 9 recipes if you include dessert). You can find the ‘Xmas Stars‘ dessert here. I chose to make it into a buffet style, so I can make lots of separate dishes and everybody can eat what they like best. If you want to, you can choose one of them (the chicory for example) as a starter. It’s up to you. This Xmas dinner is enough for 4-6 people. I hope you will enjoy the recipes.

VEGAN WELLINGTON

2 pastry sheets
600 gr mushrooms (chopped)
2 steakcs (I used Vivera) (chopped)
2 onions (chopped)
2 small cloves of garlic (minced)
handful of parsley (chopped)
salt/pepper (to taste)
1/2 tbs butter

-Preheat the oven at 200C.
-Fry the onions and the garlic in a frying pan for about 3 minutes.
-Add the mushrooms and fry them until they start to get smaller (about 3-4 minutes).
-Add the steakc, the parsley and add salt and pepper to taste.
-Grease a baking tin with butter and put the pastry sheet inside.
-Make sure that all the water from the filling is gone before you put it in the baking tin.
-Cut out a big rectangle (as big as the baking tin) and cover the top. Make some cuts in the top and put it in the oven for about 40 minutes, or until golden brown.


FRIED RICE

100 gr of rice
100 gr firm tofu
1 onion (chopped)
1/2 courgette (chopped)
1 carrot (grated)
1 bell pepper (chopped)
2 tomatoes (chopped)
2 pak choi (chopped)
2 cloves of garlic (minced)
1 tbs soy sauce
1/2 tsp chilli flakes (optional)
1 tbs olive oil
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1-2 tbs sesame seeds
3 tbs peanuts (chopped)
salt/pepper (to taste)

-Cook the rice as described on the package.
-Fry the onion for about 4 min in some olive oil.
-Scramble the tofu: crumble it up and add the garlic and the turmeric. Mix it all together for about 3 min with salt to taste on a high fire.
-Add the courgette and fry again for about 3-4 min.
-Add the carrot, bell pepper, tomatoes and pak choi and keep mixing it for about 3-4 min.
-Then you can add the rice, the soy sauce (use more if you like), the chilli flakes, the sesame seeds and some salt and pepper to taste. Mix again until everything is mixed up well.
-Sprinkle the peanuts on top.


AUBERGINE

1 aubergine (sliced)
3 tbs olive oil
300 gr cherry tomatoes (cut in half)
1 shallot (chopped)
1 small clove of garlic (minced)
handful of fresh  basil
salt to taste

-Cut the aubergines in big slices (about 1 cm thick).
-Brush the on both sides with some olives oil.
-Put them on the grill until you can see black lines (about 3 min each side).
-In the meantime fry the shallot and the garlic in a frying pan. Add the tomatoes after about 2 minutes and fry them until they become a little soft (about 2-3 min).
-Add the basil and salt to taste.


CHICORY

2 chicory
4 slices of ham (I used the vegan Quorn)
handful of cheese (grated) (I used daiya)
3 tbs corn

-Preheat the oven at 200C
-Cut the chicory in half (in length) and cut out the hard bit in the middle.
-Put them in an oven dish and put a slice of ham on each half.
-Divide the corn on top and then sprinkle the cheese on top.
-Put it in the oven for about 20-25 min.


CAULIFLOWER

1/2 cauliflower
2 tbs nutritional yeast
splash of oat milk
salt to taste
1 tbs of olive oil

-Chop up the cauliflower very finely. You could also use a kitchen machine and pulse a few times.
-Fry the cauliflower with the olive oil and a bit of salt in a frying pan until it becomes a little soft (about 5 min).
-Add the nutritional yeast, mix it up and then add a splash of oat milk. Mix well until the nutritional yeast and the oat milk form a sauce.


BRUSSELS SPROUTS

250 gr brussels sprouts
4 cloves of garlic (cut in half)
1 tbs olive oil
salt/pepper (to taste)

-Preheat the oven at 220C.
-Put the brussels sprouts and the garlic in an oven dish and add the olive oil + salt/pepper to taste. Mix well.
-Put them in the oven for about 20-25 min.


MASH

300 gr potatoes (peeled and chopped)
200 gr carrots (peeled and chopped)
splash of oat milk
1-2 tbs butter
1 tbs whole grain mustard
2 tbs nutritional yeast
salt to taste

-Cook the potatoes and the carrots for about 20 min.
-Mash them up together with the oat milk and the butter.
-Add the mustard, nutritional yeast and some salt to taste. Mix well.


SALAD

1 cucumber (chopped)
3 tomatoes (chopped)
1 big avocado (chopped)
handful of basil (chopped)
handful of parsley (chopped)
1/4 cup black olives (sliced)
2 tbs Caesar salad dressing (I used ‘Follow Your Heart’)
salt/pepper to taste

-Mix everything together in a big bowl and add salt and pepper to taste.

 

What are you having for Xmas? And will you make everything by yourself or do you have help? Will you copy my Xmas dinner or make some of my recipes? Please let me know or show me on IG by tagging me or by using #planetmanel. Thank you! X

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BOOK: Sensation by Isabel Losada – a tribute to the clitoris

A while ago I needed a place to sleep in London. It’s funny how I suddenly don’t have a place to sleep anymore in this lovely city, after living there for 5 years. So I had a look at AirBnB and I found Isabel, who didn’t allow animals to be eaten in her house. That was like music to my ears and so I booked her room. She turned out to be lovely. She told me she is an author and I always love this as I love writing myself. She wrote several books already, but her newest one was ‘Sensation’. I wanted to support her and so I decided to buy her book. On the front it said ‘Adventures in sex, love and laughter’. Definitely something I’m interested in, I mean, who isn’t? And so it happened that I started to read..

So where do I start.. first of all, I think that this book is very easy to read. Isabel writes in a very easy-going way, almost as if she’s telling you this all in a face to face conversation. I like that. The real reason I wanted to write a review about this book, as it has nothing much to do with veganism per say (apart from that Isabel herself is vegan!), is that I think every woman should read this book. At least every woman, because I’d also recommend it to men, the ones that respect their woman and want to please her in the best way possible. Even though the ways that are described in this book aren’t your thing. Even though some of the things will surprise (or even shock) you. I’m sure you can get something out of this book that is helpful. For example, I think that every woman will appreciate her body more after reading this. I think that a lot of woman don’t know their own body very well or they don’t dare to speak up about what they like. What is such a shame, because your body is capable of so much. This book is a journey of discovering your needs, in some cases your self-worth and for some it might simply be the start of the journey to find their clitoris (or for men finding their partners.. very important!). Because yes, if you don’t know where it is.. definitely go exploring!

Personally I hate the taboo around sex. I’m always very open (minded) about it and not embarrassed to talk about it at all. This book is the perfect book to break that silly taboo. I’m sure that (almost?) everybody loves sex and is having sex, so why not be open about it? I don’t mean that you should have sex with a 100 different partners or that you should tell everybody all the details of your sex life. I mean that you shouldn’t be embarrassed to want pleasure. It’s a human right and it gives joy. Speak up about it.. especially and most importantly, to your partner!

Get your copy of ‘Sensation’ by clicking HERE! (PS: Great Xmas present!!)

Go ahead and read this amazing book and tell me what you think! You can let me know in the comments below, in a private message or via instagram. I’d love to see your selfies with this book if you decide to read it. Please tag me in your picture or use #planetmanel. I’m looking forward to it. Thank you! X

Dutch Style

Some might remember from 2 years ago, when I wrote about Sinterklaas. I created the recipe Sint Twist. Sinterklaas is a Dutch tradition. You can read about this in the Sint Twist recipe too. Sint Twist is a recipe, using the traditional little biscuits called ‘pepernoten’. This years Sinterklaas recipe is about how to make pepernoten itself. You can eat them just like that, as a snack, have them with a cup of tea, use them in cakes, ice cream, drinks.. they’re pretty awesome. Because of the lovely warming spices they’re great for the colder months too. The ‘speculaas’ spices are maybe a little hard to find in the UK, but take some with you when you’re in the Netherlands or google how to make the spice combination yourself. Might be rather fun to work with all these lovely smelling spices. The original recipe is quite unhealthy and that is why I made a recipe which is fairly healthy. I wouldn’t eat them instead of a carrot though, haha.. but looking at the ingredients, you hopefully get what I mean.

DUTCH STYLE 

Makes: 60

-1 cup spelt flower
-1/3 cup coconut oil
-1/3 cup palm sugar
-1 tbs agave nectar
-2 tbs oat milk
-1 tsp speculaas spices
-pinch of salt

-Preheat the oven at 170C.
-Put all the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix them up.
-Then add the wet ingredients and mix it until sticky. The best way is then to use your hands and knead it into a dough.
-Make 2 rolls (from about 2-3 cm thick) and put them in the fridge for about 20 min.
-Cut them into slices of 1/2 a cm thick.
-Shape them a little with your fingers if you have the time and put them on a baking tin (covered with baking paper).
-Put them in the oven for 15-18 min.

Who is going to make this recipe? Even though you do not celebrate Sinterklaas, they’re still super yummy. Please let me know when you’ve tried them. You can do this in a comment below. You can also tag me or use #PlanetManel on Instagram. Thank you! X

Netherlands – The Hague

So 2 weeks ago I was in the Netherlands, visiting family and friends. I often go around October, just before Xmas, because you know what it’s like with Xmas, always so busy. Also Xmas still looks so far away in October when the last time you saw everybody was back in May. This year I also wanted to go because my best friend had a baby just before the summer and I still didn’t see the beautiful boy. Such a happy reason to go, even though there was also a less happy reason I really wanted to go. My grandpa was in the hospital and my grandma has to go to an old people’s home, because of her very severe Alzheimer. I always make sure I see my grandparents whenever I can. I went for a week and planned in al my most important visits. My mum also got her hands on some cheap train tickets and she treated my sis and me on a city trip day. It took us a long time to decide what city to go, but we finally decided on Haarlem (the city where my whole family is from), to then decide in the train that we’re going to The Hague instead. Haha!

The Hague is the city where all the Dutch politics are happening. I’ve been to The Hague 2 times already, but I never went with the purpose of hotspot hunting. We got on the train in Assen and lucky for us, it goes straight to The Hague from there. The first 50 min we had to stand, because it was so busy, but it’s never boring with my mum and sis (and Jace, my nephew came too!). My google maps was a bit all over the place and wasn’t planning on sending us into the right direction, but luckily there are a lot of signs and so we found the city centre soon. Nobody was hungry yet, because my sis brought a snack for in the train. So we first decided to go for a drink, but on the way we found this very nice shop, that we forgot about the drinks. The shop is called Søstrene Grenes. The colours and the materials in this shop make you feel super greedy. I bought a small silicone facial sponge. It will be so useful and it’s something that will last. No waste = win win! I also bought a very delicious drink, some black cotton yarn and a little bar of chocolate from iChoc.

After this shop we were hungry and so we walked to Foam for lunch. It was at least a 10 min walk from the shops, but I can already tell you that it’s so worth it. It was actually a really nice walk, because you pass all the politic buildings and ‘Escher in the Palace’ (The Escher Museum). I really wanted to go to this museum, but I was the only one and majority wins. I will go another day, by myself or with somebody who I can share my enthusiasm with. Definitely go when you have the chance though! Now about Foam. It already looks so nice from the outside and even nicer when you walk in. It’s a long narrow space, but with high ceilings and a little garden in the back, with lots of lovely daylight. We all went for a different latte (Turmeric, Hazelnut and Matcha). Foam is all vegan and so it took us a while before we were able to make a choice for lunch. My sister went for the pancakes, my mum for the BLTA sandwich and I went for the quesadilla. The food was wohw! In my opinion my mum won, because her sandwich was to die for! If I wasn’t planning on eating anything else that day, I would have ordered it to take away. I will come back for this sandwich (as I’m coming back for the Escher museum anyway), haha! The staff is super friendly and easy going. Their desserts look delicious too, so I ordered a take away pecan biscuit at the till and then we left. The biscuit was very yum btw!

On our way back to the shops we popped into a health shop called Madal Bal. We bought some chocolate here and then we walked towards all the politic buildings. There was a time when I followed politics and I found it was fascinating. But since I moved to the UK and find most politics one big corrupt lie, I don’t bother anymore. Despite of that, I do enjoy looking at the beautiful buildings. My mum and sis never seen it before and so it was nice to show them. Jace wasn’t interested at all and decided on a nap. We did some more shopping. We visited a nice EkoPlaza, where I bought some seitan and a drink and my mum bought a really nice salt light that I truly love. After some more shopping and scoring a nice gift for my grandma, it was already time to go back. Time goes so fast! But before we headed back to the station, we wanted to visit the Vegetarische Snackbar. It was also quite a walk, outside the centre. It’s the opposite from the The Hague HS station. But omg! It was so gooddddd.. A snackbar is something very Dutch and it’s as popular as a pub is in the UK. It basically is a cafe where you can buy chips and snacks. Snacks that are mostly meat and cheese based. The Vegetarische Snackbar opened a snackbar where everything is vegetarian and also a lot is vegan! We again didn’t know what to choose and so we decided on nearly half the menu. It was so good, I don’t have words for it. The chips are good, but the snacks are so so similar to the original, that you truly wonder why we keep torturing and killing animals (there isn’t a good reason anyway!). This vegetarian snackbar is the only one in the Netherlands, but we all agreed that there should be one in every city and of course that all snackbars should be like this one. When paying, we also bought both cake options (carrot and chocolate). We ate these in the train and they were so good too. Very moist and strong flavoured. Whatever you do, when in The Hague.. go to the Vegetarische Snackbar!

Oh I forgot another reason I went to visit the Netherlands. I still didn’t see my brother and sister in law’s new home. They moved to Groningen before the summer and I was super curious to see it. It’s such a lovely and cosy place and I stayed for a sleep over. We had such a good time. The next day I invited my sister in law to have brunch at Anat. Their flat is in such a good location, because within 20 min you are in the city centre by bike. So that is what we did and we enjoyed a yummy smoothie bowl at this amazing place. I mentioned them before in a travel post, but I will again, because it’s a must go! On my last day I visited my grandparents with my sister and Jace. We had a really good time all together. We bought some oliebollen (something else typical Dutch, we normally eat on NYE) and they were so good. But then all nice trips come to an end and so it was time to go home sooner than I expected.

HOTSPOT LIST:
Søstrene Grenes – Spuistraat 48, 2511 BE Den Haag.
Escher Museum – Lange Voorhout 74, 2514 EH Den Haag.
Foam – Frederikstraat 44, 2514 LL Den Haag.
Madal Bal – Denneweg 126B, 2514 CL Den Haag.
Eko Plaza – Grote Marktstraat 177, 2511 BJ Den Haag.
Vegetraische Snackbar – Stationsplein 5A, 2515 BT Den Haag.
Anat – Verlengde Grachtstraat 1, 9717 GD Groningen.

Have you been to The Hague yet? You should definitely go and check out these lovely places. Please let me know if you do! You can leave a comment or show me by tagging me or by using #PlanetManel on Instagram. Thank you! X

Bloody Mess

It’s almost Halloween!! Notttt really my thing, but I do really like to create recipes with a theme. There are a lot of Halloween recipes that are everything but healthy. That’s why I wanted to create something that looks scary, but is not scary to eat, haha! I really like the outcome, because I love chia pudding and in combination with the fruit and the cinnamon it’s so tasty. You can use any plant based yogurt, but I used the plain version of the Coconut Collaboration. I love this yogurt anyway, but especially in this recipes it just works really well.

BLOODY MESS 

Serves: 2

1 cup red summer fruit
1 tbs goji berries
1/2 tbs agave nectar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
250gr yogurt
1/3 cup rice milk
3 tbs chia seed

-Put the yogurt, rice milk and chia seed in a bowl and mix it well. Then put it in the fridge for 2 hours (or overnight).
-Put the fruit in a sauce pan and warm it on medium heat, until it starts to be like a sauce. Keep stirring. (For frozen fruit it’s about 5 min. For fresh fruit about 3 min.)
-Take the fruit off the fire and add the goji berries, the agave nectar, the cinnamon and the vanilla extract. Mix well and let it cool down.
-Mix the chia pudding before dividing it into 2 glasses.
-Put the fruit mixture on top and use the back of a spoon to draw the lines down the pudding.
-Add some extra goji berries on top if you wish.

Do you like Halloween? Will you make this recipe? Please let me know! You can do this in a comment below or tag me on Instagram. When you do, I’ll repost it! You can also use the hashtag #planetmanel if you like, so I can find your picture and comment! Thank you! X

Red Autumn

I’m sure everybody noticed the change of weather. Although this week we had some lovely sunny days, the temperature dropped, there is more wind and the nights are a lot colder (trust me, I’ve noticed since living in a van). The lovely warm summer is coming to and end and even though I love the summer, I don’t mind swapping it for autumn. I quite like the season where we can harvest beautiful food, where the trees are changing colour and you can curl up on the sofa with a book all day, without feeling you’re being unproductive. And something else I like about this season is the lovely dishes you make this time of the year. It’s time for heavy stews, hot chocolate and porridge! Yum! The recipe I will share with you today is definitely an autumn recipe. It’s perfect with a warm bowl of porridge!

RED AUTUMN

500 gr cranberries
1 cup apple juice
2 medium apples
1/4 cup agave nectar (5 tbs)
1/2 ts cinnamon
1/2 ts vanilla extract
3 tbs chia seed (for jam)

-Use only 1/2 cup of apple juice when you makes jam.
-Take the skin off the apples and cut them into big chunks.
-Put everything in a pan and bring to boil.
-When the cranberries all popped (after about 3-5 min) you can lower the heat.
-Let it simmer for about 30 min.
-For jam: add 3 tbs of chia seed.
-Put it in a container or in a nice glass jar and let it cool down before you pop it into the fridge.
-You can keep it in the fridge for 4-6 days.

Are you an autumn person? Do you get excited by recipes like this and are you going to make it? Please let me know! You can do this in a comment below or tag me on Instagram. You can also use the hashtag #planetmanel is you like, so I can find your picture and comment! Thank you! X

Rescue Hens

A bit before the summer, my work registered with the British Hen Welfare Trust to get some ex battery hens. We had this idea already for a while, but now the chicken run was ready. They let us know that there would be a pick up day on the 10th of June (2018). So that day I drove towards Reading, where I was going to pick up some hens. I was so excited! Giving these beautiful animals a second chance in life, after living in such unfair circumstances, was giving me goosebumps! It’s aways a surprise in what condition they are. Some hens still have quite some feathers, but some are all bold. The pick up place was at a beautiful university and it was nice to see that too actually. As the place was quite big, there were a lot of signs telling me where to go. Eventually that lead to some stables in the back. I parked my car and got out, armed with a big, straw filled box.

Before getting the hens, you have to register and tell them how many hens you’d like to take home. I was going to take 4. Then I made a donation. They suggest £5 per hen, but it’s totally up to you. I think it’s nice to give them some extra, because they’re doing such good work and it’s all going towards another rescue. Once that is all done, you can go to one of the stables. I was second in the queue, so I didn’t have to wait very long. The stable was full of chickens. The stables weren’t very big, but I’m sure that they never had so much space in their life ever before. They were all in the corner, being scared obviously. Being in the light, with so much people around them. It was all new to them. The people in the stables caught 4 chickens and put them in the box and that’s that. Time to go home!

At home I put the box in the chicken run and opened it slowly, not to scare them too much. They were all a bit stressed, on their tummy, with their beaks open. Poor babies! I didn’t force them, but let them get used to their surroundings. They stood up and looked around and after a while I picked them up carefully and.. there was the moment.. for the first time in their life they felt dirt and grass. They walked very funny, stretching their paws and lifting them up very high. They were looking at the ground, walking around and it was just so lovely to see. It was a beautiful day and the sun came out. When they felt sunshine for the first time it was like they couldn’t believe it. They dropped on the ground, spreading their wings, putting all their feathers up, closing their eyes. My heart was smiling so much!

The next day they started to lay eggs (that I’m obviously not going to eat). Most of them looked alright, but one of the chickens has really big eggs. You can see on the picture how huge! Her eggs are still not very normal nowadays. A lot of times they’re still very big, the shell is very thick and chalky and yesterday she laid a wind egg. I really hope that her eggs will get better though, because it can be a bit dangerous. They became friends with the 4 chickens we already had too. In the beginning they didn’t hang out together at all. Now they still like to hang out in 2 groups sometimes, but they definitely became friends.

Because they are used to living in a small cage, they do not get into the chicken coop or on the perch by themselves. So the first few days I had to put them into the coop, onto the perch. They instead just randomly chose a place to sit when it was getting darker. After 3 days of doing this they got it though. So clever! Now 1-2 sometimes still sit on the bottom of the coop though, but at least they’re safe in there. They’re doing so much better now and they look so much better too. Their feathers look better (not perfect yet though) and their faces and comb are all red now. It makes a huge difference. If you look at the picture, you can see them on their first day and the way they look now. Their faces and comb were as good as white and now they have such a nice colour. They roam free every day now and they love it! It makes me so happy to see them so happy every day!

Would you like to rescue some hens too? Then go to the British Hen Welfare Trust and register now! They rescue 50.000 chickens per year and seeing them enjoying life is so worth it. Do you already have some rescue hens? I would LOVE to see them. Please show them to me! You can do this by tagging me or by using #PlanetManel on Instagram. Thank you! X

Comptoir V

Saturday the 25th of August was the Official Animal Rights March in London. Last year I couldn’t go, but this year I did! It was an amazing march. So much people, all united. Lovely! I went to London with my van and so when the march was over, I went back to my van and drove it to Kensal Rise. This is because I saw there was a new vegan restaurant in my old neighbourhood, just around the corner from where I used to live. I walked past it many times when they were building it. When they put the name ‘Comptoir V’ on the front, I was suspecting (and really hoping) it to be vegan. I never saw the opening as I already moved out of London by then. They opened about half a year ago. I was so excited to find out it is vegan and so I had to go an try it. I went for dinner.

First of all when you approach it, it looks super super nice. They chose lovely green colours, wood and amazing tiles on the floor. Inside it looks amazing too. Everything comes together and it looks very different from other restaurants. Their lamps and tables are so unique and really give a Middle Eastern look. The benches, the seats and just the whole lay out is made with so much eye for detail. I often think that restaurants that are creating a Middle Eastern style, look a bit dark, dated and dusty. Comptoir V proves the opposite. It looks light, fresh and super cosy. Whoever did the styling, did a really good job. It isn’t a huge restaurant, so it might be a good idea to make a reservation on busy days.

Their menu is very good. It has a lot of Middle Eastern influences. I went for the ribs and pasta though. This meant I got a portobello mushroom covered in bbq sauce on top of in garlic covered kale and mac and cheese on the side. The flavours were all very rich and strong, so it was very filling. Next time (because I definitely want to go again) I’m sure to go for a curry and some bread with (houmous) dips. I wasn’t hungry enough for that this time. I also ordered a fresh mint tea, what came in a lovely traditional tea pot and glass. It all looked so nice. I was very full after this lovely dinner, but as I was so curious about the cheesecake I got that take away. I had it the next day and I’m so happy that I did! Every day they have a different flavour and the flavour of the day was strawberry. It was so good. I can’t remember having better cheesecake in my life. The base definitely made the cake. It was so delicious in combination with the very firm top. There were fresh strawberries and mint on top and all the flavours together made me wish I had 2 pieces.

An extra compliment for the staff, that were all super easy going and friendly and really added to the atmosphere. This place is definitely a place to come back to!

WHO? Comptoir V.
WHERE? 12 Station Terrace, London NW10 5RU.
CUISINE? Middle Eastern.
VEGAN? Yes!
OVERALL? 9 (Amazing food, great staff and very lovely ex/interior).

Did you know about Comptoir V already? What was your experience? Or are you planning to go here now? Please tell me about it! You can do this by leaving a comment below, but you can also show me by tagging me on Instagram or by using #PlanetManel. Thank you! X

Spain – Mallorca/Palma 2018

I’m back home for a while, but I was so busy with my van, that I didn’t find the time yet to write about being in Mallorca. Every year I go to the Spanish island with work. So it’s like a work holiday, but being in the lovely sunshine, surrounded by mountains and delicious food, feels a bit like a holiday for me too. We always stay in the same villa, with more family members. There are 2 cooks, that serve breakfast, lunch and a 3 course dinner every day. Breakfast is loads of yummy fruit, what is always a good start of the day. They also make sure that they cook vegan meals for me, what I so appreciate. It’s always very tasty. In the 7 days that we’re there, I always get a day off to myself. This was already the 4th year I was there, but in the previous years I’ve never made the trip to Palma. This year I was thinking about it, but I was doubting if I really wanted to go, because it’s about an hour drive. Only on the morning itself, just before I got up, I decided to go for it.

So I got ready and drove away around 10ish. I ate an apple on the way for breakfast, with the hopes I would find lots of nice vegan food in the big city. I already checked and there were several vegan places around. I was very hopeful. I parked the car in a parking garage close to the centre and walked towards one of the places I planned to visit. On the way I bumped into a lovely pair of shorts and a top and I changed into that after I payed for it. A nice, useful souvenir. It was hot, but not as hot as last year (over 37C with no breeze) and it was very doable, wandering around the little streets. Palma is a very lovely city. Not breathtaking, but very easy-going and welcoming. It has nice little streets and it’s a mixture of Spanish and modern shops.

The first place I wanted to visit was called ‘My Muy Bueno’. It was a little tricky to find at first. I walked around, but I couldn’t find it. Turned out I already walked past it twice, cuz you have to look up. It’s situated on the first level and you need to get the stairs to reach it. Once I found it, I walked inside and I was pleasantly surprised. It look so so nice! It was so stylish, with a lovely interior and great eye for detail. Delicious looking food was right in front of me and I was greeted very kindly by the girl behind the counter. I went for a mixed salad, with a piece of seeded loaf and a fresh juice. I also got a Blondie and I couldn’t resist getting a raw snicker bar too. I could choose the salads I wanted and it tasted incredible! I really enjoyed every mouthful. For dessert I had the snicker bar, as it was likely to melt if I had it take away. It was so good too.. my goodness. Something else I really like about this place it that the plastic they use, is made out of plants and so it’s 100% biodegradable. What made me think, if this is a possibility (and you can make everything out of this as the girl handed me a sheet with all the information), why is all plastic we use not made out of this right now? My Muy Bueno also organises cooking workshops and next to the little restaurant there is a big area with kitchens, where they are given. How lovely! The girl who was serving me was super friendly and after a lovely chat I left to go do a bit of sightseeing.

I walked up to the big cathedral and I know I said that Palma wasn’t per se breathtaking, but this cathedral is! It’s huge and very beautiful. I sat there in the shade for a while, admiring it. It’s definitely worth a visit. When I walked a little further I bumped into the ‘Palau March Museum’ and I love museums, so I decided to get a ticket. It was only 4,50. There were some sculptures in the little square right after entering, I didn’t particular like, but the surroundings were very nice. It just wasn’t really my style. What I did really like is that they had a statue of Rodin and I like his work, so that was really nice. Going inside I didn’t know what to expect, but I was definitely not expecting what I saw. In the museum were a lot of little figures (people and animals), creating a scenery. The human figures were about 30 cm tall I think. They were made with real precision and all of them had their own expressions. There were a lot of animals too, that were almost all used for food or entertainment, what made me a little sad though. The building had several rooms and in another room they created a scenery of the stable, right after the birth of baby Jesus. It wasn’t only the stable, but also the village surrounding it. The every day life if you will. It was very interesting. It all dated from the 18th century and is the biggest collection in the world. Up stairs there was also some antique furniture and along the way there were several paintings (I didn’t particulate like). It’s only a little museum and I didn’t spend more then 45 minutes, but it was nice.

I walked around Palma a bit, looking at the shops, the buildings and everything. I got a delicious peach from a tiny supermarket and I had it as a snack. Then I almost walked all the way back to the car, because there were 2 other vegan places I wanted to check out and they were towards the parking garage. The first one was called ‘Vegan&Raw’. They do fresh juices and several raw food options. When I arrived it turned out that they were just closing though, but the very kind lady let met buy 2 juices anyway. Lucky me! It looked really nice btw and I think it’s nice to actually have lunch there when it’s open. It was almost time to have some dinner and that’s why I walked towards a place called ‘Compost’. To be honest, I wasn’t very hungry yet, but as I was there and I wanted to check out the nicest vegan places, I went anyway and had something light. I ordered a chai tea and I went for the nori bites. Black rice and vegetables, wrapped in a nori sheet. Like sushi. It was delicious and the lady who served me was very kind. The place itself was ok, but a bit dark and dated. I’m sure if they would make it a bit lighter it would look very different already. For the food it’s definitely recommended though.

Then I went back to the car and drove to Porta Pollenca. It’s a harbour town close to where the villa is. I spend half an hour in the sea and I ate my blondie right before I headed back. The blondie was very good btw!

I had a lovely day and I would recommend you to go to Palma to check it out for yourself. They have some very good vegan cafes and restaurants and it’s a lovely day out. Out of everything I would say, definitely go to My Muy Bueno if you only have time to go to one thing. It’s so worth it!

HOTSPOT LIST:
My Muy Bueno –  Floor 1, Carrer de Tous i Maroto, 5B, 07001, Palma.
Palau March Museum – Carrer del Palau Reial, 18, 07001, Palma.
Vegan&Raw – Plaça del Bisbe Berenguer de Palou, nº2, 07003, Palma.
Compost – Carrer de Rubén Darío, 4, 07012, Palma.

Have you been to Mallorca yet? You should definitely go and check out these lovely places. Please let me know if you do! You can leave a comment or show me by tagging me or by using #PlanetManel on Instagram. Thank you! X

Vivera Veggie Steak

It’s real.. a vegan steak! Vivera launched the first vegan steak in the world. Steak was always my favourite meat when I used to eat meat. When I think about the time I did, I can’t actually believe I used to do something so horrible. Anyway, when I heard the news of Vivera launching the steak, I was very excited. Not only because I was curious of the taste, but also for this development itself. The day it was launched I jumped into my car as soon as I was off work and I drove to the biggest Tesco, with my fingers crossed. I was rewarded, because there was a whole box of Veggie Steaks. I took 3! Just because I know Vivera and I know they do good products, so I was confident enough it was going to be tasty. I love that Vivera is a Dutch company and I love it even more that they launch more and more products here in the UK. I love EVEN more, that they’re transitioning from being a vegetarian/vegan company, to an all vegan company. I love it! If you want to know more about Vivera and their products, you can read this article (+ lots of nice recipes!) I wrote before.

So about the Veggie Steak. To have a good idea of the taste, I served it with corn on the cob, sweet potato fries, chunky guacamole and ketchup. All separately served. To start from the beginning, the steaks look very real. The size is just right, the inside is red and they even ‘bleed’ a little. Then the taste. I think they taste very real. They’re soft, juicy and have a realistic structure (esp when you fry them on a high fire, so the outside will be a little more firm). I do like the taste, but in general it didn’t have to be that realistic for me. But to be fair, as far as I can remember a meat steak, I like these Veggie Steaks better. The taste and structure are just very good or maybe it’s just tastier because you can enjoy it with a clear conscious!

If you want to serve them just like I did:

VIVERA VEGGIE STEAK

Serves: 2

2 Vivera Veggie Steaks
2 medium sweet potatoes
1 tsp olive oil
a pinch of garlic granules.
2 corns on the cob
1 small avocado
1 tsp lemon juice
1 clove of garlic (minced)
salt/pepper (to taste)
1/2 tsp chili flakes (optional)
2 tbs ketchup

-Preheat the oven to 200C.
-Cut the sweet potato in long big chunks and drizzle some olive oil on top.
-Add the garlic granules + a little salt (to taste) and mix it well.
-Put the sweet potato on in the oven for about 20 min.
-In the meantime:
-Prepare the Vivera Veggie Steaks as describes on the pack.
-Grill the corn on the cob until little black marks appear.
-Smash the avocado and add the lemon juice, garlic, salt and chilli flakes.
-Serve everything in separate bowls.

I hope I made you curious. I’m very curious if you like them too. Please let me know! You can do this in a comment below or tag me on Instagram. You can also use the hashtag #planetmanel is you like, so I can find your picture and comment! Thank you! X