Newsletter DECEMBER

I’m sorry I’m sorry!! It’s the 10th of December today and so this newsletter is officially 10 days late! I’ve just had so many things to do and so working on my blog isn’t first priority at the moment. Apart from that, there is a wifi problem in the house and so I can not access the internet very well. Super annoying, but that’s why I went to the nearest Starbucks today, to do a bit of work. To keep you up to date and to let you know what’s on this month, here is the late December newsletter. And before I forget: a Merry Xmas to you!

Last month:

SOUTHAMPTON VEGAN FESTIVAL
As I was van viewing near Southampton this day I decided to quickly take a look at this festival. It was the first time they held it here and so I was curious. I’ve had a good time and there were quite some stalls. Some I knew already, but also some I didn’t see before and that is always fun. As it was lunchtime I had a burger from ‘Got No Beef’, what was super yummy. For dessert I tried the most amazing ice cream from ‘Ice Green’. I chose peanut butter and apple crumble and I enjoyed this so much, you have to try this if you ever get the chance! As a treat to take home I chose a chocolate salted caramel brownie from ‘Dark Matters’. My goodness, I did make yummy food choices that day. The downside of this festival, and I’m sure everyone who went agrees, it was way too dark everywhere and the floor was super sticky everywhere (even the carpet). I think a different venue is definitely a good idea, would they want to do this festival again.

VAN NEWS
Something else very exciting happened last month too. I got my van!! Yes! I found my perfect van, a Citroen Relay form 2014 and I picked it up the 25th of November. I’ve been working on it since, though I couldn’t do lots yet. I stripped and cleaned it so far. The new window and the skylight ventilator arrived now though and as soon as there is a dry day I will get that in (what is a bit scary). To stay tuned and updated about my van(life), please follow my instagram, as I post updates on my IGS regularly. Soon I will do a blogpost about my van too.

LUCKY OLIVER
Oliver is 7 weeks now and he is doing well (if you want to know more about Oliver and his rescue, please read his story here!). He will move to the barn somewhere in the up coming days. I’m a little anxious about this, but it’s time. He’s getting too big for his cage in my room. Of course he’s out whenever I’m off, but the 4 days I’m working he does spend a lot of hours in the cage. He really wants to move, run and jump around though. He needs more space!

Now what is on the rest of the December month:

16/12 – TAUNTON VEGAN FESTIVAL 
There will be a small vegan festival in Taunton this Saturday. It will be held at the Wilton Church Hall (TA1 3JT) from 11:00-16:30. There will be a few stalls and some talks too. So if you’re around, please go and have a look. The entry is free.

22/12 – XMAS HOLIDAY
This day I will travel to my family in the Netherlands to celebrate Xmas and NY. I’m so excited! I will make a yummy Xmas dinner (that I will post here too) and it will be so much fun to see everyone and to give the presents I got them. Who else is traveling home for Xmas and NY this year? I will travel back the 1st of January, but even that is so exciting, because my mum will come with me to spend a week with me in my new house. What a lovely time I will have and it’s almost. I can’t wait though!

24-25/12 – XMAS!! 
Yay for Xmas eve and day! Please tell me about all your Xmas plans!

26/12 – BOXING DAY
In the Netherlands we call this day second Xmas day and we actually celebrate it the same as the actual first day. Sometimes we choose just one, but most people celebrate both days with different people. Whoever is going shopping here in the UK instead, have fun!

31/12 NEW YEARS EVE
The last day of the year. What a crazy year it was for me. So much has happened, but I’m also super grateful for all the good it brought me. Who would have guessed I’d move to the country side, own a van and be a pig mum by now?! Also 2018 will be super exciting, finishing my van conversion, start living in it + travel around with it for the first time. Also I will rescue a dog and maybe another piglet. So many plans.. What was 2017 like for you and what are your plans for the new year?

RECIPE SPOILER
Keep your eyes open for this up coming recipe:

Was this helpful, did you like to read this or do you have any questions? Would you like to tell me about your year or Xmas plans.. I’d love to hear all about it! Please let me know in a comment below! Do you have any exciting things coming up what is related to veganism, positivity, spirituality etc? Please let me know! Send me a message via CONTACT and I might publish it in my next newsletter! Thank you! X

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Nutty Treat

A biscuit is a good biscuit when you want to eat another one every time you finish one. Or are they maybe not so good then? Perspective! These Nutty Treat almond biscuits are delicious and I’m sure you can’t just only eat one. Are you having people coming over for tea or do you need some good biscuits for a high tea? These are your biscuits! Also good as a snack or to share with your friends or colleagues (..make sure you have the recipe by hand, because people will ask for it!). They are super addictive and so it’s a good thing they’re made with only good ingredients. So having a second one isn’t a problem. Yay! They’re not hard to make, especially when you have a food processor. So don’t waste any more time.

NUTTY TREAT

Serves: 12

1 cup spelt flower
1 cup ground almonds
1 cup palm sugar
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbs water
pinch of salt
12-24 whole almonds

baking tray
baking paper

-Preheat the oven to 180C.
-Put all the ingredients, except for the whole almonds, in the food processor and mix until you have a sticky dough.
-Roll it into a cylinder shape (diameter: about 8 cm) and put it in the fridge for 1 hour. If the dough is too soft, then put it in the fridge for a bit, to make it more firm.
-Slice the roll into 1 cm thick biscuits and put them on the baking tray (covered with baking paper).
-Lightly push 1-2 almond (s) into every biscuit.
-Put them in the oven for about 16-18 minutes, until golden brown.
-Let them cool down before eating.

Are you ready to make some addictive biscuits to share? Are you going to try to make this recipe? 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

Tibits

Apparently I didn’t now about one really nice restaurant, called Tibits. No idea how I didn’t know about it, but I’m happy I do now. When my best friend Nienke, from the Netherlands, was visiting me, I thought it will be nice to go here and explore it together. I knew it was a buffet and so this way it would be a great way to try lots of different things. It was Nienke’s first time in London, so after a long morning of showing her all the touristy must see places, we went to Tibits for lunch. We always have so much fun together, but we made sure that this lunch was one to never ever forget.

So like I said, it’s a buffet. They have lots of nice food and though it’s a vegetarian restaurant, almost everything is vegan. Just make sure to check to be sure. They have many different options and they look all very yummy. I think I made sure I tried everything that was vegan. I just got a little bit of everything. When collecting our lunch we were already drooling over the sticky toffee dessert we saw, but we decided to first eat the food on our plate. At Tibits you pay by weight, the same as in Ethos. So after you get what you want, you go to the till, they weigh the food on your plate and that’s what you pay for. I think they have more reasonable prices than Ethos though. Also, after eating everything, I can say that the food is better than at Ethos too. The food was delicious actually. Then we wanted to have that sticky toffee pudding, but the problem was that all the cakes they sell separately, are vegan too. So first we chose 3. A cake each and 1 to share. But then we couldn’t choose which one.. because they have chocolate-pear, lemon, coconut-mango and apple pastry.. how can you choose? I don’t know how other people do it, because you can’t! So we ended up buying all options! Oops! Everybody was looking at us and we had tears of laughing rolling down our cheeks. Some people said they will do it too next time. The influencers we are! They were so delicious, but funny enough, the sticky toffee cake ended up being my favourite one. The chocolate one was ver nice too, as it wasn’t crazy sweet and you could actually taste the chocolate. We obviously couldn’t eat everything, but the staff was friendly enough to give us a doggy bag. Hurray for desserts!

Tibits is a beautiful restaurant, in a lovely little street. It’s just off Regent Street, close to Piccadilly Circus. It’s quite a big restaurant, with seats around the buffet area, but you can also go downstairs. They’ve done a lovely job with the interior, mixing up different styles, but creating one lovely atmosphere. The staff is very friendly and helpful and it just makes it a perfect place to have lunch or dinner (or to try desserts) when in central London. Make sure to try the sticky toffee cake though, you pay this one by weight too. I’ll be back for sure.

WHO? Tibits.
WHERE? 12-14 Heddon St, Mayfair, W1B 4DA.
CUISINE? Buffet.
VEGAN? No! (vegetarian)
OVERALL? 8 (Great looking restaurant, good food, reasonable prices and very yummy desserts.)

Did you already know Tibits? Are you planning to go here now? Please tell me about your experience! 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

Lucky Oliver #1 Rescue

Many of you probably know now that I rescued a little piglet. Especially if you follow me on Instagram, I’m sure you’ve noticed all my pig spam, haha! I’d like to share with you how I got him and what has happened so far, but also because a lot of people have been asking me about it. It just saves a lot of typing if I write down the whole story. This is why I decided to share his story here on my blog. I also want him to be an inspiration, I hope he will make some people think and they make the connection. So here is the story of Lucky Oliver..

To start at the whole beginning. I just moved houses. I moved from London to a farmhouse in the countryside, 4 weeks ago. Very nearby is a pig farm and only a 5 min walk from the house were a lot of mummy pigs with their piglets. Pigs are my favourite animals, I’m crazy about them and I absolutely adore them. So the first opportunity I got, I made my way to the pigs. There were about 40 little mud fields with a little shelter house. Each had one mummy pig with her babies inside. I was so excited to be so close to these amazing animals. But when I greeted them all, I also discovered several dead piglets that were clearly there for a longer time. So sad. They were all very scared, but with a lot of patience, I finally got one mummy pig to accept me. She was still very suspicious of me, but she allowed me to come close to her babies. She had 10 babies, who were about 5 weeks old at that time. From that time I went to the pigs straight after work and in the weekends I was also covered in mud. I easily spend a few hours with them each time or until it was dark. They eventually let me stroke them all over and even the mummy pig dared to come closer and she let me touch her nose and snout. I was so happy to be with the pigs, but also very sad at the same time. They shouldn’t have been there, they shouldn’t have been born in the first place, because they were only born to end up on somebody’s plate. I tried not to get too attached to them because of this, but that is hard when you discover that each of them has his/her own personality. The second time I went to the pigs I discovered a separate, more closed pig pen, that I didn’t notice before. When I looked inside I was shocked. There were about 45-50 piglets in there in all different ages. Some of them were barely 2 weeks old, whilst others were over 8 weeks old already. There was no mummy and the most shocking was that I counted 8 dead ones. They were everywhere and the others walked over them or still cuddled up against them. The circumstances were horrible. There was almost only mud what was mixed up with their poo (what was mainly diarrhoea). There was no milk, but only pellet and water. I was so shocked and sad. From that time I checked up on them every time I went and every time there was one or a few dead ones lying around again. Then this happened 2 weeks ago: I rushed home after a van view, just so I could spend a little time with the piggies before it got dark. I first went to see the orphaned pigs and then I saw one of them who was about to die. He was lying in the middle of the pen and couldn’t get up, but he was still trying to lift up his head though. My heart broke. I was standing there, but I couldn’t do anything. It was the most horrible feeling. I really wanted to take them all home. There were also 4 that were so small and skinny that they just hopped along with the others. Their heads and tails were down and they had such sad eyes. It just was the saddest thing ever. Next to the pig pen were 2 dead ones too. The farmer obviously had taken them out, but just left them there. I couldn’t stop thinking about it and the amazing day I’ve had didn’t feel like it was worth anything anymore. I was so deeply saddened and incredibly angry with the whole world! How could people do this to them? Why do people want to hurt and eat these beautiful intelligent animals? It was all so unfair and I just wanted to shout and scream to the whole world to stop doing this! I felt so powerless. Because I couldn’t get it off my mind, I went back the next morning to see how they were doing. My employers happened to be there too, with the kids and they told me there was one dead piglet. So I told them about what I saw the day before and that I was sure that it was the one I saw. I went to see them and I was right. Whilst I saw it being alive yesterday, there it was, lifeless. I was so upset! We talked about it a little and at that moment there was one of the 2 week old piggies standing next to me on the other side of the fence. He didn’t ran away with the others, but he was just standing there. So I bend over the fence and picked him up. He didn’t even resist, but just let me. What is so unusual for pigs (they naturally do not liked to be picked up). His eyes were infected and one of them was all closed. He was so tiny and light and he was shaking a lot. My employer suggested putting him in my coat. In the meantime she was going home to ask the farmer if I could keep him. It was a very cold day and I waited with him in my coat for quite a bit. After a while he shaked a little less and he made some cute noises when I tried to push him up a little bit, because he kept falling down. He sometimes popped his nose out to sniff in my direction and I really fell in love with him. It might sound weird, but it kind of felt like he was a part of me. I wanted to make him feel better and look after him so badly, it came from really deep within me. Then after 1,5 hour I was so cold that I asked if she heard back yet. She hadn’t, but told me to bring him home and we’d see from there. At home we got some moving blankets together and a big cardboard box. I wrapped him up and put him on the floor. I was a little anxious he’d panic and run, but he seemed too weak to even get up. So whilst I was preparing the cardboard box he just stayed exactly where I put him. As soon as he was in there and my employer prepared a hot water bottle from him, I took a shower. I was so smelly and muddy and I wanted to go to the shops to get him some necessities. Whilst I was in the shower my employer knocked at the door and got me the much wanted news, the farmer got back to her and he was fine with me keeping him. Yay! I was so happy!! I also felt sad though, because his 3 brothers were not likely to survive the night. It was going to be the first night of the season with freezing temperatures and 2 of them had severe diarrhoea and infections.

Before I went to the shop I drove back to the pigs to get him a bit of the pellet he ate over there. He was used to eating that and I didn’t want to change it straight away, in case it would upset his stomach even more. At Sainsbury’s I got him cat litter, a toy (a ball on a rope), a bottle and yes.. milk! I hated to get him milk, because it’s such a non vegan thing to do, but I needed to save his life. At the pet shop I got him a cat litter tray and a jumper. Going home I was only hoping that he would still be alive. He was! I got him out and offered him food and water and he ate and drunk a lot. That made me so happy. After, or sometimes during, I would put him in the litter tray. It did go wrong a few times, but oh well, what do you expect. Every 3 hours I did this, also in the night. My best friend suggested to name him Lucky. I liked it, though I wanted to add something to it. But for first, Lucky was a great name. The next day I looked for a vet who had pig knowledge. I thought there must be somebody around if there is a pig farm so close. I found a practice, but they didn’t do farm animals anymore. I did email them and asked if they knew somebody who did and in the evening I was called by a very nice vet, Julian Slater. We made an appointment for the next morning. He was busy, but so kind to still make a little bit of time early in the morning.

I rushed home from the school run the next morning, but luckily my employer already let him in. He told me that he was about 2 weeks old. That was my first thought too, but later I did think he might be a little bit older and just smaller from being ill. It turned out that Lucky had a big fever, so the vet gave him 2 injections. The first one was to take his temperature down and the second one was with antibiotics. I also got a paste he needed to have 2 times a day, to make his diarrhoea go away. He thought he did have an ok chance of survival though. It made me hopeful, after not daring to hope that he would. By lunchtime his temperature was down, what was such good sign. From that time he was a little bit better every day. He kept sleeping a lot though. For every 10 min he was awake he wanted to sleep a 2-3 hours. In the days after he stayed awake a little longer every time and his diarrhoea was gone (what made it so much easier to clean up after him). Several times I tried to offer him cucumber and blueberries, but he wasn’t interested one bit. In his first week he was also officially named Lucky Oliver. I’ve always loved the name Oliver and it was 1 of the 2 names I’d choose if I had a son. He feels like he is my baby, so Oliver it is. On Wednesday I also got him a new cage, because it was hard to keep the cardboard box clean. So a cage with a plastic bottom was a lot easier to clean and it’s more hygienic.

On Saturday (the 6th day I had him) I gave him a bath. He didn’t particularly like it and it was a little stressful for him. So I made it quick and skipped his head. He really seemed to be a little disappointed with me for doing that to him, haha! Then I put on his jumper and showed him his new bed that came that day, he was a lot happier by then. So happy that he slept for hours in his new bed and really didn’t want to come out. But then around midnight he suddenly started to keep his head tilted to one side. He was also shaking his head/ears the whole time and tried to scratch it with his paws. He also kept moaning like he was in pain and he was clearly uncomfortable. It scared me a lot, because I really thought he had a bleeding in his brains or something like that. It could also be an ear infection though, but I was so panicky that I couldn’t think clearly anymore. The whole week he tried to scratch his ear a little, but as I couldn’t see anything in his ears, I assumed it was just natural behaviour. Also because he has had antibiotics and so I didn’t think it was something alarming. That night was the most horrible and most stressful night, because I really thought I was going to lose him. I stayed up with him until 5:00 in the morning, until I really couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer. When I woke up at 8:30 I contacted the vet and he was so kind to come over a few hours later. He also thought of an ear infection, but a mid-ear infection, because just like me, he couldn’t see anything in his ear. He gave him another type of antibiotics, that goes in his drinking water. He also gave him an anti inflammatory that he needed to keep taking once a day for 5 days. After 2 days he kind of stopped keeping his head tilted to one side, though he kept doing it after waking up + he kept shaking and scratching. He did started to be more naughty though. He (all the time) knocked over his food and water within 2 second of me putting it down, he knocked over the bin, started to bite in everything.. he clearly started to feel better and noticed the things around him more and more. It was really time to correct him, raise him well and be sure he’ll grow into a good friendly pig. He learns so fast though. It’s his stubbornness that makes him do things again, haha! He also finally started to show interest in other food than his pellet. He tried cucumber and after a few tries he now finishes a whole piece with great joy (what gives me even more joy!). He also really likes grapes.

I noticed he, like all other pigs, had a big urge for rooting. He didn’t have that at first, but he’s getting older and I guess his instinct is kicking in. So we even went outside for the first time (had to get him a new jumper, because he’s growing and the other one was too small after a week!). Oliver experienced grass for the first time and he really liked it. He can’t stop sniffing everything, chew on every leaf, play with little stones and run and following me around. So from now on we go outside every day. It’s good for him to get used to the temperature and I think the fresh air and rooting in the dirt is healing too. In the weekend I also got him a brush. Not necessarily to brush his hair, but more because I thought he’d love the feeling. I was so right! He loves his brush!

If you want to follow Oliver, to see where he is up to (pictures, videos and InstaStories), then please follow Oliver’s Story on Instagram: @LuckyOliverPig

|> I want to thank Doug & Maryn, my employers, for letting me rescue him and for all the love and support they’re giving him (and me). Without you he wouldn’t have been alive! <|

Thank you so much for reading this huge article! I think this is the longest one ever, haha!

Did you like reading about Oliver? Would you like me to write an update later on? Do you have a similar story or do you want to say something about it? Please let me know in the comments below or show me by using #PlanetManel on Instagram. Thank you! X

Lentil Love

img_8312Who likes Indian food? Me! Filling food, with lovely spices.. it smell amazing and it tastes even better. I really like Indian food, also because a lot is already vegan or vegetarian and it’s easy to veganise. This dish has lots of lentils, what means lots of protein! It’s perfect as a post work out meal. Another benefit, as this recipe serves 6, you can easily divide it in smaller meals and freeze them separately. This way you always have a nice nutritious meal ready. Or if you have a lot of people coming over?! Double the recipe, cook a lot of rice and toast some pita breads. I’m sure people will love this. And also, the main ingredient in this dish are lentils and they are super cheap (buy in bulk). You can eat this on its own, with rice or with pita bread. Oh and it’s perfect now it’s getting colder. What a super dish!

img_8314LENTIL LOVE

Serves: 6

-2 cups red lentils
-4 cups water
-1 small onion (chopped)
-2/3 cup chopped tomatoes
-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (ground)
-1 tsp cumin (ground)
-1 tsp coriander (ground)
-1 tsp turmeric (ground)
-1/2 tsp cumin seeds
-1 tsp mustard seeds
-1/2 small red onion (finely chopped)
-1 tbs coconut oil
-1 cup coconut milk
-salt/pepper (to taste)

img_8313-Put the lentils, the small onion, the cayenne pepper, the cumin (ground), the coriander, the turmeric, the chopped tomatoes and the water in a big pan. Let it boil for 2 minutes and then let it simmer for 30 minutes.
-Fry the mustard and the cumin seeds in the coconut oil on a medium heat. Cover the pan with a lid and wait until the mustard seeds are starting to pop.
-Add the onion (finely chopped) and keep stirring it while frying it for about 3-5 minutes.
-Then add this mixture to the lentils and add the coconut milk.
-Add salt/pepper to taste.
-Mix it well and let it simmer for 15 minutes.
-Serve with rice and/or pita bread.

Are you a fan of Indian food? Are you going to make this for yourself or for a big party? Please let me know or show me by using #PlanetManel on Instagram. Thanks you! X

Farm Girl Cafe

I thought I was kind of a Portobello Road expert, as I spend many many many days on this road. But when I was flying back home from Mallorca and a friend pointed out an article where the Farm Girl Cafe was mentioned, I had no idea. It turned out to be on the bit of Portobello Road I almost never go to. You have to cross a street for this bit and I actually always turn around before. Later I did guess where it was as I remember a hidden cafe when I went to a dance class with the kids I look after. I didn’t know the name anymore, but that was the only place I could think of. And when I got there, I was right. That was the cafe. Funny that I knew about it for so long, without knowing it.. if that makes sense?! Haha!

At the Farm Girl Cafe they do serve meat, but they also have a fair choice of vegan options. It was a lovely sunny morning and after a little wait (it’s a very popular place), I was able to sit outside. Their menu is on point, with a ‘V’ behind everything that is vegan. Super handy if restaurants do this. I saw crazy good smashed avocado toast passing by (a lot!), but as I always try to limit my bread intake, I chose the acai bowl. I heard it was good. I asked for a chai latte, but they are not vegan as they use honey. So the waiter suggested to have chai tea, with milk on the side. They have coconut milk, almond milk and hazelnut milk, all from Rude Health. I chose coconut. The acai came in a lovely coconut bowl, but I was a little disappointed with the presentation. They just threw everything in there.. such a shame, because you can really make it look nice with all these toppings (banana, coconut, seeds, granola, almond butter). The tea was super delicious btw, the best chai tea I’ve had! They also do a very famous charcoal latte, but I was afraid I was going to be too full. So I will come back for this for sure. They have 4 vegan all day breakfast options and 3 lunch options (from 11:00). I think that is pretty good! I have to come here more often.

What I really like about the Farm Girl Cafe is that it’s hidden. You don’t expect a cafe, but going through a porch, suddenly there is the most beautiful cafe. Lots of plants, white walls, seats outside, truly lovely. Inside it’s quite spectacular too, with the petrol coloured tiles, high ceiling and the opportunity to sit on a long table, up stairs, overlooking the cafe. There is lots of fresh fruit and veggies near the counter and that looks super nice against the tiles. They created a very unique atmosphere. The service was a little slow at times, but the staff was very friendly though. Something I didn’t like were the prices. It is pretty expensive! My acai bowl was nice, but not he best I’ve had and it lacked presentation. Still all together (acai bowl, chai tea) it was £17,50. This is a little outrageous if you ask me.

WHO? Farm Girls Cafe.
WHERE? 59A Portobello Rd, W11 3DB.
CUISINE? Diverse.
VEGAN? No! (omni)
OVERALL? 7 (Lovely place, good food and amazing tea, but very expensive)

Did you already know the Farm Girl Cafe? Or are you planning to go here now? You do need to try the chocolate ice cream! Please tell me about your experience! 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

Newsletter NOVEMBER

I know it’s already the 3rd of November, what means this newsletter is 3 days late! I’m sorry! I have been so busy and with all the changes during and after my move I just didn’t spend much time on my blog. I better start writing and working, because Sunday it’s only 7 weeks until Christmas and before we all know it, it’s 2018. I can’t believe how fast time is going. But first we have November. November is always a quiet month for me. I don’t have any traveling planned, because I always travel to the Netherlands in December. Now let’s see what’s on in December. Oh and because I’m not London based anymore, I decided to include some vegan events from all over the UK.

Let’s look back on some things from last month first..

I MOVED!
First of all, I moved! It was rather hectic and a lot of things to get used to, but I’m out of London for 2 weeks now and it’s going very well. I love being in nature and there are pigs very close to me (5 min walk.. I can see them from my window). Soon I will write a personal blog again, to tell you about my life in the country side.

VEGFESTUK 2017
Who went to the VegFestUK? For me it was the weekend I moved and unfortunately I couldn’t make it because of that, but I’m sure many of you did go. Tell me about it!

HALLOWEEN
How was your Halloween? ..and who made Yummy Mummy?

4-5/11 – SOUTHAMPTON VEGAN FESTIVAL 
I know, because this newsletter is a little late, this is a bit short day. Though, if you don’t have anything planned yet for this weekend, why not go here? Funny enough I will be viewing vans (first viewings, yay!!) very close to Southampton tomorrow (4), so I’m thinking of going here myself. Who do I see there? It’ll be from 10:30-16:00 and the tickets on the door are only £5. It is held at Oceana (SO15 1RE).

11-12/11 – VON MANCHESTER VEGAN FEST
It’s from 10:00-17:00, being held at the Britannia Sachas Hotel (M1 1JG). Lot of stalls, talks and cookery demos. So for everybody living a bit more up north, this sounds nice. Who’s going?

18/11 – ANIMAL AID’S SOUTH WEST CHRISTMAS WITHOUT CRUELTY FESTIVAL
This sounds like a lot of fun. A cruelty free Christmas Festival! It’s held at the Exeter Corn Exchange (EX1 1BW). It’s a beautiful area btw, so why not make it a weekend? The festival is from 10:00 – 16.30 and it’s free entry. There will be stalls, food, (children’s) games, talks and more. So for some cruelty free Xmas shopping, this sounds like the place to be!

19/11 – EDINBURGH VEGAN FESTIVAL
It’s the 3rd time running, the Edinburgh Vegan Festival. Held at the The Roxburghe Hotel (EH2 4HQ), from 10:30 – 16:30. For only £3 (£2 if you book in advance) you can enjoy the vegan products, food, talks and lots more.

24/11 – NORWICH VEGAN CHRISTMAS FESTIVAL
Also for the 3rd time, another vegan Christmas vegan festival, yay! This time on the other side of the UK, in Norwich. It’s held at Open Norwich, form 10:00-16:00. There will be more than 50 stalls, with vegan goodies and food. Christmas shopping success guaranteed! And guess what, it’s free entry.

25/11 – VEVOLUTION FESTIVAL
I assume you all know what are TED-talks? What about only vegans were doing these TED-talks? This is where the Vevolution festival is about! I think it sounds super interesting. If you agree, then make sure you are at The Ri (W1S 4BS) in London at 9:00 (it’s finished at 18:00).

26/11 – LEEDS WINTERFEST VEGAN CHRISTMAS MARKET
And if you’re still not in the mood for Christmas after all of this, there is a 3rd (huge) vegan Christmas festival, in Leeds this time. Held at the Leeds Town Hall (LS1 3AD) from 11:00-17:00. There will be 150+ stalls, vegan food and everything you expect from a good festival. This all for only £3. The festival is fully volunteer ran, so all of this will go to animal welfare charities.

26/11 – THE BRIGHTON VEGAN FESTIVAL
There can never be too many vegan festivals in Brighton. It seems like they have a vegan festival every month. Great! This will be held at the Grand Hotel Brighton and has over 100 stalls. It’s from 10:30-17:00 and the entry is only £3. A trip to Brighton is always fun anyway. Anyone going?

RECIPE SPOILER
Keep your eyes open for this up coming recipe! Yummm!

Was this helpful, did you like to read this or do you have any questions? Would you like to tell me about your Easter.. I’d love to hear all about it! Please let me know in a comment below! Do you have any exciting things coming up what is related to veganism, positivity, spirituality etc? Please let me know! Send me a message via CONTACT and I might publish it in my next newsletter! Thank you! X

Drum Ruffle Truffle

World Vegan Day!! The event was established in 1994 by Louise Wallis. She picked November, because she knew the society had been founded in November 1944, but she didn’t know the exact date though. So she picked the 1st, because it’s after Halloween, the day of death. Anyway, an important day like this one, asks for healthy chocolate truffles. Truffles without cruelty, without crap.. something you can enjoy to the fullest, without feeling guilty for bit. They’re super easy to make (a little messy though) and are a great snack or treat to share. You can easily keep them in the fridge for a few days and so they’re perfect to make in advance.

DRUM RUFFLE TRUFFLE

Makes: 20-25

-1 cup cashews
-1 cup oat flour
-1 cup dates
-1/2 cup raw cacao powder
-1/4 cup agave nectar
-1/2 cup oat milk
-1/4 cup palm sugar
-pinch of salt
-extra cacao powder (for coating)

-food processor

-Put everything in the food processor and blend it until you get a sticky dough.
-Spread out some cacao powder on a plate.
-Roll little balls of the dough and then roll them through the cacao powder.

Are you going to make this recipe for today? Or for another day? (I bet they’ll be a good Xmas treat too!) Please show me all your lovely creations, I really love seeing those! Send me a picture, tag me or use #PlanetManel on Instagram. Thank you! X

Yummy Mummy

Only 4 more nights until Halloween! I’m not a huge fan of this celebration myself, but I do like to create recipes for it, haha! And I’m sure if you’re really into it, you want to eat something that adds to the theme. Especially with children it’s a nice thing to do. This recipe is not only fun to make and to look at, but I tested it on children and they love it. If your children are a little bit older, then they will be happy to help you too. The process is rather fun, especially wrapping it up in the end. You can serve this with several veggies or a salad. For some more Halloween recipe inspiration, go check out last years recipe: Creepy Tasty. Have fun!

YUMMY MUMMY

Serves: 4

filling
-1 cup veggie mince (I used Fry’s)
-1 cup chickpeas (from can)
-1 carrot (chopped)
-1 cup bread crumbs
-1/2 cup soy milk (unsweetened)
-1/2 onion (finely chopped)
-2 cloves of garlic (minced)
-2 tbs nutritional yeast
-1 tsp oregano
-1 tsp parsley
-salt/pepper (to taste)
-50 gr cheese (grated) (I used the VioLife original)
mummy coat
-1 pastry sheet (I used Jus Roll)
eyes
-cheese
-nori sheet

-food processor
-oven

-Preheat the oven at 200C + grease the inside of a cake tin.
-Put the veggie mince, the chickpeas, the carrot, the bread crumbs, the soy milk, the nutritional yeast, the oregano, the parsley and a bit of salt/pepper in the food processor and pulse until it’s a little sticky and mixed. Don’t make it too smooth.
-Fry the onions and the garlic for 2-3 minutes and then add everything from the food processor. Fry this all together for about 5 minutes. Let it cool down.
-In the meantime cut the pastry sheet: Cut off 10 cm of the pastry sheet for the base. Then cut the rest in strokes of 1 cm.
-Knead the filling into the shape of the base and start wrapping the little strokes around it. If you stretch the strokes a little bit, you will be able to use 1 stroke, 2 times.
-Put it in the oven for about 35-40 minutes (until golden brown).
-For the eyes I used a little piece of a nori sheet and extra cheese. Cut out 2 little circles of the nori sheet, stick it on a piece of cheese and cut out the cheese. It’s better to add the eyes when it’s finished, rather than putting them in the oven too.

Are you going to make this recipe for next Tuesday or maybe the Creepy Tasty instead? Please show me all your lovely creations, I really love seeing those! Send me a picture, tag me or use #PlanetManel on Instagram. Thank you! X

The Fields Beneath

You might think: ‘where do I know The Fields Beneath from’?! It probably sounds familiar. This is because they have been in the news a lot, after becoming fully vegan cafe. They used to even serve meat when they opened their doors in 2012, but then after a while they turned vegetarian. When about a year ago the owner became vegan, he decided that it was time for the cafe to become vegan too. They slowly started to swap their things with vegan alternatives and then the last thing they changed was the milk. They hung a note on the door with that there was no longer cows milk served anymore. That note got a lot of attention, because now they were full vegan. So cool! So I had to go here of course. It’s only a few stops away with the train and the cafe is right under the station (Kentish Town West). Coming out of the station, it’s on your right.

When you come in, you immediately see all the amazing looking food in front of you. Actually you just want to have a bite of everything. I had lunch not long before, so I decided to go for a chai latte, but I couldn’t help ordering some toasted banana bread with coconut butter too. I did actually regret having lunch, because I would have loved to try one of the croissants, wraps or burgers. I will come back for sure. The chai latte was very nice. It was made with Oatly Barista, so I didn’t expect anything else. The banana bread was very good. It was very popular they said and I do get why that is. What a lovely treat!

The Fields Beneath is not very big, but there are some seats inside and quite a lot of seats outside. Even with rain you can sit there, as the railway above you will protect you from getting wet. They have some street signs as decoration, what I thought was very cool. It makes it a little industrial and fun, but in combination with the tiles on the counter it’s still very homelike. Great combination. The staff is super friendly and helpful and I felt very welcome. It’s just a lovely little cafe and I wish it was even closer to where I live. I would go here a lot (or maybe it’s good it’s not too close, haha!). In case you didn’t get it yet, I highly recommend this cafe!

WHO? The Fields Beneath.
WHERE? 52a, Prince of Wales Rd, NW5 3LN.
CUISINE? Diverse.
VEGAN? Yes!
OVERALL? 8 (Amazing looking food and a, lovely atmosphere)

Did you already know The Fields Beneath? Or are you planning to go here now? You do need to try the chocolate ice cream! Please tell me about your experience! 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