Yogurt / Fruit Jelly

YOGURT
To have sugary yogurts every day after lunch or dinner is not a really good habit. A lot of children are being brought up like this, but I think it’s not a habit we should encourage. Though, once in a while as a treat, I think it’s fine to have a special yogurt. You can even have it as a naughty snack. This coconut yogurt from Alpro is perfect for moments like those. It’s creamy and people with a sweet tooth will love this, because it’s quite sweet. It’s tasty, but a little too sweet for my personal taste. I like it’s coconut flavour though and the package looks nice and appealing. There is also a almond-vanilla one and a hazelnut-chocolate. I think I should especially try that last one, because it just needs to be done, haha! The downside: It advertises with ‘less sugar’, but there are actually almost 3 sugar cubes per pot. What is a lot! Such a shame.. but that’s why you should only have this as an occasional treat.

FRUIT JELLY
As a vegan, jelly is kind of a no-go. It often has gelatine in it and gelatine comes from cow’s or pig’s bones (how did somebody even come to this discovery?!). Though there are certain products with vegetables as a setting agent. Also the jellies of The Fruity Pot Family. Yay! I discovered them a while ago. They are even better than some other jellies, because The Fruity Pot Family is using whole fruit pieces in their jelly. It’s so yummy! There are different flavours: peach, tropical fruit and mandarin. I tried the peach, as I love peach and it was very tasty. The pots don’t seem very big, but I think they’re perfect size actually (120gr). The consistency is very good and the fruit pieces taste really nice on it’s own, but especially in combination with the jelly. They do not use artificial colours, sweeteners or preservatives and they are also gluten-free. I’m not saying to have this instead of fruit. You still need to eat your whole fruits, but this is a fun way to eat fruit though. Especially for children I think, this is a nice treat. It’s perfect for on the way (it even comes with a spoon) and for lunch boxes. The downside is that there is a lot of plastic though. The pot is made of thick plastic and so is the spoon.

Did you already know these products or are you going to try them after reading this? Please let me know or show me on Instagram by using #PlanetManel. Would you like me to test and review your product(s) or do you have any suggestions? Please send me a message via CONTACT! It can be anything (food, drinks, beauty..) as long as it’s vegan. Thank you! X

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Personal #1 – Making my dream come True!

I never wrote a personal post before, but I have big news and I also feel like sharing certain things once in a while. So from now on you can expect some more personal posts here. There we go..

If you’re following me on Instagram, you might know that I have some exciting news to share. I waited a bit with making it public as I wanted to be sure about a few things first. Also I had to get used to the idea myself a little bit. I can’t tell you that I am now, at least not for a 100%, because it’s quite a life changing thing (and no I’m not pregnant haha!). Not only that, it will also make a very big dream, I’ve had for quite a while, come true. So what is it? Well.. first of all, I’m moving! I’m moving next month, out of my beloved London (and my very much loved flat!!) and to the country side. I’ll still be close to London though. It’s a little over an hour from Paddington. So that’s nice. I will move to a farm house where I will be partly looking after the children I looked after before. I will also look after the animals they are going to get (chickens, horses, pigs (!), dogs etc.) and I will do some garden/household work as well. And living in the countryside means that I can finally adopt a dog (so exciting!) for myself. So this is one part of the big news and already so lovely. But there is more..

For many years I have this dream, to get a van and build my house in there. So that is what I’m going to do. I will hopefully find my van in the end of this year or in the beginning of next year. Then the whole process can start and I hope to finish it (asap) in the spring/summer. I will live in my van as soon as it’s finished (I can already not wait!). Then over the weekends and in the holidays, I can do little try out trips through the UK and Ireland. I always wanted to see more of the UK and doing it like this will be the best way ever. After 2-3 years, my dog and I will cross the North Sea and then I will travel around Europe. This for me is the ultimate feeling of freedom, in so many ways. Personal freedom, but also living in peace, free from (most) bills, the norm of staying in one place and other society expectations. I will just live my own life in my own world. I will not isolate myself, but I can if I want to. That feeling is amazing and suits my character perfectly. I will see so much of the world and I’m sure I will learn so much about myself, nature and planet earth.

At the moment I’m getting rid of a lot of things. There is so much stuff I don’t need. I will have to live like a proper minimalist. Luckily I was already living quite minimalistic. I’m also already looking for a van (orientation more) and researching all the possibilities. Super exciting, but a lot of work. If you have any tips.. please share them with me! Vanlife here I come!

Do you have any tips for me? Or anything else you’d like to share after reading my first personal post? Please let me know in the comments below or show me by using #PlanetManel on Instagram. Thank you! X

Mexican Bowl

img_7505Mexican food is so satisfying. It has lots of veggies, it has beans, avocado, tortilla’s and it’s spicy. The Mexican kitchen is yummy! Now let’s all put these delicious things in one bowl. And with pieces of crispy tortilla’s, you can scoop the goodness out of the bowl and into your mouth! How does that sound? The ingredient list seems a bit long and maybe it is, because they’re actually little recipes in one bowl. It does take a little time to make it, but it’s very rewarding and I’m sure you’ll be very satisfied when this colourful bowl is in front of you. The recipe is for one person, but you can easily double the recipe and eat it with your lover or a friend! What about making it together?

img_7498MEXICAN BOWL

Serves: 1

-2 tortilla wraps
-100 gr mince
-1/4 onion
-1/4 tsp smoked paprika
-1/4 tsp thyme
-1/4 tsp salt
-1/4 tsp chilli flakes
-2 tomatoes
-bunch coriander (chopped)
-1/4 small red onion (chopped)
-1/4 tsp lime juice
-1/2 avocado (smashed)
-1/4 tsp lemon juice
-1/2 clove garlic
-1/4 iceberg lettuce (chopped)
-1/6 cucumber (chopped)
-3 baby corns (chopped)
-1/2 cup black beans
-1/2 corn cob
-1/4 jalapeño pepper (sliced)
-1 tbs olive oil
-salt/pepper (to taste)

img_7506-Preheat the oven at 180C.
-Cut the tortilla’s in 4 pieces and make them wet. Put them in the oven for about 6-8 min. Let them cool down.
-Mix the tomatoes with the onion, some jalapeño pepper, the coriander and 1/4 tsp on lime juice. Add some salt to taste.
-Mix the avocado, 1/4 of lemon juice, the garlic with some salt and pepper to taste.
-Fry the onion in a pan with 1/2 tbs of olive oil. Add the garlic and then the mince. Fry this all, on a high fire, together until the mince is hot and has a slightly darker colour. Add the smoked paprika, the thyme, the chilli flakes and some salt and pepper to taste and fry again for only 1-2 minutes.
-Mix the iceberg lettuce, the cucumber and the baby corns with 1/2 tbs of olive oil and add some salt to taste.
-Let the corn cob boil in water for 5 minutes.
-Warm the black beans for just a minute on high fire in a pan.
-Put it all in a nice big bowl. Serve with the pieces of crispy tortilla.

Do you like Mexican food? Are you going to try this recipe? Please let me know when you’ve tried it. You can do this in a comment below.. or you can tag me or use #PlanetManel on Instagram, so I can see it. Thank you! X

Press

I was in Soho, on my way to a shop, to get something for my brother. When I was almost at the shop I saw a little juice bar, Press! I never knew there was a Press in this street. It’s not a street where you often go to, so I was lucky to walk passed it. I didn’t have breakfast yet, so I decided to pop in. I had a quick look at the menu and at first sight, I couldn’t spot any non vegan products in their breakfast bowls or in any of the things they offered. They turned out to be almost all vegan. Just apart from the milk in the coffee and some honey (in some juices) unfortunately. You can still request cow’s milk in your coffee here. Though the girl told me that it doesn’t happen that much anymore. I hope they will ditch the cow’s milk and the honey one day, so they can call themselves a 100% vegan juice bar. Would be amazing!

I actually wanted to try the Chia Bowl, but they run out of it unfortunately. So I went for an Acai Bowl. I love acai! I also saw they had a Golden Latte and I thought it was like a turmeric latte. So I ordered that one too, but it turned out to be coffee. Silly me, because it was clearly listed under ‘coffees’. The acai bowl was super nice. It had some lovely toppings too: blueberries, goji berries, granola and almonds. It was very cold, so definitely very perfect for a hot day. The taste was very good, with a great acai flavour. The colour was define really, a beautiful soft purple! I couldn’t drink the coffee, because I really really don’t like coffee. I also didn’t want to give it back, because I didn’t want them to throw it away. I gave it to the lady behind the till in the shop I went for my brother later on. She was so happy and that gave me a good feeling, so not a waste. Press gave me 3 things to try too. One of them was a pineapple juice, to boost your immune system and to hydrate. I found out there is honey in there unfortunately, so I can’t review this. I gave it to the girl sitting next to me at the moment (I’m giving lots of things away today!). They also gave me 2 shots: Detox and Ginger Fireball. The detox shot is with coconut water, lime, ginger, aloe vera activated charcoal (super hot at the moment!) and milk thistle. I’m very excited about this one, it’s very nice! The ginger fireball one contains ginger (50%!!), pineapple and lime. It’s burning good!

Press also offers juice and soup cleanses. For the juice cleanse, you can choose different packages (beginner, intermediate and advanced) and do it 1-5 days. Prices vary from £47-£235. They offer 2 soup cleanses (nourish and energise) and you can also do this 1-5 days. The prices vary from £38-£186. They even have a service that you can get it delivered to your house, every 15 or every 30 days. This means you can do regular cleanses, without any hassle of preparing. A cleanse is a perfect way to give your immune system a boost, to increase your energy and sleep + a lot more benefits. You can find more information about this on their website, where you can also place the orders in case you’re interested.

WHO? Press.
WHERE? 6 Denman St, Soho, W1D 7HX.
CUISINE? Juice Bar.
VEGAN? No! (vegetarian, but almost all vegan)
OVERALL? 7 (Very good breakfast, nice cleanses, but a shame they do cow’s milk and honey.)

Did you already know the Press? Or would you like to go there now? Please let me know when you’ve tried it! Especially when you tried one of their juice or soup cleanses! 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

Vitamin B12 / Croissants

VITAMIN B12
Protein and B12 are probably the most bespoke subjects when it comes to veganism. A lot of omnivores are using these 2 to make a point and an excuse to eat meat and other animal products. B12 is something no human or animal can make. B12 is a bacteria that grows on sugar. You get B12 by fermenting blackstrap molasses (from sugar cane or beet). B12 used to be in the ground and because the grass-eating animals got their B12 though that way, it’s believed that there is B12 in meat and dairy naturally. Nowadays the ground isn’t rich in B12 anymore and so we need to supplement. Animals are also supplemented. But why would you get B12 through killing and eating an animal if you can just eat it straight? A lot of products are enriched with B12 now, like plant milks and meat substitutes. To make sure you get enough B12, you can take extra by taking a B12 supplement. I use the B12 of the brand Solgar. This is a trustworthy brand, vegan and they don’t use any crap. They have B12 in little capsules, but I prefer the little pills with cherry flavour, that melt in your mouth. I only take it twice a week though. I feel that it’s enough for me, knowing I do consume some enriched products too.

CROISSANTS
One of the things I kind of missed when going vegan were croissants. Not like I had croissant that much before or that I was totally crazy about them, but once in a while it was always a nice treat. Especially when making a big breakfast or brunch (for Easter or something). But in most croissants they use butter. So that wasn’t an option anymore. Luckily there are these lovely inventions of croissant dough in a pack. I always loved these croissants anyway, because they are so sticky and I like that. So now I use those. Here in the UK I always have them from the brand ‘Jus Rol’ and they are delicious and easy to make. I often make them in the weekend when my boyfriend and I are waking up together and have a lazy morning. I like to roll in some cheese, pesto or even some pieces of dark chocolate. So yum! You can vary endlessly and it’s all so yum. I think cheesy is my favourite though. So whenever you need some croissants for a brunch or just because you’re craving some.. enjoy these ones!

Did you already know these products or are you going to try them after reading this? Please let me know or show me on Instagram by using #PlanetManel. Would you like me to test and review your product(s) or do you have any suggestions? Please send me a message via CONTACT! It can be anything (food, drinks, beauty..) as long as it’s vegan. Thank you! X

CocoNuts

If it’s with coconut.. yes please! I have a big coconut addiction I’m afraid. I love products and recipes with coconut. It doesn’t matter if it’s chocolate, ice lollies, curries.. if it has coconut, I’m in! Ok, it does have to be vegan too. But luckily a lot of things with coconuts are as it’s used instead of cow’s milk. I also really like cake with coconut, I mean, who doesn’t right? So I created a coconut cake. I can already say it’s not healthy, as I used an area bas. You can of course replace the base for a healthy base if you want to make something a little more guilt free. But I do think this cake does really go well with the Oreo’s. So do you have a celebration coming up soon? Or do you just want to celebrate another day in your life.. this cake is perfect!

CRAZY COCONUT

Serves: 6-8

base
-1 pack oreo’s
-3 tbs coconut oil (melted)
filling
-1 can coconut milk
-1/2 cup plant based milk
-1/4 cup desiccated coconut
-1/4 cup water
-2 tbs agave nectar
-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
-2 tbs corn flour + 1/4 cup water
-1 tbs agar agar
extra
-desiccated coconut
-palm sugar
-cacao powder

-Baking tin

-Soak the desiccated coconut for about 30 min in the milk.
-Put the oreo’s and the coconut oil in the food processor and blend until it’s sticky.
-Divide the base over the baking tin. Press with the back of a spoon to make it even. Put this in the fridge.
-Put the water and the agar agar in a sauce pan and let it boil.
-Mix the corn flour with the water (I always shake it).
-On a low fire pour in the coconut milk , the milk + the desiccated coconut, the cream, the agave nectar, the corn flour mixture and the vanilla extract. Let it simmer for 2 minutes.
-Pour this on the base and put it in the fridge overnight.
-Sprinkle the coconut , the coconut sugar and a little bit of cacao powder on top.

Party, party?!! Are you going 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

Las Iguanas

I wanted to go to Las Iguanas for a while now, as I heard they do vegan dishes. So a while ago on a free afternoon, I decided to go for lunch. It was a little tricky to decide which one to go to, because all their restaurants are nice ones. In the end I went to their huge restaurant in Wembley. Las Iguanas started small in 1991, but now they are nationwide. Their food have native Latin American, Indian, Spanish, Portuguese and African influences. There is a lot of variety and they have a separate vegetarian/vegan menu (yay!). A lot is actually vegetarian, but as a vegan there are 3 main meals and 3 salads you can choose from + several sides, starters and plates to share. Unfortunately they fry their fries (and some other originally vegan food) in the same oil as non vegan things. That is why some things you’d think are actually vegan, are not listed as vegan on the menu. What means that if you don’t mind about this, there will be even more options, but personally I think this really is a shame and it would be lovely if they came up with a solution for this.

After some explanation and recommendations it was still hard to choose something, but I eventually went for the Moqueca De Palmitos. A dish with palm hearts. My boyfriend told me about it a while ago and it was his favourite. So I was excited to try this for he first time. The curry comes on a little light, to keep it warm. Then on a separate plate there is some rice, green beans and a little tomato salad. The whole combination was absolutely delicious (really liked the palm hearts)! I wish there was a little bit more rice though. The portion of the curry is a lot more in comparison to the rice. In fact, if you ask for an extra portion of rice and you order some starters and sides, you can share this dish. Will be quite fun actually. For dessert I chose the Tembleque, a coconut pudding with mixed berries and a mango sauce. Though the manager who served me, recommended the mango sorbet too. So I tried them both. The mango sorbet is really one of the better sorbets I’ve had. I love that it’s mango i the first place, but it’s even better, because you can actually taste the mango and it’s not too sweet. Though the Tembleque was the best desserts I’ve had in a really long time. It’s very different form anything I ever had in a restaurant. It’s so creamy and soft and it goes so perfectly with he sweet berries and the slightly sour mango sauce. Great combination! I absolutely love this and I will make sure that I come back for this!

Eating at Las Iguanas is a real feast. If you forget about the outside world for a minute and imagine you’re at the beach, it truly feels like you’re on holiday. The colours, the music, the food, everything goes together. It’s a real treat to go here. What makes it perfect for a celebration. They really done well putting the colours together. They have many different seats.. sofa’s, benches, high tables, normal tables.. and they are all matching in the same colours. Soft yellow, blue and orange. Even the plates match. I really like the tiles on the floor and the tiles on the table. The staff was super helpful and I’m very happy to recommend this place. Great place to go to if you have non vegans friends and family members. This way everybody can choose what they want!

I want to thank Las Iguanas for their amazing food!

WHO? Las Iguanas.
WHERE? 97, London Designer Outlet, Wembley Park Blvd, Wembley HA9 0FD.
CUISINE? South American.
VEGAN? No! (omni)
OVERALL? 8 (Absolutely loved the food, several vegan options and great interior.)

Did you already know Las Iguanas? Do you like coconuts and desserts? Go! Please let me know when you’ve tried 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

Tofu / Pate

TOFU
There is/was this hype around these things called a tofu press. Everybody needed one. I never really bothered myself, but I did always wonder how restaurants and some recipes gotten these perfect cubes of tofu that do not turn into a scramble as soon as you put the in the pan. Especially in curries. It’s always so delicious. I know some people use books and all heavy things they have for hand to press the water out of the tofu, but that it’s just a little too much for me I guess, haha! Then a while ago I discovered the tofu from The Tofoo Co. This is the perfect tofu for curries, to use in a stir fry, to put in a sandwich and so many more recipes. They have a naked version and a smoked version. The smoked version is nice for salads, sandwiches and wraps, because in a stir fry everything will taste like this and I can tell you that, even though it’s yum, it’s a little too much to have a whole dish taste like it. I’m so happy to have discovered this brand and the good thing is they sell it at quite a lot of shops, even the smaller Tesco’s for example. Hooray!

PATE
So what do you put on your sandwich? This is a question I get asked quite a lot. It turns out, people have no inspiration, apart from cheese and meat, when it comes to sandwiches. There are so many things though, including this nice pate I found from Liberto. It’s not only vegan, but also organic, gluten-free and it’s super yum. It doesn’t have a very strong taste, but that makes it perfect to use it for a base in sandwiches or on some crackers in the evening, whilst watching a movie. It really is a perfect movie snack I must say! It is also a good snack before or after the gym, because it’s high in protein. So if you want to get some extra proteins in, you better get some crackers and spread away (I got some garlic pita bread sticks and this is a perfect combination). It’s also high in fibre and has absolutely no crap inside. Totally perfect! I got mine at Ocado and I think it’s definitely a good treat. Liberto has more things to offer than only this pate though. Check out their website to see what else they have.

Did you already know these products? I’d love to hear your experience or you can also show me on Instagram by using #PlanetManel. Would you like me to test and review your product(s) or do you have any suggestions? Please send me a message via CONTACT! It can be anything (food, drinks, beauty..) as long as it’s vegan. Thank you! X

What I eat in a Day! #3

I thought let’s do another ‘What I eat in a Day’ post. I often get questions about this and people always seem to be interested in what I (do) eat. I also like to show people that we, vegan, can just have normal and delicious food. So here we go!

I just picked a random day: I always start my day with a big glass of luke warm water, the juice of half a lemon and 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar. This isn’t something I love drinking, but it gives me a good feeling as it gives me energy and a boost of vitamin C. It also has a cleansing effect and for me it’s perfect to start my day. About an hour later I drink my green smoothie. This is a smoothie with 2 very ripe bananas, a big handful of spinach, 1/2 tsp spirulina, 1/2 tsp wheatgrass and 1 tsp of linseed. I use a little bit of water to blend it. I had this with 1/2 a medium sized papaya. When I got to work they had a bowl full of delicious fresh plums from the garden they went to at the weekend. So I just had to  snack on those in the morning. So delicious! It makes me think of my childhood as we had 2 plum trees, full of plums, in the garden where I grew up. A little later in the morning I was quite hungry weird enough, so I made myself a small bowl of porridge. As a topping I used some strawberries, coconut, cinnamon and a little bit op agave nectar. Just to keep me going until lunch time.

For lunch (around 14:00) I made myself a little chickpea salad with 1/2 an avocado (+ salt/pepper/lemon juice/a drop of sesame seed oil and a little bit of smoked paprika), a sweet potato from the oven and some sugar snaps on the side. I love lunches like this. They are filling, nutritious and just delicious. I had my lunch fairly late today as I had the porridge around 10:30. Normally I will eat porridge around 9:00ish, but the plums were in the way there.. haha! I wasn’t actually hungry all afternoon, but I did get myself al little treat at Starbucks later on (around 16:00). My ultimate treat there is a Green Tea Latte with soy milk (and some cinnamon on the top). I love it! Unfortunately they put sugar in there, so I only have it now and then. In the morning I made my Nori Nori recipe, so I could take some pictures for the recipe I will share here soon. They are little wraps from nori sheets, filled with spinach, mushrooms, bell pepper, alfalfa and tempeh. So as I made them, I had those for dinner, with some extra spinach on the side. It’s definitely one of m favourite recipes, so tasty and very healthy! I wasn’t feeling hungry in the evening, so I only had a cup of bedtime tea a little bit before I went to sleep. Also I drink about 2-3 litres of water a day.

Do you eat similar to me? Or do you have a whole different routine? I’d love to hear about it. Please let me know in the comments below or show me by using #PlanetManel on Instagram. Thank you! X

Soup For Salad

crTime for a cheat recipe! My favourite things to eat for lunch are probably salad or soup. Now why can’t we bring those 2 together? I must admit, that I sometimes literally pour a full portion of soup over my salad and eat it like that, but I might be a little bit of an extremist, haha! Though, I do want to give you this tip.. to use soup as a salad dressing. Not all soups are great for this, but the ‘Curried Sweet Potato’ soup from ‘Soupologie’ is perfect for this. One of the best things about this soup is that it contains 0,0 crap. All healthy and super delicious. It’s one of my favourite soups, so using it on my salad is the perfect combination. You can basically make any raw salad, but I’ll give you a yummy combination here, to give you some inspiration.

cr2SOUP FOR SALAD

Serves: 1

-1/6 Soupologie soup (cold)
-handful of spinach
-handful of lettuce
-1/2 avocado (chopped)
-3 baby corns (chopped)
-4 cherry tomatoes (cut in half)
-5 cm cucumber (chopped)
-1/2 tsp chilli flakes
-pepper/salt (to taste)

-Make sure you shake or stir the soup a little before using it.
-Mix the raw veggies in a nice bowl and pour over about 1/6 of the soup. Use more or less, to taste.

What did you think of this tip? Are you going to try this? Please let me know or show me by tagging me or by using #PlanetManel on Instagram. Thank you! X