Sweet Chick

Sweet potatoes are one of the best things in this world if you’d ask me. I absolutely love them and eat them a few times a week. They’re delicious and super nutritious. I often combine them with avocado and chickpeas and I thought you might like this too. So I hope you will enjoy this recipe. It’s a perfect lunch, but also great for a dinner party. Always make 1 or 2 extra sweet potatoes when you put them in the oven. You can easily eat them cold and then you only have to make the filling. It means you’ll have a super quick lunch for the next day. Handy for when you do not have a lot of time or for when you want to take it with you!

SWEET CHICK

Serves: 2

2 sweet potatoes (washed)
1 avocado (smashed)
1 cup chickpeas
4 red onion rings
1 clove garlic (smashed)
1/2 tbs sesame seed oil
1 tsp lemon juice
pinch of smoked paprika
pepper/salt (to taste)

-Preheat the oven at 200C.
-Put the sweet potatoes in the oven for 45-60 min.
-In the meantime mix the avocado with the garlic, the sesame seed oil, the lemon juice and the salt and pepper.
-Take the sweet potatoes out of the oven when they’re nice and soft.
-Cut then open from the top and stuff them with the avocado/chickpeas mixture.
-Serve them with the onion rings and sprinkle some smoked paprika on top.

Are you going to make this recipe? Please let me know when you’ve tried it. You can do this in a comment below. You can also tag me or use #PlanetManel on Instagram. Thank you! X

Advertisements

Minimalism #2 – Presents

Did everybody have a nice Xmas?! For a child, waking up on Xmas morning is probably one of the most exciting things and I’m sure that over the years most of you still feel some of that excitement. Waking up to unwrap your presents is just something really exciting. What did you get this Xmas? Did it make you happy? But most important: Did it spark joy when you were holding it? Because what if it didn’t? What if you don’t like your gifts or it’s something you won’t use (because it’s not vegan for example)? It’s always a thing, isn’t it? Especially when you are (or when you’re trying to be) a minimalist or have a very specific taste (like me..). You do not want to come across as ungrateful and disappoint the person who got out of his/her way to get you something. But Xmas without presents also sounds a little boring. It’s just so tricky! Do these situations sound rather familiar on this Christmas day? If it does, then I can hopefully help you to not experience this again. This will not only be helpful at Christmas time of course, but in any situation where people normally like to give you a present. Birthdays, anniversaries, graduations..

I love getting people presents. I honestly love it a lot more than receiving a present myself. Looking or finding something you know somebody will really enjoy is such a nice feeling. Then when they open it and they really like it.. that makes me so happy! I like to spoil and get out of my way to get people something they (hopefully) really like. I’m sure I’m not the only one. This means that people who are giving you a present will be sad if you do not like what they got you. This makes me sad too. Not only because of their disappointment and effort, but also the money they’ve spent. Presents should make you happy, not sad. So here are some tips to save everybody from all this hassle:

*Tell people exactly what will make you happy. 
You can tell people exactly what you want. You can either write down the exact specifications, send them a picture or even a (Amazon) link. This way you’re very sure you get what you like or need. The whole surprise will be gone though, so it’s a little less fun I think.

*Make a list of general things that will make you happy. 
This is what I did. It’s all things you can eat and use anyway, things that will finish, make a memory or a favour. This way people can still kind of choose what to get you and it’ll be much more of a surprise for yourself. Most of the things are sustainable already, because they can be consumed. Try to think of more sustainable choices when you make your list. To give you some ideas:
-Soy toxin free candles.
-Your favourite Lush products or any other cruelty free brand you like.
-You favourite chocolate.
-Chia seed.
-Bag of nuts (cashews, almonds, macadamia).
-Bag of spirulina, matcha powder or any other powder you use.
-Essential oils.
-Incense.
-iBooks / iTunes / Movies.
-Going vegan for a week.
-Theatre/Cinema tickets.
-Donation to animal charity.
-Going out for dinner and pay for themselves as their gift to you.
-Donation towards your dream.
-Gift cards for the Whole Foods Market or any of your favourite stores.

You have to make sure that everybody knows about your wishes and/or list, otherwise you will still get things that you might not like. If you tell people about your wishes, make sure you tell them exactly why you have a list. Obviously, do this in the nicest possible way. I’m sure a lot of people are also happy, because this makes it a lot easier for them to get you something you actually like. Though, what if people still get you something you don’t like or you will not use? If that person knew about your wishes, then it’s their own risk. What I do is, I ask if they want to keep it themselves or I give it to somebody else. It maybe takes a while before people understand that it’s a lot better to get you something you’re actually happy with. In general, everybody likes to get you something you actually enjoy, so it should be alright in the end. It’s important to be honest though, because if you react all happy and excited for something that you do not like, people will do it again and you can’t blame them.

I hope this will help you. Oh and this actually will not only help you, but it is also better for the environment, especially if you ask for more sustainable presents. Good luck!

Do you have more ideas I could add to the list? Or anything else you’d like to share after reading this post? Please let me know in the comments below or show me by using #PlanetManel on Instagram. Thank you! X

Mooshies

It’s been a while since I was here actually, but I do want to add this fabulous vegan burger bar to my hotspot list. It’s not only a fabulous bar, but it’s also located in one of the coolest neighbourhoods of London. You can find Mooshies on Brick Lane in Shoreditch! I don’t know if you’ve ever visited this place, but you should. It’s so lively and I would almost say that it feels like you’re in different world. Shoreditch is super colourful, with its graffiti on (literally) every corner and it has a great sense of freedom. I love going here and whenever I go, I can’t skip paying a visit to Mooshies.

I chose the  ‘What’s your Beef’ burger that day, together with some cheesy sweet potato fries. The burger is made of quinoa and black beans and comes with several toppings, including (vegan) cheese. Though it was busy, I didn’t even have to wait that long for my order to arrive. I like the way they serve it, in a little basket with black an white paper. What I want to say first of all.. sweet potato fries and cheese are one heavenly combo, go get them! Now the burger. The taste is very good, the whole combination with the sauce, the crispy bottom of the bun and the fresh lettuce is super yum. Personally I would have liked it if the burger was a little bit more firm though. It’s quite soft. I really like how you don’t feel super full and heavy after eating this burger.

Mooshies couldn’t have choses a better location and it’s perfectly blending in. The atmosphere, the colours.. just everything. It’s not a super big place and it’s very popular, so sometimes you do have to wait a little bit to be seated. In the meantime you can stare at the beautifully graffiti walls. The best place to sit, I think, is close to the windows as Brick Lane is perfect to enjoy watching the variety of people walking around there. I also do have to mention that the staff is super friendly over here and I felt very welcome. They answered my questions and really looked after me well.

WHO? Mooshies.
WHERE? 104 Brick Ln, London E1 6RL.
CUISINE? Burgers.
VEGAN? Yes!
OVERALL? 8 (Great colourful restaurant, yummy burgers, reasonable prices and friendly staff.)

Did you already know Mooshies? Are you planning to get a burger over here? 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

 

Vegan Advice #5 (Xmas edition)

I got more questions asked, that I would like to answer here. This way everybody can read it in case more people have these questions about veganism. I answer everything from my own perspective. I’m sure there are people with a different opinion though. The last time I wrote a Vegan Advice I answered the following questions: ‘Why are you not going to the zoo?’, ‘Why do you not wear fur, wool, leather and silk?’ and ‘Do you take any supplements?’. As it’s almost Xmas, I thought of doing a Xmas edition of the Vegan Advice article. They aren’t per se Xmas related though, but recently I get these sort of questions a lot and I’m sure more vegans get these too: ‘Would you buy non vegan things as a present?’, ‘Would you accept non vegan things as a present?’, ‘Would you eat Xmas dinner with omni people?’. Here we go..

Would you buy non vegan things as a present?
No! Very simple and straight forward. I used to do it in the very beginning, but very soon I realised that it doesn’t make sense to spend my money on non vegan things. There are actually 3 reasons. First of all, I do not want a non vegan brand to get my support through buying it. Second, my biggest wish is for the whole world to go vegan. Giving other people non vegan things doesn’t only make them doubt about how serious veganism is for me and in general, but it also tells them it’s kind of ok that they still want products that involve cruelty and/or environmental damage. Third..I really like to show them that vegan things aren’t that weird, disgusting or hard to find. Giving vegan gifts is a nice way to show people how nice and positive veganism is.

Would you accept non vegan things as a present?
No! This is sometimes really hard and I understand that you might think ‘it doesn’t matter anymore now, because it has already been purchased’. But as I said at the first question as well, about other people thinking it’s kind of ok, this is the same for accepting non vegan gifts. People won’t take my decision to live a vegan lifestyle serious, but even worse is that if I would tell them it’s ok, they might do it again. If it’s about food, then it can also make me ill as I haven’t been consuming non vegan foods and drinks for years now. I think it also comes down to principles. It’s my principal that I do not want to be involved with non vegan things. It’s hard sometimes, because there are occasions people tried hard to get me something and then I have to disappoint them. But what helps me is thinking in this way: what if I had an allergy? I couldn’t accept it then, so why would I accept it if my reason is to consciously make the world a better place?

Would you eat Xmas dinner with omni people?
This is quite a hot topic. I know that a lot of people are struggling with this. A lot of people are the only vegan in their family and this makes it really hard, because you want to enjoy the Xmas dinner with your family, but then you have to sit at the table whilst there are people eating and complimenting the dead animals on the table. Personally I can’t do this. Luckily almost my whole family is vegan or vegetarian and we are having 100% vegan Xmas dinners for the last couple of years. I feel very lucky. If this wasn’t the case then I would not attend the Xmas dinner. I know that is quite radical, but I just can’t do it. I rather miss out (even though I love Xmas so much!), than to feel incredibly sad and have the feeling I want to cry the whole time. It would feel like torture to me. So how do you deal with this if you aren’t as lucky as I am? If you can’t bare it, then I suggest looking for like minded people (I’m sure they can’t be that hard to find) and organise a Xmas pot luck. I hope everybody will have a good Xmas though!

Do you agree with me or do you see it in a different way? Are there any other questions you’re struggling with? I’d be more than happy to help! Please let me know by leaving a comment below or by sending me a private email. You can also contact me via Instagram by sending me a message, by tagging me or by using #PlanetManel. Thank you! X

Turkcauli

It’s nearly Christmas! In exactly one week it’s Xmas eve.. How exciting!! At least, I think it’s exciting, because I love Xmas. Cooking for my family, being with loved ones, visiting friends, family and making memories. Last Xmas I’ve had such a good time, that I’m overly excited about this one. In fact, I’m flying to the Netherlands in 5 days, woohoo! Did you plan out your Xmas dinner yet? Do you remember my last Xmas Dinner? This year I also have a lovely recipe for you, called ‘Turkcauli’. Many turkeys and chickens are eaten with Xmas and that makes me overly sad. That is why I kind of tried to make a statement with this recipe’s name, because no animal needs to die for a nice Xmas dinner. In fact, how can you be all about peace and joy during these festive times, whilst chewing on the flesh of a dead animal that suffered? Do you agree? Then this oven roasted cauliflower recipe will definitely look nice on your Xmas table!

TURKCAULI

Serves: 4

1 medium cauliflower
4 tbs chopped tomatoes
1 tbs olive oil
4 cloves of garlic
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp thyme
salt/pepper (to taste)
2 tbs olive oil (optional)

-Preheat the oven to 170C.
-Optional, but extra tasty: Massage the cauliflower with 2 tbs of olive oil.
-Take the leaves off the cauliflower and cut off the bottom, so it will nicely stand up.
-Mix all the ingredients in a blender or with a pastel and mortar.
-Cover (it’s easiest to just use your hands) the whole cauliflower with the paste nice and evenly.
-Put the cauliflower on a tray in the middle of the oven, for about 70-80 min (or until tender).

Are you having a Christmas dinner with family and/or friends and are you still looking for a nice recipe? If you didn’t decide yet, then I think this is a good option. It’ also a great recipe to bring over if you’ve been invited to somebody else. Or maybe you can make it for New Years evening?! Or whenever you feel like it of course.. Please let me know if you decided to make this recipe! You can do this by leaving a comment below, by showing me on Instagram using #PlanetManel or by tagging me. Thank you! X

Nori Nori

I love nori sheets. You can make so many fun and yummy things with them. Of course you can make sushi, but that is quite time-consuming I always think. One of my favourite things to make and to eat are the nori rolls. They are easy to make and super super healthy too. You can easily make a whole bunch of them. They are also nice to serve on parties, for on the way, as a snack and of course just for lunch or dinner. And if your kids like them, they are great for lunch boxes (you might want to leave the sesame oil out as many schools don’t allow sesame products, due allergies). Also it’s best to eat them the same day you make them. Otherwise they can get a little soggy. Just in case: this will be a great creative addition to your Xmas dinner.

NORI NORI

Serves: 2 (10 rolls)

-10 nori sheets (half cut)
-10 long bits of tempeh (I used Tofurky bacon)
-150 gr fresh spinach
-8 big mushrooms (sliced)
-1 red bell pepper (sliced)
-60 gr alfalfa
-1/4 tsp coriander (optional)
-1/4 tsp ground cumin (optional)
-1 tsp sesame oil
-1/2 tsp soy sauce
-salt/pepper (to taste)

-Fry the mushrooms (no oil) in a frying pan for just 2 minutes on a medium/high fire.
-Add the spinach for just a minute.
-Let it cool down, before you squeeze out all the water.
-Add the coriander, ground cumin, sesame oil and soy sauce + salt and pepper to taste. Mix it well. The best is to use your hand for this.
-Fry the bell pepper just until you see brown/black bits appear.
-Fry the tempeh both sides until gold brown.
-Put 1/10 of the mushrooms and spinach (about 2 tbs) on a nori sheet.
-Then add 3 bits of bell pepper, 1 bit of tempeh and 2 tbs of the alfalfa.
-Roll it all op. Use a little bit of water on the end of the nori sheet to make it stick.
-Do this 10 times.

Are you a fan of nori sheets, just like me? And are you gong to make these? 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. Thank you! X

 

Kitchen & Pantry

I remember coming here once with my previous employer and the kids. I ordered a juice and I remember I liked it. Also I remember my dad said their coffee was really good. Though I don’t drink coffee myself, I thought they might be good in general. So I thought, let’s go here and see what else they have to offer vegans! It’s always busy here and people tend to love it, so I was curious what they would have. When I came in, one of the first things I saw was a vegan wrap in the fridge section. This was very hopeful I thought. Then I looked at the menu signs, to be a little disappointed. I could see lots of different ways to have your eggs, but no vegan options at all.

I went to the counter and introduced myself and straight away the girl walked away and the manager took her place. What was a little odd as she didn’t say anything. I asked for the vegan options, but she said she was sorry to not really have any. I was a little shocked. I haven’t been in many places where they don’t have anything. So I mentioned the wrap and she said that was the only thing. Then she started about all the vegetarian options, but that wasn’t really in any of my interest. They do a vegetarian breakfast, where you could leave out the egg, but then she wasn’t sure about the sausages. She said she also couldn’t check if they were vegan. I think this was very bad as they should always be exactly aware of what the offer.

I ordered a juice (the Cleanse) and the wrap though, to see if at least that was nice. I didn’t really like that the wrap had sugar in it, but I must say it was a very tasty wrap. I especially liked the aubergine in there. The juice was nice, but it still had a lot of pulp, coming from the ginger. It kept blocking my straw. They don’t use water or anything other than fruit in their juices, what I really like though. I also like the interior. They have many different corners and cosy seats, with sofa’s, tables to work on and many other seats. You can also sit outside. But I won’t come here again.. apart from maybe a take away juice. I think they should work on their vegan options as they are a little behind on other places.

WHO? Kitchen & Pantry.
WHERE? 14 Elgin Crescent, W11 2HX.
CUISINE? Diverse (breakfast/lunch).
VEGAN? No! (omni)
OVERALL? 5 (Nice seats, nice juices, but almost no options and bad informed staff.)

Did you already know Kitchen&Pantry? 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

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

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