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

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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

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

Xmas Dinner

img_3262It’s almost Christmas! Are you reeaaady?! I wasn’t really, as I wanted to post this recipe a little earlier, but I didn’t have enough time. Sorry guys! Are you a real Christmas fan or do you think it’s all a bit too much? I personally really like Christmas, especially buying the presents and making a nice Christmas dinner for my family. At first my dad, my sister and I always made it together. My sister and I did the starter or the dessert and my dad did the main, but lately me and my sister are doing everything, what is nice too. My sister is really good at making desserts, so I decided to do the rest. I chose to do some simple things and also we’re just going to img_3264put everything on the table, instead of making every single plate. We did this because it’ll be a lot easier with 8 people and you can just take the things you like best. Now you’re probably curious about what I’m going to make? I’ll make a dill-beetroot salad and stuffed sweet potatoes from the oven, but there will also be lots of other veggies on the table like brussel sprouts, pumpkin, green beans, corn cobs and broccoli. Yum! If you don’t know what to make for Christmas yet, then this might inspire you. It’s easy to make, it doesn’t involve hours in the kitchen and it’s quite on budget too.. oh and did I say it’s delicious?!

img_3261BLOODY SALAD

Serves: 2

4 Beetroots (chopped)
2 tbsp mayonaise
1/2 avocado (chopped)
1 walnut (chopped)
1/4 cup peas (frozen)
1/4 tsp fresh dill (chopped)
1 cup spinach
2 tbsp feta (crumbled)

-Get the beetroots which are already cooked, the ones that are vacuum packed.
-Defrost the peas by putting them in boiling water for 10 minutes.
-Mix everything together and crumble the feta + come extra dill on top.


img_3265STUFFED SWEETY PIES

Serves: 2

2 sweet potato
1/2 black beans (canned)
1/2 onion (chopped)
1 clove garlic (mashed)
4 baby corns (chopped)
1 tomato (chopped)
1 tsp fresh parsley (chopped)
2 tbsp cream cheese
pepper/salt (to taste)
2 tbsp cheese (grated)
1 tsp olive oil
pepper/salt (to taste)

-Preheat the oven ay 200C.
-Rub some olive oil and a little salt on the sweet potatoes and put them in the oven for 50-60 minutes (depends on how big your sweet potatoes are).
-In the meantime you fry the onion, the garlic and the baby corns in the wok for about 6-8 minutes.
-Add the black beans, the tomato, the parsley and some pepper/salt and keep mixing it for 2 more minutes.
-Take the wok from the stove and mix in the cream cheese.
-Cut open the sweet potatoes, stuff them with the filling and put some grated cheese on top.
-Put the potatoes back in the oven (or grill) for a few minutes, until the cheese is nicely melted.

img_3260Are you having a Christmas dinner with family and/or friends?What are you going to make (or eat) ? If you didn’t decide yet, then this is a good option, also if you’re bringing (a vegan option) something when you’ve been invited. Or maybe you can make it for New Years evening?! Or whenever you feel like it of course.. haha! Please let me know if you decided to make these recipes! You can do this by leaving a comment below or by showing me on Instagram using #PlanetManel. Thank you! X

Have a Lush Xmas!

img_3280Did you do all your Christmas shopping yet? I just finished last week. What means that there is one thing to stress less about, haha! I love getting presents for everybody though, it just takes quite a lot of time before you found something the person really likes and when you have to get presents for 15 people (like me), it’s wise to start early. I luckily did. I started in October, yes really! Whenever I get presents it’s quite obvious that there are some Lush products involved. This year it’s no different, because, getting something from Lush is always a pleasure, am I right? Lush has so many nice things and when it comes to Christmas they even have more things to choose from. In case you’re not finished your Christmas shopping yet and you need some inspiration I made a list of Lush it’s most wonderful Christmas products! You can add a bath bomb to anything you already bought.. or when you’re getting something for the bigger Lush fanatics, there are great looking Christmas hampers with lots of goodies, in any price range. You still have some time to head to one of the amazing smelling Lush stores to get your things, but if you’re too busy or you live somewhere without a Lush nearby, you can always order their products of their website!

img_3281

JOLLY HOLLYDAYS – 200 gr ‘Fizzbanger’ bath bomb / 100 gr ‘Bubbly’ shower gel / 100 gr ‘The Christmas Penguin’ bubble bar / 100 gr ‘Lord of Misrule‘ shower cream / 190 gr ‘Satsuma’ bath bomb / 120 gr ‘Fireside’ soap – £29,95

img_3283

LITTLE SNOW FAIRY – 100 gr ‘Snow Fairy’ shower gel / 100 gr ‘Snow Fairy’ fun – £9,95

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MERRY CHRISTMAS – 200 gr ‘Golden Wonder’ bath bomb / 100 gr ‘Snow Angel’ bath melt / 200 gr ‘Shoot for the Stars’ bath bomb / 200 gr ‘So White’ bath bomb – £ 19,95

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RUDY – 90 gr ‘Butterbal’ bath bomb / 200 gr ‘Shoot for the Stars’ bath bomb – £11,95

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NOEL – 100 gr ‘Lord of Misrule’ shower cream / 180 gr ‘Papa Noël’ face wash jelly / 55 gr ‘Smuggler’s Soul’ shampoo bar / 120 gr ‘Fireside’ soap – £28,95

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JOY TO THE WORLD – 45 gr ‘Dream Cream’ body lotion / 120 gr ‘Santa’s Postbox’ soap – £9,95

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CHRISTMAS BATHTIME FAVOURITES – 200 gr ‘Golden Wonder’ bath bomb / 90 gr ‘Star Dust’ bath bomb / 200 gr ‘Shoot for the Stars’ bath bomb / 180 gr ‘Northern Lights’ bath bomb / 200 gr ‘Mistletoe’ bath bomb / 200 gr ‘Luxury Lush Pod’ bath bomb / 75 gr ‘Butterbear’ bath bomb / 200 gr ‘Father Christmas’ bath bomb / 190 gr ‘Satsuma‘ bath bomb – £39,95

img_3278Of course you don’t need to give everything away.. because you obviously need some things yourself to get Christmas-ready. The day before Christmas.. take a nice hot bath with ‘Golden Wonder’, a ‘Rosy Cheeks’ facial mask in the meantime and cover yourself with ‘Ro’s Argan’ after. Use your favourite shampoo bar to make your hair look amazing and get your red nail polish ready. You’ll feel so festive and I’m sure you can handle anything Christmas throws at you.. like roasted veggies, stuffed sweet potato and cinnamon rolls! (..recipes which will come soon!)

Are you a big Lush fan, like me? What are you getting for Christmas? Please let me know your Lush-plan in the comments below or show me on Instagram using #PlanetManel. Thank you! X

Squashotto

img_0702I think risotto is a nice comfort food, but served nicely it’s also quite a nice meal to serve for a dinner party (or Xmas?!). Last year for Christmas I actually served fried risotto balls, what was a huge success. This risotto recipe is very simple, but oh so delicious as it includes butternut squash from the oven, so yummy! The nutritional yeast will give a little cheesy flavour to the risotto, what goes so well with the squash. I can personally eat this every day, haha.. it’s super easy and doesn’t need lots of preparation, whilst you’re creating a super tasty meal. Please let me know if you decide to give this a go!

5cbbf113-ec1c-469e-a037-481689cbe21aSQUASHOTTO

Servers: 2

2 cups risotto (cooked)
500 ml veggie stock
6 rings butternut squash (1/2 cm thick)
1/2 onion (sliced)
8 mini portobello mushrooms (chopped)
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
2 cloves garlic (crushed)
2 tbsp olive oil
pepper/salt (to taste)
8 basil leafs

-Preheat the oven at 200C.
-Cook the risotto in the vegetable stock and keep adding the stock bit by bit until the risotto is done.
-Mix the nutritional yeast into the risotto, together with a little extra pepper if you’re into that.
-In the meantime mix the olive oil with the garlic and some pepper/salt.
-Put the squash, the onion and the portobello mushrooms in an oven dish and gently rub on the olive oil mixture until everything is nicely covered.
-Put the vegetables in the oven for about 15-20 min.
-Serve the risotto and the vegetables with some fresh basil.

Are you a risotto and squash fan? Than you should definitely try this Squashotto! Let me know if you’re going to try this recipe in the comments below or show me on Instagram using #PlanetManel. Thank you! X