Perfume and Cheesecake

PERFUME
I actually never wear perfume. I never used to wear it al lot, but since I went vegan I’m not wearing any. I’m very picky when it comes to perfumes (and everything else.. haha!) and all the vegan perfumes I didn’t like. Until I discovered Eden perfumes on a vegan festival. The man asked me if I want to try, but I told him I will probably not like any (so negative of me, hehe..). He put a list in my hands with famous perfumes, because they kind of copy the scent of famous perfumes, like Coco Chanel, Prada and many more. I don’t know any of these so that wasn’t very helpful for me. He asked me what I liked for a scent and I said I really love roses. They did have arose perfume and I actually liked it. He also had one with rose and vanille he said and I’m so happy he recommend it, because I totally love it!! So I bought it. The best thing is, they’re only £18 for 30 ml. It’s so affordable, 100% vegan and not tested on animals. Check their website for all their perfumes. They have perfumes for women, men and even pets! You can order from their website or when you’re in Brighton, stop by their shop (26 Gardner street).

CHEESECAKE
When I was in the Portobello Road Tesco I saw these cheesecake desserts. I never saw them before, so I decided to try them. Cheesecake is something a lot of people love and miss when going vegan, so I hoped it would be good, so I can recommend it to you. It has 3 layers. The base (bit like biscuit crumbs), the ‘cheese’ filling and a fruity top layer. My first reaction was ‘wow this is sweet!’. If you have a sweet tooth, you will really like this. It’s super sweet. A bit too sweet for my taste. The base has a nice taste though, but the ‘cheese’ is more like mousse. It’s tasty, but I wouldn’t call it cheesecake. The top layer is just very very sweet. It does have a fruit taste, but I think the sweetness ruins it a little bit. Overall I think it’s tasty, but you do need to really like sweetness. I think it’ll be nice for once in a while, as a treat, but I don’t think I’ll buy it again for myself.

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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Apple Feast

It’s autumn, what means the apple season is startingggg.. hurray! This means apple pies and apple compote. For that last one I will give you this super nice and simple recipe. Apple compote is so nice to make and you can eat it with so many different things. On the pictures you can see I served it with some yummy porridge. I can tell you, that this makes an awesome breakfast. You can also use it as a filling for pastries or just eat it on its own. Hot or cold.. with yogurt, extra cinnamon or on top of some muesli. Because you can perfectly keep it in the fridge for a while, you can easily make a lot in one go. So do you have an apple tree in the garden or do you know people with an apple tree? You know what to do now. I was given some very big sour apples by somebody and I think those are the best apples to use, but you can basically use any apple. With sweet apples you might want to use less sugar though or leave it out all together.

APPLE FEAST

Serves: 4

2-3 huge apples (peeled/chopped)
2 tbs palm sugar
1/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup water
cinnamon (to taste)

-Put everything (except the cinnamon) in a medium sized pan and let it come to boil. Stir it once in a while.
-Let it then simmer on a low fire for 20-30 min. Until the apples are all gone soft and you have the preferred consistency (the longer you let it simmer the thicker it gets).
-When it’s finished you can add cinnamon to taste.

-This is a basic recipe. Ideas to spice it up:
*Add a little bit of ginger, nutmeg or anise.
*Instead of plain water use 1/2 cup of chai tea.

Are you going to give this recipe a try? Where are you going to serve it with? Please let me know! And I’d love to see some beautiful pictures. Please share them on Instagram by tagging me or by using #PlanetManel! Thank you! X

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

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

Just F.A.B. Food Bus

Just Fab is not just a restaurant, but it’s actually a bus. An old London bus which is used as a kitchen and a restaurant. It’s located in Hackney and just a 10 minute walk from Bethnal Green. It’s very easy to find and you can hardly miss it once you’re in the right street. There is a huge entre with paintings of the bus. There is an outside bit where you can sit, made of wooden pallets, bus seats and old wooden things. Very inventive! There is a lovely black cat too, who is happy to be stroked. When coming through the entre, the bus is right in front of you. You order from the outside, before you find a seat outside or upstairs.

Just Fab is 100% vegan and is all about Italian food. Though they do have burgers as well.. I ordered the red lasagna, with some tasty olives on the side and then I went to sit up stairs. It turned out that Sarah Bentley (founder of eco community kitchen ‘Made in Hackney’) was also enjoying some food there, together with her husband and 3 year old son. They also had the red lasagna and, just like me, they thought it was yummy. She was also enjoying the Vegamisu and she told me to try it, because it was the best she had. So I went down stairs to get it. There I met the owner, who also let me try the Panelle Fritters (made from chickpeas and seasoned with lemon and parsley) and the Mini Arancini (sticky rice ball with crispy breadcrumbs) + the Vegamisu (tiramisu). I really liked the Mini Arancini, it was full of flavour with a good crunch on the outside. The Panelle Fritters were tasty, very different, but for me personally not very special. The Vegamisu was really good though! Super creamy and just very delicious. Highly recommended!

I really like the idea of a restaurant in a bus. Though if you like a lot of luxury, it’ll not be your thing. The bus is old and the dish my lasagna came in, was broken. This really adds to the whole atmosphere though and I don’t mind. People who love Berlin, will probably like it here. It’s a bit like that. The owner was kind and very easy going, what makes it quite relaxed. I had my doubts with the guy who was preparing and serving the food though. I don’t know if he just really didn’t want to be there or maybe he didn’t have his day. There was no kindness and there was no laughing or even basic politeness. He walked away whilst answering my questions and when Sarah asked for some soy milk for her son, he couldn’t give it to her, because that was only for the coffee. Very strange and just not really nice. Overall, for the food and the ambience, it’s nice to go here though, especially as a tourist or with children.

I want to thank Just Fab for the tasty food!

WHO? Just Fab Food Bus.
WHERE? 459, 455 Hackney Rd, E2 9DY.
CUISINE? Italian.
VEGAN? Yes!
OVERALL? 7 (Good food, very nice that it’s in a bus, but the serving was poorly.)

Did you already know the Fab Bus? Or are you going here now? 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

Veggie Pret

I’m a little bit embarrassed that Veggie Pret is not a hotspot on my blog yet. Especially after going there. I was planning to go for breakfast, so I could have lunch at another hotspot, but as I came across Press the day I went, I had breakfast there. What meant my planning of that day was slightly different. I think it was meant to be, because this way I could have lunch at Veggie Pret and that was so good. I would have missed out if I went for breakfast for sure, as my lunch choice wasn’t really something I’d choose to have for breakfast. You must be curious what I had then, if I’m so excited about it. I’m a little flabbergasted myself that I had 3 of the tastiest things ever. So here we go..

Veggie Pret has a hot section too and they happened to have vegan Mac&Veg. It’s mac&cheese, but then with tomatoes, cauliflower and spinach. It is sooo good! The pasta is cooked perfectly, the cheese sauce is delicious (I can’t think of anything they could have done better), the cauliflower still had a bite and there was this crispy layer on top. It has the perfect temperature, so the taste was at its best. I really did enjoy every bite of it. As a dessert I chose the brownie.. and OMG! It’s sticky, chocolaty and it has a caramel layer in the middle. It’s exactly what you hope for when you bite into a brownie. It’s the best brownie I’ve ever had. Honestly! I drunk a turmeric latte (if you read the Press hotspot article, you understand that I did get what I wanted in the end!) with this, made with soy milk and it was perfect. I felt like eating at a super fancy restaurant. Veggie Pret is 100% vegetarian, but there are so many vegan options too. Lots of sandwiches, small meals, (chia seed) desserts, snacks and a range of juices and smoothies.

Veggie Pret is based in the middle of Soho. It’s a 5 min walk from Piccadilly Circus and 2 min walk from Oxford Street. It’s quite new and originally started as a pop up place, but it stayed (thank God!), because people loved it too much. This is why there was even a second Veggie Pret opened in Shoreditch a while ago. How great! I always loved Pret a Manger anyway, because of their yummy food, but Veggie Pret has its own menu. It’s all so fresh and super delicious. The staff is nice and the neighbourhood amazing (I mean, its Soho!). It’s a perfect spot to do some work too (in fact, I’m typing this right on the spot!), with good wifi.

WHO? Veggie Pret.
WHERE? 35 Broadwick St, Soho, W1F 0DH.
CUISINE? Divers/Cafe.
VEGAN? No! (vegetarian)
OVERALL? 9 (Very tasty food, lots of choice and great location.)

Did you already know Veggie Pret? Or are you planning to go now? 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 or by using #PlanetManel on Instagram. Thank you! X

Ice cream / Prawns

ICE CREAM
You might have already tried them or know they are on the market. The Alpro ice creams! They have 3 flavours: coconut, vanilla and hazelnut chocolate. I would really like to try the coconut too, but I went for the hazelnut chocolate, because chocolate ice cream is always the best. I must say they are really nice. It’s not like the best I’ve ever had or something, but it’s decent ice cream you will definitely enjoy for sure. Chocolate with a hint of hazelnut = Yum! Apart from this, I think it’s amazing that Alpro came with an ice cream. The more vegan products there are available, the more likely that more people will become vegan. A lot of (the bigger) supermarkets sell them now.

PRAWNS
Not real ones obviously, but the prawns from Fry’s. For me one of the best brands there is, so I needed to try their prawns too. One of my favourite foods used to be gamba’s. Now I can’t even imagine peeling them and putting them in my mouth though. It makes me feel horrified. I wanted to give these Fry’s ‘prawns’ a chance though. I made a little sauce with it (very simple: I mix up 2 tbs of mayonnaise and 1 tsp of ketchup.. this is the best!) and fried the ‘prawns’ in a pan. I served them with the sauce and some sliced gherkins. They were very nice! The inside is soft, but a little chewy and the batter you can make very crispy when frying them in some oil. They don’t actually have a very strong sea food taste, but even though, they are tasty. Perfect party food I would say too. Put some skewers next to them and it will make your guests happy. Fry’s have such good products. I get them from Ocado or from Holland&Barret.

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

Cakefast

img_7258Cake for breakfast.. don’t we all dream of that?! Chocolate-peanut butter tarts for breakfast.. reality! Yes really.. I invented these very yummy breakfast tarts for you. It’s super healthy, with the oats, bananas and raw cacao (of course you can also use regular cacao powder). It doesn’t contain any refined sugar and it’s incredible tasty! To keep it healthy, make sure you use only quality products and no products with sugar or any additives inside (especially talking about the peanut butter here). It will keep you going the whole morning (you might want to eat 2), so why not start your day with a breakfast tart?! Of course you can also make these tarts for a birthday party or any occasion that requires cake.. I can thinks of tons of occasions! So from now on you can start your day with chocolate.. you know what to do this weekend!

img_7260CAKEFAST

Serves: 6-8

base
-1/2 cup oats
-1/2 cup soft dates (pitted)
-3 tbs peanut butter
-2 tbs coconut oil (melted)
filling
-3 ripe bananas
-1 cup oatly milk
-2 tbs cacao powder (raw)
-1/2 cup water
-1 tbs agar agar
-1 tbs chia seeds
-1 tbs agave nectar
topping
-fresh fruit
-raw cacao nibs
-oats
-chia seed

img_7259-Put all the base ingredients in a food processor and blend until it’s sticky.
-Divide the base evenly over the tart shapes and press well with the back of a spoon. Put it in the fridge and make the filling.
-Blend all the ingredients for the filling (except for the water, the agar agar and the chia seeds) until smooth.
-Put the water and the agar agar in a sauce pan and turn it low when it starts to boil.
-Then mix in the filing and the chia seeds very well. Let it boil for about 1 minute.
-Divide the filling over the tart shapes and put it in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
-Decorate the tarts with fresh fruit, cacao nibs, oats and chia seeds.

Would you like to eat cake for breakfast? Who doesn’t right? Oh and did I mention it’s very popular with children too? 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

Melon Drink / Ice Lolly

MELON DRINK
Watermelons are in season, yay! Isn’t it the best? You can use watermelon for so many things. You can blend it and drink it, you can use the juice to make ice lollies or you can just get a spoon and dig in. Watermelon is the best! The people of What a Melon get this and juiced some yummy watermelons to put it in packs, so you can drink it all year around. Watermelon water is super hydrating and has the anti-oxidant lycopene + and the amino acid citruline (your muscles love this!). It’s vert tasty too, 100% natural and all they add is a little squeeze of lemon. A perfect drink to stay cool and hydrated this summer!

ICE LOLLY
Another way to stay cool are these delicious ice lollies from Ice Kitchen. One morning when I went to the park cafe behind my flat, I came across these fruity lollies. There was a sign with explaining which one was vegan too. Unfortunately one of them was labelled as vegan, but had yogurt and honey in them. I told the staff and they took action straight away, what was good. This Raspberry&Mint flavour was vegan though and I obviously needed to try it. It was very tasty, with the real fruit and the sweet taste of raspberries. Normally I don’t like products with mint in it, but it definitely works for this lolly. So I’m happy I tried it. They’re all natural, made with 100% fruit and contain no sugar. I really would like to try the Peach&Hibiscus one too, it looks amazing! They won the Taste Award 2016 and I discovered why!

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