Spain – Mallorca 2017

A little more than 2 weeks ago I was still on the (very) sunny Spanish island, Mallorca. I’ve had a lovely week there. It was a working-holiday, as I travelled with the family I used to work for, as their nanny. They go every year, with family and this is the 3rd time I went with them. You might remember it from last year. If you didn’t read that yet, you can read it here if you like. So it was the same group of people and the same lovely chefs who cooked me amazing vegan food every day. There are some hotspots in the end of this article too, in case you decide to go to Mallorca yourself.

FRIDAY
Our flight was at 12:50, from Luton. I left my flat around 9:30 and got there perfectly on time. There was was a very little delay, but 2 hours later we landed. The rental car was ready and so I drove (I love driving) us all to the villa. It’s about an hour drive from the airport and so we got there around the kids dinner time. Dinner is served around 20:30 and they made me the most delicious carrot soup as a starter and my main was an oven dish with potatoes, aubergines and tomatoes. So delicious! For dessert I had a soy chocolate pudding. The rest of the evening I just relaxed a bit, before an early sleep.

SATURDAY
It’s so hot here. Like 35C-37C.. and it will stay like this the whole time we are here. Luckily the vila has a swimming pool. So we swam all morning. For lunch we had a lovely pasta. This is I think one of my favourite things they make here (though it’s hard to choose). Delicious pasta, with cherry tomatoes from the vegetable garden, garlic and fresh rocket on top. Simple, but define. In the afternoon we collected fruits and veggies in the vegetable garden and the orchard: tomatoes, aubergines, beans, bell peppers and lemons. For dinner they made me a salad with melon and potato crisps as a starter. Couscous with peanuts, aubergine and a broccoli burger for main and one of the chefs made me an amazing chocolate cake for dessert. It was so so good and I ate from it the rest of the week, lucky me!

SUNDAY
The chefs were not here this day, so everybody who got up first, helped with getting breakfast ready. So like every morning I had lots of nice fruit for breakfast (breakfast here must be my favourite moment of the day as it’s all different kinds of fresh fruit. We then went swimming all day long, as it was super hot. For lunch I had some leftovers from yesterday and after everybody’s siesta, we picked some delicious grapes in the vineyard to snack on. For dinner I had the left overs from last Friday, the potato dish with aubergine and tomato, so yummy. And of course I had a piece of cake (duuh!). After dinner I went for a quiet swim, just to cool down (such a relaxing moment). Then had a shower and spend my time reading. First outside, but there were too many mosquitos, so I had to go inside. I’m read Marie Kondo and I still am actually.

MONDAY
It was, again, a super hot day today. As usual, I started the morning with lots of yummy fruit and freshly squeezed orange juice and then went swimming almost all morning. I had some very nice and huge (and delicious!) potato fritters, with salad and baked apples for lunch. In the afternoon we all went to the nearest town, called Pollenca. We were going to get an ice cream and lucky me, they had a delicious strawberry sorbet. It was nice to have a change of scenery for a bit and Pollenca is a lovely place. I was starving for dinner, but I didn’t eat anything until dinner, because the portions are always quite big and I wanted to enjoy it to the fullest. I had an avocado salad as a starter, very yummy baked potatoes and broccoli for main and another piece of delicious chocolate cake for dessert. Well worth the wait!

TUESDAY
After breakfast and a quick swim, we went to the Formentor beach. It was such a nice ride, over the mountains. Mallorca is really beautiful. The beach was bus, but not too busy. The children loved it. A lot more than me, haha.. because though I love the idea of beach and sea, I don’t really want to go into the sea too far. As I have this huge control freak fear of not knowing what’s under and around me. It was still nice to be on the beach though and I did go in the water a little bit. We also had lunch there. I had the vegetarian pizza without cheese, what was quite nice. So much better than the pizza’s I’ve had in Spain before. Then we went back to the villa for our siesta. Before dinner I read some of my book in the hammock and it started raining a little, what was amazing, as I love rain. Especially in combination with hot temperatures. Dinner was bruschetta on very delicious nut bread for a starter. Then for main I had some rice, with grilled veggies and an avocado. And another piece of chocolate cake for dessert. It was the last piece, but we sliced it in half, so I can have another piece tomorrow (yay!). It was raining after dinner again, so I hurried outside and I just lied down on the terrace, what was still very hot from the sun. The feeling to the warm tiles, the cold rains drops on my skin whilst staring at an olive tree and a black sky was just a great moment of happiness.

WEDNESDAY
Like yesterday we went out after breakfast and a quick swim. This time we went to the beach in Port de Polenca, a 15-20 min drive. Almost everybody came, so we were with a big group. The sea was calm and clear here, so I was ok going in until the water was a little over my knee. After that we had lunch and all the kids behaved so well. I ordered an asparagus and buckwheat salad, without cheese and honey. It was an alright salad, but it was mostly just lettuce. There was I think 1 asparagus  (cut up) and maybe 1 tbs (yes really!) of buckwheat. Luckily there were some fries to fill me up too. In the afternoon we all went swimming at the villa again. Because the chefs were off today, I helped making dinner for the kids. When they all went to sleep, I made some dinner for myself with some leftover veggies and rice. Super yum! Almost everybody went out for dinner that evening and when the kids were all sleeping, I went for a quick topless swim, lovely! Then a shower and some reading, before going to sleep. It was a lovely last work day!

THURSDAY
My day off! I had a very easy morning, some relaxing and sorting out some things for my blog etc. I missed breakfast, but that was ok as I was going out anyway. I was able to take the car all day, what was super handy. First I made a quick stop at Pollenca as I saw some earrings there earlier, which I couldn’t forget. Buddha hand earrings, that will match my ring. At the same shop, what is called ‘Nilay’ btw, I also got 2 bracelets for the kids from work. The oldest loves all my tree of life things and I found a tree of life bracelet for her. For the younger one I bought a braided colourful bracelet. I hope they’ll like it. Then I drove to Port de Pollenca to go to this place called ‘Bellaverde’. A vegetarian place with lots of vegan options. I had brunch here, with yogurt, fruit, muesli and a (very perfect) croissant. You also get orange juice with this. Not the best juice, but it certainly looks nice on the plate. I did really enjoy it all together. It was a beautiful little restaurant (a must go!), with a garden to sit in, under big old fig trees. There were also 2 cats, so sweet! From there I drove to Alcudia, which is only a 10 min drive from Port de Pollenca. I parked the car and walked around a bit. A funny thing is that the exact same shop (Nilay), with the same earrings was here too, what made my Pollenca stop a little unnecessary. Oh well.. It was sooooo hot though. When I passed an ice cream shop and asked for the sorbets, they had quite a few, so I picked mango, passion fruit and banana. It wasn’t the best sorbet, very sweet and with bits of ice in it, but it did help for the heat. I went here to find a place called ‘Verdeteja’, another vegetarian place. I walked around a bit, taking pics of beautiful little streets, when suddenly I bumped into Verdeteja. I must be a magnet to vegan food, hehe.. I was still full from brunch and I was eating the sorbet, so I decided to come back later. Instead I sat down on somebodies doorstep (in front of a beautiful old door), in a lovely quiet street, to finish my sorbet. There was even a little breeze. Perfect! Then I went for a little walk, but it was just too hot for this. What explained why there was almost nobody on the street. I still wasn’t very hungry, but I decided to have lunch anyway, because it was simply too hot to stay in the village and I really wanted to go an review this place. It turned out that only 2 products in this shop are not vegan, what does make it, very officially, a vegetarian shop. The vegan products were all very nice. It’s a tiny place, but the products are good, tasty and helpful. Like these very nice raw biscuits from Mrs. Sweet (I’m afraid its only in Spanish).The lady was so nice too! I felt super comfortable and welcome. She cooks a dish every morning and it’s almost always vegan (sometimes it’s quiche, what contains egg). I had gazpacho as a starter, courgettie with an amazing tomato sauce for main and a delicious carrot-banana cake for dessert. I was very full after though. I did buy 3 of the Mrs. Sweet biscuits, to try for later. Back at the car I first had to cool down a little bit, before driving up. I drove up to Penya Fort and further, (until I wasn’t allowed to go any further) it was absolutely breathtaking! A little narrow road up to a mountain, along the coast. It was hard to let another car pass, but it was all well worth it. A beautiful view with such blue water, very nice! Coming back down the mountain I drove back to Port de Pollenca and spend an hour in the (shallow) sea. I snacked on the biscuits I got and they were very tasty. Especially if you like a lemony taste, you’ll love them. Then I drove back up to another mountain and enjoyed the amazing view and the sunset. After I took about 10 pictures for other tourists (as a single girl, I was the person to ask! Haha! It’s a good thing I like doing it..), I drove back to the villa. By the time I got back it was a little after 21:00. I packed my suitcase and took a shower, ready for the last night. This day was a lovely end of this very nice week. I sooo enjoyed this day!

HOTSPOT LIST:
Nilay (jewellery shop) – Carrer d’Alcúdia, 14, 07460 Pollença.
Bellaverde – Carrer de les Monges, 14, 07470 Pollença.
Verdeteja – Carrer del Lledoner, 13, 07400 Alcúdia.

I had an amazing week! Have you been to Mallorca yet? You should definitely go and check out these lovely places. Please let me know if you do! You can leave a comment or show me by tagging me or by using #PlanetManel on Instagram. Thank you! X

Fridgecurious #4

Today we take a look in the fridge of the Boer family and they will tell us a little bit about their eating habits. They are my best friends, Nienke, Jeroen and their 2 year old daughter Annemarie. Since about a year they became a lot more conscious of what they are eating and I hope it will inspire some people to do the same. They mainly eat vegetarian food, with some occasional fish. A lot of what they eat is vegan though and I love that! The reason they started to eat this way is because of the animal cruelty and they have a mini pig for almost 2 years now. This really helped a lot to make them think differently and to stop eating meat. Apart from all that, ‘Vegetarian options are delicious’ they say! Their milk and butter are always plant-based. Especially the chocolate milk is their daughters favourite, which I fully understand! At the moment there is organic yogurt in the fridge, but she often buys plant-based yogurt too.

Nienke doesn’t have certain days to get her groceries, because as a nurse her hours vary a lot. Most of the time she goes to the supermarket for het groceries and she buys little amounts at the same time. A lot of time she doesn’t know exactly what she has at home already, so she chose to have some products in stock. This way there is always something they can cook. She doesn’t go to only one certain supermarket, but she likes to go to different ones. For practical reasons (Annemarie is always coming) she mostly takes the car, but for some small things she also likes to go by bike or she takes the buggy. She doesn’t go a lot, but she sometimes also likes to go to the market: ‘Especially on a sunny Saturday it’s nice’. She loves the smell of all the different fruit, vegetables and nuts! In the summer she likes to get fruit which are in season, like strawberries and cherries!

On a day off Nienke and Annemarie like to take their time when it comes to breakfast. They drink tea and eat peanut butter sandwiches, with sliced banana or chocolate sprinkles on top and they always have a piece of fruit too, as there is always a full bowl of fruit to choose from. Jeroen takes advantage of that and often quickly grabs a banana before he rushes off to work. For lunch they have salads with toast or crackers, but sometimes as a treat they makes themselves some of their favourite banana pancakes! On working days Jeroen always eats at work and he can choose from a very wide range of foods from a buffet (lucky him!). Nienke is known for her fully loaded lunch bag she brings to work. She just wants to make sure she has a fresh lunch (or sometimes a delayed breakfast!). Very sometimes she also gets something at work, like a salad or a vegetarian soup for example. Dinner can be very diverse as they like to eat a lot of different vegetables and they combine that with pasta, quinoa, couscous or rice and then they have a meat substitute with it or the occasional fish. They prepare everything without salt, because any let overs will go to a very lucky piggy. Of course they snack some too in between their meals and this often is a yummy piece of dark chocolate, a piece of fruit and sometimes they also enjoy some biscuits and crisps.

I want to thank the Boer family to share their fridge and eating habits with us and to tell us how they try to live in a more conscious way. 

I hope this inspired you and if it did, please let me know in the comments! If you also like to show your fridge, please send me a message via CONTACT! Thank you! X

Vegan Hippo

Vegan Hippo is in Soho and I have no idea why I’ve never been here before. I knew about them for quite long, it’s next to a street where I used to come quite often and I’ve seen them on vegan festivals. I heard some mixed messages about them though. Some really like it and some really don’t. What made me very curious. So as I was in the neighbourhood a while ago, I decided to go and discover it for myself. It’s a little hidden in the many streets of Soho, in between some sex shops. Oops! It’s super central though, as it’s only a 5 minute walk from Piccadilly Circus. As soon as you’re in the right street, you can’t miss them, because they made themselves quite clear with the bright orange and huge purple hippo above the entrance.

For me it felt a little bit like I was in Berlin. I’m sure they would do great there too. It looks slightly messy inside, with the many, totally different animal statues. But because of this they very much created their own style. They were very helpful and were offering me a range of different foods of their menu to try and review. Super kind! Their best seller is the jackfruit burger and it comes with cheese and big chunks of avocado. I think a burger is especially good when the bun is good too and that was definitely the case with this one. It’s all such a good combination, I really get why people like this burger. Definitely try this burger when you’re here. They also gave me some jackfruit bites, called ‘Hippo Bites’ (I know it’s cuz they are called Vegan Hippo, but I do just really like this name for these bites). They’re pieces of whole jackfruit with a little coating of herbs and spices and come with a red sauce. Super yum and very new, because I’ve never had or seen something similar somewhere else. Then I didn’t know they were going to bring me something else, but they did. The ‘Hippo kebab’! A pita bread filled with vegan kebab pieces, lettuce, cabbage, cucumber, tomato and sauce. The little kebab pieces were very chewy and very tasty (definitely my kind of thing). I did miss a little more veggies (more lettuce maybe) in there, though the crispy cabbage made it a nice overall combination. I wasn’t able to eat it anymore though, because I was so full of the burger. So they packed it for me to take away and I had it later that day.

On the menu are also hotdogs, another burger, (sweet potato) fries and kale crisps. For drinks they have several coffees and teas (chai latte!), a hot chocolate and some chilled drinks in the fridge, like smoothies, coconut water and fizzy drinks from Whole Earth. In the fridge they also have some foods, like a bean-, potato- and pasta pesto salad, chocolate dates, cake and even vego bars. As a dessert they also offer a chocolate and a strawberry cheesecake. There was also a rainbow cake, which was almost finished, so I’m sure it must be good. What I really like about Vegan Hippo is that you get the feeling that they are really doing it for the animals. There are references to animals  everywhere, except in the food. The way it should be. For example, you can choose an animals from the basket as a table number (I chose the pig.. duhh!!). I love this idea! They also have reasonable prices btw, what is always a positive.

I want to thank Vegan Hippo for the awesome food! 

WHO? Vegan Hippo.
WHERE? 52 Rupert St, Soho, W1D 6DS.
CUISINE? Fast Food.
VEGAN? Yes!
OVERALL? 8 (Very yummy food, it’s central and they have love for animals)

Did you already know Vegan Hippo? Are you planning to get a yourself Jackfruit burger 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

Ethos

A while ago I heard about Ethos. It looked quite posh and I thought it might not be my thing, but I wanted to know more about it. So I went to see what it was like. Ethos is very central, just a 2 minute walk from Oxford Circus. So if you’re going shopping for the day, Ethos is not far away for a proper lunch. As you know Oxford Street is very busy, but because Ethos is in a street behind it, it’s a lot quieter. The building looks very nice with the wood in the front nice and it does look quite posh. Going inside almost feels like entering a luxury hotel or something. There are a lot of trees and plants, to create some privacy in between the tables. I absolutely love it. I was served by a waiter I actually knew from tennis lessons about a year ago, what was very funny. He helped me to a seat and gave me lots of information about the restaurant. Super handy!

The food is right at the entrance. It starts with cakes and treats, then the hot food and in the end the cold bar. Ethos is like a buffet. You can get all the yummy looking foods you want and at the till they weigh your food and that is what you pay for. I tried all the vegan options, because I was too curious of course. So in the end I had a big colourful plate. Something you’ll definitely notice, is that the food is all very fresh. I did like the food, just some things had a very strong taste (mustard, vinegar etc). Like the aubergine was cooked well, but the flavour was spicy and sour. There was basically no other flavour. The chickpeas, the green beans and the little cornball in the middle were very yummy though. For the cakes and treats you pay per cake/slice, instead of by weight. I chose 2, one as a dessert and one to take away. Just because I couldn’t choose. Both things I chose were super delicious! Their desserts and treats are amazing I must say. The coconut in the raw heart (with rose petals) was so yum, I definitely want to eat that again. The blondie was very nice too. It was a little bit in between a brownie and a biscuit. Very good! They also do chai lattes, matcha lattes, other teas and of course coffees. This is why Ethos is not only good for lunch, but it’s also nice to just have an afternoon break with tea and cake. And for everybody who rather has a juice or an ice tea.. they have a lot of choice in drinks too. I’m sure you can find something you like.

Ethos is all vegetarian and they do have a lot of vegan food. I’d say more than half is vegan, so there is a lot of choice. It’s quite a posh restaurant, but with some good natural vibes. So perfect for formal lunches or work meetings. As it’s a buffet, there is always something you like. What makes it easy to go to if you (or the people you go with) are picky. I do think that they are a little expensive though. For the food you see on my plate I payed a little over £16. The treats were £7 pounds together. So it’s not a very cheap lunch. If you eat a little less and you choose 1 dessert, you probably pay in between £15-£20 pounds. Personally it’s not something I’d go to every week, but more for special occasions. Because you pay by weight and it’s not an all you can eat buffet, I’m sure people will think twice about what to put on their plate. This is very positive if you ask me, because there will be less food waste. Much more sustainable this way.

WHO? Ethos.
WHERE? 48 Eastcastle St, Fitzrovia, W1W 8DX.
CUISINE? Buffet.
VEGAN? No! (vegetarian)
OVERALL? 7 (Great looking restaurant, lots of choice and very yummy dessert/cakes.)

Did you already know Ethos? 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

Vivera Meat Substitutes + recipes

A while ago Vivera sent me some of their products to review. Vivera is one of my favourite brands and if you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen a few pictures with it. I noticed that still not a lot of people know about this brand here in the UK and maybe some people in the Netherlands are also not aware of these amazing products they offer. So I decided to do an extra article about them. Vivera is made in the Netherlands, but since a while a few of their products are also available in the UK. You can get them via Ocado (burgers, chicken style pieces, mince etc.) and Sainsbury’s (kebab etc.). They don’t sell all of them yet, but they do have a few good ones. You do have to watch out, because though most of it is vegan, a few of their products are vegetarian and not vegan. But wait for it.. they will go 100% vegan before the end of this year! GREAT NEWS!! The burgers are really nice, very different from other burgers I know (structure and taste!), but also the chicken style pieces (you can hardly tell the difference from real chicken) and the mince style (think of lasagna and shepherd’s pie) are very good. I made a few recipes with them for you. Though with some of them you can also just get some fries and have it on the side, like I did here (above) with the chicken style burger. Not so healthy, but super yummy! I hope you enjoy the recipes and using Vivera. I do hope Vivera will sell more options here in the UK soon , like the steaks and the bacon style pieces.. because those are soooo my favourite!

KEBAB
Kebab King

serves: 2

-1 pack of Vivera shoarma
-4 pita breads
-1/4 iceberg lettuce
-1/4 cup el mayonaisse
-2 garlic cloves (minced)
-1 tsp olive oil
-1/4 tsp thyme
-1/4 tsp basil
-pinch of salt

-Put the olive oil in a frying pan and fry the garlic until it’s slightly golden.
-Mix the garlic with the mayonnaise and add the thyme and basil + a pinch of salt. Mix well.
-Put the shoarma in the frying pan and fry for a few minutes (3-4) until it hot and a little crispy.
-Cut the lettuce and toast the pita breads.
-Cut open the pita breads and spread some garlic sauce inside.
-Mix the lettuce with the shoarma and fill the pita breads. Drizzle some extra garlic sauce on top.


BACON STYLE PIECES
Veganara

Serves: 2

1/2 pack of Vivera bacon style pieces
-200 gr pappardelle
-2 cloves garlic (minced)
-1/3 cup cream (I used Alpro)
-3 tbs  cream cheese
-1 tbs nutritional yeast
-1 tbs fresh parsley (chopped)
-1 tsp olive oil
-salt/pepper (to taste)

-Cook the pappardelle as described on the package.
-Fry the garlic in the olive oil for just 1 minute.
-Then add the vegan bacon and fry for 2 minutes on a high fire.
-Add the parsley and fry for just half a minute.
-Lower the heat and mix in the cream and the nutritional yeast.
-Add the pasta to this and give it a good mix for another minute.
-Add salt/pepper to taste and sprinkle some extra parsley on top.


STEAK
Stamp-Pot

Serves: 2 

-1 pack Vivera Steaks (2 per pack)
-4 big potatoes (chopped)
-3 carrots (chopped)
-2 big hands spinach
-1 onion (chopped)
-3 tbs milk
-2 cloves garlic (minced)
-1 tbs sesame seed oil
-1/2 tsp coriander (ground)
-1/2 tsp cumin seeds
-salt/pepper (to taste)

-Put the potatoes, the carrots and 1/4 of the onion in a pan and let it boil for 20 min. Until the potatoes and carrots are soft.
-Fry the onion until the edges start to get brown. Add the garlic, the coriander and the cumin and fry for 2 minutes. Add the spinach in the last minute and until it slinks.
-Add this mixture, the sesame seed oil and the milk to the potato-carrot mix.
-Add salt and pepper to taste.
-Serve with Vivera fillet steaks.


CHICKEN STYLE PIECES
Kebables

serves: 2 (6 kebabs)

1 pack Vivera chicken style pieces
marinate
1 tbs soy sauce
1 tbs sesame seed oil
1/2 tbs balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
pinch of ground ginger
pinch of salt/pepper
veggies
1 red onion
1 red bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
1 corn cob
sauce
3 tbs mayonnaise
1 tbs ketchup
1/2 clove garlic
1/4 tsp thyme
olive oil

4 skewers

-Ideally marinate the chicken pieces a day before. Put the chicken style pieces in a container with lid and add all the marinated ingredients. Put the lid on and shake it (lightly) until it’s all covered. Leave it in the fridge overnight.
-Take the chicken style pieces and veggies and divide them on the skewers. Play with the colours.
-Put them on the bbq (or frying/grill pan) for about 5-10 min (depending on how hot the bbq is). Don’t forget to turn them once in a while.
-For the sauce: Fry the garlic in a little bit of olive oil and then add it to the rest of the sauce ingredients. Give it a good mix.
-Serve the kebabs with the sauce.

Do you know Vivera and have you tried their products before? I would love to see some creations of the recipes above! Please let me know or show me by using #PlanetManel on Instagram. Thanks you! X

Messapica

Quite close to me is a very lovely restaurant, called Messapica. I walk pass it twice a day and I always wandered what they have to offer. Then a while ago I got a take away menu of them in the door and I saw very nice potential vegan pizza’s on there. I couldn’t only walk pass it now, so I decided to go in and ask about their vegan options. About that I want to mention that I got treated super nicely and they are very helpful. We looked at the menu together and I could ask questions. I wish every restaurants or cafe would be as helpful as they are here. They had a reasonable amount of vegan options, but nothing very different form other places though.

They offer a lot of juices and smoothies, which are (apart from one with whey powder) all vegan. They are very happy to take the whey powder out, but it might be just easier to choose one of their other flavours. They have avocado on toast and they offer a few types of bread you can choose from (sourdough, white, wholemeal). It originally comes with cheese (what is not clear on the menu), so make sure you mention you want a vegan version. You can also have toast with jam (they have several flavours) or marmite. They als do porridge and they are happy to make that with a plant based milk (they have almond and soy). The porridge comes with a fruit compote, which is vegan. I chose the Breakfast smoothie and the avocado on sourdough toast. It arrived quickly and it looked very good. One big downside is that the smoothie comes in plastic, event hough it’t not a take away. The smoothie was nice though, a little milky, but that does make it very soft. The avocado toast came with very fresh rucola and lime juice. That was a very nice combination. The lime really gives it something extra, very fresh. I really enjoyed my breakfast and I’m very happy to recommend it. For lunch and dinner you can also go to Messapica. They do salads with dairy every day, but there are always 2-3 vegan options. After 17:00 they also do pizza’s. I’m really curious to try them and I will soon. Note that they don’t do vegan cheeses and that the gluten free pizza is not vegan, it has egg in it. Something else I really liked, but what is not very clear on the picture, is the cutlery. The forks are quite big and unusual to see, loved it!

I really really love their interior. Especially the chairs, the white painted wooden walls and the floor. The whole style is slightly industrial, so lovely. At the till you can see all the salads you can choose form and they also sell some cakes etc. but unfortunately they don’t have any vegan cakes. They do sell 3 flavours of the ichor chocolate though, what was surprising and very nice. They also sell the ‘Eat Real’ crisps (love this brand!), several drinks including ‘Mangajo’, but also olives and really cool big pasta’s. All yum! After a little chat I recommended them to offer Oatly Barista too and I was really pleased how serious they took this.

I want to thank Messapica for my lovely breakfast!

WHO? Messapica.
WHERE? 109 Chamberlayne Rd, NW10 3NS.
CUISINE? Italian.
VEGAN? No! (omni)
OVERALL? 8 (Few good and tasty vegan options, very  helpful staff and a lovely interior.)

Did you already know Messapica? Or 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

Kebables

When it’s summer, there will be bbq’s! I love it and I hate it. I hate the smell of dead animals all around the neighbourhood on a lovely summers evening. There is nothing what ruins the amazing smell of summer more when you ask me. But I understand that it’s super fun to be outside and to enjoy a bbq together, with a little music in the background and lovely chats. It’s so easy to have a cruelty free bbq though! So why not enjoy the same things, but then without all the cruelty involved?! I created these yummy kebabs, I call ‘kebables’, to enjoy with your family and friends. Big chance they will love them too. For more vegan bbq ideas you can read my article about Vegan Partying. There is no excuse for bbq’s with victims!

KEBABLES

serves: 2 (6 kebabs)

1 pack Vivera chicken style pieces
marinate
1 tbs soy sauce
1 tbs sesame seed oil
1/2 tbs balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
pinch of ground ginger
pinch of salt/pepper
veggies
1 red onion
1 red bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
1 corn cob
sauce
3 tbs mayonnaise
1 tbs ketchup
1/2 clove garlic
1/4 tsp thyme
olive oil

4 skewers

-Ideally marinate the chicken pieces a day before. Put the chicken style pieces in a container with lid and add all the marinated ingredients. Put the lid on and shake it (lightly) until it’s all covered. Leave it in the fridge overnight.
-Take the chicken style pieces and veggies and divide them on the skewers. Play with the colours.
-Put them on the bbq (or frying/grill pan) for about 5-10 min (depending on how hot the bbq is). Don’t forget to turn them once in a while.
-For the sauce: Fry the garlic in a little bit of olive oil and then add it to the rest of the sauce ingredients. Give it a good mix.
-Serve the kebabs with the sauce.

Are you going to surprise your family and friends with these yummy kebables? Please let me know when you’ve tried them. You can do this in a comment below.. or you can tag me or use #PlanetManel on Instagram. Thank you! X

Sandwiches on the Go

I don’t know why, but I always liked these sandwiched for on the go. Some people find them disgusting, but I like that it’s this kind of ‘sticky’, haha! I used to get them when on the station for lunch or as a snack. Lots of times I chose the one with egg salad or just a simple cheese one. And very long ago, even a ham/cheese one. Obviously I don’t eat them anymore since I’m vegan, but I always hoped they would offer vegan options one day. Many times I checked, but even if it seemed alright, they used yogurt or mayonnaise. Such a shame. Nowadays though, tings changed. Demand is changing the offer, as that’s how it works. I was curious about the differences and so I picked 3 to compare. From Pret a Manger, M&S and Boots! So let’s see..

Let’s start with the third place. On number 3 is the one from Boots. It’s called ‘Louisiana Style Cajun Fritter’. They advertise it as an American sandwich, with a fitting package. It looks very tasty, with the fritters inside. Unfortunately the fritters were a bit dry and there is a slight soapy taste. I’m not a big fan of this one, but somebody else might like them. Something I really dislike about this one is the amount of sugar in here. There is 8 grams of sugar in here. That is a sugar cube in each sandwich. Very unnecessary. Also it’s quite high in fat (5.6 grams). Though, if you don’t have a lot of choice and there is a Boots around (there are a lot of them, so that is a positive), it’s an ok choice. It’s a limited edition, so if you want to try them, be quick!

On the second place I put the M&S sandwich. It’s called ‘Rainbow Veg’. A nice name I think. It’s with chilli squash and pumpkin seeds on red pepper bread. This bread gives it a little extra I think as it’s very tasty. Very soft and fresh. It’s a very good sandwich, with a bit of a smokey flavour, thanks to the roasted veggies. I also really like the package with the avocado and fresh veggies on there. It’s quite a healthy option too, as it’s 2.8 grams in sugar (still unnecessary though). The fat content is quite high (8.1grams), but that must be because there is avocado in there.

And on number 1, what can’t be a big surprise, is the sandwich from Pret a Manger. They have a lot of vegan options in general and they’re all delicious. They just do good food. I can’t say much about the package, as they’re all the same at Pret and they’re very neutral. What is fine I think, the sandwich itself makes it look attractive enough. It has Avocado, red tapenade, red pepper, spinach, olives, some lemon juice and seasoning. A perfect combination on very tasty, fresh bread. The only downside is that it says there is 6.3 grams of sugar. I can’t find that they add sugar, so I’m not sure where the sugar comes from (in the tapenade maybe?). Still they are on number one, because it’s simply delicious. I really enjoy this sandwich!

Funny thing is that I was most curious about the Boots sandwich, as it was very new to me. I already had the Pret sandwich several times. Still Boots ended up on number three and Pret on number one.

Did you already know these sandwiches and which one is your favourite? 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

Scotland – Roadtrip + 24 hours in Glasgow

If you read the last newsletter, you knew I was in Glasgow last week. I was asked by my previous employers to drive their car over there as they wanted to use it on their holiday. First I was going with my boyfriend, but he cancelled and then very last-minute my brother (Julian) came with me, thanks to my mum. Yay! He already came on Thursday evening, what meant we also had the Friday together here in London. So nice! We had croissants for breakfast, went to a children’s party (of the girl I used to look after), walked down Portobello Road (where Julian found and bought a lovely hand-made 60’s dress for his girlfriend) and we went to Westfield to do a little bit of shopping and to eat at Yo Sushi. What a lovely day! In the evening we picked up the car and parked it in the street next to me, so we could leave early.

The plan was to leave at 7:00 and so we woke up at 6:15, but before we left and put diesel in the car, it was 7:30. Still a very good time to leave though. The drive went really well. It wasn’t busy anywhere and it was lots of fun. We had time to chat and Julian was my personal DJ, making sure we had great music all the time. We listened to some of his own music, The Opposites (Dutch HipHop we both loveeee!) and Mac Miller! Our first stop was around 9:45. Time to go to the toilet, have a tea/cappuccino at Costa and to have a home-made sandwich, I made the evening before. We were chatting so much that time went quite fast and before we knew it, there was almost an hour gone. Oops! Luckily we were not in a rush at all. The second part of our road trip went a little slower as they were working on the road and we had very long bits where we had to cut speed almost in half. Doesn’t matter though, there was so much to see. Nature changed every hour and there are so many lovely cows and sheep to look at. Our second stop was around 12:30 and the place had a lovely shop, with fresh bread, food and lots of gifts and nice things. It’s a good thing I left my money in the car, haha! We had lunch with a beautiful view and there was a very cute Yorkshire Terrier coming to us all the time for cuddles. Also a seagull decided to do a poo exactly on my trousers.. he probably wasn’t aware that I’m vegan, haha! Oh well.. About 45 min later we were hitting the road again. Time flies really.. We weren’t planning to make another stop, but we needed more diesel for the car and as we made a stop anyway, we better make use of it and go to the toilet too. This was around 14:30, when we only had an hour to go. We arrived at the airport at 15:45 and we parked the car. We both didn’t feel like we sat in the car for long. It felt like we just drove for an hour or so. This clearly proves how much fun it was! We checked if we got all our stuff, locked it and started to look for a taxi. That was not very hard and before we knew it we were dropped in front of our AirBnB.

The girl of the AirBnB was super friendly and kind. She showed us everything and made us feel very welcome. She was going to the park with friends that evening and planned to be away the next day too. So we actually had the whole flat to ourselves, super relaxed. We sat down for a bit, a little relaxing before we left to find a restaurant/bar called Mono, to have dinner. I did my research and planned the places we were going to eat, to review and to make an amazing hotspot list. It was about a 20 min walk, but that was lovely after being in the car for most of the day. Very soon we agreed that Glasgow felt like Berlin (we have been both). The neglected fields, old buildings mixed with new buildings, graffiti, fences and also Mono. Mono is quite a big restaurant, with a bar, a stage and a vinyl shop.  The furniture was all very vintage and everything was super dated, but that is kind of the idea. The waiter who brought us to our seats looked like he came straight from the 80’s (I was looking for a time machine), hair, glasses, clothes.. everything. And he wasn’t the only one. It was quite a fun experience. We both ordered a burger. Julian had the falafel burger and it was very tasty. Fresh, crispy and a little spicy, truly perfect. I had the seitan burger and that was truly perfect as well. The burger itself was yummy, the sauce was super tasty and the buns they came on were making the whole combination complete. But the one thing what was most perfect, were the fries. I think I’ve never had such tasty fries. You got to go here to try them! After dinner we walked around a bit and came passed The 13th Note. This is, like Mono, also a music venue and a cafe/bar/restaurant. All very artistic and easy going. We had a quick look inside, but were too full to order something. They have a great menu though, with mostly vegan food. We kept walking and saw a little bit of Glasgow this way. Very nice! there is a lot of street art, what I absolutely love and very interesting sights. We sat down for a bit, to enjoy the last sun rays, but then walked back to our AirBnB. We did pop into a very lovely Asian shop called Oaka. You have to go here,  if you’re into this. I bought some tofu, seaweed crackers, Pu-Erh tea and a very nice matte black can with matcha powder. They also do some beautiful Asian dishes and tea sets. Back in the flat, we had a shower, watched some You Tube on the big tv there and then went to sleep.

I was so tired, that I slept really well. We had a relaxed morning and left around 10:00ish. It’s lovely not to be in a rush. We walked to this cafe called Picnic. I was very looking forward to this, because yesterday we walked passed it and it looked so nice from the inside. It’s all vegan and they have a lot of choice. They do breakfast, sandwiches, warm dishes, cakes, smoothies.. it’s amazing. It’s nice that my brother is more and more into healthy vegan food too. It’s nice to share the experience together, being like-minded. So we took a seat and were excited to order. We both ordered the granola and yogurt and aso a croissant and a blueberry and kale smoothie. The yogurt and granola was very delicious with all the fresh fruit on top. The croissant, though not having the exact consistency of an average croissant, was very tasty. More filling I would say. What a perfect breakfast. The interior of Picnic is really nice too. Light, bright and colourful, but not too colourful. It’s done right. The staff was very kind as well. The only downside I would say is that the music was a little loud and didn’t really go with the whole atmosphere.

With a full tummy we walked up to the city centre, what is very close from Picnic. We saw some more beautiful graffiti, but it also started to rain. Now I’m a big fan of rain, but I only had the clothes I was wearing and still had to wear them all day long, so we had to stay our of the rain as much as possible. We went into a shopping mall and Julian saw the shop Game. He asked for second-hand games (he collects old games) and were redirected to Cex. This was heaven for him, he looked like a little boy in a sweets shop. Hehe.. He bought 2 games and we spend a lot of time there, looking at all the games. Then there was also a shop with all anime toys and stuff, so we went in there too and later it turned out, the whole street was kind of geek heaven. Julian had to leave Glasgow around 14:00 as the only flight to Amsterdam that day was at 16:00. So we had to keep an eye on the time and went to have lunch. We chose to go to Stereo, as that was the closest from where we were. It’s a little tricky to find at first as it’s located in a very narrow street, with lots of bins. You wouldn’t think there is a restaurant. When you go inside it feels like Berlin again. Very vintage and easy going. We took a seat and chose something from the 100% vegan menu. Yay! Julian went for a broccoli burger and I went for the aubergine fritters + some fries on the side (I love fries, it’s one of my favourite foods.. so bad and childish! Haha!). My food was delicious, but very oily though. Also the fries were very oily. It looked like everything was fried in the same oil, what made the quality of the oil (and so the food) less. Overall it was tasty though. The broccoli burger was very yum and it had a very nice obvious broccoli taste which we both loved.

It was time to say goodbye. A little sad, because we had such an amazing time together. I really appreciated him coming with me. It was helpful, but most of all it was super nice. Julian makes me laugh 24/7 (literally until the last seconds, driving away in the bus), whilst we can also talk about serious things and everything and nothing. I love him! Now it was time to explore some more hotspots. We walked passed a juice bar earlier, called the Juice Garden, and I decided to go there. I ordered a green juice and took a seat. It’s a very nice juice bar, with a lot of juices and smoothies to choose from. They also do other things like: acai bowls, breakfast, sandwiches and salads + some snacks too. It was nice to have a little break, especially because they had great music. All 90’s/00’s hip hop and R&B, totally loved it! I edited some pictures and planned my next hotspot. Close to there was an Asian restaurant called Nippon Kitchen and apparently they have a vegan menu. I had to test this of course. It’s a very nice, typical Asian restaurant. I asked for the vegan menu and I was happy to see there was a lot of choice. As I already had lunch and I planned to eat dinner out too, I only chose 3 things. The maki avocado and cucumber and a temaki. It came on a very nice dish and it was very yummy. A shame Julian was gone already, because he loves sushi too.

I then walked around a little bit and in the end of the afternoon I went the The Flying Duck. This was quite an experience. It’s located in a basement (with great art down the stairs) and it’s a very big space. It’s quite dark, vintage and it has Berlin written all over it. They have a lot of different types of seats and I was lucky enough to get a lovely chair to sit in. They also have a pool table, board games you can play and loud music. I ordered a sandwich with tempeh at first, but they run out of tempeh (of course that happens, after I finally decided what I wanted). So I went for a hotdog instead. I didn’t want something too big, because I had quite a lot of (fast) food already. Though when the hotdog arrived, it turned out to be huge.. haha! It looked super delicious though and it came with salad. Very tasty, especially the cole slaw. The hotdog itself was exactly what you want from a hotdog. A tasty sausage, pretzel bun, onions, ketchup and perfect mustard.. sooo yum! The downside was that their menu is very unclear. There is just too much going on in black, white and bright pink colours, with very big ‘screaming’ letters. It also all took quite long. There was only one girl to serve all the customers and she also helped making some orders in the meantime. In the end I had to rush a bit as I had to wait so long before I was able to pay.

Then at the bus stop I had to wait 15 minutes for the bus, what made the little rush very unnecessary in the end. The Airport Express (bus 500) to Glasgow Airport leaves from ‘St. Vincent Ln’ btw and is very modern and new. It takes about 20 minutes to get to the airport, what is super convenient. I got there on time though and the security was super quiet en quick. I waited at Starbucks with a tea whilst charging my phone and watching all the traveling people walk by. I had to wait until 19:25 until they would announce the gate, whilst 19:25 was also the time of my flight. In the end it took an hour before I was able to board. So many people were annoyed, short-tempered and sighing. So silly, because there is nothing somebody could do and so they only destroyed their own mood. The flight itself is almost 1,5 hour. We landed a little before 22:00, but before I was at Victoria station (by train), took the bus and got home, it was 00:00. I was so exhausted by then. So I quickly unpacked some things and got ready for bed.

Overall I think, for the short time I was there, I can say that Glasgow is a great city. There is a lot of music, art and freedom. People are artistic and are not afraid to express themselves. People who love Berlin, definitely have to pay Glasgow a visit too. I’m sure you will love it!

HOTSPOTS:
Mono – 12 King Street, G1 5RB.
The 13th Note – 50-60 King Street, G1 5QT.
Oaka – 130 George Street, G1 1RG.
Picnic – 103 Ingram Street, G1 1DX.
Stereo – 22-28 Renfield Lane, G2 6PH.
Juice Garden – 23 Renfield Street, G2 5AH.
Nippon Kitchen – 91 W George Street, G2 1PB.
The Flying Duck -142 Renfield Street, G2 3AU.

Have you been to Glasgow yet? Did you know about these cool hotspots or do you have any other recommendations? Are you really excited to go now? I would love to hear about your trip and experiences! You can leave a comment below or you can show me by using #PlanetManel on Instagram. Thank you! X

Pichi

Pichi is a brand new cafe in a very new building. The building was build and finished whilst I walked past it every day and so I saw a lot of the proces. The cafe was one of the first businesses in the building. It used to be Union Canal Cafe, but recently it changed to’ Pichi Bar&Cafe’. When you come inside you actually first want to look around you. There are so many things to see. There are a lot of plants (incl. a beautiful cactus in the back) and fresh flowers everywhere. It’s really different from any other bar or cafe I know. They have an open kitchen, so you can see where the things are made. The ceilings are high and there is an easy going vibe.

Coming inside you have a big bard of food in front of you. Sandwiches, snacks, cakes.. and there is a sign above the bar with further things you can order. They have quite a lot of vegan options. There is a vegan sandwich, with avocado, humous, tomato and rucola, wat looked very fresh and yummy. You can also get toast with jam, peanut butter or marmite (or make a combination). You can go for porridge, like I did. You can choose out of 4 (!) different types of milk: oat, almond, soy and coconut. I went for the soy and I got asked if I like some maple syrup on there too. Yes please! It came in a perfect portion, with blueberries and goji berries. It was delicious and pretty perfect. If you want to just go for a latte and a snack, they have lots of things for that too. You can choose between a matcha latte (what I ordered and it was very yummy! Could have been a little hotter maybe, but the taste was delicious), a turmeric latte and a beetroot latte. Again you can choose with what type of milk you want it. As a snack you can go for the energy balls or you can get something pre-packed. They cell the crispy veg and fruit from Emily or the coconut curls from Ape.

The cafe is located in a what unusual place, as it’s not near a shopping street or any shops at all. There is the Sainsbury’s XL across the road and a Anytime gym, but that’s it. It’s right next to the busstop. Bus 23, 52, 228 and 452 will stop there. It has the name in big colourful and playful letters on the front windows (seriously, you’re not be able to miss it!). It’s a very big cafe with a very obvious model bohemian style. I like it a lot. There are several  big long wooden tables, a bench with tables, a sofa with chairs and some lose tables and chairs. You can basically sit from whatever you prefer. Because it’s so light and big it’s a perfect working spot. It’s not very far from me, so I’m sure I’ll make use of it. You can also sit outside, what is perfect when it’s a lovely sunny day.

WHO? Pichi Cafe&Bar.
WHERE? 332 Ladbroke Grove, W10 5AH.
CUISINE? Diverse.
VEGAN? No! (omni)
OVERALL? 8 (Love the space and style and quite a lot of vegan options.)

Did you already know Pichi? 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