Kale Wrap / Sour Sweets

KALE WRAP
Finally.. they were one of the last coffeeshops, but Starbucks introduced a vegan meal. Or meal, something more than a hand full of nuts or a piece of dark chocolate. Starbucks is my favourite place to get tea. I drink my green tea with soy milk or, my latest discovery.. a Green tea Soy latte. If I wanted to eat something  I could choose between some little snacks, because all the sandwiches, wraps and cakes have meat, dairy or egg in them. A lot of other coffeeshops already offered vegan options, especially if we talk about PRET, they are king! Though Starbucks didn’t. Such a shame. But as the world is changing, Starbucks had to. And of course I had to try it. I didn’t have breakfast the morning I did and so it was kind of like a breakfast burrito. First of all, I think it looks good. The lettuce inside and the wrap itself are fresh and the overall taste is nice. It’s just a shame there is a lot of crap (sugar!) in them. But if you’re in a rush and you need to have something in your stomach, I think Starbucks did a good job with offering something tasty!  Let’s hope for more options in the future. Way to go!

SOUR SWEETS
I love love love sour sweeties. I know they’re not good for you, but very once in a while I have some. Sometimes until my tongue is literally open. I know.. it’s bad! It’s just so yummy. The sour the better. A while ago I discovered these Sour Snakes from Biona. BIona is one of my favourite brands. They just have a lot of good stuff. I took these to Rome and I was pleasantly surprised by the taste They’re sour (though it could of lasted a little longer) and the taste is nice. They’re obviously still not healthy, but I’m sure it’s at least better than the other ones. But just once in a while it should be fine. To take with you on a trip or like me.. when I’m on my period (serious cravings!).

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

Smooth Oats / Tofu

SMOOTH OATS
This is originally thought of as a children’s breakfast I think, but I happened to love this. As a child I loved it too, but I think as an adult I love it even more. It’s so nice and smooth and it feels nice in your mouth. A lot of these kind of breakfasts have sugar or other unnecessary additives in them, but not the Ready Brek. That is why I love it a lot. Also for children, because I think a lot of children are eating a lot of crap for breakfast with all these sugary cereals on the market nowadays. Ready Brek keeps you full for long and has a lot of good stuff, like: calcium, iron and B vitamins, including B12! I personally like to eat it with fruit, cinnamon and a little agave nectar. Especially with bananas and blueberries it’s very yummy. Because it’s already smooth, it’s very easy to add to smoothies too. This way your smoothie will keep you full for longer. You can also sprinkle it over your yogurt if you like. There are so many options, whilst it’s ready fast. When I prepare it, I already add the Ready Brek to the milk (I like to use Oatly Barista for this!) in the pan. This way it’s warm very fast. It doesn’t take more than 2 minutes, I promise. I tend to make it a bit runny, as that is how I like it. I think you have to experiment a bit with it, to find out what you like best.

TOFU
This was the first tofu I discovered I really like. In the meantime I found more, but now and then I still really enjoy this one. Once I open a pack, I can’t resist it and keep eating it. Especially the side bits I like. It’s perfect for salads. You only need a bit though as it’s quite a strong flavour. That’s why if you’re mixing it through something, really make sure you don’t use too much, because then it might happen that your whole meal will taste like it. What is ok maybe, but I prefer to have some flavours separately. So I slice it up for my salads and then have it on the side. It makes any meal very filling. It comes, very handy, in 2 pieces. This way you can easily make 2 meals out of it. Or if you can resist, you can even use it for 4 meals. I most of the time already ate half of the portion I’m using though, haha! It’s also very tasty through a cold pasta salad, together with some tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper, black olives or any other raw veggies. Perfect for a summers day picnic or potluck! Dragonlfy tofu is handmade in Devon and they do more tofu flavours, but I absolutely like this one best.

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

Veggie Bowl

img_9302Some people find it hard to get a salad together. What vegetables do you use? What tastes nice combined with what? I actually think that all veggies can go together. This is why I like to make colourful salads. Eat the rainbow! It’s also important to make a salad filling. So what I always do is: I cut up lots of yummy, colourful (mostly) raw veggies, add beans, avocado and mix it up. Most of the time I like to eat salads like this for lunch. In fact, this is basically my lunch every day. I love it and I can really enjoy digging into a huge bowl of crunchy yummy tasting veggies, mixed up with a simple dressing. I just love vegetables. I know, I’m a lucky vegan! To just give you an idea of what my salads look like and to help you make your own, I’m giving you an example today. I hope you like it just as much as I do!

img_9310VEGGIE BOWL

Serves: 1

veggies
-1/2 cup black beans
-1 (big) handful lettuce (any)
-1 (big handful spinach
-1/4 cucumber (sliced)
-1/4 bell pepper (sliced)
-1 cup red cabbage (chopped)
-1 (large) tomato (chopped)
-1/2 avocado (chopped)
-1 spring onion (chopped)
dressing
-1 tbs sesame seeds oil
-1 tbs lemon juice
-1 tsp balsamic vinegar
-1/2 tsp chilli flakes
-salt/pepper (to taste)

-Mix all veggies in a bowl.
-Put the ingredients for the dressing in a shaker and shake well.
-Pour over the dressing and mix up well, until everything is nicely covered.

Are you just as lucky as me and do you love vegetables a lot? What do you normally have for lunch? Or are you going to try this recipe now? 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

Southbank Food Market

img_8357Today I will give you 8 hotspots in 1 article! And they’re all in the same place.. how is that?! On Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and on bank holiday Mondays there is a food market with lots of nice street food, behind the Southbank Centre. I’ve known it was there since very long, but I never really took the time to take a look. I was most of the time on my way to something else. From or to Waterloo station. This time I also didn’t plan to take a look, but I happened to walk passed it when I was looking for the Benugo cafe. I couldn’t help myself this time and went for a quick look. That quick look became a very long look though. As there were so many vegan options! At least 10 stalls have vegan food. I picked 8 stalls to tell you about. I just had my lunch, so unfortunately I couldn’t eat anything, but I did have a drink! Here we go..

1. ELEPHANT JUICE
Super fresh juices! And you have a lot of nice choices for a very good price. If I didn’t have lunch just before I would have gotten a nice juice here for sure. A Berry or Passion juice would have definitely taste amazing. Next time!

2. LULIN TEA
This is the place where I had a drink. I saw the words ‘Chai’ and ‘Latte’ and I decided instantly. They have lovely ethically, hand-picked and blended tea. They do a lovely vegan chai with soy milk. It was delicious! Only downside was, that they use sugar for that.

3. BREAD TREE
A market stall with big letters that write ‘Bruschetta’ is something I had to check out of course. They do yummy looking bruschetta and they have lots of vegan options. You can basically mix and match yourself!

4. CHALÉ
Ghanaian food with a very tasty looking vegan option. With kale, pumpkin, coconut and fried plantains. It’s not something you can just get everywhere. I would have loved to try this. A lot of people did, it was very busy at this stall.

5. ETHIOPIQUES
Ok. When I saw this I really regret I had my lunch already. This looked aH-mazing! Ethiopian food with so much colour and different dishes, everything 100% vegan! I know that Ethiopian food is really good. I’m definitely going to come back for this!

6. CHOCO FRUIT
In the end I came to this. Chocolate covered fruit. Oh yes! They have 3 sorts of chocolate, but only the dark one is vegan. I would have picked the dark one anyway. They let me taste it with a strawberry. Heaven! They don’t only have that, they also have cakes which are vegan.

7.LEVANTINE
When I was already on my way back I passed this falafel place, with a vegan option. The food looked really nice and fresh. Lebanese-style falafel with lots of veggies and stone baked flatbread. I love myself some falafel, so I keep this in mind.

8. HORN OK PLEASE
Opposite the falafel place I saw this Indian vegetarian food stall. And yes, with a vegan option for dal and samosa’s. I love Indian food, so this is another very good option for the next time.

I’m so happy to see so many vegan options everywhere. I guess I have to make a few more trips to Southbank! The street food market is only there in the weekends, almost all day.

OPENING TIMES:
Friday- 12:00 – 20:00*
Saturday- 11:00 – 20:00*
Sunday- 12:00 – 18:00
Monday (bank holidays only)- 12:00 – 18:00
*In the summer open until 21:00.

Are you excited after reading about all these vegan options? What would you have picked? Please let me know by leaving a comment below. You can also show me by tagging me or by using #PlanetManel on Instagram. Thanks you! X

Palm Sugar / Chick’n Tandoori

PALM SUGAR
When I use sugar, I use organic palm sugar from Biona. Palm sugar is an unrefined sugar. It comes from the sap, found in the flower buds of the coconut palm tree. It’s heated to take the moisture out and the syrup they get from that, is then further reduced until crystals are formed. This means there are no chemicals used in making this sugar. It even has vitamins and minerals, like: potassium, zinc, iron and it’s rich in B vitamins. It also has a low GI level, what means that it releases it’s energy slowly and prevents the spike of insulin. Most diabetics can even use palm sugar for this reason. Even though it’s a lot healthier than table sugar, it’s still a sweetener and it doesn’t mean you should use this unlimited. The taste is sweet and a it has a slight caramel flavour. I really like the taste. My boyfriend is using it in his coffee and I mostly use it for baking and as a topping for nice cream (super yummy).

CHICK’N TANDOORI
This is not something that I keep in my fridge all the time. It’s a real treat when I get it. Last year I was helping a family out with babysitting and it turned out that the mum was vegan too. This is what she had in her fridge and I had a little taste. I thought it was really nice and bought it for myself and to take it to Holland, to share with my family and (vegan) dad. They liked it too. It’s especially nice on a nice fresh bun or baguette with some fresh veggies, like lettuce, tomato and cucumber. You could also have some on the side of your salad. It has a very nice structure (as most of the Tofurky stuff) and the taste is really nice. I’m sure that even meat eaters will appreciate this and it’s a huge help for people who are transitioning.

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

EAT

The breakfast/lunch cafe you see a lot around London is EAT. I have to admit that I don’t go here very often. This is because a few years ago I checked them out and they only had 1 vegan option. But as times are changing and more and more cafes and restaurants are offering vegan option, I’d thought to give them another try. I went to the one in Southbank.This is quite a big EAT. I know the one in Westfield and that one is smaller. I think this EAT might be a good option if you’re with a bigger group (sightseeing) or with kids.

They are doing a lot better with the vegan option I must say. There were houmous-harissa sandwiches, a quinoa salad with veggies and seeds and even a warm dish with sweet potato and spinach. They also sell fruit, but nothing else to snack on. They do sell lots of non-vegan cakes and bars, so it would be nice to add 1-2 vegan options to that. I already had my lunch at Strada, next door, so I wasn’t in for a meal. Would have been so nice if they had a nice nut bar or chocolate brownie or something?! I ordered a green tea with soy milk and the girl who helped me was really friendly and nice. I really appreciated that!

EAT is not a cafe you go to for the lovely atmosphere and cosy corners. It’s perfect for a nice quick lunch though and have a little break from whatever you’re doing. I brought my laptop and wanted to do some writing. They have alright seats, but because it was very busy when I was there (I went on a Saturday, so duhh!) I didn’t have the best spot to work. But that’s ok, I wasn’t planning to stay more than an hour anyway. Though when I checked the wifi, there wasn’t any available. This was very disappointing. So I took my tea outside and started to walk to my next location. But now I know they have more vegan option, I will try one of their meals soon. They do look nice, so let’ see if they’re tasty!

WHO? EAT.
WHERE? Royal Festival Hall, Unit 4, Riverside Level 1, SE1 8XX.
CUISINE? Breakfast/Lunch Cafe.
VEGAN? No! (omni)
OVERALL? 6 (Quite a few good looking vegan option, no wifi, could be more cosy)

Have you had lunch before at EAT? Did you like it? Are you going to try one of their vegan options soon? Please let me know if you decide to visit EAT! You can do this by leaving a comment below. You can also show me by tagging me on Instagram or by using #PlanetManel. Thank you! X

Just Kale It

img_6929I loveeeee kale! I love kale in smoothies, I love kale in juice, I love kale in my stir fry, I love kale in my soup and I love kale as crisps. I’m a huge kale lover! I even feel like I should write kale with a capital -K. I’m not even joking, as I already did this automatically for 4 times now, writing this. I should obviously get one of those ‘KALE’ jumpers.. I’ll put one in my Amazon shopping basket! This is a super yummy kale recipe, I’d say it’s great comfort food. It’s fairly healthy too (apart from the cream cheese). So even if you’re not a big fan of kale, then I think you should give this recipe a try. Kale is super healthy and this way it might become your favourite too.

img_6931JUST KALE IT

Serves: 2

-2 cups rice (cooked)
-200 gr kale (chopped)
-4 big mushrooms (chopped)
-1/2 red onion (chipped)
-1/2 avocado (smashed)
-1/3 cup cream cheese

-1 clove garlic (smashed)
-1 tbs nutritional yeast
-1/2 tsp coriander
-salt/pepper (to taste)

img_6930-Fry the onion with a little olive oil and salt.
-Fry the mushrooms with the onion for just 1 minute on a high fire.
-Add the garlic and the kale and mix well.
-Lower the fire all the way and put the lid on the pan for 5 minutes.
-Mix the avocado with the cream cheese until smooth.
-Then, on a high fire, keep stirring until the kale start to get dark brown edges.
-Add the coriander and mix in the rice for 2 minutes and then switch of the fire.
-Add nutritional yeast, the avocado mixture and the rice and keep mixing for only 1 minute.
-Add salt/pepper to taste.

Are you a kale lover? Or do you think you might like kale in this combination? 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

Minkies Deli

Minkies Deli is basically across the road from me. It looks very nice, with the cart with oranges in front of it, but I never went here. Being so close to my flat just makes me eat and drink in my own house and I won’t go out as fast, unless I’m far away. Though I was very curious about this place. My boyfriend went to get coffee here one morning and brought some nice breads for me (yes, he’s so thoughtful). The breads were very tasty and the cups look very nice. I really like their logo, a straw in the shape of an -M. I went on a beautiful sunny day to have brunch (I had a green smoothie in the morning and it wasn’t lunchtime quite yet..).

For breakfast there are 2 options: a bagel with jam or sourdough bread with smashed avocado and grilled pepper as an option. I went for the last one. For lunch there is a houmous sandwich with aubergine or you could choose a salad, in case you’re looking for something more filling. I was surprised to see that they had 2 vegan cupcakes. A chocolate/almond one and an orange/almond one. They looked very nice, so I ordered a chocolate one. But the best thing I found out is.. they have Oatly foamable! They’re the first cafe/deli I went to, who serve this. They also have soy and almond milk btw. Their chai latte is made with a chai powder (a bit of a bummer), what contained cow’s milk (as always). I ordered a green tea and I was happy to find out they serve Tea Pigs. Good tea brand! I wasn’t expecting too much from the avocado sandwich, but I was pleasantly surprised when they put this amazing looking plate in front of me. It looked really good! The best thing?! So much creamy avocado!! The bread was super tasty (and still warm) and all together, with the touch of rocket on top, made it all very delicious. I really enjoyed it! The cupcake was very nice too. It was actually more like a brownie and it was very filling. So all together, this could have been a proper lunch!

Minkies Deli is almost completely made with glass walls. So it’s very light and open. I love that! I like the colours too, grey with bright pink. Very appealing. There are quite a lot of seats (also outside) and they have quite a few sockets as well, to charge your laptop/phone. Lovely spot to do some work! The staff was very helpful, friendly and open-minded. For example, they have milkshake they make with ice cream. So not vegan, but they were thinking out loud to make it vegan. I really liked that! It would have been nice if they had a few more vegan options though. They could offer a plant-based yogurt or porridge. Easy things to create more vegan options.

WHO? Minkies Deli.
WHERE? ‘Glasshouse’, Chamberlayne Rd, NW10 5RF. (next to Kensal Rise station)
CUISINE? Cafe/Deli.
VEGAN? No! (omni)
OVERALL? 8 (delicious food, friendly staff, more vegan options would make it great)

Do you know Minkies Deli? Or do you want to go now? Please let me know! You can do this by leaving a comment below. You can also show me by tagging me on Instagram or by using #PlanetManel. Thank you! X

Thins Crackers / Bacon Tempeh

THINS CRACKERS
Ok.. these ones are one of my favourites at the moment! I randomly bought these Thins from Ryvita once, to dip in humous or guacamole whilst watching a movie. I wanted to share them with my boyfriend, but when I just had one.. to taste if they were nice, I accidentally ate the whole pack.. oops! I had them with a little slice of Vio life cheese on them and I also had them with guacamole. yuuuummy!! I’m sure they taste nice with all sort of dips.. so you can have a dipping party, haha! There is 0% crap in them, what is very nice. They are so crispy and the taste.. well, they don’t have a very strong taste, but it is a taste you want to eat more of. What makes them so addictive. The only thing is that they’re not that cheap. I almost payed £2 pounds for 1 pack and I thought they could have filled the pack a little more. They’re a nice treat though, or to enjoy for lunch with a salad. Try them!

BACON TEMPEH
Firs time I bought this, was when I was visiting the vegan supermarket GreenBay. I made a dish with Vivera bacon style pieces, but you can’t get these in the UK yet. So I tried to look for a substitute (a substitute for a substitute.. hehe..). I found this bacon flavoured tempeh from Tofurky. They come in easy pre cut strokes and it’s tasty too. The flavour isn’t very strong though. What I actually like, but in the dish I want to use it in, it needs a stronger taste. So instead, I made nori rolls with them and that was perfect. They will be very tasty in some fresh bread rolls too and I also once cut it up over my left over Stamp-pot. Was very nice too!

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

Benugo

img_7975When I used to live in Shepherds Bush, I went to Westfield quite a lot.. Quit often.. or let’s say, all the time! A lot of times I went to this lovely cafe, called ‘Benugo’. They served really nice food, but mostly I got this really nice green tea they have. Most of the time I went here alone, but I often met a friend there or I took my laptop with me to write the book I was writing at that moment. It was quite a big cafe and it was perfect for me. Everybody I knew liked this cafe, but sadly, one day, they closed down and it was replaced by.. Five Guys! Like.. how? This is one of the most horrific replacements ever in my opinion. Benugo has cafe’s, but some of them also have a kitchen. When I was in Southbank, I went to Waterloo Station and visited a Benugo cafe, to see what vegan options they have these days.

img_7976I looked at all the food, checking for vegan food. There wasn’t a lot of food in general, but there was a vegan falafel salad. When I asked one of the staff members, he said it just came in that day. What means, before that, they probably didn’t have vegan options. I’m glad that they decided to add this to the cafe-menu. It looked nice, but I thought it was quite expensive though. It was a small bowl, but for eating in, you had to pay almost £7! I asked if the hot chocolate was vegan and they checked for me. It was, f made with soy milk. The pack even had the vegan label on it. It had been a long time since I ordered hot chocolate.. years really! I also grabbed a little chocolate and so, all together, it was all very chocolaty afternoon snack. The hot chocolate was super nice and the little chocolate.. gosh! It was 53% cacao and it had salted almonds in it. You have to try this!

img_7977The Benugo in Waterloo Station is a bit different as it’s in front of the shops and not in a proper building. It’s a nice one though. It’s very vintage, with the stone bar, the reading lights and the wooden chairs. I said at the bar, overlooking the station, with the huge station clock in front of me. It was a nice spot. Though, because it’s not in a proper building, it’s quite cold. A lot of Benugo cafe’s/kitchens are inside a public place. Like this one, inside the station, but they’re also inside museums or even in some John Lewis warehouses  for example. I wish there were more Benugo cafe’s on it’ own though. They’re perfect cafes to take your laptop with you, to do some work and I wouldn’t go to the museum that fast to work there. A very good thing about Benugo is that they try their best to be sustainable. You’d think they’d be all vegan then, but that isn’t the case, unfortunately. Soon I will check out a Benugo kitchen and check their vegan option as I’m really curious now.

WHO? Benugo.
WHERE? Waterloo Station, 19/20 The Balcony, SE1 7LY.
CUISINE? Cafe.
VEGAN? No! (omni)
OVERALL? 7 (delicious (hot) chocolate, but could have been more lunch options)

Do you know Benugo already? Or are you going to try it now? Please let me know! You can do this by leaving a comment below. You can also show me by tagging me on Instagram or by using #PlanetManel. Thank you! X