The 13TH

It’s Friday the 13th.. ah oh! Haha! Is there anybody here who believes in the myth? I don’t! Luckily, because I’ll be flying to the Netherlands today. I can’t wait! And to make this day a great day for everybody.. I present you a raw salad with 13 different vegetables. And if that isn’t healthy enough, the probiotic tahini-miso dressing is super good for your tummy. If you make sure that the dressing ingredients you use are all raw too, your salad will be a 100% raw. This makes a great healthy lunch, even when you’re on a detox. If you’re not into raw salads that much, you can of course cook some of the vegetables for a bit. It will still be very good for you. I like raw salads though, because they make you feel very full, but you still feel very energetic at the same time.

THE 13TH

serves: 1

handful of spinach
1 stalk of celery (chopped)
1 tomato (chopped)
1/4 cucumber (sliced)
1/2 carrot (grated)
3 mini beetroots
1/3 bell pepper (sliced)
handful of sugar snaps
2 baby corns
1 big mushroom (sliced)
1/2 courgette (spiraled)
1 floret of broccoli (chopped)
handful of alfalfa

dressing:
1 tbs tahini
1 tbs sesame oil
1 tbs white miso
1 tbs agave nectar
1 tsp fresh ginger (grated)
1/2 lemon (juice)
1/4 tsp harissa
salt/pepper to taste

-Put all the vegetables on a big plate or in a big bowl.
-Mix all the dressing ingredients. I liked to use an empty glass jar for this. I put everything in there and then I shake it until all well combined.

Do you like raw salads? So healthy! 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

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Franco Manca

I actually wanted to go to the Franco Manca on Westbourne Grove, but because I had limited time and needed to get some dresses before my holiday, I decided to go to the one in the Westfield (White City). Franco Manca must have grown a lot in relatively short time, because though I heard about it a few years ago, all of a sudden I see them everywhere. They have 38 restaurants in total now, whilst only starting in 2008. Franca Manca make their pizza’s with a sourdough base. Though it does have some gluten, it is easier to digest this way. I saw a lot of great looking pizza’s on Instagram and some good reviews. So I wanted to try this for myself and to see if they have some vegan options of course.

The waitress explained to me that you can choose your pizza (the have 6 options) and then add the topping you like. Some pizza’s already have lots of toppings, but the first pizza only includes the base, the sauce, oregano and garlic. So no cheese too. This makes it a perfect vegan pizza to begin with. They have 2 huge signs with their toppings and you can choose whatever you like. I went for the courgette, olives, onions and some spinach. My pizza was in front of me very fast. This must be thanks to the 2 huge pizza ovens. It looked amazing, quite big too! I started with the crust first. It was soft, but with a slight crisp. I expected to taste a lot more of the sourdough taste, but even though you could taste it was different, it wasn’t that obvious. The vegetables on top were perfect and very tasty. If you love garlic, then this is your pizza, because it has a big garlic taste. I liked it! The base in the middle was good from the bottom, but it was slightly undercooked on the top. This was a shame. I couldn’t finish the pizza because of this, because it was quite heavy this way.

Apart from the pizza and some small things (olives and bread) there aren’t that much vegan options, but in their defence, they do not have a very big menu. They do have one desert for vegans though, what is the very familiar vegan dessert: the sorbet. I didn’t try it though and I do appreciate that at least they have something. The Franco Manca in Westfield is a very beautiful restaurant I must say. Because of the very big windows from floor to ceiling, it’s super light and they have 2 huge pizza ovens (the red and the yellow one, here on the picture ^) in their open kitchen. I also really like their interior, it’s very industrial and it has high ceilings. I also really like the chairs, they really add to the style.

WHO? Franco Manca.
WHERE? Westfield White City, Ariel Way, W12 7GA.
CUISINE? Italian.
VEGAN? No! (omni)
OVERALL? 7 (Nice pizza, but a shame it wasn’t cooked properly in the middle, great interior)

Did you already know Franco Manca? 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

This is my Jam

Maybe you made jam before. Or maybe your grandma or mother made it for you once. Lots of fruit and lots of sugar! Most jam I actually find way too sweet, so I almost never eat it. Whilst I was making cakes and chia puddings with chia seed, I thought I could make jam out if it too. Later I found out that it’s actually quite a thing at the moment. I created a super easy recipe for jam and if you use raw agave nectar (or you can leave it out) it will also be all raw. So healthy! What means you can even enjoy this jam when you’re on a detox. Eat it with toast, cake (maybe not when you’re on a detox, haha!), in your porridge or in your yogurt!

THIS IS MY JAM

Strawberry Jam –

300 gr strawberries
1 tbs agave nectar (optional)
1 tsp lemon juice
3 tbs chia seed

-Take the green bits off the strawberries and bend with the agave nectar and the lemon juice until smooth.
-Add the chia seed and mix well.
-After 10 minutes mix again.
-Put it in a clean glass jar.
-You can keep it in the fridge for about 4-6 days.


Persimmon Jam –

2 big (very) ripe persimmons
1 tbs agave nectar (optional)
1 tsp lemon juice
3 tbs chia seed

-Take the leafs of the persimmons and bend with the agave nectar and the lemon juice until smooth (You can leave the peel on the persimmons).
-Add the chia seed and mix well.
-After 10 minutes mix again.
-Put it in a clean glass jar.
-You can keep it in the fridge for about 4-6 days.

Will you make this jam? Where will you eat it with and which on is your favourite? 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

Hackney Fresh

When my friend and I walked back to the station after reviewing the Temple of Hackney we walked passed Hackney Fresh. We went inside, because it said vegan and organic. Then you just simply have to go in! It’s not a crazy big store (but also not small!), but they do have a lot of stuff. I got so excited looking at all the stuff. One of the first things I saw were vegan croissants! Real proper looking vegan croissants! Plain, almond and also some pain au chocolat. This is something what is still very hard to get your hands on. This is actually the first place I’ve been that sells croissants like this. I had to get them.. obviously! Even though I was so full from the dinner still. It’s nice to know that they’re made very locally, the baker lives above the shop. Can you go any more local? There are fresh croissants every morning (from 8:30).

Hackney Fresh is an independent family business, established in 2014. So it’s still quite new. They want to transform the way people think about fine provisions and sustainable food. They sell so many things. Several cheeses, meat substitutes, cereals, snacks (healthy and not so healthy..), croissants (!), buckets of peanut and cashew butter, a variety of plant-based milks, fresh organic fruits and vegetables, supplements, beauty products and even some very nice animal postcards. I got one with a sloth mum and baby. Because when I see a sloths I want it. At first you would say the whole store is vegan, but they actually do sell some animal products too. It’s a very very small section though. I think this is very unfortunate though, because I think as an all vegan store they would be even more attractive and very new as they’re a lot bigger as the Green Bay vegan supermarket. I think they’ll be the biggest 100% vegan store if they decide to go all vegan.

Hackney Fresh is not only a shop to get all your vegan groceries, but they also serve coffee, tea and fresh juice. So a perfect place to get a take away breakfast for example. It’s such a shame it’s not a little closer to me, because I’m sure I’d go here all the time. They actually remind me a lot of Portobello Wholefoods, where I go a lot too. I love to see places like this more as they’re super handy for if you don’t always have time to go to the Whole Foods Market and need some certain products you can’t get in the local supermarkets. I think we should definitely support places like this! They were so friendly here too btw. Lots of help and nice chats, so appreciated!

WHO? Hackney Fresh.
WHERE? 334 Mare St, Hackney, E8 1HA.
CUISINE? Supermarket.
VEGAN? No! (omni)
OVERALL? 8 (Love the many many vegan products + love the croissants.)

Did you already know Hackney Fresh? 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

Pizza Express

I’ve been to Pizza Express quite a lot, but that is years ago. I was very excited to discover that they started offering vegan mozzarella. So I decided I needed to see this with my own eyes and very important too: taste this! I went to the Pizza Express in Camden. The day I went it was raining and as I hate umbrellas (cuz of loving the rain), I was a little soaked when I arrived. When I came in they stared at me like they didn’t know what to do with me. I wasn’t sure if this was because of being a little wet, or because they didn’t expect customers. It was just been 12:00, maybe a little early, but I always like to go on times it’s less busy, because then there is more time for answering my questions etc. I asked about the vegan options, but they didn’t really know what to say. So I chose a table and started to look at the menu myself.

There was a special vegan pizza, but you can swap ingredients around, until you have the pizza you like. This was the only thing the guy was able to tell me. Later I was told by somebody else that the special changes every 3-4 months and if it’s selling well, they stay on the menu. This made me decide to order this pizza, because we have to support vegan options (so you know what to order at Pizza Express now..haha!). It had onion, olives, artichoke, asparagus and the vegan mozzarella. It looked nice and as I love all these veggies, it was a good choice anyway. The pizza was tasty and I definitely enjoyed it, though it’s not a pizza I directly come back for. It’s perfect for if you’re going with somebody who isn’t vegan, because then you can still enjoy a good vegan pizza, whilst not have to go to a vegan place. I’m super happy that Pizza Express made this change and I really hope they keep at least one already vegan pizza on the menu. The pizza is not the only vegan things they have. They also have a salad called ‘Leggera Superfood Salad’ and this one is vegan too. I really want to try this one too on day. Anybody who had it already?

The Pizza Express in Camden is not really big, but it has nice big windows and the possibility to sit outside (when it’s not raining..). They also have a big mirror on one wall, I guess to make it look bigger. anyway.. it’s handy for if you want to check if there are any veggies stuck in your teeth, haha! Though I was pleased with my pizza, I thought the service here was really bad. I don’t know if all of them had a bad day or something, but nobody was really helpful. There was one guy who was new (his second day!), so I can’t blame him, but the rest had no menu knowledge. I only got short unsure answers, without a lot of information. I really had to pull it out of them and then they had to ask 3 times in the meantime. And there were some other things too, but let’s not be only negative, because there are a lot of Pizza Express restaurants and I’m sure this is not everywhere.

WHO? Pizza Express.
WHERE? 85 Parkway, NW1 7PP.
CUISINE? Italian.
VEGAN? No! (omni)
OVERALL? 7 (Nice pizza, few other vegan options, but not very helpful staff.)

You probably know Pizza Express already, but did you try their vegan pizza yet? 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

Mexican Bowl

img_7505Mexican food is so satisfying. It has lots of veggies, it has beans, avocado, tortilla’s and it’s spicy. The Mexican kitchen is yummy! Now let’s all put these delicious things in one bowl. And with pieces of crispy tortilla’s, you can scoop the goodness out of the bowl and into your mouth! How does that sound? The ingredient list seems a bit long and maybe it is, because they’re actually little recipes in one bowl. It does take a little time to make it, but it’s very rewarding and I’m sure you’ll be very satisfied when this colourful bowl is in front of you. The recipe is for one person, but you can easily double the recipe and eat it with your lover or a friend! What about making it together?

img_7498MEXICAN BOWL

Serves: 1

-2 tortilla wraps
-100 gr mince
-1/4 onion
-1/4 tsp smoked paprika
-1/4 tsp thyme
-1/4 tsp salt
-1/4 tsp chilli flakes
-2 tomatoes
-bunch coriander (chopped)
-1/4 small red onion (chopped)
-1/4 tsp lime juice
-1/2 avocado (smashed)
-1/4 tsp lemon juice
-1/2 clove garlic
-1/4 iceberg lettuce (chopped)
-1/6 cucumber (chopped)
-3 baby corns (chopped)
-1/2 cup black beans
-1/2 corn cob
-1/4 jalapeño pepper (sliced)
-1 tbs olive oil
-salt/pepper (to taste)

img_7506-Preheat the oven at 180C.
-Cut the tortilla’s in 4 pieces and make them wet. Put them in the oven for about 6-8 min. Let them cool down.
-Mix the tomatoes with the onion, some jalapeño pepper, the coriander and 1/4 tsp on lime juice. Add some salt to taste.
-Mix the avocado, 1/4 of lemon juice, the garlic with some salt and pepper to taste.
-Fry the onion in a pan with 1/2 tbs of olive oil. Add the garlic and then the mince. Fry this all, on a high fire, together until the mince is hot and has a slightly darker colour. Add the smoked paprika, the thyme, the chilli flakes and some salt and pepper to taste and fry again for only 1-2 minutes.
-Mix the iceberg lettuce, the cucumber and the baby corns with 1/2 tbs of olive oil and add some salt to taste.
-Let the corn cob boil in water for 5 minutes.
-Warm the black beans for just a minute on high fire in a pan.
-Put it all in a nice big bowl. Serve with the pieces of crispy tortilla.

Do you like Mexican food? Are you going to try this recipe? 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, so I can see it. 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

Tofu / Pate

TOFU
There is/was this hype around these things called a tofu press. Everybody needed one. I never really bothered myself, but I did always wonder how restaurants and some recipes gotten these perfect cubes of tofu that do not turn into a scramble as soon as you put the in the pan. Especially in curries. It’s always so delicious. I know some people use books and all heavy things they have for hand to press the water out of the tofu, but that it’s just a little too much for me I guess, haha! Then a while ago I discovered the tofu from The Tofoo Co. This is the perfect tofu for curries, to use in a stir fry, to put in a sandwich and so many more recipes. They have a naked version and a smoked version. The smoked version is nice for salads, sandwiches and wraps, because in a stir fry everything will taste like this and I can tell you that, even though it’s yum, it’s a little too much to have a whole dish taste like it. I’m so happy to have discovered this brand and the good thing is they sell it at quite a lot of shops, even the smaller Tesco’s for example. Hooray!

PATE
So what do you put on your sandwich? This is a question I get asked quite a lot. It turns out, people have no inspiration, apart from cheese and meat, when it comes to sandwiches. There are so many things though, including this nice pate I found from Liberto. It’s not only vegan, but also organic, gluten-free and it’s super yum. It doesn’t have a very strong taste, but that makes it perfect to use it for a base in sandwiches or on some crackers in the evening, whilst watching a movie. It really is a perfect movie snack I must say! It is also a good snack before or after the gym, because it’s high in protein. So if you want to get some extra proteins in, you better get some crackers and spread away (I got some garlic pita bread sticks and this is a perfect combination). It’s also high in fibre and has absolutely no crap inside. Totally perfect! I got mine at Ocado and I think it’s definitely a good treat. Liberto has more things to offer than only this pate though. Check out their website to see what else they have.

Did you already know these products? I’d love to hear your experience or you can also 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

What I eat in a Day! #3

I thought let’s do another ‘What I eat in a Day’ post. I often get questions about this and people always seem to be interested in what I (do) eat. I also like to show people that we, vegan, can just have normal and delicious food. So here we go!

I just picked a random day: I always start my day with a big glass of luke warm water, the juice of half a lemon and 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar. This isn’t something I love drinking, but it gives me a good feeling as it gives me energy and a boost of vitamin C. It also has a cleansing effect and for me it’s perfect to start my day. About an hour later I drink my green smoothie. This is a smoothie with 2 very ripe bananas, a big handful of spinach, 1/2 tsp spirulina, 1/2 tsp wheatgrass and 1 tsp of linseed. I use a little bit of water to blend it. I had this with 1/2 a medium sized papaya. When I got to work they had a bowl full of delicious fresh plums from the garden they went to at the weekend. So I just had to  snack on those in the morning. So delicious! It makes me think of my childhood as we had 2 plum trees, full of plums, in the garden where I grew up. A little later in the morning I was quite hungry weird enough, so I made myself a small bowl of porridge. As a topping I used some strawberries, coconut, cinnamon and a little bit op agave nectar. Just to keep me going until lunch time.

For lunch (around 14:00) I made myself a little chickpea salad with 1/2 an avocado (+ salt/pepper/lemon juice/a drop of sesame seed oil and a little bit of smoked paprika), a sweet potato from the oven and some sugar snaps on the side. I love lunches like this. They are filling, nutritious and just delicious. I had my lunch fairly late today as I had the porridge around 10:30. Normally I will eat porridge around 9:00ish, but the plums were in the way there.. haha! I wasn’t actually hungry all afternoon, but I did get myself al little treat at Starbucks later on (around 16:00). My ultimate treat there is a Green Tea Latte with soy milk (and some cinnamon on the top). I love it! Unfortunately they put sugar in there, so I only have it now and then. In the morning I made my Nori Nori recipe, so I could take some pictures for the recipe I will share here soon. They are little wraps from nori sheets, filled with spinach, mushrooms, bell pepper, alfalfa and tempeh. So as I made them, I had those for dinner, with some extra spinach on the side. It’s definitely one of m favourite recipes, so tasty and very healthy! I wasn’t feeling hungry in the evening, so I only had a cup of bedtime tea a little bit before I went to sleep. Also I drink about 2-3 litres of water a day.

Do you eat similar to me? Or do you have a whole different routine? I’d love to hear about it. Please let me know in the comments below or show me by using #PlanetManel on Instagram. Thank you! X

Soup For Salad

crTime for a cheat recipe! My favourite things to eat for lunch are probably salad or soup. Now why can’t we bring those 2 together? I must admit, that I sometimes literally pour a full portion of soup over my salad and eat it like that, but I might be a little bit of an extremist, haha! Though, I do want to give you this tip.. to use soup as a salad dressing. Not all soups are great for this, but the ‘Curried Sweet Potato’ soup from ‘Soupologie’ is perfect for this. One of the best things about this soup is that it contains 0,0 crap. All healthy and super delicious. It’s one of my favourite soups, so using it on my salad is the perfect combination. You can basically make any raw salad, but I’ll give you a yummy combination here, to give you some inspiration.

cr2SOUP FOR SALAD

Serves: 1

-1/6 Soupologie soup (cold)
-handful of spinach
-handful of lettuce
-1/2 avocado (chopped)
-3 baby corns (chopped)
-4 cherry tomatoes (cut in half)
-5 cm cucumber (chopped)
-1/2 tsp chilli flakes
-pepper/salt (to taste)

-Make sure you shake or stir the soup a little before using it.
-Mix the raw veggies in a nice bowl and pour over about 1/6 of the soup. Use more or less, to taste.

What did you think of this tip? Are you going to try this? Please let me know or show me by tagging me or by using #PlanetManel on Instagram. Thank you! X