Sweepo Spread

What do you put on your sandwiches? It’s a question I get quite a lot. Of course you can spread your toast and sandwiched with nut butters, jam or houmous, but there are so many spreads you can make yourself, to add nutrition and to enjoy something different. Today I’m giving you a spread made of sweet potatoes. The great thing about this spread is that you can make sweet and savoury combinations. Spread it on a piece of toast, sprinkle some nuts and drizzle some agave nectar on it and you have a great sweet breakfast or snack. Combine it with some spicy rucola and black peppers and you will have a yummy savoury variant. You can of course also add cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuce.. you can combine endlessly. It’s great for a bbq too! Check out Vegan Partying for some bbq ideas and serve this spread for the baguettes (and salads). I’m sure everybody will love it!

SWEEPO SPREAD

-2 medium sweet potato
-1/2 cup chickpeas
-1 tbs tahini
-1 tbs lemon juice
-1 clove garlic
-1 tbs olive oil
-salt/pepper (to taste)

-Preheat the oven to 200C.
-Wash the sweet potatoes and put them in the oven for 45-55 minuten (depending on size).
-Let the potatoes cool down.
-Put it all in the food processor or blender and blend until smooth.
-Add salt/pepper to taste.
-Store in a closed container and keep it in the fridge.

Are you going to make this yummy multi functional spread? 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

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

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

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

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

Yay for King’s Day!

As I’m Dutch myself, I’d like to give King’s Day some credit from over here. Everything in the Netherlands will be orange today! Today the Dutch people are celebrating the birthday of king Willem-Alexander. As we used to have a queen for very long (King Willem-Alexander is the 1st male monarch in 123 year!), it used to be Queen’s Day. The first Queen’s day was held on 31 of August 1885, in honour of the birth of Queen Wilhelmina. What means it’s a long going tradition. Later on, the date changed to 30th of April, the queens birthday. The next queen, Queen Beatrix, kept that date in honour of her mother and I’m sure part of the reason is also that her own birthday is on the 31 of January. Way too cold! Basically everybody in the Netherlands is celebrating this day. What means it’s probably the biggest birthday party in the world. People dress up, mainly in orange, but also in the colours of the flag: red, white and blue. As the lion represents the Netherlands, this is also a symbol you most probably will spot this day. But the most important rule seems to be: the crazier, the better! There are flea markets and activities everywhere, spread over the country, but especially Amsterdam is going totally crazy! Around 250.000-300.000 are traveling to Amsterdam, from all over the Netherlands and the rest of the world, to be part of it. Because for a long time the date used to be April the 30th, there are still a lot of tourists who come to Amsterdam, all dressed up, 3 days late! Poor them! Anyway,, I’ll not be in the Netherlands this time to celebrate, but especially for King’s Day I created 2 healthy (orange) recipes.. lunch and dinner if you like. Oh and if you are going: Enjoy!

RAWR

Can be eaten all raw (leave the bread out and use raw sesame oil). It might seems strange in combination with the strawberries, but I promise you it’s tasty.

Serves: 2

1 courgette
1 cucumber
2 carrots
6 strawberries
1 avocado (smashed)
1 clove garlic (minced)
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tbs sesame oil
salt/pepper (to taste)
fresh basil leaves
1 tbsp mixed seeds
2 pita breads

-Use a spiralizer for the courgette, cucumber and the carrots.
-Mix the avocado with the garlic, the lemon juice and sesame oil.
-Mix everything together and add salt/pepper.
-Shape the strawberries and the basil leaves into tulips and use them as decoration.
-Sprinkle the seeds over the salad and serve with warm pita bread.


KING’S MEAL

Super healthy and loaded with protein. Apart from eating this on King’s Day (to restore energy), this is a perfect meal for after a good work out.

Serves: 2

200 gr red lentil pasta (uncooked)
1 cup butter beans (cooked)
3 hands spinach
1/2 onion (chopped)
2 cloves garlic (minced)
1/3 chili pepper (chopped)
3 tbs houmous
1 tbs olive oil
salt/pepper (to taste)

-Cook the pasta as described on the pack.
-Put the olive oil, the onion, the garlic and the chilli pepper in a frying pan and fry them until the onion gets brown edges.
-Add the beans and the spinach. Switch off the heat, just before the spinach all slunk.
-Mix in the houmous and then carefully mix in the pasta.
-Add salt and pepper.

Are you in the Netherlands today to celebrate King’s Day? Are you going to make these recipes? I’d love to see some pictures (of the food and of today..)! You can show them to me by tagging me in the picture or by using #PlanetManel on Instagram. I look forward to it! Thank you! X

Black Beans + Chickpeas / Custard

BLACK BEANS + CHICKPEAS
Where do you get your protein from?! Well, from this! Black beans and chickpeas form Biona. Not only this obviously, but I use black beans and chickpeas most often as my main protein source. Mostly I eat them in my salad. I wash them first and then I add 1/2 a can to my raw veggies and mix it up. I absolutely love this and do this almost daily. It’s so easy and super tasty. Another thing what I do is make dips and spreads. With the chickpeas I make houmous and in a very similar way I also make a spread with the black beans. Super delicious and  healthy to put on a sandwich and crackers. I especially like it, because you know exactly what you put in it. Also, because you can make a lot, it’s perfect for parties! Just serve some raw veggies (cucumber, carrots) and crackers with it and people will start dipping and spreading, I’m sure.

CUSTARD
This is such a thing here in the UK. This custard of Alpro reminds me more of ‘vanilla vla’, than of custard, but it’s very nice. ‘Vanilla via’ is something similar we have in Holland and we eat it as a dessert. The old fashion way to eat is, I believe my grandparents must still do it, is with a bit of yogurt and a splash of syrup (red squash) in the middle. Like it isn’t sweet enough, haha! I remember my dad used to mix a whole pack of this, with a whole pack of yogurt and then added apples, bananas, raisins and cinnamon. He’d mix it up in a big bowl and then we divided it into smaller bowls for pudding. It was always my favourite. Good memories! A shame it was dairy though. Anyway, this vegan custard is super delicious with the Dutchie Pie I made, so make sure you’ll give it a try. Try heating it up a little bit and it’s even better.

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

Snack balls / Indian tofu

img_7262SNACK BALLS 
I think a lot of people know Deliciously Ella. She is a famous blogger who also owns a few deli’s: Mae Deli, with her husband. Apart from her deli’s she has also introduced these snack balls. There are 3 flavours: ‘cacao&almond’, ‘hazelnut&raisin’ and ‘cashew&ginger’. I only tried the first 2 as I’m not a big fan of ginger inside cakes. Though I should maybe try that one too, because the other 2 are very yummy! I especially like the ‘cacao&almond’ flavour. I think that is also the most popular one in general. I get that, they’re very good. One thing I really like about them, is that you can get them in Starbucks. Starbucks doesn’t have a lot of vegan snacks and now they have a tasty and healthy one. What also makes it very clever of them to sell them there. You actually see them everywhere now and they’re advertising for them a lot. So no excuses.. go try them!

img_2161INDIAN TOFU
You’re vegan, so you must eat only tofu. Well.. not only tofu, but I do eat tofu. I love tofu! One day when I was in Portobello Wholefoods (that can be a lot of days.. haha!) I was looking for a nice tofu. I always get the same one (smoked tofu), but when I saw the tofu from Clearspot, I thought let’s go for something else. The pack looks nice, doesn’t it? So I made a salad and wanted to fry the tofu for a bit, but it was quite wet and it became more like a scrambled tofu instead. I would have liked it a lot better if it was more firm. I also expected a lot more flavour actually. Maybe that is because of the picture in front of the img_2167pack. You expect some sort of rich curry sauce on it. I made a simple salad with it. I cut up some cucumber, cherry tomatoes, onions and a big hand full of lettuce. I also added some mayonnaise for the sauce I was missing. Normally I’m not even that much of a sauce-person. All together, the salad, the scrambled tofu and the bit of mayonnaise was really nice though. So I guess it’s tofu you really have to prepare in a dish (like in a curry) and it’s not that suitable to fry it with a salad. I do like that it’s organic and the overall basic flavour was good. So I like it, but I’m just not crazy about it.

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