Caramellos

Who doesn’t like meringues? I think a lot of people do, it’s quite popular in dessert these days as well. You make meringues from egg white though. Or is there another plant-based way? Guess what.. there is! Everything you can eat, I can eat vegan! By using the water of chickpeas you can very easily make meringues yourself, without any cruelty involved. You need a can of chickpeas, without added salt. As pure as possible. I used Biona chickpeas for mine and they worked really well. Meringues are a very yummy, light, but sweet snack. They go very well with coffee, tea or on top of some nicecream. By adding agave nectar and some palm sugar you really get like a sticky caramel flavour, which I love.. I hope you do to!

CARAMELLOS

Serves: 16-20

-1 can chickpeas (water)
-2 tbs agave nectar
-3 tbs palm sugar
-pinch of cacao powder (optional)

-Mixing bowl
-Electric mixer
-Baking paper
-Tray
-Oven

-Preheat the oven to 100C.
-Make sure you use chickpeas in water, with no salt.
-Separate the chickpeas from the water and put the chickpeas itself for another recipe.
-Put the liquid in a mixing bowl and start mixing it with an electric mixing for 3-5 min. You will slowly see the liquid turn into foam. When peaks form, it’s ready.
-Then slowly add the agave and the palm sugar whilst mixing on a low speed. Mix it in well.
-Put the baking paper on the tray.
-Drop 1 spoonful on the baking paper and form a circle.
-Put them in the oven for 1,5 hour.
-Let them cool down before sprinkling on some cacao powder.

Are you going to make these Meringues?  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

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Vegan Advice #5 (Xmas edition)

I got more questions asked, that I would like to answer here. This way everybody can read it in case more people have these questions about veganism. I answer everything from my own perspective. I’m sure there are people with a different opinion though. The last time I wrote a Vegan Advice I answered the following questions: ‘Why are you not going to the zoo?’, ‘Why do you not wear fur, wool, leather and silk?’ and ‘Do you take any supplements?’. As it’s almost Xmas, I thought of doing a Xmas edition of the Vegan Advice article. They aren’t per se Xmas related though, but recently I get these sort of questions a lot and I’m sure more vegans get these too: ‘Would you buy non vegan things as a present?’, ‘Would you accept non vegan things as a present?’, ‘Would you eat Xmas dinner with omni people?’. Here we go..

Would you buy non vegan things as a present?
No! Very simple and straight forward. I used to do it in the very beginning, but very soon I realised that it doesn’t make sense to spend my money on non vegan things. There are actually 3 reasons. First of all, I do not want a non vegan brand to get my support through buying it. Second, my biggest wish is for the whole world to go vegan. Giving other people non vegan things doesn’t only make them doubt about how serious veganism is for me and in general, but it also tells them it’s kind of ok that they still want products that involve cruelty and/or environmental damage. Third..I really like to show them that vegan things aren’t that weird, disgusting or hard to find. Giving vegan gifts is a nice way to show people how nice and positive veganism is.

Would you accept non vegan things as a present?
No! This is sometimes really hard and I understand that you might think ‘it doesn’t matter anymore now, because it has already been purchased’. But as I said at the first question as well, about other people thinking it’s kind of ok, this is the same for accepting non vegan gifts. People won’t take my decision to live a vegan lifestyle serious, but even worse is that if I would tell them it’s ok, they might do it again. If it’s about food, then it can also make me ill as I haven’t been consuming non vegan foods and drinks for years now. I think it also comes down to principles. It’s my principal that I do not want to be involved with non vegan things. It’s hard sometimes, because there are occasions people tried hard to get me something and then I have to disappoint them. But what helps me is thinking in this way: what if I had an allergy? I couldn’t accept it then, so why would I accept it if my reason is to consciously make the world a better place?

Would you eat Xmas dinner with omni people?
This is quite a hot topic. I know that a lot of people are struggling with this. A lot of people are the only vegan in their family and this makes it really hard, because you want to enjoy the Xmas dinner with your family, but then you have to sit at the table whilst there are people eating and complimenting the dead animals on the table. Personally I can’t do this. Luckily almost my whole family is vegan or vegetarian and we are having 100% vegan Xmas dinners for the last couple of years. I feel very lucky. If this wasn’t the case then I would not attend the Xmas dinner. I know that is quite radical, but I just can’t do it. I rather miss out (even though I love Xmas so much!), than to feel incredibly sad and have the feeling I want to cry the whole time. It would feel like torture to me. So how do you deal with this if you aren’t as lucky as I am? If you can’t bare it, then I suggest looking for like minded people (I’m sure they can’t be that hard to find) and organise a Xmas pot luck. I hope everybody will have a good Xmas though!

Do you agree with me or do you see it in a different way? Are there any other questions you’re struggling with? I’d be more than happy to help! Please let me know by leaving a comment below or by sending me a private email. You can also contact me via Instagram by sending me a message, by tagging me or by using #PlanetManel. Thank you! X

Nori Nori

I love nori sheets. You can make so many fun and yummy things with them. Of course you can make sushi, but that is quite time-consuming I always think. One of my favourite things to make and to eat are the nori rolls. They are easy to make and super super healthy too. You can easily make a whole bunch of them. They are also nice to serve on parties, for on the way, as a snack and of course just for lunch or dinner. And if your kids like them, they are great for lunch boxes (you might want to leave the sesame oil out as many schools don’t allow sesame products, due allergies). Also it’s best to eat them the same day you make them. Otherwise they can get a little soggy. Just in case: this will be a great creative addition to your Xmas dinner.

NORI NORI

Serves: 2 (10 rolls)

-10 nori sheets (half cut)
-10 long bits of tempeh (I used Tofurky bacon)
-150 gr fresh spinach
-8 big mushrooms (sliced)
-1 red bell pepper (sliced)
-60 gr alfalfa
-1/4 tsp coriander (optional)
-1/4 tsp ground cumin (optional)
-1 tsp sesame oil
-1/2 tsp soy sauce
-salt/pepper (to taste)

-Fry the mushrooms (no oil) in a frying pan for just 2 minutes on a medium/high fire.
-Add the spinach for just a minute.
-Let it cool down, before you squeeze out all the water.
-Add the coriander, ground cumin, sesame oil and soy sauce + salt and pepper to taste. Mix it well. The best is to use your hand for this.
-Fry the bell pepper just until you see brown/black bits appear.
-Fry the tempeh both sides until gold brown.
-Put 1/10 of the mushrooms and spinach (about 2 tbs) on a nori sheet.
-Then add 3 bits of bell pepper, 1 bit of tempeh and 2 tbs of the alfalfa.
-Roll it all op. Use a little bit of water on the end of the nori sheet to make it stick.
-Do this 10 times.

Are you a fan of nori sheets, just like me? And are you gong to make these? 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

 

Nutty Treat

A biscuit is a good biscuit when you want to eat another one every time you finish one. Or are they maybe not so good then? Perspective! These Nutty Treat almond biscuits are delicious and I’m sure you can’t just only eat one. Are you having people coming over for tea or do you need some good biscuits for a high tea? These are your biscuits! Also good as a snack or to share with your friends or colleagues (..make sure you have the recipe by hand, because people will ask for it!). They are super addictive and so it’s a good thing they’re made with only good ingredients. So having a second one isn’t a problem. Yay! They’re not hard to make, especially when you have a food processor. So don’t waste any more time.

NUTTY TREAT

Serves: 12

1 cup spelt flower
1 cup ground almonds
1 cup palm sugar
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbs water
pinch of salt
12-24 whole almonds

baking tray
baking paper

-Preheat the oven to 180C.
-Put all the ingredients, except for the whole almonds, in the food processor and mix until you have a sticky dough.
-Roll it into a cylinder shape (diameter: about 8 cm) and put it in the fridge for 1 hour. If the dough is too soft, then put it in the fridge for a bit, to make it more firm.
-Slice the roll into 1 cm thick biscuits and put them on the baking tray (covered with baking paper).
-Lightly push 1-2 almond (s) into every biscuit.
-Put them in the oven for about 16-18 minutes, until golden brown.
-Let them cool down before eating.

Are you ready to make some addictive biscuits to share? Are you going to try to make this recipe? Please let me know when you’ve tried them. You can do this in a comment below. You can also tag me or use #PlanetManel on Instagram. Thank you! X

Tibits

Apparently I didn’t now about one really nice restaurant, called Tibits. No idea how I didn’t know about it, but I’m happy I do now. When my best friend Nienke, from the Netherlands, was visiting me, I thought it will be nice to go here and explore it together. I knew it was a buffet and so this way it would be a great way to try lots of different things. It was Nienke’s first time in London, so after a long morning of showing her all the touristy must see places, we went to Tibits for lunch. We always have so much fun together, but we made sure that this lunch was one to never ever forget.

So like I said, it’s a buffet. They have lots of nice food and though it’s a vegetarian restaurant, almost everything is vegan. Just make sure to check to be sure. They have many different options and they look all very yummy. I think I made sure I tried everything that was vegan. I just got a little bit of everything. When collecting our lunch we were already drooling over the sticky toffee dessert we saw, but we decided to first eat the food on our plate. At Tibits you pay by weight, the same as in Ethos. So after you get what you want, you go to the till, they weigh the food on your plate and that’s what you pay for. I think they have more reasonable prices than Ethos though. Also, after eating everything, I can say that the food is better than at Ethos too. The food was delicious actually. Then we wanted to have that sticky toffee pudding, but the problem was that all the cakes they sell separately, are vegan too. So first we chose 3. A cake each and 1 to share. But then we couldn’t choose which one.. because they have chocolate-pear, lemon, coconut-mango and apple pastry.. how can you choose? I don’t know how other people do it, because you can’t! So we ended up buying all options! Oops! Everybody was looking at us and we had tears of laughing rolling down our cheeks. Some people said they will do it too next time. The influencers we are! They were so delicious, but funny enough, the sticky toffee cake ended up being my favourite one. The chocolate one was ver nice too, as it wasn’t crazy sweet and you could actually taste the chocolate. We obviously couldn’t eat everything, but the staff was friendly enough to give us a doggy bag. Hurray for desserts!

Tibits is a beautiful restaurant, in a lovely little street. It’s just off Regent Street, close to Piccadilly Circus. It’s quite a big restaurant, with seats around the buffet area, but you can also go downstairs. They’ve done a lovely job with the interior, mixing up different styles, but creating one lovely atmosphere. The staff is very friendly and helpful and it just makes it a perfect place to have lunch or dinner (or to try desserts) when in central London. Make sure to try the sticky toffee cake though, you pay this one by weight too. I’ll be back for sure.

WHO? Tibits.
WHERE? 12-14 Heddon St, Mayfair, W1B 4DA.
CUISINE? Buffet.
VEGAN? No! (vegetarian)
OVERALL? 8 (Great looking restaurant, good food, reasonable prices and very yummy desserts.)

Did you already know Tibits? 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

Drum Ruffle Truffle

World Vegan Day!! The event was established in 1994 by Louise Wallis. She picked November, because she knew the society had been founded in November 1944, but she didn’t know the exact date though. So she picked the 1st, because it’s after Halloween, the day of death. Anyway, an important day like this one, asks for healthy chocolate truffles. Truffles without cruelty, without crap.. something you can enjoy to the fullest, without feeling guilty for bit. They’re super easy to make (a little messy though) and are a great snack or treat to share. You can easily keep them in the fridge for a few days and so they’re perfect to make in advance.

DRUM RUFFLE TRUFFLE

Makes: 20-25

-1 cup cashews
-1 cup oat flour
-1 cup dates
-1/2 cup raw cacao powder
-1/4 cup agave nectar
-1/2 cup oat milk
-1/4 cup palm sugar
-pinch of salt
-extra cacao powder (for coating)

-food processor

-Put everything in the food processor and blend it until you get a sticky dough.
-Spread out some cacao powder on a plate.
-Roll little balls of the dough and then roll them through the cacao powder.

Are you going to make this recipe for today? Or for another day? (I bet they’ll be a good Xmas treat too!) Please show me all your lovely creations, I really love seeing those! Send me a picture, tag me or use #PlanetManel on Instagram. Thank you! X

The Fields Beneath

You might think: ‘where do I know The Fields Beneath from’?! It probably sounds familiar. This is because they have been in the news a lot, after becoming fully vegan cafe. They used to even serve meat when they opened their doors in 2012, but then after a while they turned vegetarian. When about a year ago the owner became vegan, he decided that it was time for the cafe to become vegan too. They slowly started to swap their things with vegan alternatives and then the last thing they changed was the milk. They hung a note on the door with that there was no longer cows milk served anymore. That note got a lot of attention, because now they were full vegan. So cool! So I had to go here of course. It’s only a few stops away with the train and the cafe is right under the station (Kentish Town West). Coming out of the station, it’s on your right.

When you come in, you immediately see all the amazing looking food in front of you. Actually you just want to have a bite of everything. I had lunch not long before, so I decided to go for a chai latte, but I couldn’t help ordering some toasted banana bread with coconut butter too. I did actually regret having lunch, because I would have loved to try one of the croissants, wraps or burgers. I will come back for sure. The chai latte was very nice. It was made with Oatly Barista, so I didn’t expect anything else. The banana bread was very good. It was very popular they said and I do get why that is. What a lovely treat!

The Fields Beneath is not very big, but there are some seats inside and quite a lot of seats outside. Even with rain you can sit there, as the railway above you will protect you from getting wet. They have some street signs as decoration, what I thought was very cool. It makes it a little industrial and fun, but in combination with the tiles on the counter it’s still very homelike. Great combination. The staff is super friendly and helpful and I felt very welcome. It’s just a lovely little cafe and I wish it was even closer to where I live. I would go here a lot (or maybe it’s good it’s not too close, haha!). In case you didn’t get it yet, I highly recommend this cafe!

WHO? The Fields Beneath.
WHERE? 52a, Prince of Wales Rd, NW5 3LN.
CUISINE? Diverse.
VEGAN? Yes!
OVERALL? 8 (Amazing looking food and a, lovely atmosphere)

Did you already know The Fields Beneath? Or are you planning to go here now? You do need to try the chocolate ice cream! 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

Nutritional Yeast and Chocolate

NUTRITIONAL YEAST
If you never tried nutritional yeast before, then run to the shops! I think basically all vegans (and probably a lot of non vegans too) will agree with me, that nutritional yeast is heaven. Especially when you like a cheesy flavour, this is what you want. You can use this on your pasta (my personal favourite), in Risotto (very good too!), in salads, soups and sauces. You can use this basically in anything you want to create a cheesy flavour. It’s used a lot for cheese sauces (think mac&cheese!). You can endlessly experiment with this. And the best past is, it’s actually good for you. It’s full of B vitamins, folic acid and zinc. It contains no artificial preservatives, colouring, flavouring or genetically-modified material and it has added vitamin B12. There is also one without B12, so pay attention to the one you get. I always get the one with added B12, because it’s always good to have some extra B12.

CHOCOLATE 
I just love this packaging. I secretly wanted it because of this, haha! Just look at it. I love the colours (my favourite pink!) and everything. Simple, but perfect. Looking at the ingredients of this chocolate made me really excited to try this too. It only has 5 ingredients and that is what you want. Products with not too many (all natural) ingredients. It contains (virgin)Cacao butter, (evaporated)Coconut nectar, (raw)Cashew nuts, Coconut and (pink lake)Salt. All good ingredients, so no guilt. It doesn’t actually have cacao in it, only the butter. So not sure if it’s technically chocolate, but it sure looks like it. It’s heart shaped and it says ‘luv’, what I love. It looks so attractive. It melts quite fast, so you can’t hold it in your hand too long, unless you have very cold hands, hehe.. the taste is very nice though. It melts very nicely in your mouth and it’s very soft and creamy. It’s sweet, but not too sweet and you can taste it’s made with good ingredients. It’s very filling, so just half of it is kind of enough. What makes it great to share! They sell it at Portobello Wholefoods, but I’m sure you can get it in other health shops 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

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

Yogurt / Fruit Jelly

YOGURT
To have sugary yogurts every day after lunch or dinner is not a really good habit. A lot of children are being brought up like this, but I think it’s not a habit we should encourage. Though, once in a while as a treat, I think it’s fine to have a special yogurt. You can even have it as a naughty snack. This coconut yogurt from Alpro is perfect for moments like those. It’s creamy and people with a sweet tooth will love this, because it’s quite sweet. It’s tasty, but a little too sweet for my personal taste. I like it’s coconut flavour though and the package looks nice and appealing. There is also a almond-vanilla one and a hazelnut-chocolate. I think I should especially try that last one, because it just needs to be done, haha! The downside: It advertises with ‘less sugar’, but there are actually almost 3 sugar cubes per pot. What is a lot! Such a shame.. but that’s why you should only have this as an occasional treat.

FRUIT JELLY
As a vegan, jelly is kind of a no-go. It often has gelatine in it and gelatine comes from cow’s or pig’s bones (how did somebody even come to this discovery?!). Though there are certain products with vegetables as a setting agent. Also the jellies of The Fruity Pot Family. Yay! I discovered them a while ago. They are even better than some other jellies, because The Fruity Pot Family is using whole fruit pieces in their jelly. It’s so yummy! There are different flavours: peach, tropical fruit and mandarin. I tried the peach, as I love peach and it was very tasty. The pots don’t seem very big, but I think they’re perfect size actually (120gr). The consistency is very good and the fruit pieces taste really nice on it’s own, but especially in combination with the jelly. They do not use artificial colours, sweeteners or preservatives and they are also gluten-free. I’m not saying to have this instead of fruit. You still need to eat your whole fruits, but this is a fun way to eat fruit though. Especially for children I think, this is a nice treat. It’s perfect for on the way (it even comes with a spoon) and for lunch boxes. The downside is that there is a lot of plastic though. The pot is made of thick plastic and so is the spoon.

Did you already know these products or are you going to try them after reading this? Please let me know or show me on Instagram by using #PlanetManel. Would you like me to test and review your product(s) or do you have any suggestions? Please send me a message via CONTACT! It can be anything (food, drinks, beauty..) as long as it’s vegan. Thank you! X