Sunday, December 10, 2017

Vegan pumpkin spice cake

Last week was my birthday, and birthdays are always a good excuse for cake. For home consumption I made the hummingbird cake I've posted twice before, which was just as good on this occasion as on occasions past. I also made a pumpkin spice cake to take to work, using the rest of the tin of pumpkin I recently bought.

Mr Bite doesn't like pumpkin, which is a shame, because I'd love to enter this cake into regular rotation. It was truly delicious. Three colleagues asked for the recipe, and whilst pumpkin preparation is annoying if you don't have the tinned variety to hand, I can attest it would be worth it here.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

In my kitchen - December 2017

I am linking this in to the monthly In My Kitchen round-up, hosted by Sherry of Sherry's Pickings.

I suspect a lot of December IMK posts will start with some reflection, or expression of alarm, about the end of 2017 drawing near. I too have no idea how we're at this point of the year. Winter is upon us and Christmas is on the horizon. Here is what is happening in my kitchen as we hurtle towards 2018. 

In keeping with Christmas, I recently brought home the M&S vegan Christmas chestnut roast wrap. There are quite a few vegan Christmas wraps and sandwiches about, and I have also tried the Pret a Manger and Boot's sandwiches. If I'm honest, I preferred both of those to this wrap, but it was nonetheless pleasant enough. I think the chestnut flavours were just slightly too strong for me. 

More successful was this vegan and gluten free pumpkin pie I found at Whole Foods on a recent journey across London (if I can manage it, any journey across London features a stop at Whole Foods).

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Pumpkin oatmeal cookies {vegan + wheat free}

It is pumpkin season. I don't usually make many pumpkin recipes, because I am terribly lazy when it comes to buying (and carrying home), cutting up and cooking pumpkin. Tinned pumpkin is available in the UK, but it is generally imported from the US and thus quite expensive. All in all, pumpkin and I do not spend much time together in the kitchen.

This week, though, Tesco had tinned pumpkin on special. I picked up a tin and was pleased to use some of it for these biscuits - or cookies as I have termed them, building on the American tinned pumpkin theme.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Caffe Sala, Colchester: Vegan friendly and family friendly

On our recent holiday, we ate lunch out on most days. This tended to be at chain or casual places that don't require reviewing, but I wanted to mention Caffe Sala in Colchester. This is a cosy, charming cafe with vegan and non-vegan menu options, an amazing array of vegan cakes, and a delightfully thought out family set up.

Upstairs toys at Caffe Sala

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Thai red curry tofu and cabbage salad

I recently read the book Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness by Scott Jurek. It was truly excellent and perfectly matched my love of running (albeit my running is nowhere near the scale of Scott's!) and my love of plant-based food. Scott discovered vegan eating as he ran longer and harder, and he is a clear example of how plants can fuel amazing athletic achievements.

At the end of each chapter, Scott includes a recipe. One was for Thai red curry sauce to pair with tofu and a raw cabbage salad. Thus this meal was born. It was delicious and has reminded me of cabbage (it had dropped off my food radar) and introduced me to Thai red curry flavours (I don't think I've had them before).

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Holidaying with a 15-month-old: A week in Suffolk

This last week has been a clear example of how our lives have changed since having Mini Bite. Two years ago, Mr Bite and I were travelling Scotland, thinking nothing of driving 4+ hours in a day, and walking extensively whatever the weather. Fast forward to now and we just had a week in Suffolk - all of 1.5 hours north of our home - where the key factors in our accommodation choice were the presence of a playground, indoor swimming pool, and animals for Mini Bite to visit. It was a different holiday, although equally enjoyable in its own way.

Gladwins Farm