Mango Cake & Lentil Spaghetti – A Weekend Of Vegan Eating

This weekend was totally indulgent for me. Saturdays and Sundays offer me the time to cook more varied foods than I would during the week, as I’m not tired from work and in a hurry. My boyfriend came to visit this weekend so I made an even bigger effort with our meals than I usually would. He isn’t a vegan but he always eats vegan when he’s with me, and as we’re soon to move in together, here’s hoping he’ll finally make the plunge and ditch the dairy πŸ˜‰

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He arrived late on Thursday night and he was starving. I wanted to give him a hot meal rather than just a sandwich or something like that, so I threw on some Linda McCartney sausages and sautΓ©ed some garlic, onion and red pepper with a little soy sauce and smoked paprika. I plated up the sausages with some potato wedges and ladled on the cooked veg with a hearty dollop of relish and some cut-up grapes. I got the idea for the grapes when I was up at Grianan of Aileach in Donegal; there was a little caravan cafΓ© nearby that made me a grape and cranberry toastie which was DIVINE!

On Friday I had a craving for pasta so I decided to put together some spaghettiΒ bolognese. I’ve made this before with Quorn mince (this was about a month into my vegan transition when I hadn’t realised it was vegetarian rather than vegan) but I hadn’t had it since. I knew I had some green lentils and some Tesco brand tomato sauce so I got to work.

vegan mango cake

Usually I would make my own tomato sauce but my brother had used up all of my oregano and that’s a pretty essential ingredient for a pasta sauce, so I went for the jar of ready-made! I fried red onion, garlic cloves and mushrooms and added them to the sauce with the drained lentils, peppers and chopped tomato. It was very filling and super tasty!

On Saturday morning I really wanted to pop and get some soup for lunch, so we went to Wholegreens, my favourite cafΓ©/restaurant in town! Unfortunately the only soup on offerΒ was broccoli and that didn’t really tickle my taste buds so I opted for a mango coconut cake instead.

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I know, not exactly nutritious, but the deliciousness made up for it! My boyfriend had shepherd’s pie with beetroot sauerkraut and wedges. You can’t go wrong with Wholegreens, especially for a hot healthy meal or a tasty dessert.

vegan eating

On Saturday evening we met up with some friends of ours (four of whom are vegan – not including two babies who are being raised vegan) and, to our delight, we realised that a local restaurant had just come out with an official vegan menu. Nowhere else in town has an omni restaurant offering a vegan menu (and this one was LAMINATED so you know it’s here to stay!)

vegan eating

I got a veggie burger with tobacco onions and chunky chips on the side, while two of my other friends got a coconut thai curry with cauliflower rice. Both meals were delicious (I had a sneaky taste of the curry – it was fab!) and we rounded off the evening with some banana splits without the cream. It was so nice being able to sit down and have a proper meal that isn’t a stir fry or a fruit salad.

vegan eating

On Sunday I was feeling generous so I brought my boyfriend breakfast in bed; sliced oranges with tea and soy milk as well as some toast buttered with Pure sunflower spread. I also made us a pineapple, orange and banana smoothie, which was perfect for a

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sunny day like today! For lunch we had falafel wraps with crisps on the side and a fruit salad and blackberry yogurt. Delish!

Then for dinner we were feeling lazy so we ordered a pizza from Dominoes (the base and the tomato sauce are both accidentally vegan – just order a veggie pizza without the cheese!) and I made my own garlic dip (the one from Dominoes has milk in it!)

Needless to say, we were beached whales this weekend πŸ˜€ It was easy to find yummy food the past few days, and it only gets easier, with so many companies and brands coming out with vegan alternatives and creating options for vegan customers. It’s so great to see!

 

Keep Avocados From Turning Brown – Vegan Tip #6

I’m the only one who eats avocado in my house, so it can be a real pain in the ass if I fancy making a sandwich. The problem is half of the avocado is more than enough for me to make a tasty spread for my toast, so the other half goes unused and quickly turns brown. I’ve tried plenty of things to try and keep it fresher for longer, but avocados just seem destined for rot when they’re exposed to the air.

Fortunately, I’ve found a way to keep it fresh and tasty! This WORKS so if you’re having bother with avos then make sure to try this out! Basically, when you cut it up, use the piece that does NOT have the pip in it first. This alone helps that half to stay green because the flesh underneath the pip isn’t exposed to oxygen, which is what causes the browning. Place the pip half in a container along with some cut up onion and store it in the fridge. And voila! It’s as simple as that! You’ll have green for days!

I’m not 100% why exactly this method works (I believe the sulfur in the onion acts as a preservative), but it’s a lifesaver. Happy avo eating!

Eating Out As A Vegan In Donegal, Ireland

In this week’s video I talk about eating out as a vegan in Donegal and the challenges of eating out as a vegan in general. I recently went on a trip to Stranorlar with my friend Casey and her baby (who are both vegans) to check out the Hatter Tea Room and Kee’s Hotel and Restaurant. The Hatter Tea Room is breastfeeding friendly which is why it was such an attractive option for my friend, and I made sure to call ahead to see if they had any vegan food on offer. Thankfully, they already had a few options available including a breakfast option, salads and vegan treats. I love it when that happens!

When it comes to eating out, make sure to call ahead and just ask if they have a vegan option. The worst case scenario is that they don’t have anything to offer you and won’t try to rustle something up, but generally people are nice and try to accommodate you. Preparing ahead makes eating out as a vegan a million times easier. Nobody likes turning up somewhere and realising they can’t eat anything.

Do you know of any vegan friendly places to eat out at in Donegal? Let me know in the comments!