Changing around

Starting from today I will be switching this blog around a bit.

This will now be my travel writing and arts blog. I will be documenting my cooking and baking on another blog which you are free to check out here.

Right now I am in Berlin working on a series of e-book travel guides for City Travel Review, the first of which is now available to buy.

The link to the e-book is in my ‘about the author’ section and it’s only €1,23 to buy.

However, I will be releasing my pieces (heavily modified and extended) on here over the next few months, so if you don’t have a couple of euros to spare, don’t fret.

And that’s all from me for now, good health and happiness to you all!

Advertisements

Veggie Dining in Leeds

Over my birthday, I went out for a lot of meals. A lot of meals. I am going to chat about my two favourite places to eat as a vegetarian in the wonderful city of Leeds.

Hansas Gujarati

hansas pic

Hansas is an amazing family-run gujarati restaurant just up  North Road, and it is entirely vegetarian. Seriously, I have never seen so much choice on one menu. Usually when I eat out there are two dishes at most that I can choose between, and they usually consist of a pesto pasta and a goats cheese salad. Hansas offers a wide variety of dishes using delicious, fresh ingredients, my favourites include their Bharela Marcha (deep-fried peppers with crunchy peanut filling) and the tinda-nu-shak (pumpkin slices  cooked in curry sauce).

In the photo above you can see me tucking into their delicious Paneer Special and the Pani Puri, as well as a fantastic view of Steph’s arm. The portion sizes are generous and hearty, the drinks are a good price, and the general ambiance is warm and familiar. I’ve only been a couple of times and I already feel like a regular. I recommend this restaurant to both the veggie connoisseur and those looking to try something new; it’s the perfect place to start as the staff and manager are so friendly and more than happy to talk to you about each individual dish. They also hold cookery classes and have their own cookbook stocked full of delicious recipes.

For more information see their website.

Little Tokyo

little tokyo pic

I return to Little Tokyo over and over again, because not only is their food exquisite but it also very very reasonably priced. Perfect for a broke student who craves gourmet. Again, there is a large choice for both veggies and vegans. All tofu based dishes are exquisitely cooked, the tofu is succulent and golden…really I cannot stress how tasty this tofu is. There is vegetarian soba, spring rolls, sushi, bento boxes, tofu steak, ramen, gyoza and so much more. I feel like a shonen anime protagonist whenever I eat here because I literally sit there with a minimum of 5 plates of food all to myself and eat it all at the speed of light.

Another thing I love about Little Tokyo is the decor. Smack bang in the middle of the dinning area there is a little bridge going over a pond with large koi carp swimming around beneath. There are also fake leafless trees with fairy lights suspended over tables, so it sort of feels like you are eating in an enchanted forest. Also, they play music from Studio Ghibli films as well as cheese j-pop in the background whilst you enjoy you meal. I swear I have heard some Arashi once or twice. It is a fantastic place, the food is incredible, dare I say there is something even magical about eating here.

And that concludes my little ramble about dinning out. Thanks to Ana and Steph for being such lovely table companions.

Asparagus, Mushroom, and Tofu Stir-fry (V)

 

This is a really easy, cheap, and filling meal, perfect for those times when you want to be saving cash without compromising nourishment.

stir fry 1

Ingredients 

250g Asparagus

125g Spring onions

300g Mushrooms

125g Baby corn

2 Peppers

420g Bean sprouts in water

225g Bamboo shoots in water

225g Water chestnuts in water

2 tbsp soy sauce

Handful sliced green jalapeños

1 tbsp rice wine vinegar

1 tsp Garam masala

2 Cloves garlic

1 tsp Chinese 5 spice

1 tsp Powdered ginger

396g Cauldron tofu

Step 1. Press and drain your tofu! Once as much water as possible is pressed out of the tofu, I cut it into small cubes, and get to frying it in a little bit of oil. I fry until the pieces are firm and a nice golden brown.

stir fry 2Step 2. Prep your veggies. Slice everything up, including the garlic, and throw it in with the tofu. Add the soy sauce and rice wine vinegar. Fry till the veggies soften and golden!

stir fry 3Step 3. Add the spices and stir well. After frying for a while, add the beansprouts, water chestnuts, jalapeños, and bamboo shoots. Add a bit more soy sauce if it looks a bit dry!

stir fry 4Step 5. Fry everything together for a couple of minutes, adding a bit more spice/sauce if you think necessary. Then take off of the heat, let cool, and it’s ready to serve! I get at least 4 servings out of this so it’s great if you’re trying to eat on a budget and also be healthy!

Happy eats, beautifuls! ❤

stir fry 5

Chickpea, Mushroom & Spinach Curry (V)

Recently a few of my friends asked me how to make this super quick, super easy vegan curry that I make all the time. I make it all the time because it’s cheap, healthy, yummy, and yields 4 portions at a time. I thought i’d share it on here, because it’s great if you’re low on funds but still want to eat healthily (i.e for students, or people in temp work like me).

curry

You will need;

8 spring onions

1 can chickpeas

1 can chopped tomatoes

3 courgettes

1/2 can coconut milk

250g chestnut mushrooms

tsp garam masala

tsp cumin

tsp turmeric

tsp powdered ginger

2 cloves garlic

400g spinach

Step 1. There really aren’t many steps to this. First, I prep the veggies. I chop the courgettes, spring onions,  and mushrooms up fine, and put them in a frying pan with a little oil. I then chop the garlic up very finely and add it to the veggie mix. Fry till soft and slightly golden

Step 2. When the veggies are soft, I add all of the spices. Stir for another couple of minutes.

chickpea curry 9

Step 3. I then add the chopped tomatoes and the chickpeas. After stirring for a little bit, I add the coconut milk. I usually use half fat coconut milk, but feel free to use normal coconut milk!

Step 4. I let this mixture simmer for about 5-7 minutes, stirring regularly.

Step 5. I then add the spinach in a handful at a time. I let it wilt and stir it into the mixture slowly. Keep going until the spinach is all wilted and well mixed into the curry. Cook for another couple of minutes, then take off the heat and let cool.

chickpea curry 6

And voilà! The curry is done! I like to sprinkle it with yeast flakes, brings out a nice flavour (and it’s a great cheese substitute).

chickpea curry 10

Vegan & Veggie Food in Leeds

Not too long ago, I wrote a piece for Time Out Leeds about where to find the best veggie/vegan food in Leeds, both from restaurants and specialised food shops.

I wanted to share with you some of the other images and thoughts I have had about Leeds-based food recently.

First and foremost, there is Millies. A great little food shop not far from my flat, where I go to purchase anything from skin care products to silken tofu. Recently I have been going in there weekly to buy their scrumptious home-made chocolate peanut butter cake (totally vegan!).

millies 5

They have a lot of lovely home-made goodies, as you can see! And as i’ve been on a cake binge recently, this is fantastic for me.

Also, I have recently been to the gorgeous Global Tribal Cafe, and had their yummy sweet potato, carrot, and paprika soup. I love the interior decoration of Global Tribal, it feels so natural and bohemian and relaxing. Also the people who work there are lovely.

global tribal 1 global tribal 2

They also do bloody amazing cake, I especially love the earl grey cake they have every now and then. Okay, so this is turning into a ramble about cake…

And on the subject of cake, I must tell you about the vegan tiffin I got last week from Leeds vegan bakery That Old Chestnut! These guys are incredible and the range of cakes, flapjacks, tiffins, and brownies that they make is enough to make any vegan drool. The cakes are moist, spongey, rich, and everything that cake should be. They have an online store and you can literally get these heavily goodies delivered directly to your door (like I did, because I’m lazy). I got a box of 9 tiffin slices, which included peanut butter-chocolate, coffee chocolate, and raw ginger flavours.

chestnut 2

Aaaaand recently I have also been to the adorable little cafe Root & Fruits (also, located conveniently a 5 min walk from my living space). They have a gorgeous selection of mains and starters, but again, I must ramble about cake. They do a raw gluten-free chocolate cheesecake, with a coconut macaroon base, drizzled with  pomegranate coulis, and it is divine.

roots and fruits 1 roots and fruits 2

That guys in the last picture is Richard, the owner of the cafe. He is a thoroughly lovely guy.

And yes, for now, that’s all the rambling I have to do about vegan food….mostly cake…in Leeds! Please do check out my Time Out article for a more comprehensive list of places to check out, I just wanted to give you a little bit more of a personal spin on things.

Happy eating, everyone! ☆ ♥ `•.¸.•´ ♥ º ☆.¸¸.•´¯`♥

The Reliance

valentines 2015 3

My partner has been ill for the entirety of Valentines Weekend,  but we dragged ourselves out from under layers of blankets to go for romantic Sunday lunch at Leeds restaurant and bar The Reliance. The Reliance is a fantastic little dining room on North Street; a refreshing mix of vintage, european feeling interior, and hearty British pub food with a contemporary twist.

They use only locally produced ingredients and stock a wide range of Yorkshire brewed bitters and ciders. They have a lovely range on the menu for vegetarians (like myself and my partner). Today we indulged in the Yorkshire fettle & chestnut stuffed onion, roast trimmings, and veggie gravy, and it was delicious. They serve Sunday lunch from 12-m-8:30pm every week, which is pretty damn awesome.

valentines 2015 1

They also have a neat little cinema that hosts regular screenings, and is also available for private hire. In the past I have seen ‘Beetlejuice’, John Waters’ ‘Polyester’, and a whole host of other fantastic cult films at this lovely little venue.

Upcoming screenings, menus, drinks lists and more can be viewed on their website.

76-78 North St, Leeds | Mon-Thurs 12-11pm, Fri-Sat 12pm-12am, Sun 11am-10:30pm