Becoming a vegan was a long journey for me, quitting all meat but seafood and becoming a pescetarian in April 1996, and then going vegetarian in 2012. I think it was in October or November in 2015 I decided to go “semi vegan”, as in eating vegan at home and vegetarian if I went out or visiting people. I failed going “semi vegan” pretty quickly, though, as I guess this opened up my eyes to how the dairy and egg industry actually worked. I wasn’t able to close my eyes any more, nor turn my back to the cruelty that I saw. I chose vegan for Christmas/Yule/midwinter (or whatever you want to call it), and lot long after I went fully vegan, both inside and outside my home. I have never regretted that choice.
Even though I’ve been vegan for about seven years now, I had never heard about Nourishing Amy, or Amy Lanza, before. Not until I picked up their new cookbook, Nourishing Vegan Every Day, on NetGalley. I knew instantly that I wanted to have a closer look at this book that NetGalley offered as a “read now”, as I love cookbooks. I mainly use them for inspiration, but I’m definitively open to try out a recipe or two (though I feel free to tweak them). The book will be published 3 January 2023.
This cookbook is even good for beginners, with its explanations of some terms in the beginning. Personally, having cooked vegan for many years (even before going vegan myself), I skipped this part. I appreciated the few American-English conversions, though (I didn’t know arugula was the same as rocket!)
The book has seven main parts or “chapters”: Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Snacks, Sweets, and Celebrations. For me (a Norwegian), most of the lunch recipes could just as well have been dinners, but that’s just me being Norwegian and nitpicking. In general, the recipes are pretty basic, vegan dishes. Nothing wrong with that, and I think it’s really good if you’re brand new to cooking plant-based food.
One think I’m always worried about when it comes to vegan cookbooks, is if the dinners have no protein. A dinner that lacks a good source of protein mostly leave me very unsatisfied afterwards, and I get hungry again shortly after. Fortunately, this cookbook has plenty of recipes with tofu, chickpeas, and other legumes, and the recipes that don’t can easily be adjusted by adding some.
The book has a really nice layout, and the photos are appetizing. This cookbook can absolutely be recommended for any vegan, or anyone who wants to eat more plantbased.
Thursday turned out to be a very sunny and warm day in London, and I decided to have breakfast at O’Neill’s King’s Cross. The main reason for heading here, was because it was close to the hotel. Though the pub claims to be “The original Irish Bar in Kings Cross”, it came across as an American Irish pub rather than a proper Irish one to me. The only vegan option on the menu was the Plant Life Breakfast (toasted muffin with vegan sausages, spinach hash, guacamole, flat mushroom, Heinz® baked beans and cherry tomatoes), so that’s what I went for, along with some sparkling soda water on tap (basically free fizzy water). They didn’t have any plant milks, so for me tea or coffee were out of the question (I’ll drink my coffee black at a place with good coffee, but not at a place like this).
When the breakfast arrived, I was a bit disappointed, but not really surprised. The spinach was dry, the mushrooms were dry, the bap wasn’t great, and the whole thing was rather sad. Fortunately, it did its job, and filled me up, so that I was ready to meet the day. I would not recommend this as a breakfast place, though, there are far better places to eat, and thinking back, I kind of wish I’d gone to a supermarket and just bought a sandwich and a bottle of sparkling water there.
After breakfast, I decided to go back to the hotel. On my way I stopped by one of the many food stalls outside King’s Cross station: Crosstown. Crosstown makes handcrafted fresh doughnuts, and you can get vegan doughnuts from them all over London. I bought the Vegan Coconut & Lime doughnut, and it was really really nice! I brought the doughnut back to my hotel room, and enjoyed it there, in peace and quiet.
Relaxing in my room with a nice tread did wonders, and I decided to take the tube to Tower Hill. This meant that I arrived at the Tower of London, where I started my walk. I then walked along the River Thames, and passed a few bridges, Tower Bridge being one of them. When I first visited London in 1988 (the year I turned 14), I remember staying at a hotel where we could see Tower Bridge from our hotel room.
As it was a very sunny day, I wasn’t the only one out for a walk. Not only were there lots of people walking along the river, but the benches along the foot path were filled with people relaxing and smiling. Every time you passed by a pub or an outdoor restaurant, they were filled with people. I’m certain the lovely weather and the fact that the next day was a bank holiday were the reasons everywhere were filled with happy people.
There was one thing I wanted to do before going to the bookcrossing meetup I was going to attend at 4 pm: I wanted to visit Daunt Books. I have visited Daunt Books previously, but it’s always worth a visit if you love books and have the time. I think it’s one of the most beautiful bookshops in the world! I didn’t buy anything, but just being there, browsing the shelves, was nice. They have a really good non-fiction selection, for being such a small bookshop. Because it really isn’t all that big, once you get into it.
On my way to Allsop Arms, where I was supposed to meet up with the bookcrossers, I pretty much stumbled over a small coffee shop called Hagen. Hagen is a Danish espresso bar concept born out of Copenhagen and founded in London. They serve specialty coffee, and to my delight their pour over was absolutely top notch! As far as I can tell from their homepage, they have five branches across London. A perfect place for a break, if you have the time and need a nice cup of coffee.
At the bookcrossing meetup, we ended up being a total of three people. I think it probably was because a lot of people left the city due to Easter. It ended up being a really nice meetup, though, and it was lovely to see people I hadn’t seen in real life in a few years. I think last time I met Poodlesister was at the convention in Oxford in 2015.
It was pretty much dinner time for me, so I had pie and chips, and I also had a couple of ciders in the pub. One of the ciders I’d had before, the other one not. It’s always fun to try new beers and ciders, especially if I’m in the UK. Though I do with the IPA trend would soon be over!
After the meetup I went back to the hotel, where I had a lovely bath. Having a bath tub in the hotel room always feels like luxury, and I try to use it if I can. It was so nice and relaxing, having a bath and reading. I decided to stay in the hotel room for the rest of the evening, and was honestly pretty exhausted. It was nice to creep under the duvet after a long, but nice, day.
DISCLAIMER: This is not how I eat every day, but just what I ate on a random day in my life, as a vegan. I’m not suggesting that anyone should eat the same exact things. I’m not a dietician, nor an expert on nutrition, but I try to eat varied and balanced. And I’m still learning!
What I ate on Sunday 3 May, 2020, during the Covid-19 lockdown. At this point Norway had started to opening up again, but my work place was still closed, and I stayed mostly at home, but for a few short walks. Even though it’s not showed in the video, I take vitamins B12 and vegan D3 supplements.
As a kid, I wasn’t too great when it came to eating dinners. I’ve always been a breakfast person, and without it, I don’t really work. Mornings where I have the time to sit down and have a proper, nice breakfast are the best ones. Especially the ones of the slow kind. Here are some of my breakfast favorites.
As you have guessed (if you didn’t know already), these are smoothies that come in a bowl. They’re often of a little thicker consistency than regular smoothies, and in my opinion should come with some yummy toppings. I never use recipes for smoothies, i take what I have and “throw” the ingredients into the blender. It can be a banana, a handful of spinach, a handful of frozen green peas, and some plant milk. Nom! It’s super healthy too!
Who needs eggs, when you have tofu? I certainly don’t! I simply LOVE scrambled tofu, and the way I make it is super easy. I put approx 250 grams tofu in a bowl, and “mash” it with a fork, then I add two table spoons of soy sauce, and two Vegg yolks (I follow the instructions on the package), and mix it together. Then I pour the mix into a frying pan, where I fry it the same way as I would scrambled eggs.
There are many other yummy vegan breakfast items out there, but these three are my favourites, I think. What about you, what are your favourite breakfast items?
I love waffles! That is, I love the Norwegian type, with sour cream and jam. Some people might think that when you go vegan, you have to give up all the things you love. Fortunately, that’s not the case, and yesterday I made some traditional, Norwegian waffles. 100 % dairy, egg, and cruelty free!
I simply love Indian food, and chickpeas are among my favourite ingredients. One of my favourite dishes is chana masala, and here’s my super simple recipe. It is, of course, 100 % plant based, vegan, and gluten free. This recipe is meant for two persons, so if you’re four, make a double portion.
1 can tinned cickpeas (ca 500 g)
4 tablespoon rapeseed (or sunflower) oil
2-3 cm piece of fresh ginger
1 red or yellow onion
1 fresh chilli
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon lime juice
Finely chopped, fresh coriander (to taste)
Pour the brine of the cickpeas into a cup or a small bowl (to be used later).
Peel the onion and the ginger, and cut the onion into two halves. Cut off the stem of the chilli.
Put the onion, ginger, and the chilli into a foodprocessor, and run until it’s all finely chopped.
Heat the oil in a pot. Pour the onion, ginger and chilli into the pot, and fry on a medium heat until the onion is golden.
Cut the tomatoes (use the foodprocessor), por them into the pot, and bring to a boil. Add garam masala and salt, and let this simmer for a few minutes.
Add the chickpeas, stil well, and bring to a boil. Let this simmer for a few minutes.
At the brine of the chickpeas, stir, and bring to a boil. Let this simmer for 30 – 45 minutes. Stir it every now and then, so it doesn’t burn.
Add the lime juice and the coriander, and simmer for 1 – 2 minutes.
This recipe was originally posted on my Norwegian food blog, but after serving it to some Irish folks, I have been begged (read: asked nicely) to make a translation into English. I was inspired to make the recipe after eating a delicious chickpea curry at the hotel I was staying at during the EasterCon in Bradford in 2013. This recipe is totally dairy and gluten free, so it is suitable for most people, even vegans!
1 teaspoon crushed ginger
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
juice of 1/2 lime
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1/2 teaspoon cummin
1-2 tablespoons vegetable oil (e.g. rapeseed oil)
1 can (about 400-450 g) chickpeas
2 ripe tomatoes
1 can (about 400 ml) coconut milk
Make a paste of the ginger, garlic, lime juice, chili powder, garam masala, cardamom and cummin in a bowl so that it is ready to be used. This is easily done by mixing it together in a mortar or small bowl.
Finely chop the onion in a food processor.
Heat the oil in a thick-bottomed saucepan.
Add the onion and sauté for a few minutes, until soft (not brown).
Finely chop the tomatoes in the food processor. It should look like a sauce.
Add the curry paste to the onions, stir well and sauté.
Add the tomato sauce, bring to a boil and let it simmer for a few minutes.
Add the coconut milk, bring to a boil.
Drain the chickpead well, them add them to the rest, and cook until the coconut has reduced.
Season with salt and pepper.
Remember to stir the curry every now and then so it doesn’t burn.