Vegan Edinburgh – The Auld Hoose

It’s time for me to tell you about The Auld Hoose. This place is pretty special. This place is home to Edinburgh’s biggest nachos. It may not be a veggie or vegan, but there is quite a lot to choose from on this menu, and I guarantee that you won’t walk out hungry.

I’ve eaten at The Auld Hoose quite a lot, it was the first place I tried in Edinburgh and as my regular readers will know, I like a food challenge. I like to think my belly has no limits….this place taught me that there is an end to my bottomless pitt of a stomach. I have never left anywhere in quite so much pain before, the portion sizes are ridiculous.

So let’s get started and show these nachos I’ve been talking about. Let me present you with Vegan Nachos for 2

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That’s right. This is for two people. This isn’t the biggest size, they also do a portion big enough to share between 3-5 people. I’ve never had enough folk willing to eat vegan cheese with me to even see this, but I can tell you that the regular size is fricking huge.

I managed to eat an entire one of these to myself but it was no easy challenge. Logan and I were also sharing onion rings at the time….let me just show you them

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So, what was I saying? Ah yes, I was eating an entire regular nachos (tortilla chips, vegan chilli, tons of jalapenos, guac and what feels like an entire block of violife cheese) and half a stack of these onion rings. I also wanted a portion of cheesy chips but was strongly and firmly advised not to even try it by bar staff, who regularly have to warn folk about the portion sizes here.

Now, when someone tells me I won’t be able to finish something, a horrible, childish rage and determination builds up inside me. I am telling you right now that the only reason I finished this meal was because I was told I couldn’t do it. I put myself in a lot of pain for my defiance. Was it worth it? I like to think so. I think Logan was secretly mortified but he did sound proud when I finally emerged from the bar toilets to be told that the person serving me, who doubted my eating abilities was impressed.

It may not have felt like it. But I won. OK?

So since that day, I’ve been back a few times. I haven’t had nachos since, but I’ve tried their vegan chilli dog, the cheesy chips and the haggis breakfast sandwich, which were all really tasty.

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I really like The Auld Hoose, it’s a great place to take friends visiting the city, especially if they’re hungry. I prefer to visit earlier in the day as it’s a studenty area and it can get pretty busy in there, also later on in the day the music gets quite loud, so it just doesn’t suit anxious me with hearing difficulties at all. When it’s quieter though, this place is an absolute dream.

So what are you waiting for? Get yourself down to The Auld House for Edinburgh’s biggest nachos!

 

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Vegan Edinburgh – Bross

I’m so excited to write about this hidden gem today! I had heard nothing about Bross until Vegan Bear took me along for lunch when I went to visit him at Earthy Foods in Portobello.

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What a find! This wee Bagel shop is pure joy. Fresh handmade bagels from Breadshare with an amazing selection of fillings. I was so happy when I had a look at the vegan menu.

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Look at that, fake meats, cheese, pickles, avocado…all my favourite things…on bagels!

I decided to go for the Little Apple – Patramheat, Violife Cheese, Dill Pickle and Mayo. We had a nice chat with the owner Larah while she made my bagel up for me. Jayson introduced me as a vegan blogger and made me blush throughout the whole exchange but Larah was lovely and even let me take a free bag home with my bagel. Bagels and Bags, Bross know how to win my heart.

We decided to takeaway so that we could walk down to the beach and eat with the beautiful view. I forgot to take a photo of that view because Bagel, but have a view of what went in my mouth.

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This was such an amazing lunch. I loved my bagel, the filling was delicious, the perfect amounts of everything, nothing was too overpowering. The cabbage salad was also delicious.

I’m definitely going to have to have more lunch dates with Jayson so that I can try everything on that vegan menu. Finally a vegan bagel that is a little more than just a smear of vegan cream cheese and limp salad tomatoes.

If you’re in Portobello or fancy a trip for a nice lunch by the beach, definitely pop into Bross! They are open Mon-Saturday 9am-3pm and Sunday 10am-2pm

Vegan Edinburgh – The Herbivore Kitchen

Next up in my Vegan Edinburgh series is The Herbivore Kitchen! This place is really close to Considerit, who I blogged about yesterday. Whilst it’s not 100% vegan, the majority of the menu is suitable for vegans and it was an absolute delight to eat there.

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The Herbivore Kitchen is where you want to go if you’re looking for really good Breakfast Pancakes in the city. As soon as I found out this place existed, I insisted Logan join me for brunch. We were not disappointed.

When we arrived we sat down on one of the beautifully laid out tables and checked out the menu. It took me ages to decide which pancakes to go for, but I knew for sure that I wanted the Oreo Biscoff Shake, so I ordered one of those right away. It was between the Maple Sgaia Bacon Pancakes or the Vegan Haggis with Giant Beans Pancakes. I eventually decided to go for savoury over sweet so that I could pick up some cake to take home afterwards. Luckily Logan went for the Bacon ones anyway, so I got to try a bite.

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Wow. These really were as delicious as they looked. They were so good! The Haggis ones were my favourite, the pancakes were beautifully light and fluffy, the giant beans were packed full of flavour and what isn’t there to love about vegan haggis? The combo worked perfectly. The Maple Bacon ones were also good, but I was happy that I went for the savoury option.

The pancakes were price at around £7.95-£8.50, which is quite dear, but it was a nice large portion that left my belly full and I know the Sgaia meats and the veggie Haggis are pricey. It was well worth the money. The shakes were also really really delicious, they also came with cream on top!

We left with some cake and brownies which I forgot to take photos of, but they were also really tasty. I’ve since come across The Herbivore Kitchen at Leith Market and a Vegan Fair, their stuff is always really good. I love this place!

 

Vegan Edinburgh – Considerit

Welcome to the beginning of a small series I’m going to be blogging, Vegan Edinburgh. Readers of my blog will know that I spend a lot of time up here visiting my boyfriend, and that I also recovered from surgery up here for 2 months. This involved me eating a LOT of amazing food. To save me from blogging only reviews for the next couple of years and because I’ve fallen head over heels for this city, I’ve decided to smash through these reviews over the next couple of weeks to tell you all about my tasty food experiences.

I thought I’d start off writing about a new vegan place that opened up just last week. Considerit – a brand spanking new, completely vegan space selling fresh doughnuts, luxurious chocolates and ice cream. What isn’t there to love about this picture?

I can’t described just how happy I was to hear about Considerit opening up their own place. I met Claire quite a few years ago at a London Vegfest as we had stalls next to each other. It was a tough weekend, our stalls weren’t in the best place so it was quieter than previous years. I have fond memories of that weekend because not only were we next to a table full of incredible vegan chocolate, but Claire was a real joy to be around all weekend too. I’ve followed Considerit on Twitter since and was so happy to bump into their stall at Stockbridge Market in Edinburgh a few months ago. I got to try some amazing oreo doughnuts and stocked up on some creme egg chocolate bars too.

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Considerit opened their doors last Wednesday and I made sure I was in town on the Friday to stop by. It was a beautiful day.

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I was greeted by a full counter of amazing looking doughnuts. They had Cinnamon Sugar, Jam, Raspberry White Chocolate, Oreo, Biscoff and Honeycomb White Chocolate. I had offered to drop some by to Vegan Bear and his colleagues at Earthy Foods in Portobello, wanted to treat another few friends and Logan had bravely offered to stuff his face with doughnuts with me too. I ummed and ahhed before going for a box of 6 (this gives you a 10% discount) an extra to takeaway and then one for me to eat in right there and then.

For the selection box, I went for Jam, Raspberry White Choc, Biscoff, Oreo and 2 Honeycomb White Chocolates. I got a Biscoff to take away especially for Logan and ordered a Raspberry White chocolate for myself. I was also given a few mini cinnamon sugar doughnuts to try free of charge and Claire threw in an Oreo for me as well, so kind ❤

I waddled over to the seating area to take photos and try my first doughnut.

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Just look at that. So beautiful! This doughnut was so good, the dough was spot on, there was plenty of topping and whilst it was sweet, it wasn’t over the top. I tried to make it last but it vanished off my plate pretty damn quickly.

I managed to try a little bit of all the other flavours too and I’ve gotta say, they were all amazing. It’s hard to pick a favourite, the Honeycomb, Oreo and Biscoff were right up there though, they are definitely my kind of doughnut.

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Considerit also sell tea, coffee, hot chocolates as well as handmade Chocolates and also Ice cream. Not sure if the chocolate was up and running on Friday as I was too excited by doughnuts but I know ice cream is on hold for a wee while, just while they get themselves sorted with opening the new place.

I am so excited to return and try more tasty treats, I definitely think this is my new favourite place in Edinburgh.

So if you’re in the city, stop by and try out a few delights from Considerit chocolate. They’re nice and easy to find as they’re just opposite Summer Hall. Go go go and tell all your friends!

 

Meatball & Sauerkraut Goulash

Going back to work has been a bit of a shock to the system and I’ve found myself really struggling to prepare decent meals. I was excited to be heading back to Logan’s for a few days this week, mostly to see Logan but also because I knew my beloved Pressure Cooker was there and I could whip up something warm, comforting and packed full of veg.

I came across a recipe for a pressure cooked Hungarian Goulash and decided to do something a little similar with some ingredients we already had in the cupboards. It did not disappoint and really hit the spot.

Meatball & Sauerkraut Goulash

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Ingredients:

  • 1 pack of frozen meatballs (I used an entire bag of the vegan meatballs found at Farm Foods, there were around 20 balls in total)
  • 1/2 large onion, sliced
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp coarse black pepper
  • 1 tin tomatoes
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 large jar of sauerkraut (approximately 350g)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (shop bought, homemade or sub for oatcream)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp oil

Method:

  • First off, heat the oil up in the pressure cooker and saute the onions, garlic and carrots for 3-5 minutes until soft.
  • Add the smoked paprika and black pepper and fry off for another minute or so
  • Add the vegetable broth, tinned tomatoes and the meatballs. Stir through until mixed and then cook under pressure for 10 minutes
  • Quick release, add the maple syrup, sauerkraut, sour cream and salt, stir through and cook without the lid until everything has warmed through

Serves 6 very big portions

I served mine with coconut rice, which is super easy to make in the pressure cooker. Just add 2 cups white rice to 1 tin of coconut milk, 1 cup of water and 1 tsp salt. Cook under pressure for 3 minutes. Slow release and leave to heat through for a further 10 minutes. Stir before serving.

This was really hearty delicious food and I was so happy that the pressure cooker allowed me to have such a quick meal with so much flavour in it. I really loved the sauerkraut in this and the meatballs absorbed all the flavour from the smokey sauce. I loved having this with the coconut rice so much, I love coconut rice!

Of course you could make this on the hob or in the slow cooker, you’ll just need to adjust the times. I would probably simmer the sauce for a good 40-60 minutes on the hob before adding the kraut and sour cream and such.

I was stuffed and satisfied after hoovering this up but I did manage to make room for a little dessert. I’d bought some of the Frozen Chocolate Filled Churros from Aldi which are suitable for vegans, served them up with some ice cream and Mini Donuts that lovely Vegan Bear made and passed on to me.

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It was a good food day and I curled up in bed a very happy man. Perfect food now that the evenings are darker and the weather is colder.

Vegan Mofo 2017 #31: Chocolate Black Bean Brownies with Pumpkin Pie Swirl

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A Vegan Experience of Surgery & Recovery: I had chest reconstruction surgery on August 22nd 2017. For Vegan Mofo 2017, I will be writing about my experience preparing for surgery and my ongoing recovery.

I can’t believe it, we’re on the final day of Vegan Mofo 2017! I don’t really care about Halloween but it’s a good excuse to use pumpkin even more than usual, so I made a sweet treat to finish off Mofo.

I came back from work on Sunday super tired but determined to prep loads of food. I didn’t manage to do much, but I did manage to cook a ridiculous amount of black beans in my slow cooker. I’m not sure what I was thinking I would make with them all, I have LOADS in the fridge ready to use.

I’ve always been scared of black bean brownies but thought this was the perfect time to give them a go because why would I want to use all those beans for savoury dishes when I can add chocolate and sugar to them?

I also had a pumpkin in the kitchen that was just begging to be used for this…so here we go Chocolate Black Bean Brownies with Pumpkin Pie Swirl

Chocolate Black Bean Brownies with Pumpkin Pie Swirl

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Ingredients for the Brownies:

  • 1 1/2 cups cooked black beans, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup non dairy milk
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1 tbsp vanilla essence (if using an extract over flavouring, reduce by 1/2)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • handful of chocolate chips

Ingredients for the Pumpkin Swirl:

  • 1/2 small pumpkin, seeds removed, roasted
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 tbsp sweetener (I used rice syrup)
  • 1/2 tbsp arrowroot/cornstarch

Method:

  1. Heat the oven to 180C and line a tin with baking parchment
  2. Put all of the ingredients for the brownies except the chocolate chips into a food processor and blend until smooth
  3. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth off the top
  4. Add all the ingredients for the pumpkin mix to the food processor and blend until smooth. Taste to check it’s sweet/spiced enough for your liking
  5. Spoon the pumpkin mix on top of the brownies and then use a toothpick or knife to swirl into the brownie batter. Scatter the chocolate chips on top
  6. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until you can place a toothpick in the centre and it comes out clean

These were so simple to make, I couldn’t believe it! I also couldn’t believe how rich, chocolatey and delicious they were. They are so fudgey and moist, I love them! I think I might be converted to these gluten free bean brownie things. That’s something I never thought I’d say

But anyway, there you go. Short and sweet today. Thank you all for this amazing month of blogging, I’ve loved it! I’ll probably take a short break but I have a huge list of places to review, especially in Edinburgh, so may do a special Vegan Edinburgh week to power through them all.

Watch this space!

Vegan Mofo 2017 #30: Special Thanks

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A Vegan Experience of Surgery & Recovery: I had chest reconstruction surgery on August 22nd 2017. For Vegan Mofo 2017, I will be writing about my experience preparing for surgery and my ongoing recovery.

This was planned to be my final post for Mofo this year, but as tomorrow is Halloween I’m going to try and whip up something tasty to share with you as a farewell post before I take a week or so off blogging to recover!

I wanted to do a post thanking a lot of wonderful people who really helped me during recovery, without them I think I would have found the whole experience a lot harder than it was. Going through something like this really does make you realise how lucky you are to be surrounded by awesome people.

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So, thank you Bryn for looking after me, keeping me smiling, laughing and happy during the most uncomfortable, painful and strange weeks during recovery. You have been so kind and made my first week post surgery a piece of cake. Also, I will never forget you sharing mac n cheese with me, or for bringing me cake.

Thank you to Dave who drove all the way down from Manchester to Brighton and back up again, just to get me home comfortably. This was such a big help and I appreciate it all so much ❤

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Thank you to my amazing, patient, caring and hilarious boyfriend Logan, who took me in and took the best care of me for 7 weeks or so. Watching Steven Universe together, napping together, eating Chinese noodles or mac n cheese and colouring together was amazing and special. You are the best

Special thanks to Susan and Jayson for your amazing care packages. These brought me so much joy and all the tasty things so thank you so much for thinking of me

Thank you to Jack, Joanna & George for visiting me in Brighton. It was so good to see your wonderful faces.

Thank you to my ex and housemate Jake who looked after Kobi while I was gone, also a shout out to my awesome friend Isobel who stepped in and looked after him when Jake was busy

Thank you to my amazing friends, queer family and work colleagues who sent me funny, cute, supportive messages during my time off. I know I was shit at replying but I did appreciate them

I also want to thank the amazing cats who all looked after me in their own ways during recovery

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Sidney was the most amazing post surgery nurse. She kept me company by snuggling up to me while I was chilling and sleeping, generally being cute, gentle and lovely. I was really sad to say goodbye to her, she definitely had healing powers

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Bo, who is such a lovely, timid and adorable ball of floof. We’ve really got to know each other during our stay at Logans and he was so lovely and cute to me. I feel like we had a lot of special bonding moments and he was very careful not to hurt me during my fragile early days

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And finally, to Kobi. Who I sadly saw very little of during recovery, but who kept out of trouble and has been super affectionate and lovely since I returned home. I was worried he would be mad at me but all has been forgiven and we have had some amazing cuddles.

And finally, thanks to everyone who has been reading and leaving such lovely supportive comments during this month. I definitely feel like this theme was the right thing to do for me and the blog at this time, I’m so glad folk have been enjoying it and finding it useful

I will be back tomorrow for my final post of Mofo 2017!