Vegan Mofo 2017 #16: The Hip Hop Chip Shop

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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 found myself in Manchester just over a week post op for a few days before I came up here to Edinburgh to see out the rest of my recovery. Being so far away from home for so long, I had a few friends who were keen to see me before I left for Scotland. Of course I suggested a meal out and I had just the place in mind.

For a short while The Hip Hop Chip Shop set up at Kosmonaut Bar in Manchester’s Northern Quarter. Unfortunately their run at Kosmonaut ended at the beginning of this month but there are plans for them to open their own place in Ancoats next year and they can also be found at Media City most weekdays, so check out their Facebook Page to see where they’re at!

This was the perfect place for us all to meet. What better way to celebrate my top surgery than to eat everything covered in batter?!

I was really impressed with all the vegan options on their menu. They have a Veganstarr Meal of Battered Sausage, Chips & Mushy Peas. At around £7 it’s not the cheapest chippy but the portions are HUGE and you get a vegan chippy meal that is very hard to find in the UK.

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Also, the sides are so where it’s at. Chilli Batter Onion Rings, Chilli Batter Plantain and Battered Gherkins? Oh God get in my mouth.

The best part? If you bring your own chocolate bar they’ll batter and fry it for 50p. So OF COURSE I brought a few things to try out.

Ananda’s Wagon Wheel

Verdict: 9/10

This was a winner, I think the bulkiness made it a really good option for deep frying, it wasn’t too greasy and you got a good bite. It was soft, warm, sugary and delicious. The only thing stopping it getting 10/10 is that the marshmallow didn’t really melt, it just went softer. Damn you vegan mallow!

Go Max Go Twilight Bar

Verdict 6/10

I expected amazing things from this chocolate bar but the result was (don’t hate me) a bit too much. It was SO sweet and sickly. Perhaps if I hadn’t eaten if after a HUGE battered meal I would have enjoyed it more. But it was also quite greasy because it was quite flat. Of course I would eat it all over again.

I really loved The Hip Hop Chip shop and I’m so excited for them to be opening their own place next year. It would be great if they had some more vegan main options. A battered vegan chicken burger and definitely some battered vegan fish. These fake meats are all relatively easy to come by and would keep us vegans going back time and time again!

 

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Vegan Mofo 2017 #15: What I Ate 1 Week Post Op

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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 thought I would do a quick photo share of some of the meals I ate during my first week of recovery. It was a bit of a strange week as I was napping most of the time, on strong painkillers and my appetite wasn’t what it usually is. It was all a bit of a blur, it’s actually been handy to look back at food photos to remember what I got up to.

Bread featured pretty heavily. Quick and simple, I had a lot of nice crusty bread topped with cream cheese, sliced tomato & pepper, Fry’s Slicing sausage, hummus, chocolate spread and biscoff spread.

Breakfasts were easy as I relied on cereal bars, yogurt and fruit to keep me going until lunch time

Amy’s Mac n Cheese and Taifun Tofu Fillets were an easy meal I managed to get together while home alone. Both of these went into the oven for about 25 minutes and were ready to eat.

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Also Pie served with Pie was a winning combination.

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Bryn made me some wonderful meals with help from Simply Cook. These monthly subscription boxes are really great and work as detailed below

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Bryn had a few of these boxes ready (they were all veggie recipes too!), so it was really great that we could look through the recipe cards and pick whatever we fancied that night, getting the fresh bits we needed from the local corner shop. Bryn told me he wasn’t a great cook, but the food he prepared me was super delicious. We had a nice curry and a jambalaya which we added Tofurkey Sausages too.

So good!  All the recipes made plenty of food too, I was very impressed. If you have someone looking after you who isn’t a confident cook, I recommend looking into getting a trial box for this first week of recovery.

And of course, there were takeaways. I had this gigantic vegan Pad Thai with massive Satay Tofu Skewers and also great Sushi.

My first week post op had some pretty good eats! Not bad for someone who was asleep for most of the day!

 

Vegan Mofo 2017 #14: Gelato & The Beach

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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.

7 days post op was a lovely sunny Bank Holiday Monday in Brighton. Two of my favourite people came to visit me from London that day and I was keen to get out in the sun and eat some good food.

Sadly it was quite a short visit, as two of us weren’t in the best of shape, but we definitely made the most of the few hours we had together.

We started off by heading down to the Laines in search of Gelato while we had a catch up. A few years ago, I would have been insisting we go to Boho Gelato and nowhere else, but honestly, the few times I popped in during the run up to surgery, the flavours were too fruity and boring for me. I decided to get down to Gelato Gusto, who have a wide range of vegan options and queues going right down the street.

I was not disappointed in the offer there that day. I had an amazing selection of Salted Caramel, Pistachio and Mango Raspberry (I’m sure this was the third flavour, though I was high on drugs so who knows?!) There were quite a few other flavours available, all clearly labelled but the staff are super friendly if you want to double check what is and isn’t vegan.

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I love love loved the Pistachio. It was so creamy and full of flavour. Salted Caramel was amazing as it always is, it’s sweet…what’s not to love? I did enjoy the fruity flavour, it was rich and creamy and a nice addition to the other two scoops that were there.

After Gelato we had a quick stroll by some of the shops and I went via Loving Hut to pick up my favourite of an Ocean Burger and Sweet n Sour Chicken Balls to take down to the beach. I wanted to eat a fishy burger and chips by the sea!

I love Brighton Beach because it’s not a sandy beach, it’s stones! Yay! No shitty annoying sand in my shoes and between my toes. It’s heaven for me! We found a nice patch and settled down for a wee lie down. The sun was beaming down and it was HOT, so I decided to roll my trousers up, whip my shirt off and chill out in my post op binder.

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Taps Aff

I was so happy here, I’ve never felt that comfortable on beaches before but it was pretty liberating to get my top off at the beach. Dream come true! I only managed around 15-20 minutes in the sun before I started to worry that I’d burn before my post op appointment the next day, and retreated back to the shade.

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Me and my amazing friend Joanna ❤

It was such a beautiful fun day out with friends and reminded me how much I love Brighton when the weather is so good. It was nice to finally be up for getting out and about to enjoy the place. I definitely recommend checking out Gusto Gelato and despite being a bit mean about the vegan options at Boho Gelato, they’re also pretty great and worth checking out too. Who says you can’t have Gelato twice in one day?

That’s all for today, hope you all have a wonderful Saturday!

Vegan Mofo 2017 #12: Tasty Foods at Purezza Pizza in Brighton

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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.

Despite not having much energy and my lack of mobility, I was determined to eat out at a restaurant during my stay in Brighton. My lovely friend Bryn suggested heading down to Purezza, a new (for me at least) Vegan Italian place in town.

We had a gentle stroll down and got there for around 7pm. There were no free tables as the place was absolutely packed, but we were told the wait wouldn’t be too long and given menu’s to check out.

Oh my gosh, there was so much to choose from here. I got really excited about the various pizza’s on offer and then spotted Mac n Cheese. Goddammit, it’s not fair to have both pizza and mac on the menu! Luckily for me, Bryn is an absolute babe and offered to share a main course of Mac as a side dish. A genius idea that I was incredibly grateful for, this man understands me <3, he is a good human.

I was still umming and ahhing over what pizza I fancied by the time we were given a table. It took me a while to choose between the Parmiagana Party (Smoked Mozzarella, fried sausage, fried aubergine, nooch and basil) and the One Night in Bangkok (white base, stir fried veg, sprouted beans, peanut sauce and siracha). I decided to go for the Parmiagana because I frigging love sausage.

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Look at that pizza. So beautiful. I have to say, this was really really good. I love sourdough pizza bases and the toppings worked really well together. I devoured this.

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I also got to try some of Bryn’s Couch Potato (white base, smoked mozzarella, sliced roast potatoes, fried aubergine and pea pancetta). THIS WAS A GOOD CHOICE. A GOOD CHOICE INDEED! Roast potatoes on pizza is a genius idea. I love carbs and loved my slice of heaven.

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I also really liked the Mac n Cheese. It had the delicious pea pancetta on top, but I’m also sure that there was pea in the cheese sauce, it had a really unusual sweetness to it. It wasn’t the cheesiest mac I’ve had, but it was super tasty, different from anything I’ve had and had a beautiful savoury taste to it. It was a bit weird, but in a good way for me, I loved it.

After eating all this, I was absolutely stuffed. Which was a real shame because there were some amazing sounding desserts that I wanted to try…Oreo Pizza anyone?

Overall, I was super impressed with my visit to Purezza. Service was great, the food came out quickly and it all tasted amazing. It is quite pricey, but then it’s not your typical fast food pizza and I thought the quality of the food was definitely worth the price. The menu has some really interesting combinations on it, I’m definitely going to have to return and try out some more dishes…the Lasagne, Raw Smoked Salmon and Cheesy Bites are calling my name!

 

Vegan Mofo 2017 #10: Post Surgery Cake Times in Brighton

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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.

The first week post surgery is probably the most difficult. It wasn’t particularly agonising, but it wasn’t always comfortable and distractions between napping were welcomed.

One of my favourite distractions is cake. Cake generally makes most things more bearable, unless it’s bad cake. That’s the worst. Luckily for me, I was in the right place to get access to cake. I thought I’d show you a few tasty cakes I enjoyed during my first week post op

Real Patisserie Kemp Town

I was particularly lucky that I had a vegan cake option just 15 minutes walk from where I was staying. My wonderful friend who looked after me for this first week went out and got me this beautiful Tiramisu within an hour of being back at his place.

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I don’t usually like boozy or coffee cakes but this was delicious. The coffee and alcohol weren’t too strong, it was rich and delicate and just goddamn delicious. I was so thankful and happy to be presented with something so beautiful.

And it wasn’t just all the morphine that made this cake experience so magical, a few days later I pottered down and bought another one which was just as good.

Metro Deco

This was another magical cake experience. My friend knows the best places for cake in Brighton it seems, this is one of his favourite places and my god, the cake is GOOD.

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I went for a slice of the lemon cake. Now, this photo doesn’t particularly do it justice and glazed cakes never look particularly fancy but this cake was wonderful. So much flavour, the sponge was so light and fluffy, melting in my mouth. I tried to eat it slowly but it was so good I hoovered it up at rapid speed. I kept meaning to come back here to try more cakes but sadly didn’t get the chance. I will have to return when I’m next down there.

Also, this place is just lovely to sit and chill out in. Cute decor, teapots, lovely seats. It’s very nice. If you’re close by, definitely pop in. I noticed they do some vegan savoury options like sausage rolls too.

Wai Kika Moo Kau

I’d not been to Wai Kika Moo Kau for a really long time, so I was super happy when my friend Laura mentioned popping in when we met after my post op. I really needed cake after that experience and I knew there would be lots of choice here.

I did have a look at the savoury options, I don’t think the menu has changed in all this time and wasn’t the most exciting, so I stuck with a banana shake and a slice of raspberry cake.

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The cake was really good, great flavour, nice sponge. It was a little soggy from the fruit, but I don’t care! The shake was meh, bit too healthy for my tastes personally. I like a nice filthy shake made with ice cream and topped with sugary whipped cream.

So those are the three places I visited for cake during my week stay. I had some pretty good eating there! It’s a shame that I wasn’t more mobile and able to try other places, but considering the state I was in, I did pretty good!

Where are your favourite cake spots in Brighton? I’m definitely going back so recommendations are welcome!

Vegan Mofo #6: Celebratory Feast at Zad’s Vegan Takeaway

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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 decided to work right up until the day before I had to travel to Brighton for my surgery. In some ways it was good to have a distraction, but also the fear had set in by this point and I was finding it really hard to think of anything else.

I was mostly concerned about spending the last night at home alone worrying, so I invited my work colleagues out for a celebratory farewell feast at an amazing new vegan takeaway in Chorlton….

Zad’s specialises in filthy vegan pizza and burgers. I’m thrilled this place has opened up so close to where I live. This is definitely something that South Manchester needs and perfect for Chorlton, which could do with more vegan friendly fast food options.

I’ve been to Zad’s quite a few times now and I’ve been very impressed. Service has always been quick considering it’s been packed every single time I’ve visited. Even on their opening night they were calm and on top of orders, which I wasn’t expecting! So just to give you a hint of what they have to offer, here are a few options on their menu

Seitan BBQ Pizza – BBQ sauce base, cheese, spiced seitan, mixed peppers, sweetcorn and red onion

The Revolution Pizza – Fresh tomato sauce, cheese, avocado, pineapple, mixed peppers & scotch bonnet chillies – optional hot sauce

Pig Save Pizza – Fresh tomato sauce, cheese, smoky maple strips, hot dog, pepperoni & smoked seitan. *50p from each pizza will be donated to local animal save groups or vegan charities.

Zad Burger – Double patty, cheese, avocado & either an onion or pineapple ring, you choose. 

Loaded Hot Dog

Cheesy Garlic Bread

Chicken Niggets, Curly Fries, Cheesy Fries, Loaded Fries, Onion Rings…

Have you managed to stop drooling yet? They even have cake. This place is magic.

I’ve managed to delete the photos I took from my phone, but I have previous food porn I can show off from here. So here goes!

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Pig Save Pizza

Pig Save Pizza – Good God, this is good. Gimme all the faux meats and cheese! I particularly like the maple tempeh on here. Also, 50p from each pizza going to a good cause? Zad’s are good peoples.

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Seitan BBQ

Seitan BBQ Pizza – This pizza is ace. They’ve got the right amount of BBQ sauce with seitan and cheese ratio. This is one of my favourites for sure

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Cheesy Garlic Bread

Cheesy Garlic Bread – Basically another pizza but oh my god this is so good. They are very generous with the cheese so if you’re not too keen on huge amounts of vegan cheese, ask them to cut back a bit. For me this is perfect. So garlicky and greasy. I love it.

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Gary, Nuggets, Zad Burger

Gary Pizza – So many cheeses. So many goddamn cheeses. YESSS.

Zad Burger – Just what you’d expect for a typical dirty takeaway burger. They use Fry’s patties and are similar to the old style burgers V Rev Diner used to make on their old premises.

Nuggets – they’re deep fried, what’s more to say?

They also sell really good cupcakes made by the amazing Gorgosaurus Vegan Bakery

So if you’re Manchester based and haven’t been yet, what are you waiting for? Get on down to Zad’s and stuff yer face!

Vegan in Nuremberg

Check me out, blogging about a German city that isn’t Berlin.

I have actually been to Nuremberg before and eaten some decent vegan grub but did my usual thing of disappearing from the blogging world for months and then managed to lose all my food porn. Not letting that happen this time, so here I am, sleepy and drained after a 13 hour travel day yesterday!

I’ve only ever been to Nuremberg on work business, a massive organic trade show Biofach is hosted there every year. It’s a shame that I’ve only ever been there for work as it’s a cute city and I’d like to get to know it better. But anyway, this week I was sent back after a few years to see what new products are on offer, meet current suppliers and all that other important business stuff. The days are really long and exhausting, so I didn’t manage much outside of work, but what I did try was awesome.

Apologies in advance for the poor photo quality, I had no room in my bag to bring my fancy camera.

Chesmu

I tried Chesmu 2 years ago and fell in love. This is where you need to go if you want a special meal in Nuremberg though I recommend booking a table.

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The menu is quite small but offers a nice variety of dishes. I was pleased to see that since my last visit, there were a lot more vegan options available. Everything is veggie but the majority of it could be made vegan.

I went for the Sweet Potato Soup because I had Chestnut Soup on my last visit and it was incredible. I was not disappointed.

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Oh my word. These people just know how to do flavours. I usually avoid soup in restaurants because it never really feels that special and I can make a good soup…but I cannot make soups this delicious. I dunno what they did to it, but it was so tasty. I didn’t want it to end.

For my main I went for this amazing Creamy Tofu and Mushroom dish, served with Potato Rosti and salad.

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I’ve gotta say, when the bowl of salad arrived on the table I was like ‘omg why do restaurants bother bringing lame bowls of salad?’. And then I tried it and it was not a lame bowl of salad at all, it was super tasty and worked really well with the rest of my dish. I should stop being so judgey with salads. The tofu was really really nice and I love potato rosti. It was super good.

Sadly I was too full to try dessert but they had a rice pudding and an apple cake on offer, both of which sounded amazing. Top marks for Chesmu, really tasty generous portions of food, amazing flavours and also the staff are lovely.

Vegoner

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This little gem is just around the corner from Chesmu and as soon as I found out about it, I was all over it. I’m a huge fan of Voner in Berlin, so was super excited that there was another option for me to get a vegan kebab.

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This place is really great, you can get the usual doner wrap, or a teller but they also do burgers, stew and goulash. Prices are really reasonable, I paid €9 for a massive doner wrap, chips and a cola.

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Oh my God, it was so good. I’m pretty sure the kebab meat is made from soya rather than the wheat gluten I’m used to. Now I love me my wheat gluten but it was nice to have something that didn’t sit so heavily in my stomach and it tasted amazing. If I wasn’t so full I would have got another one, but sadly I couldn’t even finish my chips. The chips were good but I’d say that the Voner chips that are smothered in caramelised onions and tahini are still my faves, I dream of those chips.

They also had cookies and brownies on offer, so yay for dessert! I definitely want to come back here to try one of the burgers.

So those are the two places I visited in Nuremberg, but there are a few more veggie and vegan places around that I’ve yet to try.

As always with German cities, there are organic shops everywhere which sell a huge variety of amazing vegan food, from fake meats and cheeses, pesto, mayo, cakes, cookies, chocolate. All clearly labelled and usually at a pretty good price, so lots of opportunity to pick up amazing food.

We travelled to and from Nuremberg by trains and thought I’d share some food I picked up at Frankfurt Flughafen station.

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Tofu, Pepper and Guac Sandwich (a bit of a sloppy filling but pretty good) and this delicious Chocolate Pudding with Berries. It was so easy to find, so clearly labelled…and then I arrived back at London Euston and found nothing vegan for me to eat at all.

Damn, I need to move to Germany already.

Anyway, that’s it from me. I’m off to Poland in a few weeks so hopefully will be sharing more tasty food with you soon, but if anyone has any suggestions for eating vegan in Krakow, please comment below!