Thursday, 8 November 2018

As the weather gets colder and more grey, I start craving more comforting winter meals such as shepherd's pie. This used to be one of my favourite meals before turning vegan, and with this recipe I threw together it remains one of my favourite recipes. The recipe here I have listed is for 1 serving (I made this for myself in a small serving dish as my family aren't vegan and so I am basing it on that, but just multiply the recipe to suit any needs and make it in a bigger dish and serve separately). The secret ingredient is baked beans - only a spoon or two - and before you squirm at the thought of it, it needs to be tested as it adds a lot of flavour and some extra protein.

Ingredients: (1 serving)

  • 1 tbsp of oil (any kind)
  • 1/2 a white onion
  • 1 small carrot
  • 1 handful of frozen peas
  • 1/4 of a bag of vegan mince (I use Tesco own vegetarian mince which is vegan, but any will work)
  • A few spoons of baked beans
  • 1 baking potato
  • 1 tsp of vegan butter
  • Approx 100ml of gravy (red Bisto is vegan), or veggie stock depending on preference - I use gravy as it adds extra flavour
  1. Chop onion and carrot into small pieces (like pictured above) and fry off gently in the oil until slightly soft
  2. Add the vegan mince and fry until no longer frozen, adding the peas once this has happened
  3. Reduce the heat, and add a few spoonfuls of baked beans to the mix and stir
  4. Pour over the gravy and stir until thick but with some liquid still remaining (you may not need all the gravy, or you may want to add more - totally depends on preference) and remove from heat
  5. Add this mixture to a dish and place in the oven for around 15 mins
  6. Whilst this is cooking, chop and boil the potatoes until soft
  7. Once potatoes are soft, mash until smooth and add vegan butter/milk as preferred so that it is creamy
  8. Remove the dish from the oven and place the mash on top, creating some fork marks so that the top can go slightly browned and cripsy
  9. Place back in the oven for around 15 minutes, or until it is as crispy as you desire
  10. Serve immediately, with fresh cooked vegetables and extra gravy if you wish.
In reality this is a very simple meal to make, and you can throw in any veg you want - or even make the mash with sweet potato! Instead of vegan mince you could also try this with lentils, it really is a super versatile meal and brings a lot of comfort in the cold winter evenings.


Friday, 26 October 2018

Like I said in my first post of this vegan 'journey', I'm on a mission to transform my range of makeup, skincare and toiletries into a cruelty free range, as well as vegan. (I think cruelty free is my first goal, however I intend to near enough reach the goal of them both at the same time - and all of these products happen to fit both criteria so it really isn't going to be that difficult). In my mind I assumed cruelty free and vegan skincare would be ridiculously expensive, and something I wouldn't be able to afford as a student on a tight budget - but I was wrong, as Superdrug's skincare range is entirely cruelty free and vegan (and as far as I am aware their other own-brand products all are too!). This makes it incredibly easy and accessible to get your hands on a full skincare routine without breaking the bank.

The first step in my routine is the Superdrug Naturally Radiant Hot Cloth Cleanser, which I cleanse my face with. If I don't have a micellar water (which I didn't at the time of planning this post) I tend to use this to melt away all my makeup - which it does really well - and then go in for a second cleanse to actually cleanse my face, usually with a flannel or muslin cloth. I prefer a creamy cleanser like this rather than a foaming cleanser as I feel as though a foaming cleanser strips away the moisture from my skin, whereas this doesn't.

For a moisturiser I have been reaching for the Superdrug Naturally Radiant Renewing Night Cream, which I prefer using to the day cream as it is far richer and nourishing - and as the weather is getting colder my skin is needing something more hydrating. Because it has no SPF in it I would put that on separately. I really recommend this to anyone looking for an intensive moisturiser as it does the job so well.

Now for some treatments and serums - which I don't use every day but thought were worth mentioning as they do work well and also fit into the vegan and cruelty free criteria - so it shows your options. The first is The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% which I tend to use when my skin is breaking out, or just needs to be cleared and smoothed a little - and it does a pretty good job. Only thing is that it is slightly drying for me, so I need to make sure I go in with the moisturiser. Finally, the Superdrug Naturally Radiant Glycolic Overnight Peel which is ideal for using every now and then to make the skin more radiant and glowy - I don't use this too much as I don't want to strip my skin too drastically, but I usually go for this the night before a night out just to give me a little boost.

I hope this proves that being cruelty free is not as expensive as people assume, and even more so considering the Superdrug range is more often than not on offer for buy one get 2nd half price, or save 1/3, so really nothing is stopping you.


Sunday, 14 October 2018

Today's post is featuring perhaps one of my favourite vegan recipes I have tried since turning vegan and it's too good not to share as my first recipe I post. I can't take credit for this recipe myself, I actually saw it on @erinireland instagram story but the original creator was Lord Byron's Kitchen and it looked so simple so I just gave it a go one evening and really enjoyed it so could not resist sharing it! It only takes around 20 minutes to cook and is so worth it. I believe it actually is a vegetarian recipe however it happens to be accidentally vegan too which is perfect, and I found that generally I had most of the ingredients already, only having to stock up on one or two items.

Ingredients (to serve 4):

  • 1 pack of vegan mince (I used the Tesco own brand frozen version)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 large red onion
  • 3 cloves of minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons grated ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • Basmati rice to serve 4 (I also have made this with long grain rice and it still works well, but I'd recommend basmati over this)
  • Handful of chopped spring onions
Recipe: (Lord Byron's Kitchen website - link)

  1. In a pan on a medium heat, fry off the onions in olive oil; add the garlic and vegan mince and continue to fry for another 5 minutes.
  2. Add the soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger, dried chili flakes, black pepper, and brown sugar. Stir well into the vegan mince mixture.
  3. Continue to fry until all of the liquid is absorbed and there is a slight sticky consistency - around 5 minutes.
  4. Serve with cooked basmati rice and top with sliced green onions and sesame seeds (the recipe suggests stirring these in whilst frying however I prefer them on top).
So, a fairly simple recipe that tastes amazing and is definitely worth a try. This is one of the top recipes I would recommend serving to people who aren't vegan, as the difference between this and a meat dish is barely noticeable because of the flavours - and it also has the approval of non-vegans which is always a good sign.


Thursday, 11 October 2018

Earlier this year, I decided to make a transition in my life and being a journey towards a vegan lifestyle. Although I can't claim to be fully vegan yet in terms of general lifestyle (more on this later), my diet has fully transitioned and I have been eating vegan/plant-based since the end of February this year. I had been putting off posting this for a while now as I had no idea how people would react to it, however with so many big talks on climate change and the environment over the past couple of days I could not delay it any longer - as a plant-based diet may offer some solutions to these pressing problems.

After facing various struggles over the past year or two I began to become less motivated about blogging, however I thought this transition towards veganism would be a perfect way to restart and become passionate about this again. Even more so because I am still on the path towards full veganism - being a uni student I just can't afford to throw away all my makeup and toiletries and buy new ones (I also think wasting current products creates another problem), so my process so far is when things run out I am replacing them with cruelty free products over time, and in the future my full collection will eventually be fully cruelty free. This way, I can use my blog to trial and test cruelty free makeup and prove that it is possible and affordable to make slight changes like these - as there are so many things on offer now.

My aim for this new blogging journey isn't to be overly preachy, nor critical of people who make certain changes and not others - in my opinion any change has the opportunity to make a difference and so this shouldn't be scrutinised (something that I have witnessed a lot within the vegan community). In this current period where change needs to happen in order to save the planet, this is a time for encouraging (not forcing) people to look into veganism/being plant-based, rather than attacking those who make small changes rather than the full change. So with this being said, the future of my blog will share recipes, as well as beauty and fashion products as I did before with a focus on the cruelty free/vegan market.


Wednesday, 1 March 2017

For years, I was never a watch person. I think as a child I had a couple of watches with characters on, like Hello Kitty and such, and then as a teen I had one watch and once the batteries ran out, I never went back to it. However, for the past 6 months or so, I've been wearing this Casio Mini Digital every single day.

The reason I like this is because it doesn't look like the classic watch. I have very very small wrists and a lot of watches therefore tend to look bulky and just don't suit me, which also lends to why I chose to buy the 'mini' version rather than the standard size Casio. But this is different. It has a sort of 'old school' vibe to it, and it is also ridiculously simple. The best part is that I got it for about £20, and it still looks almost brand new except the general wear and tear.

It also works really well for me due to the fact it is 'water resistant'. Of course, I'm not going to go swimming with my watch on, but as I work in a café I'm used to a lot of splashing and things and this just means I can still wear it to check the time and not be fretting constantly that it's going to get damaged.

For someone with a personal style similar to mine, I think this watch is such a good purchase, and it isn't exactly breaking the bank either. It's easy to wear, style and is the perfect size too. Perhaps, I'll even get the silver...
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