The clean city of Singapore

Dear Readers,

During my brief visit to Singapore I was taken away by their impressive dedication they have towards maintaining a clean and eco-friendly environment within their ever-growing city.

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They have huge parks, particularly “Gardens by the bay”, which is home to their supertrees and huge glass buildings that house rare species of millions of plants from around the world. These buildings both help with preservation and help raise awareness to their visitors the importance of valuing the rarities of nature.

 

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Inside the cloud forest botantical garden,  home to thousands of plants and the worlds largest indoor waterfall you can walk amongst all the different layers of the canopy, taking in the wonderful  display.  At the end of your journey through the forest you are presented with a short film depicting the worlds future if we continue to live and abuse the world at our current, unsustainable rate. It predicted that by 2080 the world temperature would have increased by 5 degrees- causing plants to be wiped out, sea levels to rise,causing world hunger leading to the potential death of the human race. They presented a raw reality based on scientific research which shocked all of us.

 

SUPERTREES 

These man-made trees are a spectacular sight and encourage the growth of rare plants species which in turn will encourage more wildlife back to the city.

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Veganburg 

IMG_2792.jpgI also visited “Veganburg”- an awesome vegan restaurant in Singapore. This small cafe serves  a variety of vegan burgers and sides. I had their seriously good cracked mayo burger with ‘bacon’ and cheesy garlic chips.  I absolutely recommend making the effort to get there for some of their yummy food 🙂 When I searched on Happy Cow for places to eat over 400 vegetarian and vegan restaurants came up! I was very impressed (And regretful because I didn’t have enough time to visit them all)! Things really are heading in the right direction!

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If more cities, countries and continents start to really prioritise our environment, by raising awareness of the seriousness of our situation, by enforcing proper rules and regulations to prevent further damage, and by supporting our planet- then with some luck our fate in the next 60 years may not be so tragic. Our planet may not last forever but it is certainly in all of our power to prolong its life

I had a wonderful time in Singapore, it was such an inspiring city, no doubt I will be back very soon!

Here’s to a better future, until next time, Charlotte xxxx

 

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Eating vegan in Ubud, Bali

Dear readers,

My time in Bali was predominantly spent in Ubud where my volunteer accommodation was located. I did travel at the weekends but the restaurants I’m going to mention are all in Ubud. I stayed on the outskirts in a small area called Penestanan Kaja, which had few tourists aside from us volunteers. I feel it was able to give me a true sense of what Bali life is really like for the Balinese people!

Vespa

Admittedly I ate a LOT of my meals here considering it was just a few steps from my IMG_2370.jpgaccommodation. Vespa is a cute, small cafe approximately a 30 minute walk from the centre of Ubud (if I remember correctly :p). The cafe boasted a large menu with vegan options. The cuisine ranged from Indian, with their potato or pumpkin dosas, to their Japanese inspired vegan sushi. They also offer simpler dishes such as pasta and their stacked grilled vegetable plate, which you can see in the photo directly below. I was very impressed by the consistent standard of high quality delicious vegan food I was able to eat there. I would definitely recommend it if you get want a change from Balinese or Asian dishes!

 

Yellow Cafe

This gem of a cafe was found tucked away on the hill dividing Ubud centre and Penestanan Kaja. Next door to a yoga retreat this basic, back to nature, relaxed feel to the place made it my favourite of all the cafe’s I visited. Unfortunately, this cafe was not fully vegan but it did have some seriously delicious vegan dishes- like this rice flour crepe topped with chia chocolate, desiccated coconut, bananas, agave maple syrup and strawberries. Totally scrumptious!

 

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I tried their banana and date smoothie as well which tasted like caramel ❤ On another occasion I had their avocado toast without the feta cheese which was so good as they mashed the avocado up and served it with lots of basil and tomato.

 

 

 

Buddha Bowl 

Located nearer the centre of Ubud this restaurant made some delicious stir fried noodles with tofu. They have a predominantly Asian cuisine (particularly Vietnamese), which is nice if you’re trying to avoid the mass of restaurants catering to tourists with their western food. It is not fully vegan but still worth a visit if you’re ever passing by  🙂

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Dayu’s Warung 

The only 100% vegan restaurant I had the pleasure of visiting whilst in Ubud. They serve vegan and raw vegan food here! After glancing at their menu you can see their emphasis on healthy homemade food. They had a large menu with a huge range of dishes. I tried their sweet potato sandwich which was incredibly filling and full of nutrients. By the time I neither me nor my friend could hardly move but it was worth it :p . Unfortunately I completely forgot to take a photo of our dishes but thought I’d mention the restaurant anyways 🙂IMG_2192

Those are all the places I visited in my brief time in Bali. I wish I had had chance to try them all but most of my time was consumed volunteering which is a much more important cause than my stomach…. I suppose 😉

Here’s to a better future, until next time, Charlotte xxxx

 

Creamy garlic and asparagus pasta

Dear Readers,

Following a vegan lifestyle and being allergic to nuts can certainly be tricky at times. The majority of creamy sauces that are dairy free tend to be made from nuts; particularly cashews. Since I am unable to try these sauces, I am eternally grateful for Oatly’s cream! It’s so good and 100% dairy free.

I threw together this dish last night after getting back from a trial work day at Daylesford organic farm shop in Gloucestershire, which is constantly adding more vegan food to their restaurant menu and shop! I’m delighted to say I was offered to the job I applied for 🙂 time to get back to reality now my travels are over!

So back to the dish… here is the recipe!

Serves 2-3 depending on how much pasta you make!

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1 tbsp Coconut Oil

1 packet Oatly cream

2 or 3 Garlic Cloves

1 Onion (sliced)

1 cup Frozen Peas

1 Tin Cannellini beans

1/2 bunch of Asparagus (diced)

Whole-grain Pasta- as much as you like!

Method: Boil water in a deep pan then add the pasta and leave to cook. Meanwhile in a separate pan heat the coconut oil then add the onion, which should be sliced into strips not diced. Leave the onions to brown so they become caramelised then add the garlic and the diced asparagus. Allow the asparagus to cook until tender.  Add the cream bit by bit whilst the asparagus cooks. Then add the beans and peas. Season to taste. Heat until the peas are cooked, then remove them from the heat and add to the drained pasta.

I hope you find this dish as yummy as I did 😀

Here’s to a better future, until next time, Charlotte xxxx

Southeast Asia Vegan style

Dear Readers,

I am officially back from my travels and am ready to share with you the vast range of vegan restaurants I have discovered whilst in Southeast Asia. Admittedly I had around a week in each country so missed out on visiting many of the restaurants but here is a brief overview of the ones I did visit! Unfortunately we struggled to find any vegan places in Laos and so although we visited it, it is not included in the list below.

THAILAND

I only spent a total of 5 days in Thailand which for the most part was spent running around banks trying to sort out my money, after a taking a travel card with me that didn’t actually work in Southeast Asia….not my greatest moment for sure! However I did squeeze in a few visits to vegan restaurants amongst the chaos, which I would highly recommend!

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Chaing Mai-

Vegan Heaven

A large menu full of western vegan food, the menu was so great we had to visit several times…. This was the first place in Southeast Asia I had an english cooked breakfast and the last unfortunately. It was very good featuring ‘bacon’, beans, hash browns, grilled tomatoes and toast. You could also mix it up by adding some of their extras such as tofu scrambled egg or avocado.

Later that day we returned for dinner, we chose their burger and sushi which was made with brown rice since they had run out of white which I actually preferred in the end 🙂 and finished by sharing a waffle topped with ice cream and dark chocolate sauce. The staff were very friendly and were glad to see us back!

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Bangkok- 

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Veganerie Concept

This was my last and best stops throughout the trip! Most likely because I had been missing delicious western vegan deserts which this place was packed with! The bakery is a small chain of 3, which offers a huge range of food from vegan milkshakes and cakes to savoury salads and burgers.

During my visit my boyfriend and I tried their milkshakes, he tried the brownie flavoured concoction whilst I had the mint choc chip. My boyfriend was disappointed with the brownie milkshake, he found it too dark and rich for his tastes but we both agreed mine was delicious!

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This mint choice chip milkshake was divine, my only complaint would be the ‘cream’ was very thick making the drink incredibly filling and rich that I was unable to finish it!!IMG_2159.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

If you’re craving western food and looking for a sweet fix this is the place to go 🙂

 

Ethos

A vegetarian restaurant just off Khao San Road which has a very hippie relaxed vibe to it, with cushions on the floor around low tables and no shoes but don’t worry if thats not your style as they also offer traditional table and chairs too! Their menu is a range of healthy organic western, Indian, Eastern and Thai cuisine. I had their vegan lentil soup which was really tasty whilst my boyfriend tried their strawberry pancakes with coconut cream.

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Broccoli revolution 

I went here for dinner one evening and was delighted by their range of healthy vegan dishes. To start we shared avocado and tomato bruschetta with sunflower seeds and nachos cause why not? It was our last night together for a while. Sorry for the poor quality photos.IMG_2169.jpg

 

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I had their chilli veg bowl which had quinoa, avocado, kidney beans, tomatoes, carrots and sweet potato…YUM. They have a range of veg bowls as well as other main courses such as curries and burgers (all vegan friendly). IMG_2149.jpgIMG_2186.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

VIETNAM

My favourite country I had the pleasure of visiting in Southeast Asia, I spent 11 days here which gave the chance to try plenty of delicious hidden vegan treasures on the way.

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-This yummy stir fry was eaten at Healthy farm in Ho Chi Minh City, district 1. To make the dishes you go a hand pick the ingredients you want from the noodles to the sauce. They also have a couple of set dishes such as their burger and vegan egg. It can be a cheap, tasty place to eat depending on what you pick.

 

 

 

Hoi An-

Karma Waters

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This was a tiny restaurant hidden away on a quiet street in the beautiful Hoi An town in Vietnam. On first impressions we were delighted with their wall covered in inspiring vegan truths and quotes etc. The staff were very friendly and the food was the best I had in Vietnam. The menu consisted of a range of cuisine from vietnamese to indian to western. I ordered their stir fried noodles with tofu and veg. I can hands down say this was the best stir fried noodle and veg dish I had in the month I spent in Southeast Asia! That’s saying something since I lived on this dish most of the time when we were eating out at non vegan restaurants with friends.  The tofu was used to make a creamy sauce which coated the noodles making it super tasty.

My boyfriend had their Indian bean curry which he raved about for weeks afterwards. He said it was perfectly spiced and flavoursome beating all the curries he had had in Southeast Asia!

Hue 

Ngu Ha Garden Vegetarian Restaurant

This place has a beautiful, quiet setting found in the backstreets of Hue. The menu was only in Vietnamese but the owner translated everything for us and was very helpful. He said they were planning on releasing an english menu soon! We had their Guava salad with crispy tofu, red pepper and basil. It was a smart restaurant with lots of local vietnamese customers which was refreshing. We also tried their spring rolls which were so good. Their fried tofu we didn’t enjoy as we found the tofu too squishy and flavourless.

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Hanoi

Minh Chay

IMG_1835.jpgWe went to this restaurant twice whilst in Hanoi, the restaurant served western and vietnamese food. We tried a range of their food including their vegetable kebabs which was yummy 🙂

I tried their pizza once. Whilst I can say I did enjoy most of their food, the pizza was an exception. Not only was it expensive, but it was flavourless and the vegan cheese was bland with a chalk texture. However their noodle soup with mock meat was delicious from their vietnamese menu, I forgot to take a picture of it (sorry).  Overall, we found the menu very hit and miss.

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Jalus

This was my boyfriend’s favourite vegan restaurant of the trip, the owner supports disadvantaged youths in Vietnam. The cafe is very eco-orientated with bamboo straws and wooden eco interior design. Unfortunately I forgot my phone so had to use the awful camera on my boyfriends phone, trust me the food looked better than this!19046762_1311777622203676_156809467_n.jpg

This is their chickpea burger with sweet potato fries. I thought the meal was okay but found it to be a bit dry.

My boyfriend of course had their curry and their brownie which he said was the best he’d ever had.

 

 

CAMBODIA

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Cambodia had the loveliest people who had suffered such great hardship after the genocide that occurred during Pol pot’s regime.

I was terrible at remembering to record the food I managed to record just this one meal. I enjoyed this delicious coconut milk based curry with steamed jasmine rice in Seam Reap but for the life of me cannot remember the restaurant I had it at!

 

 

It was amazing to see how many vegan restaurants their are now, no matter where you are in the world. I have met people who think its impossible to stay vegan whilst travelling countries such as these but I am happy to say ‘I DID IT’, so you can too! And thats the wrap, hope you’ve been inspired to give some of these fab places a visit if you’re ever passing by… 😀

Here’s to a better future, until next time, Charlotte xxxx

 

Avocado Pasta and some exciting news!

Dear Readers,

Yesterday I cooked up a delicious avocado pasta dish which was super easy to make and 100% plant-based of course! I have made it before but I tweaked the recipe this time and was pleasantly surprised with the results.

Here is what you need…

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1 Avocado

1 Garlic clove

5 or 6 Basil Leaves (add to taste)

1 Tbsp Soya Yogurt

1/2 Lemon (juiced)

Seasoning

Organic wholegrain fusilli

Method:

Blend all the ingredients apart from the Pasta. Once the pasta is cooked, drain and stir in the avocado sauce to warm and then serve.

As for my exciting news, I have officially booked to begin travelling as of next Thursday (16th March)! I cant wait to post all about my journey which starts in Dubai, followed by southeast Asia. Then onto volunteering in Bali where I will spend my time teaching children about the environment after which I’m heading to Singapore and Malaysia 🙂

Hope you enjoy the recipe and keep your eye on this blog for updates on my adventures!

Don’t forget to subscribe to my blog through email or simply click the follow button in order not to miss anything…

Here’s to a better future, until next time, Charlotte xxxx

A very vegan christmas

Dear readers

I hope you all had a lovely cruelty free christmas!! I just thought I would share a selection of some of the food I made and bought over christmas.

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Sorry for the lack of posts lately unfortunately I haven’t been very well for the last month or so but I am definitely on my way to recovery now and fully intend to keep regularly posting on my blog during 2017 🙂

That aside here is my vegan christmas…enjoy!

 

 

 

Gingerbread 

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I absolutely love gingerbread and I have a brilliant recipe for it which never fails me. The recipe is not vegan so I have to adapt it and it still turns out perfectly.

The recipe includes molasses, muscavado sugar, plain flour, ginger, mixed spices and cinnamon. I add a blend of coconut and rice milk instead of dairy milk, vegan butter and flax seeds to replace the eggs. And the result was this…

 

Mince pies

I much prefer to make my own mince pies than buy them since I can make them img_0216
just how I like them and they are so easy. This batch of mince pies was made with a thicker sweeter pastry than a lot of mince pies. I used a shortcrust pastry recipe that added sugar to the pastry and as a result created a perfect balance of sweetness to the sharp taste of the mincemeat. I of course had to use vegan butter asa  substitute but thats it 🙂 I was very
pleased with how they turned out!

My christmas dinner

For my actual feast on christmas day I decided to buy once again the Holland and Barrett quinoa and img_0373soya loaf, because it is so delicious. Since I am severely allergic to nuts a nut roast would not be an option and the fake turkey products etc have never appealed to me. This loaf has a thick empty texture that is delicious with homemade vegan gravy which I discovered Jamie Oliver has a good recipe for.

I had roast potatoes, roasted carrots, brussel sprouts, apple sauce and french beans as accompaniments.

Unfortunately I was the only vegan person of the eight people sat at our christmas dinner which is always disheartening but I still had a very lovely christmas! img_0302Wishing you all a happy, healthy and cruelty free new year,

Here’s to the future, until net time, Charlotte xxxx

Vegan cooked breakfast

Dear Readers,

At the weekend I cooked me and my boyfriend my personal take on an english cooked breakfast….vegan style, Its the perfect weekend brunch dish!

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Here is what I chose to include;

2 Vegan Linda Mccartney sausages

1/2 Avocado

1/2 tin Baked Beans

Fried potatoes (use around 3-4 small potatoes per person, slice thinly, lay in a frying pan with small amount of oil and fry until turning crisp and golden brown)

1-2 Slices of toast with vegan butter

I would also include grilled cherry tomatoes or mushrooms but I didn’t have any when I made this dish last.

Who said vegan food is boring? 😀

Heres to a better future, until next time, Charlotte xxxx