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

Bali, Beautiful but damaged

Dear Readers,

During my travels I spent 3 weeks volunteering in bali, a beautiful island in Indonesia. I had a wonderful time there exploring the natural beauty the island has to offer, meeting another like-minded vegan girl who joined me in teaching Indonesian children about caring for the environment.

 

 

Discovering secret waterfalls, watching monkey’s in their natural habitat and climbing barefoot through a hidden canyon were just a few of my favourite moments. Its safe to say Bali was my favourite country I visited in the 3 months I was away.

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Bali, although beautiful, is undergoing an environmental crisis. Little do most people know that this small island contains the 2nd highest amount of plastic waste in the world after china. With respiratory illness being listed as the number one killer. The pollution has been a result of the growing tourism, lack of education to the local people and the amount of rubbish that washes up during the rainy season.

Originally banana leaves were used as packaging by the local people, but as times developed and through tourist influence of their culture, the use of plastic bags took over from the previously used leaves. Local people would originally throw their banana leaves to the ground once used, as these would biodegrade and therefore would not be a problem. Unfortunately Local people still keep up this habit, but this time it’s plastic bags being tossed away. This has resulted in rubbish everywhere on the streets.

Bali is overflowing with rubbish, particularly in the built up touristic area Kuta, which I had the unfortunate experiencing of visiting for a night when there was a mix up with our hotels. Needless to say it wasn’t a highlight. 

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Just teaching the children highlighted the huge issue with lack of awareness amongst the locals. When presented with these photographs (we found online) of the devastation in Bali (see below the photos I showed to the children) the children immediately denied it, claiming we were wrong, it could not be Bali.

There is no awareness of recycling or the damage plastic does to the environment. Such as releasing dangerous toxins into the air or killing sea life. Nobody understands that it won’t just disappear, its there for the long run.

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The time spent with the children was trying and difficult, having to start from square on. We had to start by teaching them simply why we need the environment, before we could even touch upon how rubbish damages it or what we can do to solve the crisis. Unfortunately, the children did not seem to appreciate the seriousness of the situation; continuing to throw their plastic trash around the school and damaging the surrounding area. It was an eye-opening experience. I now understand just how bad the situation has become in this beautiful island.

Nevertheless I throughouly enjoyed my stay ❤

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I will be writing soon about the restaurants I discovered whilst there so stay tuned!

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.

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

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. 

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. I apologise for the quality of the food pictures below in advance, not sure how I managed it!  The kebab was yummy however 🙂

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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!

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Beauty products I use

Dear Readers,

I thought I would give you a full tour of the natural beauty products I choose to use. All the products are suitable for vegans and I aim to put the least amount of chemicals on my skin as possible.

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After starting my new job with Miss Organics where I write frequent blog posts on the danger of chemicals and the benefits of natural, organic skincare I am constantly becoming more aware of the ingredients in my products. Instead of just focusing on whether they are vegan suitable or not.

So here is what I use;


Hair care

Kind natured, Shampoo

This shampoo is certified for vegans and made from 97% natural ingredients. Its free from sulfates, parabens and  petrochemicals. Both the shampoo and conditioner are designed for curly hair and I have been very impressed with how my curls have

Kind natured, Conditioner

IMG_1004.jpgThe conditioner is moisturising and helps detangle and reshape my curls really well.

Hair gel by Shea moisture

This hair gel is made with a base of coconut oil, shea butter, agave nectar and flax seed oil. The gel includes certified organic ingredients and again is free from parabens, sulfates and synthetic colours and scents.  You only need a small amount and it really helps sustain my curls after being washed for several days 🙂

Kind natured, Detangler

My hair has been really knotty lately so when I saw this detangled next to the shampoo and conditioner on the shelf I decided to give it a try. It says for kids but it works just as well on my hair! Its scented tutti fruitti and so far I am pleased with it.

 

Body care

Raw organic coconut oil 

I use this for moisturising, applying it to damp skin after a shower to retain the moisture left on my skin from the water. I love how natural this product is and it never fails to keep my skin supple.

Lavender scented dead sea bath salts made by totally natural skincare 

Again these lavender bath salts are so natural, containing 21 minerals and lavender essential oil. I find using these salts so relaxing and soothing for my skin.

Lush coffee scrub

I use this 2-3 times a week as a face exfoliator. Made from predominately roasted cocoa extract, vetivert and coriander oil. I leave it on my skin for 15 minutes and then gently remove from my face using circular motions.

Skin care

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Botanics Organic cotton pads

Tropic Bamboo face cloth 

Body Shop Vitamin E face cleanser

Unlike
the cleansers I have tried this does not leave my face feeling dry and tight or break me out in spots. I have been using it for nearly a year and love it

Body shop Vitamin E toner
I never used to use a toner but I decided to try it out. I only use a toner when I am removing makeup and notice it makes such a difference to making sure all my make up is removed properly and  leaves my skin feeling much cleaner. I would now never skip this step out when removing makeup!

Tea Tree Oil

I only use this on occasion to fight any unwelcome spots that may appear overnight. I have been using it for many years and wouldn’t switch it for anything else!

Lush coffee scrub

 I hope you enjoyed a brief look at my beauty products and hopefully you feel inspired to try some of them out! I cant stress enough how important it is to avoid chemicals as much as possible and focus on cruelty free, natural products!

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

My new vegan Job!

Dear Readers,

I have been meaning to update you all for a while on my latest job! Since the beginning of this month I have started working as a business development and marketing intern for Miss Organics.

Miss organics is a natural, organic, vegan skincare company who sell a range of facial and body oils as well as lip balms. The face and body oils combine a variation of plant based oils such as jojoba oil and rosehip oil into one product, rather than using just one oil. Meaning your skin receives benefits from a range of oils all at once. Having a high concentration of just one oil such as coconut oil, which many people including myself often use alone results in slow absorption rate, whilst a combination creates a fast drying effect. Therefore if you are a fan of using oil as a moisturiser these products are perfect since they give you the benefits of using an oil based moisturiser without the slow absorption and often greasy residue that can otherwise occur.

Their products are beautifully packaged in sustainable glass bottles and pots and are enhanced with vitamins and essential oils. Anna, the owner, is a vegan herself and I love working for a company whose ethos I fully believe in.

So far I have accompanied miss organics to the vegan life event in London on the 7th/8th January this month which was brilliant and well attended. Currently I am helping to write frequent blog posts for the company which I am not only enjoying but learning a lot about skincare!

If you haven’t heard of Miss Organics and are looking for a new skincare routine I would defiantly check out their website at https://missorganics.co.uk .

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