Try Here: Rabbit Vegan Café

Singing proud as Exeter’s first 100% vegan café, Rabbit is a dream come true for the city’s meat-free lovers. However, this cute little hangout on Well Street is far from being vegan-exclusive, attracting even the most hard-core carnivores to give it a try.

Rabbit aims to show that ditching meat doesn’t have to be boring, and it certainly doesn’t have to be healthy salads all the time! With their menu split between ‘vice’ and ‘virtue’, vice lets you indulge in a quarter pounder ‘cheezeburger’, tofu dogs, or a bowl of mac and ‘cheese’. Whereas virtue offers burrito bowls, tofu toasties and a Moroccan chickpea pie. Whether you want comfort food or delicious and inventive ‘virtuous’ options, this café has you covered.

If that doesn’t excite you, look no further than their Instagram, which posts daily pictures of their incredible home-made cakes and desserts. My mouth is always watering at the sight of their famous tortes in flavours such as chocolate and raspberry, peanut butter and cookie dough, chocolate orange or salted caramel (just to name a few!). If those don’t whet your appetite they also produce cakes and ‘cheezecakes’ with just as many flavour varieties. These 100% vegan desserts taste like the real deal, so indulgent I don’t feel like I am missing out on anything, and I certainly don’t feel like I am being a ‘healthy boring vegan’!

Rabbit is also really good value for money. For instance, we went for their ‘lunch-time meal deal’ priced as £6.95. For the equivalent of an expensive pret lunch, the meal-deal was a large bowl of their soup of the day; (in our case, curried sweet potato and red onion), accompanied by a huge side salad with a dressing of our choice, followed by a slice of any of their delicious cakes, tortes or cheezecakes!

 

Lunch isn’t their only option either, as on Fridays and Saturdays Rabbit now open from 6-9pm as a ‘vegan diner’. Seeing how well the ‘vice’ side of their menu does during their lunchtime service, Rabbit have now opened up for weekend nights filled with indulgent burgers, mouth-watering hotdogs and loaded fries to compete with the real American deal.

So, whether you are a vegan, or a sceptic, go and check this cute little café out, it might just surprise you.

Try This: Super-Easy Sweet Potato Falafels

Falafels. Loved by vegans and meat eaters alike, super versatile, super healthy, and all-round delicious (in my humble, opinion).

Homemade falafels are always that little bit healthier than the shop bought versions. First of all, I’m an advocate of baking rather than frying falafels, it’s healthier, and I think they are easier to add to sandwiches, as they won’t fall apart as much from being too crispy. Other than that, inevitably, homemade falafels means you know exactly what is going in your food and you get the satisfaction that you made your own.

This quick and simple recipe can be easily adapted, sometimes I use roasted butternut squash or roasted peppers instead of sweet potato, or add some fresh chilli for a kick.

Sweet Potato Falafels
Vegan, Gluten-Free

Makes 12

Ingredients:
1 can of chickpeas (drained)
400g of sweet potato (2 ish large ones)
2 garlic cloves (crushed)
1tsp of ground coriander
1tsp of ground cumin
1 tsp of paprika
Salt and pepper

Optional extras 
Plain flour (Sometimes helpful to bind the mixture together).
Chopped coriander, lemon zest, tahini paste or my favourite, some crushed chilli (for extra flavour).

Method:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200
  2. Place the sweet potato in the microwave, on high, for around 8 minutes, flipping half way through or until it is cooked through – you can roast it if you have more time.
  3. Once cooked, remove the flesh.
  4. If you have a food processor, whack the sweet potato and all other ingredients in the food processor and blend until combined. If not, its time for a work out. Place all the ingredients in a bowl and use a potato masher to combine. (If you’re also lacking a potato masher, my boyfriend’s technique of using a good old fork to mash works fine, but as he quickly realised its much easier to pick up one for a £1 in the supermarket!)
  5.  Shape the mixture into balls slightly bigger than a golf ball and place on a baking tray, I sometimes use a muffin tin to keep them in place. Equally you can shape them to look like burger patties if you prefer them to be flatter for wraps, buns and sandwiches.
  6. Place in the oven for 15 minutes, flip and cook for another 15 minutes, or until they have started crisping and turning brown.

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And there you have it, place in sandwiches, wraps, salads, on their own as part of a mezze board or dipped in some hummus as a delicious healthy snack.

 

Try This: Fuss-Free Overnight Oats

For the last year or so I have been OBSESSED with overnight oats. Super quick and easy to prepare, this delicious twist on your morning bowl is basically porridge, but soaked over night to create a creamy, cake-like texture and means when you are in a rush in to get to lectures or work, your breakfast is already sat in the fridge waiting for you to enjoy.

Just like porridge, overnight oats are also super versatile, with a simple base you can adapt and add different flavours and toppings to mix up your mornings and satisfy your tastebuds.

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Overnight Oats – The Base
Serves 5ish – Depends how big you like your portions!

Ingredients  
1 cup/ 100g Porridge oats
1 heaped tbsp Nut butter (Almond, peanut, cashew etc.)
1.5-2 cups / 375-500ml Milk of choice (Almond, coconut, soya, rice etc.)
2-3 tbsp Chia seeds
2 tbsp Honey/maple syrup
1/2 cup / 125ml Any thick yoghurt- (Optional, it makes it thicker and creamier but if you’re on a budget its not an issue to skip!)
1 tbsp Vanilla extract (also optional, I literally never have this at uni but it’s nice if you do)
Pinch of salt

Method:
1. Place all ingredients in a bowl and whisk until combined
2. Add more milk depending on how thick you want your oats
3. Place in any sort of jar/container/tupperware and whack it in the fridge. Its best left over night but if you can’t wait that long and fancy it for dessert after dinner, around 2 hours should give it time to set enough!

 

 

At uni I put mine in a big tupperware container and take out as much as I fancy in the morning, but alternatively to give yourself even more time you can portion them out into individual pots. That way you can also make lots of different flavours or add your toppings before so you don’t even have to think!

Variations:
You can do SO much with overnight oats to tailor to your individual tastes.

Toppings:
First off, you can change your toppings every day, my choice is normally a banana, or a handful of raspberries and blueberries. But you can also add granola for some crunch, seeds, nuts, coconut flakes and literally any fruit that you can get your hands on.
Top tip: I can’t afford too much fresh fruit at uni so I buy bags of frozen raspberries and then defrost a handful in the microwave for 30 seconds.

 

 

Flavouring:
The easiest way to mix it up is to use a different nut butter or different kind of milk to give you that variation in your life so you don’t get bored, but the ‘world is your porridge-oat’ in terms of stepping up your flavour game. My all time favourite is adding a spoonful of cacao powder (or just regular chocolate powder), and tadahh you have chocolate overnight oats! Add banana and you’re looking at banana, chocolate and peanut butter oats, the perfect combo. Add grated carrot, cinnamon and chopped nuts to get a carrot cake flavour for a morning ‘treat’, or go one step further by having cheesecake for breakfast by adding cream cheese, some lemon zest and then your choice of fruit! For any protein fiends out there, you can also get your fix, add a scoop full of your favourite protein powder and you have super-charged your morning oats with minimal effort.

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So fill your boots, (or your fridge), with delicious, fuss free overnight oats to get you going faster in the morning and see you through till lunchtime!

 

Try This: 2-Minute Vegan Pancakes

So, pancake day is literally almost over and I’ve decided to add to the noise a little too late and give you my recipe, why? Because part of being an adult is realising that you can make pancakes any day of the year!

This recipe is completely fuss free, takes two minutes, vegan friendly, and tastes like heaven on a plate. Now I maintain the real heroes and make-or-break parts of the humble pancake are the toppings, so really, a pancake is what you make it. But it helps to have a good base.

A lot of vegan recipes for pancakes use banana instead of egg, which I personally really like, but I know it’s not for everyone, so I’ve gone for banana-free ones to satisfy all – but if you want, feel free to change the nut butter for banana, or chia seeds etc.

Go crazy and add some broken up dark chocolate or blueberries like I did to pimp-up your pancake, and marvel at how easy and stress free it can be!

2-minute vegan pancakes
(Serves: Literally depends on how greedy you’re feeling, I ate it all, but I went into a food coma, it made about 6 ish pancakes!)

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Ingredients:

150g (1 cup) plain flour
2 tbsp caster sugar
2tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 heaped tbsp nut butter of choice
1 tsp oil (vegetable, melted coconut, whichever you prefer) – plus extra for frying!
300ml almond milk (or milk alternative of choice)
Toppings/ additions of choice (go crazy)

Method:

  1. Sift (or don’t, I didn’t because 1) I don’t own a sieve at uni 2) who really has time for that) all of the dry ingredients together in a bowl
  2. Mix the nut butter and oil together and then add to the dry ingredients
  3. Add the almond milk and whisk until combined
  4. Add in any additional flavours (I’ve chosen some dark chocolate and blueberries)
  5. On a medium/high heat add a little oil, enough to lightly cover the pan, once hot, pour in your batter to whatever size you want
  6. Once the pancake is coming away at the sides, is producing some bubbles and looks brown on the bottom, flip and cook on the other side (or try your best pancake-tossing tricks!)
  7. Remove from heat, get your pancake decorating on and enjoy!

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From the pictures you can also tell I went a bit ott… to the point you can’t really see the pancakes! So, feel free to indulge as little or as much (as much is encouraged) as you want!

5 Eco-Conscious Brands To Watch

Making more ethical and eco-conscious choices has been something I have been working on and becoming more aware of over the last two years. Simple things such as making more ethical food choices, being more conscious of the amount of food waste and general waste I produce, and working to reduce my plastic usage.

It seems that the world has also started to take note, more and more big name brands and small independent companies are priding themselves on producing ethical products or managing their waste more effectively.

This post is a shout out to a few brands and companies doing their bit to help the planet, whilst also producing some amazing products!

Toast (Beer) 

Beer lovers rejoice! You can now drink to your hearts content whilst also supporting the reduction of food waste. With the realisation that 44% of bread is wasted, Toast made it their mission to produce an ale using unsold loaves from bakeries and unused crusts from sandwich makers. In every bottle there is a slice of surplus bread – and better still, ALL of their profits are given to the charity Feedback to help tackle food waste.

So far they have saved over 6000 kilograms of bread, and are a fast growing and pioneering brand of conscious living. Their hierarchy in dealing with the surplus bread is Reduce, Redistribute, Brew, meaning that even before they use the bread to make their beer, they try to see if what they have collected is suitable to give to food redistribution charities first.

http://www.toastale.com/

Bees Wax Wraps 

Having only just discovered this company, I am now SO excited to share what Carly and Fran do. Everyone has at least one roll of cling-film or tin-foil in their home, constantly wrapping sandwiches, trying to preserve last nights leftovers can produce a lot of unnecessary plastic use. Enter handmade brand, Bees Wax Wraps, 100% natural made from cotton, bees wax, pine resin and jojoba oil, these wraps act in the same way as regular cling-film. Place over a bowl or wrap round a sandwich and the heat from your hands helps mould the wrap and makes it seal.

But wait for the best part, they are completely reusable AND biodegradable. Once you have used a wrap, you can give it a wash in some cold water and soap and its good to go again, and after a month stick them in the oven to re pasteurise and its like they’re brand new! I am definitely looking at investing in a few, and with such beautiful and funky colours, lunch will never be boring again!

https://www.beeswaxwraps.co.uk/

Pela

If you own a phone and admit to being as clumsy as me (or just don’t want to take the risk with your £400 phone) you will inevitably own a case, and like most of the population, it will probably be plastic. Traditional cases are made with a lot of plastic which contain toxins and are chucked away once we get bored of the design, meaning they sit in the ground or ocean for potentially thousands of years.

Pela have created a set of phone cases which not only protect your precious phone, but is also 100% compostable, BPA free and non-toxic, so you can save the world even when you’re taking a selfie.

https://pelacase.com/

Antibad

A friend I used to go to college with has been interning for this brand for a while and if you are a fashion lover, this is the place for you. Antibad are an online store and magazine which brings together sustainable clothing and accessories to challenge fast paced fashion and promote that sustainability can also be stylish.

From vegan bags to bamboo bras there is something for everyone. The website launches on October 1st so keep an eye on their social media and sign-up to their newsletter for offers and information.

http://antibadstore.com/

Chilly’s

The pinnacle of plastic use and waste comes in the form of plastic bottles. America throw away over 35 billion plastic water bottles every year. It is a huge waste of plastic, super damaging to the environment, not to mention it actually costs us lots of money. Chilly’s is a water bottle brand which aims to reduce single-use plastic bottles with their stainless steel ones.

The bottle is expertly designed to keep your drinks cool for up to 24 hours and hot for 12. With so many beautiful and stylish designs, you will want to be seen with this bottle, let alone that you’ll have that warm fuzzy feeling that you are saving the planet while you hydrate.

https://www.chillysbottles.com/

There are so many more wonderful brands out there but here was just a handful for you to check out if you want to do your bit for the world, enjoy!

Naughty but Nice: Chickpea-Chocolate Mousse

The bank holiday has ended, Easter is now a distant memory, and if you are anything like me, you may have indulged in the chocolate and wine just that little too much. Easter is quite often the time for a revival of new-years resolutions where people get a little disgusted (and impressed) with how much food their body can consume and decide to hit the gym and cut the crap again.

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But let’s be honest, it is really hard to resist over-indulging every now and again. And so to reconcile myself (and maybe give some of you some inspiration in the process) I have tried and tested some delicious recipes which not only taste oh-so-good and a little bit indulgent, but actually are oh-so-good for you! So here is your first ‘serving’:

Chickpea-Chocolate Mousse

Okay so bare with me – chickpeas, in chocolate mousse? I thought the same, just to weird you out more, on top of that, you don’t actually use the chickpeas, you use the water they’re soaked in, (the technical name for it, I have now learnt is ‘aquafaba’). But after some scepticism I decided to experiment, and these are the real deal. What’s best is the recipe only calls for 3 ingredients, making this treat gluten free, and vegan, (dependant on the chocolate you use), but I only used cheap dark chocolate from Lidi’s and turns out it was vegan anyway!

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I can 100% tell you it is very hard to make a can of chickpeas look ascetically pleasing, and I felt sad enough I was having a photoshoot with a can of legumes…

The chickpea water is packed with protein and everyone knows dark chocolate is full of antioxidants, making this chocolate mousse practically saint-like. Bonus – I kid you not, no one can tell the difference between these and regular homemade chocolate mousse. Believe me, my brother is a sniffer-dog for anything out of the ordinary and healthy and even he couldn’t tell the difference and loved them!

Chickpea-Chocolate Mousse:
Vegan, Gluten-free

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

1 can of chickpeas (only need the water)
120g dark chocolate (roughly chopped)
2 tbsp maple surup (or agave/ coconut syrup)
1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)

Method:

  1. Melt the chocolate in a bowl which is sat over a pan of simmering water (make sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water)
  2. Add the vanilla extract and maple syrup and leave to cool slightly whilst you do the next step
  3. Use an electric whisk or blender to mix the chickpea water until stiff peaks form and the mixture is fluffy and white in texture (this step is basically the same as if you would whisk up eggs) – you can hand whisk but you will be mixing for quite a while!
  4. Gently fold the chocolate into the chickpea mixture with a spatula until all is combined
  5. Pour out into bowls/ ramekins and leave to set in the fridge for 30-60 mins (but the longer you leave it the better set it will be).18109902_1470102309708150_478748715_o.jpg

Top with some raspberries or strawberries to balance out the sweetness, and there you have it! Quick and easy, protein packed chocolate mousse. Once you get over the fact you’re using chickpeas and try it, it’s a complete game-changer – and means you have use for something you would usually just chuck down the sink!

Much Love x

A Year in a List

Yes, I am fully aware it is March and not the 1st of January or even the middle of January anymore, and while I am a strong believer in having a good starting point, I also believe that change and challenges can be started at any time. Hence, this list.

I was really struggling for my next blog post already until I realised a few things,

  1. I love lists
  2. I love to challenge myself
  3. There were a lot of things I wanted to do/ change in this next year

I have been punishing myself about my weight and fitness for a while, and every other day I am dreaming about adventures  or things I want to do and so, I have created a list. Between the date today (March 7th 2016) and a year from now (March 7th 2017) I aim to complete as many things on this list as possible.

It’s not a massive list, and I imagine not even very interesting to you out there – but here it is. I’ll blog about each thing as I complete it, and update this page when they are completed.

But for now here it is – let me know if you have a list which is similar, or want to share different things on yours to make me feel like I’m not the only one trying to get their shit together!

Health and Fitness:
  • Be able to run a 5K
  • Be able to run a 10K
  • Up my yoga fitness and strength
  • Master the head/hand stand
  • Complete a 30 day squat challenge
  • Be able to do 5 chin ups
  • Do a colour run
  • Complete a 30 day ab challenge

Photo on 07-03-2016 at 12.32

Blogging and Social Media: 

  • Update blog at least every 3 weeks – (I know that isn’t a lot, but with uni deadlines all the time, it is more realistic)
  • Get total views to 1000 – (again, not a lot, but I am a tiny beginner blog, so any views are good views)
  • Write a blog post that gets over 20 likes
  • Blog about each thing I tick off the list

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Travel: 
  • Visit 3 different countries
  • Visit every main beach in the area I live
  • Take a spontaneous day trip to somewhere in the UK
  • Go to a Christmas market somewhere else in the UK
  • Visit winter wonderland in London
  • Visit Joe/Matt at uni

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Getting Organised/ Work/ Uni:
  • Learn to do leaves on coffees at work
  • Start learning to drive
  • Write more for the student paper
  • Have something published in the physical paper
  • Have my phone sorted and fixed  29/03/16 (I won’t blog about this as it is highly uninteresting to me and to you – but in summary it was a nightmare I wish to never repeat) 
  • Complete my first year of uni with over 60%
  • Save £2000 from working the summer

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Personal: 
  • Be up to see a sunrise in the UK
  • Be up to see the sunrise in Costa Rica
  • Do something for charity (or at least apply to)
  • Give blood
  • Read 15 books for fun – (This does not sound like a lot, but when studying for a history degree, I don’t have a lot of time to read ‘normal’ books)
  • Buy a new practical coat which I will actually wear

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Food:
  • Make my own hummus
  • Try a week being Vegan
  • Try a week being Gluten free
  • Create a book of recipes i make all in one place
  • Try proper sushi
  • No Dominos for a month – (I am a student, Dominos deliver till 5am, I drink, it’s a lot harder than it sounds)

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Much Love x

3 Delicious Avocado Recipes

Avocados, lets just appreciate that they are simply delicious, nutritious and as it turns out, super versatile. So if you are a lover of this little green fruit of goodness but do not know quite what to do with them, or you are simply bored of your avocado and want some inspiration, here are a few ideas to satisfy your taste-buds…

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Baked Egg and Avocado

I discovered this beautiful combination a few weeks ago and never looked back. This recipe is perfect as an afternoon snack, or breakfast, it is packed with protein thanks to the eggs and satisfies those avocado cravings.

Ingredients:

1 Avocado
2 Eggs
Pinch of Salt and Pepper
Sprinkle of Paprika (optional)

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to around 200 °. Halve the avocado and remove the stone, then carve out a third of the flesh so it makes a bigger hole in the middle (big enough for an egg).
  • Then crack the eggs in the middle of the avocado – note you might want to use a small egg as when I first tried it with a large, white went all over the sides!
  • Then simply season as required, I add a bit of paprika to mine for a nice kick but you could always add a few dried herbs for a different taste.
  • All that’s left is to pop in the oven for around 15-20 minutes (If you prefer your yolk to be a bit runnier, try cooking for only 10-15) and enjoy!

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Smoothies

This is not so much a recipe as it is a tip, avocado in smoothies is revolutionary. While it does not add much more to the taste (the other ingredients do that), the avocado makes any smoothie thick and creamy without having to add unhealthy alternatives such as yoghurt or milk. Here is a recipe you could try…

Ingredients:

½ Avocado
Handful of frozen mango
Handful of leafy greens (spinach or kale works best)
1 banana
Squeeze of honey
Water

Method

Blend the leafy greens with the water for the base. Add all the other ingredients, blend again and bask in how healthy you look without compromising on taste.

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Avocado Chocolate Mousse

For those of you who have a bit of a sweet tooth, here is something a little more indulgent, and lets all agree it can count towards our five-a-day, probably. Now this serves 6 so adjust accordingly, or don’t, I would quite happily eat it all in one sitting.

Ingredients:

150g dark chocolate
2 large avocados
2 tbsp coca powder
2 tsp vanilla extract/ vanilla paste
3 tbsp maple syrup
160g coconut cream

Method

  • Place a bowl over a pan of simmering water, break the chocolate into the bowl, allow to melt and then set aside to cool.
  • While it is melting halve and stone the avocados and scoop the flesh in to a food processor or blender
  • Add the remaining ingredients and blend for a few seconds
  • Pour in the cooled chocolate and blend again until smooth
  • Divide the mixture into six small bowls and then chill for at least 30 minutes and enjoy!

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AGAIN – MASSIVE DISCLAIMER ABOUT THE AWFUL LACK OF POSTS, I HAVE A MILLION AND ONE ESSAYS DUE (2 OF WHICH I SHOULD BE DOING RIGHT NOW) 7 DOWN 6 TO GO!

Much Love x