Arcadia’s rude awakening…

So my daughter (Arcadia, 5 yrs old) has started to notice that Ed and I don’t eat meat, eggs or dairy and is beginning to ask questions.  This shouldn’t be tricky but of course it is because all I want, as a parent, is to be able to answer any questions my children might ask me, as honestly and thoughtfully as I can and with eating animals this is tricky.  For example… here’s yesterday’s conversation:

Arcadia: “Mummy why don’t you eat sausarcadiaages?”

Me: “Because sausages are made from pork which comes from pigs and I don’t want to eat pigs”.

Arcadia: “Sausages don’t come from pigs mummy they come from shops”.

Me: “Yes we buy them from shops but they are made from pigs that have been raised and killed for their meat”.

Arcadia: “But that’s horrible.  Why would people kill pigs?”

Me: “Because they like the taste of sausages”.

Arcadia: “Maybe they don’t know their sausages come from pigs – I think we should tell them.  Or maybe it should say pig on the packet and not sausages and then people would know not to eat them.  I don’t think the school knows that sausages are pig because then people wouldn’t eat them”.

Now why people would choose to kill and eat pigs when they don’t need to is completely flabbergasting to me so how on earth I explain it to a 5 yr old I don’t know.  Because of course it makes entirely no sense to her – as it doesn’t to me. Now I could tell her what my parents told me which was that pigs and cows are here to provide us with food.  I could say that they live long and happy lives on Old Macdonalds farm before one day, after a long and happy life, they wander down the lane to the cosy slaughterhouse and get turned into scrummy sausages for the lovely butchers.  But of course I can’t because we all know this is utter bullshit.  So I am left with trying to tell her the truth, to arm her with the facts so that she can then make up her own mind, without leaving her entirely dumbstruck, appalled and confused because these aren’t things that a 5 yr old should be feeling.  But the facts leave her feeling all of those things.

Luckily there is a Rastafarian boy in her class who is vegetarian and a Hindu girl who doesn’t eat beef and a Jewish boy who doesn’t eat pork and only eats kosher and lots of Muslim children who only eat halal so she can discuss all of their food choices with them and make up her own mind.

Today she told granny that she didn’t want to eat the fish that she’d bought her for lunch because she didn’t want to ‘kill fishes”.  Granny promptly cooked and fed her fish anyway so its clearly going to be a long and bumpy road…

Any advice from parents, teachers, siblings etc who have fielded questions on the subject from curious small people is very welcome!

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Live and Let Live

Have just watched this feature length documentary on veganism and would highly recommend it to everyone, vegan or not.

It examines our relationship with animals, the history of veganism and the ethical, environmental and health reasons that move people to go vegan.
Food scandals, climate change, lifestyle diseases and ethical concerns move more and more people to reconsider eating animals and animal products. From butcher to vegan chef, from factory farmer to farm sanctuary owner – Live and Let Live tells the stories of six individuals who decided to stop consuming animal products for different reasons and shows the impact the decision has had on their lives.
Philosophers such as Peter Singer, Tom Regan and Gary Francione join scientists T. Colin Campbell and Jonathan Balcombe and many others to shed light on the ethical, health and environmental perspectives of veganism.
Through these stories, Live and Let Live showcases the evolution of veganism from its origins in London 1944 to one of the fastest growing lifestyles worldwide, with more and more people realising what’s on their plates matters to animals, the environment and ultimately – themselves.

And it has a lovely soundtrack too…

Easy cheap delicious quick vegan supper!

Tonight’s delicious supper:
Quinoa cooked with bouillon
Chickpeas fried in coconut oil, cumin, paprika and turmeric
Steamed broccoli, edamame beans and baby spinach
Sprinkling of toasted pumpkin and sunflower seeds
Drizzle of oil and season.
Voila.
Super cheap, super tasty, super healthy, super quick, super easy!

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My Vegan Truffle Torte Triumph!

I made this vegan torte last night and have just had a slither and I can safely say it is the best vegan dessert I have ever made and possibly ever tasted.  It’s dead easy to make, looks impressive enough … Continue reading

Top 10 Vegan Pancake Recipes!

Tomorrow is of course Shrove Tuesday, so in case any of you are wondering how on earth you are going to honour such a day without access to eggs, then fear not.  Here are my top ten tried and tested vegan pancake recipes – all of them eggless and still eggcellent!

1. One Ingredient Chef’s Classic Vegan Pancakes  

Vegan Pancakes Syrup

2. Jamie Oliver’s Vegan Blueberry Pancakes

vegan blueberry pancakes

3. Post Punk Kitchen’s ‘Puffy Pillow Pancakes’

Puffy Pillow Pancakes

4. BBC’s ‘Vegan Mushroom and Tomato Pancakes’

Vegan tomato & mushroom pancakes

5. OhSheGlows’ ‘Strawberry Shortcake Stacked Pancakes’

Lemon Strawberry Stacks

 

6. Hungry Curious’ ‘Three Ingredient Vegan Pancakes’  

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7. Vegan Insanity’s ‘Lemon Poppy Seed Pancakes with Blueberry Compote’

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8. Minimalist Baker’s ‘Oreo Cookie Pancakes’  

9.  Deb Gleason’s ‘Chocolate Protein Banana Pancakes’

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10. Why not kill 2 birds with 1 stone and make your loved ones some Valentine’s themed vegan pancakes, with Vegan Woman’s ‘Valentine’s Day Chocolate Chip and Strawberry Pancakes’

Quick fry up…

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Here’s a super quick, easy, cheap and healthy vegan fry up I made this morning to lure everyone out of bed on this fararararareeeeezing February morning.

Garlic mushrooms, plum tomatoes and fresh spinach on toast. Sprinkle some pine nuts, coriander and fresh chilli on top for a bit of zing.

Now we’re ready to face the weekend. Happy weekend all x

Go wild for the Wild Food Cafe

I finally made it to the Wild Food Café in Covent Garden today.  I’ve been meaning to go for months and months and it was well worth the wait.

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It’s tucked away above Neal’s Yard.  It’s cosy (seats about 40 people) but bright and airy.  It’s a really lovely space with the kitchen in full view bang in the middle and you can either sit at the bar that runs all around the kitchen and watch them cooking or at one of the 4 big tables overlooking Neal’s Yard.  Today it was absolutely freezing outside but the sun was pouring in through the large bay windows and it felt like a little haven of friendly, cosy, welcoming, warmth on an Arctic London day.

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It describes itself as a ‘raw-centric food restaurant’ and uses ‘wild, fresh, colourful gourmet ingredients & plant-based (vegan and vegetarian) cuisine’.  The vast majority of the menu is vegan and a lot of it raw.  For anyone who is nervous of the phrase ‘raw vegan’ and presumes they will be faced with a plateful of rabbit food sprinkled with bird feed then fear not – it is astonishing what these guys create and you really don’t even notice that it’s raw.

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I started with their ‘Incredible Green’ super smoothie –  apple, celery, lemon, banana, kale, fresh coconut, fresh aloe vera, fresh irish moss.  It’s £6 which is pretty expensive but it’s almost a meal in itself.  A hearty comforting glass of goodness.

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Then I ordered THE WILD BURGER – scrumtious shiitake, raw olive & dulse burger with in-house cultured Wild Sauce, tomatillo salsa verde, caramelised onions, baba ganoush & crispy gem lettuce in a wholemeal sprouted organic wheatbread(V)(N)(R) £12.  Completely delicious and filling, although not the biggest plate of food for £12.

 

 

Wild Raw Pizza  Ed had the WILD PIZZA SPECIAL – raw, dairy-free young coconut cheeze, wild sea purslane & basil pesto, raw cultured tomato & goji berry marinara, Turkish olives, artichoke hearts, avocado(V)(N)(R) £12.5  This was the star of the show and honestly one of the most delicious meals I have ever had in my life.  It made me want to rush out and buy a dehydrator immediately!  

The desserts looked amazing but we ran out of time sadly – but now I have an excuse to go back as soon as I possibly can…

Raw Chocolate and Berry Tartfig-orange-tart

raw cake

Oh and the waiting staff are really knowledgeable and helpful… and exceedingly attractive which is always always a bonus!

Wild Food Café has a real community feeling about it.  They offer cooking courses, full moon feasts, meditation sessions, gourmet meals with guest chefs etc… Go check it out!

Wild Food Cafe