Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Jack in the Veg Box

Jackfruit seems to be taking over the vegan meat substitute world these days, with one national supermarket even stocking a prepackaged Sweet and Smoky BBQ Pulled Jackfruit and BBQ jackfruit sandwiches popping up on many a vegan restaurant menu now.

Back in 2002 we were in Southern India and frequently bought fruit from the local ladies for a healthy breakfast.  Our most gregarious and therefore successful seller/buyer relationship was with Lily.  Her small stature and flashing white smile belied the demon businesswoman she was.  She would have given Alan Sugar a run for his money for sure.  One day she said she would get us some jackfruit, something she didn't have as regular 'stock'.  True to her word she did and the three of us sat down on the beach to share and devour this huge fruit.  That was an example of how good a saleswoman she was; we bought it and we all shared it!  Not that we begrudged it in the very least, especially as the prices she charged were not only cheap but also far from ripping off the local tourists (but maybe we got mates rates?!).  Either way we were more than happy to 'buy local' and get the enigmatic smile of Lily thrown in for free.  

To us back then jackfruit was just a tasty tropical fruit.  Who would have thought all these years later that it would have become such a vegan staple.  I wonder what Lily would make of all that now?  You don't see fresh jackfruit much around these parts due to its size and tropical origins, but it is becoming widely available in tins.  We've even seen tins of organic jackfruit recently, and the price can vary considerably.  If you have a local 'world foods' type store nearby, they will be sure to have some.

The most familiar guise of jackfruit in the vegan world today seems to be in BBQ pulled jackfruit sandwiches but it is equally suitable for many other dishes such as creamy curries, Mexican tacos, or Chinese inspired stir fries.  We've recently been taking the BBQ jackfruit idea and adding it to the top of pizzas.  With our friend from Vegan Laptop Lunchbox coming round for a natter and showering us in jackfruit gifts, we've had plenty to experiment with too.

So as tasty as a pulled jackfruit sandwich might be, there are many more options to explore with this versatile fruit.  This Vegan Food and Living page is a great place to start but any web search will turn up a multitude of options too.  It's time to think outside the jackfruit box!

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Wave Energy and Vitamin FA

Much is spoken about the nutritional value of food and lifestyle choices these days.  We should or shouldn't eat this or that, we should take this or that supplement, we should or shouldn't do this or that thing.  Whatever.  Undoubtedly though there are a couple of things that us vegans should be considering, as good as our diets may be.  

Some of you may get your vegan health essentials in other ways equally as valuable to body and mind, but for us we couldn't live without our Cornish Wave Energy.  There just seems to be such an energising and soothing feeling when you take the time to watch those waves roll in, or in Phil's case, ride them in.  Perhaps that is one of the main reasons many people head to the coast for holidays. 

Vitamin FA may be one vitamin that is not talked about too much in the medical journals and for good reason.  The pharma business surely would not want you to know about such essential nutritional values as it is totally free and of no monetary value to any big business venture.  It is super important though.  Vitamin FA is indeed Fresh Air.  Okay, so fresh air isn't an actual vitamin but its health benefits are very real, along with the very real and beneficial ability to grab some essential Vitamin D from being outdoors.  

Put Wave Energy and Vitamin FA together and you 'double your money' as it seems that these wonderful things called negative ions (which seem misnamed if you ask me) are in their highest concentration around moving water.  Scientific research claims that negative ions can reduce fatigue, depression, seasonal affective disorder and colds; amongst other debilitating mental and physical symptoms.

How many of us get a good dose of fresh air and daylight on a regular basis, especially at this time of year?  I know that, with all the inclement weather we have recently been experiencing, I feel I haven't been getting enough fresh air and daylight and the messy sea offerings haven't exactly given Phil much chance to recharge his wave energy.  

With this in mind therefore, at any opportunity to 'get out there', we will.  Phil has managed a couple of surfs here and there the last week and we have both been out stomping our home patch when the rain stops falling and the wind stops blowing sand sideways into our faces.  Physically it felt great and, with beautiful waves to gaze at, seals, choughs and oyster catchers to observe and wonder at, it was more than a breath of fresh air.  Mentally it allowed us to clear away some of those winter cobwebs of the mind and peer through to the not so distant spring.  

For details on stockists of Vitamin FA®, Wave Energy® and Negative Ions®, follow the link* to the outside world.  

* PS. There is no link.  Just step away from the computer, open the door and go outside!  It isn't Trade Marked and doesn't cost a thing!

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Jo's Vegan Nosh

If there is one book you should get this Veganuary it's Jo's Vegan Nosh. On the merits of the tasty, comforting but predominantly simple vegan recipes it contains alone it is a must (and actually a very cheap buy at just £5).  However there is more to it than that. 

Jo's Vegan Nosh is a collection of recipes devised by Jo or donated to Jo by friends and family over the years and now collated in her memory.  All the proceeds from the sale go to organisations helping animals and the Penny Brohn Cancer Support charity.  Some of you may have known Jo as Jo Badger or her real name, Joanna Robertson.  She sadly died of cancer in 2013 at the young age of 36.  Regardless of whether you knew Jo or not you should know that this book represents a small part of what she was about, and how many people knew and loved her.  I can vouch for that as I spent time with Jo many years ago 'in the field' and although we moved in separate directions, her east and me west, and lost touch, I will always remember the sheer determination, energy, love, dedication, braveness and compassion Jo showed to whomever and whatever, furry or not, crossed her path. 

This book is a treasure to me now and every time I cook a recipe from it I will think of Jo.  I bought copies for a couple of mutual friends too as I know they will treasure it also.  

If you knew Jo you will either have already bought this book or upon reading this I'm sure you will now.  If you didn't know Jo, please do buy a copy anyway as the likes of Jo don't come along that much and her legacy is something definitely worth supporting.  The recipes are damn tasty too.

You can buy copies from either the Viva! online shop, Animal Aid's online shop, from Ebay or for an increasing list of stockists around the country and more information visit Jo's Vegan Nosh Facebook page.

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Giving It Some Welly

I know, I know, the festive season is over so why am I putting this post up?  Well, we don't need Christmas as an excuse to have a good nosh up and we do love our roasts regardless of the season.  

I happened across this festive recipe on line for Portabello Mushroom Wellington before Christmas (the video below popped up on my Facebook feed) and I fully intended to make it for Christmas dinner but then we happened upon a Tofurky roast and succumbed.  Instead I made this for New Year's Day dinner and it was lovely, especially so as the chestnuts we used were foraged ones that we had previously cooked up and squirrelled away in the freezer.  It makes enough to feed a few Phil's so we have leftovers to enjoy too (another excuse for a roast tonight me thinks!).

So Christmas may be over but that is no excuse to not enjoy some wonderful filling winter warmers like this one!  We highly recommend it.