I decided that I wanted to go out for the day on Saturday and I wanted to fill it with things that you can't normally do on a work day, because work gets in the way. So I asked Mum (aka Superwoman) if she fancied a day out.
Our first point of call was to the local library, where I found and subsequently hired another vegan cook book that I not seen before, called "Vegan Cookbook - The Essential Guide", by Isobel Hood. It will become my bed time read for the next few days as with all vegan cookbooks. I read them all from cover to cover but rarely follow a recipe. Maybe I should start reviewing the books I've got and post the results here. Problem is I really struggle to follow a recipe, I always manage to steer off course! I did however find another little gem at the library, a book called "The Flavour Thesaurus", by Nicki Segent. It details "pairings, recipes and ideas for the creative cook". Under each food item or ingredient is a summary of that item, including a history of an ingredient through to a description of the flavour, almost like a wine tasting summary. Te book then identifies other foods that compliment the item or ingredient and suggest how the two foods can be combined.
After the library we decided to grab a bite to eat and we visited the Barley Mow which is pretty good for vegans. The pub itself has been there for years and fairly recently was taken over by the chain called Eating Inn. What I like about this particular chain is that they publish the nutritional and allergen information of their website (as do many other companies). The information is broken down by item/ingredient of each dish and whilst no one dish is vegan you can ask for ingredients not to be added and therefore the dish becomes vegan. I chose the Vegetable Fajitas and asked them to not provide the cheese or sour cream, it was a bonus when my food came with extra salsa and guacamole! There are other dishes which can be made vegan on their menu too so no doubt another visit soon will be in order.
After lunch was devoured we visited a nearby garden centre where I managed to pick up a curry plant and a chicory plant for my garden, which had been knocked down to half price. All they needed was a little TLC and they will bounce right back.
Finally we visited a farm shop which had lots of local fruit and vegetable produce, I was in vegan heaven especially when I found out you could pick your own strawberries! I used to pick strawberries as a teenager for some extra pocket money and it was back breaking work, bending over for hours on end. After one summer I remember thinking that I would never eat another strawberry again as long as I live, I'd seen enough of them, every time I blinked I saw strawberries floating by. But today, strawberries are no longer grown on the ground but at shoulder height, no more back ache. I couldn't believe how excited I was at the fact you could pick your own, I was transported back in time and my punnet was filling fast. I had to tell myself to stop as there was only so many strawberries I could eat!
The strawberries were so tasty I couldn't wait to get home and whizz up a smoothie, but I was so full from lunch it had to wait till breakfast the next day.
Strawberry, Banana and Orange Smoothie
Handful of strawberries
Splash of water, if needed
Juice the orange and add the juice to your blender, Add the strawberries, if you have big fruits it may be worth while cutting them up a little, especially if your blender is not that powerfull. Slice your banana and add to the blender, top with the soya yoghurt and a splash of water and blend until smooth. Pour into a glass, add a straw and enjoy.