Thursday, 26 September 2013

Thankful Thursday - Vegan Swap Box & Moussaka

It's Thankful Thursday again and the last one of Vegan Mofo, so I thought it was appropriate to do a post on my fantastic Vegan Swap Box I received earlier this month from Heather. 

It was A-M-A-ZING! It was full of vegan goodies which I'm working my way through. If you've not heard about the vegan swap box before take a trip over to To Happy Vegans who organise the whole thing (unfortunately for UK residents only, but I have heard there is other swap boxes organised in other countries). Every month you are assigned a partner to send a parcel of vegan goodies to and in return you receive your own parcel of vegan goodies. It's really good fun and every month you get a parcel to open up and the contents are a complete surprise! Try it and see what you get.

I was lucky enough to get Heather again this month, Heather sent me my last parcel in July (I didn't participate in the August swap box as we were on holiday). Funny enough I got the same person to send to as I did in July, Michaela from Miss Chaela Boo. I'll let you know what I sent to Michaela in tomorrows post.

Don't worry there's a recipe of sorts too! But first here is what Heather sent to me:
  • Co-op After Dinner Mint Thins
  • Sweet Freedom Choc Shot
  • Yu! Jus Fruit Mango
  • Hapiness is Homemade Organic Desiccated Coconut
  • Naked Noodle - Sweet & Sour Flavour
  • Cooks Coatings for Roasties
  • Pureety Gourmet Tangy Tomato, Black Pepper & Thyme Marinade
  • Itsu Miso Soups x 3
  • Jamie Oliver Pink Himalayan Salt
  • Greenfields Ras Al Hanout
  • Tyrrells Habas Fritas - Fried Broad Beans! YAY more beans!
As you can see a real good selection of vegan goodies, aren't I the lucky girl! I was chuffed to bits with the parcel including something bean like and I've used some of these on top of my leek and runner bean soup as croutons! Yummy!

I've never tried pink himalayan salt before, I know, I know where have I been! That's what I love about the vegan swap boxes you get to try stuff you've never had before. The Naked Noodles were enjoyed for lunch at work and I was pleasantly surprised with them. I've tried Sainsbury's own brand of something similar and I was bitterly disappointed with their version. I shall look out for the Naked Noodle brand as it's good to have as a standby lunch at work when you've forgotten to bring your own packed lunch!

I've not yet tried the miso soup, again this is a brand I've not seen before, but I love miso soup! I've not yet tried the roasties coatings either and I'm thinking maybe this Sunday, I'll try it out on my family. I think the marinade will be fabulous over tofu and can't wait to try this. I'm also thinking of making a bean tagine to use the ras al hanout, I have so many ideas and not enough time! 

The Co-op Mint Thins were a lovely surprise! It's my sisters birthday on Saturday and we're all going to Mum & Dads on Sunday for lunch so the Mint Thins can be enjoyed by all, I'll make sure I get my fair share though! Heather told me that she's addicted to the Choc shot and every time she goes into the kitchen she eats a teaspoon of it. Well Heather, I'm addicted now too! I've not had chance to use it on anything and I've been doing as you do and sneaking a teaspoon of the gooey chocolate sauce every time I make a cup of tea! I've not seen this before so I'm hunting it down, drop me a line and tell me where you get yours from.

The mango pieces didn't last long either they were gone the day after I received the parcel and enjoyed as a work snack. I'm planning to do some baking once Vegan Mofo is finished and the desiccated coconut will be used then.

All in all I think you'll agree and absolutely fabulous vegan swap box! Thanks Heather I love it!

You'll note that I mentioned that I'll also share a recipe (of sorts) with you today and I'm using some left over from yesterdays meal. As I have no freezer and I'm the only vegan in this household (although Marco is heading that way, he loves his veggies) I only made one portion of the aubergine and bean rolls which meant I had a lot of the aubergine, mushroom and butter bean filling left. I also still had some of the sweet potato "cheese" sauce left over so I put my thinking cap on and decided there was only one thing for it a moussaka.

All I did was slice up another aubergine, yes I bought another one! This is progress! Give an oven proof dish a quick spray of olive oil and add a layer of aubergine slices. Top with some of the aubergine, mushroom and butter bean filling and repeat finishing with a third layer of aubergine slices. Top with a layer of the sweet potato "cheese" sauce and then a layer of thinly sliced potatoes. Finish with another layer of the sauce and bake in a pre-heated oven for 30-40 minutes until the potatoes are soft.

I served mine with chips (naughty I know) and peas, and I must admit I thoroughly enjoyed it. I even went back for another taste as I couldn't believe how good it tasted. I will make this time and time again, its that good!

Apologies for the photo, it doesn't do the dish justice at all, but I was way too hungry and way too excited to try the moussaka, to faff around with photographing it! 

In other news, my sister won a cake decorating competition today! Yay! Go sis! I shall ask her if I can publish a photo of the cake and share it with you all. It was fantastic and shaped like a watering can, yep 3D and all!


  1. Thanks for the lovely write up! You can pick up the choc shot at Tesco. I've not bought another bottle as I'm a bit addicted, and can't trust myself with one in my cupboard! ;0D Love Heather x

    1. Oh that's dangerous! Next time I'm in Tesco I'll see if they have any, I'm kind of hoping not because as you say it is so addictive! Thank you for a lovely box of goodies x

  2. I love the vegan swap box idea! I've just received my first one (although through a different website - from Ireland! Just picked it up from the post office and I can't wait to get home and see what I got!

    1. Oh how exciting what goodies did you get? :)

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