Welcome to the second instalment in my new monthly favourites blog series where I share the foodie finds I make each month and the other little things I’ve enjoyed, discovered, experienced or read.
November has been a more active month on The Tofu Diaries than last, in spite of it also being a very busy month in my day job. I tried cooking with whisky for the first time and shared some healthy seasonal treats, like these vegan kidney bean brownies and raw gingerbread recipe. As well as cooking, I did a lot of eating out so you could say it’s been a fairly gluttonous month.
I had a slightly snowy microadventure out in the Yorkshire Wolds, finally shared a peek of my trip to Costa Rica back in May and loved reading the Independent Leeds’ little black book to discover more of my own city.
There are certain foods I simply need to eat with sauce – sweet potato wedges and tofu bacon are probably the biggest culprits – so finding something as versatile as tomato ketchup but less ordinary is my kind of find. This beetroot ketchup is vegetarian and vegan-friendly, free from artificial colours and other allergens, and pretty damn healthy.
I love the story of how Foraging Fox‘s beetroot ketchup came about too, when the founder and her children got started on a kitchen project to find a way to use their bumper crops of apples and beetroot. The finished product has a soft, earthy flavour and vibrant purple colour; it’s safe to say it worked a treat on this tofu bacon sandwich.
I’ve been meaning to try 9Bar for ages so when I spotted them on offer in my local shop, I picked up a pack of carob hit bars.
The bars I tried were made from sunflower, pumpkin, sesame and hemp seeds, all rolled together and topped with a carob layer. They are organic, have some decent ethical policies as a brand, and the bars are absolutely delicious but I was disappointed to see that they add sugar to them – so unnecessary!
Free & Easy Vegetable Gravy
With Christmas coming up, I’m looking forward to sharing my homemade gravy recipe with you. However, for the times when I want something quicker, I haven’t ever really had a respectable instant gravy back-up.
My usual vegan bouillon doesn’t really have enough going on to use as a sauce in its own right so I recently tried out this Free & Easy Gluten Free Vegetable Gravy. As the name suggests, it’s gluten-free, as well as meat-free, dairy-free, and low salt, but better yet it’s surprisingly tasty – one to remember if you need veggie-friendly gravy this Christmas but won’t be able to make your own (and widely available in the UK!).
Alpro Coconut Cuisine
Pete and I usually go food shopping together and it seems I buy so much Alpro in a month that our supermarket loyalty card almost exclusively gives us Alpro discount vouchers – much to his dismay.
Anyway, it’s always exciting when Alpro launch new products and this thick coconut milk for cooking with is every bit as delicious as you’d hope. The soya cream goes a treat with a slice of warmed up kidney bean brownie.
Finally, on the last Friday of the November I headed over to Manchester for The Cooperative‘s blogger Christmas party. Despite a much longer than anticipated journey due to traffic, delayed trains and mammoth waits for taxis, it was a lovely chance to meet a few new bloggers and try out a selection of vegetarian treats from their upcoming festive range.
The Cooperative are especially great at labelling items such a wine with vegetarian/vegan friendly labels and lots of them are fairtrade too, so of course I had to give some of those a try too!
Some items have been sent for review, but all opinions, photos, etc. are my own. Please see my disclaimer for more information.