Saturday, 24 March 2018

Delicious Spiced Carrot Cake

Hello everyone and happy Saturday! Today has been amazing here in Glasgow, sunshine all day long! And then a sliiiiiight shower, but we can take it...

And if you have a rain day, then why not rattle up a quick, simple, but more importantly de-friggin-licious carrot cake?

My favourite local cafe always has a handful of loaf cakes to choose from, they're not overly fancy, but always topped with delicious frosting and some sort of decor... And the flavours.... yum! But since I am eating vegan now, I have to make my own. I don't mind though, because this was a treat!

Delicious Spiced Carrot Cake
(Makes 1 loaf)

1 large carrot, grated
120g brown sugar
3/4 cup apple sauce
90ml sunflower oil
185g wholemeal flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
Pinch of salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger

4 vegan spread sticks
1 cup icing sugar
Juice of 1/4 lemon
(add more icing sugar if needed)

- Start by pre-heating the oven to 180C.

- Then in a bowl, mix the carrot, sugar, apple sauce and oil in a bowl and stir. In a separate bowl, mix all the dry ingredients for the cake. Tip into the wet mix and stir until just combined - don't over work the mixture.

- Oil a tin, and spoon the mixture in and distribute evenly. Bake for 40-50 minutes; my oven is quite aggressive, so 40 minutes will do, but otherwise give it at least an extra 5-10 minutes.

- Once baked, allowed to cool aaaaaalmost completely until mixing together the butter cream and top the cake with it.

Now, your place smells great, you're hungry - and the kettle is waiting for you to brew a cuppa to accompany it....

I used Pure vegan spread which crumpled up a little, but the lush flavour is still there!

I hope you love it as much as I do, even Kev was convinced and agreed I can make this all the time if I feel like it, YAY!

Are you having a good weekend so far?
Here, I have been taking it easy... Kev and I went out for lunch today at a new cafe called Tulipane. We did the weekly food shop, and watched some TV.
On Monday I am starting work again, so I am just enjoying this weekend and taking it easy.

xox J

Original Recipe:

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Vegan Herby Breadsticks with Tomato Sauce

Hello all and happy Tuesday!

Thanks for stopping by! Today I thought I would share with you a nifty way of making garlic bread. After I made it I realised that it would have been better to put the herbs IN the dough along with garlic that youæd just fry off... So I will write that down in the recipe - because the garlic that I scattered on top burnt a little in the oven - still tasty, but I'd rather you learn from my mistakes than having the same thing happening *smiles*

Vegan Herby Breadsticks with Tomato Sauce
(Makes about 6)

Garlic Herb Mix:
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 1/2 tbsp dried mixed herbs
1 tbsp olive oil

For the dough:
1 sachet dried active yeast
1 1/4 cup luke warm water (when you apply a drop to your skin, you shouldn't feel it)
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup olive oil
3 cups spelt flour (I used 1 cup plain and 2 cups spelt)

Oil for brushing
1 jar of good tomato sauce (like a roasted red pepper and tomato pasta sauce, or you can make one from scratch!)

- Start by heating 1 tbsp oil in a small frying pan, and fry off the garlic for 1 minute until fragrant. Take off the heat and stir in the herbs - set aside.

- Now, mix your luke warm water with the brown sugar and the yeast. Stir until the lumps have smoothened out, and leave to sit for about 5-10 minutes until the mixture starts to form bubbles on the surface; this is the yeast doing it's thing!

- Tip in the flour, the salt and the oil, and stir to combine. Knead well for about five minutes, before swirl through the garlic and herbs. Shape into 6 even small breads, and cover with a clean kitchen towel for 50 minutes to allow the breads to rise.

- Pre-heat the oven to 200C, brush the loaves with oil and place them in the middle of the oven to bake for about 20 minutes.

- Heat your sauce through 5 minutes before the breads are done. And once out the oven, you can brush them with butter and sprinkle of garlic powder - if you want!

And that's it! The easies lil' loaves I have made in a while, and this was awesome to have right before a badminton session, I carbed up like a pro!

Today, I have taken it easy - run a few errands in this part of Glasgow, bought some prizes for a charity bake off I'm hosting for some friends next month, and met up with a friends for a little bit. Then came home, made dinner and chilled out! Hopefully I'll get a wee heads up for when I start working. Tomorrow Alphonse and I are going to the vets for his annual vaccination.
What have you been up to so far this week?

xox J

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Simple Changes for a Slightly Better Planet - Almost No Effort Required!

Hello and happy Thursday!

So I thought I would elaborate on my post about how to change things about - point by point! I hope it will help you feel inspired, perhaps you have made changes in your life for wasting less, using less plastic, and overall just minimalising? I would love to hear all about it!

Right! So we'll start from this picture here, shall we?

From right to left:

1. Use a shower bar instead of bottled soap - I am still working on finding the right one for me as I have quite sensitive skin, but the lemon bar in the picture from Lush smells A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!

2. Biodegradable bin bags - so the ones you see here are the 50L bin bags made from maize! They are super silky soft, super strong, and you can fill them to the rim, it's basically the hero of bin bags! I also bought some smaller 10L biodegradable bags from AllGreen (which always makes me sing Al Green "Let's Stay Together" <3) and I have just started using them! 3. Right, so this was supposed to be toothpaste, however after my dentist appointment yesterday and had a heads up from a friend who is a dental nurse, I have been told that if I was going to use home made toothpaste, it has to contain calcium fluoride! And I had a wee browse to see if I could find any that I could add to my toothpaste, alas.... However! You can totally use this as a natural teeth whitener! Bicarbonate of soda helps removing stains on your teeth, and coconut oil can have a whitening effect - just don't use it as a toothpaste...

4. Shampoo bar! This Seanik bar is soooooo good, and my boyfriend totally sniffed my hair the first day and was like "Yum! How come your hair smells better than usual?!" So take THAT all other shampoos!

5. Home made lip balm! There are plenty of different recipes for DIY lip balm, I made it with coconut oil, cocoa butter and candelilla wax plus a few drops of essential oils - et voila! No chemicals, no plastic - it's all good!

6. Bamboo toothbrush - these bamboo brushes has been treated so they are fit for purpose! Mine has held up really well, and I'v egot another one at the ready for when I need to swap it!

7. Re-usable coffee cup for those cappuccinos to go! I bought mine before I got super aware of plastic, however - rather than having a billion coffees in disposable cups, this one will hold up for yeeeeeears!

Coffee safe and sound when I was taking the train to Elsewhere the other day, cup saved!

8. Soap bars - I know some people can be a cringy about this, but in the household with friends and family, I think it is totally fine to have a soap bar at the read, if you feel like you also need to have a liquid soap too - use that only when absolute necessary! And if you feel most comfortable with it - you can have a soap bar each. I am planning to see if I can make my own liquid soap in the future.

9. Yesterday, I got my shiny Klean Kanteen water bottle in the mail! I am so excited AND it is also my favourite colour, yay! I used it straight away for last night's badminton session.

10. Buy unpackaged fruit and vegetables when you can! Most of the time there is no need for packaging. When you think about it - a year of buying vegetables that aren't wrapped in plastic or nets or cardboard, you'll save quite a lot of rubbish!

11. I have a super cute bamboo lunch box! I got it for £4.99 in TK Maxx, which I thought was a bargain!

12. Eco-friendly laundry tablets! I currently use Ecover for my laundry, and also for dishes I do by hand I have got the bottle of Ecover. In the future I am hoping to get eco friendly fabric softener and dishwasher tablets too!

13. Using fabric bags or recycled bags for your food shop! Honestly the times I have forgotten my bags I have either stubbornly carried all of them by hand, or just gone home to do the shopping next day.... Yup, it's true!

14. Minimalise. When you have clothes that are worn out, recycle them! And don't replace them with anything... I went through my whole wardrobe, attended a friend's clothes swap - and brought all the clothes that were in a good condition with me. We had tea and coffee and snacks and we had a really fun time just trying on clothes and get some pretty new clothes - the rest was donated to a charity shop. And we have these swaps at least two or three times a year - it's so much fun! I donate as much as I can, and then maybe bring two or three pieces that I really like with me home, and just like that! Minimalism has begun. My wardrobe is no longer cluttered, and it is SO much easier to decide what to wear! Phew!
Also, if you don't do clothes swaps, then you can donate clothes to homeless shelters or two charity shops - They will appreciate it SO much! And make sure that clothes donated are clean and in good condition, if you wouldn't wear it yourself - you shouldn't donate it.

So these are just swaps that I have found ridiculously easy and I have written down a list of more things that I can easily swap out - I just want to make until the things I have needs replaced, because there is no need to immediately throw out perfectly good things, use them well - recycle and then replace!

Did you find these helpful at all? I am still just learning little by little, but the minimalising has helped me so much already, and thinking about how much waste I can save just by making a few handfuls' of changes! And like I said - if you have made any changes or attempted DIY projects for the home, or care products, gimme a shout! Also, would you enjoy more posts like this?

I hope you have a great evening and guess what? The weekend is juuuust around the corner!

Thursday, 8 March 2018

Save the Fish Cakes!

Heya everyone!

I hope you are having a great day/morning/evening!

My sister and I just got home from Katherine Ryan's show Glitter Room, and dayum girl can she make you laugh! We had such a
good time *smiles*

So, anyway... Yesterday I tried this recipe from a Norwegian vegan burger book "Kjøttfrie Burgere" (meatfree burgers)...
Before I had finished my dinner I shared it on Instagram, cause I was just that blown away by it! I made up my own
sides, and it turns out adding half a can of butterbeans to your mash makes ALL the difference! Are you ready? You sure?
Brace yourself!

Save the Fish Cakes!
(Serves 2 hungry people)


125g firm tofu, crumbled
Half of 400g can butter beans, drained and rinsed (save the rest for the mash!)
4g seaweed, soaked in cold water, squeezed and chopped into small bits
20g chickpea flower (I used 2tbsp linseeds and 4tbsp water to make linseed egg instead of chickpea flower, and upped the oats to 50g)
30g oats
2 vegetable stock cubes
1tbsp onion powder
1/2tsp nutmeg
50g bamboo shots, cut into small pieces
Salt and pepper

For the mash
2 baking potatoes cut into small dice
2-3 tbsp vegan spread (I use Pure)
1/2 can butterbeans
Salt to taste

For the peas
1 cup peas (I used frozen)
2 tbsp neutral oil, like sunflower oil
1 garlic clove
A good pinch of salt

Soy sauce to serve

- Start by dicing your potatoes and boil until soft in some salted water. After ten minutes chuck in half of the can of butterbeans.

- In a bowl, mix all but the seaweed and bamboo and process in a blender or with a stick mixer until you have a coarse mixture. Add the bamboo and seaweed and fold through. With wet hands, shape into small patties (I got 8 patties in total), fry in pan with 1 tbsp oil for a few minutes on each side until golden.

- For the peas, add oil in a small saucepan, followed by a pinch of salt. If you are cooking these from frozen allow them to defrost, before adding the garlic, the saute for about 5 minutes until fragrant.

- Once the potatoes are ready, mash thoroughly, and add the vegan spread and a little bit of salt - mash, mash, mash and just like that; it is ready to plate up!

Serve with soy sauce and enjoy!

I thought these were like a hybrid between sushi and fishcakes, hence the soy sauce. If you want, you can serve the patties with vegetable fried rice, or sushi rice! I just needed comfort... And mash rules... So mash won!

What is your favourite "mock" seafood dish? I reckon these'll definitely become a staple at ours, yum! Otherwise, I have made vegan sushi before as well which turned out pretty darn good!

I hope you are having a fantastic week y'all! The weekend is juuuust around the corner!

Let's just take a moment and appreciate Miss Ryan.... What a lady!


xox Jules

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Anka's Vegan Cherry, Lemon and Poppyseed Bonanza Cupcakes

Hello hello!

Today I finally got around to make the recipe for these cupcakes that an old colleague and friend sent me a little while back. I was out adventuring, getting a few bits and bobs done and out of the way and thought to myself - I need a treat!

I tweaked the recipe a little bit, and I also asked if it was OK if I shared these with you; and it was - score!

They don't have too much sugar in them, so they are TOTALLY OK to have for breakfast... just sayin' *wink*

Anka's Vegan Cherry, Lemon and Poppyseed Bonanza Cupcakes
(Makes about 12 cupcakes)

I put the buttercream in the fridge to chill, but it seemed to just lump up a little bit - it still tasted great! I suppose it is just due to using vegan spread :)

1 1/2 cup plain or self-raising flour (If using self-raising, cut the amount of bicarbonate of soda in half)
1 1/2 cup poppyseeds, that's right! Three of those jars you get in the spice aisle!
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda (or half)
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup of sugar (I used a mixture of demerara and coconut sugar)
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 1/2 lemon
400g can of pitted cherries in light syrup, cut into halves (save the syrup!)
Use 1/3 cup of the cherry syrup (You can use the rest in a cherrylicious smoothie!)
1 banana, mashed
2 tbsp neutral oil, like sunflower oil

For the buttercream
1/2 cup vegan spread (I used Pure)
1 cup icing sugar
A few drops of colouring, optional (Make sure it is flavourless)

- Pre-heat the oven to 180C.

-Start by making the batter: In a bowl, have the flour, poppyseeds, bicarb, baking powder, and sugar - and mix well.

- In a small bowl, mix the juice of the lemon, the syrup, 2 tbsp oil, and the mashed banana along with the lemon zest.

- Make a well in the middle of your flour and poppyseed mixture, and pour the liquid in, stir well to combine and then fold in the halved cherries.

- Divide mixture between about 12 medium sized cupcake cases, it should be filled up 3/4 of the way. Pop them on a tray and place them in the middle of the oven to bake for 25 minutes.

- Allow to cool before making the buttercream, spread it neatly over the cupcakes and enjoy!

So many poppyseeeeeeeeds <3

I also enjoyed them just as much without the frosting, making them perfect to serve for breakfast with a cuppa, or as a little treat in your lunch box!

Do you enjoy poppyseeds in baking? I'd love to hear from you!

Today I started doing some homework at MIDNIGHT.... But I got it done eventually, and we are handing some floristry tasks in tomorrow, so it was about time I got it done, phew! I hope you have had a good start to the week!

PS. I know a couple of bloggers have told me that my posts aren't showing up in their reading list, and that it isn't allowing them to comment. You could try and delete and re-add me to your reading list, and then try and see if that works - let me know if it doesn't and I'll try and see if there is something else that needs to be done!

xox Jules

Sunday, 4 March 2018

No-Time Smoothie

Hi! And happy Sunday!

I hope you have had a great weekend so far! Here in Glasgow most people I know got one or two days off work due to the crazy amounts of snow we've had! Today I have just plodded along doing housey things after catching up with several lovelies on Friday and Saturday.

What have you guys been up to?

I thought I would post this recipe up, as it is literally two ingredients, but it has become my go to smoothie! Pink, red, yellow - it can be whatever colour you like, the orange base just gives you a really fresh start-point!

No-Time Smoothie
(Serves 1)

1/2 cup frozen fruit or berries (ANY kind will taste delicious, here I have a tropical mix with mango and pineapple)
1 cup orange juice

- Simply blitz and enjoy! It really is that simple....

This is also a super easy way to get 2-3 of your 5 a day in one go! I've definitely needed these vitamin boosts this Winter, brrrrr!

What is your go-to snack/drink when you are in a hurry?

xox J

Friday, 2 March 2018

De-cluttering, DIY Care, and Overall Simplification

Hi lovely people!

Now... I wanted to just write a post about what has been going on in my flat... Since watching the document "Minimalism" by the Minimalist Guys about half a year ago, as well as reading "The Art of D'scarding" - alongside all the forward thinking with zero waste, zero plastic, home DIY, capsule wardrobes to name a FEW to make life easier, I have been de-cluttering my surroundings and also my mind!

I am not going DRASTICALLY in any direction, but I felt general stuff just piling up around me, and impacting an already stressed mind and soul. I have been casually going through all the rooms in the flat, and Kev has been going along with it - one by one, just a bag here or three bags there. But it wasn't until today I actually started seeing a difference!

Unfortunately, I don't have any before or after pictures, because it has been a steady process, but it already is starting to feel a lot easier to wander around in the flat, finding the essential things that I actual need!

Today for example, I donated three bags of clothes and accessories that had not been worn for half a year - aint nobody got time for those things just taking up valuable space! Also, the things are pretty and all, but I reckon there are others who can get much more out of it! I also found at least two bags worth of stuff that shouldn't have been brought into the home anyways as well that have been thrown out. You know those gadgets that they sell you at food festivals that you are convinced you DO need in your life, and they have like a bajillion different blades and basically do everything for you, but then you get home and realise it was a mistake, and that it is way easier just julienne things yourself rather than construct this metal-plastic combo every darn time you are cooking!

I have put all my ingredients in order in glasses so I can see what I have at hand when I do weekly meal planning on Sunday mornings with a cup of coffee in hand, and I have really just started to use all the different teas I have in the cupboard rather than just exactly - grab that cup of coffee instead.

Them beans though....

Also, I have ordered biodegradable bags instead of the usual refuse sacks, and I am going to start using the biodegradable poop bags for Alphonse instead of nappy bags... In TK Maxx the other day I found a beautiful recyclable bamboo lunch box, perfect! Instead of storing 30 odd takeaway boxes thinking they'll get used.

For my clothes, I was inspired by Try Living with Lucie - 5 Days of a Capsule Wardrobe. I wouldn't be able to do a capsule wardrobe, despite having one for Spring/Summer and another for Autumn/Winter, BUT I have noticed for example I only really use 7-8 of my favourite t-shirts and tops - so the other stuff went, I bought new underwear and threw out everything outdated (i.e a small hill of holey socks....) So I bought six pairs of new socks bamboo socks, kept the others I already had that were reasonably new. In turn, I got twice as much space at the end of it! Buying better quality for the future, so I can wear my favourite pieces of clothing forever! (Sort of)

And..... *drumrolls*..... I made some DIY things! Lip balm and toothpaste to be exact! Now, the lip balm is divine (Recipe by Refinery29), whilst the toothpaste... is unusual (general recipe on Pinterest) - the latter only because it doesn't have as many additives, and contains quite a bit of bicarbonate of soda which gives it a sort of savoury flavour. But my teeth feel squeeky clean! I was told that toothpaste should contain fluoride, and I am going to ask the dentist about it when I go in in a couple of weeks time - so I'll keep you posted on that! I'm getting used to the flavour now as well, so if my dentist says it's all right, I wont be buying any more toothpaste from the shop!

Toothpaste on a cobble stone.

Peppermint and Lavender lip balms! I am waiting on some candelilla wax to make a second batch, as this first batch was very temperature sensitive.

Other than that, things like swapping stupid plastic bottles out with shampoo and soap bars from for example Lush, is something I am going to do in the future - got my first soap and shampoo bar the other day!

I bought little tins to pop them in so they keep better. Whoop!

Anyways, after a long afternoon of organising and sorting out, Kev and I went out for pizza at a new pizza bar here in Glasgow called Basta! It was awesome, and when I asked for no cheese, the woman said "we do also have vegan cheese" - and my day was made!

How do you feel about less rubbish? Do you find it challenging? I would love to hear if you have done different things, or similar things to this and your experience of it all!

I hope you have a lovely evening ^ ^