Anna Loka: A Review

Anna Loka is a brand new vegan restaurant in the Roath area of Cardiff.  I had  been hearing some great things about the day time cafe menu, but they didn’t have an evening opening so I held back on visiting.

Recently they started to open in the evenings from 6pm. We booked for a table of ten to celebrate my imminent marriage to the bearded one.

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They offered 3 courses for £19.95, so of course we had the full lot. Here’s what was on offer:

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I had the pumpkin arancini. It was crunchy on the outside and  gooey on the inside. The sweet tomato and herb sauce really complimented the the richness of the arancini. wpid-wp-1445193405256.jpeg wpid-wp-1445193583241.jpeg

My friends and family all had different dishes and were very happy with their choices. I had a few bites of everyone else’s, including eating the pansies from my mum’s salad, which the whole table found amusing.

Falafel.

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Beetroot Cappaccio.

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Southern fried vegetables.

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The main course was something altogether. Mine was absolutely mind blowing! I had the seitan steak. It was like roast beef, smothered in a beautiful gravy with perfect mustard mash and crunchy green vegetables. They even made the seitan themselves.

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My brother had the baked aubergine. He said it was good. I didn’t like it. I thought the aubergine was under cooked and the flavours didn’t seem quite right. Mismatched almost. It looked great though.

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The rest of the family had the raviollo. I tasted some and it was herby, fresh and full of flavour. It was a great dish, but I preferred my steak.

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We tried each other’s puddings and agreed that they were all amazing. I’d order any of them again. Personally, even though I ordered the creme brulee (and it had the crack when I broke the crunchy topping) , I thought the parfait was the star of the desserts.

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I give Anna Loka a 9.5 out of 10. The 0.5 will be remedied when I can have a nice glass of red wine with my steak. (They intend to bring in alcohol in the future.) The service was excellent and the food outstanding overall.

I’ll be popping in to try the breakfast and lunch menu at some point in the future too.

 

Vegan Poached Egg

As someone who has been vegan for near on a decade, I’ve never really missed eggs. It’s only because a newbie vegan said they were missing them, that I even considered making them.

I can’t take all the credit for this. I got a lot of inspiration from the internet on ways to make this actually happen.

Also because of where I live, lots of fancy ingredients just aren’t available here. I wanted to make a poached egg any one, anywhere could make. I’m also unable to eat the Vegg due to production methods. (Made in the same factory as crustacean products which I am allergic to.) With that in mind, here are the ingredients for the yolk:

120 ml water

1 teaspoon of vegetable stock powder

1 teaspoon of cornflour

1/2 a teaspoon of turmeric

2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast

1/2 a teaspoon of English mustard

1/2 a teaspoon American mustard

1 tablespoon of vegan butter (I used Vitalite.)

Blend everything in a food processor, except the butter and pour into a hot pan. Turn the heat off and melt the butter into the mix straight away. Drain into a small bowl and leave to cool.

Ingredients for the white:

600 g of firm silken tofu

3.5 tablespoons of arrowroot powder

2 teaspoons of vegan gelatine powder (I used vegan non-sweetened powder.)

1/4 teaspoon of salt. (If you can get black salt, even better.)

Blend all the ingredients until entirely smooth. Now get your poaching device and fill it with the white mixture. Make a well in the middle and fill with yolk. Depending on the size of your device, 1 or 2 heaped teaspoons. Cover the yolk with white until it isn’t visible and drop device into boiling water.

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Cover the pan with a lid so the top is also cooked. (For about 15 minutes.)

The first egg was actually crap. Why? I put the yolk in whilst it was still warm.

20150414_133712The second one I thought I’d cracked (no pun intended) so I served it on spinach, maple bacon and an English muffin. It fell apart because I only cooked it for 8 minutes.

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Then I made this little diamond. 15 minutes, gently simmered and lovingly turned onto a plate without breaking.

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The yolk is thick and mustardy, just like a chicken’s egg. The white is soft but bouncy. It’s also not as fatty as an egg because you are not adding much fat, but it is still high in protein and B12.

I left some of the 6 I made, in the fridge and heated one up for later. Although it fell apart a bit, it was very tasty with a home grown herby freekah salad.

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I hope this helps anyone craving chicken’s eggs as a new vegan and changes the lives of those of us long term vegans who never dreamed this would be possible.

 

(N.B I know it doesn’t look pretty. What do you want? A perfect vegan egg? Hahahahhaaha! 😛 )

Amy’s Breakfast Sandwich: A Product Review

I was scrolling through Facebook as you do and I came across a picture of this breakfast sandwich. Hallelujah! A lovely big juicy breakfast muffin with tons of flavour and certainly enough to fill you up. It turns out that I was deceived by clever marketing. The box is very well designed and about the size you’d expect a breakfast muffin box to be.

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We don’t have a microwave in our house because we have no need for one so I followed the oven cooking instructions to the letter on the reverse of the pack. It came out like this:

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It was absolutely tiny! I think my little sister might even struggle with that as a snack let alone a full breakfast. So it tasted amazing right? Nope!

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The bread was chewy, the tofu flavourless and the sausage patty did not have nearly enough meatiness to it. There wasn’t even really that much sauce with it. It’s a good job I made a breakfast hash to go with it otherwise I’d have been starving!

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I’ve seen some people raving about this new product and don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great that one is now on the market. It’s just a shame I think it tastes like cardboard and so will any non-vegan who tries it. Good try though Amy’s. I look forward to trying your other new products soon.

Whilst I personally didn’t enjoy it, people have different tastes. Try it and let me know what you think!

 

Score? 2/5

 

 

 

 

What I Ate Sunday

Today has been a really productive and non-stressful day and for the first time in what seems like forever, the sun was out. I woke up at around 07:15 but didn’t bother to get up until 08:30 due to having lots of snuggles of felines, a large white woof and a beardy man times. I left the bearded one in bed and made an epic smoothie, which subsequently I spoiled him with in bed.

This is a banana, mango, spinach, peanut butter and raw cacao powder smoothie. It tastes like a peanut butter and banana milkshake.

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That did me for the whole morning because it was so filling, however on return from our 6k walk with Bailey Woof I was getting a tad hungry so I made a wholemeal spinach and pasta “cheesy” bake with a cucumber and tomato side salad.

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A little while after this we hit the gym where we lifted some seriously heavy shit. I needed a protein hit after that so when we got home I rustled up some cashew nut cheese on some wholemeal sweet onion crackers.  (I’ll be posting a recipe for this soon.)

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For dinner Mykey made a kale, bean, mushroom, spinach and breaded tofu stir fry which totally hit the spot.

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So there you have it. Simply, tasty and healthy vegan food. 🙂

Super Secret Scrambled Tofu Recipe: The Best You’ll Ever Have!!!!

I think people are a bit lost when it comes to tofu. It’s this white squishy block which doesn’t taste like anything. I saw an episode of Come Dine With Me once and a vegan guy on there served his dinner guests raw tofu and avocado. What the hell was he thinking? YUCK!

The number one rule is flavouring: herbs, spices and marinades are the best but sauces, bread crumbs and oils can also be great too.

On Facebook I’m constantly raving about how amazing Mykey’s scrambled tofu is, so I finally caught him in the act on Sunday morning and took some pictures.

 

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First let’s get these ingredients down:

  • A large handful of fresh baby leaf spinach (frozen is far too watery.)
  • 6 large button mushrooms
  • Tumeric
  • Black salt (not essential but will make the tofu smell and taste more like egg.)
  • Terriyaki sauce
  • 1 pack of chilled firm tofu (not silken)
  • A dash of oil
  • Wholemeal sourdough bread to serve
  • Nutritional yeast

 

Method:

Heat the dash of oil in a frying pan.

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Slice your mushrooms and place into the pan, stirring every minute or so.

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In the meantime, drain your tofu over the sink.

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When the mushrooms have begun to soften, add the tofu by squeezing it through your hands so it crumbles. Break any extra bits up with your mixing spoon.

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Now add about a tablespoon of powdered turmeric, a glug of teriyaki sauce, two tablespoons of nutritional yeast and two pinches of black salt and mix together.

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Add your spinach and mix in until wilted.

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Now you can turn off the heat whilst you wait for you bread to toast.

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Spread generously with vegan butter, add tofu and then get it all in your face, with ketchup.

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Oh and be careful, other’s in your house may want some too! 😛

What I Ate Saturday

Saturday can be a lazy day for us when it comes to food, but we still try and make it as healthy as possible.

For breakfast Mykey made blueberry and banana pancakes drizzled in maple syrup. He has a way of making them really thin and light so that they aren’t overly filling, but still really tasty. I don’t like to feel too full up in the morning, especially if we are going out for a long dog walk straight afterwards.

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For lunch we had two whole meal pitta breads sliced into pockets and stuffed with cucumber, fresh tomato, sun dried tomato and hummus.

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For dinner we were really lazy and went to the Toby Carvery. Now I know what you’re thinking, however both of the big UK carvery chains have vegan options. Crown has one and Toby has two. You can read more about the Toby Carvery on this great blog site: http://veganvoxblog.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/the-ordinary-vegan-toby-carvery.html?m=0

I had the vegan shepherd’s pie with loads of veg, but sadly I didn’t take a picture. I found this one online though, so I hope it will suffice. (It’s almost what I had anyway, but with much less potato! :P)

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Stay healthy.

Seriously Tasty Time Saving Porridge Topper

Oats are amazing! They are great for the bacteria in your gut, give you loads of energy, keep you full up and are loaded with fiber. Being vegan I don’t really need to worry about fiber because everything I eat has it in, but you can always do with more right?

Mykey and I live a very hectic lifestyle. We are guardians to five cats and one very lively American Bulldog called Bailey. We also work full time and train twice a day everyday at the gym. A little while ago I decided we needed to cut down on the amount of time we spent getting ready in the morning for work, so I came up with this great time saving idea that gives porridge an extra health boost and tastes great.

I make up a jar full of super foods that I then sprinkle on top. Before I used to spend and extra twenty minutes in the morning making sure our breakfasts were as packed with nutrients as possible. Now I stick my spoon in my jar and throw it on top of my bowl of oats, before smothering in soya milk and sometimes heating in the microwave.

Yum!

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The jar lasts about a month if two of you are eating porridge everyday for 5 out of 7 days a week. I also like to put different things in it each month, but this month I’ve gone with flaked almonds, pecan nuts, pumpkin seeds, dried goji berries, shredded coconut, walnuts, milled flaxseed, chia seeds and if I put anything else in there, I can’t remember!

Enjoy! 🙂