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.

 

Cheats Cheesy Pizza

Who doesn’t like cheating at cooking once in a while? Sometimes you’re just too busy to make things from scratch or you just fancy something different right? Well the other day when I was shopping in Morrisons I felt exactly like that and then I found this:

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It was in the fresh pasta section, but I decided to look anyway and low and behold, the damn thing is vegan! Instantly pizza came to mind because it would involve minimal work and I could just throw it in the oven for 15 minutes with a few toppings on top.

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I added aubergine, mushrooms, tomatoes, chilli peppers and fresh cherry tomatoes as well as a whole block of grated Cheezley vegan cheese. After 15 minutes and a few Italian herbs this is what it came out like:

 

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It went down beautifully with some homemade potato wedges and a green salad.

Being vegan can be really easy. If you want to learn more about veganism, check out http://www.vegankit.com

Vegan Pepperoni Pizza Muffins

I got the idea for these bad bois from a random internet meme. I saw them and instantly thought, “this needs to be vegan!” Here’s the easy peasy veganised version for your taste buds pleasure! 🙂

Ingredients:

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Method:

Get the oven on at full whack!

Now cut circles from one of your wholemeal wraps to make a base. If you have pastry cutters that would be great, I don’t. I used the bottom of a tin which just happened to be the exact right size.

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Now place the bases in a muffin tin and place about a teaspoon of tomato puree in each.

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Fill each tin with the pre-grated Toffuti Mozzarella and VBites pepperoni style slices. (Chopped.)

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Then place them in the oven for 15 minutes before checking them. The cheese should be nice and melted by this point and you just need to brown off the top for another 5 minutes. Once cooked serve with a nice fresh salad.

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These are perfect for parties because you can literally eat them in a couple of bites, but the flavour is still really intense.

 

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If you’re not vegan already, please consider going vegan. It’s the least you can do for the animals, for your health and for the environment.

Find out more at:

http://www.vegankit.com

http://www.whyveganism.com

Emz X

 

Cauliflower Rice Wraps

Quite often I sit at work bored out of my mind day dreaming about what I can have for dinner and that is often where my ideas for blog posts come from too. I wanted to make something Mexican inspired that wasn’t too heavy on the calories but still absolutely delicious. This is what I came up with! 🙂

 

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Ingredients:

  • A small head of cauliflower. (I got mine in the reduced section at Tesco for 79p)
  • A large handful of brown lentils.
  • 5 cherry tomatoes.
  • 2 red onions.
  • Fajita spice packet. (Again Tesco have a cheaper own brand range that I used here.)
  • 4 cloves garlic.
  • Some alfalfa sprouts. (Optional but a nice nutritional hit.)
  • Fresh baby leaf spinach, about two handfuls.
  • A mild shop brought salsa or if you have time you can make your own.
  • Wholemeal tortilla wraps.

Method:

Rinse your lentils in cold water and then place in a pan and simmer for about 25 minutes or until reasonably soft.

Heat a small amount of oil in a pan. Peel and finely chop your onion and garlic and place in the pan.

Peel the leaves from your head of cauliflower. Now you can either grate it or you can place the cauliflower in a blender with the grater attachment. Once complete place in the pan with the onion and garlic and mix thoroughly.

Now add the fajita spice, mix through and turn the heat down whilst you wait for then lentils to cook.

Once the lentils are down, drain and then mix in with the cauliflower rice. You may wish to add more spice here. I added some black pepper, mainly because I really like it! 😛

Chop up your spinach, sprouts and cherry tomatoes and place in a salad bowl. I also like to place the fajita mix in a bowl and the tortillas on a plate so everyone can just help themselves.

This recipe makes enough for four large wraps and it’s super healthy.

 

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Jerk Tofu With Cucumber “Pesto” Salad

Sunday lunch has never really been traditionally British in the Queer Vegan household. We very rarely sit down to a plate full of roasted stuff covered in gravy and anyway, if we do it’s normally at the Toby Carvery accompanied by a beer. (We’re on quite a strict diet at the moment due to Tough Mudder training so that’s really not going to be happening.)

Today’s Sunday lunch was much more typical of what we would eat and a hell of a lot healthier too. This dish is ram packed with calcium, vitamin K, vitamin C and protein.

Ingredients:

  • Half a cucumber.
  • A large handful of baby leaf spinach.
  • Three cloves of garlic, crushed.
  • One tablespoon of pine nuts.
  • One tablespoon of sesame seeds.
  • One tablespoon of nutritional yeast.
  • One block of tofu, drained. (Place the tofu between two plates for about 30 minutes so that as much water as possible is pressed from the block.)
  • Two tablespoons jerk seasoning.
  • Two tablespoons breadcrumbs.
  • Two tablespoons vegetable oil.

 

Method:

  1. Slice your drained tofu into your preferred shapes. (I like a rectangle shape personally.)
  2. Mix the oil, breadcrumbs and jerk seasoning in a bowl. Then gently cover each piece of tofu with the mixture and place straight into a hot grill pan. (The ones with the ridges that give the tofu a char-grilled look.) Each side will take about five minutes.
  3. In the meantime place the crushed garlic into a large bowl. Grate the cucumber and the spinach either manually (good luck) or use a food processor with the grater attachment. Place these in the bowl also.
  4. Mix around with your hands so that the garlic infuses throughout the salad and then place onto a plate. (This amount should serve two.)
  5. Now sprinkle the pine nuts, sesame seeds and nutritional yeast over the salad and add some dried chili flakes too. (Optional.)
  6. By now the tofu should be cooked. Remove from the hot pan using a spatula and place on top of the salad.
  7. GET THAT YUMMYNESS IN YOUR FACE!

 

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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. 🙂

Caramelised Red Onion Tarte Tatin

This recipe’s inspiration comes from a non-vegan. His name is Mat Follas. He has won Masterchef and also owns a restaurant down in Dorest.

Ingredients:

2 red onions, halved

4 tbsp caster sugar

2 cloves of garlic

250 g fresh puff pastry (in the UK we use Jus Roll)

Vegan butter alternative (I used Vitalite)

1 block of soft white Cheezley cheddar (by Vegideli)

1 carton of single soya cream (I used Alpro)

1 carton of plain soya yoghurt

1 tablespoon dried chives

Salt

Pepper

1 tablespoon corn flour

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 squirt of vegan mayonnaise

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Method:

  • Heat the oven to 160C.
  • Place your chopped onion halves in a pan, add enough water to cover and then simmer for three minutes. Leave to cool for ten minutes.
  • Cover the base of a frying pan with the sugar, warm until just melted, then add the onions and cook for a few minutes until everything is caramelised.
  • Add a strip of baking paper to each hole in a muffin tin and lightly oil.
  • Fill each whole with some caramelised onions and some chopped garlic before placing a cutting of a puff pastry sheet on top. (Make sure you tuck the sheet into the tin and around the onions.)
  • Glaze each one with a bit of “butter” and place in the oven for 40 minutes.
  • To make the sauce, pour the single cream into a non-stick pot and turn up the heat. Now add your block of cheese chopped into smaller pieces and stir whilst it melts.
  • Next add the yoghurt, chives, salt, pepper, Dijon mustard  corn flour and mayo. Now turn the heat off.
  • Pour into a food processor and pulse blend for a minute. Now is the time to add any extra salt, pepper or for extra creamyness, a dollop of “butter.”
  • Pulse blend for another minute.
  • Once the tarts are done, remove careful from the oven and place the right way up on your plate with a rocket salad and your cheese sauce.

I actually could not believe the flavours of this dish. I put the some tarte, some rocket and some sauce on my fork and it hit me in the face. Sweet, then peppery and then creamy. This dish is absolutely divine and whilst not the healthiest of easiest to make, it’s worth all of it just for that flavour.

Now check out the two styles of dish I did trying to be posh and shit!

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Enjoy! 🙂