Rudys Dirty Vegan Diner Review

To celebrate my 22nd birthday, I went to Rudy’s Dirty Vegan Diner (RudysDVD) in Camden with my sister, who is also a vegan. That specific day they were only taking cash, so we had to go to a cash machine. In total, we spent £31 between the two of us, which is pretty decent.

The restaurant itself was well ventilated and spacious. A lot of vegan restaurants/cafes I’ve been too are small and poorly ventilated, which results in my eyes watering when trying to enjoy my meal. But I’m glad RudysDVD was very airy, especially considering it was unusually warm that day.

They had no paper menu but a big blackboard with the menu on. I love this. I think it’s a method that should be adopted by many restaurants not only is it eco-friendly but it will also save on printing costs.

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We decided to get the most of the menu we should eat half of each dish. So we ordered;
Caesar salad
Buffalo burger
Seasoned fries
Childhood memories
Golden banana Biscoff.

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The seitan here was the best seitan I have ever tasted hands down. It was firm, correctly seasoned and not oil whatsoever. It worked very well in the Caesar salad. The cashew dressing used in the salad also complimented the seitan I feel like it could have done with more flavour. The salad was definitely my favourite dish I rate it a solid 7/10.

The burger had seitan inside also, and that too was perfect the only thing missing I’d say was something sweet. I wish I had the option to add jackfruit or something similar to the burger. But honestly, I just have a massive sweet tooth. 6/10

My childhood memories milkshake was a combination of peanut butter and chocolate. I’ve really been loving the oreo and peanut butter combo, they didn’t have it here, so chocolate had to do. Regardless it was delicious. The only thing I wasn’t a fan of was the salted pretzel stick on top. 9/10.

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The chips were crispy, just the way I like them. The chunkiness of the chips went very well with seitan and cashew sauces. I literally cut pieces of chips to add into my salad, and the whole flavours changed. Only because I prefer skinny fries, my rating is 6/10.

In total RudysDVD gets a 7/10 from me.

The value of veganism on vascular health

One of my modules required to do write a blog post on a topic we’re passionate about and I thought why not write a blog post that I could later post on rawwithnature?! So I did. I had to post it months after so there wouldn’t be any plagiarism issues. Imagine, plagiarising myself. This post is on the value of veganism on vascular health. I’ve also linked the scientific article it came from so if you’re an academic or just someone who’s curious have a read.

The value of veganism on vascular health.

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There have been significant amounts of scientific research linking western diets filled with fast food, meats and fats to poor health. Who would have guessed? Well, studies show that these diets lead to obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, coronary artery disease (CAD) and many other ghastly conditions. More recent studies have found that eating a plant-based diet can reverse CAD and conditions associated with the western diet.

The primary aim of a plant-based diet is to maximise the consumption of nutrient-dense plant foods while minimizing processed foods, added sugars, oils and animal products. Therefore plant-based diets are predominant in macronutrients, micronutrients and compounds which maximise the body’s function. The reduction in the consumption of fats, salts and cholesterol is associated with lower incidences of CAD.

Plant-based diets filled with processed food such as Oreos, non-dairy ice-cream and chips will not have as many health benefits as one rich in whole foods. Regardless, the elimination of animal products from your diet will significantly reduce the number of saturated fats entering your system.

The Lifestyle Heart Trial, who study the effects of lifestyle on the heart, found that 82% of patients diagnosed with heart disease who followed a plant-based diet had significant decreases in the levels of atherosclerosis and 91% in the frequency of angina (kind of like a heart attack, but not) episodes. More crazy facts for yah, the study also found a % reduction in low-density lipoproteins (LDLs aka bad cholesterol), similar to the reduction found when taking cholesterol-reducing medication.

Let’s get techy…

Vascular Endothelial Cells (VEC), play a key role in the regulation, control and maintenance of a normal vascular system (veins carry blood, blood carries oxygen etc). Changes in a normal operating vascular system, caused by VEC injury, can lead to the development of CAD. VEC injury is caused by increased blood sugar levels (diabetes), and high blood pressure. High blood pressure is caused by fatty deposits in the arteries which restricts blood flow leading to an increase in pressure. Plant-based diets reduce the amount of fatty deposits in the bloodstream, lowering blood pressure, preventing VEC injury and you’ll never get CAD.

Still unconvinced about the benefits of a plant-based diet?
One word, polyphenols. Micronutrients found in plant-based foods. They lead to the oxidation of LDLs (that’s a good thing), reduce inflammation, decrease oxidative stress and decrease blood clotting. The more polyphenols you have, the less you are at risk for CAD. Evidently, people who consume more fruit and veg have an 11% reduced risk of developing CAD. Plant-based lifestyles prevent CAD whereas western diets promote it.

So we’ve found out that plant-based diets can prevent diabetes, high blood pressure and CAD. The benefits of a plant-based diet on the vascular system alone is outstanding. Given all the evidence, plant-based diets will most certainly benefit us in a number of ways I could discuss but we’re done with the science now. Compared to frequent meat eaters, people who consume more vegetables have a lower body mass index and blood pressure, are slimmer and healthier. They also have fewer spots due to decreased inflammation. I don’t know what you are all doing still eating meat.

Medicine is the cure to symptoms of disease however making a lifestyle change to a plant-based one could rid you of the disease altogether.

ARTICLE

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4315380/

Chewy chocolatey-chocolate chip cookies

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I love cookies, but only when they’re soft. Have you ever gotten a cookie from Sainsbury’s bakery and warmed it for 15 seconds? That’s the type of softness I’m talking about. You can’t do the same with vegan cookies is packets because there aren’t that many to choose from and the method only works with fresh cookies. Over the last 2 years (yes I am seriously invested) I have been perfecting my vegan soft chocolate chip cookies recipe. I think it’s decent enough to now show you.

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Ingredients

  • 120grams self-raising flour
  • 100grams butter
  • 100 grams of sugar
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup
  • 1tsp baking soda
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2tbsp non-dairy milk
  • Chocolate chips (as many as you like)
  • Tsp sea salt

(Note I have actual measurements, I’m so proud of myself)

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees

  1. In a bowl mix the butter until smooth
  2. Add sugar and golden syrup and mix till blended
  3. Pour the tbsp of non-dairy milk and continue to mix
  4. Add cocoa powder, salt and baking soda, and guess what? Keep mixing
  5. Add flour and continue to mix until a smooth paste is formed
  6. Finally, add chocolate chips
  7. In a non-stick baking tray or a greased baking tray place 1 large tbsp onto the tray
  8. Allow loads of space between them, you shouldn’t be able to fit more than 12, in a 4×3 format
  9. This recipe usually makes around 8-12 depending on the cookie size
  10. Place in the oven for 10-15 minutes
  11. The cookies will be really soft you’ll think their uncooked but they’re fine! Leave them to cool down for 10 minutes
  12. And we’re done!

Enjoy xx

PS. For those of you who don’t know how to read I have step-by-step picture instructions down below. Then I guess you won’t be able to read this??? (My jokes are so lame)

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Ingredients

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Dunno what honey is doing here, please ignore x

  1. Butter
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  2. Butter, Sugar + Golden syrup
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  3. + Milk
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    4. +Cocoa powder, + Baking soda + Sea salt
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    5. +Flour
    IMG_41036. On Baking tray
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Easy as Pie Pancakes

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When I first started my blog I used BlogSpot as a platform. Two years later I decided to upgrade to WordPress, this was all well but it meant that I lost a lot of my content and it was good stuff! So these next couple post will be the transfer of my old content onto my current blog space. First up, a piss easy pancake recipe. Not sure how well comparing pancakes to toilet movements will sit with you all but I like the alliteration.

Making animal-product free pancakes is easier than you’d expect. They taste the same too. In my previous posts, I’ve listed what vegan substitutes you can use in non-vegan recipes but I guess it’s not very helpful because some substitutes are specific to the recipe. Following this, I have listed the specific substitutes for a pancake recipe.

Substitutes

Eggs
Egg replacers, flaxseed, banana’s and apple sauce are all valid substitutes for a vegan pancake recipe. I personally don’t substitute eggs but the pancakes still turned out alright.

Milk
I think milk is the easiest thing to substitute but there are many options out there, oat, almond, soy, cashew, hemp, rice etc. The list goes on. You could even try human breast milk (for those who do tell me how they turn out).

Butter
Margarine and other plant-based butter are your easiest option. My favourite brands are 100% plant-based flora, Pure and Vitalife.

Flour
Flour is vegan! Any type of flour is fine to use. I like my pancakes fibre filled and fluffy so I use self-raising flour and blend oats to make oat flour. If you want a gluten-free recipe then you can use 100% oat flour or buy specifically made gluten-free flours. I’ll warn you that gluten-free flours are rubbish in terms of binding you mixture so 1tsp of oil is recommended to be added.

Sugar
Surprise, Surprise some sugars aren’t vegan. Sugar itself is vegan, but it goes through a process where it is refined with bone char making the process not vegan.

Some sugars will have labelled suitable for vegans and vegetarians, if not look for sugars which are; raw, natural unrefined or organic.

So those are the substitutes now here’s my recipe;
(I don’t weigh my ingredients, I go off texture and visuals.)

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Ingredients

  • Self-Raising Flour
  • Oats
  • Non-dairy milk or water
  • Butter
  • Sugar
  1. Blend oats in a blender until floury. I recommend 1:4 ratio oats to flour.
  2. Add flour and oat flour into a bowl.
  3. Add sugar, more for sweetness.
  4. Add the non-dairy milk/butter, then mix till smooth but not runny, like a cake mix.
  5. Melt butter and add 1tsp to the batter.
  6. Mix thoroughly.
  7. Melt butter on the frying and spread until the entire pan is coated.
  8. Once the pan is hot, pour mini circles (usually can fit 4 on a medium sized pan)
  9. When little bubbles form on the sides flip the pancakes over.
  10. Once both sides are cooked to a light brown take off the stove.
  11. Continue until you’re out of the mixture and voila!

Pancakes are all done xIMG_4080

 

Vegan in Frankfurt, Germany

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I had the amazing experience of going to Frankfurt over the Christmas holidays. I went specifically to see the Christmas markets which lived up to their reputation. To add, it snowed over the time we were there so it felt truly festive. I went with my older sister who was also vegan it was good to know that we would struggle to find food together. Fortunately, it was not as difficult to find food as we expected it to be. Frankfurt was vegan-friendly and it really helped that most people spoke English. 

 

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Our first night there we went to a Thai restaurant. Its aesthetics did not match the cuisine served. It looked like a grimy little German pub and smelt like cigars. Thai food was still great. I ordered a Thai green curry with tofu which was rich in flavour and greatly portioned. My sister ordered a peanut curry, very rich in peanuts maybe a bit too rich especially considering the rice to curry ratio.

The next day we had a late breakfast at a German coffee chain called “Coffee fellows’. It was a cute largely sized coffee shop decorated perfectly to match the holiday spirit. They had a winter specials menu which drinks with cute names such as ‘the winter wonderland’. Their dairy milk alternatives were oat milk and soya milk, better than your average coffee shop in London which usually only offers soya as an alternative. Their only vegan sandwich option was an avocado bagel. The avocado was the perfect amount of ripeness but of course, I had to add sea salt onto the avocado which they kindly provided when asked nicely. I did get some help from a German man who found it hilarious that I had difficulty communicating that I wanted salt. It was all in good fun though, and I couldn’t help but laugh too. They also had a vegan apple cake which reminded me of apple crumble but with a cakey base. (not a word, I know).

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During the day we stopped by a market stall and brought some good old churros. The churros weren’t that nice. I will not blame this on the Germans as I have never found churros as good as the one I had in Nottingham’s goose fair that one time. They were awfully dry and tasteless even with the powdered sugar on top. 

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In the evening we went back to have some good old trusted south-east Asian food. East Asian food is always a reliable source of vegan food we’ve noticed. I had udon noodle soup with generous amounts of tofu and my sister like always turned to her curry. We also shared some veggie gyoza’s which were yummy. 

 

On the last day for breakfast we ventured a bit further out to a vegan cafe which was pretty overpriced so we dragged our asses straight back to the cafe we went to the day before, ‘coffee fellows’. I am not the type of person to eat the same thing twice in a row unless it’s abnormally good. I decided to skip out on the avocado bagel and went to the Starbuck round the corner. They had a great selection of vegan food, I opted for the falafel and olive toasted wrap. The falafel was plentiful but it could have done with some hummus as it was really dry. 

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We went back to the market and had some caramelised nuts and a cute little cupcake.

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Overall we did not starve in Frankfurt. If you bring a bit more cash with you try going to the vegan specific cafe’s/restaurants. There were some in Frankfurt but we were a bit too lazy to travel further than 30 minutes from where we were staying. I would 100% going to Frankfurt especially during the Christmas period. x

 

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Vegan mac and cheese

Since going vegan, I have not found good vegan mac and cheese. There is one recipe I found by ohsheglows which uses butternut squash to mac a cheese sauce and though delicious it’s not the same as using cheese. London is a city known for its vegan options but maybe due to my lack of effort or poor searching skills I’ve only found one place who sell vegan mac and cheese and even so its pretty bland. (I won’t specify where because its unfair to them if  give them a bad review).

I’ve tried to make my own mac and cheese but still, it didn’t taste good, maybe that’s why vegan cafe’s and restaurants abstained from producing it. The problem wasn’t how I was making it but the cheese I was using. Violife is great cheese for cheese on toast but it didn’t melt so well so was a poor choice for mac and cheese. And I didn’t know anything else to use but one day I came across Asda brand vegan cheese which replicated dairy cheese so well. I thought this might be the key to my vegan cheese solution. So the other day I bought a slab and made some mac and cheese, and trust me when I tell you it is the greatest tasting thing ever. We finished the pan worth in under an hour and were still scraping the edges for more.

 

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Ingredients

250g of Macaroni
1 Slab Asda dairy free cheese
2tsp of Dairy free butter
Some Dairy free milk
3 tsp of dijon mustard
1 tsp of cayenne pepper
1.5 tsp of garlic powder
Salt

  1. Cook the macaroni.
  2. Once cooked add 2/3 of the dairy-free cheese to the pan, as well as 2 tsp of dairy-free butter.
  3. Mix and if thick and the macaroni sticks to the bottom of the pan ass dairy-free milk until the macaroni stops sticking.
  4. Add the dijon mustard, cayenne pepper and garlic powder to the mix, and mix thoroughly.
  5. Taste and add salt until ideal saltiness is acquired.
  6. Transfer to a pan.
  7. Grate the remaining 1/3 slab of vegan cheese onto the pan and put in the oven. (I put the gas mark to the highest one but I have a fan oven)
  8. Remove the cheese is thoroughly melted and some parts start to brown.

I hope you guys enjoy this recipe. If you make this send me a picture on insta @rawwithnature so I can see how they come out.

 

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Vegan Caribbean- styled recipe

I’m the kinda girl who will go out of her comfort zone and order something completely foreign to her on the menu at her favourite restaurant. I’d never understood the people who refused to try new things because they were so content with what they already had. I had the mentality of ‘there could be so much better out there that you’re missing’. I don’t only use this mind-frame in terms of food, I put it to use in life too. You could say I liked taking risks and I really did. It made things much more fun and exciting. This leads on to how I’ve decided to try and make different cuisines. Before turning vegan I was very experimental in the kitchen, now I play it safe and it’s turning me into one boring GI (Gotdam individual). So I’ve made myself a new resolution every week I must make a dish inspired by a particular country or region. And I say region because you might find the title of this post quite ignorant ‘ Caribbean recipe’ and I know there are different countries/islands within the Caribbean each which have slight differences in dishes, however, I didn’t research the specifics and to be frank I couldn’t be bothered to with how much work I have to do. But all in all, this recipe is banging and you should check it out.

 

Caribbean styled stir fry with fried plantain and fried dumplings. 

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Ingredients

Spinach
Ackee
Bell peppers
Onion
Garlic
Scotch Bonnet
Tomato
Ripe plantain
Flour
Olive oil

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Seasonings

Curry goat seasoning
Salt
Tumeric powder
Curry powder
Fresh thyme
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Method

  1. Slice up your onions, bell peppers and tomatoes into fine strips.
  2. Chop up your garlic and scotch bonnet into fine granules
  3. Add the chopped ingredients (apart from the tomato) into the pan filled with a common senseful amount of olive oil
  4. Rip up your spinach into a pan
  5. Add Ackee to the mixture
  6. Sprinkle curry goat seasoning, salt, turmeric, salt and curry powder on the mixture (be careful not to add too much, add in small parts and taste to see whether it’s seasoned enough or not)
  7. Add some water and allow to simmer
  8. Meanwhile, in a bowl add flour and a pinch of salt
  9. Add a tsp of olive oil to the flour and salt mixture
  10. Slowly pour cold water into the bowl whilst mixing until a firm dough is made.
  11. Knead the dough and form into small spherical shapes.
  12. Add an inch worth of oil to a pan
  13. Once heated add the dough balls and rotate them until all sides are golden
  14. Once golden remove them
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  15. Blend the chopped tomato before pouring into your initial mixture of peppers and spinach
  16. Add thyme to the mixture.
  17. Chop up your ripe plantain into ovals
  18. Sprinkle salt over your plantains
  19. Add an inch worth of oil to a pan
  20. Once the oil is hot add the plantain and flip once the first side has browned
  21. Once all sides turn golden brown take it off the stove
  22. Take the stir-fry mixture off of the stove.

And there we have it Caribbean style stir fry with fried plantain and fried dumpling. You can also serve this with rice and peas like I did.

Bon appetit kids x