Naturally Kind Food

Naturally Kind Food are a small, local business based on South Wales. They make vegan cakes for the masses! You can find their cakes in various vegan hot spots around South Wales, but they also make occasion cakes on request. Check out their website for details!

At the very beginning of the month, I entered a Facebook competition to win a Naturally Kind Food cake and I won!

I don’t live far from the Naturally Kind Food HQ so I went to pick up as soon as I found out. I was greeted by the lovely Sara who passed over 2 cakes! I was absolutely spoilt. They were cakes that she had been experimenting with sugar paste decorations, which I must say, were absolutely beautiful.

As you can see from the images, the cakes look amazing. My personal favourite was the more colourful one as I like bright colours that catch my eye. This one was a smaller one.

The second cake is the one you can see on the right and it was much bigger. There were beautiful flowers on the top made with icing which I actually crushed a little bit with the box so they’re much flatter than they’re supposed to be!

Aesthetically, both cakes were absolutely beautiful. I felt so lucky to have won them. Let’s get down to the important stuff, the taste!

The cake, as pictured above, was filled with cream and jam. The entire cake was covered in a chocolate ganache and fondant icing on top. The layers were perfect and it cut beautifully.

The sponge was still moist, even a few days after being baked and decorated. We continued to have servings during the week and it remained delicious, and drying very slowly. It was absolutely delicious.

I was good and I did share with Tom and his family and everyone enjoyed their share of the cakes!

I highly recommend Naturally Kind Food for any occasion cakes you may be looking for. Take a look at their website as they make a huge range of flavours of cakes so it’s definitely worth dropping them a message.

Plus, who doesn’t love vegan cake?!

Suncraft in Bristol

Last week, my sister @vgnnatalie treated me to a lovely birthday meal in her hometown of Bristol. We had intended to go to Koocha, but sadly they were closed on that day so we went to Suncraft which was only around the corner.

Suncraft is on a main road and has a bright yellow exterior that can’t be missed. We met up early so we must have walked in around 17:30 and the restaurant was nice and quiet. We were greeted at the door and asked where we would like to sit. We chose a small table for 2 in the middle of the restaurant.

They had an extensive menu that sounded delicious. I had to reign my sister in as she wanted to try everything!! We settled on order 3 main dishes and 2 sides:

  • Kimchi Fried Rice
  • Corn Arepas
  • Tofu and Mushroom Satay (Special Dish)
  • BBQ Korean Tempeh Bites
  • Sweet Potato Fries with Chilli

It was divine. Everything put in front of us was full of flavour and so enticing. I absolutely recommend the BBQ Korean Tempeh Bites, I could have ordered more if we hadn’t ordered so much food already!

The Kimchi Fried Rice was so satisfying. It had the perfect level of spice, without being too hot nor lacking in flavour. There were beansprouts in their fried rice which I don’t think we see enough of because I love beansprouts, and the crispy seaweed on top was a fantastic addition.

I was surprised by the Corn Arepas. I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect, but it was actually really nice. There was a sweet potato patty type thing on a bed of black beans with an almond feta which was really lovely.

The winning dish for me was the Tofu and Mushroom Satay, which I foolishly didn’t picture individually. It was absolutely incredible. The satay sauce was unreal with the perfect balance of creaminess and peanut flavours. It does help that I’m a huge fan of tofu and mushrooms too. The rice was cooked perfectly and the whole dish was just top of the bar.

The service provided was great. They were attentive and ensured we were well looked after, from asking us if we wanted individual plates as we were sharing and simply checking up on us after our meal. We ordered so many dishes that we didn’t finish it all, but we were able to take it come in vegware takeaway containers.

I highly recommend a visit to Suncraft. Check out their social media and website for more details but you will definitely not be disappointed!

Valentine’s Day: The Vegan Bakes

Boy did good this year. Instead of buying me flowers, he came up with the baked goods.

I received a missed parcel note from Royal Mail last week, and unusually they left it with a neighbour instead of taking it back to the depot. I had no idea what the parcel was as I hadn’t done any online shopping recently! I knocked next door and they handed me a parcel addressed to me labelled perishable…

I opened the parcel and was greeted with a red tissue wrapped box with a ‘The Vegan Bakes’ sticker on top. Contained inside underneath more red tissue paper was a cheesy note from Tom and the goods themselves!

It was filled with beautifully presented baked goods which included chocolate brownies, cake pops and cookies. In this Valentine’s box, everything came in pairs which was ideal for sharing! I’m not normally a sharer but under these circumstances I thought I should.

We started with the cake pops which looked amazing. They were absolutely gorgeous and dusted with gold. It was a red velvet cake covered in white chocolate and was absolutely divine. The cake was moist and the chocolate wasn’t too thick which made it nice and easy to eat.

We then had the cookies for breakfast, and again, they were delicious. Not hard or soft with the perfect crunch on the outside of the cookie. They were filled with so many chocolate chunks and the actual cookie was the size of my hand.

At the time of me writing this blog post, we have not yet tried the brownies, but based on how incredible the cake pops and cookies were, I’m sure we will not be disappointed.

Visit The Vegan Bakes website to see their full range of products because there is so much available. They do gift boxes as well as bespoke cakes, and of course, they are all vegan. So have a browse and try them out!

Got No Beef in Cardiff City Centre [2]

In early December, I posted an exclusive first look blog post about Got No Beef before they opened their doors to the public. Since then, they have opened for the rest of the world and I cannot stop visiting! I am obsessed!

I’ve ordered something new each time and every visit the food is incredible. It is of such great quality and tastes amazing. The family work so hard and are so friendly. It’s a lovely experience!

The full menu is so extensive and I urge you to take a look. You can find the full menu on their Facebook page which is linked here and on their website.

Visit 1

The first visit was a quick lunch visit the day after they opened. I ordered the GNB Chick’n Burger. All their mains come with fries so there’s no need to order separately which is SUCH a nice change from every other restaurant you go to.

The chick’n has fast become my favourite dish on the menu. The texture is incredible and the flavours are so good. I highly recommend it, especially those who are going to try out Veganuary! It’ll really hit the mock meat spot.

Visit 2

The second time, I went with my brother for an early dinner and ordered SO MUCH FOOD! We shared it all so that we could try as much as possible and, again, it did not disappoint.

We ordered the Original Sharing Platter which consists of Shrimp, Potato Skins and Cauliflower Wings.

For our mains, we ordered the Loaded Mac Dog and the Freedom Burger, and we even upgraded to loaded fries for one of our mains to get the full food experience.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… This is the most Instagrammable food you will ever see. But not only this, it is the most delicious vegan food you will ever taste. Everything is bursting with flavour and really hits the spot.

Some of you meat-eaters out there might ask why vegan want to eat things that look like meat… The simple answer is that some of us want to eat meat and enjoy the flavours but we don’t want to contribute to the cruelty and murder of animals for it.

I forgot to take a picture of the inside of the Freedom Burger but it was glorious. The smokey flavour and texture of the burger was delicious. I still truly believe that Got No Beef burgers are the best vegan burgers around.

The sharing platter had a bit of everything on it. The shrimp had an incredible texture, the cauliflower wings had a nice subtle kick to it and the potato skins were delicious.

The hot dog was great too. I love the idea of loading it with mac and cheese and it wasn’t too much, the perfect ratio. It was really filling with the texture of the hot dog being quite heavy. It wasn’t my favourite thing on the menu but it was still fantastic.

Visit 3

A few days later, my friends and I had our Christmas catch up so we went to Got No Beef as they hadn’t tried it yet and I had been raving about it.

GNB has a great drinks menu which includes cocktails and mylkshakes. 2 of us ordered Singapore Slings and then the other ordered a mint oreo mylkshake.

Her 1 year old daughter absolutely LOVED the mylkshake. There was some serious mess made with fingers and straws all over the face. I think she only managed a few sips herself and the rest ended up down her daughter’s dress.

The cocktail was lovely and didn’t taste too strong, which could be considered a downfall for some but it meant that I was able to enjoy it without feeling like I was drinking a strong alcoholic drink!

We all ordered Chick’n burgers, but mine was the hot one, and we ordered the cauliflower wings to share but I specified to have hot sauce on the side instead of a mayo or ranch sauce.

We finished the meal with a caramel cheesecake and churros. I forgot to take a picture of the cheesecake but it was a big hit! The churros weren’t bad either! Lots of chocolate and whipped cream, so who can say no to that?!

Everyone loved their food. They were amazed by the chick’n and were so surprised but how good it was and how much like chicken it was. All round, a fantastic review from the omnivores!

Visit 4

My addiction to Got No Beef has well and truly started by this point. I work a very short walk from Cardiff City Centre and it’s only 10 minutes for me to get to the restaurant.

I ordered a take out lunch of 2 chick’n strip and fries with a drink for £7. There was a bit of a wait at lunch time as the restaurant was full of customers but it’s to be expected when you’re ordering from a restaurant, not a take away.

My colleague didn’t want to get GNB, so she made the trip to Grazing Shed at the other end of Barrack Lane. I must have only waited around 10 – 15 minutes for my lunch, whereas she waited 30 minutes for hers!

I took my lunch back to the office and showed it off to everyone! They all looked impressed and I thoroughly enjoyed my food.

They have recently started offering a collection service via online orders! This will be so handy for those who don’t have much time for lunch so I recommend checking it out. It will save you on having to wait in the restaurant too as it will be a quick grab and go!

Visit 5

I’m going to finish this blog post on my fifth, and most certainly not my last, visit to Got No Beef.

I did a lone trip and ordered myself the GNB Hot Chick’n Burger again and an Oreo mylkshake.

As I continue to state, the chick’n items are my favourite dishes on the menu. The Oreo mylkshake was delicious and made a great American diner style dinner of a burger and a shake! Truly delicious and never a disappointment.

For those of you trying out Veganuary next month, this is the perfect food spot for you in Cardiff. After trying all the dishes on the menu, you won’t get that hankering for a meat fix ever again!

Veganuary Tips

Going vegan has never been easier! Over the last few years, supermarkets and restaurants have been more and more accommodating with their products and offerings so you will always find an option somewhere!

During Veganuary, lots of restaurants even participate in offers to encourage you to eat with them and try a vegan dish which is actually really great.

Here are some of my top tips to kick start your Veganuary!

  1. Do your research – it is really important to make sure you stay healthy and eat all the nutrients and vitamins that your body needs in order to maintain a healthy vegan lifestyle. I recommend checking out The Vegan Society nutrition page as a jumping off point!
  2. Plan your meals – it’s so much easier when you first become vegan to plan your meals. Look online for recipes of things you’re unsure of, I recommend BOSH!. These days it’s easy to find meat replacements such as soy mince and vegan sausages.
  3. Herbs and spices are your new best friends – As much as I love the taste of vegetables, they can get boring and not everyone loves them. Make sure you experiment with different herbs and spices to flavour your food as best you can.
  4. Follow vegan food groups on social media – The vegan community is an amazing one and everyone is so supportive. I highly recommend following groups such as Vegan Food UK, Accidentally Vegan and Veganuary across their social media pages to get inspiration!
  5. Don’t be too hard on yourself – The important thing to remember is that no matter what you do, you’re trying your hardest. It’s easy to make mistakes so keep calm and carry on!

If you have any questions, please feel free to comment on my post and I’ll do my best to give a helpful reply!

Good luck on your vegan journey and I hope it’s so good that you’ll want to stay vegan forever!

Vegan Christmas Dinner 2019

So Christmas has been and gone, and my sister, @vgnnatalie, cooked another fabulous vegan Christmas dinner (with the exception of a bit of veggie and meat for my mum, dad and brother! – Still gotta keep the omnis happy).

The Family

To make our lives easier this year, we bought in some of our food instead of cooking it from scratch. For our centre pieces, we had the Waitrose Vegan Festive Wreath and their Vegan Root en Croute. I didn’t manage to take a picture of the root en croute, mainly because I didn’t think of blogging this until after I’d eaten it all!

Waitrose Festive Wreath

The Festive Wreath was made up of vegan sausage and stuffing in the middle. The Root en Croute was a pastry with roasted carrots, spinach and a creamy sauce.

The Waitrose food was freezable for up to a month so I chucked it in the freezer and defrosted it Christmas eve, ready for Christmas Day! What was even more fantastic was that both items cooked at the same temperature for 25 minutes which made it so much easier on the day.

Natalie cooked almost everything else from scratch, which included crispy roasted potatoes, cauliflower cheese (made with vegan Applewood cheese), vegan yorkshire puddings and, of course, all of the vegetables.

The only exception were the pigs in blankets which we bought from Morrisons and were thrown in the oven along with everything else.

Natalie did an incredible job on dinner, as she always does. My parents even enjoyed the vegan Waitrose centre pieces. They couldn’t believe the Festive Wreath wasn’t meat!

After last year’s debacle with a very salty and not ideal seitan roast from Bun Fiction, I was nervous that our parents would be disappointed by another lack lustre vegan centre piece, but this was not the case. Waitrose have done a great job in catering for vegans and these were just right for us.

Maybe next year I’ll finally try making a mushroom wellington myself, but until then we’ll be resting and snacking on all our vegan chocolate we got for Christmas.

From all of us, we hope you had a wonderful Christmas and we hope you have a happy New Year!

The Cruelty Free Beauty Box Deluxe [December 2019]

As we’re aware, the lead up to Christmas is super busy and deliveries take longer than expected. I almost entirely forgot about my Cruelty Free Beauty Box delivery so it was a nice surprise!

This months deluxe box was FULL of goodies, including a few Christmas extras!

The contents of this months Deluxe box contains:

  • Bowe Organic – Lip Rescue Balm (RRP £11)
  • Balade En Provence – Hand Cream (RRP £8.95)
  • All Earth Mineral Cosmetics – Finishing Powder Eco Pot (RRP £14)
  • Sknfed – Cleansing & Exfoliating Cubes (RRP £14.50)
  • Tisserand – Sleep Better Pillow Mist (RRP £9.45)
  • Delhicious – Original Black Tea Body Scrub (RRP £7.95)
  • Christmas White Chocolate Soy Wax Melt (RRP £1.50)
  • Matcha Green Coffee Sparkling Water (RRP £1.75)
  • Vegan Chocolatier – Christmas Cracker (RRP £3.25)
  • Spacemasks (RRP £3.50)
  • Freedom Mallows – Mallow Bites (RRP £3)
  • House Of Wonderland – Snowflake Earrings (RRP £7.95)

The total value of the box tots up to £86.70 and everything looks and smells fabulous! It only arrived yesterday so I have yet to try everything but here are my comments so far…

The Sknfed exfoliating cubes smells absolutely incredible. I’m not sure if it’s a coffee smell but they smell amazing and I’m really excited to use them.

The Tisserand Pillow Mist is life changing. I actually bought one in September for Tom for his birthday so it’s nice that I have my own one. I’ve probably used Tom’s one more than him! Again, this mist smells lovely and full of lavender and I really do have a good sleep when I use it. I usually give a spritz across the pillow and let myself fall into a deep slumber.

The Balade En Provence hand cream is really absorbent and smells fresh. I’m planning on taking it to work and keeping it on my desk so I can have a good moisturiser to use there! I have enough at home so it makes sense to keep one in the office.

This is the first time I’ve tried Freedom Mallows before, even though I’ve seen them around before but never bought them. They are delicious!! It’s been a while since I’ve had marshmallows but these have a very similar texture and the flavour is great. If you spot these when you’re out and about, grab a bag! As a gift for someone else or even for yourself, these are great.

The only item I sadly won’t be able to show off is the House of Wonderland earrings as I don’t have my ears pierced. I have debated getting my ears pierced for a while now so whether I will do so to make sure of them or not is a decision I need to make. Otherwise I will gift them to someone as they are really cute and a gorgeous rose gold!

Again, The Cruelty Free Beauty Box have not disappointed with their deluxe box. I am always looking forward to receiving my box and the contents has never disappointed. Seriously, look them up if you haven’t already!

This will be my last post before Christmas, and although Wednesday is my usual blogging day, it falls on Christmas Day so normal business will resume on the Sunday, 29th December!