London: Vx – an all vegan shop!

Vx Storefront

After our delicious lunch at the Gallery Cafe, we filled our afternoon with sight seeing and shopping at fun shops, including Vx (pronounced v-cross), a completely vegan store in King’s Cross! Vx is the home of the Secret Society of Vegans, so the store carries all of their clothing and accessories, but they sell lots of other awesome products as well. I really wanted to check out this place because it’s just so much fun to shop at a store completely packed with vegan goodies!

Vx!

They sell everything from shoes to cupcakes and I was especially excited to try some of the vegan baked good and other treats. Here’s a little list of what I got:

A cupcake by Ms Cupcake: I think the one I got was a Triple Chocolate Cupcake, but whatever it was, it was perfect! I took it with me in a little box so it got a bit squashed on the way to the B&B and I couldn’t get a pretty picture of it. Definitely have a look at Ms Cupcake’s website, though, because there are some gorgeous pictures over there! I’d love to try more of her cupcakes if I ever get the chance.

An SSOV hoodie and mug: The hoodie is super warm and soft and comfy! Thankfully the weather currently isn’t so cold that I need such a warm sweater, but I’m sure going to be glad to have it when winter comes around. Plus I love buying my clothing from vegan companies, so that is great as well. The mug is a bit silly but I couldn’t resist. Ha.

Treats!

Mexican-style Creamy Sheese: Sheese is a brand of vegan cheese that I’ve been looking forward to trying. Vx only had one of their products, which was this Mexican-spiced cream cheese. I only tried it once so far (on a slice of bread), and I thought it was tasty but not super impressive. It’s good, but I guess I really wanted to try something new, and apart from the spices, this didn’t seem to be all that different from the Tofutti cream cheese I usually get over here. I would really like to try the solid blocks of Sheese someday, because those look really interesting and different from vegan cheeses available over here. I still have most of the tub of Creamy Sheese to finish, though. I’m just not sure how to serve it. Just spread on a bagel with veggies and avocado maybe? Any suggestions?

Organica Vegan Hazelnut Nougat & Dark Chocolate bar: Yum! The bar was tasty, but nothing outstanding so I probably wouldn’t buy it very often even if I had access to it.

Trios Fudge Filled Chocolate Sandwich Cookies: Score! At least, I expect I’ll love these – I haven’t opened the package yet! I’m thinking I could make some of those enticing Oreo Cupcakes with them… that would be amazing. I just haven’t tried one yet because I’m afraid I won’t be able to eat them all before they go bad, and that would be a terrible waste! So I’m just going to hang on to these and hopefully I’ll be able to make something delicious with them someday.

A Whole Earth Sparkling Elderflower Drink: Woooh! Remember how I said I love the Whole Earth drink we had at Rootmaster and the Elderberry drink I had at the Gallery Cafe? (I know you don’t, but bear with me here) Well, combine the two and you get this! It’s a delicious elderflower softdrink sweetened with agave AND I recently found out can get this near my home, too! Excellent.

I think that’s all I bought at Vx – all such lovely vegan products! And because they were so packed with goodies, I kind of wish I could’ve tried even more. For instance, I saw these huge (and I mean huge) cookies that looked delicious and they had a few types of vegan ice cream, too, but we just weren’t able to buy (and eat) all of those at the same time. I’m really happy I got to try out all these wonderful treats, though!

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Organic treats!

It’s a good thing I happened to read Suzette’s blog this morning, as her post about organic farms reminded me that there was actually an event at a farm in my neighbourhood, too. So, since my mother and I were planning on heading in that direction anyway, we decided to stop by for some vegan cupcakes and other goodies. I had actually been to this farm before, so I was happy to find some of the things I remembered liking then, and I also got the opportunity to try some other products. We only had time to stay for a little while, but look what we got:

Organic goodies

In this picture:

Rosie’s Cupcakes: probably the main reason I really wanted to go – it’s not often I get to try vegan cupcakes that I didn’t bake myself! There were four different kinds today, so we tried them all. You can check out all available flavours on Veggierose’s website, though I’m not sure if those are entirely the same as the ones we got. In any case, they were all delicious. I really liked the combination of dried fruit and flowers in two of the cupcakes (the lavender and rose petal ones). The apple pie cupcake was sugar free, but still as deliciously sweet as the other ones, and I really enjoyed the chocolate cherry cake as well. I think these are definitely healthier than the cupcakes I usually make, and there’s a nice variety of flavours to choose from, so I recommend trying these little cakes out if you get the chance!

Nashi pear juice: I got to try samples of two different juices at the KWAKO Fruitteelt stall, and this pure nashi pear juice was my favourite. I hadn’t heard of this Japanese kind of pear before, but apparently it’s very juicy and refreshing – I’d love to try a whole, fresh one someday.

Montezuma’s Dark Chocolate with Chilli: This little chocolate bar caught my eye because I knew it was one of the foods on the UK Vegan 100 list that I posted about during VeganMoFo last year. I’d been meaning to try the product ever since, so now I finally have the chance! I haven’t actually tasted it yet, though, but it looks promising.

A Lovechock Pure/Nibs bar: Lovechock is raw organic chocolate made in Amsterdam – have a look at their website, if you like. This was my first time trying raw chocolate (guess I can check that off my Vegan 100 list, too!) and since there were free samples of all three flavours, I was able to pick my favourite before buying an entire bar. Lovechock’s flavours are Pure/Nibs, Goji/Orange, and Almond/Fig. I thought they were all tasty, but the first one really had the most dark chocolatey deliciousness, so that one’s my favourite.

And lastly, China White Monkey Tea from Thieme’s Echte Thee: This stall had various types of tea to choose from, which made it difficult for me to pick one, since I like tea, but really don’t know much about it. Luckily, they offered us a delicious sample of their White Monkey tea, and we decided to buy a bag to take home. It’s really mild and lovely – I just had a cup of this tea earlier this evening and it was perfect.

And then, as you can see, we got some organic veggies as well. Oh, and most of these website links I gave are in Dutch (so I’m sorry if you can’t read most of it), and I guess most of the products are only available locally, as well. Still, if you get the opportunity to try any of them, I highly recommend checking them out! Especially the cupcakes :)

VeganMoFo 4: Brunch on Sunday I

I’ve decided that I’m going to make brunch every Sunday for VeganMoFo (and possibly after that), as Sundays are always pleasantly lazy days that are perfect for a morning of cooking followed by a nice meal with family. I woke up a little late today, so I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to cook enough for a proper brunch. Everything went more smoothly than I had expected, though, so I ended up with plenty of delicious brunch food!

Most of these recipes are from my newest cookbook, Vegan Brunch by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. I never used to make brunch all that often, so I feared I might not use the book very often. I was wrong. This is turning into my new favourite cookbook! I guess I just didn’t realise how versatile brunch really is. There are so many different recipes in the book, there’s something you can use for every type of meal. I’ve also started having more elaborate brunches since I got it, so it’s definitely not sitting on by cookbook shelf unused!

Now, on to the pictures.

Chocolate Beer Waffles

We started our meal with these waffles. They’re the Chocolate Beer Waffles from Vegan Brunch and they are so decadent and delicious. I wanted to make the chocolate drizzle Isa suggests in the description of the recipe, but I didn’t have enough non-dairy milk so I ended up mixing some melted chocolate with a little maple syrup and fruit juice for an extra rich chocolate sauce. We had some raspberries that were about to go bad and they went great with these waffles!

Tofu scramble

After that, I made tofu scramble! I had a little bit of tofu left in the fridge and it needed to be used, so I made a small batch of the Basic Tofu Scramble from Vegan Brunch. I downsized the recipe and didn’t really measure the spices, so the quantities probably aren’t exactly right, but it was quite tasty. I added a sliced onion and two tomatoes. Mmm. I really love that this scramble has such a soft texture, probably because of the water added to the spice mix. I think the softness makes the dish seem a little more similar to scrambled eggs and since my tofu scramble often tends to burn a little, I really like this technique.

Roasted Potatoes

To go with the scramble, I roasted a few potatoes using the VB recipe. I had made one of the variations before (paprika rosemary), but this basic version was great as well! I never knew how well potatoes go with tofu scramble, but now I try to have them together every time.

Tofu bacon

Next up, tofu bacon. I know, two types of tofu in one meal seems silly, but I really wanted to try the bacon and I had to use up the other piece of tofu somehow, too.

This is the “tempeh bacon revamped” recipe from VB, with smoked tofu instead of tempeh. As I mentioned before, I don’t have any liquid smoke, so I wanted to try and see whether smoked tofu would be a good replacement. Apart from the fact that I may have cooked them a little too long, these were tasty! The recipe takes very little work (you just throw the marinade together and let it sit for an hour), so I’m probably going to make it more often!

Fronch toast

Even though we had more than enough food for one meal already, I also fried up some  fronch toast. I had made a couple pieces of the Fronch Toast from Vegan with a Vengeance on Friday, and I had saved the rest of the mixture in the fridge, so it was ready to use! The leftover batter was enough to coat a couple of slices of stale ciabatta, and served with fresh blueberries and maple syrup, these slices made a lovely addition to the brunch!

I hope I can keep this “brunch on Sunday” thing up for the entire month, because this sure was delicious.

Birthday cake

I only have less than an hour to make sure I have everything packed for my holiday to Amsterdam this week, but I just wanted to share a picture of the cake I made for my friend’s birthday yesterday:

cake!

It’s kind of a lousy picture and a lousy decorating job in general (didn’t have much time, unfortunately!), but the cake was tasty and it felt nice to finally bake something again! I used the (doubled) chocolate cupcake recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World, made it into two round layers and put those on top of each other with coffee-flavoured buttercream in between and on top. I had expected it to be a bit taller, but I guess I should’ve made more batter in order to have a bigger cake. Anyway, it was very filling this way already, so the thin cake layers were just fine!

So yeah, short post! I just didn’t want to be gone without notice for a week again. I’ll probably be back in six days, so have a nice week!