Veg out – the Botanist, West Bridgford

Veg out – the Botanist, West Bridgford

The Botanist on Bridgford Road opened last autumn on the site of the former ‘Fire and Ice’.  Its theme is plant based cocktails using herbs and botanicals.

But on the occasion I visited with my friend we were only interested in its new vegan menu. So with much anticipation our server brought it to us, and then it was decision time

botanist vegan We opted to share the truffle mushroom starter, I ordered the beetroot and fig tart and my companion ordered the Malaysian curry for our main course. Dessert was yet to be decided!

I also love the fact that their website showcases its vegan menu

botanist

While we waited for the first course it gave us time to take in our surroundings; lots of exposed brick, a variety of tables for couples to large groups and good music that wasn’t too loud.  They also have live music on certain nights.

And then the starter arrived and it looked so appetising.

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It had some lovely peppery rocket too and a generous portion of mushrooms.  The taste didn’t disappoint either it had a deep intense mushroom flavour, and it was certainly big enough for two (£5.25).  I would definitely order it again

Nottm Post

 

You can also view my review online at Nottingham Post

 

 

 

 

Our main courses were also a feast for the eyes.  The Malaysian vegetable curry (£9.95) had such a vibrant colour and chunky vegetables that were definitely al dente

veg out the botanist

I had a sneaky taste of my friends dish and it was very well flavoured with a nice amount of heat. The addition of peas to the rice provided a pop of colour and some much needed protein.  To make the meal more balanced the addition of cashew nuts, edamame beans or tofu would have added protein

veg out the botanist My beetroot tart (£8.95) was equally as attractive and just as tasty.

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The accompanying generous salad was light and crunchy with crisp apples and walnuts. A flavour that goes really well with beetroot is horseradish, so maybe an adaptation for this dish would be to serve a horseradish dressing.

botanist vegan

 

botanist vegan

 

My empty board says it all!!

On that note what’s your thoughts about boards, especially as a vegan if the board had previously had a steak on it?!

 

We decided it would be rude not to have a pudding, we chose to share the banana, peanut butter and chocolate ice-cream (£5.50).  It made a pleasant change from the ubiquitous fresh fruit salad or sorbet

The taste was amazing but the portion for the price was a bit meagre.  A good addition would have been some roasted or griddled bananas

Overall we were really impressed with the separate vegan menu, the service was very efficient and friendly and the surroundings were very comfortable.

Definitely a place that vegans and non vegans can enjoy

 

 

 

 

Cannellini bean soup

Cannellini bean soup – from the River café cookbook

This a protein and fibre rich soup, that has a thick and satisfying texture.  Feel free to add extra stock if you want it thinner.  I haven’t tried making this with tinned cannellini beans but if you do I suggest two tins (with their liquid) and use everything in the recipe below except the bicarb,  And obviously miss out the soaking and pre-cooking steps

Serves 4

250g dried cannellini beans

2 tbls bicarbonate of soda

1 large tomato

½ bulb garlic, unpeeled

a handful of fresh sage leaves

3 garlic cloves – peeled and chopped

3 tablespoons of olive or rapeseed oil

1 bunch of flat leaf parsley, chopped.  ¾ in the soup, ¼ for decoration

salt and pepper

extra virgin olive oil

handful of toasted sliced almonds

river cafe

Begin by preparing the dried beans; Cover the beans with cold water and bicarb and soak overnight. Drain the beans place in a large saucepan, cover with fresh cold water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 10 minutes, then drain again. Add more fresh cold water and cover 5cm or 2 inches above the beans. Add the tomato, garlic bulb and sage, bring to the boil then simmer with a lid until the beans are cooked. This can take between 40 and 90 minutes. Remove the scum that floats to the surface

 

Drain the cooked beans (keep the liquid), remove the garlic, tomato and sage leaves. In a pan cook the 3 raw garlic cloves until soft but not brown. Add ¾ of the parsley (including the chopped stalks), cook for a few seconds then add the beans and some of the cooking liquid. Cook for a few minutes before putting ¾ of the mixture into a food processor, nutribullet or use a hand blender or potato masher. Pulse until the mixture is coarsely chopped.

Add some veg stock if its too thick.   Return the chopped beans to the remaining ¼ mixture in the pan. Taste, and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. This is a thick hearty soup, but If its still too thick add some extra stock. Pour in to four bowls scatter over the toasted sliced almonds, some chopped parsley and drizzle generously with extra virgin olive oil

bean soup

The soup is nice and thick and hearty

I made this soup as part of a 5 course dinner for 5 of my friends so I made it thinner and served smaller portions in teas cups.  It looked very tasty indeed

vegan soup

Veg out – No 12 Hounds Gate, Nottingham

Veg out – No 12 Hounds Gate, Nottingham

 

For various reasons many of you are trying ‘veganuary’, a world wide Campaign to encourage people to be vegan for the whole of January.

veganuary

As you know I was a lifelong vegetarian and a recent convert to vegananism and I’m always on the look out for new places to try that are either wholly vegan/vegetarian or have great vegan options. And No 12 Hounds Gate in the City centre (formerly the white rabbit teahouse) is a great new find. It’s a small independent vegan/vegetarian café run by a young couple, Ritchie and Lauren who pride themselves on making dishes from scratch using locally sourced ingredients and suppliers.

no 12 hounds gate

The owners Lauren and Ritchie

 

And their promise is that anything on the menu can be made vegan

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They shut at 4.30, so my friend and I decided to have a very late lunch or was it an early tea and arrived at 3pm, there was not a seat to be had. But the other visitors kindly moved around and with some rejigging and many apologetic smiles for nudging and bumping we were seated.

specials

Now time to concentrate on the menu and the specials board. We were spoilt for choice I didn’t know whether to have an open sandwich, with some delicious and unusual sounding fillings, a robust salad or make up my own Buddha bowl. But we both agreed we needed to save some room for a pudding!

pastrami

Pastrami and wholegrain

 

In the end I opted for Pastrami and wholegrain – homemade vegan pastrami, wholegrain mustard, mayo, sauerkraut, gooey vegan cheese and rocket served on toasted bread for £5. My friend ordered the ‘special’ warm roasted carrot salad with quinoa, mint, clementine, cranberry’s, vegan cheese and walnuts for £7.50

carrot salad

warm roasted carrot salad

 

Check out my review online at the Nottingham Post http://www.nottinghampost.com/whats-on/food-drink/vegan-reviewer-cant-fault-nottingham-1089499

NP vegan review

When my open sandwich arrived it looked pretty impressive, as was the large carrot salad. Both looked beautiful, but equally as important they tasted delicious and not to miss out we shared the dishes. Ritchie and Lauren had somehow elevated the humble carrot to being the star of the show and I still don’t know how they made the pastrami but it was amazing and each mouthful had so many different flavours and textures.

pastrami1

After a suitable gap we decided to share a pudding and opted for the ‘special’ toasted homemade banana bread with vegan peanut butter and chocolate ice cream topped with caramelised walnuts for £4. Now who wouldn’t want to tuck in to that and we weren’t disappointed when it arrived. It was gooey, chocolatey and peanut buttery. I was very pleased we decided to share because it was a rather generous portion

banana cake

toasted homemade banana bread

 

I would highly recommend this café to anyone. The owners are very accommodating and engaging and were happy to talk to us about their plans for the future of the café. It has a very sociable feel to it, partly because it is so cosy and the tables are quite close together.

We were the last to leave and the closed sign had just been put up but a young couple were standing outside in the cold looking at the menu so Ritchie said they could come in and eat something whist they tidied up the café. How kind is that

steamy outside

 

Accidentally vegan!

Accidentally vegan!

For more healthy eating advice please visit my website http://www.nutrition-coach.co.uk/

As the number of people adopting a vegan lifestyle increases so does the number of products, food items and drinks that specifically cater for their needs.  As well as vegan specific foods like cheeses, yoghurts, sausages, cakes, pastries etc there is also a growing number of accidentally vegan products out there………

You may be surprised just how many vegan items you are consuming!

But first of all a big caveat; the items below are what I would call snacks, treats and convenience foods i.e. to be consumed occasionally.  The majority of a healthy balanced diet should be in the form of freshly prepared foods like vegetables, fruit, wholegrain carbs, water, fats from olives, avocado and nuts and protein from nuts, seeds, beans, pulses, non- dairy, soya etc.

Accidentally vegan!

lets start with biscuits; these are from Aldi, Tesco, Wilko, B&M, Poundland, Asda etc

I have it on good authority that the Crocus cafe ( https://www.crocuscafe.com) in Lenton, Nottingham make an amazing oreo cookie cake, just what you need for a special treat

ore cake

 

And lets not forget one of our childhood favourites Fox’s party rings!

vegan party rings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you want to know what food in most UK supermarket is vegan friendly then I suggest you visit https://myvegansupermarket.co.uk

Christmas treats

There are now more than ever, some delicious vegan Christmas treats that should make the whole family happy

Snacks 

vegan onion rings

 

Sainsburys onion ring crisps

 

 

vegan christmas

Coop’s Christmas dinner crisps

 

Coop’s Christmas dinner crisps

 

vegan snacks

 

 

Tesco churros

 

 

 

vegan malt loaf

Aldi ‘Malt’ loaf

vegan savoury biscuits

M&S crackers

vegan nut bars

Aldi quinoa protein bars

vegan millionaire shortbread

Millionaire shortbread from Sainsbury photo by veganoo

vegan savoury biscuit

Aldi crackers

vegan Prawn cocktail crisps

Many crisp varieties including Walkers Prawn cocktail, and Worcester sauce flavours, McCoys BQ chicken, Skips, Pringles Smokey bacon. All available at most supermarkets

 

 

 

 

Cooking ingredients

vegan sauce

Sriracha mayo

vegan sauce

Asian spicy pastes and sauces

 

vegan choc drink

Liquid chocolate from Aldi and other supermarkets

At the very least this blog should give you some stocking filler ideas for the vegans in your life

vegan caramel spread biscoff

Lotus biscoff spread

merry xmas1

5 weightloss tips

5 weightloss tips

5 weight loss tips

Be active

Walk as much as possible, not only will you burn calories, build muscle and strengthen bones but you’ll enjoy being in the great outdoors and benefit from all those happy hormones

women walking

 Learn to relax

When we are stressed we release hormones like cortisol and that can cause us to overeat; increased levels of the hormone can cause higher insulin levels, your blood sugar drops and you crave sugary, fatty foods.

Find ways to unwind, that could be listening to music, spending time in the garden, having a cup of tea, meditating, have a calming bath, walking the dog etc

Make the calories count

Reduce the amount of high fat and high sugar foods in your diet, and limit them to occasional treats. Replace biscuits, sweets, cakes, crisps, fast food, pastries etc with fresh fruit, dried fruit, small amounts of dark chocolate and nuts, grilled versions of your fried favourites or smaller portions

portion-sizes

Seek professional support

That could be a slimming group, buddying up with a pal and visiting a gym or coming to see someone like me who could help you make small but permanent changes or help you make healthy nutritious meals at my cookery classes.

vegan cookery class 17 Oct

80/20 rule

You don’t have to be 100% perfect 100% of the time. Try and incorporate in to your lifestyle 80% of actions and intentions that help you achieve your goal like the four tips above. That leaves 20% of your lifestyle that doesn’t necessarily help to achieve your goal but you enjoy, such as treats, fast food and less exercise.

Teen Healthy Cooking Workshop – Cake-tastic!

Teen Healthy Cooking Workshop – Cake-tastic!
by Nutrition coach Susan Hart and Rebecca from Willow and Dove
Wednesday, August 23, 2017 2.30 – 3.45pm West Bridgford Nottingham

Cost, £17

willow and dove

 

Have you ever come home from school or college starving hungry and in need of a healthy cake?
Join us for a fun, small group (max 6), hands-on workshop for 13-16-year-olds and learn to make your own raw cakes to wow your friends and family!
Our cakes are all free from gluten, dairy, egg and soya.
Learn how to make:
*A yummy raw millionnaire slices with a super simple caramel
*How to make your own chocolate from 3 simple ingredients to top your millionaire slice
* A rich, chocolatey raw brownie with a decadent, easy icing

Take home all your creations from the afternoon plus recipes cards to recreate your cakes at home!

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/teen-healthy-cooking-workshop-cake-tastic-tickets-35873249856

And if that weren’t enough.……Join us on Wednesday 16th August 2.30pm – 3.45pm for our first workshop on healthy snacks!

willow and dove

Click here for all the details  http://www.nutrition-coach.co.uk/blog/snack-attack/

willow and Dove Aug

Teen Healthy Cooking Workshop – Snack Attack!

Teen Healthy Cooking Workshop – Snack Attack!

Wednesday 16 August 2.30 – 3.45pm West Bridgford, Nottingham

Cost, £17
willow and dove
Have you ever come home from school or college starving hungry and in need of a healthy snack?
Join me and Rebecca from Willow and Dove for a fun, small group (max 6) hands-on workshop for 13-16-year-olds and learn to make your own snacks to wow your friends and family!
All our snacks are free from gluten, dairy, egg and soya.
Learn how to make:
* Little POWER Balls in a variety of flavours (e.g Peanut Butter Brownie, Lemon and Coconut)
*Fabulous Fruity Smoothies
*Learn how to make a healthy chocolate sauce from scratch for our rainbow fruit dippers

Take home all your creations from the afternoon plus recipes cards to recreate your snacks at home!
Book you place by clicking through to Eventbrite   www.eventbrite.com/e/teen-healthy-cooking-workshop-snack-attack-tickets-35873174631


And as if that wasn’t enough……..Join us on Wednesday 23rd August 2.30pm – 4pm for our second workshop on healthy cakes!

willow and dove Click here for all the details http://www.nutrition-coach.co.uk/blog/cake-tastic/

willow and Dove Aug