Posts tagged under: food

Lion Ark Movie premiere reception

Posted on October 3rd, 2013 · By admin

Testimonial

Lion Ark Movie premiere reception

 

Hi Diana,

Thank you for your email and for catering for our reception yesterday.

It all seemed to go very well and I have received nothing but good reports about the food, with a few commenting too that they were delighted that it was vegan. We would not have anything less!

We would certainly be very happy to use Vegan Peasant Catering for any future events and I very much appreciate that the facilities provided by the venue were less than ideal. Hopefully if we work together in the future we will have more control over this!

With very best wishes,

Angie

 

Angie Greenaway, Lion Ark, ADI Films, http://www.lionarkthemovie.com, 3rd October 2013

 

 

 

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VegFest 2013 Photos

Posted on June 10th, 2013 · By admin

Nakd VegFest 2013

Nakd VegFest 2013

Fry's UK VegFest 2013

Fry’s UK VegFest 2013

Lush VegFest 2013

Lush VegFest 2013

Vegetarian Food Studio VegFest 2013

Vegetarian Food Studio VegFest 2013

Good Hemp VegFest 2013

Good Hemp VegFest 2013

Fresh Therapies VegFest 2013

Fresh Therapies VegFest 2013

BUAV VegFest 2013

BUAV VegFest 2013

Beond VegFest 2013

Beond VegFest 2013

The Chocolatier VegFest 2013

The Chocolatier VegFest 2013

Ms Cupcake VegFest 2013

Ms Cupcake VegFest 2013

Fry's behind the scenes

Fry’s behind the scenes

Ms. Cupcake N Crew behind the scenes

Ms. Cupcake N Crew behind the scenes

Poseidon at Broad Quay

Poseidon at Broad Quay

This is Bristol

This is Bristol

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VegFest 2013

Posted on June 10th, 2013 · By admin

All aboard! VegFest 2013

On 24May 2013 with a sense of foreboding we cycled across London to Paddington Station to board the 11.30am train to Bristol Temple Meads Station. A temperature of 11C and lashing wind and rain brought murkiness to what should have been a beautiful spring day. “Ugh! This weather is going to ruin VegFest”, I thought.

Seated in the cosy confines of our First Great Western booth we tried to forget about the weather. To the left and to the right we passed field upon field of shocking yellow oilseed rape. Is rape the only thing that will grow well in this weather?

As we stopped at each station I couldn’t help noticing the passengers wearing puffa jackets, a lady wearing sheepskin gloves and men with hats pulled down so low as to almost cover their eyes. But I needn’t have worried because by the time we got down to Bristol the storm had passed.

Vegfest is Europe’s and perhaps the world’s biggest vegan lifestyle event of the year. On the second bank holiday weekend in May the veggie and the veggie curious descend on Bristol’s Harbourside for a weekend of music, speakers, comedy, demos, food stalls workshops and films.

We first attended VegFest when it was known as The Vegan Fayre. So it was great to be back for the 10th year anniversary and to be on the other side of the stall at the Fry’s stand. Some of you might remember that we attended Animal Aid’s Xmas Fayre with Fay Gay Vegan and Josh as Pat and Lisa Drummy had to make a trip to South Africa during this time and couldn’t attend. Prior to working at the fayre we were asked to do a bit of recipe development to illustrate how you could prepare Fry’s products in fun and festive ways in the run up to the holiday party season. It was lovely to hang out with the Fry’s team and get the full-on experience of cooking up and handing out samples for an entire weekend. It was fun, but it sure was thirsty work.

 

 Food Producers

 

Fry's UK

Fry’s UK

 As it was a working weekend for us we spent most of our time under the big tent (the main marquee). Tim, VegFest show founder and organiser, has done a great job. This year’s event was bigger and better than ever. Lots of food producers were on hand to give out samples and special offers. Fry’s, Vegusto, Natural Balance, Goodlife Foods, Moo Free Chocolate Company, Goody Good Stuff, Good Hemp, Ms. Cupcake, The Cat and the Cream, Sheese, Gusto Organic, Samuel Smith Brewery, Koko Dairy Free, Riverford Organic, Razzle Dazzle Ices, Pulsin’, The Chocolatier, The Heavenly Cake Company, Wheaty, Yaoh just to name a few.

Before the show kicked off and it started to get really busy, I took the opportunity to take some photos of some of the people behind the brands you know and love.

 

Nakd

Nakd

 Happy Cow

 

 As I was making the rounds I bumped into the Happy Cow, yes the purple Happy Cow of internet fame. Well, a very tall person dressed in a purple cow costume, very hard to miss. Happy Cows are also one of the most helpful cows you’ll ever hope to meet. When you have a trip planned to say Bratislava, Happy Cow is the first port of call to find out where all the good veggie and vegan cafés, restaurants and health food stores are.

Huge surges of attendees were now crowding the isles and by the time I thought about getting a photo the Happy Cow had moved on. And I had to get back to the stall. So I missed my photo opportunity.

To see more photos check out the gallery.

 

The Vegan Lifestyle Isn’t All About Food

 

It wasn’t all about the food. Wills Vegan Shoes, Ecotricity, Fresh Therapies, Lush, Neal’s Yard Remedies, Living Naturally, Jason, Ethical Investors, Sea Shepherd UK, Animal Aid, BUAV, and many, many other exhibiters were on hand to sell their products or promote their mission.

Ecotricity

Ecotricity

 

Entertainment

 

The exhibition floor was buzzing and when I did a quick whiz around the demo, talk, and workshop areas they were well attended too. The energy from the day’s program couldn’t help, but carry over into the evening’s entertainment.  And what an impressive music lineup it was. The musical talent included The Happy Mondays, Caravan Palace, The Farm, 808 State, Peter Hook, club Yeyo, The Abyssinians, Macka B, Kitten and the Hip and the Boxettes.

The VegFest team clearly demonstrated that they have a talent for organizing multifaceted events.

 

Attendance

 

Here are the stats from the VegFest Bristol homepage.  I’d be surprised if this wasn’t the best-attended event yet.

 

20,000 visit VegfestUK Bristol 2013

Massive thank you to all our visitors to this years event – once gain we were blessed by the weather for the weekend, although Friday was little challenging.

Here’s the approx breakdown for your info

Friday evening 2,800

Saturday Daytime 5,100

Saturday evening 3,600

Sunday Daytime 7,400

Big thanks to all our stallholders and sponsors, speakers and entertainers, all our contractors and all our volunteers and supporters, as well as the authorities – you have been sublime.”

 

If you have never attended a VegFest before I hope this post intrigued you enough to want to attend the next one. If it’s been a while since you last attended, it’s a great time to return as the festival gets bigger and better every year. The first ever London show will take place in October so you don’t want to miss it.

We’ll see you there.

Ms Cupcake

Ms Cupcake

Broad Quay

Broad Quay

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May Newsletter 2013

Posted on May 17th, 2013 · By admin

Newsletter May 2013


Dear Vegan Peasant Friends,

What’s in season now?

Photo “Asparagus” is copyright (c) 2013 chilebeans and made available under a Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic

Photo, “Asparagus” is copyright (c) 2013 chilebeans and made available under a Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic

Perhaps due to the wacky weather we’ve been having I haven’t seen any asparagus at the Stoke Newington Farmers’ Market. It’s a real shame because the start of spring and therefore the arrival of asparagus is the best reason to eat British, local and organic. Asparagus is best when picked fresh. The faster you can get your bunch of asparagus from the field to your plate, the better it will taste because the sugars in the plant start to turn to starch once it’s picked.

I’d love to say there are 1001 things you can do with asparagus, but that wouldn’t be true and I don’t want to lie to you. Roast it in the oven with a bit of olive oil, garlic and salt. There job done.


Vegan Tart Wins!

Congratulations to Dumisani Nyathi of The Vegan Tart for winning the Best Savoury category as well as Best in Show at the recent Brixton Bake Off, organised by Brixton Market.

And in case you were wondering, Dumisani won the top prize for his sundried tomato cheesecake. Sounds yum, must get my hands on a slice.


Ms. Cupcake’s Book Launch

First Book Launch - Ms. Cupcake

First Book Launch – Ms. Cupcake

Mellissa Morgan, aka Ms Cupcake, launched her first recipe book on May 9th.
Published by Square Peg, part of the Random House Group, the book, entitled Ms Cupcake – The Naughtiest Vegan Cakes in Town!

Vegan Peasant, as well as a number of other caterers, were on hand to feed the Brixton massive with canapés.

The event was held at the Ms. Cupcake Bakery. It was a great turn out with a lovely mix of locals, publishing types and people who call themselves vegans.

The art direction, photography and graphics are amazing.

Buy a copy of this book


FAQ: Venue

Ever so often we get a catering request from a host who is also looking for a venue. At the moment, we don’t have the capacity to provide a venue finding service. So here are a few things to think about when it comes to choosing the perfect venue.

How large is your party? You need to have at least a rough idea of the number of guests who’ll be attending.

Are kitchen facilities available? Refrigerators and stoves can be brought in, but obviously at an additional cost.

Is the venue licensed to provide alcohol service?

Is this a formal sit down dinner or a canapé and champagne reception?
Where will people sit and eat – will they have a solid surface to put plates on or should it be finger food?

Answering these questions will help guide you towards food options that will be tasty and appropriate to the event.


Upcoming Events

VegFest Bristol – May 24-26th 2013

The late May bank holiday weekend is sure to be a stormer if the 25,000 people expected to attend the VegFest have anything to do with it.

We’ll be hanging out with VegFest show sponsor’s Fry’s so if you’re in the area do stop by and say hello.

For more info about VegfestUK visit the website or contact the office by email info@vegfest.co.uk or by phone on 0117 307987


Recipe of the Month

Chestnut Chocolate Biscuits

Chestnut Puree

Chestnut Puree

Roasted chestnuts are great, boiled chestnuts are my favorite, but what to do with this can of chestnut puree (see pic above). Amel, who happens to be French, gave me this can of chestnuts some time ago and it’s been staring back at me ever since. Today, I finally decided to do something about it. Reach into the back of your cupboard and grab your can of chestnut puree. Oh, wait, there isn’t one, it’s ok, you can pick one up from most supermarkets.

I’ve veganise this recipe so instead of butter we have substituted margarine, and instead of eggs – linseed or flax meal. It’s best if you mix the linseed and water in a separate bowl first.

Ingredients

Makes about 15-20 large cookies

125g margarine, softened
250g tin sweetened chestnut purée
125g dark chocolate, melted
75g icing sugar
2 tbls finely ground linseed
6tbls water
225g plain flour

Method

Mix the margarine with an electric mixer or beat with a hand whisk until fairly soft. Then add the chestnut purée, chocolate, icing sugar and linseed mixture. Sift and stir in the flour.

Line a tray with parchment paper. Spoon the mixture on the tray and shape into ovals or rounds.

Heat the oven to 170C. Bake for 35 minutes or until crisp.

Adapted from Dan Lepard.


May Newsletter

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Heart Healthy Foods – Valentine’s Day

Posted on February 14th, 2013 · By admin

chocolate brownies - photo credit Mariona Otero

chocolate brownies – photo credit Mariona Otero

Heart Healthy Foods – Valentine’s Day

Being the skeptical person that I am, I couldn’t let this ‘holiday’ created to sell boxed chocolate, flowers and greeting cards pass without adding a contribution.

At first, I was going to go all literal on you and create a list of foods that are high in iron, which some of these foods are, but then I decided to expand the list to include foods that are associated with a lower risk of death from both coronary heart disease and cardiovascular disease.

And yes, chocolate is on the list.

Here’s to a heart healthy Valentine’s Day.

Tomatoes – came from the New World and were brought to Europe by the Spanish colonizers.

Are high in lycopene and an excellent source of vitamin C as well as vitamin A, vitamin B6, niacin, folate, potassium and fiber.

Research suggests that the combination of nutrients in tomatoes may help prevent cardiovascular disease. Cooking tomatoes increases the amount of lycopene readily available. So it’s a good idea to include a mix of both of raw and cooked tomatoes in your diet.

Other fruits high in lycopene: pink grapefruits, watermelons and papayas.

Recipe ideas: salsa, pizza, pasta, soup, tomato and basil salad, brushetta, and quiche.

Garlic – Garlic is native to central Asia and has been cultivated for over 7,000 years.

Crushed or chopped garlic releases allicin, the pungent sulphur compound that gives garlic its characteristic smell. These compounds react with red blood cells and produce hydrogen sulphide, which relaxes the blood vessels, and keeps blood flowing easily.

Also known to keep ‘vampires’ at bay.

Recipe ideas: Spaghetti alla puttanesca, garlic mashed potatoes, garlic bread, roasted garlic

Apples – originated in Western Asia probably Kazakhstan.

Apples are packed with the following antioxidant flavonoid compounds — epicatechin, epigallocatechin, kaempferol, quercetin. These compounds play a key role by preventing “bad” LDL cholesterol from oxidizing and triggering a series of events that results in the buildup of plaque in arteries, as well as inhibiting inflammation. Apples are also rich in pectin, a form of soluble fiber known to help lower cholesterol, and they provide a decent amount of vitamin C, another antioxidant.

To get the benefits you have to eat the whole apple and not just the juice!

Other fruits you should try: pears plus the 7500 varieties of apples.

Recipe ideas: raw apples, apple crisp, apple pie, apple turnovers, and sautéed red cabbage with apples.

Pomegranates – come to us by way of Persia and the name is derived from medieval Latin word for apple.

Are full of powerful polyphenols, which are found in all fruits, vegetables, legumes, seeds, red wine and chocolate. Studies have shown pomegranate to contain the highest antioxidant capacity compared to other juices.

Pomegranates may help to reduce the buildup of plaque in arteries and lower blood pressure.

Other fruits /juices you should try: blueberries, cranberries, blackberries, raspberries, pears, plums and red wine, strawberries, black currants, lingo berries, chokeberries and aronia berries.

Recipe ideas: winter salad, crumble, sauce, punch, and gelato

Red Beans or Kidney Beans – Probably originated from a common bean ancestor in Peru.

Chock full of B vitamins; niacin; folate; magnesium; omega-3 fatty acids; calcium; soluble fiber. The soluble fiber in red beans helps to reduce cholesterol levels, while the folate helps to lower levels of homocysteine, a compound associated with an increased risk of heart attack and stroke.

Other beans/pulses you should try: black beans, lentils, pinto beans, and black eye peas.

Recipe ideas: stews, soups, salads, rice & beans and corn

Kale – originated in the eastern Mediterranean or Asia Minor and according to wiki was the most common green vegetables in all of Europe until the end of the Middle Ages.

It’s packed with heart-healthy antioxidants as well as omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, folate, potassium, and vitamin E. It’s also high in Vitamin K, which aids blood clotting, protects the heart, and helps to build bones.

Other greens you should try: cabbage, collards, broccoli, and brussels sprouts.

Recipe ideas: raw (dehydrated) kale chips, kale, apple, carrot and walnut salad, pasta with cavolo nero.

Almonds – are native to the Middle East and South Asia.

Nuts are chock-full of vitamins, minerals, heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and low levels of saturated fats. Know to reduce the absorption of cholesterol and encourage the liver to make less LDL and more HDL (good cholesterol).

Other nuts you should try: walnuts, pecans, almonds, hazelnuts, pistachios, pine nuts and peanuts (which actually are legumes).

Recipe ideas: raw almond cheese, stir-fry, chocolate covered almonds, almond Parmesan, almond biscotti.

Chocolate – originated in the lowland rainforests of the Amazon River basins of South America.

Chocolate and cocoa are high in flavanols and as with other antioxidants have been known to improve vascular health, such as lowering blood pressure, improving blood flow to the brain and heart, and making blood platelets less sticky and able to clot. To really get the benefits you have to eat the least processed form of chocolate. Sorry milk chocolate is no good; chocolate solids have to be at least 70%.

These plant chemicals aren’t only found in chocolate. In fact, a wide variety of foods and beverages are rich in flavonols. These include cranberries, apples, peanuts, onions, tea and red wine.

Recipe ideas: chocolate brownies, chocolate truffles, chocolate zucchini cake, raw cacao nibs, and hot chocolate drink.

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Happy New Year 2013!

Posted on January 7th, 2013 · By admin

fireworks
Happy New Year 2013

Hi Vegan Peasant Friends,

Starting the year off on a high?

The beginning of the year started on a high for me, literally, but all natural of course. I broke out the excel sheet and started working on my plan for 2013 including: categorises, actions, deadlines and reviews. In the following areas of health, travel, friends & family, reading, writing, money, business, etc. Due to all the excitement generated coming up with my plan, I couldn’t get to sleep. Ideas kept running through my brain until 2am and even 4am in the morning. As someone who usually gets to sleep in 5 minutes after hitting the pillow, this was very alarming. A continuous high like that is not sustainable. A productive week past and the high faded, I’m so glad that I can now get to sleep with a little less running through my mind.

Putting the excel sheet aside, I do hope your year has gotten off to a running start.

If travel is on the horizon for 2013, you will not go wrong to put Berlin on your list. And if you are keen, our friend Patrick, who has moved back to Berlin for good, is giving tours. So, do get in touch.

More Berlin

At the end of last year, Dan and Rosemary Howe visited Berlin. Not only did they have an amazing time; they wrote this guest post too, including pictures – Vegan Berlin Part 3.

Top 10 things you will love in 2013

We came up with a list of items, some kitchen tools and some delicious foods, you might like. Perhaps you have loved these items all your life, or you loved them last year, but I guarantee you will love them even more in 2013.


Vegan Peasant Supper Club returns February 2013

We would like to start the supper clubs up again in the New Year with the first on being in February. We are looking for a central London location. More updates coming soon!

Wishing you a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!

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Vegan Berlin – Part 3

Posted on January 1st, 2013 · By admin

Vegan Berlin  – Part 3

Guest post from Rosemary and Dan Howe.

Reading Diana and Adrian’s Vegan Berlin blog posts, part one and two, got our mouths watering. So with a coupon for a free flight and some spare vacation days to use up before the end of the year, we had no excuse. We booked it to Germany to sample the vegan delights for ourselves. Having visited Berlin last year, we had all the tourist stuff out of the way, and this trip we were able to focus on what’s important: hanging out with friends and stuffing our faces.

Something magical happens at the bars in Kreuzberg, East Berlin’s trendy neighbourhood overrun by tech start-ups, hipsters, yuppies and artsy types. You can plan for an early night and decide to meet for just the one, but the great atmosphere and conversation carries you away and before you know it the lights are on and staff are putting chairs on top of tables. Late nights and slow mornings will require the right sustenance to get you through. Fortunately, in Berlin it is easy to eat vegan. Here’s our suggestion on how to spend a day eating in Berlin.

Brunch at Kopps

Brunch at Kopps

Breakfast

Breakfast was the highlight of our trip. At €12.50 it might seem pricey at Kopps, but you’ll definitely get your money’s worth. Berliners apparently are late sleepers, so at 10am we had the buffet feast to ourselves. Rosemary chose a respectable breakfast of “egg” salad, a waffle, potatoes and some vegan meats, while Dan went all out with a three-course dining experience. Starting with a British-style tofu-scramble, potatoes and baked beans plate before moving on to servings of veganised traditional German breakfasts and ending with a breakfast-desert plate of waffles, pancakes, soy yogurt and mysterious sweet creams. It was ridiculously delicious and made us want to crawl back in to bed.

Lunch at Yellow Sunshine

Lunch

Yellow Sunshine is a cute vegetarian diner right near our rented apartment, serving organic fast food. We had a double chicken cheese burger and the fakin’ fish burger. The selection of patties and fake meats under the glass counter looked intriguing, and we wished we had the stamina to make our way through the menu to sample them all.

Dinner

Yoyo for Dinner

Yoyo for Dinner

Following the Vegan Peasant recommendation, we swung by Yoyo for dinner. We split a vegan gyro, Hawaii burger, which had pineapple and cheese and some nuggets with a banana smoothie. The café was busy and it had a great community feel. It got us thinking about the many vegan shops, cafes and restaurants in Berlin. Why can’t London, a much larger city, support as many vegan businesses? What is it about East Berlin that has the vegan community so thriving?

End the day at Goodies, an omni coffee shop, with vegan cakes so good they’ll send you into a coma.

Our trip to Berlin was one of excess. Thankfully, Berlin is such a friendly walkable city that we were able to balance out the gorging with hikes exploring side streets and riverside trails. For any vegan that loves to eat, Berlin is the perfect citybreak destination.

 

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November Newsletter

Posted on November 11th, 2012 · By admin

Hello Vegan Peasant Friends,

Animal Aid Christmas Fayre 2012

Christmas is around the corner and so is the Animal Aid Christmas Fayre. Vegan Peasant will be making an appearance in conjunction with Fry’s Vegetarian. Fry’s have commissioned us to create a number of exciting holiday party canapés using some of their most popular products. On the day, we’ll be handing out samples along with recipe cards. We’d love to see you!

Here is a recipe for Empanadas – using Fry’s Vegetarian Mince

Makes 20
For the filling
Fry’s Vegetarian Mince (380g)
Olive oil: 2 tbsp
Onion: One, finely chopped
Green pepper: one seeds removed, finely chopped
Paprika: 1 tsp
Chilli Power: 1 tsp
Raisins: 30g/1oz
Green Olives: 12, pitted, roughly chopped
Dried Cumin: 1 tsp
Pinch of Salt

For the pastry
Plain flour: 2 cups
Salt: 1 tsp
Sunflower oil: ½ cup
Chilled apple juice: 1/3 cup

Recipe method

Mix the flour and salt, and stir in the oil with a fork. Add the apple juice and mix well. At first, it may seem very wet, but it will dry out almost immediately. Form into a ball and roll out between sheets of waxed paper.

Heat the olive oil in a frying pan, add the onion and cook on a low heat until transparent and softened. Add the green pepper, mince, and sauté over a medium heat for about 5 minutes, and then add the paprika chili powder and cumin. Remove the pan from the heat and add the raisins and olives, Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

To assemble the empanadas, remove the pastry from the fridge, and roll out to pound coin thickness (3mm). Cut circles from the pastry, using a saucer as a guide, or else use a 12cm/4½in pastry cutter.
Put two teaspoons of filling onto one half of each pastry circle. Wet the edges of the pastry with a little water, fold the non-filled half of the pastry over the filled half, and crimp the edges together to seal or use a fork to mark the edges. Repeat with the remaining pastry circles.

Heat the oven to 180 and serve warm.

For more recipes check out the Fry’s Vegetarian website.

Testimonials Page

We thought you might like to find out what our party hosts, event planners and clients have been saying about us so we created a testimonials post.

Vegan Berlin Part 2

Last month, I promised that I’d finish the remainder of the Berlin post and here it is. If you want to read more check out Berlin Part 2, where you will find lots of pictures of half eaten cake. Vegan Berlin Part 1 kicked off a heated debate on twitter, when I posted the title ‘Berlin Vegan Paradise?’ Whether you agree or not do leave a comment because we’d like to know what you think.

Paris Bound

Towards the end of this month, the Vegan Peasants will be making a trip to Paris via Eurostar. Unfortunately, we’ll be returning on Saturday so we’ll miss the Marché Raspail, which I hear has many vegan delights.
If there is a restaurant, market, café or shop that we should not miss vegan or vegan-friendly do let us know.

Diana and the Vegan Peasant Team

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