Vegan Perv-Nerds Take London

Huh?
We're vegan. We're in London. We rule. Here's more.

The Perv-Nerds:
Andi, Kelly & Lauren.


Did somebody say vegan biker boots?

We here at Perv-Nerd HQ are pretty darn excited about Will’s Vegan Shoes, a new vegan shoe company launching at the Brecknock Road Vegan Festival (hosted by the wonderful Fat Gay Vegan) in Kentish Town next Saturday 9th of November.

Wills Vegan Shoes has no connection with the leather industry and is vegan owned and run.

If you get to the Will’s Vegan Shoes website before the launch you can score yourself a £10 voucher, which is brilliant. And do check out the Facebook page, there’s heaps of photos so you can check out the range before the launch next Saturday.

I can not tell you how difficult it is to find a pair or quality vegan biker boots that won’t fall apart after one season. While the Vegetarian Shoes biker boots are very durable, I find them to be quite uncomfortable if I’m walking around in them all day. So, I’ve got my eye on the buckle mid length boot in black. They will be mine. Yes, they will be mine.

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^^^ Mine.

See you guys next Saturday!

Itsu Kind of Magic!

I am writing (through the guffaws of my witty but not completely honest title) to tell you about a new eatery I have discovered.

Itsu is the brain-child of the people who bought you Pret and following a successful run inside of London, including flagship restaurants in Chelsea and Notting Hill, they have taken the next natural middle class step and opened a shop in Oxford.

From the outside, and all the way through to the counter you’d think you were in McDonalds if it wasn’t for the abundance of healthy food on offer. It’s a strange feeling going up to the counter, ordering a meal and having it within 60 seconds but it’s perfect for humans like myself who often need food quickly during their lunch break.

It’s not hugely vegan friendly as it has an abundance of fish and other meat products that seem to sneak their way into nearly everything on the menu (including the miso broth which is used in all the Potsus, but you can ask for a vegan broth alternative at the counter) BUT it does specifically outline the vegan options on their PDF nutrition menu which is always very handy and thoughtful (thanks for thinking of us!)

I’ve visited twice, once with my partner and once alone and have therefore tried three of their dishes (because I like to steal my partners’ food): Hip, Humble and Healthy, and two Potsus called Vegetable Dumplings and Noodles, and 7 Veg and Rice .

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Let’s get the negative things out of the way first. As I mentioned before, it really feels like a fast food restaurant (which I guess it is!) so it’s quite soulless and sadly their Potsus are equally as soulless. I can confidently say that the tofu noodle soup from Moshi, one of my favourite independent restaurants in Oxford, is infinitely more tasty than both of the vegan Potsus I tried. No amount of soy sauce or sriracha could save them, which is saying something for a self-confessed spice and salt fiend.

All is not lost though, as the Hip, Humble and Healthy salad is something to savour. The green dressing (which is only vegan if bought in that particular salad pack) is incredible and the variety of flavours and textures are lush! Even the avocado was ripe to perfection and melted in my mouth.

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Going forward, I think I’ll give the Potsus a miss but I am really keen to try their other vegan options including the Hip, Humble and Houmous sandwich. If you’re in a rush and want something healthy I would recommend you stop by but if not, take a little more time and find one of the independent local places to eat. Your taste buds will thank you for it.


*crap photography brought to you courtesy of my vintage iPhone.

Essential Vegan - by Vanessa Almeida

We here at Perv-Nerd HQ are pretty damn excited about the release of Essential Vegan, a cookbook by Brazilian chef Vanessa Almeida. If the name sounds familiar, you may have already checked out Vanessa’s website of the same name.

Vanessa has a background in nutrition studies, specialising in veganism (of course!), and a nice little feature of the Essential Vegan cookbook is that there are health tips listed by ingredient throughout the book.

In the cookbook you can find over 60 recipes, with everything from chocolate cheesecake to vegan versions of Brazilian dishes, perfect for those vegans who love ethnic cooking, or trying something new.

I think the most important things about the Essential Vegan book is that it is self published, and that £2 from each purchase go to leading campaign and outreach group, Animal Equality. This is what really sold the book for me, once I read that I ordered the book straight away. Once it arrives you can be assured I’ll be posting a review of the book. 

So, please do check out Vanessa’s website, and if you are so inclined purchase a copy Essential Vegan, it’s only £9 and with £2 going to Animal Equality it’s a bargain!

VegFest UK’s London Event and 2 for 1 Tickets!

VegFest UK’s events are probably some of the most important (and delicious) in the vegan calendar and their huge London show is just around the corner!

Taking place over two days, 5th and 6th October at the London Olympia, there is a huge programme for you to sink you brain and teeth into including 180 stalls, featuring lots of offers and free tasters, talks and presentations, live music, information on raw living, children’s activities and a licensed bar for the grown ups!

If you haven’t got your tickets for VegFest UK’s London event yet, fear not, as you still have time and if you get your tickets before 21st September you can get 2 for 1!

We hope to see you there - you’ll likely find me at the bar!

Mighty hot dogs from The Mighty Fork!

If you’re a London vegan you’ve probably already gone down to Venn Street in Clapham Common or one of the other Saturday markets to devour one of the delicious hotdogs from The Mighty Fork. If not, what’s wrong with you?

My siblings and I visited The Mighty Fork for a third time today, to enjoy some plant-based goodness and bask in the sun on Clapham Common.

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These guys know what they’re doing when it comes to hotdogs, seriously. You can see their menu here: http://themightyfork.co.uk/menu/. They have five flavours - The Big Chilli, Brewdog, Yasai, Sauerkraut and Plain Jane. So far I’ve only had the Yasai, Brewdog and Sauerkraut, and while they’re all incredible I’d have to say the Yasai is my favourite, with the Brewdog a close second. Today my brother Luke polished off two - the Brewdog and the Yasai dog. If I could have, I would have. 

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^^^ That’s the Brewdog. The beer sauce is crazy good. And that’s my baby sister’s leg you can see there, Ali had the Sauerkraut, which she was pretty chuffed with.

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See how happy I am with my Brewdog? I’m still happy, deliriously so, if you couldn’t already tell with this all over the place blog post.

Some advice - don’t wait too late in the day to get your Mighty Fork fix, these guys regularly sell out and there is usually a queue too. Today in the queue I met another vegan blogger, Jojo from Vegan in Brighton (http://veganinbrighton.blogspot.co.uk/) she was pretty cool, and had a tattoo that I’m completely jealous of and wish I’d thought of it first.

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How awesome is that? 

Thanks for putting up with my post hotdog blissed out ramblings. And don’t forget to check out The Mighty Fork’s Facebook page, they post updates regularly and are appearing at loads of markets around London (more details on their website). I’m gonna go plan which hotdog to get next time.

Farmers market produce on homemade focaccia

Ok, yes, we know we’ve quiet, but we have real lives, y’know? I’m studying part time on how to save the world, Kelly is opening a vegan yarn store (more on that in later posts, if we ever get around to it), Si is moving countries and Andi is in pre-matrimonial bliss. So we have stuff and things happening, cool? 

I haven’t even thought about writing anything in ages, but then this happened:

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And I just had to tell someone about it. You lucky people!

My sister Alice and I went to a farmers market in Marylebone today and bought some beautiful, cheap, organic produce. Seriously, a huge bag of kale for 80p? Yes please! Gorgeous tomatoes too:

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See?

Now, obviously you guys can make a sandwich, but I wanted to share this recipe for focaccia bread. It’s a really easy recipe, and a good one if you’re wanting to dip your toes into the world of bread making.

You will need:

450g strong white (bread) flour
1 tsp salt
1 sachet easy-blend dried yeast
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
300 ml tepid water
½ tsp coarse sea salt
Herbs - whatever quantity you like. I used a buttload of rosemary and sage from the garden, but you could use dried oregano or whatever
Garlic - I used 6 cloves, but whatever quantity you like is fine

Put the flour into a large bowl and stir in the salt, yeast, garlic and herbs. Make a well in the centre and pour in 3 tbsp of the olive oil and the tepid water. Gradually mix the flour into the oil and water, using a wooden spoon at first, then by hand, to make a soft, slightly sticky dough.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Don’t be lazy and knead for less than 10 minutes! Your dough will not rise properly and may stay a little doughy in the middle of your loaf if you cut your kneading. Keep the dough moving by turning, punching and folding it to prevent it from sticking. Sprinkle the surface with a little extra flour if necessary, but try not to add too much as this will make the dough dry.

Shape the dough into a ball and slap it onto a greased baking sheet, then roll it out (or push it out with your hands) into a round about 21 cm in diameter and 2 cm thick. Cover loosely with a clean tea-towel, tucking the ends under the baking sheet, and leave in a warm place for about 45 minutes or until the dough has double 1/2 in thickness.

Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 230ºC. Uncover the bread. Pour a little hand-hot water into a cup, then dip your fingers into the water and press into the risen dough to make deep dents all over the top; wet your fingers each time, to leave the top of the loaf moist. Brush the remaining 1 tbsp olive oil over the bread and sprinkle with the coarse salt. If you want more herbs, stick some extra rosemary over the top of your loaf.

Bake the focaccia for about 15 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes, then wrap it in a clean tea-towel to soften the crust. Serve warm or allow to cool completely. If by some miracle you have some left on the first day, wrap it in cling film. It’ll be good the next day, but I wouldn’t leave it after that as it will dry out.

So, you have your delicious focaccia. Go and smear some hummus, vegan pesto or in my case some green tomato chutney on your homemade bread and stuff it with kale, tomatoes, sliced avocado and chargrilled peppers, and stuff your face.

I would have taken a photo of the whole loaf, but, um, I got too excited about trying some and forgot. Soz. Instead, here’s the herbs that went into the loaf:

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You see? A buttload of herbs.

 

Winner!

Congratulations to the winner of our Cookin Crunk competition Sian Watson! You’ll receive your book in the next couple of weeks.

Thanks to everybody who entered the competition and helped spread the word. I really enjoyed doing this and have another competition idea up my sleeve so watch this space…

In the meantime keep checking back, enjoying what we do and don’t be afraid to say hi.

Competition: Final Day!

The competition is now closed! Thanks to everybody that entered both on Tumblr & Twitter! Winner will be announced week commencing 17 September.

If you’re interested in vegan cooking and want to win a copy of the forthcoming book Cookin Crunk you need to GO HERE NOW.

Then, follow us, reblog that post and hey presto, you’re in it to win it. Good luck!

WIN STUFF! Belated Baddass Birthday Competition!

The competition is now closed! Thanks to everybody that entered both on Tumblr & Twitter! Winner will be announced week commencing 17 September.

Somehow Vegan Perv-Nerds Take London missed their own birthday! Le gasp!

We were 1 on July 15th and It’s been an awesome year-and-a-bit of over 70 snarky, delicious and kick ass articles and recipes, so to celebrate we are running an equally awesome competition.

You can win a copy of the forthcoming Cookin’ Crunk: Eatin’ Vegan in the Dirty South, by Bianca Phillips. 



Recipes include country-fried tempeh steak, eggplant jambalaya and smoky stewed okra and tomatoes. Can I get an OMNOM?

The book comes out on 15 September, our 1 year 2 month birthday so what better way to celebrate?! (OK so it’s a tenuous birthday link but we’re giving you free shit, so whatevs.)

To win, all you need to do is be our follower on Tumblr and reblog this post. Liking does not count, mmmkay?

You can also use Twitter to enter. Again, all you need to do is be following us on Twitter and retweet this tweet.

You can only enter once per social networking site so no sneaky cheating. The order will come straight from Amazon and we can ship worldwide.

Competition ends 23.59 GMT on Friday 14th September.

Good luck and thanks for an amazing year… and two months.

Raw Fennel Salad for People Who Hate Fennel

24 hours ago I hated fennel. I believed it was the single most hideous green/white edible food item I have ever encountered, and that the flavour should be reserved only for sugar coated sweets in Indian restaurants.

Things have changed since then (I am a fickle creature) and I am now a fennel convert! But how?! I hear you cry. Well, I get Riverford boxes delivered every other week and this week fennel arrived. As well as being fickle, I’m really into taking craaazy risks, and so I decided to eat the fennel (raw) immediately, rather than let it fester in the fridge until the whole kitchen needed to be fumigated. I’m so freaking glad I did.

Here’s the recipe that turned me from fennel hater to lover in about 30 seconds.

Ingredients:

  • 1 fennel bulb
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 cup of baby spinach (regular spinach is also ok I guess)
  • 1 lemon (for juicing)
  • 1 scant tsp of rock salt (I used smoked salt which isn’t technically raw, but whatever)
  • 1 TBSP cold pressed olive oil

The How To:

Slice the fennel roughly into whatever size pieces you prefer.

Dice the red onion, grate the carrot put into a bowl with the spinach and fennel

Add the rock salt and oil, and juice the lemon over everything.

Turn until everything is covered in the dressings and then serve!

If you want to keep the salad for later, I recommend leaving the spinach out until later, because it will wilt fast.

I sincerely hope that you too, dear hater, will one day be converted to the virtues of fennel… until then, enjoy living on the dark side! Mwah ha ha ha!

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Obligatory copyright notice: All content ©2011–2014 Vegan Perv-Nerds Take London unless stated otherwise. Stealing isn't cool. Being vegan is.