The Diminishing Vegan

Veganism and Weight Loss

Category: Eating Out

Steak, Cattle and Roll Review

If you are only here for things relating to weight loss then this is not the post for you, as the food from Steak, Cattle and Roll definitely does not fit into the weight loss category. To be fair, with a name like that you wouldn’t think it would fit into the vegan category either but surprisingly it does.

I had seen pictures previously of vegan food from steak, cattle and roll, in particular their deserts and “milk” shakes and got me and my daughter interested. It was her birthday this week so we decided to go check it out (along with the omni husband and son).

The name does cause me some consternation, it’s a play on words but I can’t say I like it. However, I do still shop at shops that sell meat, I still buy other food from restaurants/fast food places that sell meat, so while I don’t particularly approve of the name I feel it would be hypocritical to rule them out as the “one place” I wouldn’t go. Plus that they have good vegan options makes me feel like we should be supporting them.

So, for burgers my daughter had their original Vegan burger with cheese, and to be honest, sadly, she didn’t really like it. She did eat around half, but after trying it myself I felt as if it was a bit undercooked and gooey in the middle, the flavour was good, just some more cooking required.

I had the “chicken” seitan burger which I found delicious, I really enjoyed it, I had to cut it in half to eat it though it was so huge.

For sides we had chips which were pretty good, and the vegan stack of onion rings which were top notch, the batter was lovely, I ate so many of them! (Sorry scales).

The real treat came with pudding though. My daughter had the lolly polly vegan shake which came with an ice lolly sticking out and was topped with whipped vegan cream, she loved this and had most of it.

Steak, Cattle and Roll

I had the vegan desert which was banofee pudding and my god, I have not tasted anything that good in ¬†a long time. It is the type of thing I would have went to town on in a non vegan version frequently years ago, but nowadays it is a real treat, partly due to not being able to get things like that readily. 10/10, I ate it all, forcing down the last couple of spoonfuls. It was very sweet, my tastebuds were in shock but I reckon that’s down to my overall diet changes, and an occasional indulgence is definitely fine.

Overall I would recommend it, slightly disappointed with the vegan burger but everything else was very good, it’s worth it just for the puddings! You can find Steak, Cattle and Roll’s website here and facebook here so I would say don’t be put off by the name and check them out.

Remember you can find me on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, My Fitness Pal and Fitbit. Add me on any or all, I love new friends on all social media for support ūüôā

Vegfest Scotland 2016 Sunday – Food & Activism

Vegfest Scotland 2016 – Food & Activism

Day 2 – Sunday 4th December

As my previous post covers, on Saturday I had spent the day volunteering for the Vegan Society, but on Sunday I had plans for attending with my daughter, who is also vegan, in fact she is coming up for her one year veganniversary just after Christmas, and my non-vegan niece.

Vegfest Scotland 2016 - Cool Jerk Pie

I started the day off with a Christmas pie from Cool Jerk Vegan Pies, bought the previous day. I love that the weekend of Vegfest all eating rules go out of the window and it really is eat whatever is vegan, whenever!

I had studied the schedule, looked at the talks, and decided I wanted to go to many of them. In reality though with a child in tow, and a long day ahead, we would more than likely go to just a couple. The doors opened at 10am, and we arrived around 10.30am.

The first aim was to get around the majority of the stalls, we headed to the sheese stall, their vegan cheese is probably one of the more well known examples, plus with the whole “Gary” thing in Sainsbury’s, I’m sure they are doing quite well. Weirdly, they (Bute Island Foods) are also based out of my old home town! Funny that the place I grew up is responsible for one of the most well known vegan cheeses in the UK. My niece had never tried vegan cheese before and was surprised at how much like normal cheese it tasted, even my daughter who isn’t keen on cheese gave it a try and loved the plain cream cheese. I know they also make unbranded versions for tesco so with that being my nearest shop I shall get some for her. Next up Koko, we don’t need to be convinced by Koko, I buy their products nearly every week, my daughter, and non vegan son love their thick creamy yoghurts.

After this we visited a lot of the smaller stalls, including MaRoberts where I picked up some Extra Hot Chilli Sauce and more, and then some of the charity stalls including the Save Movement, Earthlings Experience and others.

Vegan Activism is something I am interested in, hence a large part of why I have this blog. I am a quiet, sometimes socially awkward person, (although others may not think that of me), but veganism is a cause I am truly behind and would love to encourage others to move towards it. I truly believe a vegan life is one of the only things that will save this world, keeping it habitable for the life that already lives there. I also think that the reality of what animals go through, to be born into a life of terror and torture, to barely make it past their youth, then to be herded into a slaughter house is just unacceptable. People love their dogs, cats, but are fine with paying for the mass slaughter of billions of animals, I just think if more people actually related to their food, they would make the choice to go vegan. I know not all people think like this, but this is why the three pronged argument of veganism is so important. You don’t care about animals? Well, what about your future generations survival? You don’t care about that either? Well what about the fact there is a growing, and only continuing to grow body of scientific evidence that shows we aren’t really supposed to eat meat, and that actually it is responsible for many of the illnesses that plague, and eventually kill us? Knowing how to tackle activism though for me I find difficult. I am happy to wax lyrical about the benefits of veganism with people who I meet in day to day life, via this site, instagram, twitter etc, but I really want to work with other like minded people to work together, it’s lonely on your own!

The Save Movement group is a form of activism I am interested in, being there to witness and acknowledge the animals as they are taken to their end is something that must be incredibly difficult, but I can imagine the footage that these people take could encourage some to open their eyes to the reality of what happens. There are vigils based in Paisley which is nearby to me, in the New Year I may look into some activism there. Another form of activism I am interested in is The Earthlings Experience. Earthlings is one of those films many people watch either when they are going vegan, or it can even be what turns them vegan, it is free to view here, it is not an easy watch, but to truly understand the process of what is on your table, I believe everyone should watch it, or at least part of it. Otherwise it is willful ignorance, and I’m sure most wouldn’t want to be branded that. The Earthlings Experience go out into the streets, usually wearing masks, and hold laptops/tables that are showing slaughterhouse footage. The masks are used for two reasons as far as I understand, firstly, they catch peoples attention, people come over curious to see what is going on, secondly, they shield the activists from any abuse, and keeps them anonymous. We attended the talk by the Earthlings Experience Scotland¬†and afterwards I spoke to them, and have since joined a facebook group for people interested in taking part. I suppose people may see this as extreme, but the footage they show is typical footage, taken recently in the UK. It is only showing people what really happens. Again, this is something I wouldn’t be able to do until after the New Year, but I am 100% going to try to fit this in.

Vegfest Scotland 2016 - Flying Duck Food

Vegfest Scotland 2016 - Fruit Kebab

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After this we went back to the foods, I had a hotdog from the flying duck stall, my daughter had a burger and niece had ramen, I ended up having some of all of them and they were all very tasty! We then moved on to Captain James TeaCook, who frequents many of the vegfests, keeping the children entertained. My daughter made a rainbow fruit kebab with other kids, which she enjoyed thoroughly. We then attended the Vegan Society talk by Alex Douglas which was thoroughly enjoyable and suggested many easy ways to engage with vegan activism even with limited time and budget.

Vegfest Scotland 2016 - Pitxu's Cakes!On our way out we purchased a box of four cakes from Pitxu’s stall. Every single one of them was delicious, I tried a bit of all of them when we got home and I’ve got to say these well and truly hit the spot! My diet is pleased that they aren’t readily available. My daughter also had Henna done by the people from Lesmahago Eco Farm¬†and some of the best face paint I’ve ever seen in the kids area, by Tini Designs, if we’re ever in need of a face painter I
know where I’m going to book!

Overall, another great Vegfest was had, the only problem is the money! I wish I had about four or five times the amount I did. We visited many other stalls too, too many to mention, but really it is full of vegan food, products, information, everything you could want! I hope it’s back next year, although the Scottish Vegan Festival in Edinburgh have just announced their date for April so I’ll need to get saving again! 10/10 for an awesome weekend.

Cafe Balfe Review – Greenock – Eating Out

Cafe Balfe Review – Hen Night

I love doing reviews, it means I’m eating delicious food. Cafe Balfe, in West Blackhall Street in Greenock was somewhere I wouldn’t have picked to go, I’ve been trying to mainly lean towards vegan restaurants of late, but I was attending a good friends mid week hen night and this was the location, so I did something I’ve never done before since going vegan. I went to an omnivore restaurant without extensively studying the menu first.

Okay, I had a quick look, just to check they at least did chips, but usually I will spend 30 minutes or more reviewing every item, see if something can be made vegan, weighing up the limited options  and then writing a list on Google Keep to take with me. This time, there was none of that.

So, what to say about Cafe Balfe…first of all, how do you pronounce the name? I thought it was Cafe Balfay, as the e has an accent over it (I can’t work out how to do that in this post though!) However, the taxi driver informed me it was balf. I wasn’t sure. Talking about food lead us to the inevitable mentioning of me being vegan, he A. had never met one, and B. didn’t realise there was a difference between vegan and vegetarian. I got the usual, I could never do that, isn’t that too extreme? Not more than eating the bodies¬†of animals who didn’t want to die! (And all the other million reasons why being vegan isn’t actually extreme at all, plus I didn’t actually say that, and I wouldn’t say that in person to any one probably, but I did think it.)

We ordered at Cafe Balfe, which is where being vegan came up again, as only one person there knew, my friend, who also suggested the name of this website! (Shout out to you Claire if you’re reading!). Again, people asking what I eat, I showed them (very briefly) my Instagram, showing that there is indeed many delicious food stuffs that can be eaten when avoiding animal products. Anyway, that was the end of the vegan talk (other than another person making the old joke of “How do you know if there’s a vegan about?”…to be fair she did say afterwards that we are all in a restaurant and talking about food.)

Food wise, for the starter I had bruschetta, and it was really delicious, fresh, tasty. Yum! For the main there wasn’t much option, which was a little sad. However, the option they did have was very nice, it was a superfood salad minus a blue cheese dressing, with a side of fries.

Cafe Balfe Review

If I had one thing to say about the place would be provide more options! Being honest, my food looked the best out of everyone’s. The others all left a lot which indicates to me it wasn’t that nice, whereas I polished all of mine off, no complaints.

So, the good? The price, my vegan options were cheaper than the others, but looked better and tasted lovely. I had a lovely prosecco cocktail for pudding as well which was nice. It’s a nice little cafe too. The bad? More choice. Places like here, popular with locals, all they need to do is add a vegan option or two and maybe more will think about it as an actual choice.

You can find them on facebook, twitter and their website here.

Kind Crusts Review – Glasgow – Eating Out

Kind Crusts Review

I have fairly recently started a job in Glasgow, which, while requiring a fair whack of commuting, also opens up some possibilities for trying out new food places in the city. Where I live (around 30 minutes outside of Glasgow), there is not one single vegan option. Nada, nothing. It’s sad! But, with Glasgow so close, and with me being there 6 days a week, I have more options!

Last week I went out of my way to visit a vegan sandwich shop. I had seen them via an event shared on the Vegan Edinburgh and Glasgow (VEG) Facebook page, and decided to take a trip there last weekend which leads to this kind crusts review.

Kind Crusts¬†was nestled away in the back streets of Dennistoun, hidden off of the busy Duke Street. I had read their menu before going and it all sounded delicious, so when we arrived (my children with me), the Sandwich of the Moment was suggested, that’s what I went with, less thinking that way!

My daughter is also vegan, and the staff at the shop were happy to make a special sandwich for her.

With regarding my sandwich, it was a week ago now and I have forgotten the exact name of it, but it had “bacon”, garlic cheeze, mushrooms and some other veg in it. It was creamy and delicious, very enjoyable.

 

Kind Crusts Review

Selection of food from Kind Crusts – Glasgow

Afterwards we had an Oreo cheesecake between us (and my omni son had one) which we all enjoyed. One thing I miss since going vegan is easily accessible desert type foods (not a bad thing for my diet though!) and this was really satisfying.

Later on we also had a pear cinnamon pastry, it was so good! We will definitely be going back at some point. Price wise it was pretty reasonable as well, and the staff were lovely, talkative and knowledgeable. A definite must visit if you are in the area.

Visit Kind Crusts Facebook page for more information.

Stereo Review – Glasgow – Eating Out

Stereo Review – Quick Lunch in the City

While visiting Glasgow last week for quick lunch with a friend I had the opportunity to visit another one of the cities popular vegan food places, Stereo and as such leave this review. Situated in a really handy place, right around the corner from central station Stereo had a smaller menu than my new favourite restaurant Mono, but an interesting menu nonetheless. The hardest thing I find when visiting a vegan eatery is deciding what to have, when you are used to chips/baked potato, to have an entire menu to choose from.

Stereo was pretty small inside from what I saw, although I believe it has more than one level. The decor was nice though. The staff were attentive, brought over a menu and came back to take our order within 5 minutes.

After much consideration I went for something I had never heard of, a Shamuchan Turkish Pizza Wrap which was filled with spiced haggis, cabbage, pickled onion and garlic mayo and served with a side salad.

Stereo Review Glasgow

Shamuchan Turkish Wrap and Salad

It was really delicious, at home I don’t use vegan mayo, something about white foods always makes me feel a little off (weird I know?), but I’m happy to try it when I’m out and it made the filling really creamy which is different from what I usually eat. My omnivore friend had a margherita calzone which looked nice too, he¬†enjoyed it.

Overall it was a nice lunch, good company, reasonable price (<¬£10 for lunch and a drink) and decent food. If I had one minor complaint it would be that our table was wobbly. Literally tiny complaint there, other than that I will definitely be back. It’s location right next to Central Station makes it a must visit for me, after reading about Stereo on trip advisor (and leaving a stereo review here) I would like to go back on a Monday to try the tapas special. I will get there eventually!

Tail O’ The Bank – Greenock – Eating Out

Tail O’ The Bank – Hungry Horse Greenock

I visited the tail o’ the bank this week for lunch with my husband and two friends, I hadn’t seen these friends for over a year I believe. Time flies sometimes, I can’t quite get my head around it. It was a lovely afternoon, I honestly could have stayed there the whole day just talking.

When it came to food it was quite easy to find their nutritional information online, however it seemed a little out of date and didn’t have the one thing I was after, the quinoa and roast vegetable burger. It sounded delicious, but was it vegan?

I asked the girl behind the counter, her friend was vegan so she knew what she was looking for. Her and the chef got out the box and checked and it was fine. Served without mayo and coleslaw it was totally safe. I was glad it was! It was really nice. I wondered, since it was in a box if there was anywhere I could buy them online. I had a look but couldn’t find any sadly.

Tail O' The Bank

Quinoa and Roasted Veg Burger

I had the burger with chips and really yummy barbeque sauce, it was so thick. I would also like to buy some if I knew where it was from.

As a side note, someone on Instagram questioned whether it was vegan as they had nutritional information that it wasn’t, that it had egg. However, the girl in the restaurant was adamant, she knew to check for egg, and we came to the conclusion on Instagram that it was due to the mayo that should have been with it, so I’m satisfied it was safe.

Overall, it was a lovely meal for a chain restaurant, but the best thing about it was seeing our friends. Definitely doing it again soon!

Mono Review – Glasgow – Eating Out

Mono Review – Vegan Dining in Glasgow

I felt the need to do a Mono review after I had a trip out with my daughter today ¬†on a girls day out for her 8th birthday. I, at this date (11/06/16), have been vegan for 7 months, and my now 8 year old daughter for around 4 – 5. Where we are located there are very few (no!) vegan options for dining other than the standard chips, possibly garlic bread, possibly a baked potato with beans, but up the road in Glasgow we are spoiled for choice. We don’t get a chance to get out too much but today I took my daughter to Mono for the first time. I have been once previously with a friend but it was before I started this website, I may cover what I had then at some point but today I am reviewing what me and my daughter had.

My previous experience with Mono had been an extremely positive one, the decor and feeling is lovely and welcoming, and honestly, it felt nice to be surrounded by other vegans (or even just people open to eating vegan food!). My daughter and I had a main meal and a pudding, I would like to caveat the rest of this post with the *this is not healthy food* warning! Definitely not good for weight loss! However, being able to eat vegan food out somewhere without having to ask a million questions, be surrounded by sides and inevitably send something back was just a delight!

Main Meal

Mono Review 1

Battered Vegan Sausage, Chips and Mushy Peas

Mono Review 2

Vegan Mac and Cheese with Chips

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My meal was on the right, the battered sausage, chips and mushy peas. It was all delicious, the mushy peas were extra special although I could have done with a little more, I’m not sure what they had in them, it could have been mint, regardless they were lovely. I enjoyed the battered sausages, I’ve not eaten food like that for a while, my daughter wasn’t keen on the sausages but she can be funny with meat replacements anyway.

My daughter had the mac and cheese. Home made macaroni cheese was her favourite before going vegan, although she always felt sick afterwards, more than likely a lactose intolerance, that was part of the reason for her going vegan. I had attempted to make a vegan version at home using potato, carrot and nooch, but it ended up a sloppy inedible mess. Since then, there has been no Macaroni Cheese for her, until today. She was amazed that this was vegan, I was amazed it was vegan. I actually double checked the menu to ensure that it wasn’t vegetarian, it was definitely vegan. She ate every single bit, apart from the bit I stole. I think this was her best bit of the day! She said she wanted to go back every week after this. I think I need to try some new recipes but we will definitely be going back for more, I’m even going to take my onmi husband as he loves macaroni cheese too, I want him to taste this and hear what he thinks. We also had garlic bread which was, well, garlic bready, but nice!

Pudding

Pudding is something I’ve not had much of since going vegan, bar cakes that I make myself occasionally. For something sweet I usually go with dark chocolate, fruit, sometimes a couple of biscuits, but I have really cut my desert intake down, mainly due to no availability, although it’s not been a bad thing for me. So, at Mono today, damn right we were having pudding, no matter how full we were!

Mono Review 3

Chocolate and Avocado Cheesecake with a walnut base, salted caramel and raspberries.

Mono Review 4

Banana split – no nuts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our puddings are above. The cheesecake, it is the first cheesecake I have had in 7 months. While I have never really missed food like this, I was partial to cheesecake in my old days. This cheesecake, it was heavenly. That is the only word for it. The 7 month wait almost made it better. I don’t even really like avocado but I couldn’t even taste it. I could have eaten about 4 bits if I had room left. 100% recommend. Really, get the cheesecake.

The banana split, it tasted nice to me! My daughter didn’t eat a lot but I think that was from being full after the mac and cheese, and she eats vegan ice cream at home so it wasn’t extra special like the cheesecake but she still enjoyed it. But really, it was all about the cheesecake!

Mono Review 5

Vegan Doughnuts

Lastly, we brought a couple of doughnuts home for later in the evening. Also, first doughnut in 7 months, also, delicious!

Overall, Mono is a lovely cafe/bar. It has a nice ambiance, it is child friendly, the staff are helpful and pleasant. It’s not traditional, but in a world of tradition, difference needs to occur somewhere. When you are used to going to chain restaurants who barely provide a main meal option for you, places like Mono are highly appreciated. We will definitely be going back, I get the feeling we may become fairly regular there, well as regular as time and financial constraints allow.

There will be many more Mono Reviews, and I cannot wait!

Mono can be found at 12 Kings Court, Glasgow, G1 5RB. If you are interested in visiting Mono, here will take you to their website, I highly recommend it, vegan or not!

You can view my overall food page if you would like to see other food that I eat.

Usha’s – Glasgow – Eating Out

Lunch at Usha’s, 2 Byres Road, Glasgow

I recently had the pleasure of meeting a friend for lunch and I picked Usha’s ¬†Indian Street Food Restaurant in Byres Road in Glasgow for us to go to. I’ve only ate out at a few vegan friendly places since going vegan, so was looking forward to some delicious Indian food.

Usha's Menu

 

When we arrived we were told that only the limited lunch menu was available, however this actually wasn’t a problem as there was the same amount of ¬†vegan options (3) as there was for my omnivore friend so we were happy to not have to spend too long thinking about it! Apologies for the poor quality picture to the right, when I took it was really just to remember the name of the curry I picked but thought I may as well add it!

I had the basmati rice, the dhal makhani (black lentil curry I believe), with Indian chilli salsa, sauteed red onions and fresh green chillies on the side. We had free poppadoms and spiced onions which was a nice addition. This, plus sparkling water and a black coffee came to less than £10. Amazingly good value!

Usha's Food

The food!

The food arrived and honestly, it’s been a while since I’ve had a great Indian curry but this was delicious. Flavourful, vegan friendly, sides were lovely and portion size was just right for lunch time. It’s hard to estimate the calories but I doubt it would have been off the scale. The host was very friendly and chatty, especially about all of the vegan options they have. The full menu is double sided, one is dedicated to the omni’s, the other full of vegan and vegetarian options. I’m planning on going back soon with my husband to try out some more and looking forward to it!

You can visit Usha’s website here¬†and see the menu for yourself! I definitely recommend a visit if nearby.

You can view my overall food page here to see other meals that I eat.

 

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