National Vegetarian Week: Days Four and Five

A new challenge faced me on day four.

Having had a catch-up meal with my girlfriends planned for an absolute AGE (we take a lot of organising) I felt a little bereft when I realised I would have to choose from the vegetarian side of the menu – no steak for me, no Siree.

I’m one of those people who see a steak as a bit of a treat so when I go out I like to have one, or a nice piece of fish if I’m feeling a little hefty. So when we arrived at the Revolution bar in my hometown and my dining partners one by one opted for a juicy burger or pizzas covered with large chunky pieces of chicken and Serrano ham (be still my beating heart) I looked forlornly at my spicy bean burger which, on first appearance, looked a tad dry.


Oh how wrong I was. The kidney bean base, coupled with sweet, sweet, sweet potato were a taste sensation. Not in the slightest bit dry and it disappeared a lot faster than it took to arrive *take the hint Revolution waiter man*

An added bonus was the fact that, for an indicisive creature such as myself, the two page menu was whittled down to around 11 items, making the decision making process that little bit swifter where I was concerned.

Belly full, kisses goodbye, off to bed – fabulous night all round.

By day five it appeared I was taking being a veggie in my stride, no real complaints.

But with an horrendously busy morning at work I was willing lunchtime to arrive so that I could escape to the nearby supermarket for a breather and some scran.

An equally busy afternoon lay ahead so a swift call later it was back to the office for a desk picnic.

Oh, I know why you're laughing you evil shelf stackers

Oh, I know why you’re laughing you evil shelf stackers

Quelle horreur! To my dismay the falafel flatbread I had seemingly plucked from the fridge had morphed into the Moroccan chicken version. As the pair had sat next to each other on the shelf and had similar packaging I had picked up the wrong one! There has been one and one time only that I had felt like throwing a temper tantrum at my desk – and this was it. Now all that I had to eat were cucumber sticks and an emergency punnet of dried fruit from my Graze subscription. And here I was thinking I had it together??

Being a Friday, with the added  bonus of being the one before a Bank Holiday (score!) my editor had brought in an array of cakes so all was not lost.

There are worse things you can have for lunch than cake – every cloud and all that!


National Vegetarian Week: Days two and three

In an attempt to broaden my repertoire further than Asda’s Pizza Vegetable Supreme, I decided to browse the internet for quick and easy recipes that may come in handy for my week on the green side and what a world I discovered – I felt like Princess Jasmine *cue magic carpet ride*

Heading over to my favourite recipe site, a search for vegetarian dishes threw up an array of wonderful dishes but the ones that 1) were quick to prepare and cook and 2) made use of whatever was in my cupboards/fridge/freezer were my immediate go-tos.

Why the rush you may (may not) think? Well, as much as I enjoy cooking, my kitten had to be at the vets on Day 2 with the appointment smack bang in the middle of the evening and I had to pick up my car from its annual MOT (hence the reason for needing to use up what I already had – my purse had been cleaned out) so I was faced with a half an hour slot to cook and eat my food.

First up, Falafel burgers.


If you’re not familiar with falafel it is basically just chickpeas whizzed up with added spices and fried – b.e.a.utiful 🙂 Apart from a mild drama with my food mixer, it was pretty straight forward to make and, dare I say, mine looked better than the pic. Ten mins to prep the recipe said, ten mins it was – winner. And despite my eagerness with the chilli (read: adding 1/2 a tablespoon instead of 1/2 a TEASPOON of chilli flakes) they still got the thumbs up all round.

If you fancy giving them a go, here is the recipe.

Day three I had a little more time for my evening meal so headed over to the National Vegetarian Week website to see what they had on offer.

Disappointingly I could only find just seven recipes – seven?! But, undeterred, I had a mooch and opted for the mushroom stroganoff.  I had mushrooms to use up 😉

Annes Mushroom Stroganoff (2)

Now, I’m one of those people that gets disappointed when your own concoctions don’t turn out like the picture in the recipe book/blog/website etc, so when this did – I was delighted (I’m that much of a saddo). Perhaps I’ve found my niche?

Though the official recipe stated to use soya single cream, you guessed it, I had creme fraiche to use up, so whacked a whole dollop of that in instead and it tasted just as good. polished off with a few more slices of garlic bread than my waistline would like, it was delicious. The only slight bugbear I would add would be that the recipe on the website said there would be enough for four people. If your family is anything like my family, you may want to add a little because the four people recipe just about stretched to three.

I reckon I’m getting quite good at this veggie malarkey.





National Vegetarian Week Challenge

photo2255To celebrate National Vegetarian Week – May 20-26 – I have been tasked with living a vegiefied (not, quite sure that’s a word?!) life.

Having been a carnivore for the entirety of my life (save for a week long project in secondary school), the thought of being a veggie for seven days didn’t freak me out as much as I would have thought. It did, however, highlight how much seafood I actually eat, hence, the challenge.

After piping up about National Vegetarian Week, enquiring if anything would be done in our paper for it, the powers that be on the newsdesk suggested I avoid meat and meat-based products for the week (this was not the first time my mouth had got me in trouble; the blighter always seems to go into gear before the grey matter above it).  As of Monday afternoon only a poached egg and three-bean soup with oatcakes had passed my lips so, I was good 🙂

Like any good Wiganer, I had Uncle Joe’s Mintballs (website here if you have never tasted the magic of a mintball) stashed in my top desk drawer,were they out of the question?! Quelle catastrophe. As quick mooch on the website told me I was good – no gelatin in those bad boys. *phew*



My first hurdle was thinking of what to eat before I headed out to the theatre that night. The plan to have Sunday’s leftover Shepherd’s pie out the window, by some stroke of luck I had saved half of a veggie pizza in the freezer so that would suffice, and, livened up with some jalapeños, filled the gap in my rumbling belly pefectly. 027270

So far, so green. This would be a doddle 🙂

REVIEW: Ice Diamond Digital Hair Straightener

I’m the kind of girl that once she finds something that she likes, she sticks with it.

Which is why when I was sent a pair of the Ice Diamond hair straighteners, I was a little dubious.

Could they live up to my beloved GHDs?

I’ve had my pair of purple, patterned, GHDs for a good few years since my OH treated me to a pair for Christmas. Now, the once glorious irons have decided  to start creaking and don’t heat up as well as they should. However pretty they look on the outside, they’re just not cutting the mustard any more.

I had never heard of Ice Diamond until I was sent their new Digital Hair Straightener.

Boxed up

Boxed up

Opening the box I found a lovely, sleek, shiny black iron – complete with diamanté insert (who doesn’t love a little bling in their life?)

Close up of the little bit of bling

Close up of the little bit of bling

The blue LCD digital display lit up as soon as the little baby was plugged in and turned on and quickly learned that the irons could be turned up from 80 degrees to as high as 230 degrees. Naturally I opted for the highest setting (sorry hair).

And off we went.

Having decided I would try out the iron on the most challenging of my hair states (washed hair the night before and left to dry overnight), I was interested to see the result and the iron glided through my hair without pulling, thanks to the titanium plates, quickly sorting out the kinks. They gave a lovely, sleek look to my hair, especially when they were used after blow-drying. I did notice that they did cause my hair to become a little static but, again, that might be down to the state my hair was in rather than anything to do with the product because it only happened on occasion.

All in all, I can’t fault the Ice Diamond

IMG_2318hair straighteners and they were much-lauded by my girl friends when they tried them out during  a girls weekend to Edinburgh. However, I’ve never been able to curl my hair with any straighteners – perhaps down to my technique more than anything – and would love to see if they give the same result as my GHDs do because they match in pretty much everything else.

The Digital Hair Straighteners are currently on offer on the Ice Diamond website for £76.49. They also have these BEAUTIFUL Swarovski encrusted babies but at £310, they’re a little out of my price range!

REVIEW: Nivea in-shower moisturiser

A quick shufty around my bathroom and it is abundantly clear that I have a problem.

The moisturisers are taking over.

Having been gifted many boxes of smellies over the years for birthdays and Christmases there always seems to be massive pots of moisuturisers that I can’t get through without another one popping up on the shelf.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for a bit of body-loving but this is getting ridiculous, I would have to slather myself in the contents of said pots hourly to be able to get rid of the stuff and seeing as I rarely have time to get involved with said moisturisers after a shower, I’m fighting a losing battle.

But all is not lost – a delightful little gem of a time saver found its way onto my desk and what a revelation it has been.

The NIVEA In-Shower Body Moisturiser (£3.56) is designed to be part of your showering routine. Simply apply after you’ve washed and then was it off leaving your skin silky smooth – believe me.

The blurb says the creamy formula is activated by water so it is absorbed immediately into the skin, to hydrate and nourish without leaving skin feeling greasy, and for once, the description actually tells the truth.

Initially I was a little concerned that it may leave the shower tray greasy (a near-miss with baby oil has made me paranoid) but I needn’t have worried, I was fine *phew*

Having used the moisturiser every day for a week, I can confirm that this new product works; scaly elbows left over from Winter are being freed again and a ready for the sunshine 🙂 Winner

Move over pots, there’s a new kid in town – and it doesn’t require extra time.