The whole gender gap issue is nothing new, and while you may feel it has been spoken, protested, and ranted about till the Earth’s end, until it’s closed, I don’t think we should stop talking… More
I purposely haven’t titled this the ‘meat free challenge’ or forcing anyone to go vegetarian for the week, but as a start I challenge everyone to think about where your food is from, how it’s been produced, how far it’s come, as well as how nutritious is it for you. These are the three top tips I’d start with to help you.
1) WHERE – only buy free range, local, meat from the butchers.
2) HOW MUCH – instead of making meat the main part of a meal, try out new recipes that focus more on full flavoured beans, lentils, rice, potatoes, and vegetables.
3) WHY – the most common reason people eat meat is because it’s what they’ve been raised with, so try asking your parents/ siblings/flatmates to join you buy limiting your meat to say once a day.
And if it’s because ‘vegan food costs so much’ then you just need to look at the price of a tin of beans, and the price of a steak to know that this really shouldn’t be an excuse.
Another of the common myths about vegetarianism is that you ‘eat like no protein’. Again, this is completely inaccurate and you only have to Google meat free sources of protein to find there is an abundance – try things like Quorn, beans, lentils, quinoa, plant based protein powder, soya yogurt, and tofu.
For the best places to eat out vegetarian on this week, check out this great post by Morgan, as well as my local Norwich restaurant reviews.
Pop up shops (run every month)
With Mothers Day being just 3 short sleeps away, I thought I could write a last minute post on gifts for those who haven’t exactly thought too far in advance.
If you know there’s a restaurant you know your mum has wanted to check out for a while, now is the perfect time to book her that meal out. Afternoon tea is an English classic, and you could book it just for her and a friend or for the whole family.
Everyone loves an edible gift, and by baking something you save money, can do it all the day before, and your mum knows you’ve put real time and effort into it. It’s also a great idea to bake something together with your siblings, and can then wrap it up in a nice box with ribbons if your feeling fancy.
Try these recipes:
Coconut cake (vegan)
Cath Kidston just opitimises the classic English Mother, and you really can’t go wrong with one of their mugs – they have loads of different patterns and are really affordable.
Their next day delivery is perfect for last minute buying, and their homeware section has so many trinklets your bound to find something your mum (and you) will love.
You can’t really go wrong with a body shop set, but try and pick one you knows is specific to her – maybe pick the flower you know she loves? Or the if she’s mentioned running out of a certain product recently?
If you know she’s a great cook (or just loves giving it a go, even if she does burn every Sunday roast), then your bound to find something in Lakeland. And if cooking isn’t her forte, they stock tonnes of delicious gifts as well.
Everyone loves to be pampered once in a while, so check out your local spa or beauty salon and see what treatments you think she’s like best. Jarrold also do vouchers, so you can pick the amount you spend and then leave it up to her to decide on what she wants.
There’s not many people who don’t like flowers, so why not order a big bouquet to bring with those little shortbread’s or cupcakes you made up to her with a cup of tea as she awakes to brighten her day. If you don’t have a florist nearby, most supermarkets sell bouquets and you can order online.
Mousses traditionally use whipped egg whites, caster sugar whisked with egg yolks, chocolate and whipped cream, so it’s easy to see why this is such a delicious well loved dessert.However, this recipe manages to replicate that airy, smooth perfection using just three ingredients – silken tofu, cocoa powder and dark chocolate.
Silken tofu has less water pressed out of it then the traditional tofu that you would use in stir fries etc, but it’s still a great source of protein as well as have an almost neutral taste making it perfect to add with other flavours.
You can also custom the basic mousse with any flavours you like;
black forest – stewed black cherries with shaved dark chocolate
chocolate orange – add zest of 1 orange and decorate with candied orange peel
matchmakers – add 1/4tsp of mint extracts and decorate with crystallized mint leaves
Vegan Chocolate Mousse
A light, airy, yet luxurious mousse completely egg, cream and milk free.
350g silken tofu
4level tbsp cocoa powder (or 2tbsp cacao)
50g dark chocolate, 70% +, melted and cooled slightly
- Melt the dark chocolate in a glass bowl over a pan of simmer water, or in the microwave in 20 second blasts, until smooth and glossy, then leave to cool for 10 minutes.
- Drain the liquid from the silken tofu.
- Add to the blender (or nutribullet) with the cocoa and melted chocolate.
- Divide between the two glasses or bowls, leave to set for 1 hour.
- Decorate as you wish (I toasted some hazelnuts in an oven for 15minutes at 180C, then chopped them and sprinkled them over with some raspberries).
This will keep well in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Tomorrow may be the dedicated to love, partners, and romance all over the world, and I’m not saying the day isn’t a nice opportunity to celebrate this – but I think it’s an equally great time to celbrate if you not so in love, and here’s why.
Embracing your alone time
No fighting over what tv channel to watch. No uncomfortable nights pulling the duvet. No arguaments over where to go for dinner. Not having to worry about what your other half wants may sound selfish – but it’s the truth.
Proving patriarchy is long gone
Women (and men) no longer need a partner to prove ourselves. Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity to remind yourself of everything that you’ve accomplished on your own; cause you don’t need no man.
Been eyeing up a pair of shoes for weeks, thinking how pleased you woul be if they landed on your doorstep with a red rose? But it yourself! There’s no point waiting around for someone else – if you want it, you get it (you know you deserve it).
Money money money
The romantic among us may say ‘a price can never be put on love’. Which whole may be true, a price very much can be put on an expensive meal out, 100 red roses, and a new pair of underwear.
The day AFTER Valentine’s Day (hellloooo cheap chocolate)
When it comes down to it, the love and romance will most likely last 1 day at most, and after that things are pretty much ‘back to normal’. So just muster the enjoy roc through those 24hours and it will all be over. Plus, think about all those valentines themed chocolates being reduced, which you can smugly buy knowing those in love had to pay twice as much for.
Whether your spending Valentine’s Day out with your boyfriend, having a Netflix and chill with your girlfriend, or chilling with your friends and family, I hope you tomorrow as the time to think about who your with now, and who you want to be with later – with no one at all being a perfectly acceptable answer as well.