VEGAN ZIZZIS // Eating Out

Zizzis has long been known as one of the best chain restaurants for vegans. They’ve always been really accomadating to change their dishes, it recently they’ve added even more vegan dishes to their menu, and if you ask they will give you a seperate menu with just vegan option. I find this so much easier to look at rather than searching for the ‘V’ sign next to everything! They also have loads of options that they don’t mention on their main menu; vegan garlic bread; bruschetta; lentil ragu side; 2 proper desserts (not just fruit salad and sorbet!) and much more.

 

Starter of bruschetta with super green pesto, cherry tomatoes and basil. The pesto is the best vegan pesto I’ve had, and I love adding some extra chilli oil which they have on every table to add even more flavour.
Edit

The new vegan pizza just for January – vegan cheese, avocado slices, beetroot falafel things, sundried tomatoes, spinach and chilli flakes.

They also have three other vegan pizzas, and an array of toppings (my favourites are olives and grilled peppers) so you can create your perfect pizza! They same goes for their pasta; starting with a basic spaghetti, tomato sauces, basil and fresh cherry tomatoes (which is delicious all in itself btw), you can then add anything else you wish.

This is the ‘super Zucca salad’ that isn’t actually on the vegan menu (as it contains goats cheese), but we swapped this for the vegan cheese. INot every restaurant may be as accommodating to do this as the cheese is frozen, but we adding field mushrooms (from the pasta add ons) which are cooked, so the cheese melted slightly with that and it was just perfect. The salad itself consists of courgette, roast butternut squash, a tiny hint of mint, green lentils and mixed leaves which I’ve had before so know I love. It also normally comes with a white balsamic dressing, which they swapped for balsamic.

Zizzis also offered another vegan salad, with broccoli, cannelloni beans, purple basil and pesto.

The lentil ragu which normally comes with pasta, but I switched to fried potatoes cause I was on a bit of potato obsession at the time. The ragu has a really rich flavour and cooked perfectly, not to ‘mushy’ which I find often puts people off these legumes (which are a fab source of protein as well!)


One of the highlights of eating vegan at Zizzis has to be the sweet stuff; dessert calzone filled with banana, blueberries, and topped with a coconut chocolate ripple ice cream. If like me you just love anything bread and carby, this will be a winner.  I also loved getting some of the warm banana and adding it to the chocolate torte as chocolate banana isnsuch a good combo. We also ordered a chocolate torte with vegan honeycomb (!!) and topped with ice cream. The coconut flavour really came through in the ice cream, and it was perfect with the torte as it was incredibly rich (imagine a creamy, thick ganache which I have no idea how they made taste so good without lashings of cream).

Going halves on two dishes is my favourite way to eat, so you get to try a bit of everything!

Zizzis also does an amazing 40% off student discount! Starters are around £5, mains just over a tenner, and desserts about £6. In my opinion, the only thing that stops this place being absolutely perfect is the drinks; I;ve tried the ‘bramble g&t’ which for over £6 barely tasted of gin, and the white wine I had this visit was okay, but slightly underwhelming at nearly £5 for 175ml.

Overall, Zizzis is still one of, if not my absolute favourite places to eat out (with other vegans, vegetarians and meat eaters alike).

VEGAN CHICKEN PASTA SALAD // Recipe

   
80g uncooked pasta

100g vegan chicken style pieces

1/2 medium pepper

2inch chunk cucumber

7 cherry/plum tomatoes 

2tbsp pine nuts or cashews

8 basil leaves 

1tsp lemon zest (around 1/2 a lemon)

OR 

This was inspired by Co-op vegan pasta dish, which you can easily buy, add some extra ‘chicken’ or chickpeas into for protein,  and bam easy lunch done.

 
Boil the pasta for 15 minutes (or however long the packet says) and while waiting, chop up your vegetables into small chunks.

Cook the vegan chicken if necessary (I use Quorn in the microwave covered in water for 4 minutes). Then set aside and leave to cool.

When ready, drain the pasta, run under cold water to cool it, and add the veg, chicken, pine nuts, and lemon zest.

Chop the basil finely, and scatter all over just before serving.

This is perfect to take along to a summer barbecue, or you could even pack it up to take to work with you as it lasts up to 5 days in the fridge. 

     
 

MEAT CONSCIOUS CHALLENGE // Life

  The 15th to the 21st is the national Vegetarian week, so I think this is the perfect time to start taking an active interest in your meat intake.

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)

No33 Cafe

Roots

Wild Thyme

  

  

  
I hope this next week encourages people to try reduce their meat, and maybe even progress to reducing their dairy intake, and try some more delicious vegetarian/vegan meals.

 

VEGAN CHOCOLATE MOUSSE // Recipe


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

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A light, airy, yet luxurious mousse completely egg, cream and milk free.

Ingredients

350g silken tofu

4level tbsp cocoa powder (or 2tbsp cacao)

50g dark chocolate, 70% +, melted and cooled slightly

50g raspberries

30g hazlenuts

Directions

  1. 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.
  2. Drain the liquid from the silken tofu.
  3. Add to the blender (or nutribullet) with the cocoa and melted chocolate.
  4. Divide between the two glasses or bowls, leave to set for 1 hour.
  5. 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.

 

 

 

 

 

PERFECT CARROT CAKE // Recipe

Carrot cake is my family’s all time favourite cake, and being competely unbias the carrot cake at No33 Cafe is the BEST you will ever buy. I’ve used this as the basis for mine, but made a couple of slight changes to suit it to my exact tastes. It’s also incredibly easy to make, and has got carrots in so pretty much counts as one of your 5-a-day.

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170g/6oz caster sugar

55g/2oz dark brown sugar

3 medium eggs (or vegan egg replacement or 1/2 cup apple sauce + 60ml extra oil)

175ml oil (sunflower, vegetable or coconut)

3/4tsp vanilla extract

225g/8oz self raising flour

1tsp bicarbonate of soda

1tsp cinnamon

200g/70z (around 3 large) carrots, peeled and grated

50g/1.75oz handful of raisins (optional)

Icing –

2 tubs of mascapone OR 2 tubs vegan cream cheese

up to 50g/2oz icing sugar, sifted

drop of vanilla extract

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Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4.

Whisk the eggs and both sugars together in a large bowl until well combined, then add in the oil, vanilla, sift in the dry ingredients, and beat everything together.

Split the batter between two 8 inch cake pans lined with grease proof paper and oil.

Bake for 25 minutes, or until when inserted with a cake skewer it comes out with just a few crumbs, and leave to cool on a rack.

For the icing, gently beat the mascarpone or vegan cream cheese until smooth, then add the vanilla, sifted icing sugar and fold in gently.

If the icing is too runny, place it in the fridge for an hour until it hardens.

When the cake is cool and the icing is ready, spread half of the icing onto one cake with a knife (palette knifes are particularly great at this), then repeat with the next layer of cake. Grate some extra carrrot on top to decorate, and serve.

This keeps well in the fridge for up to 5 days.

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