Saturday, 20 May 2017

What I Ate This Week ~ #NationalVegetarianWeek...

It is currently national vegetarian week and hello, I am a vegetarian.

I've been veggie for about 3/4 years now and I find it so ridiculously easy. I don't want to be that preachy vegetarian, but I, personally, couldn't be happier with my diet and couldn't endorse it more. Since moving to uni as a veggie I've grown a real love of cooking and created a couple staple dishes. Cooking is such an amazing mindfulness exercise which I find really comforting, and I definitely pride myself on eating good, healthy foods but making hearty meals that fill me up and make me feel happy inside.

If you're not vegetarian, try it out for a day, a week! This week I made an effort to cook for and with friends more, encouraging them to try and ditch meat for the week and prove that your meals really don't need it. But I thought the best way to speak of the beaaaauuutttyy of a veggie diet, it so actually show it. So here's what I ate this week. (obviously I snack like MAD, I mean its revision season guys. But here's the meals I had.)



Monday

On Monday I cooked my signature dish for my best friend Holly- Mediterranean fajitas with tomatoes, mushrooms, peppers, olives, tofu, salad, avocado and hummus.

I love these as there's so so much good stuff in them but they take like 5/10 mins tops to cook as you just fry up the tofu, then add in the veg and season, then let that all fry up. I had 2 faaattt wraps, but you can really just eat and eat until you feel full as there's nothing in these but goodness. Fill yourself up.

Tofu is such a good meat substitute. It's easy to cook and is obviously so much cheaper to buy than meat. It's super versatile, but I like it best cut into strips and fried until it's slightly crisped. If tofu ain't your thing, try these out with halloumi or quorn chicken.



Tuesday

On Tuesday, I went to the library all day. Fuelling your brain for work is VITAL so me and Holly started our day with natural yogurt porridge. 

This was a first for me after seeing a recipe online. But you literally just make porridge with water, then mix in a couple huge spoons of natural bio yogurt. It makes the porridge super creamy and soft, so easier to digest. But also flavours the porridge, bonus. I topped mine with bananas, berries, chia seeds and a little bit of golden syrup. This is so easy to make vegan by swapping natural yogurt for soya yogurt. Morning fool is morning food, so don't skip breakfast guys!

For dinner, I cooked my friend Sophie a pasta bake. Pasta is such a student staple, and I love using lentil pasta which is higher in protein. I cooked that up with loads of broccoli, then added in a mushroom pasta sauce, fried tofu, and cheese, and baked it with more cheese and some pepper on top. This is such a home comfort meal for me. Classic and absolutely no need for meat. You could recreate this with literally anything- quorn chicken, veggie sausage, veggie mince. Anything!


Wednesday

The best thing about the rise in vegetarianism/veganism in the past couple years is the increase in amazing options in restaurants. No matter where you go, there will be a veggie option.

After my final lecture of first year, we went out for lunch and I had this insane vegan enchilada filled with loads of veggies and sweet potato and vegan cheese. Oh man. I love vegan cheese so much, the texture is identical and it tastes so similar. This meal left me pretty much paralysed for the rest of the day, stuffed.



Thursday

For Thursdays library session I put together a super quick sandwich of hummus (my fave thing ever), tomatoes, olives and salad. So easy but so much flavour. Simple.

Then for dinner I wanted something easy but hearty. So I cooked up a quorn chicken fillet in a tomato sauce with carrots, peppers, olives and chickpeas, and then added some tomato puree and a splash of balsamic vinegar for flavour. 10 mins, boom, done. Demolished this on a bed of salad with feta and a lil bit of toast for them carbs. Glorious.



Friday

On Friday I ignored my own rules and skipped breakfast to preserve precious stomach space for my parent's visit. In true northern style we went out for pie and chips, and I had a mushroom and asparagus pie. Mmmmm baby. There's nothing like comfort food, and you don't have to miss out on a veggie diet. 

Later, much much later that night after reviving from my food coma, I cooked up a quick supper. A go-to of mine, as you can probably tell, is stir-frying up a whole bunch of veg in whatever seasoning I can find. So on friday it was tomatoes, pepper, mushrooms, broccoli, chickpeas and olives all fried together with a dash of balsamic and plenty of seasoning, then slapped onto some toast with red pepper hummus. So much goodness, so easy, so tasty. Meals like this are my absolute favourite thing ever, I feel so good after eating veg like this.


Saturday

Tonight I had the pleasure of a friend cooking for me! My meat-eater friend Sophie dived into the world of quorn and cooked up this bolognese with loads of veg and red wine. It was divine, and I went home with a full stomach and a take-away box of leftovers. Having meals with friends and sharing the joy of food and cooking is the best ever. I think learning veggie recipes is so good not only for yourself, but it means never again will your veggie friends be let down. 10/10 Soph, well done.

My tummy is happy, and I feel so much better knowing I'm limiting my impact on the environment and not funding practises and things I don't believe in. Your money is your vote, what you buy, you endorse.

Try going veggie for a week, see if you feel like you're missing out. Bet £10 you don't.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

The Final Copy Of Chrysalism...






8 days post-release and there is only one copy of chrysalism left. Oh my.

As cliche as it sounds, I never expected this. My initial plan was to make 18 copies, expecting to have a couple left over but maybe be able to sell a few on the fad of them being 'limited edition'. If someone told me when I first decided to make the book that I would sell out, or that I would have to print a second batch even before release date, I wouldn't have believed them. Never ever.

The level of support I've had, and the beautiful things people have said about my work and this book that is essentially my diary, it means more than I'll ever be able to articulate. I'll keep trying but I'll never quite be able to do it.

This whole experience has been mental and has made me feel so much more confident. I want to plan my second book and share literally EVERYTHING. I was so scared before release, the thought of giving these really personal pieces to the world and having no control of them made me want to run and hide, but there's something so beautifully intimate in it. Each time I seal a book into an envelope, I feel like I'm sharing a secret, I get a bit smiley and emotional each time. I want to seal them all with a kiss and a hug. And all I can hope is that everyone else feels the same, I hope that the book feels a bit like a kiss and a hug. I hope it's sitting on shelves, waiting on bed-side tables, a little bent around the corners. Oooo I hope it's being underlined and scribbled in, in true English student style. I hope it's being enjoyed.

All I can really say is thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

I doubt this will be the complete, total, full-stop end of chrysalism. I'll probably print more at some point if it's wanted. But for now, there's one copy left. I can't wait to send it to a good home.

Otherwise, if you're in Sheffield; the glorious, delightful La Biblioteka have a stock of 5 copies. Go grab one.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.