June was a wildly busy month for my catering business, so this month’s favourites list is full of lots of things I could eat on the go, and of course the things I cooked up for clients!
Now, imagine me as burly Chinese man, rendered in animation. Cough, cough: let’s get down to business…
Let’s kick off in spectacular fashion (if I do say so myself) with this birthday cake I made for a client. It’s four layers of gluten free, vegan, nut-free chocolate sponge, with salted caramel icing, chocolate salted caramel icing & a dark chocolate drip. It is my greatest heartbreak to date that I had to let it go out into the world before devouring a slice myself.
On to a pudding I didn’t have to cook myself: the chocolate torte from vegan option pioneers, Zizzi’s, is just really delicious, and that’s all there is to say about that.
Swinging over to the healthier end of the spectrum, I tried the pulled jackfruit & 3 bean naked burrito from Fit Kitchen for an easy lunch on a day I was holed up in the library for hours.
The only thing with that is that I didn’t remember to bring a fork, and could not find one anywhere, so I ended up eating this using crisps as tiny little shovels like the gremlin-person I am.
Onto genuinely healthy options, then. For one week in June, I made a very busy teacher all his week-night meals to heat up at home. He asked for high-protein, low-carb meals, and sent me this photo of the spiced chickpeas, roasted cauliflower & summer slaw I made him with added humus & tahini.
Whilst my client very sensibly hired me to make him nutritious dinners during his busy period, I turned instead to cheap supermarket pizza. Adult decisions are good, and I definitely do make them.
Anyway, this flatbread pizza is new at Asda, is surprisingly delicious, and costs £2.50 (the exact same as the non-vegan, usually cheaper options! How novel).
If you’re in the market to jazz up a home-meal (a supermarket pizza, for example…) the Gü free-from chocolate & vanilla cheesecakes are really delicious, if a little spendy.
Orrrr you could hire me to make you something similar! Choc pots are fast becoming a fixture at my events, and I whipped some up (along with a fresh salad spread) for the 1-day yoga retreat I catered for at Loudwater Farm.
From one retreat hosted at a farm to another (and deeper into the very particular niche I appear to be developing), I also catered for a weekend-long Shavuot celebration at Sadeh farm, which I posted a slideshow of photos from here.
Small local parks certainly don’t hit the same spot as sprawling farm land, but I’ve been hugely enjoying picnic season nonetheless. My vegan picnic tally for June is six. I will beat it in July.
Actually, if you’d count eating sushi on a bench by a river as a picnic (which I’d quite like to), then I had seven.
On that lovely sunny day, I picked up a few things to share from Wasabi. The new tofu salad is really good, but the vegan sushi selection remains a firm favourite.
Onto more food of Asian persuasion, I also paid a visit to Wagamamas in June. I had the Vegatsu (seitan-based version of the Katsu curry) because I am a white woman, followed by the chocolate & orange blossom dairy-free ice cream with passion fruit coulis. Only now, seeing them side by side, do I see how off-puttingly similar the Katsu sauce and the coulis look.
The best meal out I had in June, though, was at The Orange Tree. Just look how happy I am eating my plant-based burger.
You may have read my review of their restaurant previously, and I was lucky enough to be gifted my meal, as they invited me to their summer menu launch night.
As I am so clearly a fan of stuffing burgers into my big mouth, I also tried out the Incredible Burgers from Co-Op. They are pretty good, but would likely not have made my favourites list if they were not priced at about a third of the price of the similar-style products on the market.
Something that I would ~truly~ dub as incredible is the long-awaited return of the dark chocolate almond cookie at Pret. Yep, the title of this post made it pretty clear to you that I’d bang on a lot about desserts, so let’s end here, on the sweetest part of my month. This cookie is just so delicious, and I’m so pleased it’s back!
Thank you for reading another monthly favourites!
In July, I am off on a fully vegan cruise around the Baltic sea, so make sure you tune in next month for what’s sure to be an absolute Goliath of a favourites list.