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The Veggie Review: graze

Hi guys!

I’m sure you’ve all come across graze. I remember receiving graze coupons when I first moved into my student accommodation but I sort of forgot about them and never used them. Anyway, it’s a subscription snack service which delivers food straight to your mailbox. The service offers to deliver a box of 4 out of a potential 100 snack options for £3.99. Of course, to entice all customers, the first box is free* and you get to specify what you want in your box. What I like about graze is that it offers something for everyone, especially those watching their calorie intake or those with specific diets (veg/vegan/gluten-free…etc). Snacks include nuts, seeds, dried fruit/veg, mini cakes, biscuits, crackers, dips, and more.

Now, I rarely order food online. The only snacks I recall purchasing online are Flamin’ Hot Cheetos because you honestly cannot find them anywhere in this country. The process online is simple and straightforward with graze but when it came to actually reviewing the four snacks I received, I was met with three hits and a miss. I was left quite disappointed because the ‘miss’ was the one snack I was looking forward to eat.

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Service: graze

Type: Subscription snacks

Website: http://www.graze.com

What I’m reviewing: Herby Bread Basket, Moroccan Harissa Olives, Boston Baguettes, Beetroot Crisps

Price: £3.99 (first box is HALF-PRICE/FREE WITH MY CODE)

Herby Bread Basket: 4/5

The 90-calorie Herby Bread Basket punnet included mini basil breadsticks, oregano crackers and garlic crostini. I chose this one because it’s quite a popular selection and it’s one of the few options sold at supermarkets like Tesco. So, I thought it was worth trying. The flavours were all strong yet they complemented each other quite nicely. Crunchy, buttery and flavoursome… it was worth including in my very first graze box.

Moroccan Harissa Olives: 4/5

I’m a huge fan of olives so I had to include them in my box. There were around 16 green olives marinated with harissa, chilli and garlic in the punnet, which came with a pick-stick. They were juicy and fleshy, subtly spiced and easy to eat. I love my olives.

Boston Baguettes: 5/5

The punnet contained 8 crunchy tomato-flavoured breadsticks as well as a barbeque relish. I enjoyed eating the sticks dipped in the sweet, spicy and almost chutney-like dip. However, if you’re not a fan of chutney, you might not like the dip. I was extremely satisfied with this combination and would strongly recommend this snack to anyone. Also, it was only 84 calories so I would definitely add this in my grazebox again.

Beetroot Crisps: 2/5

Last but unquestionably least… the beetroots crisps. I was actually devastated. No lie. All I could think was, “This is what I’ve been looking forward to try for 3 days?” I’ve been a fan of beetroot crisps ever since I tried Tyrrells Mixed Root Vegetable Crisps last year. I was so impressed with them then that I was positive I was going to like the ones graze offered. But I didn’t. At all. They were dry, stale and flavourless. Nasty! The punnet also contained dry jalapeno chickpeas and sunflower seeds… which are the only thing preventing me from giving this snack a big fat zero.

OVERALL RATING: 3.75/5

Despite quite a good rating, the reality is that you’d probably save more money by preparing your own snacks at home. If you haven’t got enough time, then it is worth considering a subscription to graze… but expect to be disappointed by at least one snack. I personally didn’t love the snacks enough to buy graze boxes on a regular basis. But I will be giving it another go very soon.

Remember, you can get your first box for half-price. Or for FREE with my code!

Message me on Twitter: @sugaviolet

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The Veggie Review: Byron

Hi everyone!

Second year of uni is fast approaching so I thought it would be a good idea to resume blogging. One thing I regret is not blogging at all throughout my first year… even though I was actually looking forward to writing all about my experience! I guess I got too caught up in the new atmosphere…

Anyway, this isn’t another ‘I’m going to blog more frequently you guys, I promise!‘ post, it’s a veggie review. I’ll be reviewing a series of vegetarian options at various restaurants located in both London and Kent. I am aware that reviewing Byron may be unfair, considering they specialise in hamburgers but if there’s a veggie option, there’s a review.

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Restaurant: Byron

Type: Burger joint

Location: Covent Garden

What I’m reviewing: Mushroom burger

What’s inside: Grilled Portobello mushroom, goat’s cheese, roasted red pepper, baby spinach, tomato, red onion and aioli

Price: £7.95

 

 

Visually, the Mushroom Burger itself looked very appetising however the overall presentation of the plate was so-so. It could do without Byron’s signature wedge of pickle on the side and be replaced with fries or coleslaw, in my opinion. Moving on to the actual burger, the bun was squishy and fluffy but didn’t hold the components well enough to eat the burger without any fuss. The supposedly ‘grilled’ portobello mushroom wasn’t as smoky or flavoured as expected and was rather soggy, much like the peeled pepper which, by the way, I just had to remove. The goat’s cheese melted nicely with the spinach, tomato, onion and the hint of garlic from the aioli, but considering the main component is the mushroom, I was left slightly disappointed.

I only entered Byron with high expectations due to the hype surrounding the chain but whatever, at least the carnivores are pleased. On a serious note, I was surprised Byron even provided two seemingly appealing vegetarian options to begin with, the other being the Bean Patty, so I can’t complain that much. I just wasn’t blown away by the Mushroom Burger. I am, after all, a huge fan of mushrooms. In fact, I will definitely be trying the Bean Patty next time as the flavours in the whole burger did work quite well. If I replace the mushroom with a bean patty, I’m hoping it’ll be my preferred veggie alternative.

Rating: 3/5

 

-Lara, still alive

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Showing off… my food?!?

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The above photos are: Spinach & Mushroom Omelette, Roast Chicken, Mash & Gravy, Beef Taco, Cream Cheese Cinnamon Rolls.

So this is officially the first post of 2015. Late, I know. But I mean what better way to start the new year than with food that looks like it came straight out of heaven? Okay, I’m exaggerating. However, I did want to post these pictures so I can find out what recipes people would want! (I care about y’all) There are also vegetarian options, as I don’t eat meat, but sadly I did not take any pictures. Buuuut I will be posting a vegetarian burger recipe as well as my long-awaited (as if) quesadilla recipe.

The reason for my absence was, to put it simply, mocks. Yes, I had mocks and I was busy revising SO incredibly hard And no, I did not watch Korean variety shows instead, okay?

Yes I did. And I don’t regret it. I still did well, though!!!

Happy Belated New Year… and I hope you’re looking forward to my post tomorrow, lovers…

-Lara, excited for twenty fifteen

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Easy Giza (Garlic Bread Pizza)!!!

I know what you’re thinking: Enough with the food posts!!!

I apologise, but I can’t help it. I have an undying passion for food. You can’t stop me, ever. I guess you could say I was…

One of my hobbies is to look up recipes on YouTube without getting sucked into the dessert vortex, which consists of those videos which instruct you on how to make a Hogwarts Castle cake… as if I could even attempt that mammoth of a dessert. But I still click on the damn link. I ‘Always’ do. On a brighter note, I did find some good ‘easy pizza’ recipes which inspired me to make this garlic bread pizza…thing! Let’s call it… Giza.

The ingredients you need for your garlic bread are: FOOD

2 slices of your preferred sliced bread

6-7 garlic cloves

Butter

Dried herbs: Basil, oregano, marjoram…

Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions for your garlic bread:

1. Arrange both your bread slices so they are next to each other

2. Mince garlic and soften butter

3. Mix together with the herbs and salt/pepper

4. Leave to stand for a while and then coat one side of both your bread slices with the mixture. Coat one slice more than the other as this will be the your pizza’s filling.

5. Place the coated slices on top of each other (less coated on top) in the preheated oven for 5 minutes. (at max)

Ingredients for your Giza:

You can use anything you want! I used grated mature cheddar, olives, bell peppers, onions, tomatoes and mushrooms.

Instructions for your Giza:

6. After you’ve taken out the bread, spread any pizza/tomato sauce of your choice on top of the bread (less garlic-coated slice).

7. Add your topping along with some extra grated cheese. This is optional but I combined my vegetables with a mayo-ketchup mix before adding the topping on the bread.

8. Place in the oven and heat until the cheese melts!

9. Enjoy ya Giza!

I’ll be posting my quesadilla recipe along with its accompanying dips soon!

-Lara, coiner of the culinary term ‘Giza’… yes, I am fully aware that it’s a pyramid in Egypt.

 

 

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Vegetarian: Faux-Turkey Sandwiches!

20141212_163445[1]Just so you know, this is meant to be a belated Thanksgiving as well as a Christmas-is-so-close post. You know, Turkeys and all.

 If there’s one thing you probably won’t understand it’s that I get overly excited whenever I find vegan/vegetarian food. I absolutely love it. I usually enter Holland & Barrett expecting to find nothing but the usual: vitamins, protein powders… and Japanese Rice Crackers. Anyway, I found this pack of turkey style slices which I thought was worth a try – and it was. I mean yes, the faux-turkey slice itself kind of tastes like diluted cardboard, but it tastes great in a sandwich. By great I mean G-R-E-A-T. So good. I made this Turkey club sandwich using my own semi-homemade Caesar sauce.

My Caesar sauce was made using: Mayonnaise, Asda’s Garlic Ketchup, Lemon Juice, Worcester Sauce, Salt, Pepper.

I originally added 2 tb spoons of Mayo, 2 tb spoons of Garlic Ketchup, and a combination of the remaining ingredients but my tip for you would be to just keep adding and tasting as it’s a matter of preference.

Just spread this Caesar sauce on both slices of your preferred bread, add a cheese single, slice of tomato, and a lettuce leaf. You can also add spinach or onions… AND VOILA. Happy eating!

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-Lara, girl who loves lettuce and also happens to be a bunny.

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Vegetarian Tips

Hello! Here are some of my favourite vegetarian tips and meals from me to you:

Breakfast:

Hash browns, Eggs, beans, and chips, Cereal/Porridge/Oatmeal, Fruit yoghurt, Muffins, Banana Pancakes, Shakshouka, Foul Medames

Appetizers/Snacks:

Cucumber yogurt (khiyar bi laban), Hummus (with cucumber, pepper and carrot sticks),Tortilla chips (Doritos) with cheese/salsa dip, Samosas

Dinner:

Lentil soup (great for protein), Stuffed capsicums, Koshary, Cous cous, Bulgur

Desserts:

Fruit parfait (With granola and organic yoghurt), Tiramisu, Carrot Cake

My Two Tips:

Spinach: it hasn’t got much of a flavor – which is why you can eat it with basically anything. It has plenty of health benefits from keeping your heart healthy to preventing cancer.

Mango Chutney: This tastes so good with rice. So, so, so good. The rice could be simple (peas only) or mixed with lots of vegetables such as potatoes, peppers and carrots. If you do decide to make rice, then add a little bit of tabasco… it’ll taste great.

Don’t know what to eat at fast food/restaurant chains when you’re out? Well, enough of that salad you always get, here are some good options for you to choose. You could even combine some of the appetizers to make a full meal if you’re not satisfied with the rest of the menu. I don’t fully recommend chains like Nando’s and KFC as they specialize in chicken, meaning some dishes may be fried in the same area as chicken. Also, remember to ask what oil the chains use to fry their food, as they may use lard instead of vegetable oil.

Veggie Pattie/Veggie Delite (Subway)

Margherita/Vegetable/Greek/Spicy vegetarian pizzas (at most pizza parlours and chains)

Mozzarella Sticks, Garlic bread, fries/wedges at most fast food chains (McDonald’s, Burger King, Pizza Hut)

Veggie Burgers (McDonalds, Nando’s, Burger King)

Grilled Haloumi Cheese Pittas (Nando’s)

Coleslaw (KFC, Nando’s)

Falafel (Any shawarma restaurants)

Pesto/tomato Pasta  (served at most cafes)

Cheddar cheese sandwich (Greggs, Costa, Starbucks)

Vegetarian fajita burritos (Mexican cuisine chains)

Cous cous/Spicy rice (Nando’s)

Vegetarian Sushi (Marks and Spencer)

-Lara, blatant fool for vegetables