Welcome to best of the week! This is a wee series where I write about all the best gluten-free, vegan products, recipes, foods etc. that I cooked, ate and loved this week!
Honestly, it has been a strange end to a strange year. The weather was grim, the days were short and another nationwide lockdown is on the horizon. The time between Christmas and New Years is usually reserved, for time with family and friends, shared meals and sleeping in after a few too many nights at the pub.
Unfortunately, none of this was possible and, it seems as if 2020 truly got the last laugh. I felt more disorientated during this time than at any other point during 2020. To keep my feet on the ground I implemented my usual tricks; food, food, food and the odd workout.
What I Cooked
I made the puff pastry from Cannelle et Vanille by Aran Goyoaga for my Christmas Welly this year. The recipe makes a huge amount and I had enough left over to put it to use in a few other meals.
Her recipe calls for cultured butter but I always use a solid vegan butter instead. This pastry recipe (and the sourdough) is worth the book alone.
For New Year’s Eve, I made a big f**k off lasagne. Nothing says, new me like pasta and melted cheese. I always opt for 100% brown rice pasta noodles when making GF pasta dishes and highly recommend the Rizopia Free From Organic Brown Rice Lasagne Pasta for this recipe. You can find the recipe HERE.
What I Ate
I finally tried the Tesco Wicked Kitchen Asparagus & Peppercorn Ravioli. I love fresh ravioli and to find one that is both gluten-free and vegan is a real treat. The texture was great but, I wasn’t a massive fan of the flavours in the filling.
I’m going to try the other flavour, Spinach and Wild Garlic. Fingers crossed it’s the one for me but I probably won’t purchase the Asparagus one again.
For Christmas, my mom sent Adam and me some astounding chocolate from The Foundry. I have never in my life had such incredible chocolate (vegan or not).
The chocolate is made in New Zealand in micro-batches but they ship all around the world. There are only two ingredients in each bar, cacao and organic sugar, and I’m blown away by this every time I eat it. Each bar is made with a bean from a different origin and they have such distinct flavours I always find myself re-checking the ingredients.
M&S Plant Kitchen marshmallows! I’m obsessed!
What I Loved
As a little post-Christmas pick me up I purchased the Calm Set for dry skin from Paula’s Choice. I have very mild rosacea and my skin really suffers in the winter. I’ve not been very diligent with skincare in the past but it’s one of the things I’d like to do better in 2021.
Paula’s choice is cruelty-free and leaping bunny certified and many of their products are vegan. So far all the products have been incredible and very gentle on my sensitive skin. Full disclosure, I didn’t realise when I purchased the Calm Set that only some of the products were vegan (shame on me for not checking them all) but they do have a helpful page with a list of all their non-vegan products.
Working out is one of the things that helps keep me sane and was especially important in 2020.
Pscycle is a cycle and group fitness studio based in London. When we first went into lockdown, they did countless free workouts on Instagram and have recently launched a paid online subscription.
It is a little pricey but, the classes are dynamic and, the instructors are fun, knowledgeable and motivating. The first two weeks are free and, even if you just pay for one month after that, it is worth it for some much-needed variation on those home workouts!
Good On You Directory
I’m trying to be more responsible with what fashion brands I support and, I recently discovered the site Good On You. They make it super easy to look up the efficacy on a huge range of brands so you can make informed choices before pressing that purchase button.
Summary: Best Gluten-Free Vegan Products of the Week (Dec 28 - Jan 3)
- Cannelle et Vanille by Aran Goyoaga (note this is not an all vegan cookbook)
- Plant Kitchen Smooth Chocolate Spread from M&S
- Rizopia Free From Organic Brown Rice Lasagne Pasta from Ocado or Amazon
- Wicked Kitchen Ravioli from Tesco (not my favourite but worth a try)
- The Foundry Chocolate
- Plant Kitchen Marshmallows from M&S
- Paula’s Choice Skincare (remember to double-check that what you buy is vegan)
- Good On You App
- Psycle (not really a relevant product but essential for the sanity of this GF vegan!)