ScouseVeg Eating In: Green Kitchen

ScouseVeg Eating In: Green Kitchen

By Niki O’Leary, roving reporter for Scouseveg.

Liverpool has become the place in the North West for vegetarian/vegan only and veggie/vegan friendly restaurants. There are so many choices now. But what if you can’t be bothered with all that going out. What if you want to just stay in and watch some telly ? We sent out – or rather told our Niki to stay at home and try a vegan friendly home delivery service.

Green Kitchen…for those cosy night’s in!

There’s nothing better than treating yourself to a mid-week take-out. Especially, safe in the knowledge, that your Vegan diet is being well cared for. That’s what Pete, Ray and I decided to do one, rainy Thursday evening. For those of you that haven’t tried Green Kitchen before, you are in for a bit of a treat, not only do you get a satisfying Chinese meal but one with a different ethos than most!

The Green Kitchen’s menu is constantly evolving. Their offering is jam-packed full of fresh ingredients, which is also well-balanced and nutritional. Their menu has many differences, over your ‘run-of-the-mill’ local take away. You can truly be happy to share with friends or family, a wide variety of guilt-free meal options, bursting with vegetarian and vegan options. So what’s the main different about Green Kitchen?

Firstly, they don’t use MSG, which is a big plus for me (as I’ve been known to react badly to it in the past!) All their ingredients are fresh, this means that you get restaurant quality dishes at take away prices. Their customer service and delivery was also super friendly! Oh and I loved the containers they came in, separate little sections for each part of the meal, which are great for lunch carry outs and recycled by me time and time again.

But most importantly, the best bit you’ve all been waiting to hear about. What about the food?

Well, we had quite a feast and opted to share a multitude of dishes. Being a big fan of tofu we tucked in the special tomato sauce tofu. This was light and very tasty. Then we munched our way through the home style tofu, which was perfectly fried without being too greasy. Accompanying the tofu dishes, we shared the stir fried spicy cabbage, stir fried broccoli, cabbage and the spicy sour shredded potatoes to name but a few! In fact, I think we had a full tasting of all most of the main vegan menu, which is all labelled as such.

I think the surprise of the evening was the Sweet Potato Bao, with its almost pastel shade, light and foamy texture with a sweet centre in the middle. Surprisingly, it was gorgeous. I suppose my only minor criticism of the website is that, it’s only the main dishes that are marked vegan. However, this could be easily rectified and given that you would be hard pushed to find a takeaway even bothering to mark their dishes, vegan, you can’t really go wrong with the Green Kitchen team.

So, next time, you get the urge for a takeaway. I would highly recommend, if you haven’t tried them already to give these guys a go, you certainly won’t be disappointed.

Details:

Website: www.greenkitchen.co.uk
Twitter: @greenkitchenuk
Facebook: GreenKitchenUK
Tel: 0151 922 2665
Email: contact@greenkitchen.co.uk

Wagamama…from Bowl to Soul

Wagamama…from Bowl to Soul

By Niki O’Leary, roving reporter for Scouseveg.

We are proud here to support all the locally owned independent vegetarian/vegan establishments which have sprung up. But what about the chain restaurants ? They’ve noticed the increase in popularity with being veggie or vegan and are taking steps to accommodate. But how good are they ? Our Niki went to try one of these places out…

What better way to spend Saturday evening than to get together a few Scouseveggers and head down to explore the delights of Liverpool One. This, by the way offers a multitude of cuisine and nightlife to enjoy. The lovely folk at Wagamama, invited us to try their vegan offerings so myself, Pete, Ray and Steve headed down to the bright lights of their Liverpool restaurant, which is nicely situated on the Leisure Terrace.

We entered a very busy, but, highly organised restaurant and took our table to enjoy Asian cruise at its tastiest. It’s been some time since I have been to Wagamama. So, naturally, I was quite excited to try their new offerings, especially their new vegan desserts.

Our waitress for the evening showed us around the menu, guided us to what was vegan, but also explained what could be adapted. We went for a selection of starters and main courses, choosing from the menu, Yasai Ramen, Yasai pad-thai, Wok fried greens and Edamame in chilli salt. Some of the dishes were slightly adapted for the vegan diet for us, but all delivered rich textures and flavours.

As described by Steve his side order of Wok fried greens was absolutely delicious. Large succulent pieces of tender stem broccoli and Bok-choi in a delicate garlic sauce. The Yasai pad-Thai, with its delicate pieces of tofu and vegetables with rice noodles, which came in a light tamarind sauce with beansprouts, leeks, chillies and red onion. The dish was beautifully garnished with fried shallots, peanuts, fresh herbs and lime. It was wholesome, delicious and filling.

The favourite vegan dessert of the night by far, was the delightful Lemongrass and Lime sorbet, gentle on the palate but bursting with flavour. If you are looking to refresh your palate this sorbet is a must after an evening of taste and spices.

Now Liverpool is awash with vegetarian and vegan places to dine out and about time too! Lots of independent restaurants have popped up with amazing vegan offerings, meaning, the more popular chain restaurants can sometimes be overlooked. So, next time you’re heading into Liverpool for either a romantic meal for two or gathering with a group of friends. I would highly recommend if you haven’t been already to give these guys a go, you won’t be disappointed.

Details:

Wagamama Liverpool

Liverpool ONE
14 Paradise Street
Liverpool L1 8JF
» More info/reviews

Featured ScouseVegan blogger: Piece of Vegan Cake

Featured ScouseVegan blogger: Piece of Vegan Cake

Please say hello and welcome Hollie, who runs the Piece of Vegan Cake aka Simple Choices blog.

Hollie is from Liverpool and became vegetarian at around 15/16 and then gradually moved to a vegan diet.
(Read more on the About page.)

Her blog is about food. Obviously. It offers tips and advice about living and cooking vegan. There are many recipes such as Quinoa Scones and this one you must try: Homemade vegan mixed fruit crumble.
These are just two of the many you can find via the Recipe Index.

Also there’s some local interest with Hollie’s visit to The Old Hardware Shop and a few other places.

Please take time to visit and read Piece of Vegan Cake and all the other Scouse Veggie/Vegan blogs.

Niki reviews: Crust, Bold Street

Niki reviews: Crust, Bold Street

If you didn’t know already, ScouseVeg is a social group for vegetarians and vegans in Liverpool and Merseyside. The group is looked after by our very own Niki O’Leary, TV star (one episode of Come Dine With Me) and full time vegan.

A new place: Crust had just opened on Bold Street and they contacted the website to let us know about themselves. They told us that they cater for veggies & vegans and invited us to come along and try it out, so we sent our best person to investigate…

Crust has the edge…….

By Niki O’Leary, roving reporter for Scouseveg.

crust

What better way to spend a damp Thursday evening than to explore the delights of Bold Street. Which in my opinion, has become one of the best places now to enjoy a wide variety of world cuisine. Crust is all about celebrating Italy’s best loved dishes, pizza and pasta. Crust delivers that in a very authentic way. As a vegan couple, it’s always very exciting trying a new place to eat, but at times this comes with some apprehension. Veganism is much better understood now but not always delivered well.

On entering Crust we noticed the friendly atmosphere with a kind of weekend buzz about the place, spacious but cosy with a modern twist. Ample seating for groups or those dining in pairs, all situated at the front of the restaurant with a lovely open kitchen towards the back, boasting a very special wood fired pizza oven. We were greeted by a host of friendly waiters and on asking which dishes were suitable for a vegan diet, we were informed that most dishes could easily be adapted to our delight.

For our starter we opted for a simple Bruschetta. A classic one topped with fresh tomatoes that were gently washed down with a beer. Crust has an impressive range of beers from around the world and locally sourced speciality beers. For the main course, it was a difficult choice. We are both big pizza fans and having eaten pizza in Italy, naturally our expectations were very high.

Crust boasts four types of pizza bases, from original, five grain, organic and black dough. Not one to go with the norm, Pete and I opted to share a black dough pizza alongside a pasta dish. The Pizza arrived and was scrumptious. It’s delicately chargrilled topping and the smoky flavoured freshly made dough complimented each other perfectly. It was soft, melted in the mouth and was contrasted by a rich charcoal taste. Crust offers a vast array of toppings, so we opted for the classic Marinara with extra vegetable toppings.

As well as the pizza we also decided to try a pasta dish from the menu. We liked the look of Kamut Organic Pasta. However this normally comes with prawns. We were informed this could be adapted to suit our dietary needs. This dish actually blew my socks off, which doesn’t happen often with other restaurant pasta dishes! The fresh flavours of the yellow cherry tomatoes alongside the balance of the crisp orange zest just tickled our taste buds. In place of prawns we had chopped asparagus which complimented the sharpness of the sauce nicely.

Barely leaving any room for our desserts we opted for the handmade Italian strawberry ice cream. This was light and fruity and resembled a sorbet which cleansed the palate perfectly. Finally, we washed this down with a shot of Limoncello liqueur, when in Rome, hey!

Towards the end of the meal we chatted to Paolo, the co-owner of Crust, who enthusiastically talked about the restaurant and how important it was to them to cater for everyone. We were most impressed to hear that they even have a completely separate kitchen downstairs for gluten free food, which is testament to how this restaurant stands out above the rest.

What we liked about Crust, well for me. It was the atmosphere, modern décor but with warm Italian feel. The impressive choice of four completely different hand prepared and cooked crusts, especially the uniquely flavoured black dough. I liked that fact that most dishes can be adapted to our diet so we are not limited to just a few special dishes and knowing that I can dine here with my gluten free friends is definitely a plus. Since our visit, I have heard they are now stocking vegan cheese, so it won’t be that long until we return again, not that I need an excuse for pizza!

Crust is a fabulous new restaurant, reasonably priced and has an excellent range of beers served by friendly smiley staff. So if pizza, pasta and a vast range of local and worldwide beers is your thing with a big taste of Italy thrown in for good measure, then head down to Crust. Veggie and vegans are more than welcome and thankfully catered for extremely well.

Full gallery:

[nggallery id=1]

Featured Blogger: Braless and Bananas

Featured Blogger: Braless and Bananas

There are Scouse veggie/vegan bloggers out there. We like to highlight them here and encourage you to visit.

This featured raw vegan blogger doesn’t just blog, she posts vlogs as well. A vlog is a video blog and Jennifer, who runs Braless and Bananas has created quite a number of them. These vlogs are very professionally produced and worth a watch. They are posted on her blog and via her YouTube channel.

Braless and Bananas

Bio:

I have been a raw vegan since February 2014 and this has changed my life considerably. My main aim in life is to travel all over the world and keep going until I finally decide to settle down.

We’ve just missed her taking a trip to Thailand, she’s back home now but you can catch up on her videos via the above links.

– Last year Jennifer did a video Q & A about being raw vegan:

Additionally: Just recently Jennifer posted a vlog where she talks about dropping her Scouse accent ! Should have to hand in her scouse membership for that but we’ll forgive her.

Website:

Braless and Bananas

The Vegan Venue in Warrington

The Vegan Venue in Warrington

So you find yourself in Warrington… Don’t know why you would ever want to leave the glorious people’s republic of Liverpool, but if you really had to leave and you found yourself in Warrington – you’ll need to find a good place to eat. Luckily there is such a place and that place is The Vegan Venue.

They serve everything from (vegan) soup, curries, burgers, cakes, pies, baked goods, cakes, wraps, cakes, sandwiches…cakes… Did I mention cakes ? All of it is homemade and at very, very affordable prices.

As well as all the scrumptious food the Vegan Venue is also a cafe and of course they have beverages, coffee, tea, juices, etc.

Below is a gallery of just some of things they’ve served there:

The Vegan Venue is easy to find. They are at 133 Marsh House Lane, Padgate, Warrington:

Nearest train stations are Warrington Central and Padgate (they are in between the two).
They are closed on Tuesdays now, but will be open every Sunday from Dec 13th onwards.

UPDATE: They are now under new ownership. They will be open every day from 8am-6pm.

If you ever visit, leave a review on their listings page here on ScouseVeg:
https://www.scouseveg.co.uk/eating-out/the-vegan-venue-warrington/

» Their Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/theveganvenue/

Featured Blogger: The Vegan Punk

Featured Blogger: The Vegan Punk

If you ever find yourself outside of the glorious republic of Liverpool…don’t know why you’d want to leave but anyway, if you do ever venture out and find yourself on the other side of the Pennines… again I don’t know why you would… I’ll just get on with it.

Before you leave you will probably do some research and a good place to start is via The Vegan Punk blog:

theveganpunk

The Vegan Punk lives in Leeds. He’s vegan (obviously) and before that vegetarian for 10 years.

” I started this blog to document my adventures in veganism, and hope to post reviews of and interviews with shops, restaurants, artists and activists who engage with vegan, vegetarian, and animal rights issues – in Leeds, in Yorkshire, and in fact wherever I go in the UK and world.

I have been vegan for two years and vegetarian for 10, with my motivation primarily being the belief that all animals have the right to live a life free from exploitation and suffering. More recently, health and ecological reasons have strengthened my belief that following a vegan lifestyle is a key way in which we can make the world a better place – for humans and non-human animals alike.”

His very neat and tidy blog has only been going a short while, but there are some interesting items already there:

– In the Review section it tells you about some vegan falafel and pita at the Leeds Corn Exchange. Also there is sampling of vegan Indian street food in Leeds.

– In the Places category, he writes about a vegan weekend in Whitby.

– He’s also good with a camera so have a look in the Gallery.

If you are on Twitter you can follow him via @TheVeganPunk

New Veggie/Vegan Cafe In Woolton Village

New Veggie/Vegan Cafe In Woolton Village

If you are on a trip south of the city and you find yourself a bit hungry, this place is worth a visit:

The Old Hardware Shop - Woolton Village

Yes that’s right, the OLD Hardware Shop. The location is now a vegetarian and vegan only cafe !

They serve veggie versions of traditional cafe shop items – and they can do vegan versions too.

Niki and her Dad went there recently and here are some pics:

Niki says about the visit:

We had milkshakes, I had the hotdog with salad, pops had a big fat toastie with salad, washed down with an apple juice, then a chocolate tiffin with ice cream!!!

They’ve only been open a few weeks and are still seeing which opening hours are the best, so check on their Facebook page before heading out.

May 2015 Update:

I’m happy to report that the Old Hardware Shop is still going strong, but a couple of notes on their opening hours:

» The are CLOSED on Sundays and Mondays now.

As mentioned above, check their Facebook before heading out.

– There’s an entry for them on the ScouseVeg » Eating Out section, so if you’ve been recently leave a comment on their page and let other veggies/vegans know what it is like:

Post a review:

The Old Hardware Shop, Woolton Village, Liverpool

LABL Fair Liverpool

LABL Fair Liverpool
labl_fair

Saturday 19th October 2013, St George’s Hall, Liverpool, 10 am – 4 pm

A brand new event for Liverpool! Helping you to Live A Better Life with 120 stalls offering everything from food to natural beauty and healthy living to fairtrade clothes.

Cookery demonstrations, film screenings, talks, an organic bar and prize draw will add to the event.

100% VEGAN FAIRTRADE ORGANIC DAIRY FREE CRUELTY FREE

This unique event will broaden your horizons and provide you with many opportunities to taste, try and buy fantastic goods from the best natural, cruelty free and ecological companies around.

Delicious hot and cold food will be served throughout the day, all 100% vegan (meat, dairy and egg free).

Admission is just £1, under 12’s free!

More info: https://www.facebook.com/events/123184281172849/

Stop the badger cull

Stop the badger cull

badgers

The government has announced plans to start culling badgers. There’s been a big debate among 38 Degrees members about these culls. Some of us believe killing badgers would be wrong under any circumstances. Some of us believe that if the science really proved that shooting badgers could make a real dent in the cow TB problem, it would be a tragic necessity.

But 87% of us agree on this: the government’s current plans to shoot England’s badgers simply don’t stack up. The government’s own scientific advisers warn that it won’t solve the problem of TB in cattle, and could even make it worse.

Government scientists say that if a cull isn’t carried out “in a co-ordinated, sustained and simultaneous manner according to the minimum criteria, then this could result in a smaller benefit or even a detrimental effect.”

» Sign this petition

More info: