strawberries

My first vegan dinner party!

Last weekend, we hosted our first dinner party since I became vegan and it was a-maz-ing!

Our friends that we invited have recently decided to go vegetarian, so it was cool to be able to share all of the vegan dishes with them.

I got waaaay too excited about making the table look pretty and may have gone a little overboard with decorating name cards!

vegan dinner party table

Now, onto the delicious food…

In some families you have to say grace before everyone can eat; in my house, it’s becoming pretty standard that everyone has to wait until I’ve taken pictures of the food before we can start eating , ah the life of a food blogger!!

Now really, onto the food! My mum is an amazing cook and has been adapting her previously meat dishes into vegetarian dishes for me for years. Now she has the even bigger challenge of adapting them into vegan-friendly meals, and she is doing a great job!

Her veggie Lasagne is one of my all time favourites, and she made it vegan by substituting the white sauce with an almond milk and corn flour mixture, and to add crunchiness – a bread crumb and vegan butter topping. YUM. Everyone LOVED this dish; and even my cheese loving, vegetarian boyfriend said this was the best lasagne yet – go mama!

We also had a fresh vegetable paella which was scrummy, and also really good for left-overs the next day too.

vegan lasagna and vegan paella

My mum’s vegetarian chilli is THE BOMB. Like seriously, party in your mouth. It’s my all time favourite dinner, as you can do so much with it: eat it with home-made garlic batons, in a jacket potato, with rice, with nachos, with salad, with home-made coleslaw – the possibilities are endless! So as always, this was a big hit!

We also had a mixed leaf salad with cherry tomatoes which is such a simple, healthy side and goes well with most things – a dinner party must.

vegan chilli and salad

For desert, we had some awesome home-made melted vegan chocolate…

vegan chocolate

…And to dip in the chocolate we had delicious strawberries and banana slices. Heaven.

strawberries and banana

It was such a lovely evening, and the food went down amazingly! I’ll be sharing some of the recipes on the blog soon, so watch this space!

Vegan dinner party

 

Confessions of a vegan chocoholic

Since deciding to eat a vegan diet, I have had lots of people ask me the same question (usually with a horrified look on their face), ‘so wait, you can’t eat chocolate anymore?!’ In response to this, I thought I’d write a post about the wide range of vegan chocolate available, to quash the myth that vegans can’t eat chocolate.

Confession: this has been by far my favourite post on the blog to research so far!

In case you hadn’t guessed already, I’m a bit of a chocoholic; so I will admit, missing chocolate was one of the things that I was a little worried about when I decided to become vegan. The first vegan chocolate I ate was Asda own brand. As a plain chocolate bar it’s not the best chocolate I’ve ever eaten; but when melted to make chocolate covered strawberries, it is absolutely awesome! This is the desert I had on my first fully vegan day, and it was an absolute blessing!

vegan chocolate covered strawberries

After eating an almost entirely vegan diet for around 1 month, I was sitting in work one day when I was hit with a major chocolate craving! Just when I was about to give in to guiltily considering getting a boost bar from the vending machine, I googled vegan chocolate on whim to see if anywhere nearby could satisfy my craving. The first thing that came up was… HOTEL CHOCOLAT! Excited does not even begin to describe how this made me feel, as not only do they make incredible chocolate, but there is also an outlet less 5 minutes from my office. I practically ran downstairs and bought an unhealthy amount of vegan chocolate. I may have also sent a slightly embarrassing tweet to Hotel Chocolat about how they had ‘Made. My. Day’ whilst I scoffed down my chocolate on the way back to work! Totally worth the embarrassment to express my gratitude for this amazing afternoon snack.

vegan hotel chocolat

I didn’t realise how hooked I’d become until one Friday on my way to work, the girl working in Hotel Chocolat recognised me as ‘the girl who comes in to buy a Hazlenut Buche every morning’. Oh dear. When she asked if the 4 bars I had picked up this morning were all for me, instead of admitting that I was stocking up on chocolate for the weekend like a squirrel does for winter, I of course lied to save the last shred of my dignity and said they were for presents. It’s kinda true, they were presents, from me… to me. I’m sure I should feel more embarrassed to go back there but I don’t. The chocolate is just too good! Check out the Hotel Chocolat website here to see their award winning vegan chocolate selection.
Holland & Barrett also have lots of yummy vegan chocolate snacks that are well worth checking out; these dairy-free chocolate coated raisins are my personal fave!
holland and barret vegan chocolate covered raisins

If you’re a bit more creative in the kitchen and would like some more vegan chocolate inspiration, check out the awesome Chocolate Covered Katie’s blog which has tons of amazing and quirky recipes!