Shout out for Spoons! Not the handy eating implement/Cockney musical instrument de jour, but the pub chain, of course… I’m feeling super-impressed with Wetherspoons at the moment. Not just for their cheap wine and excellent fried breakfasts (the latter frequently being a fail-safe saviour after indulging in too much of the former), but because they have a dedicated (and extensive) vegetarian and vegan menu.
Today was my first venture to a non-specifically vegan eatery – meeting some friends for lunch before going to see Hamilton at the theatre (it really is as amazing as people say it is) – and I’d wondered how easy it would be to find something I could eat. I’d told my best friend that I was doing Veganuary, but none of the rest of the group, and I was really hoping that I could find something easily so that I wouldn’t look to finickity.
Imagine my delight, then, when I spotted that Spoons don’t just have special section on their menu for meat/dairy-free meals, they have an entire separate A2 sheet devoted to vegetarian and vegan fare. Hooray! Instantly my life was made so much easier. I ended up ordering a beautiful poppy-seed bagel spread with smashed avocado and packed with more slices of that fabulous fruit, together with tomato, onion, coriander, and rocket. It was creamy and a fantastic mix of flavours, from the buttery avo to the peppery leaves. I paired it with a crunchy mixed salad, plus a lemonade (the joy of going to a matinee is there’s no peer pressure to break my Dry January pledge either!).
There were so many other dishes, both big and small, that I could have had instead of the bagel – I’m seriously impressed by the range that Spoons offered its customers. Would that more eateries would follow suit!
I only went for a light bite at lunchtime because I’d had a big cooked breakfast with Si only an hour earlier. Simon has blogged about this elsewhere, but I wanted to tip my hat to its source – it was based on Heather Cristo’s vegan breakfast skillet, and included fried paprika potatoes with mushrooms, onion, red pepper, and spinach, to which I’d added cherry tomatoes and diced avocado. Garnished with parsley, it was a colourful bowlful that really set us both up for the rest of the day.
When I got in after the theatre I was hungrier and wanted something quick, but also reasonably healthy. After raiding the fridge for the remaining veg that didn’t go into breakfast, I whipped up a quick bowl of fried rice with black beans, peas, onion, spring onion, mushrooms, spinach, peanuts, and a sprinkle of sesame seeds for extra protein. All stir fried with garam masala, chilli/garlic salt, and soy sauce. It certainly hit the spot!
Today was a mostly Simon-less day, so I’m looking forward to seeing him tomorrow – we’ve got some exciting cooking plans which I can’t wait to try out! Watch this space…
Today I ate/drank…
- Tea with almond milk
- Breakfast hash of fried potatoes and loads of vegetables
- Smashed avocado bagel with a mixed salad
- Fried rice with peanuts, sesame seeds, and mixed vegetables
- Orange squash with fizzy water
- Something sweet (nothing specific, but I badly wanted a little sweet something after finishing dinner)