Day 14: We’re not alone!

Today was my first day back in the office post new year (I’ve been working remotely, before you judge!), and while catching up with my colleagues I made a very exciting discovery: one of my colleagues is doing Veganuary! More than that, when we went to choir this evening there’s a girl there doing it too. Yes vegans! We’re not alone in the universe 🙂

While chatting with Seema at work, we swapped our favourite vegan restaurants (I told her about the glory that is Itadakizen) – she told me about a place called Foodilic,  near Kings Cross, where there’s an all-you-can-eat dinner buffet stuffed with vegan food, for – get this – £6.95. Six. Ninety. Five! For all you can eat! We’re totally there. Probably next week.

All that talk of restaurants was making me hungry, so when 1pm came around I hit the high street, clutching a £2.50 credit voucher for M&S that Si had got over Christmas. Time to see how the shop’s offerings had changed since last Veganuary – in particular, I was interested to see their new ‘Plant Kitchen’ range – and to get some lunch.

Initially the Plant Kitchen selection didn’t impress me that much – I was greeted by a pyramid of two kinds of (very) little pots, one a take on mac n cheese, and the other I can’t remember (shows how memorable the ideas were!). But as I wandered, a little discouraged, over to the normal sandwich section to grab something from there instead, I found the chiller where the rest of the range was kept. Now you’re talking! Lots of ready meal ideas, plus ‘sausages’, burger patties, pizza – a rather impressive range.

The only sandwich included in the new range was a rather soggy looking roasted vegetables offering, which I bypassed – instead, I treated myself to a ‘sticky teriyaki tofu with rice’ microwave meal, which looked really appealing – I couldn’t get it back to the office quickly enough.

The meal only took 2 and a half minutes to cook (fab) and smelled great (double fab), but unfortunately overall I found it a bit disappointing as a meal. The rice to teriyaki/tofu ratio wasn’t great, meaning that while I gave everything a good stir I still ended up eating quite a few forkfuls of plain rice. Not that the jasmine rice wasn’t nice – it had a good flavour and a fab sticky texture – but I would have preferred a bit more sauce.

That said, while the rice was sticky, the supposed ‘sticky teriyaki’ wasn’t – it had a lovely flavour with some nice warmth from the chilli in it, but it was more liquid and runny than I’d hoped. The tofu was a bit silkily soft for my taste too – I really appreciated the contrasting (and firmer!) textures of the edamame beans and mushrooms that gave it a bit more bite. Above all though, I would have liked just a little sharper flavour to cut through the sweetness – maybe some spring onion on top? In short, I liked the flavours but I probably wouldn’t buy this again – at £3.50 when full price, it’s expensive for what it is and for the amount you get. But for £1 today, not too shabby!

This evening we had choir rehearsal, so Si made us a quick pack-up tea to have in his office beforehand: what he called ‘variety soup’ to use up the remaining veg that was going over, plus we shared a vegan sausage roll from Greggs, which we’ve been very curious about for some time. The soup was a beautiful rich tomatoey red colour – though there were actually no tomatoes in it. Plenty of onion, pumpkin, red pepper, carrot, and beetroot, though! It was slightly sweet, but a really nice depth of flavour – very tasty, and every mouthful felt SO healthy! I really enjoyed the sausage roll too – filled with quorn, it tasted convincingly meaty… but with the added bonus that, unlike a regular sausage roll, you’re not worrying about which bits of meat have ended up in it!

Today I ate/drank:

  • Tea with hazelnut milk
  • Tesco vegan ready meal
  • Lots of water
  • Two coke zeros
  • Variety soup
  • Half a vegan sausage roll
  • An oreo
  • Carrot cake
  • Fizzy squash

Today’s cravings:

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