Indonesian Coconut Curry with broccoli and tofu

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I have had this pack of Freedom Fresh coconut curry sitting in our larder since Christmas and decided that today was the perfect day to break it out for a delicious, nutritious and veggie-packed curry.

Freedom fresh sauces are nut free and dairy free. The Indonesian coconut curry contains tomatoes, coconut milk, coconut cream, onion, curry powder garlic and ginger.

http://www.freedomfresh.co.uk/

The simplest ever meal. Slice onions, broccoli and tofu. Add to pan, sautee and add sauce. Serve over rice.  This is so easy it is practically a ready meal. Yet was nourishing and tasty. It was mild enough to be suitable for Baby-Gusto’s conservative tastebuds also.

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Eegons of Cowes

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Eegon’s is a Cowes institution.It is a good old-fashioned unpretentious cafe that serves great, filling, and unpretentious food. The service is friendly and genuine and they have a truly fantastic range of fried breakfasts.

 

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B-G has a simple plate of beans and bacon.

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We had the half veggie breakfast. It is half the full-sized breakfast and was HUGE. The veggie sausage was a mix of corn, peas, carrots and potato and was really good.

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Definitely worth a trip. 🙂

http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g503888-d2028034-Reviews-Eegon_s_of_Cowes-Cowes_Isle_of_Wight_England.html

 

The Wight Mouse

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The Wight Mouse is a fabulous pub in Chale, one of my favourite parts of the Island. The coast around Chale and Freshwater was famed for its shipwrecks and lies at the foot of St Catherine’s Down. I am mad for this part of the Island….. the beauty is spectacular. The Wight Mouse is a place we often take visitors to. It has a perfect seating area (and two children’s playgrounds) which is wonderful in the summer and the food is always, but always good.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chale

View from the playground.

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The bar area

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Our little party enjoyed;

Mushroom carbonara £8.50

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Aromatic Garden burger £9.95 filled with lentils, vegetables, peas and herbs

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Chicken supreme with creamy leek sauce (This was on the specials board and I cannot recall the price)

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Baby-Gusto relished the outdoor area.

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Just a lovely way and lovely place to spend a weekend afternoon. The Wight Mouse is family-owned and very friendly. It is a big pub, but feels warm, cosy and intimate. Located only minutes from Blackgang Chine, a fun park dating from Victorian times, and a short drive from Freshwater and Tennyson Downs, one of my favourite walking spots. Highly recommended.

http://www.wightmouse.co.uk/

http://www.blackgangchine.com/

 

 

 

 

 

Breakfast at The Coast – and new Isle of Wight bloggers

A nice way to spend a weekend morning. Breakfast at The Coast Bar and cafe in Cowes.

http://thecoastbar.co.uk/

It was a busy place to be. The numbers of people pulling suitcases stopping in for breakfast before heading for the RedJet  told us that many people were heading for home after spending New Year’s Eve in Cowes.

Despite being local, we rarely go to The Coast and I always wonder why we are so infrequent when we do go. The ambience is really nice… all wood, leather chairs. The staff are friendly – yesterday we had two absolutely delightful waitresses who could not do enough for us – despite the busy morning. Husband-Gusto’s many requests for coffee refills were fulfilled quickly with a huge smile. They even had board games on the counter which kept Baby-Gusto amused.

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2016 is going to be my Year Of Tea.

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Husband-Gusto’s Full English (minus the baked beans) was very good he said. Although his gold standard is the 7-item breakfast on Red Funnel Ferries, and this was almost as tasty.

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But the real standout meal was my Eggs Florentine.

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Two softly poached eggs on wilted spinach and English muffins. The hollandaise was absolutely wonderful. It was light, creamy and lemony. This was a total joy.

I could really get into breakfast. 🙂

Two ‘new’ bloggers are blogging from the Isle of Wight also. Rosy has written some desperately funny blogs and her latest  details her adventures on the Island.

https://welcometotheisland.wordpress.com/

Reniera has newly relocated with her gorgeous family to the Island and has some fabulous recipes and adventures and stories to recount.

https://rodsislandlife.wordpress.com/about/

Happy New Year!

 

London round-up

My Vegan MoFo posts have sadly been somewhat curtailed with real life getting in the way of my best laid plans (and hopes to post every day!).  However I have just spent a few days in London for work-related reasons and have absolutely relished meal after meal of glorious vegan food. The bank account has taken a bit of a beating (as it always does when I am on London and faced with so many options!) but I have eaten gloriously.

I failed to get a photo but Pret A Manger seem to have increased their veg sandwich range to include vegan options beyond the ubiquitous hummus and marinated peppers. A bit of a relief as I am sick to death of hummus. I ate a gorgeous wrap with avocado, salad leaves, basil and a sweet corn and bean salsa. Simple and very good.

I also finally tried out Itsu, a chain that does sushi and fresh salads. Lots of raw juices as well. I tried their vegetable dumplings and a ‘detox’ miso soup. DSC00316 DSC00317

Both dishes were perfectly respectable. I would have liked more spice and flavour so I added hot chilli sauce and soy.  A good  and satisfying lunch.

http://www.itsu.com/

I also went to the Hare and Tortoise, which despite it’s name is not a pub but a fusion sort of diner featuring an array of sushi, Thai food, Malay food and so on. This is a real favourite of mine….. and is extremely popular. I have never been able to get a table straight off and have always had to wait. I tried the mock duck rolls made with tofu.

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This was great. The pancakes were light and soft, the tofu was not too oily. The fresh cucumbers and Hoisin sauce all made this into a lovely fresh dish.

I also got my full tofu fix with a tofu and vegetable Ramen.

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Absolutely gorgeous with three HUGE pieces of tofu. I LOVE that. I really like this dish and really like the Hare and Tortoise.

http://www.hareandtortoise.co.uk/bloomsbury

 

 

 

Store Cupboard Vegan – Punjaban Keema Curry with peppers and peas

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I am unable to walk or drive for a few days as I have hurt my foot which makes putting weight on it almost unbearable. I am considering upping my cool-quotient by telling people I have had a kite-surfing accident, but actually truth is I tripped over the kitty litter tray while vacuuming. So, for this week we have taken the opportunity to go through our store cupboard and eat what we have on hand, rather than going shopping for new ingredients. Our larder has to be seen to be believed…… it is bursting at the seams.

In our larder was a jar of Keema Curry base by Punjaban. I bought this jar when there was a Punjaban stall at Cowes Week a year or so back. I was naturally attracted as the sauce was gluten, dairy and nut free. But since then the sauce has been sitting in our larder, lonely and desperate for affection. The sauce needs nothing but whatever protein you are adding…. traditionally keema curry uses minced meat. I would have added lentils or soy mince, but neither were to hand and so I simply added sliced red and green pepper, onion and green peas.

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This was really delicious. Possibly the nicest and freshest bottled sauce base I have ever had. There are no fillers or bulking agents in the base, the ingredients are simply listed as follows; tomatoes, onions, rape seed oil, ginger, spices, lemon juice, fresh green chillies, salt, cumin seeds. That is it.  It was spicy, delicious, fresh tasting. I will certainly be trying Punjaban sauces again.

http://www.punjaban.co.uk/

Random Reviews

Naked Juice

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This ‘Superfood’ juice is delicious. It contains blueberries, blackberries, bananas and apples. It tastes fresh, fruity and delicious. Perfect for breakfast. Naked juices have a small but delicious range. I also tried the Green machine which contained green superfoods like spirulina and it also was delicious. Highly recommended, but at about 250 calories for a bottle, it is best considered as food rather than as a beverage.

http://nakedjuice.co.uk/the-range/

Wagamama

I know I have been on the Island for too long when I burst with excitement at going to the Southampton West Quay shopping mall and food court! I did that yesterday and enjoyed lunch at Wagamama. I had the vegetable gyoza with dipping sauce. It was okay… the vegetables inside were a bit claggy, but the gyoza was freshly made and the dipping sauce was gorgeous.

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I then had yasai cha han donburi which is a rice bowl with tofu and vegetables with Japanese pickles on the side.

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This was quite tasty but I added extra chilli oil. My main criticism was that there was not nearly enough tofu!!!! I go a little crazy for tofu, so the four chunks or so left me wanting more.

http://www.wagamama.com/

 

Waitrose Vegetarian Lasagne.

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This really was not too bad at all. There was plenty of soy mince and vegetables, with a good texture. There was a bit of an odd aftertaste, which may be the barley malt extract. Quite acceptable.

http://www.waitrose.com/shop/DisplayProductFlyout?productId=357188