Meat Free for Hospiscare

Hospiscare.jpg

 

This month my Husband and I have gone Meat Free for Hospiscare! We’re big foodies and love to eat out, as well as being enthusiastic meat eaters so this month has been a good challenge and also a chance to try out some veggie alternatives.

I thought about what we’ve done and tried and some of my meat free friends’ reactions to me recommending good alternatives, and I thought maybe some of my readers would like to know what we’ve discovered.

So, why exactly am I fundraising for Hospiscare? Well, back in July this year I was very sick with Gastroenteritis, following my recovery I passed some blood and discharge very unexpectedly. I got myself a Dr’s appointment and after an examination they thought they may have felt a lump in my back passage. I referred to a specialist and had a hospital visit where thankfully following another examination they ruled out cancer.

Not everybody is that lucky. I’ve known many people who have battled Cancer, some who were lucky, and some who unfortunately lost their battle and I know how valuable this kind of resource can be not just to the person who is in treatment, but also to their loved ones.

So far we’ve raised £182.10 which is 36% of our £500 target. I would love to be able to get as close as possible to our target so if you are able to please do donate to this very valuable cause!

Donate here!

So, without further ado! Some of my favourite meals so far;

Veggie Kitchen – Available at Farm Foods

 

Veggie Kitchen Chicken poppers taste pretty much the same as Popcorn Chicken and the texture isn’t far off. These tasty poppers go nicely with chips and corn for a southern fried treat and we also used them in a Chinese Curry sauce. The Meatballs were good too, we prepared these with pasta and a homemade sauce featuring roasted pumpkin. Whilst these are not particularly meaty they are quite tasty and would work in many dishes, they have a stuffing-type flavour and texture to them.

The range also includes sausages, mince and burgers which we haven’t actually tried. Whilst the name suggests a vegetarian meat alternative, the range is actually suitable for both veggies and vegans.

No Bull – Available at Iceland

 

Ok so this is a bit of a cheat because the Jalapeno Burgers and the No Chick Fillets are still in the freezer waiting to be eaten, BUT  I have served the plain no bull burgers to my Husband and Sister before and they are delicious. Speaking as a meat eater I think you could easily fool someone with this burger, it’s got a nice texture and it’s even a little pink in the middle. This is the best burger alternative I’ve had and I have high hopes for the rest of the range. I’m very much looking forward to trying more of this.

This range is also suitable for Veggie and Vegan consumers.

Broccoli and Cauliflower Gratins – Iceland

 

Iceland’s veggie range is getting to be pretty good, we tried the gratins last night and I will definitely buy them again these are not vegan friendly but look out for the plant based freezer for more vegan options!

We’ve also tried a few veggie options when eating out lately, and can report than the Robin Hood – Ember Inns and Hardy Pick – Hungry Horse have some delicious dishes suitable for both veggies and vegans so get yourselves over there for a yummy treat! We can recommend Ember Inns for a tasty Cauliflower Curry or the Hardy Pick for a Falafal Burger topped with a warming salsa.

Thanks again if you’ve donated to the cause and please do let me know if you’d like to see more of this kind of post.

ThankYouNurses

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The Clubhouse – London Road, Sheffield.

Clubhouse

The venue

The Clubhouse is one of Sheffield’s hidden gems, a sports bar situated on London Road. One thing you’re sure to find is a fantastic selection of real ale and good, freshly made foods, but for me the thing that makes The Clubhouse so memorable is the staff.

I’ve visited this pub on more than one occasion but I realised it’s never featured on the blog, so I thought I’d tell you all about it.

Over the years the Owner and Staff of The Clubhouse have worked hard to improve the venue’s reputation and it has really paid off. The menu is varied with a great choice of food available and you’ll be hard pushed not to find something you’d like to drink from the bar – As evidenced by Luke here and his many pints!

Luke with beers

They also do well when serving large parties as all of the food comes at once, depending of course on how large your party is! You can also book areas of the pub if you’re wanting a party and there are plenty of screens if you want to watch the sports.

The first time I ate at The Clubhouse was for a Christmas Party and we all had burgers, this was mine, the Chorizo and Manchego Burger with Homemade Chips;

chorizo-manchego-burger

Chorizo and Manchego Burger £8.50

We had a great time and there was a warm and friendly atmosphere all night. The staff simply couldn’t do enough for us and we felt truly looked after.

So of course, when I had friends visiting from various locations, it was a no brainer to take them all to this pub for a real taste of Sheffield hospitality. We were able to kick back, relax and have fun.

Teacup matt

Matthew enjoying a cup of tea after the meal

We all had the Clubhouse Platter, now I enjoyed this, but the only thing I would say is that I found the lattice fries a little bit hard for my taste, and the onion rings slightly oily on this occasion. That could just be my taste because, rather helpfully, we all had the platter and it got rave reviews from the others! You can also get these in Gluten Free, which one of my friends tried and can vouch for the quality of. Here is the platter, I did pinch the photo from Tripadvisor for this as I tucked in too quickly and forgot to photograph! (sorry! credit to the photographer);

the-clubhouse-platter

Clubhouse Platter (£11.50)

One of my friends even said it was one of the best burgers he’s had in his life and he had flown all the way from Romania to be with us! Solid win on the venue then!

In short it’s a great pub, it’s clean, friendly and it has a real personal touch. Superb hospitality, thank you very much Clubhouse for another fabulous evening!

Me and hollie

Me with Staff member Hollie who made our night unforgettable

 

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The Burger Garden – Abbeydale Road, Sheffield

Buger garden

 

So today we tried a Vegan Burger Emporium which opened in my city, it was originally called Burger Lols and it had this bright pink sign, which just never appealed to me. Then I noticed that the sign had changed and it was now Burger Garden with a picture of a cute little burger, this appealed to me a lot more. I never really noticed the appeal of signs before but it makes it look a lot more upmarket than it did.

Inside it’s brightly coloured and very clean, it’s quite welcoming and comfortable. Everything on the menu is 100% vegan so if you do have dietary needs, you don’t need to worry, it even says at the bottom of the menu to advise of any allergies when you order. It’s cash only though, so make sure to take some money or you’ll find yourself hot footing it to the nearest cash point!

So, we all had the Seitan Burger which is on their menu as “Beef”, I hate when people make their foods sound like meats personally because I want to know what I’m eating, the other options are Beetroot or “Chicken” so I’m unsure entirely what exactly the chicken is, but the option is there.

Burgers

Pictured, left to right is first of all my Husband’s burger which was the Cali Burger, topped with cheese, avocado and salad, My Hawaiian Burger which was a seitan patty topped with gherkins, grilled peppers, “pulled pork” (which is bbq jackfruit) and grilled pineapple and on the right is my sister’s Hawaiian Burger with topped fries. It was really nice, but and this is the exact reason I hate when vegan food is given meat names, if you are a meat eater, it’s going to be a really very different texture to what the namesakes are.

Starting with the Seitan “Beef” Burger, this is really nice, but it can leave a strong kind of salty after taste when you’re eating it and it’s a soft texture so whilst it’s moist and everything, it kind of crumbles when you eat it.

Next the Bbq Jackfruit “Pulled Pork” again, really tasty, would 100% eat again but a very soft texture, if I was to compare it to any meat product I would probably say it’s like the fatty parts where there’s still flavour but it’s soft and squishy.

The veggies on the burger were lovely, can’t complain about anything with those (obviously) the pineapple was a nice touch and the grilled pineapple really finished it off nicely.

My sister’s fries, which I tried, were lovely, these were topped with Mac and Cheese, Onions and “Bacon” and I really can’t fault the mac and cheese, it’s cheesy and creamy and just really naughty tasting. The plain fries are seasoned with paprika and there’s several different toppings to choose from for the fries.

It doesn’t stop at burgers, there’s also Seitan BBQ Ribs, Curry, tacos.. the choice is yours. Drinks include shakes, freak shakes, tea, coffee or something out the fridge and you can add things like corn on the cob to your meal if you want to.

I can’t fault my visit today, I will definitely go back, but next time I’ll be trying the ribs or a hot dog so stay tuned!

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The Haunted Vagina

Haunted Vagina

The Haunted Vagina is quite possibly the strangest book I’ve ever read, and that’s kind of saying something when I read horror by Nicholas Tillemans.

Definitely not for young readers, this story is based around a couple and their adventure surrounding a hidden world, accessible through Stacy’s vagina. However an exploration and discovery mission soon turns hostile and Steve finds himself trapped in a strange world.

It’s an easy to read short story, easily finished in a couple of hours or easy to pick up in small chunks if you’re pushed for time. I completed this within a weekend whilst having other tasks to complete. It doesn’t take a huge amount of concentration and the plot isn’t complex. Yet, despite those things it’s a really refreshing, enjoyable story.

I really like the imagery involved in this book, the author has forged a world which you can really see in your mind’s eye and I love the way everything is described to you, not too in depth but enough so you feel like you’re there exploring with the characters.

I would thoroughly recommend this book, though it isn’t for the easily offended!

Grab it!

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Animal Farm by George Orwell

First published in England on 17th August 1945, Animal Farm is the imagining of a farm run by the animals after having overthrown their owner, the tyrant Mr. Jones.

According to Orwell this book reflects the events leading up to the Russian Revolution of 1917 and then onto the Stalinist era of the Soviet Union.

There is one particularly chilling quote from the book; “All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others”

Orwell portrays the communist take over very well indeed, taking us through a number of events from the animals agreeing to overthrow Jones, to the pigs rise to power and corruption.

Not bad for a book I once thought was a children’s story huh?

It’s not a very long story, but it is packed with events and all of the animals have their own personality and part to play. As usual for Orwell, it’s very well written with an easy reading pace.

Highly recommended, I would suggest that if you’ve never read it you go grab yourself a copy. This is a piece of intelligent literature that won’t take you a lifetime to read.

Buy it!

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The Butterfly Effect with Jon Ronson

Butterfly Effect Banner

 

I recently finished listening to the Audible series of The Butterfly Effect with Jon Ronson, a look into the Adult Film Industry and who really suffers from the accessibility of Free Porn. This is a series of short documentary episodes, it’s well paced and clearly read. I’ve only ever listened to people read a book over audible before so it was refreshing to hear clips of interviews and to experience something a little bit different. Funnily enough, having the time to listen and focus on this during a train journey was one of the highlights of my trip to London.

One of the things I found particularly interesting was an interview with the man behind PornHub and an explanation of how freely accessible porn came about. The documentary also looks at the porn creator’s view on free porn and the impact it has.

It’s also quite sad in places. I don’t want to go into great detail about the series because I don’t want to spoil it for new listeners but it does involve a look at the employability of ex-porn stars and how one young man came to be on the Sex Offender’s Register at the age of 18.

Ronson also includes interviews with the creators and actresses of Custom Porn and an incredibly sad but inspiring story within the market of one particular customer who asked for something entirely unique.

I would personally listen to this series again, and I would recommend it to anybody who is interested to know more about the Porn Industry.

Grab it!

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Dangerous by Milo Yiannopoulos

milo

 

I had been wanting to read Dangerous ever since I first heard about it, unfortunately however it got pulled after I preordered it and I didn’t get my pre-order back in for the second wave.

I did, however, get my hands on the Audiobook so I got to listen to hours of Milo! I actually think that this added something to the book because he’s just so easy to listen to and I could listen to it on the way to and from work.

Now, I know, I know – a lot of people don’t like Milo, so I know this is going to be a controversial book to talk about. I suggest that you give this book a chance, I mean, everyone is entitled to have opinions on things and that’s what this book is basically about – the freedom to express opinions – freedom of speech.

I personally quite like Milo, that’s not to say I agree with everything he says. Of course I don’t, but that’s the thing about Milo, you don’t have to agree with him, he doesn’t want everybody to agree with him. However he’s a provocative person who in my opinion talks a lot of sense and regardless of whether we agree with him or not he’s an important figure in today’s society because he is the embodiment of free speech, he’s not afraid to get out there and say things that will get attention – whether that attention is good or bad.

And that’s how it should be! When did we forget that opposing views were entertaining? When did we stop debating each other and learning from each other? This is healthy and it’s how society works. There is nothing healthy about surrounding yourself with people who hold your opinion and only your opinion. It’s a ridiculous notion that we can make society into one big fluffy safe space and it’s not a world I want to live in.

This isn’t the smallest of books so understandably it covers quite a lot. Despite the book being very well structured in terms of sectioning out the subjects – he does mention his love of Black Men quite often, which is to be expected I mean, it’s Milo – but I think there’s a reason for it. I mean, on the one hand it’s a humorous way to break up some heavy subjects, and on the other hand if you had been called a Nazi you’d also probably want to point out that you’re a Gay Jew-Catholic who loves Black…men. (let’s try to keep it at least somewhat PC huh?)

Throughout the book Milo presents his points on each section such as The Alt-Right and Feminism clearly and concisely whilst exploring the subject in depth. It’s basically like listening to (or reading) one of his talks. You’re going to want an open mind for it, and maybe he’ll surprise you. It’s refreshing to say the least hearing someone talk so honestly about what they think in a day in age where you can be arrested for a tweet.

I don’t want to go in to all the different subjects and my thoughts on them really, because, this isn’t a political blog it’s a book blog and also I’d actually like people to read this book. It would be nice to hear some opinions on it, and if you’d like to discuss it, you’re welcome to get in touch. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I think a lot of other people will as well.

In short, be offensive, get offended and laugh at everything. It’s healthy.

Grab it!

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