Feast Box: An Asian Food Subscription Box Review*

It really is no secret that we love trying new food in the Woolley household and more often than not we cook from scratch these days. Some of our favourite foods are Asian so imagine our excitement when Feast Box asked if we'd like to try out a couple of their recipes via their subscription box service, ooft.

I was really impressed to see that there are a few vegan options to choose from as well as non vegan over on their recipes page so of course we went for a couple of those and their website is super user friendly. You simply click 'get started' and choose the amount of people you're cooking for (2 or 4) then choose your meals! You can also simplify things by selecting either vegan or vegetarian, or choose the style of food you'd like such as Thai, Middle Eastern or Chinese. We went for the Red Thai Veg Curry and the Masala Dosa!

Upon arrival, all of the required ingredients came packaged up in the perfect sized box and inside, the fresh veg was packaged into paper bags whilst the spices and chutneys were grouped together into a reusable fabric drawstring pouch - I thought this was a really nice touch! The products which needed to be kept cold were in a recyclable plastic bag which was lined in reused cotton offcuts which could be reused again or binned 'guilt free' afterwards. I have to say, I was really impressed with this brands consideration for the environment which is always a bonus when trying a subscription service or buying food. Another perk of this box is how they prepare and send the garlic and ginger, already chopped and portioned, just frozen into little cubes ready to add to your cooking. I LOVED this because mincing garlic is my least favourite task when cooking!

Thai Red Veg Curry 
I made this dish first and it was also our favourite out of the two. Thai curries are one of the husbands favourite meals so he was all over this one, it was the easier one out of the two to make and I also completely appreciated how fresh the produce was and the high quality of the spices and other ingredients. A favourite which really stood out where the Thai aubergines which we've never seen before let alone tried - they were such a fabulous texture and really different to anything else. Each recipe also came printed onto a lovely thick card that is perfect for keeping with your other recipes and revisiting another time. This one we most definitely will!

Masala Dosa
I was really looking forward to this one and although it was fun to try and make, it's not a meal we'd revisit simply because we're more suited to meals like the Thai curry. That doesn't mean it wasn't super interesting and again totally different to anything we've ever tried before Indian food wise. I think our downfall was not having a frying pan big enough to make the dosa, since these are pretty much spongey pancakes which are a little tricky to get right on the first time. Getting them just right is apparently crucial to the true experience of eating a dosa. I tried my best but as you can probably see by my presentation, I don't think I've yet mastered them! They were very spongey and quite salty, so I couldn't even eat a whole one BUT if you're a big eater then these would be perfect for you since they're so filling. I can also imagine they're quite versatile in terms of adding whatever you want inside, as it's basically a bit of a spongey taco. It's a new kind of food I would absolutely recommend trying, I'm glad that we did!

Overall, my experience with Feast Box was nothing but positive. From a beautiful website that is easy to navigate, pleasant staff, incredibly fresh, high quality produce and ingredients, I'll definitely be keeping an eye out for new meals from them to try. Not only that, but a meal subscription service feels like a nice treat, especially for those special occasions or even when you know you'll be having a busy evening and just want the convenience of having everything you need delivered and easy to create in your own kitchen. Their prices are very reasonable too which for the quality of the products and considerate plus practical packaging within your box, I was really very happy with. 

If you'd like to give Feast Box a go for yourself, you can grab 40% off your first order with ELLISJADE40.

Thanks for reading,

*This subscription box was gifted to me in exchange for a review on my blog

Lucy and Yak - Ethical Fashion*

I don't know very much about fashion and I don't have a fashion niche to my blog whatsoever, but it doesn't take a genius to work out that 'fast fashion' has become a huge problem. I myself used to buy my fair share of clothes and take myself on retail therapy trips, buying way too many sets of pyjamas, tshirts, slippers and what was worst, was most of this stuff never lasted and ended up going in the bin. In 2017 I cut down on plastics around the house, switching bottles to bars, toothbrushes to bamboo alternatives and using cotton totes instead of plastic carriers. In 2018 I made a little pledge that I would become a lot more conscious about what clothing I was buying and I would attempt to be a lot more ethical which led me to finding Lucy and Yak. You may well remember my previous post when I got my first pair of their dungarees so imagine the look on my face when they got in touch last week. Eek.

After establishing that we share the same beliefs, I received two gorgeous pieces from their collections (which I was able to choose) and I'm going to tell you all about them. Oh em gee. The first thing I picked out was this set of dungarees in the Polly design, a limited edition and organic, stripy little number. These colours are completely me and despite being a shorty, they fit me pretty damn well. I usually go with a size small; I'm 5 ft 1 and between sizes 6-8 depending on where I shop and this set is a baggy oversized fit, just how they're meant to be. The fabric is a hand woven yarn, dyed using low impact dyes which are less harmful to the environment. This piece is £58 so a little more than their standard dungarees, but they are a limited edition and very special. Did I also mention comfortable? SO comfortable. They're also complete with pockets, one on either side and then another on the front, neatly finished with their signature logo aplique. 

Lucy & Yak, ethical fashion

Lucy & Yak, ethical fashion

Lucy & Yak, ethical fashion

Next up I thought I'd go for one of their dresses, as last time I shopped with Lucy & Yak they only did dungarees so it's amazing to see them expanding their range and making even more adorable clothing. This is the Mini Pini in shade Ash Pink and again I went with a size small and this fits so, so well. The colour is lush and unlike the dungarees, the dresses are meant to be a snugger fit but the lovely soft, thick quality fabric makes it another comfortable outfit. Both pieces feature the little Lucy & Yak logo tag on the right side of the front pocket and these tend to be different colours, to contrast whichever piece you might have gone for. The dress also has cute little buttons down the sides with the Lucy & Yak branding stamped into them!

Lucy & Yak, ethical fashion

Lucy & Yak, ethical fashion

Lucy & Yak, ethical fashion

Lucy & Yak, ethical fashion

Lucy & Yak work extremely closely with their good friend Ismail, who they met after a searching far and wide for the perfect tailor and finally finding someone in India who had the same values and ethics as they did. They even helped to build the factory out in India, which over looks stunning farmland and desert, whilst the solar panels on the roof give power to the factory 100% of the time. It's complete with air conditioning to keep the staff cool too in the Indian heat. The team are very much like family and everyone involved are paid fair wages, from the workers out in India, to the staff back in the UK. As with the expansion of the clothing lines, Lucy & Yak are also now selling reusable produce bags and plastic free soaps as part of their Zero Waste Living range, along with a collection of cute accessories including socks, pins, belts, jewellery and even yoga mats!

They really are a brand I believe in and feel very lucky to have had this opportunity to work with them.

Let me know if you have any Lucy & Yaks!

Thanks for reading,

*The dungarees and dress were gifted to me by Lucy and Yak*

Vegan Recipe Diaries #2

I've been testing out SO much food recently and completely falling in love with following recipes and giving new meals a whirl. Let's kickstart this next instalment of the vegan recipe diaries with something savoury and delicious.

James actually spotted these over on Ela's Instagram and it didn't take long for me to screenshot the recipe and fetch the ingredients. Most of it we had anyway, like flours and spices due to our collection expanding by the week pretty much whilst following all of these amazing recipes. Which is another plus about cooking from scratch; once you have a lot of the ingredients already in your cupboard they usually aren't too expensive to make. These bad boys were cheap as chips! I made ours a little too large and I blame the husband who has eyes bigger than his belly. These kind of spread out a little more whilst cooking too and because of their sheer size I found I couldn't crisp them up as much as I wanted but that didn't stop them from being insanely good. They were seriously tasty and James took 3 to work the next day. Yes you heard me correctly, 3 of these enormous potato cakes. We'll absolutely be making these again, thanks Ela!

Turns out I like a challenge. I also like cinnamon. A lot. So when I spotted an easy recipe for vegan cinnamon rolls you bet your ass I was on it quicker than well, something that likes cinnamon. Cinnamon rolls are notoriously tricky to master but this recipe is supposed to be a condensed down version and fool proof. I haven't any experience with making rolls to compare that too, however after making this recipe once I have definitely worked out a few things I can get better at next time. The sizing for example, what is it with me and making things too bloody large?! My first crack at cinnamon rolls were still delicious but I want to tidy up the presentation and also make a slightly more manageable dough next time; mine was too loose now looking back and rather sticky. This recipe however, good lord it was fun to follow and full of tips. I'll definitely be returning to it for another go!

Creamy Pasta Sauce - A tip from the Woolley household
Not a recipe as such, but as we were trying to choose a pasta sauce in Tesco the other night I had a sudden brainwave and I'm not even sure if people do this anyway but up until this week we didn't think to try it. If you like a creamier tomato based sauce with your pasta, try adding a dollop or two of the Oatly Creme Fraiche and WOW it makes the sauce taste sooooo much better! We usually use just a standard Tesco's own pasta sauce and it's yummy anyway but adding the creme fraiche adds a whole other level of taste. Not entirely sure how we ever coped without it!

Do you remember last week I was raving about my love for cookies? Well I went back to Holly's blog and found another cookie recipe to try. Ohhh my goodness. THIS. We actually had some left over white chocolate from Christmas in our pantry and it was left because I don't particularly like it but I thought I'd chuck it into some cookies and I'd never know. I also whacked in one small bar of Tesco's free from milk chocolate and had the best of both worlds and golly, these cookies are way too nice. The cookie dough recipe alone was crazy good (yes I always taste it first...yum!) and I'll be bookmarking this one as an all time favourite.

So that completes another round of all the new vegan recipes I've been trying lately and I've found so much love in cooking and spending time in my kitchen, I'm always looking out for new things to try. Any recommendations?

Thanks for reading!

Vegan Recipe Diaries #1

I'm no professional chef or recipe creator but I sure do like food. I noticed recently I've been scouting out more and more recipes to try and rather than let them sit and fester on my Pinterest board without a further thought, I've been making the time at weekends to actually create the recipes I've been finding.

Being self employed as an illustrator, I find that weekends have been something I've had to work on a little in order to create a healthier work life balance. I work from home and if I'm not careful, I end up feeling consumed by my work and before you know it, you've got a massive slap of artists block on your hands or even impostor syndrome. Taking a step back and switching off is important, so cooking and baking for me really is something I love to do to wind down, relax, do something fun and get a finished product that's hopefully delicious at the end of it!

The idea of these new recipe diaries is I share what I've been trying and from my average Joe kitchen to my average Joe skill set, I'll be telling you how I found them in terms of making the food, was it hard, was it simple, was it expensive, was it even nice after all of that effort? I'll be linking to the recipes I find and use so you can try anything you fancy out for yourselves and overall, I thought it was a great way to capture all of the yummy meals and treats I hope to make this year.

vegan sausage roll, the little blog of vegan, vegan sausage

Now I've tried one or two of the fake meats and even the kits you can get to make your own vegan sausage and to be honest I don't think they're great. Plus a lot of it is processed rubbish which we're aiming to consume way less of this year. These little bites of deliciousness though are on a whole other level of yum. Their main ingredient is chickpeas to achieve the 'sausage' along with some herbs, spices, soy sauce, nuts and a couple of other things but they were SO EASY to make that I'm dying to make another batch. Very cheap, very simple, the recipe makes a very good sized batch and my whole family loved them. I'll also add that I'm slightly allergic to walnuts so I switched them for cashews and the recipe worked out perfect. They're fab for snacks and I put some in the husbands lunch box too, he think's they're amazing.

There's nothing we love more than a noodle soup dish so when I found this recipe I just had to give it a go. I did switch the dried shiitake mushrooms to fresh ones because they're a lot cheaper and I just chopped and dumped the whole pack in and it still turns out super tasty. I also leave out the ginger because I can't stand the stuff and as the recipe advises, leave it simmering for at least at hour to let the flavours deepen. There's only two of us eating so this broth recipe usually leaves me enough to drain, pop into a jar once cooled and then fridge or freeze it for next time. We make some teriyaki tofu to chuck on top and use vermicelli noodles along with gem lettuce, grated carrot, some chopped spring onions and anything else we fancy. You can switch the toppings up to whatever you enjoy and again it's a really cheap meal, with enough broth left over for another meal next time.

vegan broth, vegan ramen broth, vegan food, vegan food blog, vegan japanese food

Finishing nicely with a sweet treat, I'll try out any new vegan friendly cookie recipe I can find so when I spotted these whilst visiting Holly's blog (same time I saw the sausage roll recipe!) I had to save it to try them that same weekend. These again were very simple to make, cheap (although I had to fork out for expensive cocoa powder when Tesco's own brand was sold out when I shopped for ingredients, boo!) and you could easily switch up the chocolate to include some vegan friendly white chocolate chunks or drizzle too.

vegan cookies

We really liked the finished cookies but they were very cakey and more on the spongey side than a chewy and crunchy cookie, but that's probably down to the fact they were a 'brownie cookie' and not a regular style, plus it didn't stop them from being delicious!

vegan cookies

So that's it for my first set of recipes that I tried throughout January and I already have a couple ready and tested for the February post! Let's just say, cinnamon rolls and amaretto biscuits? I must find something savoury to have a crack at as well!

Thanks for reading!

Vegan Baking with Indigo Herbs*

If you're a fellow plant based lifestyler or a lover of cooking and baking, did you know about all of the different butters available for making delicious foods with? Because I sure as hell didn't!

I knew about almond butters but that was perhaps the extent of my knowledge and I definitely hadn't cooked with any of these before, so when Indigo Herbs sent me a selection of their vegan friendly butters to try, all made from various nuts and seeds, I was super excited to crack on.

Indigo Herbs, vegan cookies, vegan food, vegan biscuits

Now it's no secret that I prefer baking sweet treats as opposed to cooking meals (I love both, but given the option, I choose cakes and biscuits every time!) so I decided to create some incredibly tasty vegan friendly cookies using a jar of the almond butter that came in my hamper. These were really easy to make and I followed this recipe and tweaked it to contain chunks of chocolate rather than drizzle on top, but next time I'm definitely doing chunks AND drizzle! These cookies were so good and I managed to achieve a crunch on the outside whilst the centres were yummy and chewy which I believe was down to the almond butter I used.

Indigo Herbs, vegan cookies, vegan food, vegan biscuits

The amazing thing about including something like almond butter into your recipes is it's jam packed full of goodness and a fab source of protein. It's very rich in vitamin E and this particular brand by Indigo Herbs is 100% pure and unprocessed and you can spread it straight onto some toast, add it into your smoothies or cook with it! I've tried a fair few cookie recipes, both non vegan before I changed my diet and then a bunch of vegan ones too but none of them had a really smooth, buttery texture to them as you're munching away like this recipe did and again I believe that's down to using almond butter.

Some of the other butters available are hemp seed, pumpkin seed, walnut, hazelnut, sunflower seed, apricot kernels and also a couple of varieties of tahini! I used a dollop of tahini in a wonderful carrot miso sauce that we had with some awesome black bean spaghetti that we managed to find in Aldi and you can also use it to make your own hummus which I'm dying to try. I'll be doing a whole lot more baking and using the rest of my butters up so I'll be sure to share some more creations over the next few weeks!

If you want to check out the entire range of butters from Indigo Herbs, you can here.

Thanks for reading!

*These products were sent to me by Indigo Herbs to review on my blog

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