Thursday 30 June 2022

The VeganKind Supermarket ... and Cheese and Onion Crisps

I regularly shop with The VeganKind Supermarket.  It's completely online way of buying all the vegan foods and treats that you might need ... or just fancy.  Although it's far too tempting to spend more than you mean to, so just like with going to the supermarket make sure you have a full tummy before you start to shop!!

My last order was last Christmas so I think I can be excused going a little bit wild in the virtual aisles that time.  Now the crisps are all gone and it was time for another order.

I started shopping with them when we lived in the middle of nowhere, with limited accessibility to the sort of shops that sold the products that I loved.  I signed up originally for the Lifestyle Boxes that came on subscription to my door once a month, it was a Christmas year long gift to myself and I loved it.  It was like getting one of those lucky bags I used to buy as a child ... only this one was full of tasty, healthy treats not dried up old sweets and a plastic toy.  😁  

When I decided to cancel that subscription after about 18 months I started shopping regularly instead.   This way I could pick out all the things that I really wanted and that I knew I liked ... although I have to admit that a few new items regularly make it into my virtual trolley.

When I put in my latest order they gave me a link to share with you.  So if you would like to have £10 off any spend of £40 or over just click on the link below and follow the instructions.  It's not a bad saving at all if you try and be good and stick as close to that limit as possible.  After all 25% off is really good ... as long as you are  😄

The link : -

I have to admit that I usually spend far more than I should, but as you acquire points on everything you spend that add up to money off vouchers for future shopping it's a form of saving ... isn't it!! 😄😂😁

My favourite product from there are the Ten Acre Cheese and Onion crisps, the best dairy free cheese and onion crisps on the market in my opinion, and The VeganKind Supermarket is the place that virtually always has them in stock and also sells them the cheapest.  You can guarantee that a box of 20 packs always makes it into my shopping basket.

Well my latest order is in and in a couple of days will be with me ... crisp butty anyone?

Sue xx

Wednesday 29 June 2022

Simplifying the Cupboards - Part One

 Almost exactly a year ago (1st July) my kitchen looked like this, and I moved in two days later, it really does seem so much longer ago than that!!  

Since then everything has pretty much stayed in the cupboards in the same place that it was put into, and although I've sorted a couple of times the contents of the cupboards have been pretty much the same.  So ... I thought what better time than on a cool and blustery June day, one year later to have a proper empty out, and a good ... but slightly late ... Spring clean and look at anything that hasn't been used in that time frame. 

So shelf by shelf the cupboard was emptied.

I can't do more than one shelf at a time as I only have the one worktop to put things on 😄

Everything in front of the toaster, kettle and food processor was on the bottom shelf of the cupboard.

And everything here has not been used in a year or longer, so is going to a new home.  

One of them to a home very close by, as Alan claimed the green dish to make Shepherds Pie in as his other one is currently in the freezer.  I'm quite happy about that as I love that dish ... even if I haven't used it for a long time.

Next I managed to empty two shelves, as I could use the small worktop ledge in front of the boiler for the few things that were on the top shelf.

The contents of the middle shelf.

The things that I'm letting go of.  I must stop buying things just because they are green!!

The slow cooker is on Facebook Market place for a rock bottom price, hopefully someone can make good use of it in these times of soaring fuel costs.  I have never used it as I just don't have the sort of meals that need cooking in one.

The things from the top shelf.  
Most of the jars went into the recycling bin.

Then I had a brainwave 😁

I have never been able to reach the top shelf properly, hence there being so little stuff kept up there.  Until very recently I have not been able to manage even the two levels of my little kitchen steps. So what was on it had to be clutched at with fingertips, so I always ran the risk of dropping a jug on my head.  So while I was wiping out the cupboard I noticed that there was one more set of shelf support holes about three inches lower, and after checking I realised that my little wooden boxes would fit into that gap.

So with Alan's help I lowered the top shelf, then I put some of the bitty bits into the boxes and finally had a top shelf that I could reach safely.


So now I have everything that I use, easily and safely accessible with no more moving things to one side to reach other things, and I know the cupboard is nice and clean as well as being calm and simple to look at when I open the doors ...and yes I might have opened them a couple of times since I finished just to peek inside.  😃

Sue xx

Monday 27 June 2022

Ration Challenge 2022 - Summary ... and Completely Ignoring Two of My Own Tips


So the Ration Challenge is over for another year and I have decided that this year is the final year that I will take part in it.  I will hand my baton over to another blogger to run with and raise money for this amazing cause.  If you decided to do it next year, please let me know and in lieu of taking part I will instead make you a donation.

This week my little home is getting back to normal, the tiny 'coffee jar' is back on the shelf.

The worktop is back to it's usual 'ready for anything' self and since this photo was taken the cardboard ration box has been flattened and is in the recycling bin ready for pick up tomorrow.

My food cupboards are ridiculously full ...

... at least these photos were taken after I had come back from shopping.

Yes, I now have 4.5 bottles of olive oil!!  I have not seen vegetable oils in our Aldi for weeks now, so each time I went I was buying one bottle of olive oil.  This week there were no more olive oils one the shelf either.  The gaps on the shelves would be worrying if I didn't have all this food ... there's something to be said for a well stocked larder.

As I mentioned on my last post I had gone shopping on the last day of the Ration Challenge, and I went after walking the dogs and before I had had anything to eat.  And I didn't take a list.  Breaking all my own rules and ignoring two of my favourite tips ... 

1.  Make a shopping list

2.  Never shop on an empty stomach.

So I obviously wandered around willy-nilly chunking into my trolley everything that my hungry little treat deprived tummy told me that I needed!!

Oh well, the cupboard is full and the freezer is full and there are a few bits in the fridge too, along with the fresh fruit and veg that you could spy in there yesterday.

My first 'meal' when I woke up on Sunday morning with the Challenge behind me, was a small smoothie made with two thirds of a frozen banana, a small apple and two pellets of frozen spinach.  It hit the spot as much as a glass of ice cold water after a two hour hike through the Sahara desert would.

A quick summary of the Ration Challenge this year would be, that it was hard, but invigorating in some ways.  I was amazed at everyone's generosity in these hard times that are starting to affect most of us.  I was blown away by the support I received, especially from all you lovely blogging buddies and blog readers, it really helped.

I found it hardest health-wise, my body is used to good nutrition and it's important that I keep those levels up.  Even though I took all my usual supplements by the end of the seven days I could feel myself going downhill.  This week I am in more pain that I have been for a while, I think that this is partly due to the diet but also due to the fact that being on my own all last week and weekend I had to walk the dogs and do all the usual doggy chores that Alan usually does.  So it was a question of less and poorer food and more to do ... not a good prescription for anyone.

The absolute best news of course  is the total of money raised ... which I thought I had completed yesterday, but thanks to two more donations it has gone up yet again.  Thank you so much.
A HUGE thank you to everyone who donated any amount to the ever rising total.  

The final amount now stands at £2,187.  My highest ever figure and one that I am so proud to have raised.  Together we have raised enough funds to feed 13 refugees for over a year.

An amazing achievement. 💝

I am now easing myself slowly into eating normally again, and I am also having a slow but steady decluttering session all around my tiny home.  I just had to sink my teeth into something that was not in anyway food related for a while.

Thank you once again.  💖

Sue xx

Sunday 26 June 2022

Ration Challenge 2022 - Day Seven - The Final Day

The final day and I just could not face a bowl of rice for breakfast!!

The dogs and Ginger had woken me up at the crack of dawn and the sun was shining, so before I had even had my breakfast we were out walking along the canal by 7.15am and very nice it was too in the early morning sunshine.  When we got back I decided that I would go shopping while the shops were quiet and by 9.30am I had done a tour of Aldi, Sainsbury's and Booths picking up all the things I needed to restock the fridge, the cupboard and some treats that I fancied for my first day off the Ration Challenge.  

Then it was home to put away the shopping and warm up the pasty.

When I put the new food into the fridge the look of the shelves really jumped out at me, definitely a fridge of two halves.  Normal shelf, ration shelf.

A door shelf of two halves.

And enough fresh veggies and fruit to keep Bugs Bunny very happy.

This little array of foods stopped me in my tracks.

  Ignoring the almond milk and the nuts ... I had spent more on Ginger's tuna, and his and the dogs treats than it costs to buy a ration pack for a refugee for a month!!

For my lunch I made up my last pan of ration challenge rice and served half of it with the last Lentil and Kidney Bean burger crumbled up, and topped with my last spring onions.

I wasn't really hungry at teatime, that lunch was surprisingly filling ... so I just made myself a garlic bread using the last little bit of garlic, which I had sliced and smooshed up and left soaking in a couple of spoonfuls of oil for the afternoon. It was very garlicky and very tasty.  

No vampires will get me tonight!!

Next I wanted to measure out what I had left, there was a surprisingly large amount of rice left considering I feel like I have been eating it until it was coming out of my ears!

So all that is left from all the food that I started the week with, is the raw rice, the cooked portion of rice and about 80mls of oil.

And then after a look at my final total, I decided to pay a fine to round it up to the next hundred and treat myself to a cheeky cup of coffee while I watched television.

One cheat during the whole of Ration Challenge Week ... not a bad result!!

Thank you to everyone that has supported me both with donations and moral support, it has all been invaluable and I am so grateful.

And for the final time ... my FUNDRAISING PAGE IS HERE just in case you want to nip on over and see what the final total is.

Thank you, I'll be back tomorrow with a final summary of my thoughts from the week.

Sue xx

Saturday 25 June 2022

Ration Challenge 2022 - Day Six - Extra Flour


This morning I added some turmeric to the rice again, with the sunshine of yesterday vanishing with the thunderstorm that hit us at teatime, a blast of yellow was needed to start the day today.  Once again I made a double portion so the main part of my tea was ready and waiting.

For some reason this year I have got my calculations slightly wrong and I have no lentils left for the planned Lentil Pancakes for lunch and I also seem to have less flour left than I thought I should.  Happily though one of my teammates who started two days early than the rest of the team as she had plans for this weekend, offered her leftovers to the rest of us.  I asked for the flour and there was 114g on offer.

Just perfect for me to be able to make some pastry to wrap two of my leftover Lentil and Bean Burgers from yesterday.

They looked pretty good once the burgers with their dahl topping were wrapped in the pastry.

And even better once cooked, although I've noticed that with pastry made with oil you don't get the same browning, and of course I had no milk to brush them with.

My tea was virtually the same as my breakfast, the only difference being a sprinkle of chopped spring onions.  The onions have made a real difference to my food this week.  As well as the flavour they add to the food, there's something about that pop of green that makes you feel that the meals are just a tad healthier.

It's the final day tomorrow, and as you saw yesterday I have lots of rice left, I think I have just about enough of everything else to make three good meals.  Of course I also have just under a teaspoon of coffee left, but I'm planning to have that tonight, to be drunk in lieu of a glass of wine while I sit and watch Gogglebox, one of my favourite programmes.

Thank you so much for all your support, the total is currently standing at £2,056 ... an amazing amount and one I really didn't expect to reach.


Sue xx

Friday 24 June 2022

Ration Challenge 2022 - Day Five - Not Moaning Honest!!


Breakfast - Spicy Rice and Dahl.

Today has been my worst day mind-wise all week, talk about feeling fuzzy.  It's been very hot and there's been a Rowntree's stripey ice lolly calling my name all day from the freezer.  At one point I thought about putting him out on the patio to melt to death ...  but I resisted.  He's still in the freezer the little b**tard!!

I kept myself busy, putting up net curtains, watering the garden ... now that was a pointless exercise considering that we've just had a thunderstorm ... and cleaning.

I thought I would have a tasty a lunch as I could make.

Spicy rice, with kidney beans and spring onions and the leftover falafel from yesterday.  It worked for a while and I felt full and satiated.

But then I started drooping again and I decided that the time had come for my second cup of coffee of the week.  I have enough left for one more cup or two half cups, as long as I don't mind it a bit weaker than usual.

I wont mind!!

I had switched the planned lunch and tea meals from my menu around as come lunch time I realised I hadn't cooked the lentils to make my Lentil and Bean Burgers.

A panful of mush, but tasty mush.

I got the burgers in the pan and realised that the photo shows what food I have left on the tray ...

... so I took another photo showing what's left in the fridge.

Oh, and there's three spring onions left too.

The burgers when they were cooked.  I simply had one of these with a large glass of water for my tea and then that was it ... day five over and done with.

I've been going to bed pretty early and falling asleep easily, and if it hadn't been for the dogs and Ginger waking me up at the crack of dawn every day this week while Alan has been down South at work, I think I would have gotten much more sleep this week, something that I think I am really needing at the moment.

Tomorrow is another day, the penultimate day of the Ration Challenge.  Thank you so much to everyone who is supporting me and who has donated their money to this worthwhile cause.

My fundraising page is HERE.

Sorry, I have no more words left in my head.

Sue xx

Thursday 23 June 2022

Ration Challenge 2022 - Day Four - When your Food Gets Stuck in the Plughole!!


Well it was only one chickpea ... but it still elicited an 'Oh no!' when I saw it.

I was tempted to pop it into my mouth because it was cooked, and very well rinsed, but Mavis was stood next to me so she got it instead.  The dogs have not had any leftovers this week, there haven't been any!!

Breakfast was Paprika Rice and Dahl and pretty tasty although the paprika flavour was very mild, and salt and pepper was needed to make it a little bit more tasty.  The other portion of rice was left to cool and will be added to my tea if needed and be in the fridge ready for breakfast tomorrow.

Just before lunch I got out my Falafel recipe and got the ingredients ready to make it.

Not that there were many ingredients!!

I did add half of my remaining garlic to the dish to ramp up the flavour a little bit more.

Once again I decided to make both the flour products together to save time and mess later.  I'm fast running out of energy.  This was as near to 100g as I could get it.

The larger ball will be for my teatime pizza and the two smaller balls were for flatbreads to go with my lunch.

Lunch - Two flatbreads, three falafels and a good dollop of hummus. 

 Gosh it was filling, I'm glad I decided to save one of the falafels for another day, if it has been on my plate I might have eaten it just because they were so tasty.

My tea was delicious and I could have eaten it four times over.  It was just a simple flatbread pizza cooked in the pan to save putting the oven on. Topped with hummus, red kidney beans and a finely chopped spring onion.  Another recipe that I will be repeating in non-ration times.

Day Four is traditionally known as a tough day for the participants of the Ration Challenge, this morning we all got this email.  Which puts our four days into perspective!!

Thank you for all your donations, together we are at least making sure that they have food and some of the help that they need.

Sue xx