Vegan food at Le Pain Quotidien

Le Pain Quotidien is very vegan- friendly for a mainstream chain of restaurants…

I’ve had to reconsider the types of places I go to when I want to eat out given my requirements, and sometimes it’s been a struggle, but now that it’s the ‘in’ thing to be more health conscious, it’s becoming more commonplace to see healthier options at restaurants.

Over the past year or so I’ve noticed Le Quotidien springing up in various parts of London – and I’m very happy about that. Initially, in my bad old days I was all about the deliciously sugary pastries, cakes and other baked goods the chain has to offer, but for the health-conscious individual the menu isn’t too shabby at all.

I recently stopped in one after work to do some blogging and I enjoyed the following:

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I had one of the vegan dishes, the chilli sin carne. This is a very wholesome and filling dish, packed with protein and not an animal derived ingredient in sight!

The menu describes it as ‘vegan bean chilli with fresh guacamole, soya sour cream, diced tomatoes and spring onions’. 

The only downside to this sin carne is that there isn’t the barest hint of detectable chilli in it. Unless my taste buds are broken, there’s no heat in this dish whatsoever. I think this would be disappointing for someone looking for a punchy, fiery meal. That being said, it’s still flavoursome and satisfying and very filling. I’d recommend it if you’re feeling particularly hungry but you don’t want what you have at home.

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Organic hummus with olives and some crusty bread

In addition to the chili, I also ordered organic hummus which comes topped with olives and a side of bread. This hummus is unlike any other I’ve tried in that it’s chunky, not smooth and is not too salty like a lot of ready made versions available in stores. It’s delicious and it’s something I order most times when visiting Le Pain Quotidien.

Look out for more reviews in the future of various dishes from Le Pain Quotidien.

Until later,

V

I think chocolate sweetened with stevia tastes better… a review

With this bar, I was in dangerous territory…

The downside to stevia (and which is a common complaint about it) is that it can have a rather interesting aftertaste when added to certain foods. In my opinion, I think different sweeteners suit different foods and with stevia, I also think the amount used affects how much of an aftertaste it has as well. Stevia when used right – can be very good. Especially in chocolate. So far in my search for alternative chocolatey goodness, I haven’t found a stevia-sweetened chocolate bar I haven’t enjoyed yet.

I discovered this brand called erm, ‘Discover’ which offers a range of milk chocolate bars in different flavours that have been sweetened with stevia.

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I was intrigued by the cinnamon flavour (I don’t think I’ve tried cinnamon flavoured chocolate before), and yeah it’s a pretty tasty bar of chocolate. I’ve been trying to exercise restraint with this one because while there’s no added sugar it still has the same amount of fat and dairy in it (which for me isn’t ideal what with my weight loss goals ‘n’all…).

With this bar, I was in dangerous territory.

It was creamy, dissolving into a silky smooth chocolatey butter on my tongue. The flavour was perfectly balanced in the level of sweetness with that hint of peppery cinnamon cutting through it. The intoxicating scent of it filled my head and gave me that serotonin hit I didn’t even know I was looking for. Gorgeousness. Bwah.

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I’m not sure it’s wise for me to purchase this one again.

Until next time,

V

Plamil Expressions – a minty dark chocolate that’s sugar-free…

I had such high hopes for this…

Plamil exp sugar free mint dark choc vegan

I had such high hopes for this. The initial flavour is deep and dark, very chocolatey and delightfully minty. It melts nicely in the mouth and has a beautiful aroma. But the aftertaste 😦 The sweetener in this is xylitol, which I guess doesn’t work well with chocolate.

I’ve tried another chocolate by this brand. It was a ‘milk’ chocolate but made with soy instead of dairy milk as well as being sugar-free. It was horrid. I couldn’t finish it and ended up throwing it away. Which to me is sacrilege. You just don’t throw chocolate away. Perhaps I’ll steer clear of this brand in future.

Plamil choc opened

The search continues.

Until later,

V

de Bron lifestyle candy – a review of poker fruit

Consuming too many of these jellies could create a laxative effect. Lovely.

Being on a constant search for sugar free low carb treats I can enjoy involves an awful lot of Googling. Google is wonderful isn’t it? I mean it really is the fount of all knowledge, especially sellers and makers of sugar free sweets.

Introducing, de Bron lifestyle candy. This is a brand I don’t know too much about, but I discovered it on http://www.sweetswithout.com and more recently I’ve spotted some of their products in Holland & Barrett stores.

Generally speaking, I have a tentative sort of relationship with foods that contain alternative sweeteners to sugar. I try to pick things that contain more ‘natural’ sweeteners like stevia or xylitol and limit my intake of them because I’m not fully persuaded of how ‘good’ these things are for you. But I’ve gotta have my sweets… so I compromise on occasion.

Debron jellies packet

I saw a selection of de Bron candies on the sweetswithout site,  and I thought I’d give the jellies a try. They’re called Poker Fruit, and they’re jelly sweets shaped like playing card symbols like hearts, diamonds, clubs etc.

Sugar free debron jellies poker fruit edited

To begin with I was very sceptical of these. I’ve never tried sugar free jelly sweets before. I wasn’t sure how the texture would be, and I was concerned just how artificial they’d taste because of the sweeteners. The jellies are sweetened with malitol syrup and isomalt. These are actually rather nice! They are squidgy and soft and chewy, but they don’t get stuck in your teeth. The granules dusted on the outside makes a very convincing ‘sugary’ coating, and the flavour is reasonably fruity and not sickly sweet and there’s no unpleasant aftertaste. Result!

One thing to bear in mind, (and I imagine this is because of the sweeteners), the back of the packet warns that consuming too many of these jellies could create a laxative effect. Lovely.

Anyway, if you’re looking for something to satiate that craving for something sweet, but without the effects of real sugar – look no further. Try these.

Until next time…

V