Let’s do Pumpkin about Food Waste!

When a friend invited me to a plant based cookery class with Small change, big difference I didn’t need asking twice. The class was free, I was going to be fed, and we were invited to bring containers for any leftovers!

Small change big difference is a London based campaign encouraging us to be more sustainable. The class was held on a Wednesday evening, ironically World Food Day which is organised by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, at Made in Hackney. Made in Hackney is a plant based community cookery school which offers paid, free and donation only cookery classes.

When we arrived, we were welcomed with aprons and delicious non-alcoholic pumpkin mulled wine. I consider myself pretty food waste savvy but it had never occurred to me to use pumpkin pulp as a broth; this was the first of many tips public health nutritionist, Daphne Duval, shared with us as she led the class. The class was pumpkin themed; not only is Halloween approaching, and Brexit – we didn’t go into what this would mean for SCBD who are EU funded, but it’s the time of year in which pumpkins are harvested. Unfortunately, all too often pumpkins are discarded after they’ve had Dracula, Boris’, or whoever’s face carved in them for fright night.

After being gifted 12 huge pumpkins, from my work bestie’s allotment last year, I was keen to be prepared this year with new ideas, recipes, and I was not disappointed. We all mucked in and made pumpkin and coconut soup, pumpkin falafels, roasted pumpkin salad, pumpkin cheesecake; munching on pumpkin houmous and crudités as we peeled, chopped, stirred.

All of the food was delicious and nothing went to waste. Pumpkin seeds were toasted and added to the salad, pumpkin roasted with the skin still on which was delicate enough to eat. I even nabbed a container of pumpkin seeds to roast at home. The cheesecake was delicious and a welcome change from pie. We discussed so many ways of reducing food waste and being more sustainable such as introducing more plants into our diet, shopping seasonally and locally, freezing food, using tinned food, eating leftovers and using the whole vegetable.

The workshop was nourishing for our minds, body, and soul which is what food is meant to be, so why would we waste it? Sadly, these food waste workshops finish at the end of October but your thyme has not been wasted, as you can check out the following links for future events, classes, workshops.

http://smallchangebigdifference.london

https://madeinhackney.org

https://mobile.twitter.com/daph_duval

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Too Good To Go

I first used the Too Good To Go app back in 2016. You can buy discounted food from eateries via the app, collect between a set time, to avoid it being binned and ending up in landfill.

It’s been on my mind to write a blog on what is one of my favourite apps for sometime. Whilst I love the app, the concept, and have used it in London, Brighton, Denmark, I don’t actually get around to using it all that often. Preparing a lot of my own meals, and buying yellow sticker groceries from stores means that I don’t buy food out that often; discounted or otherwise.

I do however love checking the app pretty much daily to see which new restaurants, stores have signed up, and especially like having a nose when I’m away from home, in a different area. Hence, whilst I was at a staff event in Oval, I couldn’t resist opening up TGTG.

TFC supermarket on New Camberwell Road was first on the list, selling a magic bag of fruit and veg for £2.50, collection between 4-6pm. It’s a magic bag as being surplus food, you don’t tend to know exactly what you are buying until you collect it. It made no ends to me on this occasion, I was in need of fruit and veg and it saved a trip to the supermarket. I paid via the app and set off after our event.

The app connects to Apple maps so my phone showed a 7 min walk. Unfortunately, the door number wasn’t saved on the app, so being the other end of New Camberwell Road, it was nearer a 20 min walk. I emailed TGTG to let them know and they gave me a full refund!

When I arrived at the store, I showed them the receipt in the app and they swiped the redeem button; I was then knee deep in my magic bag checking what I’d scored. A couple of melons, buffalo tomatoes, lettuces, courgettes, cucumber, chilli’s which I’m definitely going to need to freeze as so many of them!

I love thinking about what to make with food which would otherwise be wasted; as I write this I’m planning a couscous salad with my goodies, roasting the courgette first; yum! The advantage of not knowing what you are going to get is the variety it adds to meals. The downside is that they can’t cater to all dietary requirements, however I use the filter button to list vegetarian restaurants and have phoned places in advance to check whether there are vegan items available before buying.

Hopefully, vegan will be a filter on the app at some point, and they properly address the location issue. I can’t complain too much given how swiftly they issued a refund! The only other first world gripe I have is that my magic bag was so full that it was heavy to carry!

Check out the app below and let me know how you get on!

https://toogoodtogo.co.uk/en-gb

Pounds in Palma

The carry on for last weekends mini break to Palma included my usual holiday essentials; a good book, sunglasses, travel mug and reusable bottle! I bring my own teabags and am yet to have cabin crew refuse my request for hot water. What did come as a surprise on this EasyJet flight https://www.easyjet.com/en was that they had a cold water tap onboard where you could refill your bottle from. It was also the first time I’d heard an airline announce that their sandwiches were being sold for half price as it was the last flight of the day; I almost regretted bringing my own food onboard!

I’d bought reduced bananas earlier that day. It wasn’t a massive reduction but I figured they’d come in handy for the weekend as we were running a 10K race in Palma http://binternightrun.es, and saved them being binned. I was right, I bought them on the Friday and we were still eating them by the Sunday as we toured the city on an open air bus! https://city-sightseeing.com/en/25/palma-de-mallorca

I am guilty of packing plenty that I don’t end up using on holiday. On this occasion it was wheat flour! When I bought the bananas, I spotted it reduced for 87p and couldn’t resist so took it with. Fortunately, it made it out and back in my suitcase unscathed, and without arousing any suspicion from airport security!

I don’t stop using my own bottles onboard the plane, they are great for refilling water whilst on the go sightseeing, and the whole weekend I filled my travel mug with coffee from the hotel breakfast to take out.

I like to get my money worth from a hotel which will explain why I wouldn’t rest until I got my half price cocktail from the pool bar as I’d seen advertised on their Facebook page! www.hotelamichorizonte.com/es/

It can pay to check social media and research destinations in advance. We ate out at some fantastic vegan friendly restaurants that we’d found online, ahead of time. Palma offers great set lunch menus. At EcoVegetaria we had 4 courses for €13! https://m.facebook.com/EcoVegetaria

It was also great to see that food waste app https://toogoodtogo.co.uk is operating in Palma. The app allows you to buy discounted food from eateries and save it from going to landfill!

Palma is a beautiful city; the port, cathedral, historic town and the weather was lovely. I can’t say that I was overjoyed to arrive home to torrential rain, and then be hanging around at the airport as my ride was stuck in traffic.

On the bright side, I bought yellow sticker snacks! They weren’t just any yellow stickers but M&S airport store! I must admit with airports being able to operate 24 hours I was surprised to see food reduced on its best before date, yet even Costa we’re following suit with half price cake!

I best do a recce of the other London airports to check out their yellow sticker sections. I’ll book a flight outta here prompto and report back; all in the name of research of course!

Street Food

I’ve really gotten into street food recently; I’m not talking market stalls or food vans, but literally picking food up off the streets.

It started with the odd apple, orange, that I’d see discarded but still in good tact and edible; it’s now become part of my weekly groceries!

It’s not just passerby’s that are throwing food out but retailers. I’ve not been rummaging through store bins as a free loader might, not that I’d be averse to that in any way. Instead, it’s been food that’s deliberately left outside for the taking!

A grocery store which I walk past to and from work, that specialises in organic and vegan produce, has a crate outside where they leave whatever they are not going to sell for the taking. I’ve had melon, plums, peaches, lychees.

Working out of a different office one day, I left to find a few crates filled with bread, ciabattas on their best before dates, bananas, potatoes, with a handwritten sign which read help yourself. I don’t know who left it but I’m assuming a store given the amount that was there.

A work friend has been bringing in plenty of fruit for me the last few weeks, after discovering boxes of unsold produce left outside by her local dairy. She’d asked whether it was ok to take and they encouraged her to do so saying that it would only end up in the bin!

It makes me think of an old practice called gleaning where people could help themselves to surplus foods after farmers had harvested their crops. It really is astonishing how much perfectly good food is readily, and freely, available because someone has decided that they don’t fancy it, a store can’t sell at 5pm what they could at 3pm, food is wonky!

You know when you buy a red car and then all you notice are red cars? Well I feel like that’s what’s happened here. I’ve seen good food on the floor and now I see it everywhere! An unopened box of grapes in a bin on a weekend in Newcastle, a pack of spaghetti on a wall as I was out running. Although, my friend is convinced that the latter fell out of a neighbours’ shopping and I just nabbed it. Finders keepers I say!

In all seriousness, street food should be a last resort, unless you are selling coconut water or chow mien! If I’m happy enough to pick it up and so is Katy; bring me some bananas Monday please hun! There others who can make good use of it; distribute to the homeless, food banks, soup kitchens, charities, schools, give it to a neighbour, a friend. If it does need to be left outside make sure that it’s widely known so we can all have a good glean!

The streets are for dancing, food is for eating!

How do you like your Hummus?

A friend of mine regularly tells me to stop adding ingredients to a recipe and keep it as it is. So, if he knew I had yellow sticker chickpeas and tahini he’d say just make a plain hummus. What the heck is the matter with him?!

He has clearly lost his mind, so we ignore him and instead I added tinned carrots to my hummus mix last week. Not only did it get in another one of my 5 a day but it used up one of the many tins of carrots I’d collected from food sharing app Olio and made for an interesting dip!

Experimenting with what you have is such a great way of using up foods, avoiding waste and compensating for any ingredients that you are missing. My most recent batch of hummus was sun-dried tomato hummus with paprika and chilli flakes. The sun-dried tomatoes were another freebie from Olio and not only did it make for a tasty hummus but it meant that I didn’t need to worry about the oil and garlic I didn’t have as I used what was in the jar.

Getting too caught up with following recipes to the letter or always relying on a tried and tested method can mean too many trips to the store for ingredients that we may or may not use up afterwards and good food that we already have being overlooked and forgotten about.

All recipes would have started as some sort of an experiment and someone being creative so don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and mix it up. Don’t be dry like my friend, be sun-dried like my hummus and hit me up with how you’ve been varying recipes to use up what you have?

Eating in; the New Eating out?

“I’ll treat you to lunch” was my niece’s softener to asking me to be her unpaid Uber driver on a Saturday afternoon. “You don’t need to buy me lunch, I’ve got plenty of food at mine, we’ll eat in”.

I did have a house full of food, and she didn’t need to shout lunch. We both know that I’d ferry her anywhere if I can, so why is it we look to food for reward and often that’s considered eating out?

To say that I was insulted when a friend snubbed my offer to cook her dinner because it would be vegan, to turn up at my house with a shop bought sandwich is an understatement. There is more to cooking for someone than a financial cost. It requires thought, time, effort, care; there’s a reason they say home is where the heart is, and that includes the kitchen.

More and more of us have a disposable income and our consumerism extends to dining out. It’s often seen as a treat, a way to come together, socialise, have someone wait on us. It’s not to say that those of us who can afford to shouldn’t enjoy it, but at times it feels like the default without much thinking. Globalisation has allowed us to try different foods, from all over the world including processed fast foods and with so many countries becoming westernised it’s as if the Golden Arches symbolise a Mecca rather than McDonald’s!

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a meal out as much as the next person and salivate over the latest vegan junk food to hit the market, but are we being dazzled by illuminating signs and overlooking what’s on our doorstep?

Yesterday, I took advantage of my sister being a great cook and the fact that growing up in an African village meant that she appreciated fresh, home grown produce and traditional meals. Let’s make something you would have back home, I asked her and we did. African stew filled with beans, potato, veg; it was delicious. She spoke with sadness that some of the younger generation in Ghana are starting to turn from cuisines such as fufu in favour of fried chicken.

Being able to buy meat in Ghana is often a marker of wealth and success, a way to treat your guests so it’s easy to see the appeal. Yet, my fondest memory of Ghanaian food is my sister breaking up fufu into small chunks for me to eat as a child. Not for of any monetary value but because it made me feel special, looked after.

Food is nostalgic, it holds memory’s, bears history, enables us to pass on customs. That can all be lost in a world where we dine, like robots, in restaurant chains, serving out identical food from one table to the next. Yet, it’s in our homes, that of our neighbours, friends, families that we are truly nourished. With food that is personal, representative of who we are. We invite others to be a part of that. That’s the treat, there’s no need to go anywhere else; after all home is where the heart is and the kitchen is where the food is!

Food Flops

Have you ever have had one of those days when everything you turn your hand to is a flop? I mean literally, when I added the melted chocolate to my aquafaba the stiff peaks deflated to a runny mess! I had planned today’s blog to be a recipe for chocolate mousse using leftover chickpea water; no point scrolling to the bottom of the page there is no recipe!

Not long before I started patiently whisking the chickpea water, I’d tried a new meal for dinner; Sabudana Khichdi. It had been on my list of recipes to try after I’d collected tapioca pearls for free using food sharing app www.olioex.com

It didn’t turn out that differently to my aquafaba mousse; a soggy mess! I’d over soaked the tapioca pearls and hey ho it was a sort of curried jelly!

What was happening to me today? I’m a pretty capable cook, I can follow a recipe, I’m not afraid to experiment in the kitchen, why was it all going wrong I pondered to myself whilst I consoled myself in vegan Ben & Jerry’s; there’s no way I can fail at spooning ice cream!

So what answer did I come up with? Well sometimes it just does go wrong. It’s as simple as that really. It can be easy to label ourselves terrible cooks, or vow not to attempt that recipe again, stick to takeaways because we are useless in the kitchen. In this world of social media, not only do we want tasty food but it needs to be photogenic. We are being judged not solely by whom ever is eating our food but complete strangers scrolling their phone screens.

Photos on social media are snapshots of moments, prettily arranged plates, that good lighting. What is often not shown is the swearing, tears and tantrums when we, ok me, puts salt instead of sugar in their fruit crumble. The soufflés that don’t rise, the cakes stuck to the bottom of the tin, the green smoothie that looks 50 shades of grey! We don’t need food to be picture perfect, we need it to be edible and even if it’s not we brush our aprons off and learn from it for next time.

Whilst my Sabudana Khichdi looked nothing like the ones on google images, it tasted decent enough and I’ve leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch. The mousse is not happening today but rather than waste the melted chocolate I stirred in cereal, spooned the mixtures into cupcake cases and popped in the fridge for tomorrow.

Being able to feed ourselves is a privilege that we often take for granted. Our ability to be self sufficient, nourished, functioning. Just because our meal doesn’t look like that of the chef we follow or didn’t come out quite as we planned, doesn’t mean we bin it along with our willingness to try again. We salvage what we can, learn from it, move on and keep going at it because that’s what it means to be alive, and food is pretty integral to that!

Andy’s Allotment

If you follow me on instagram, are a regular reader of my blog, you would have heard me mention my work bestie Andy. How can I not spout on about him, without him I’d starve. Ok, that’s a tad dramatic but he does keep me well stocked with fresh produce from his allotment. “You should write a blog about planting your own food” Andy suggested one lunch time. “I don’t plant my own food” I retorted but I know a man who does…

 

So Andy, what made you decide to get an allotment?

It was during a period when I was separated, living alone, unemployed, had the spare time and thought I would try growing some stuff. I had no money and my head was all over the place. Living next to an allotment, the opportunity was there. Interestingly, my ex-wife had an allotment but I never spent time there as was always either at work or fishing.

 

Did you have any previous experience of growing fruit and veg?

As a child I planted flowers in the garden but never any food.

 

How did you learn the basics?

I grew up on a farm and growing estate where they grew fruit and vegetable. I wasn’t involved with growing it but earnt pocket money in the summer holidays by harvesting. You tend to pick it up as you go along. I’d watch Gardener’s World on TV, speak to fellow growers at the allotment. There was a large Sicilian population at the allotments who were experts in growing tomatoes, aubergines, broad beans, cardooms. And one of my best friend’s is a horticulturist, gardener.

 

Did you find it helped with finances and your health?

It was less about saving money. You’ll never buy fruit and vegetables as fresh and good quality as what you grow yourself. It provided a way of me structuring my time, space to clear my head. It was a distraction, filled my time and provided a sense of future rather than past, especially relating to seasons and planting what you will harvest down the line.

 

What sort of meals do you prepare?

Steamed vegetables to contain the quality and flavour and serve as a side, salads, stews, roasted vegetables, tomato sauces.

 

So you started with one allotment, how many do you have now and how did it grow?

Eight now; I’ve expanded by taking on over grown land, unused, derelict allotments. I planted oak trees, grew my own Christmas trees.

 

This must be a considerable amount of work?

As long as you stay on top of it you can get away with a day or two a week. The secret is to stay on top of it not let it get on top of you. Use your hoe to never let your weeds seed.

 

What do you use to fertilise the soil?

I dig in horse manure from the next door stable. I have an arrangement with the stable as it saves them wheeling it back to their heap when they can tip it over the fence. I then fork it into my heap. Leave it to rot down and it turns into a good compost. I compost all my vegetable leaves and use in my soil.

 

Do you need pesticides?

No I’m totally organic, I use no pesticides. I would never be certified organic because of using fertilisier such as horse manure which isn’t certified organic. However, I use no chemicals, which in my opinion would make me more organic than the organic farms who have a permitted list of chemicals that they can use. I prefer to not pollute the land, environment and it’s better for nature. It’s much better to let nature achieve a healthy balance for example ladybirds munch aphids which eat your plants.

 

What are the wider benefits of having an allotment?

It helps with nature, no pollution, the environment, global environment, it helps reduce the carbon footprint; no air miles on my food, and very little packaging. When the asparagus is in season, as you know, you’ll never get asparagus like that in the shops. An apple picked fresh from the tree or a tomato from the vine. There is a sense of pride with producing your own food. The wellness of what I eat, money can’t buy.

 

What are the disadvantages?

It’s a lot of time and effort, it doesn’t necessarily save you money if you costed the time that you spent working on the allotment. If every edible item that you grow is not picked or eaten it then leaves you with the dilemma of whether you have effectively contributed to food waste.

 

What do you do with the food that you don’t use?

I give any surplus to friends, neighbours, colleagues, family. I want others to have good quality food, it makes me feel happy to give others pleasure and see them enjoy my produce.

 

Would you consider running an allotment commercially?

No, it’s in the allotment rules not to sell what you grow. Anyway, it’s not worth it with the cost of the market stall, or premises, transport, extra time in selling it, tax.

 

Would you recommend starting an allotment?

Definitely, its very healthy mentally and physically being in the fresh air, greenery. It has a calming, therapeutic effect and makes you happier. If you are a foodie like us, you’ll really appreciate eating the food that you grow. You’d struggle to match the quality even if you went to Harrods and spent millions on fresh produce. You get all the natural sugars before they turn to starch.

 

What are your thoughts is having an allotment wasteless or wasteful? Is there a marked difference in homegrown produce; having just munched on Andy’s apple I vote yes! Is getting an allotment something that you would consider? Hit me up with your thoughts and if you have any more questions for Andy! Who by the way told me that Robin Day asked questions on Question Time quicker than I do; I think he’s showing his age 😉

Check your Privilege

“What do you think”? I asked the work bestie expectedly, after I’d finished reading him ‘My week of spending £1-a-day on food’ article, in the September issue of Be Kind magazine www.bekindmagazine.com

“It’s good, style over content” he replied. What a back handed compliment if ever I’d heard one ha ha; if he weren’t my work bestie, I’d give him a back hand! “I just mean you are privileged enough to eat for £1 a day”; he continued. Andy went on to point out that I’m employed, which not only means that I have a regular wage but that I can raid the office fridge for anything going spare, food that has been forgotten about. I have friends, family who will invite me over for dinner, sub me if need be, offer surplus foods; including him of course who supplies me with his allotment goodies. He went on to say that shopping for reduced price foods, utilising what is going spare goes a way to addressing food waste, but my reality is different to those who are without friends, family, income, having to rely on state benefits, food banks, handouts.

Andy’s words kept playing on my mind, probably because I knew that he was right. I am in a privileged position and shop, eat in the way that I do out of choice, not necessity. I’ve not had to worry about where my next meal is coming from, I’ve not known what it means to truly feel hunger. Recently, whilst hanging around the bakery aisle, waiting to nab a yellow sticker birthday cake for my mum, I mentioned to a fellow raider that I work as a civil servant. He remarked how many more people he was coming across waiting on reductions who were in relatively successful, well paid careers. “We all need to eat and we all want to save money” I told him, which is true but he was hinting at a social class divide that I’d perhaps not paid much attention to.

The mere fact that I drive and have a car, has a huge impact on my accessibility to food. The luxury of being able to drive to the store as and when I want to check out bargains, the ability to collect food from food sharing app Olio in my local area, nearby work. I’ve not had to rely on another financially or otherwise, to eat. I make the decisions as to what, how and when I eat. I remember offering an apple to a homeless woman who politely declined it as she had missing teeth. I’ve always been able to take dental care, and my diet for granted. I don’t even recall having my wisdom tooth removed causing much of a barrier to my eating!

According to FareShare, 8.4 million people in the UK are struggling to afford to eat. This is equivalent to the entire population of London https://fareshare.org.uk

The biggest food struggle that I’m having today is finding a vegan eatery in Finsbury Park to lunch with a friend!

The same friend told me of a TV programme a while ago on homelessness. She was laughing at how a passer-by had offered a homeless man a box of mushrooms “I mean what’s he going to do with them” she asked with exasperation. Having a kitchen, regular supply of gas, electricity, the utilities to prepare, cook our own food are luxuries that many of us take for granted. The ability to cook for ourselves, understand food, diet, nutrition, to even be able to spend the time contemplating such issues.

There is a saying that privilege is invisible to those who have it, which is why we all need an Andy to point it out to us every now again. If we are unable to check our privilege, count our blessings, express gratitude how can we empathise with those less fortunate. How will we stop to take note of who is standing next to us at the checkout, or sat in a doorway begging as we walk by. If we are unable to appreciate how valuable a commodity food is then why would we refrain ourselves from binning it. If we do not recognise our blessings, comfort, security, and only pay attention to our struggles, then it becomes all to easy vilify those who aspire to have the same. If we cannot see when we occupy an elevated platform how will we know to extend a helping hand to those beneath it.

There are some privileges in life which are fixed; gender, race, academic history, our ancestors. Others can change in any given circumstances. Our jobs, income, relationships, accommodation, health, mobility. And we will then seek help from those more fortunate than us, let us be privileged enough not to lose sight of that.

Restaurant Review: Paradise Food in Budva, Montenegro

I was a little concerned as to how easy it would be to follow a vegan diet on holiday in Montenergo, after hearing from those who had been that it wasn’t particularly vegan friendly. I anticipated living off bread (unbuttered) and potatoes for the week. I was however pleasantly surprised with being able to order tomato based pasta dishes, vegetable stew, roasted veggies, pizza with vegan cheese and dairy free ice cream.

It got even better when we arrived in the coastal town Budva, where we were spending our last few days. I was in paradise when we found Montenegro’s only vegan cafe. Literally paradise; Paradise Food is a pay by weight plant based café and health food shop. Whilst I was elated to discover this gem, and to eat in a place that is making efforts to reduce food waste, I did feel a wave of panic. As someone who doesn’t shy away from filling their plate, I have spent a small fortune at pay by weight restaurants in London. I needn’t have worried this was by far the cheapest and most delicious meal we ate on holiday!

The eat in and take out, lunch/dinner, menu boasts a cuisine which changes daily. Tuesday was Mexican themed and I ate a plateful of Mexican vitamin salad, Mexican vegetables, green lentil sauce, cauliflower fajitas and salsa. You can also add items sold behind the counter; I went for a slice of pizza, lasagne with seitan which was more like a pasta bake and a potato skin filled with vegan cheese and mushroom. It was hearty, healthy, tasty food. There was no way that I was leaving without dessert; “are you going to eat both of those” asked my friend in astonishment, and she knows that I can eat. “Yes, yes I am”, I replied whilst asking the cashier to serve me the biggest slice of the cacao and banana pie; I think I momentarily forgot that the biggest slice would be accounted for in the price! I had a slice of the lemon and coconut cheesecake too. Both were delicious and you’d be hard pushed to tell that they didn’t contain chocolate or refined sugar.

Sammy was right though I was well and truly stuffed; the desserts are particularly filling as generous portions filled with nuts, seeds, dates. I didn’t have the sort of the food hangover you get with your local Chinese buffet where you are undoing your trousers. I felt rather virtuously full, particularly as we then decided to forego the taxi and walk back to our hotel. I did almost have a heart attack when I paid my bill, for reasons I’d not anticipated. Not only was it over half the price of what you’d pay for the same in London but at around £10 for a plateful of food and selection of desserts, it was the cheapest meal we’d had in Montenegro!

We returned for an earlier dinner the following day, we wanted to make that they weren’t running out of any of the dishes. There is a constant flow of customers, even past their closing time of 9pm. Wednesday was a Russian hot buffet, two fingers up to my sister who tells me that it is too difficult to veganise Russian food; by two fingers, I mean the V sign of course! I had baked potato with dill, mushroom sauce, cabbage stew, tartar sauce, draniki potato pancakes and spaghetti. Sammy and I shared bits from the cold counter; a seitan sausage roll, burger and pizza. I learnt my lesson from the night before and ordered smaller slices of dessert, granted I still had to have two, but smaller all the same. The coconut cream filled fruit cake was lush as was the snicker cake. The food was so good that we even bought raw cacao coconut bites – think vegan bounty bars, and a couple of cookies which were less than 50p each, for our flight home the next day.

 

The staff are so warm and welcoming; it was really inspiring chatting to Sofija who runs the café and has been vegan for 27 years. She simply responded ‘nothing’ when I asked what she’d found difficult about being vegan for so many years. The only thing difficult about Paradise Food is not being able to visit every day, I need to know what the rest of the week tastes like! I’ve been nursing the holiday blues since arriving home; I miss being in Paradise!

 

https://m.facebook.com/Paradise-Food-990557527785302/?

First published 31/07/19 on www.happycow.net/blog/restaurant-review-paradise-food-in-budva-montenegro/