Vegan in Prague: AMA Tibetan

Unlike in the UK, there aren’t many meaty restaurants here in the Czech Republic that also have vegan options on the menu.  I think part of the reason is that there aren’t so many chain restaurants here, so there just isn’t the same consumer pressure for vegan options.  Whatever the reason, it’s always very exciting when a place pops up with solid vegan options.  (Don’t get me wrong, I like giving my money to 100% vegan businesses, but it’s also nice to have more options, see vegan going more mainstream, and have somewhere to go with friends who want a meat fix.)

AMA Tibetan is not far from JzP station, pretty close to the centre for tourists as well as locals.  You’ll see the colourful bunting as you approach on the street, and the restaurant itself is in the basement.  It’s nice and bright, thanks to lots of white paint and light wood, and really simple and elegant.  The menu has one vegan starter, one vegan variety of momos, and two mains (one stirfry, one noodle soup).  The vegan options are clearly labelled, so you can’t go wrong.

Dr HH ordered the stirfry.  As you can see, it was full of delicious charred broccoli and juicy mushrooms:  he loved it!  The waiter recommended getting rice with it, but we’re not sure this is necessary, as it was already a pretty hearty serving (plus we had a side as well).

I went for the soup, and did not get a good photograph of it.  It was a huge portion – I didn’t even come close to finishing it.  It was advertised as a noodle soup, and, not knowing anything about Tibetan noodles, I was quite surprised when it was full of what seemed more like ripped up lasagna noodles.  They were huge and delicious!  I also got mushrooms and broccoli, along with pak choi and other green veg.  The soup had a nice kick to it, though I think the stirfry was actually tastier.

Perhaps the reason I struggled with my soup and Dr HH didn’t need the rice was because we also ordered the vegan momos to share.  How could we not?!  We got ten little dumplings, which were perfectly formed, but unfortunately we found the veg filling a touch bland.  Fortunately the dipping sauce (tomato and chilli, I’d guess) packed more of a punch and really elevated them – and was once again generously served.

What a great place!  Huge portions, generally strong flavours, lots of fresh veg, and guaranteed to please a crowd of veggies/omnis.  Hurrah!

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MiniMoFo: Lotus Vegetarian Kitchen, Manchester (Take Two)

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May’s MiniMoFo is all about favourites, and this place is definitely a favourite of mine!  When I lived in Manchester it was one of my regular haunts, and now Lotus Vegetarian Kitchen is the only place that I always go back to without fail when I’m home for the holidays.  And considering that it’s not well-served by public transport from my Manchester base, that’s really saying something.  (It’s very easy to reach from the city centre, though.)

Lotus is mostly vegan, but still has a few vegetarian options on the menu – everything’s labelled really clearly.  It’s a good place to grab takeaway, but eating in is always a real treat.  Everyone who works there is so friendly, and it’s just a lovely place.  If only they did takeaway too!  Last time I posted about it, I mentioned some of our favourites, but we have finally started branching out a teeny bit now.  Here’s a look at what we ordered when we were there last Christmas.

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We always share starters, because they are so good that you really want to try everything.  One day, Dr HH and I are just going to go and order all the starters: this is probably our greatest goal in life.  These dumplings are a staple for us.  They’re perfectly cooked with a healthy amount of filling.

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We always get the Vietnamese spring rolls too – there are three per serving, though my brother snaffled one before I could take a photo (he doesn’t really understand how the food blogging game works, unlike Dr HH who now faithfully waits five minutes while I take pictures of everything).  As you can probably imagine by looking at them, these rolls are beautifully crispy.

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The water chestnut rolls are as exciting as they sound, and also crispy.  We don’t go to the Chinese for our health!

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The prawn toast was a new dish for us, at my mum’s suggestion.  I scoffed at the idea, though to be fair, she described it as “prawns on toast with sesame seeds”, so I was picturing a kind of bruschetta.  If she’d told me it was a deep-fried toastie, I’d have been all over it.  If you like deep-fried food, you’ll love it.  I’m going to order it every time I go in the future.  Thank you to Mama HH!

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When it comes to mains, there’s no sharing.  Although I usually stick to the sizzling black pepper chicken, last time I decided to mix it up.  I got the duck with crispy noodles – it’d been years since I’d had crispy noodles, and I had really missed them.  I was hoping for a different style of duck, as it was a bit slimier than I’d hoped.  It was delicious though, and you can’t argue with a crispy noodle.

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My mum is perhaps even less adventurous than I am when it comes to ordering:  she loves Singapore noodles so much that she can’t order anything else!  She is very pleased with this dish, even though she usually isn’t keen on mock meats.

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My brother shares her opinion on that, so he went for a tofu and broccoli dish instead.  Much to my relief, he loved it so much that he cleaned his plate.  Hurrah!  Even avowed meat eaters love Lotus!

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Dr HH has no such fears, of course:  this is the very exciting looking Assam fish. When I asked him for his review, he raved, “It was so flaky, like fish!  I loved the crispy skin, like real fish!  Look at the presentation, all wavy!  The sauce was so spicy!”  I can’t really build on that enthusiastic review (all exclamation marks his own).

With under two months till we’re popping home for a summer holiday, I’m already starting to plan what to order on our visit!  Will we finally realise our all-starters dream?

What’s your all-time favourite restaurant?  Do you get to it more than twice a year?  Tell me everything!

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Vegan in Munich: Part Two

The first few days in Munich involved croissants, hearty portions of mac’n’cheese and incredible desserts.  Let’s see how it continued!

I am constantly on the lookout for vegan kebabs wherever I go, so I was excited to see that Erbils was an all-vegan establishment specialising in falafel, pida and good old kebabs.  Dr HH and I both chose the seitan durum, and it was tasty…but lacking a little of the flavour and bite that I’ve found in some others (such as Vegab in Krakow, or Voner in Berlin).  And the roll was not very tight, which meant it was quite a messy endeavour.  It was fine, but not a spectacular meal by any means.  The Happy Cow reviews suggest that service is not so friendly, but on our visit there were two very friendly servers and we had no complaints (they didn’t speak English, but even without any knowledge of German I think you’d scrape by).

A more exciting spot for dinner was Zodiac Pizza, which we staggered to the next evening after a full day on the go to visit Neuschwanstein Castle.  It’s a little vegetarian pizzeria, with the option of swapping the dairy cheese for this orangey cheese sauce, or paying extra for some vegan mozzarella.  I loved the cheese sauce, it was pleasantly creamy with a very good savoury taste. Also, look at all the topping!  This place is generous.  They have twelve set pizzas (one for each sign of the zodiac), and an option of building your own.  Oh, and a few salads, if you’re into that sort of thing.

I got the widder, which I believe is Aries: seitan, mushroom and leek.  It was excellent.  Besides the generous toppings, I was also impressed with the extremely thin and crispy base – no sloppiness here.

There were no desserts on the menu, but the staff told us there were two options, both vegan:  chocolate mousse or panna cotta.  Of course, we got one of each.  They were lovely elegant desserts, as you can see, served with chocolate shards.  The panna cotta was creamy and good, with a very tart fruity topping.  The mousse was the real highlight though:  so airy, light and flavoursome.  Zodiac was a last minute addition to our holiday itinerary, and I’m really glad we swung by.

We had one more excellent breakfast in the works, courtesy of Rebella Bex Cafe, a cafe connected to a yoga studio.  It has a lot of large tables for sharing, which always make me anxious as a typically anti-social Brit, but happily there weren’t too many other people there.  It looked like a great spot for lunch too (the burritos looked sensational, the cakes gigantic), but we were focused on breakfast.  We got a couple of hot chocolates, which were wonderfully rich.  The server recommended coconut-rice milk, which added a lovely taste.

And of course, we got the pancakes for breakfast. For €5.90, they were much bigger than we were expecting (in general it was a cruel blow going back to western European prices after spending so long in the dirt-cheap Czech Republic).  And they were delicious to boot!  The pancakes were fluffy and pillowy, and were served with artfully arranged fresh fruit, apple sauce and maple syrup.  I’d devour this plate again right now if I could!

We paid a similar price for our lunch, too.  After a morning pottering around the Neue Pinakothek art gallery, we made the short walk over to Ümis Cafe, a Turkish vegetarian and vegan spot.  The menu had a whole page of vegan dishes, but they cost around €16, so we opted for the €7 buffet instead – the server helpfully explained which dish wasn’t vegan.  It was quite a varied plate of food, and there were some good flavours, but it was unspectacular.

The dessert counter was a different story though!  We shared this nougat tart, and it was unbelievable. The pastry was really rich and crumbly, and the filling was chocolatey and sweet.  I definitely couldn’t have managed this by myself, but it was a great decadent treat to share.  Vegan options aren’t marked, but the staff can fill you in – there seemed to be lots we could try.

We also grabbed a couple of doughnuts for the bus ride home the following day.  When planning a holiday, the first two things I google are “vegan donuts [city]” and “vegan croissants [city]”, so these had definitely been on my radar.  They were better than I’d expected, largely thanks to something I hadn’t been expecting…

…the chocolate filling!  I’ve never seen filled ring donuts before, but I hope this catches on quickly.  I probably wouldn’t return to Ümis for the savouries, but I’d be all over that dessert counter again.

And our final meal in Munich was at Gratitude.  This was another late addition to the itinerary, mostly because the word gratitude, along with ‘authentic’, has been devalued by its overuse by inspirational Instagrammers.  But this place was good.  We arrived a couple of minutes after the 6pm opening and it was already filling up, so online booking would be a good idea.  It’s quite bright and airy at the front, darker and atmospheric further back.  The menu is only in German, but the staff spoke perfect English.  For starters there is a selection of tapas, then four main dishes and a cheesecake of the day.  We skipped the starters, and both ordered the grilled avocado dish.

There was a lot going on, and it all worked together to create a perfectly balanced dish.  You can probably see the bright green avocado there, grilled around the top.  It’s sitting on a little lake of hummus and topped with some tasty salad including cherry tomatoes and corn on the cob.  There’s also a poddadum there, which was nice but perhaps unnecessary, and two triangles of panko-coated fried tempeh:  they were incredible!  The orange sauce of ginger and sun dried tomatoes was just divine.  All in all it was one of those dishes you just don’t want to end.

But end it did.  And we decided to see if dessert was just as good.  It certainly didn’t disappoint!  It was a chocolate cashew cheesecake, which was creamy and rich.  It was served with a zingy lemon sorbet, some tahini sauce and a little heap of chocolate, nuts and seeds.  Again, it sounds a little busy, but it was perfect.  Overall, this was probably the best meal of the holiday (though Bodhi gives it a good run for its money).

As for what to do in Munich – the main reason we visited was to take a day trip to Neuschwanstein Castle.  It’s a two hour train ride, followed by 10 minutes on the bus, and about thirty minutes walking uphill, but it’s definitely worth it.  Even if you don’t pay to go in, you’ll still marvel at the outside, and the surrounding scenery.

In the city itself we spent a lot of time wandering around the English Gardens, took in a show at the theatre (you can get €7 standing tickets pretty easily – you get what you pay for, but it’s a nice experience), enjoyed the town hall with its dancing clock, and went to a gallery.

There are quite a few art galleries in the city, but we chose the Neue Pinakothek because that’s where they keep the Impressionists.  We got to see sunflowers, waterlilies, and much more.

Munich exceeded my expectations as a vegan destination:  there were lots of options, though perhaps more vegetarian than exclusively vegan, unlike Berlin.  The breakfast and dessert scenes were excellent, which is always important to me in a holiday destination (or place to live, of course).  As wonderful as Munich was, I have to say, Berlin still has my heart!

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Cookbook of the Month: A Vegan Taste of Mexico

Back in 2015 I reviewed A Vegan Taste of France, part of the series by Linda Majzlik, and now I’ve finally added to my collection with this one.  This is a series that never really gets much love, but, two books in now, I’m a big fan!  The books are missing some of the touches that make a cookbook easy to navigate (and easy to fall in love with) – no index, no pictures, no hint of the author’s personality – but they are full of reliable recipes, and that’s what really matters.  Here’s what I made from this one.

This is just the kind of soup I like!  It’s a sweet potato and lentil soup, and it was wonderfully thick and spicy, and extremely filling – the ideal lunch!

The lentil and bean soup was more of the same – practically a stew! I used a tin of chopped tomatoes rather than the tomato sauce in the recipe, which may explain why mine was so hearty.

I was worried that the thinner broth of the brown lentil pecan soup would be a disappointing follow-up, but far from it: it also packed quite the flavour punch, and mushrooms make everything substantial.  I chopped the nuts rather than grating them, because life is just too short, surely?

I tweaked the sweet pepper, tomato and orange soup a wee bit – I roasted the peppers first, because who doesn’t prefer roasted peppers?  I also used a tin of chopped tomatoes rather than fresh ones, and added some stock, as there was none in the recipe (presumably a mistake).  It was such a great soup – really attractive colours, filling, with a lovely sweetness from the peppers and a healthy chilli kick.  I’ll definitely make this again.

I was a little uncertain about trying the avocado and leek soup because I’ve very rarely had cooked avocado. Actually the avocado flavour was very mild, so I’d probably use two avos next time instead.  It was a thin soup, nice for spring, but unspectacular.

From the light meals section, I gave the quesadillas a whirl.  It was my first time making ‘cheesy dillos’, as my dear Dr HH calls them, and I think I was a bit too light on the filling.  It was a really quick and easy weekend lunch, and one I will call on again, though I might liven it up.  Maybe some olives?

In the mains section I was pleased to find that there was plenty of variety in the recipes – we weren’t just eating different variations on chilli for the whole month.  This peanut, lentil and squash stew was a fine example of that, and something I hadn’t really been expecting from Mexican cuisine.  It was hearty and well seasoned.

The first recipe I tried from the book was the aubergine enchiladas with red pepper sauce.  This was simple and effective: the aubergine chunks were good and meaty, and the red pepper sauce on top was quite an unusual addition for me – usually when I make enchiladas, the sauce for the filling is the same as the sauce on top, so it was a treat to have the two different, distinctive flavours.  I’m a fan!

As this is a Mexican book, of course I had to try the vegetable chilli recipe.  I was looking for some mock mince to use in it, but had to settle for meaty strips instead, which turned out really nicely.  It was a really flavoursome chilli, definitely recommended.

This aubergine and sweet potato casserole looked really inviting, with the vivid orange sweet potato layer.  And it tasted really great too – there’s some mince in there along with all the aubergine.  Dr HH said he would have preferred the tortilla chips served on the side for dipping, rather than letting them get soggy on top, and I can definitely see his point.

I was really excited about trying the spicy pecan balls in tomato sauce (though I was surprised to find pecans in so many recipes).  I made the mixture around lunch time, chilled it for a couple of hours, shaped it and chilled it some more, and the meatballs mostly held their shape.  They were really spicy and meaty, and were good with a simple tomato sauce and rice.

I made this mixed vegetable and bean hotpot while I was suffering from a bad cough and sore throat, and just looking at all this veg immediately made me feel healthier!  It had a bit of everything:  potato, mushrooms, veg, beans, cheese…I really enjoyed it.

And I served it with some cornbread, which I’d never made before.  I encountered two problems, both of which were my fault rather than the recipe’s.  1) Just as I was popping it in the oven, I realised that I had just used plain flour without adding a raising agent (the recipe called for self-raising flour, but I just wasn’t thinking).  2) I only have one oven-proof dish and it’s very big, so the mixture only thinly covered the base.  Put these two things together, and you can see why the end product is so flat.  Still, it had a nice spongy texture and was really nice, so I’d definitely try this again and pay more attention!

As I love a good breakfast and there are no breakfast recipes in this book, I was on the lookout for something I could adapt from the dessert section (of course). I decided to try the coconut rice pudding first thing in the morning, and I’d recommend it as a breakfast.  It was nice, especially the juicy sweetness from the raisins, but I’ve got a creamier recipe for this already up my sleeve and won’t be switching allegiance any time soon.

The banana and date chimichangas also got the breakfast treatment.  What a success!  I soaked the dates overnight because I always find the dates here to be rock hard.  They formed a lovely caramelly mush, which was just perfect.  I was quite worried about the wraps falling apart while I was frying them, but it was surprisingly easy.  I used the full amount of filling ingredients, but only made two chimichangas, and I think this worked out about right, so maybe scale up if you want four.

Mmm, chocolate and pecan pots!  This is a dessert recipe that I didn’t turn into breakfast food.  The recipe suggests making these in a bain marie, but this proved impossible for me:  the mixture didn’t get hot enough to boil and thicken. When I put the milky mixture directly in a pan, it worked a treat. The pudding itself is similar to those little Alpro chocolate puddings, which was nice.  I’d add a bit of chilli next time to make it stand out a bit more!

I made the wedding cakes without even googling what they were supposed to look like, so I was worried when mine turned out to look not fancy at all.  Fortunately they were still tasty – quite plain, but I liked how crunchy they were.

I preferred the more exciting cinnamon crunchies.  Fans of snacking on raw dough whilst working should note that the dough itself isn’t that sweet – but once it’s rolled in sugar and baked, they’re absolutely perfect!  This is a nice simple recipe that didn’t take much time, so I’d definitely make these cookies again.

And finally, from the drinks section I gave the hot chocolate a whirl.  It was my first time making it from melted chocolate, and it was quite the little indulgence.  I loved it!  The vanilla and cinnamon really enhanced it too.

As I said at the start, I’m a fan of these books and would recommend them.  There were so many more recipes that I didn’t have chance to try, I could probably cook from this book for a second month without any problems.  It has both quantity and quality, so don’t let the lack of pictures put you off!

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Vegan in Munich: Part One

Since I first visited the vegan paradise that is Berlin, I have faithfully called it my favourite German city. But this Easter I betrayed it by making a sneaky trip to Munich.  And I regret nothing!

We marked our arrival in Munich with a trip to Bodhi, an all-vegan pub/restaurant specialising in Bavarian cuisine.  It’s not limited to Bavarian food though, with numerous burgers on the menu alongside some extremely tempting fried starters.  The starters menu actually reminded me of Madrid tapas bar B13, with its onion rings, crispy seitan bites, and these calimari. They had that perplexing rubbery texture (it’s delicious, but how do they do it?!), a taste of the sea, and light, crispy batter.  Highly recommended if, like me, you rarely get a chance to try this dish.

The buffalo cauliflower was also excellent.  I’ve made this dish a few times, so it was nice to finally have it made for me to figure out what it’s actually meant to be like. Oh, I loved it.  It was really succulent, oozing with flavour, and so beautifully fried.

We moved on to some actual Bavarian stuff for the mains.  I spent my Erasmus year in Augsburg, just outside Munich, and as a vegetarian, Kässpatzn was basically the only dish I ever ate in restaurants.  So it was nice to try it again as a vegan – but I wonder if the portions were always this gigantic?!  It’s essentially a mac’n’cheese, with an especially creamy sauce.  The fried onions were a little soft, more’s the pity, but the pepper and herbs on top were just perfect. It came with a side salad, which just seemed silly:  let’s have no pretence of healthiness with this beast!

Dr HH went for the more varied Pfanderl plate, which he positively raved about.  It featured two huge, crispy, delicious slabs of soy steak, some kind of huge potato dumpling, lots of red cabbage and a rich, sharp beery sauce.  He was very pleased with his choice.  As you can see, this was also a huge portion.

There are a few desserts on the menu, and we opted to share the Kaiserschmarrn (if you’re planning a visit, please note that it takes 20 minutes to prepare).  This was a real treat, and even though we were already pretty full, it was not the kind of dish we could abandon.  It is essentially a pancake with raisins and almonds in it, torn into pieces, deep-fried, sprinkled with icing sugar and served with a pot of apple sauce.  If that doesn’t tempt you, then what kind of monster are you?!  I would definitely recommend sharing this – it was hearty.

We ate so much food here, and it should definitely be on your itinerary if you’re visiting, particularly if you want to try some hearty German food.  The menu is in English as well as German and the staff were really friendly and helpful.  It was nice to be in a pub again as well – there isn’t a smoking ban in the Czech Republic yet (allegedly coming in June), so I never venture in them here.  Despite all the German food, it felt like a very British experience!

The next morning we breakfasted at Lost Weekend, a bookshop/vegan cafe close to the university. I had seen on Instagram that they sometimes had croissants, so we were a bit disappointed to find sandwiches and cakes but no pastries.  We made the most of it, though, as you can see.

I had some breakfast cake, of course:  the carrot cake was really good, and so sticky on top.

Dr HH loved his antipasti sandwich too, with its roasted courgette, sundried tomatoes, hummus and nicely toasted bread.  A great start to the day!

The next day started even better though – we popped back to Lost Weekend and found a hearty pile of chocolate croissants.  Hurray!  The croissant itself was really flaky, with excellent layers.  Best of all, it was both dipped in chocolate and filled with chocolate.  The chocolate inside was quite solid, and I bet it would have been even better if it was all melted and gooey.  This was a great place to grab breakfast, and would be equally good for a lunch. Also, great for people watching.

A similar breakfast/lunch kind of place is Tushita Teehaus, a pretty little tea house with a couple of breakfast dishes, a daily Buddha bowl-style lunch and an impressive cabinet of cakes.  It’s extremely popular, so booking is recommended – we just managed to squeeze in.  On the day we visited, this was the bowl:  rice, asparagus, aubergine, beautifully seasoned tofu, salad, and broccoli with pesto.  There are two sizes available (€9 or €13.50), and I’d suggest getting the small so that you have room for cake as well.

We shared a slice of this black and white cake, which had a wonderful biscuitty base and beautiful creamy marbled filling.

We also picked up a couple of seitan pasties to take with us on our day trip to Neuschwanstein Castle the next day.  Even though they were cold, they were really tasty.  Unfortunately the seitan was in really tiny pieces, but the rest of the filling was great: lots of cabbage and spices.

And the castle wasn’t too bad either!

What a great start to our visit, eh?  Come back for part two to find out if Munich has replaced Berlin in my heart!

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MiniMoFo: Vegan Chocolate

April’s MiniMoFo theme is “in season”, and it’s Easter this month, so what could be more seasonal than chocolate?!  It was my birthday at the beginning of April and I got a surprising amount of chocolate.  And happily, it’s all on the approved list of the Food Empowerment Project.

If this project is new to you, please take a few minutes to read up on it.  The approved list is a great guide to which chocolate companies are completely cruelty free:  that is to say, neither animal cruelty nor human slave labour involved.  These are the companies I am happy to give my money to.

All five chocolate bars I got for my birthday are safely on the list, and I can’t recommend them enough!  Here are my thoughts:

1.Solkiki Los Rios 49% Mylk

I discovered Solkiki at the VON Christmas Fair in Manchester last year, and I was counting down until I could ask for some more bars as a birthday treat – they’re not cheap, but they’re mega delicious. At the fair we tried a few samples of dark and white chocolate, and bought a couple of each, but there was no milk chocolate for sampling, which means I was extra keen to get my hands on some this time around.

It was worth the wait – so creamy and delicious!  It’s definitely one of the best milk chocolates I’ve had, and I’m already trying to justify the cost of another order.

2.Solkiki Tahitian Nougat

The other bar I got was the Tahitian Nougat, which I also had at Christmas.  It’s salty, nutty and just incredible.  The man who was selling the bars at the Christmas fair said confidently that this is not the kind of chocolate you can eat in one sitting, but I strongly disagree – Dr HH and I make pretty short work of these!  It’s so creamy that it doesn’t really resemble white chocolate, which is no bad thing in my opinion.

3.Rapunzel Nirwana Vegan

I’ve never seen this chocolate in the UK, so I was happy to try something new.  I still remember the gloomy days when I didn’t know about vegan milk chocolate and subsisted on dark chocolate -it’s nice to be enlightened at last!  This one is really nice, and a much more affordable every-day alternative to the Solkiki one above (though not quite as good).

4.iChoc White Vanilla

I’ve had a few iChoc bars in the past, but this flavour was new to me.  Like their other flavours, it was very good.  White chocolate is always a bit weird (dairy or otherwise), and I only really enjoy it when I’m the mood, but this one is very good, thanks to that twist of vanilla.  I’m thinking of using the rest of this bar in baking, which is my preferred way to eat white chocolate.

5.Vego

Vego is perhaps the most beloved chocolate bar in the vegan community.  It’s very reminiscent of Cadbury’s Whole Nut, which I used to enjoy. The chunks are absolutely gigantic, which means you can sound virtuous by saying “I’ll only have one square”, but as the ‘square’ is the size of a small child you can still be a total glutton.

 

What chocolate have you tucked into this Easter?  Are there any incredible vegan, FEP-approved bars I’m missing out on?

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Vegan in Prague: Sweet Secret of Raw

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If you’re a fan of raw food, Prague is definitely the place to be.  There are approximately nine trillion raw vegan restaurants here.  Personally, I’m not a raw enthusiast:  I find it expensive, sometimes not as good as the cooked version (things like crackers, bread and falafel, all of which I’ve tried raw), and unsuited to the freezing winters of the Czech Republic.

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Raw cake, however, is a whole different story.  Sweet Secret of Raw is a pretty little cafe in Prague 2 (not too far from the city centre) with an extremely tempting display of cakes.  The chocolate cheesecake is so rich, I actually struggled to finish it – and that’s saying something for me!

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In fact, all of the cakes are fairly substantial.  When you leave this cafe, you certainly know you’ve eaten well!  The Raffaelo cake at the front here was especially delicious.  There are always 5-10 cakes on offer, along with the tasting menu where you can have slivers of them all. Dr HH is keen to try this, but I just don’t think I could handle that much cake!  The cakes are all labelled only in Czech, but the staff usually speak a little English, or you can just gamble on the most delicious-looking concoction.

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They do have an English breakfast menu though.  Breakfast is served 8am-12pm, and it’s pretty exciting fare.  Alongside a few porridge varieties, there are these pancakes with chocolate cream and banana slices.  It’s quite hard to cut through the pancakes themselves, but it’s a really delicious meal.  I was worried it wouldn’t be filling enough, but I was absolutely stuffed!

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Dr HH ordered a dish called ‘caramel squares’, so we were quite surprised when this glass appeared.  But it’s not merely a smoothie:  the glass is full of date, peanut butter and sprouted buckwheat squares (kind of like a Nakd bar), smothered in a banana milkshake.  He really enjoyed it, and was also too full to contemplate a cake afterwards.

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If you’re ordering one of these breakfasts, you probably don’t need to have a hot chocolate too.  I mean, this is insanely good, but it’s also thick and rich and might push you over the edge if you’re having a huge breakfast too.  The drink has a beautiful ginger flavour running through it, and it’s one of the best hot chocolates I’ve had here – and Prague is a pretty amazing city for vegan hot chocolate!

Do try to squeeze in a trip to Sweet Secret of Raw if you’re in Prague.  They don’t do savoury food, as the name suggests – making it the perfect indulgence when you’re treating yourself on holiday!

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