Why afternoon tea can be animal-free

Breakfast

Maple & pecan crisp cereal, soya milk, strawberries

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This is an irresistibly sugary breakfast option which is useful if you have a cycle to work or something that requires a bit of early morning energy.

Skipping lunch is something I rarely do (I find it leaves me grinding miserably to a sugarless halt half way through the afternoon), but it was one of those times when a midday meal just wasn’t possible. When I finally arrived home at about 4pm, I decided to opt for some afternoon tea (almost as rare as skipping lunch). There were some Tesco ‘light choices’ hot cross buns in the bread bin which seemed to be animal-free and came close enough to a tea cake. Unfortunately the toasting phase wasn’t particularly successful and resulted in a charred top that had to be partially removed (you can understand why the photograph is absent!). Even so, the quasi-teacake tasted great with some vegan margarine and raspberry jam, plus some strawberries and kiwi for an urgently required sugar boost.

Actually though, there’s no need for vegans to make do with substandard afternoon teas and even a cream tea is completely possible. Believe it or not, you can actually buy vegan clotted cream: http://www.klottedkream.co.uk/. It looks delicious and the company supports a different animal charity every month. Most supermarket scones seem to contain milk and/or egg, but you can buy an animal-free version at: http://bluelotuscakes.co.uk/vegan-egg-free-dairy-free-scones-p-665.html and they look really good. The strawberry jam should be easy to source in animal-free form (I’m yet to find one that isn’t vegan).

Dinner

Vegan sausages, roasted carrots, salad

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I don’t know whether anyone has noticed, but there’s been a definite absence of oven-cooked food over the past few weeks. This wasn’t due to a sudden burst of healthiness, but rather a lack of working oven at the flat I’ve moved into. It was apparently working the day before I moved in (and it’s new), but it cut out within a few minutes of me switching it on and hasn’t been in action since. It’s been good to show that you don’t even need an oven to make vegan meals, but I’m quite glad to have oven access during my week of animal-sitting at my parents’ house. I thought I’d celebrate by having a zero effort dinner that cooked itself, in the oven. I roasted pack of small carrots until they were soft (about 40 mins on gas 7/220 with bit of olive oil drizzled over and mixed in), and this left me plenty for future usage. The veggie sausages were the Vegetarians Choice brand, which you can buy in the frozen section of Holland and Barrett and are really light and lovely. Some veggie sausages include dairy and egg ingredients, but these are marked as vegan.

Dessert

Strawberry and chocolate pot

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This is a seriously easy dessert that looks great too (so ideal for guests). Please click here for the recipe.

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