Thursday, 10 September 2015

Costa Coffee Salford Quays Manchester 10th September 2015

I have been tweeting Costa Coffee on and off, since last year, regarding vegan options in their stores, which were zero, bar a packet of mixed nuts or dried mango chunks.   Finally today I sampled their falafel and couscous salad which is a really tasty product and wolfed down immediately.

Sadly on their website it says unsuitable for vegans, but scrutinise the label and I cannot see anything unsuitable.   I think once more, their confusion is over allergen legislation, as in "may contain" versus "does contain" and there is a big difference.   Earlier this week I had the same issue over their hot chocolate made by Cadburys, the ingredients of which are vegan friendly, but deemed not so on Costa's website, presumably due to possible allergen cross contamination.

Costa Coffee really need to get their act together, if I was in a queue in store, with loads of people behind me, I am not going to stand there and read that long ingredient list.   I am sure others will do the same and not buy the product, the result of which will be Costa Coffee saying vegan options are not popular and withdraw the product from their food range.   They really need to put their house in order as regards vegan labelling.

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Spicy Cauliflower Buffalo Wings

I have never eaten traditional "wings" but found this recipe courtesy of Peta and is an interesting and delicious way to serve cauliflower.

100 g chickpea flour
210 ml almond milk
1 garlic clove crushed (Peta's recipe used garlic powder which I did not have)
Salt and pepper
Pinch of hot chilli powder
1 cauliflower
100 ml hot chilli sauce
1 tbsp olive oil

Separate the cauliflower into florets of similar size.   Sieve the flour into a bowl with the chilli powder, garlic and a good grind of salt and pepper.

Add the milk to the bowl and whisk until you have a smooth batter, add the cauliflower florets and thoroughly coat them with the batter.

Put onto a baking tray and roast at 200° for 20-25 mins.  Mix the chilli sauce with the olive oil, take the cauliflower out of the oven, add the chilli sauce, mix well and return to the oven for 20 mins until browned and crisp.

Serve with your choice of dip, which in my case is more hot chilli sauce!

Saturday, 5 September 2015


I was motivated to make this dish, by Maple Spice.

500 g frozen spinach defrosted
270 g Jus Rol filo pastry
1 portion of Almond Feta
1 large onion chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
50 g vegan margarine melted
Black pepper

Serves 6

Make sure the filo pastry is at room temperature, otherwise it will be too cold to use.   Drain the spinach in a colander to remove any water, add the almond feta and mash together with a fork, until thoroughly combined.

Fry the onion with plenty of ground pepper for 10 mins until translucent, allow to cool and add to the spinach mixture and combine.

Brush some margarine into your tin of choice so the pastry does not stick, I used two small tins but you can use one large tin if you want.   Place the filo sheets in a damp tea towel to prevent them from drying out.   Take one sheet of filo pastry, brush with margarine and put into the tin.  Repeat with another sheet, slightly overlapping, so the pastry is not all in one big layer, but fills the entire dish.   Continue until you have two filo sheets left.

Add the filling and spread evenly in the pastry and then fold over the pastry edges to cover. Scrunch the remaining filo sheets and place on the top to ensure the filling is completely covered.

Brush the top with melted margarine and bake at 200° for 30-35 mins.   If the top begins to brown too quickly, cover with foil and then remove the foil for the last 5 mins.

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Cosy Club Corn Exchange Manchester 2nd September 2015

I have been waiting for Cosy Club to open at the newly refurbished Corn Exchange, which it has done recently, as I wanted to try their vegan breakfast.

I love the whole design of the place, apart from the stuffed animal heads in the bar, must be a designer who thinks its isn't!

We were shown to a lovely table in the window, by Saemi our waitress, who immediately we walked through the door, asked if we wanted to see any of the special dietary menus.   How great to be offered that option, so it was a vegan menu for me and a gluten free menu for my husband.

I chose the vegan breakfast, without the baked beans but extra potatoes instead, with a large Americano coffee, which was served in a nice big mug.   The breakfast consisted of houmous (thankfully not very garlicky), tomatoes, mushroom, fried potatoes, roasted peppers and sourdough toast.

I thoroughly enjoyed the breakfast, it was not greasy or heavy and I demolished the lot.

Just shows the increasing awareness of vegan requirements and Cosy Club will definitely be seeing me again.