If you have ever strolled onto my blog before, you'll know I'm not rich by any stretch of the imagination. I'm a broke struggling actress, getting by making coffee and trying to be as healthy as humanly possible.
..... potatoes happen a lot.
Like - a lot.
Luckily, I LOVE potatoes. I even loved them before Freelee the Banana Girl made them popular (swear). Potatoes are nutritious, filling, CHEAP, tasty and - believe it or not - versatile.
Potatoes have a bad reputation. Too many people believe they aren't good for us or fattening, which is absolutely crazy! Potatoes are a nutritious, cheap vegetable that fill you up for a measly hundred and forty calories. Yep, you heard me, a jacket potato will be just over a hundred calories depending on the size. Eat three of them for dinner with an amazing sauce and shut the hell up about them making you fat. They are high carbohydrate with plenty of protein, fibre, Vitamin C, Copper, Magnesium, Potassium and Zinc.
Do not worry about eating potatoes at all. And if you're trying to be vegan and don't have all the money in the world - they are a fantastic staple food.
Here are five ways I've been cooking up my potatoes recently. The options are endless! But here just five examples. Enjoy!
Stuffed Jacket Potatoes
For this meal the potatoes just get shoved in the oven - easy peasy. Put some giant potatoes into the oven for an hour or so and get cracking with your sauce.
For the Sauce/Stuffing: (Tomato and Bean)
Sautee one chopped onion and garlic in a large pan until they are slightly browned. Add chopped mushrooms, stir until browned and lower the heat. Add two cans of organic tomatoes, one can of kidney beans, one can of lentils, 1 teaspoon of cumin and a tablespoon of tomato puree. Leave this for about fifteen minutes or to simmer. Make sure everything is combined and stir occasionally.
Add some fresh Basil and Thyme (dried works too!) and salt and pepper.
Twice Baked Spuds
Full credit for this goes to my brilliant partner, Chris. (And the long list of things they WON'T be called, which includes "Bi-Baked Stuffed Spuds" and "Barry")
Oven roast 2 large potatoes and, once cooked, take out of the oven and cut in half.
Scoop out the insides, being careful to leave the skin in-tact.
Put into a large mixing bowl and add - one tablespoon vegan mayo, 1/2 tablespoon Mustard, 2 chopped Spring Onions, salt, pepper and a dash of Soy Milk.
Stuff the skins with this mixture and place back in the oven for about ten/fifteen minutes.
SERVE and devour. (You're welcome).
Lemon, Garlic and Basil Potatoes
Boil baby potatoes and take them off the heat when they're just about ready. Keep in the saucepan for now, but drain of any water so they don't overcook.
In a small bowl combine: juice of two lemons, 2 tablespoons of dried basil, 2 chopped spring onions, 2 diced cloves of garlic and a generous sprinkling of salt.
Stir around in the bowl and, once your happy with the flavours, pour over the potatoes. Put the lid on the saucepan and shake vigorously to coat the potatoes in the lemony sauce. Super good ;)
Vegan Potato Bake!
I will admit - pretty proud of this recipe.
I concocted this baby up for a dinner party and it was a huge hit. It's not the healthiest of dishes, but certainly not going to do you any harm. And hey, we need some indulgence in our lives now and then!
Check out the recipe here: Creamy Vegan Potato Bake
Pesto Potato Salad
One of my favourites! Pesto is just the greatest.
The recipe for this bad boy is on Vilda Magazine - check it out!
YOU WON'T GET FAT
So, how will you avoid getting fat eating potatoes?
Simple - make sure the food surrounding your potatoes won't make you fat. Crazy right? What makes chips fattening? It's not the potatoes. It's the oil and salt that make up 80% of the dish.
If you are eating wholesome food; surrounding your potatoes with fresh plant foods, I promise you won't get fat. Don't drown your potatoes in oil, don't smother them in cheese, don't eat one and then a family block of chocolate.
Love and (Sweet?) Potatoes,
My relationship with soy has always been a good one, to be honest. I approach soy as logically as anything else; eat it if I want, but an organic, wholesome version, don't have in excess and do my research. I drink organic soy milk, I eat organic tofu and that's about it. It worked for me and I didn't think too much of it.
But, after being vegan for a few months, it wasn't long before I started reading about how I should avoid soy. The most common is: "soy contains Estrogen!" or "Soy is destroying the environment", which isn't wrong at all, but I think we can all agree that's not because vegans are having a soy latte.
Kris Carr said in "Crazy Sexy Diet" that soy is the "Ping pong ball of the diet debate", meaning it's always going back and forth. Soy is healthy, soy is unhealthy, soy is healthy, soy is unhealthy.
What are we meant to believe? And, most importantly: who is saying it?
Well, personally I've never felt anything but fantastic since being vegan, apart from some obvious exceptions. Drinking alcohol doesn't make me feel great, drinking too much coffee doesn't make me feel great and eating too much bread doesn't make me feel great. But, apart from that, I've never had an issue.
Tofu isn't a major part of my diet, I have it sometimes and it always tastes good and gives me energy. Soy milk is delicious and, again, has never made me feel badly. Obviously if I had three soy lattes back-to-back I'd feel pretty rotten, but, that's just logic, right?
A few days ago I came upon this fantastic video on Youtube by one of my new favourite discoveries: The Unnatural Vegan.
If you have a spare 20 minutes and are interested in Soy (or just learning about diet in general!) I highly recommend giving it a viewing. And then, have a good old binge on her videos.
This is science, facts, studies, EVIDENCE.
Not opinion, bias, feelings or "vegan-logic".
I can't imagine a better or more comprehensive run-through of whether or not we should eat soy. It lays out all the facts, gives you a well-thought out conclusion and now, you really can make up your own mind.
I'd love to hear your thoughts if you have any to share. How does soy make you feel? Do you avoid it because of the environment? Because of your health? Or, like our friend above, are you comfortable knowing that there really isn't any evidence to suggest soy is doing us any harm? (Yay! Bring on the tofu stir-fries!)
Let me know if you have any thoughts!
Okay, I'm off to buy a hundred kilos of vegetables for the food stall this weekend!
Love and Sweet Potatoes everyone!
- Hannah xx
i haven't written a personal post in a LONG, long time and now feels like as good of a time as any.
Life has been funny lately. I've been in a bit of a rut if I'm honest. My job has changed over the last few months and now - is not as amazing as it once was. I am an Actor, a creative person, and my job provided a way of being flexible enough that I could whisk off to an audition at a moments notice. Sadly, that's not really the case anymore. After ten years of making coffee, I can feel it draining me. Both emotionally and creatively.
Hospitality has always been the most obvious answer to "what do I do to make money as a struggling actor?!" but now, after so long, it's hard to keep going. I no longer look forward to a day of socialising and drinking free coffee and thinking about life. I cannot smile at customers anymore. I cannot enjoy their indulgent, ridiculous requests. i cannot pretend I care.
For example, quote of this week was.
Customer: "Glass of Prosecco and a pint of lager please"
Me: "Would you like a strawberry in your Prosecco?"
Customer: "Better not, I have diabetes"
Now, I laughed my head off (inside). I enjoyed the hilarity and relayed it to everyone who would listen. A brilliant real-life moment and it's these that make hospitality bearable. The funny stories, the weird customers, the great encounters you won't get in a 9-5. They make the day tick over....
BUT - after ten years? It's waring thin. I've always wanted more, but now I NEED more. I need to leave hospitality, but to do what? What do I do while I wait for the audition that could change everything?
The Game Plan
So - I'm designing my life and my income.
I wish income wasn't such a big part of life, but after 26 years of being poor and not minding, I confess: I want a bit more money. I want to be able to buy organic food only, I want to be able to buy nice clothes, I want to be able to get my bike serviced. I want to be able to pay for theatre tickets.
Call me crazy.
But most importantly, I want to enjoy my work, while not giving up on my dream.
I'm not giving up on Acting, I'm giving up on hospitality.
So, what's the game plan? Well, this blog is my other major passion. I love this thing. I love writing, I love sharing, I love making food... this blog has been an incredible part of my life over the last four years and I don't plan on stopping.
Apparently, some people making money out of this. Crazy right? I have never made a CENT off my blog and don't want to necessarily, but the idea of being a full time blogger who spends all the time they desire writing posts, creating amazing food and sharing articles with vegan advice? Well....that sounds pretty great. At the moment I get up fairly early in the morning, park myself in a coffee shop near work and spend an hour or so each morning either there or home, blogging and catching up on emails before starting work. I love it, of course I do. But I would RELISH being able to write full time. Or more than I do now. I just get in the swing of it and then it's time to go.
So, operation PROFESSIONAL BLOGGER is underway. Over the last few weeks I've been taking small steps to try and take my blog to the next level. It will be a slow process, but so worthwhile.
Hopefully, over a few years, I will build up some income from what I love doing. How? Well, I'm in the early researching phases, but things look good so far! I've got some really exciting news coming up in the next few weeks, which will hopefully raise my profile a bit and open up some amazing networks.
In the meantime, it would mean the WORLD to me if you could "like" or even "share" anything you see of mine that you enjoy. Likes and shares equal more people coming to my blog and that is the number one goal!
The Yorkshire Vegan Festival!
I am insanely happy to announce that I'll be co-hosting a food stall at the Yorkshire Vegan Festival next week!!!! Super exciting.
(AKA: I'm going to do a million projects to satisfy me until I'm not a Barista anymore.)
Myself and (a VERY similar gal) Rosie, who lives here in Manchester will be making some abundant, delicious, organic, healthy salads, raw noodles and truffles and setting up our very own food stall in the heart of Leeds.
Raw Zucchini Noodles (Zoodles!) with Avocado Pesto
Asian Rice Salad
Lemon, Garlic and Basil Potatoes
Sun dried Tomato and Buckwheat Salad
Beetroot, Carrot, Sesame, Coriander Salad with Lemon Juice
Moroccan Chick-pea Salad
Raw Chocolate Truffles (Mint, Jaffa, Peanut Butter, Coconut and Rose)
Sounds good right? If you're anywhere near Leeds on the 13th of June, please pop in and see us! We will be serving up all the food we've got till it's gone. And hey, if it goes well, maybe we will get to do it again one day.
See you at the Festival!
Look at for us as the "Zoodle Bar" :)
Okay, off for a bike ride now after a lovely weekend of practicing food prep for next week, one audition and some time with friends.
On Monday I'll be going to make coffee for the day. And on Tuesday and Wednesday and Thursday. BUT - on Friday I get to spend the entire day cooking. And on SATURDAY I get to spend the entire day serving delicious homemade goods to thousands of vegans.
And, hopefully, within the next six months I'll be able to tell you that I successfully moved on. I'll be a blogger, a stall-holder, an actress, a theatre maker....
All baby steps. But I like them.
Love and Sweet Potatoes!
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