Day 123: 4 Month Anniversary

Happy Anniversary to me!  I have now been a vegetarian for four months!

The Silly Asparagus has been far too busy to blog over the past week — apologies for my absence.  I have been eating out a lot over the past ten days.  I will now share three of my outings with you…

I have been to Nando’s twice in my life.  You can read all about my first experience here: http://wp.me/p21TV4-2i.  I have little to add to my initial views of the place.  I had the bean burger with mash again.  However, I did try something new: halloumi.  I hadn’t tried halloumi before, but veggies seem to get very excited about the rubbery cheese. I really enjoyed it, unfortunately my skin did not.  Eating certain cheeses causes my skin to breakout.  Cheese triangles are the biggest culprit — this is most unfortunate, because I adore them.

It was a week of seconds, as I made my second trip to another restaurant: Crazy Bear, in Beaconsfield (http://crazybeargroup.co.uk/beaconsfield/).  Crazy Bear has four restaurants: English, Thai, Italian and Japanese (opening in May).  The Silly Asparagus ate at the Thai restaurant.  Crazy Bear offers a set ten or twelve course menu.  A majority of the dishes contain meat, but can be altered to be suitable for vegetarians.  However, courses are put on the table and shared.  As the only vegetarian out of eight diners, it was inconvenient to ask for vegetarian dishes.  Thus, I ate a lot of rice and crackers!  I would not recommend Crazy Bear for vegetarians, if you are dining with a lot of carnivores.  If you are only eating with a few others though, it would be quite easy for Crazy Bear to fill your veggie needs.  For Thai-loving carnivores, Crazy Bear is a a delight.  I do not feel disappointed at what I ate — before turning veggie, the only Thai I ate was chicken satay.  I would not have gone anywhere near venison or the black cod that they had to offer. Dessert arrived, beautifully presented.  I’m not certain as to what it was, it resembled a panna cotta / cheesecake / jelly.  I was instantly suspicious of the creamy pud.  The chef confirmed my suspicions: ‘not suitable for vegetarians’.  After four months, I am getting good at spotting non-veggie food.  I was given sorbet instead.  MY GOODNESS, the sorbet was a mango, lychee, strawberry-infused heaven!

My final food adventure for today’s blog took place in Windsor.  After taking a look around the mighty Windsor castle, it was time for lunch.  Papa, Mother and Baby Asparagus ate at the Gourmet Burger Kitchen (http://www.gbk.co.uk/).  I hadn’t heard of the place before, but there are at least 60 in England.  I had a very yummy bean burger with super skinny fries (oh, the irony!).  My meal was delicious.  I do feel that it that it was over-priced though. Everything is an extra, including the chips and sauces!

“You can see the best sights in the world, but the eating is the best part of the day”.  Father Asparagus, Windsor, 2012.

With Love,

The Chubby Asparagus

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Day 113: Super Soya

Hello darling.

My ‘Site Stats’ for this blog have shown that people have found The Silly Asparagus through Google by asking the question, ‘Do Marks and Spencer sell Quorn?’.  I haven’t discussed this before.  In the last year or so, Marks and Spencer have started selling food from brands other than themselves.  You can now go into M&S and find Cadbury’s chocolate, Kellogg’s cereal, etc.  However, as far as I am aware, they do not sell anything by Quorn.

If you have been following The Silly Asparagus from the beginning, you will already know that I love Marks and Spencer.  I might be a student, but places like Asda just aren’t my scene.  Whilst Marks and Spencer do not stock Quorn, they do have their own range called ‘Super Soya’.  Today, I bought the ‘Super Soya Sausages With Onion Gravy & Mash’.  Okay, I’m still not exactly cooking, but this was very yummy!

As well as the ‘Super Soya’ range, M&S also have a great vegetarian range.  I have briefly mentioned the range before (https://sillyasparagus.wordpress.com/2012/02/03/day-67-catch-up/).

I am clearly hoping that those in charge at M&S will see my enthusiasm and passion for their company and hire me as their vegetarian spokesperson.  I can see the posters now: ‘This is not just any silly asparagus…’.  Unfortunately, whilst the likes of Rosie Huntington-Whitely are around, I have no chance.

Well, that is quite enough free advertising for one day.

Bye bye.

The Silly Asparagus.

Day 111: My McLife

Today was not blessed with a yummy roast dinner.  Some of us are far less conventional and enjoy spontaeneous Sunday outings to McDonald’s.

I went up to the counter and asked for a veggie burger.  The response: “I’m sorry, we don’t do veggie burgers”.  The lady then raised her hand and pointed to the Deli menu.  Is McDonald’s now looking for Michelin stars?!  I definitely had a plain veggie burger at a McDonald’s about two weeks ago.  Maybe I just went to a posh one this time?

So, instead of having a veggie burger, I had the Spicy Vegetable sandwich.  It was yummy, and guess what?  It tasted exactly like a veggie burger.  This asparagus is silly and needed to pick out the salad.  Here was the meal…

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It doesn’t look great, but it tasted good.  People have asked me if I have lost weight becoming a vegetarian.  I can confirm that I have not.  I may not have consumed a BigMac, but I did consume this…

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In other news, today is Mother’s Day in the UK.  Happy Mother’s Day to all mummies out there and those that are no longer here.  Mother Asparagus does not read my blog (she is still coming to grips with things like laptops and iPads), but here are some old photos of the pair of us that adorn my wall:

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Enjoy what remains of the weekend.

Veggie McLovin’

The Silly Asparagus

Day 110: Unlucky Charms

Happy St. Patrick’s Day my little leprechauns!

I am rather saddened today.  I went out last night, and in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day, the club was handing out boxes of the American cereal, Lucky Charms.  After some two-for-one cocktails, my friends and I were sat around a table eating the sugary delights.  I took a handful and picked out the good bits: the marshmallows, and discarded the rest. This morning I awoke and realised that marshmallows contain gelatin(e).  I have therefore consumed a weird concoction of animal bone, skin, organs and intestines.  Whilst I am disappointed, it is the first veggie mistake I have made and it was unintentional.  I do know vegetarians who eat gelatin(e), but it is not something I will be eating again in the future.

I will be staying well away from Lucky Charms from now on.  Póg mo thóin,  leprechaun!

Enjoy your Guinness and jig!

Gráim thú followers!

The Silly Asparagus

Day 109: Ich bin ein Spargel

Hello.

Today is partly a confessional and I hope that you will be understanding.  Since becoming a vegetarian, I have been tempted to eat meat 4 out of 109 days (only tempted)…

Those four days were during my time in Berlin, about three weeks ago.  Before turning vegetarian, hotdogs were one of my favourite foods.  I quite simply loved them.  I would go to the cinema, mainly for the hotdog and not for the film.  I would slice frankfurters and sprinkle them on pasta.  I would have hotdogs on the BBQ.  Considering I am fussy, it was a weird food for me to like anyway — goodness knows what sort of meat they are made from.

Anyway, Germany is home to the sausage.  You can buy a coffee and a bratwurst / frankfurter for €1!  I ended up with a bratwurst in my hand.  Mr. Carnivore bought us one each on our third day.  A kind German man even covered it in ketchup for me…

So, I was about to eat this rather amusing looking food, but I just couldn’t do it.  No matter how much I used to love them, I am now a vegetarian and they are off the menu.  To his delight, Mr. Carnivore ended up with two.  The asparagus won.

I loved Berlin.  If you are looking for a cheap city break then I would recommend it.  When I went to Paris, I paid €7 for a Diet Coke.  In Berlin, you can get drinks from as little as 45¢!

Here are some more photos of the German food journey…

Standard airport breakfast…

Airport breakfast

Playing it safe with a pizza Margherita.

Dunkin' Donuts are everywhere in Berlin!

I adore the Hard Rock Cafe and the one in Berlin was no disappointment. As a starter Mr. Carnivore and I shared potato skins. Half had bacon on and the other half were without.

I had never seen whipped cream in soup until this trip...

Ich liebe dich, Berlin.

I hope you are impressed that I managed a post about sausages without making any puns.  Keeping it classy.

With love

The Chubby Asparagus.

Day 108: Leather

Good moro my lovelies.

Last week, I shared some of my feelings about fur (https://sillyasparagus.wordpress.com/2012/03/07/kanyewest/).  A subject that I have not yet discussed is leather.  In my very first blog post, I described my love for leather handbags.  My initial reasons for becoming a vegetarian were not related to animal welfare, but such issues have become something I am now very interested in.

When turning vegetarian, the first thing I did was sign up to PETA (http://www.peta.org.uk/).  PETA can get a very negative response because they often deal with topics in extreme ways.  Whilst I do not agree with all their publicity stunts, they are a wonderful charity and I have learned a lot from them.  They have some great campaigns, such as the ‘I’d rather go naked than wear fur’ adverts, a slogan which they have been using for years.

In this PETA video, Stella McCartney discusses the leather industry and she makes some eye-opening points.  As well as discussing animals, Stella also points out the effects on humans in the leather industry.

Whilst I will not be getting rid of any leather products that I already own, I will make informed choices in the future.

With love,

The Silly Asparagus.

Day 107

I wasn’t going to do a post today, but I have just read an amusing article by Suzanne Moore and thought I would share it with you:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/mar/14/meat-vegetarianism-dietary-advice-class?CMP=twt_gu

Whilst she is not a vegetarian and will continue eating what she deems ‘Frankenmeat’, Suzanne shares some funny anecdotes about her vegetarian daughters.  I can especially relate to the part about Quorn.

Enjoy.

With love,

The Silly Asparagus.

Day 106: Movie Magic

Hello there.

The other day, I watched a film trailer that got me incredibly excited.  Did you know Despicable Me 2 is due for release in 2013?!  I loved the first one and I can’t wait for the second one.  The trailer doesn’t give anything away, but the minions are as funny as ever. If you haven’t seen Despicable Me, I would recommend seeing it NOW.  I am featuring the teaser on my blog because the Asparagus loves Despicable Me and the minions are talking about fruit and vegetables.  Maybe the minions are veggie too?

Cute huh?

In other (movie-related) news, I have enrolled at Hogwarts as part of their further education scheme. I was obviously sorted into Slytherin.  My talented friend Vicky (http://vickywong.org/) has knitted a scarf for me in celebration…

I am now off to see A Dangerous Method.  It’s all about the big screen today.

Farewell.

The Movie Star Asparagus. x

Day 102, Alphabetti:

I am a pathetic excuse for an asparagus.  When I began this blog, I had every intention of filling it with beautiful recipes.  I thought I would be able to convince carnivores, with my magnificent culinary skills, that turning vegetarian was the way to go.  I had dreams that my creations would even inspire those who have been vegetarians since breaking out of the womb.  The truth is, after 102 days of being a vegetarian, I have not cooked a proper meal.

I have friends that have become vegetarian or vegan for lent.  They are putting me to shame.  After two weeks, Alys has already posted some rather lovely dishes on her blog (http://hereistotheveggies.wordpress.com/).  My vegan pals have been making some snazzy food, including caramelised-onion tarts.

This is the stage I am at…

I am going to improve.  For the sake of my health (and fat ass), I need to widen my diet further than my favourite food group: chocolate.  You will find some yummy recipes on here.  Just not today.

I hope you are well and looking forward to the weekend.

With love,

The Silly Asparagus.

Day 101: Go Green

Good day to you.

I am sorry for my rant yesterday.  I have calmed down now, and the images of Kanye West’s laughable attempt at fashion are slowly fading away.  I’m going to keep it lighthearted today.

I bought this card a few weeks ago and it has been amusing me ever since…

Perhaps the Green Party would gain more support with a campaign like this.  Okay, so I wouldn’t make a great politician, but at least I would be mildly amusing.

*Disclaimer: I did not design this card, I just bought it. Apologies if you have found it offensive.*

With love

the Cheeky Asparagus. x

Day 100: Kanye West

Hello my darlings.

Apologies that I have been a way for a while. It would seem that asparagus lead busy lifestyles. I am pretty sure that today is my 100th day as a vegetarian! Today, I want to talk fashion. At first, this post is going to have a rant about Kanye West, but I hope to reach a valuable point.

During London Fashion Week (February 2012), I found myself face to face with Kanye West. Kanye — let us pretend for a moment that I am on first name terms with the man, was wearing every pastel shade imaginable.  This chance encounter reminded me of what was coming: his second collection, which would be shown at Paris Fashion Week.  His show took place last night, and Twitter was too preoccupied with his fabulous after party, that the collection took a backseat.  However, today the claws are out.  I have several problems with Kanye and his attempt at breaking into the fashion industry. My first, is that his first collection was terrible. Despite this, he was still able to show in Paris, again. I have friends who are fashion students. Many of them are so incredibly talented. They, and other designers, work hard day and night, and the likelihood is that unless someone amazing such as Lulu Kennedy (Fashion East’s fairy Godmother) discovers them, or NEWGEN supports them, their designs will never see a fashion week.  Whilst they are learning their crafts the hard way, I can’t imagine that Kanye even knows how to stitch a button.

So, why have I featured Kanye on a vegetarian blog? One word: Fur. I am not going to nag you all about the fur industry and throw red paint over your clothes, but it is hideous. I know people who love fur, and will defend wearing it until they are blue in the face. I admit that I own fur. I made my fur purchases before I became a vegetarian and they are vintage. I can’t do anything about animals who were turned into coats 60 years.  However, we are now in 2012, we do not live in the arctic and faux fur no longer looks faux.

Kanye’s collection featured a lot of fur last night.  Some of the fur he used is known as ‘Astrakhan’.  This is the pelt of unborn lambs, yes foetal lambs.  For the fabric to be called ‘Astrakhan’, the lamb it has brutally taken from must be under the age of three days. Congratulations Mr. West, not only did you produce the worst fitting collection that Paris has seen (since your last collection), you managed to kill some sheep and their unborn lambs in the process.  Bravo! What added to the fur-fest was Kim Kardashian, brazenly sat on the Front Row in a white fur stole.  Yes, Kim, you have money. But temperatures in Paris were approximately 10°c last night. Unless you were roughing it in an igloo in Finland, I am rather certain that you did not need an animal draped around your neck.

Here’s my advice Kanye, the fashion pack are not all vegetarians and will literally eat you alive.  One of your albums is named ‘College Dropout’.  May I suggest that you return to college and get some proper training, before making collection number three.  Maybe save us the laughter and the column inches altogether and go back to making music.  Oh, and stay away from the lambs.

Yes, some of you will disagree with what I have said.  I would just like to point out that Stella McCartney produces beautiful collections season after season.  She has never compromised her position on fur in the process.  Meadham Kirchhoff showed some spectacular monster-inspired fur coats during fashion week (see below), but no animals were harmed in the process because the fur was fake.

If you are going to wear real fur, don’t buy it ignorantly.  Make sure you make an informed decision and understand the message you are sending out.  Around 85% of fur comes from farms.  China is one of the largest exporters of fur. The idea of wearing mink might not bother you, they are seen as a pest, especially to farmers.  But what about dogs?  Yes, you could be wearing a dog on your back.  Oh right, you fancy yourself as the next Cruella De Vil.  Wonderful.

In the next few days, this riled asparagus will discuss leather.

Thanks.

Lots of love.

x