Day 299: Time to catch up

Ouch! I can’t believe I have abandoned you all for so long. I thought it was about time we had a catch up.

Since we last spoke, I have been working hard, been in hospital, turned 22, survived another London Fashion Week, seen Plan B, watched Les Mis at the theatre, seen Biffy Clyro, eaten my body weight in halloumi… Yep, it’s all going on.

Firstly, work. I have been having a brilliant time interning with Cosmopolitan UK. I’m working on the student section of the website, Cosmo on Campus. If you’re a student, definitely take a look. If you’re not a student, there’s plenty to keep you occupied too. If you want to get involved or have any features that would be of interest to students, please get in touch. Although there are times when I miss university, I’m currently doing something I love and have always wanted to do. I’m pretty sure I’ve learned more at Cosmo over the last few weeks than I did during three years at uni. Regardless of what some might say, life isn’t so bleak for graduates.

In other news, I had a heart attack and nearly died. Okay, that’s an exaggeration and not funny in any way. I was in hospital, but I’m perfectly fine now. I haven’t been in hospital since I was four, so wearing a pink backless gown and no makeup for almost a week was quite a change to the usual routine. I’m not bringing this up to have a moan or get an ‘aww’ from you, it just brought a few things to my attention:

  • Nurses are stars. I was treated so well by the NHS and I haven’t got a bad word to say about them. They’re understaffed and do their best.
  • Never underestimate the power of Top Trumps. Sitting in hospital with your best friend, competing who is sillier out of Spongebob Squarepants, Squidward or Krusty Krab is incredibly good for the soul.
  • Life is short. Very, very short. Although I’ve always known this, when the lady in the bed opposite you dies, it definitely reminds you that no one is immortal (except Batman, obvs).

Okay, that’s enough of all the great revelations for one post. On to the entertainment… I turned 22. I shan’t dwell on getting old, but it was a lovely birthday. I went to see Les Misérables at the theatre. It was a stunning show and I would recommend that you go and see it. Warning: You’ll probably cry.

iTunes festival is currently on and I was lucky enough to see two shows. Plan B and Biffy Clyro. Both were good, but Biffy Clyro was INCREDIBLE. To say I’m in love with Simon Neil would be a massive understatement. That sweaty, tattooed, man is a beaut.

In my next post, I’m going to discuss veggie matters with you again. I’m currently reading a book called ‘The Meat Fix’ and I could be bringing you some big news. I just need to make some decisions first. Sounds ominous right?

If you’ve managed to read this whole post then thank you. It’s been pretty self-indulgent. I’m starting to share far too much with you. Please leave comments and thoughts. I love hearing from you.

Talk to you a lot sooner than last time.

Lots of Love,

The Silly Asparagus. x

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Day 217: Manna

Hello my darlings.

What began as a blog about becoming a vegetarian has slowly morphed into a place where I share so many different aspects of the life of The Silly Asparagus. Soon, I want to tell you about non-veggie related things, such as work experience and graduation. So today, I want to make this post about the veggies.

On Friday, I ate at my first vegetarian restaurant. And wow, was it impressive. I thought I would review it and encourage you all to go.

Where: Manna. Vegetarian Restaurant. 4 Erskine Road, Primrose Hill, London, NW3 3AJ.

First, I’ll talk you through the food. I’ll then tell you all the little details you should know. I went to the restaurant with Mr. Carnivore. I promise I wasn’t eating two dishes per course! Most of the dishes are also suitable for vegans. I’ll add a ‘(v)’ to the dish name if it is vegan-friendly. Apologies that the images aren’t great, but I only had my low-battery phone on me. The food looks a lot more appetising in reality…

To begin…

Organic Hummus and Bread (v)
Considering I have been veggie for over seven months, it may be hard to believe that this was my first experience of hummus. It was really, really good and the bread was fresher than fresh.

Starters… 

Savoury Basil Pancakes (v)
‘A tangy gram and basil pancake filled with a tamari and garlic smoky bean curd, mushrooms and garden peas.’ These were very soft and very delicious.

Basil and Cashew Cheese Croquettes (v)
‘Basil and cashew cheese croquettes served on a bed of watercress and pea sprouts, with homemade chilli jam’. Amazing, especially the chilli jam.

Mains… Mr. Carnivore and The Silly Asparagus both opted for the specials, which you won’t find on the menu.

Pasta in a creamy white wine sauce, with cherry tomatoes and broccoli.

Spinach, courgette and garlic pie. Accompanied by a pea puree.

A side of seasonal mash and gravy (v).

 Dessert…

Lemon Cheesecake (v)
‘Lemon cheesecake, served with stem ginger vegan ice cream’. The cheesecake was delicious, but it was the ice cream that stole the show. The ginger flavouring was so prominent and spicy. It seemed that some smart taste technology had been used to create it.

What you need to know…
  • It isn’t cheap. If you’re eating on a smaller budget, try elsewhere. The meal above, for two diners, cost just under £80. I feel it was worth every penny. However, a can of (organic) coke will set you back £3.
  • This is a vegetarian restaurant. They do not serve any meat at all.
  • The choice is brilliant and the dishes contain so much detail. Because of this, meat-eaters should not be put off. Try it!
  • So many of the dishes are suitable for vegans. There is also a great gluten-free variety.
  • BOOK! The restaurant is extremely popular. Unless you make reservations in advance, you are unlikely to get a table here.
Talk to you soon.
With Love,
The Silly Asparagus

Day 174: National Vegetarian Week

So, we meet again.

Firstly, HAPPY NATIONAL VEGETARIAN WEEK!!

Before I launch into what has been going on in the world of The Silly Asparagus, I want to thank the Vegetarian Society for sending me some great resources for the week:

As I am not holding an event, I intend to blog religiously this week and give you plenty of food for thought instead.

Apologies for leaving you for a while.  With a dissertation, coursework and exams all going on over the past month, I had to be un-silly for a while (no, you will not find the word ‘un-silly’ in the dictionary).  With the start of Veggie Week, I thought today would be the perfect time to be silly again.

Aside from results day and graduation, my time as an undergraduate is over.  This means I am continuously being asked annoying questions such as, ‘So, what are you going to do with your life?’, ‘What are you going to be?’… You get the idea.  I tend to answer with sarcasm, discussing my dreams of becoming an astronaut or a pilot.  It isn’t that I don’t know what I’m going to do, I just feel that it’s an exasperating question.  As I want to work within fashion and journalism I get all sorts of negative responses: ‘Oh, that’s competitive’. ‘Ah, that fickle industry’. ‘You’ll work for free and get treated like a slave’.  I’ve heard them all. That’s not to mention the patronising looks and head shakes that accompany their thoughtless answers.  Well, maybe leave us graduates alone.  Yes, we’re told daily about unemployment rates and how my generation will probably never own their own homes.  I will work incredibly hard to achieve my goals and could do without condescending people spouting ignorance.  Apologies if I’m ranting, it has been a while since I’ve had the time to write my own opinions and I know that it is a relevant issue for quite a lot of my friends.

Although I will focus on vegetarian issues for the rest of this week, The Silly Asparagus is going to become a lot more varied.  I embark on work experience at the end of June and until then I will be enjoying the books I didn’t have time to read during my course, seeing lots of films and going to some exciting places.  I want to share these things with you, whether they are relevant to vegetarianism or not.  Having been veggie for almost six months, food-related choices come naturally these days.  Don’t worry veggie readers, I still have a lot to say on vegetarian and vegan issues, so I won’t be alienating food followers completely!

It’s good to be back and I shall say goodbye until tomorrow.

With Love,

The Silly Asparagus.

Day 141: ‘Kreativ Blogger’

Hello darlings.

Sorry that I have abandoned you for a while.  Deadlines are fast approaching and I didn’t plan on writing any new posts until all my work has been handed in.  However, today someone passed me a Kreativ Blogger award.  That someone is Becky, from http://veghotpot.wordpress.com/ and I wanted to say thank-you.  I really enjoy reading veghotpot and it is filled with some brilliant veggie and vegan recipes that I must try, especially all the chocolate related ones.  It also has some lovely restaurant reviews (through reading these, I discovered that we must live fairly close to one another).

The Kreativ Blogger award is to encourage people with their blogs and to let them know that the blog is being read and appreciated by others.  There are rules to the award, which makes it seem similar to a chain email.  However, I would love to share some wordpress blogs with you.

So here are the rules (feel free to break them):

  • Thank the nominating blogger and provide a link to that blog.
  • Spread the love by nominating seven other bloggers, including their links here.
  • Tell your readers seven things they may not already know about you.

Seven things about myself:

1) When I was about five, I won a talent competition in Tunisia for my rendition of a rhyme about rabbits.  I don’t think this poem exists anymore, as I was unable to find you a copy.

2) I chose ‘Ursula’ as my confirmation name.  After the saint, not the sea witch from the Little Mermaid.

3) My favourite film is Pulp Fiction.  Combine this with my love of nail polish and you will find that Uma Thurman wears Chanel no.18 ‘Rouge Noir’ on her nails for the film.  (Some argue that she wears the ‘Vamp’ shade).

4) As an English literature student, I couldn’t possibly pick my favourite book.  Thomas Hardy and Sylvia Plath win my award for poetry.

5) I think that wearing ball gowns and tutus should be acceptable every day behaviour.  Yes, I want to go to the supermarket wearing Vera Wang gowns.  Elie Saab would suffice.  Ditto Valentino Haute Couture.

6) Writing on each side of a piece of paper makes me feel nervous and ill.  I will avoid doing so at all costs.

7) Frank Ocean’s voice completes my life. If you want specifics, listen to ‘Acura Integurl’.

Blogs I nominate:

1) http://bariatricbeginnings.com/  My reason for choosing this blog is that it is incredibly well written and funny.  The title summarises what the site is about.  The blogger has found blogging to be a form of therapy, as they share their journey to a healthier life. Bariatric beginnings talks about things such as weight loss and depression.

2) http://foodimentary.com/  I love this blog because it provides the history behind popular dishes such as eggs benedict. Today (18th April), he is celebrating National Animal Cracker day and there are some great images.

3) http://merrylittleworld.wordpress.com/  A simple, but relevant fashion . lifestyle blog.

4) http://hungrycupcakes.wordpress.com/ The title says it all!

5) http://morethangreens.wordpress.com/ Quote: “There’s so much more to vegetarianism than rabbit food”.

6) http://domesticdivamd.com/ Providing the world with recipes and humour.

7) http://2busybrunettes.com/ Some very original arts and crafts ideas.

For my UK readers, some of the blogs above are American.  This means that recipes can be confusing (we don’t use the ‘one cup of…’ measurements).  But, they still make a great read.

That’s it from me today.

Blog Love,

The award-winning Asparagus.

Day 134: Self-Esteem

Good day to you.

I hope that you have had a lovely Easter and are suitably filled with chocolate eggs. Today’s post is not linked to vegetarianism, but it is related to health and well-being.

A few days ago, an advert caught my eye and I wanted to share it with you.

The Silly Asparagus can relate to the advert, having suffered from low self-esteem for as long as I can remember.  When I was younger, I used to go to dance class.  I was a chubby child, and memories of putting on a green unitard twice a week still makes me shudder.  My feet also grew a lot faster than the other girls.  I would dread ordering new dance shoes and would delay doing so, because I knew that my dance teacher would make her usual jokes.  I made it through the worst (being a teenager), but when I approach a mirror I still have to make a very conscious effort to look at myself with a positive attitude. I know that I am not alone and suspect that you could share some similar stories.

Samantha Brick has been causing quite a stir in recent weeks — I’d be very surprised if you haven’t heard of her.  The gist of the story can be found here: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2125138/Samantha-Brick-Daily-Mail-writer-goes-viral-controversial-Im-beautiful-article.html?ito=feeds-newsxml.  In a matter of hours, Samantha became a laughing stock. Social media sites turned savage, tearing the woman apart for her confidence and appearance.  I too found myself staring at this woman in disbelief and laughing at her comments.  Yet, if Miranda Kerr or Rosie Huntington-Whitely had said the same thing, we would all agree with them and admire their beauty.  Maybe we all need to be a bit more like Samantha Brick?  Maybe everyone should stand up and recognise their good points.  I often want to shake sense into my friends, when they call themselves fat or ugly. Continuous self-deprecation is not a desirable trait, is often untrue and is irritating for everyone involved.

In the past, Dove have featured ‘real women’ in their adverts.  Their new campaign focuses on improving the self esteem of young girls.  Their website states that “The Dove Self-Esteem Programme was founded to ensure that the next generation grows up into happy and content adults, free from misconstrued beauty stereotypes and the burden of self-doubt.”  Dove will donate money from their products to charity.  The website also provides helpful resources for children, parents and teachers to use (http://www.dove.co.uk/dsep/support-tools/workshops.html).

There are always debates about what causes low self-esteem and issues with body image.  Because it is continually being discussed, I feel that people are becoming bored or  desensitised with the topic.  The problem is only getting worse, so brands like Dove bringing the issue back into the spotlight will hopefully help combat problems.

The only negative aspect of the campaign is that it is aimed solely at females.  Whilst things such as eating disorders are more prevalent amongst females, males also suffer.  Plastic surgery figures amongst males are continuously rising.  There are items for sale like ‘guyliner’ (eyeliner for men). Males also feel the same pressures to look good and ‘improve’ themselves.  However, the charity that Dove are supporting, Beat (http://www.b-eat.co.uk/) does help people of all ages and gender.

I hate to sound cliché, but remember that you are beautiful.

With love,

The Silly Asparagus

Day 129: Dairy Débâcle

Hello darling.

If you haven’t guessed from the title, this post is about dairy.  Last summer, whilst on a diet, my skin became quite bad.  Through a process of elimination, I realised that it was milk and certain cheese that angered my face.  After cutting out these products, my skin showed an instant improvement.

My findings were strengthened in Elle UK.  The April issue of Elle features a brilliant article about dairy products, ‘Truth About Dairy’. There are so many quotes I would love to share with you, but that will have to wait until I get my copy back — I left it at university and Elle May is now gracing the shelves.

What the article outlines are the reasons that cow’s milk is unsuitable for humans.  I am not a scientist, but the general gist is that a lot of humans do not have enough of the enzyme, lactase.  Lactase is needed to breakdown lactose (the sugar found in dairy).  Approximately 70% of people show some degree of lactose intolerance (it does not have to be severe).

Since January, my diet has not been particularly healthy.  It is time to replace my love of bagels for breakfast, with Weetabix again.  Ah, but what to pour over them asked Goldilocks?

Soya milk? Too typical.

Rice milk? Too high in carbohydrates.

Almond milk? Just right!

I very much enjoyed my first encounter with almond milk today.  It’s slightly sweeter than cow’s milk, which is great because I no longer need to cover my Weetabix in sugar (The Silly Asparagus has a very sweet tooth).

Almond milk is suitable for vegans and high in antioxidants.  Other benefits include being lower in fat and calories than semi-skimmed milk.

If you are anything like Mother Asparagus, you will start defending cow’s milk.  What about calcium? Almond matches semi-skimmed to the milligram when it comes to calcium.  Foods like sesame seeds and nuts contain more calcium than cow’s milk.  Okay, B12? Eggs contain more B12 than cow’s milk.  If you are a peschatarian, clams and mackerel are extremely high in B12.  Protein?  Pumpkin, squash, nuts and cheese are just some of the products that have higher protein levels than milk.  For Vitamin C, think peppers, broccoli, kiwi and orange.

I have not even reached the ethical questions that surround the treatment of animals in the dairy industry.  I won’t discuss ethics now.  However, I remember vegan tutor (learn more about him here: https://sillyasparagus.wordpress.com/2011/12/02/day-4-im-spartacus/) shuddering over dairy, stating that “The dairy industry is even crueller than the meat industry”.

Well, I hope that has given you some food for thought.  Time to get back to my Weetabix.

The Silly Asparagus

Day 127: TACO!

Hello darlings.

Today, I made dinner without the use of a microwave!  Things are looking up for The Silly Asparagus.  I made Quorn tacos and they were delicious.  The best part of the meal was when Papa Asparagus told me that I had cooked the chicken well.  Ha!  “IT’S QUORN”, I shouted with delight.  Victory for Asparagus everywhere.

Here is the recipe, which serves 2 (wow, I’m spoiling you this week):

You will need:                                                                                                                        1 teaspoon olive oil                                                                                                                  1 small onion, chopped                                                                                                      175g (6oz) Quorn chicken style pieces                                                                                    1 garlic clove, chopped                                                                                                      230g can of chopped tomatoes                                                                                    Sprinkle of dried chilli flakes (add more depending on how hot you fancy it)                        4 taco shells                                                                                                                          15g (1/2 oz) reduced fat grated cheddar

Serve with green salad and 2tbsp tzatziki

  • Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the onion and Quorn pieces and cook for 5 minutes (until beginning to brown).
  • Add the garlic and cook for a minute.
  • Add the tomatoes and chilli.
  • Bring to the boil and simmer gently for 5 minutes, until pulpy and fairly thick.
  • Heat the oven to gas mark 6/200 /fan 180°C.
  • Heat the taco shells for around 1 minute in the oven.
  • Spoon the Quorn mixture into the taco shells and sprinkle cheese on top.
  • Return to the oven for around 3 minutes.
  • Serve 2 tacos each, with salad and tzatziki.

This recipe was taken from a Weight Watchers magazine.  For those counting points, there are just 8 ProPoints in what you see above.  I will certainly cook this again.  For the recipe I have given you, I have lowered the amount of time the taco shells are put in the oven.  This is because mine went quite soft and split.

For dessert, I combined frozen yoghurt, meringue nests and strawberries.  Again, this is a Weight Watchers recipe and there are 2 ProPoints per serving.

I love strawberries, and I am now mature enough not to cover them in sugar.  I continuously praise Marks and Spencer, and it is easy to see why when it comes to strawberries…

Left = Standard Strawberry. Right = M&S Strawberry.

That’s all from me today.

With Love, The Silly Asparagus.

Day 126: Pat-a-cake…

Over the weekend, The Silly Asparagus finally spent longer than five minutes in the kitchen. Before you get excited, I did not cook a vegetarian banquet.  Instead, I baked around 40 cupcakes for the birthday of Uncle Asparagus.  The cupcakes turned out well.  I did not take a lot of photos of them though, as I feel they could have been decorated better.  I definitely found some cute candles though…

Cupcakes are one of the most simple things to bake, and they are definitely still having a moment.  Until I went to university, I thought it was impossible to make a bad one.  I was wrong.  During my time in halls, people would make cakes and leave lovely signs that read ‘EAT ME’.  These signs should have said: ‘DO NOT EAT’, or ‘EAT AT YOUR OWN RISK’. These darling cakes will not go wrong if you follow my recipe:

To make 12 cakes, you will need:    

115g Unsalted butter                                                                                                         115g Caster sugar (sifted)                                                                                                 115g Self-raising flour                                                                                                              2 eggs (make sure they are free-range)                                                                                  2 teaspoons Vanilla extract                                                                                            Splash of milk

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C (350) Gas 4.
  • Once butter has softened, beat the butter and sugar together in a bowl, until pale and fluffy.
  • Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
  • Sift the flour into the mixture and fold in.
  • Stir in the vanilla extract and milk.
  • Spoon the mixture into cake cases.
  • Bake in the preheated oven, for around 15minutes.
  • Allow cakes to cool before decorating them.

For the vanilla buttercream:

85g unsalted butter (at room temperature)                                                                       225g icing sugar (sifted)                                                                                                          1 tablespoon milk                                                                                                                    1 teaspoon vanilla extract                                                                                                 Food colouring of your choice                                                                                       Choice of decoration, e.g. sprinkles

  • Put the butter in a bowl and beat until creamy.
  • Gradually beat in the sugar, milk and vanilla extract until smooth.
  • Add drops of food colouring until you have reached the desired colour.
  • Mix well.
  • Swirl the icing on top of the cupcakes, or pipe it on.
  • Decorate.

Unfortunately, this recipe is not suitable for vegans or those watching their waistlines.  If you are looking for a British touch to add to your cupcakes, I would recommend these paper cases (from Sainsbury’s).

If you prefer to buy your cakes, visit Candy Cakes (http://www.candycakes.com/).  There are four Candy Cakes outlets in London, and their flagship is in Windsor.  If you can’t get to one of their bakeries, they deliver to anywhere in London.  Their cakes are delicious and their window displays aren’t too shabby either:

As a lot of Candy Cakes have sweets on the top, make sure you check which ones are suitable for veggies!

I hope you have enjoyed today’s visual feast.

With love,

The Silly Asparagus.

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

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.