Quick Breakfast Oats

I'm 30! At the weekend I said sayonara to my twenties and welcomed in the flirty thirties with a very undignified night out in East London that involved sambuca and moustaches (don't ask!). Do I care? Heck no! At least I ate well, too well in fact although that was almost a complete non starter after I caught a terrible tummy bug on the very day I was supposed to be travelling to London - great timing, eh? When we were meant to be half way to Greenwich I was actually doubled up in two in bed praying I'd be well enough to go first thing in the morning. Luckily those prayers - plus a whole heap load of hot water, lemon and ginger, tiger balm (for the additional chronic headache), ginger ale (sugar levels) and the very reluctant popping of a particularly non vegan painkiller (a last resort) aided me in being pretty much back to normal by Friday - phew!

Disappointingly my appetite was negatively affected and I couldn't physically consume the vast quantities of food I wanted to. Don't get me wrong, I ate A LOT of food but I had planned an entire weekend of relentless vegan yumminess - the equivalent of a conveyor belt of eats. Good thing I'm going back to london in June for my Sister's final performance before graduating (she's a singer, an incredible singer) so it's just as well I've left enough in the food itinerary to keep me going next time.

Here's a list of what I did eat and where:

Friday evening - dinner at Zilli Green

Dim sum to start (a.maz.ing.) followed by squash, corn and (vegan) cheese quesadillas. Vegan sour cream and a lush guac were also on the plate and I couldn't resist two sides - spiced spinach and courgette chips. All really, really good. To finish I had the mixed vegan ice-cream (strawberry, vanilla and chocolate). I liked the chocolate the best, it was uber creamy. Had I been hungrier I would've went for the chocolate and cherry liquer brownie but I just couldn't face it. We also shared a gorgeous bottle of organic vegan pinot grigio - so nice and really refreshing on a balmy London evening. Service was incredible - best I've had in London I think - so thumbs up for that too. All in all, great food, great night, thoroughly recommended.

On Saturday morning/afternoon I attended a raw cookery class at Saf in Shoreditch, which I'll blog about in more detail at another time but the highlights were the green smoothie, chocolate almond milk shake, sprouted quinoa salad, raw crackers with cashew cheese, an unbelievable raw lasagne and last but not least a rich blackberry cheesecake. The guys were so sweet, they even put three candles on the top and sang Happy Birthday to me.

Saturday evening we returned to the same restaurant for a slap up meal. I had sweet potato dumplings (yeah, I like dumplings), seitan kebabs and again a raw ice-cream/sorbet selection - green tea and rhubarb & white wine (yes, it tasted as good as it sounds). We also had the most outrageous bottle of red wine I've ever had. Lebanese wine to be exact, which is a new one on me. It tasted like cherries - pure indulgence. Oh yes, and the service in Saf was superb also.

Keeping up with me?

Sunday seen us trek to Camden Market to eat at the Loving Hut only to discover it was closed - boo. There's so much choice in Camden though we weren't stuck for options. We ended up having a huuuuuuuge salad at wholefoods. Simple, delicious and exactly what we needed to center us after a heavy night on the tiles. Lots of brown rice, broccoli, spinach and some seriously fantastically flavoured whole closed cups mushrooms that blew my tiny mind. To top it off we were given some free vegan cupcake samples and I can safely say they were the best vegan cupcakes I've ever had. We rehydrated with some coconut water.

And......we couldn't leave without sampling the much raved about Inspiral raw vegan ice-creams. I went for the lucuma and pecan and raw chocolate chunk. We sat along the canal and ate them whilst taking in the unique Camden vibe before embarking on the market itself.

That's it. Now it's back to porridge. Literally.

quick breakfast oats

1/2 cup jumbo oats

2 chopped dates

handful of raisins

handful chopped hazelnuts

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tbsp maple syrup


chopped pear

pumpkin seeds

sunflower seeds

cashew butter

Put the oats, dates, raisins, hazelnuts, cinnamon and maple syrup in a breakfast bowl. Give it a thorough mix ensuring to combine all the ingredients.

Boil some water in a kettle and pour over the oats - just enough to cover them. Stir and cover with a plate to seal. Set aside for about five minutes.

Meanwhile chop the pear. Remove the plate, stir the oats and top with pear, seeds and a teaspoon of cashew or other nut butter.

breakfast, veganAine Carlin