News Roundup By Mercedes Aspland / July 20, 2015 I am having a mini celebration right now that I am able to bring you this post. I know that it is a bit late and I have been a bit quite over the last month but that is due to me being in France. I have been doing a bit of travelling as well as having some serious internet issues. Then there is the fact that I have not had an oven anywhere I have stayed and with such tiny kitchens it is not much fun creating recipes. Plus I have to say there is the fact I have just been loving relaxing in France and not worrying about too much. I will give you some more details about my trip so far below but first I will detail the recipes above starting at the top left hand corner and working in a zigzag. The first recipe is this beautiful No Bake Chocolate and Peanut Butter Tart from Bakerita. I had a number of chocolate tarts/pies in my short-list for this month and actually more than chocolate and peanut butter one which is an indication of what I am loving at the moment but this was easily my favourite. Firstly I don’t think I have featured this blog before (you should check it out) but also it is no bake, big plus, gluten free, another big plus and or course the vital one vegan and don’t let me forget it looks super amazing. I am sure you will agree that this one had to be on the list. I’m sure you will already be aware how much I love soup and I cannot resist a yummy looking one and the combination of ingredients in this Sweet Potato and Coconut Milk Soup with Brown Rice and Lentils from Katie at the Kitchen Door is a real winner and something that just fits perfectly with what I like to eat. Also being in France at the moment, it is all white bread and lots of unhealthy food and something like this is just what I could do with. The Frosted Vegan is easily one of my favourite blogs and Abby is always coming up with some pretty impressive recipes. This Mixed Berry Streusel Pie with Coconut Ginger Whipped Cream is no exception and a truly wonderful dessert for this time of year. The next recipe is a aquafaba recipe and if you are reading a vegan blog and not heard of it by now where have you been! For those of you that do not know it is the latest vegan egg replacement and is the water from a tin of chickpeas. It is basically perfect to replace egg white and can be used to make marshmallow and meringue and all sorts of great things like that. If you want to give it a try then why not impress some friends with this Vegan Skillet Smores Dip from A Dash of Compassion. This is another, seriously if you have not heard of Isa Chandra Moscowitz then you have not right reading a vegan blog. I don’t mean that but trust me when I tell you that you need to check her out. This recipe from her on Veg Kitchen is Lemongrass Noodle Bowl with Mock Duck. I love Mock Duck (seitan) and it is perfect in a dish like this. Like so many of her recipes it is simple to make and so full of flavour it just has to be in this list. The next recipe is an Anti-inflammatory Golden Turmeric & Ginger Breakfast Bowl that I came across on Mind Body Green. It immediately caught my attention because it is so different. Finding new and inventive breakfasts is actually one of the things I find hardest so when I see something like this I find it really exciting which is the reason this is in my top recipes of the month. Lemon and raspberry has to be one of the best combinations that there is and so when I saw these Lemon and Raspberry Muffins on My California Roots and I noticed that they were vegan I fell in love. I need to make myself some of these soon! This is definitely the season to be eating kebabs and being vegan does not mean you have to miss out on these lovely treats. The next recipe from Yummy Vegan is these fantastic Spiced Grilled Tofu Kebabs with Sesame Seeds that get a serious yum from me. Amuse Your Bouche is one of my top blogs at the moment (I put at the moment because my mood changes and so do my tastes) and this recipe of Moroccan Freekeh with Harissa Aubergine just jumped out at me. As I said above, I am in France at the moment and the food lacks so much in the way of spice so that I am craving it badly. I did bring a wide range of spices with me and have had to get cooking to ensure I keep myself interested and this is definitely the kind of thing I am craving at the moment. I always think it is good to eat a percentage of raw food and I absolutely love This Rawsome Vegan Life, Emily produces some amazing recipes that just have to be tried and this included these Raw Vegan Mylk Chocolate Bars. This list needs a salad and how can I look any further then this Grilled Avocado Romaine Caesar Salad from Blissful Basil. This is another blog that you just have to check out, it is has been in my favourites for quite a long time now and I think if you visit it you will know why. My final recipe is another spicy option. This lovely Baked Cauliflower Manchurian from Connoisseurus Veg just looks so yummy and as I don’t have an oven here I might need to do the unhealthy option and deep fry my cauliflower! So that should give you quite a good selection of recipes to be trying over the next month which I think still might be quite quiet from me as I will still be in France. So how am I finding France, well firstly I need to say that I love the beach. I have started going for a run every morning and then following it up with yoga on the beach which is amazing because it is so quite early in the morning, who needs music when you’ve got the sea. The one thing I am having a problem with out here is the food. I have had to stick to being vegetarian but veganism is almost impossible when you are out and about. As we are renting an apartment I can cook vegan food so not a major problem but getting anything except milk for my coffee is a nightmare. In terms of my diet the other thing I have noticed is the amount of bread I am eating. My diet in general has been quite healthy but there is just too much bread for me to be able to handle and as where I am staying does not have a proper oven it has meant a lot of reliance on bread which is amazing out here and so easy to get that it is almost impossible to resist. Below I have put some interesting posts that I have seen around the internet in the last month and believe me, it is quite amazing there is anything here at all: I always love posts that give useful dietary advice and this one on 15 Simple Food Swaps for a Healthier Lifestyle from Sunwarrior fits right into that category and does give some useful advice. Like with all things, take the bits that work for you and if something really feels wrong for you then don’t do it! This post from Care2.com about Why Staying in the Present is so Hard is really helpful and perfect for me. Despite the fact I meditate and do yoga daily I still struggle with the endless thoughts of what will happen in the future and work extra hard to stop the forward or backward thinking and stay exactly where I am right now. Some of the tips in this article are well worth using. Mindful is one of my favourite websites to read when I need a little boost on how to stay mindful about my life and this post about the Key Signs Your Body is Out of Balance is one that really interested me. I have always thought I was more sensitive than other people but realised a while ago that it is down to mindfulness and awareness of my body. I find it very easy to identify foods that don’t work for me, for example if I eat any corn related foods I feel an immediate shift in the way my body feels and I know it is not right. I have had no intolerance test or anything like that but I know that at this time in my life I need to avoid it. They may not be the case forever so testing foods again after a while, especially if you like them is worth doing. Anyway the point is we could all do with a bit more mindfulness, especially with what we eat and this post is a great starting point. I always like to keep up with VegNews and find out what is happening in the vegan world and this month I thought I would share this one on how Veganism is Sweeping Across Moscow, who would have thought it but we get everywhere (The French might even catch on one day!) Finally a great self help article from Peaceful Dumpling (Check this blog out by the way it is ace) with 6 Tips to Staying Emotionally Balanced. I definitely need to do a bit more of 3, well a lot more but there you go. So that is it from the month of June, quite a lot packed in there really. Keep in touch over the next month as it will be quieter but I am in the process of putting a lot of ideas together on where the blog will go and what I am actually going to do with my life so there could be a lot of exciting stuff going on in the next few months!