Thursday, March 26, 2015

My new favorite chocolate!

Last week I decided to try out a chocolate I found in Het Natuurhuis in Antwerpen. I've seen it before but I've never tasted it, but it sure looked delicious! I mostly buy the cheap vegan dark chocolates, which are also very yummy, but it was time for me to try something new and lighter. So I bought this one:





It was really delicious!!  It's rice milk chocolate with hazelnut nougat filling (or truffel filling as it says on the package) =D The chocolate cover was light and yummy, and the filling was creamy, delicious with a good taste of hazelnut nougat. It was perfect and I enjoyed every single piece of it. It sadly disappeared too fast... Luckily I can buy more =D Nirwana Vegan is 2,19 € for 100 g at Het Natuurhuis in Antwerpen. I already bought it twice, and it won't be the last time to say it like that =p

Nirwana Vegan kinda reminds me of these Norwegian chocolates pieces that I used to eat back in my non-vegan days:

From: http://www.matvareguiden.no/bilder/8673.gif

So now I have a super-yummy chocolate that's vegan, animal friendly, ecological, fair, and did I mention delicious? =D Everyone who loves chocolates with hazelnut nougat filling should definitely try Nirwana Vegan!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Another update, vegan dinners and valentine's run

I'm like the worst blogger ever, i'm sorry.
I'm also curious if anyone actually reads this blog xD Might be more interesting for me to post on this blog more often if i got any lifesigns from any readers that might be out there xD
I can soon celebrate the 1 year anniversary since my last received comment (10th march).
I do receive spam comments though but the spam filer takes care of those, and i kinda don't look through them a lot. Mostly they are not related to my topics at all, or saying my blog is very interesting and very meaningful to read, which i highly doubt =p They also always add a link to their own blog.
Hopefully my spam filter didnt put any genuine comments in the spambox, if it did i apologise deeply and i would like if you added a comment on my facebook page then so i can un-spam it :D

So, since i arrived in Belgium i have joined 2 vegan dinners in Antwerpen and there i got some new vegan friends. The dinners were so that you could choose to bring vegan food or pay 10 €.
For the first dinner i brought rösti (I also call them potato pancakes xD They are made of grated potatoes, vegetable oil, salt and pepper, then cooked like pancakes on both sides).

Image from here

For the 2nd dinner i brought chocolate cake and kakemenn. Of course the food i didn't make was most interesting to me on these dinners. It's nice to try new foods that i didn't cook myself. The food was very delicious! =D

Image from here

Big thanks to the tofu wanderer for arranging this event! =D Hope there will be more events like this in the future! =D

There are sometimes some events around in Antwerpen, and i like to keep updated and join a bit here and there to spice up my life a bit, like for instance those vegan dinners. There was also a valentine's run that i thought would be fun to participate in, so i figured out 1.5 weeks before it was that i would like to join, so i signed up for it. I've been wanting to participate in a race for some years now, and this was my chance to make it happen! I'm also in horrible shape with no condition at all... So i wondered a bit how i could get superfit in 1.5 weeks. Even running up stairs makes me totally out of breath (i have a bad habit of running up stairs instead of walking).
I tried to practice a bit by jogging in the park, but sadly it didn't seem to do any miracles. Also my diet consisting of chips, nuts, soda and cookies didn't seem to make it better :x So i went for the run totally out of shape, hoping i wouldn't be the last to reach the finish line xD
Because this was a fun run we were encouraged to dress up in valentine's theme costumes. I guess more than half had something to do with love on their outfits for the run. Personally i had an i-love-you-heart sewed to the back of my hat. I kinda wanted to do more too, but i didn't really find anything usable in my closets, so i figured it was good enough =p
There were people who didn't do any valentine's stuff at all too, so i'll consider myself inbetween the dressed and the undressed ones =p I enjoyed watching the costumed people there. Some ran as a love boat, others as bees, cupids, hearts, angels, and there was even a couple in marriage outfit (not real brides dress though =p). There were prices for best outfits after the race and for random lucky people (i wasn't lucky).

Photo from here

There wasn't a timer for this race so i used an app on my phone to track my distance and time. You could choose between running 5 km or 10 km. I couldn't choose which one to do, so i started running the 5 km one, but then i changed my mind when 5 km ones had to run to the goal line, so i started running the 10 km one, but i quickly got tired, so decided to run to the goal line. So i did 6 km in 45 minutes which is a new record for me =D There was another girl too who also ran 6 km.
Surpricingly i slowly jogged the whole way almost without breaks, which is very new for me =D Normally i need breaks all the time! It was easier and more fun to keep up the running when there were other people running too though =p
Here you can see some more photos from the valentine's run. Hope i can participate on more runs in the future cuz it was really fun =D


I guess this is a long enough post for now, more to come later in some hours, days, weeks or months xD

Suggestion-letter to get vegan pizza in Lidl

Seems they have a vegan pizza in Lidl in Greece, let's spam Lidl in other countries so they can get it there too =) You can replace Belgium with other country name if you wish, and change the contents =)

I would definitely love to have this pizza available! I'll be fat, but it's so worth it @_@

It's only a time-limited offer during lent in Greece, but hopefully it's a success so they will have it year round :x


Here's the link to the Belgian Lidl costumer service: https://ssl.lidl.be/nl/2556.htm


Hello,

I've heard that they got vegan pizza in Lidls in Greece from the brand Kardis. You can see the pizza by checking this link: http://www.lidl.com.cy/en/tasty-fasting-pies.htm?action=showDetail&id=27035

Could it be possible to get this pizza to Belgium? Me and many other people would be extremely excited and grateful if we could get it here! There are extremely few (zero as far as I know) pizzas that are without milkproducts/cheese/vegan, so we always have to make pizzas from scratch at home, which is also delicious of course, but it would be supernice to just put a purchased frozen pizza in the oven for a change without the hazzle of making the dough and filling, and going around in special stores or order special ingredients online for the pizza, such as vegan cheese for instance.

If we can get this vegan pizza in Lidl in Belgium that would be our only option as far as I know for purchasing a ready made vegan pizza, and you would be the sole provider of pizzas for vegans and milk allergics. I'm sure this would a good business for you as people would always have to go to Lidl to purchase their pizza. It's also a very nice option for vegetarians, muslims and other people who wish to eat a vegetarian/halal pizza. This pizza has nice filling and looks very delicious, so I'm sure everyone would love it!

I really hope that you will consider this. Since they have this pizza in Lidl in Greece I assume it should be possible to get it to Lidl in Belgium too. If they don't have a dutch/french translation of ingredients, then a sticker over the greek ingredient list would be fine so you won't have to make a new packaging. I would forever love Lidl if you got this pizza here!

Finally, I have a little suggestion. Sometimes it can be hard to know if a product is vegan or not if some of the ingredients can be derived from animals, plants or synthetic, and then I tend not to buy it until i did research to find out if the ingredients, for instance glyserol, are vegetable- or animal derived. A little 'Suitable for vegans", "Not suitable for vegans" or a little "Vegan"-logo would make my life, and many other peoples lives, much easier! I love when brands use this kind of labelling on their products, since then I know immediately if it's vegan or not, instead of wondering if it's vegan, and having to mail the producers to find out.


With kind regards,


Sadly, here's the reply i got:


Dear,
First of all we would like to thank you for your mail and your interest in our products.
In all the countries where Lidl has branch-stores, they have their own selection usually tuned to the taste and traditions of thei pomulation. It is for that reason not possible to uniformize the selection for all the countries. Therefore we can not satisfy all our customers.
Otherwise, we will use your remark when the composition of the range will be reviewed. Thank you for your understanding en we hope to welcome you in one of our stores.

Kind Regards
Ilse Callebaut
Quality Assurance Team
www.lidl.be
service-quality@lidl.be

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Xmas and newyear 2014

Bit late but oh heck xD

This year for xmas me and my boyfriend went to Norway to celebrate xmas with my family. Last years xmas celebration in Belgium was rather disappointing (we barely celebrated xmas), so i rather celebrate it in Norway every year =D

We booked tickets a bit late, and went for the cheapest tickets, ending up with extra long travel time, which ment 12 hours house to house. First we had bus to Amsterdam airport, followed by 5-6 hours waiting, and then our plane to Bergen. They also screwed up luggage for all passengers, so we needed to wait quite long for our luggage also.

From the bus, it was quite empty, only 1 other passenger

From Schiphol Airport

Sunday before xmas we celebrated my dads and my birthday with some family, so that was nice =D

Then monday and tuesday was xmas present shopping. Ended up buying most presents at a shop called Clas Ohlson where they kinda have a bit of everything. I also found many things i wanted also, for instance touch-screen gloves, cotton candy maker, and slushmaker xD

Future gift idea for me? xD

These gloves seems really handy for phonomaniacs like me during the colder months xD

Then it was christmas. We celebrated with my grandparents and one of my uncles. It was a nice celebration with lots of nice food and presents. I did the standard nut roast again this year with potatoes, mashed rutabaga, mushroom sauce, mushrooms, brussel sprouts and new of this year was anamma vego filet which looks and tastes a bit like pinnekjôtt when in strips. Sadly they have stopped producing anamma vego filet due to too high demand for all their products and too low capacity to keep up with that demand so they had to stop with this product. Hope they will re-introduce it again in the future, cuz it's really yummy =D

Xmas dinner

Xmas presents =D

Then it was the xmas parties 1st and 2nd xmas day, followed by some days of resting. We also went on a trip on the nearby mountain in the snow =D



For my birthday i wanted to go to a science center called VilVite. It was free entrance between xmas and newyear, so i went there with a friend of me, and it was quite fun there =D

Floating ball =D
Heat image =)

Then i went home and made lasagne and cake and opened birthday presents.

Some time during the holidays we found out we would watch all the Harry Potter movies, so we kept a bit busy with that also.

For newyear me and my boyfriend decided to stay at home. My mom, dad and bro went to my aunts house to celebrate there, but i wasnt ready with food or anything, and we still had 4 Harry Potter movies to watch in 2 days, so me and my boyfriend didn't go to my aunt to celebrate. We finished 2 Harry Potter movies, ate tortillas, cake, and watched fireworks so it was a nice newyear =D

Newyear dinner
Blurry fireworks

1st january me and my dad went on a mountain trip again, and then we watched the 2 last Harry Potter movies, the last one i hadn't seen before.

From the top of the mountain

Then we had to package since we had plane back to Belgium early in the morning. We also went with bus this time, which is nice although it does take twice as long time as going with train, but lots of space + free wifi in Netherlands + cheaper than train makes it worth it. And travel time was also shorter on the way back to Belgium.

Xmas tree at Schiphol Airport
Inside the xmas tree

So that was my xmas holidays =) Hope everyone had a nice xmas =D

Friday, November 21, 2014

Duyvis's vegan products (coated peanuts)

One day i found a Crac a Nut Barbecue (coated peanuts with barbeque taste coating) from Duyvis in the closet, and i wondered if it was vegan or not, so i emailed the producers and asked which of their products that are vegan. Here is the reply i got.
Sorry for the dutch btw. Those that are listed are vegan. Always check ingredients in case there are any changes in recipes or so.
Hieronder vindt u een lijstje met de Duyvis producten die geschikt zijn voor een veganistisch regime:
Oven Roasted Crac a Nut Szechuan Pepper, Sweet Paprika en Fine Herbs
Oven Roasted Peanuts
Peanuts Zout
Crac a Nuts BBQ, Paprika

Aangezien onze recepturen ten allen tijde aangepast kunnen worden, geeft dit lijstje alleen de huidige samenstelling van het product weer.

Ons advies luidt om steeds de ingrediëntenlijst op de achterkant van de verpakking goed te lezen om de correcte nutritionele informatie terug te vinden.

Which basicly means that most of their products are vegan, but not all.

I've found some pics from Colruyt and Delhaize their websites to show in pictures which are vegan. These products are sold in Belgium in Colruyt, Delhaize, and probably other shops too like Carrefour, but i'm not sure which shop has which products in stock.

 
http://shop.delhaize.be/Gezouten/Aperitief/Pindanootjes/Pindanootjes-7C-Zout-7C-Blik/p/S1971111700027200000
http://shop.delhaize.be/Gezouten/Aperitief/Pindanootjes/Pindanootjes-7C-Oven-roasted-7C-Blik/p/S1990051400027010000
http://shop.delhaize.be/Gezouten/Aperitief/Pindanootjes/Pindanootjes-7C-Oven-roasted-7C-Fine-herbs/p/S2012022900027100000
http://shop.delhaize.be/Gezouten/Aperitief/Pindanootjes/Pindanootjes-7C-Oven-Roasted-7C-Sweet-paprika/p/S2008092200027250000

I really enjoy eating coated peanuts. My favorite is the Rema 1000 chili nuts from Norway. Sadly they don't have that one here in Belgium, but luckily they have other coated peanuts here that also are yummy =D
Previously i have only tasted the paprika one, and now also the barbecue one, which both were yummy. Now after finding out more of them are vegan i guess i'll try out the rest too =D

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

In Belgium again

Trying my luck on the belgian work market again. Hopefully something will turn up, although everyone tells me when i told what my degree is that it will be hard or nearly impossible to find anything :x So if i'm so unlucky that i cant find any job i guess i'll have to take a more specialized and job oriented bachelor (seems i'll be forever student :x).

Since i'm a newcomer in Antwerpen it seems i can join an integration program where i can learn more about belgium and also learn more dutch, but first i need to get my official address in Antwerpen, which takes some more time than i hoped for. I asked for an appointment to fix it more than a week ago, and i didn't get any reply so far.

Also, the internet here is so slow that it's a nightmare doing anything that requires internet. I tried checking the speed with speedtest.net, but apperantly my internet was too slow to check it :x Normally it is faster, but atm we have a 100 GB download limit for the whole family, and after that is used up, the speed drops to nearly nothing. Luckily the limit resets soon, and we will soon get unlimited download limit so we have fast internet all the time and not just half a month =D

So with this slow internet and depressing job market i sometimes try to look for a job, but it seems i always need something i don't have, like dutch, french, experience, correct education, or driving licence. I applied for a job where the language requirements were norwegian and english, cuz those i know. It's not really based on my education though, but something is better than nothing atleast =) Hope there's no other norwegians around here that steals it :x

I also checked out voluntair work, and there i felt more happy since i
reached requirements more often. So i might sign up for some voluntair work so i'm a bit useful atleast =p


Sunday, November 9, 2014

Halloween 2014

I love holidays, they give a good opportunity to celebrate =D

As always, halloween is a time for spookiness =D And gross (but still yummy) food =D

So for this years meny i chose to eat mummies, larvaes, blood, and gore ^.^


Followed by way too much candy (and also before and while making the dinner xD)


And some chips and popcorn too =p

I even made some green spooky muffins with some bugs, brains and other nasty stuff in it, but everyone was too full to eat, including me :x


I dressed up as a witch who had been in a witchfight xD


In the evening we watched a movie called the collector. This movie had too much torture and blood and stuff so i was watching computer screen instead luckily, else i would have nightmares still. My brother and sister weren't the biggest fan of it either, but they wanted to know how it ended so they kept watching. I read the summary on wikipedia instead, gave me enough info, without all the visual details :x

Was a nice halloween, looking forward to next years halloween already =D

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Curried veggies

This was my dinner today =)


Ingredients i used:
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
0.5 onion, chopped
0.5 garlic, minced (can use 1 too, i had 0.5 leftover from yesterdays hummus)
1 chilipepper, chopped
1 mushroom, in pieces
1 carrot, in pieces
3 small potatoes, in pieces
Some tablespoons of red curry paste
Soy sauce to taste
2 teaspoons tomato paste
Some dl of water
A little bit of leftover chickpeas
Pepper
Freshly squeezed lemon

I sauteed the veggies, adding water when needed, then i added curry paste, tomato paste and soy sauce and some more water and let it simmer a bit before adding chickpeas. When water was more or less evaporated it was ready to eat so i sprinckled on some pepper and freshly squeezed lemon juice =) It's probably yummy with rice, but i figured that out 2 minutes before it was ready to eat, so maybe i should start with boiling some rice next time xD


Thursday, September 25, 2014

Jacques Chocolate with Banana Filling

Next up for my reviews is the Jacques chocolate with banana filling. These chocolates comes with different fillings, such as vanilla, banana, blueberry, pistache, almond, and cranberry-orange.

I bought mine in Colruyt. For 200 g it was 1.68 € for the banana filled chocolate. The prices varies from taste to taste, with the highest for about 2.14 € and the cheapest for about 1.38 €. They also have smaller sizes.


I kinda like these chocolates, but at the same time i feel that they have too much sugar. The main ingredient is sugar. The banana filled chocolate tastes like banana, but the taste is overpowered by the sugar, making it too sugary. It would have tasted much better if they filled it with more banana, and less sugar. The banana content is only 0.9 %, and should have been way higher! The dark chocolate covering tastes good and has minimum 53% cacao. The pairing of dark chocolate and filling is nice, with the downside of the overpowering sugariness.

Oops, i ate half already

Another thing i feel i feel could be improved is to divide the chocolate rows into smaller pieces, so it's easier to divide it and not eat so large pieces at a time. There is 6 rows in a 200 g chocolate, making each row about 33g each. If they would make for instance 4 pieces per row it would be better i think.


I think i have tasted all the different tastes, and i more or less like them all even if they are too sugary for my preferences, but i will probably buy random tastes every now and then whenever i feel like some filled chocolate. I think my favorite is the cranberry-orange taste.

I will give this chocolate 4-/6 cuz its a nice alternative for vegans who wants some filled chocolate, but has too much sugar taste, so it could definitely be better if they replaced some(much) of the sugar with more of the filling that's actually supposed to be in it.

Anyone has tasted these chocolates? Did you like them? =) Feel free to comment! =D

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Alpro Soya Lime-Lemon Yoghurt

Here in Belgium/Antwerpen they got many vegan products that they don't have in Bergen/Norway, so it's fun trying out new stuff =D Figured i would tell a bit about what i think about some of the products =D

First up is the alpro soya lime-lemon yoghurt (Alpro soya Mild & Creamy Limoen-Citroen in dutch)

I bought this yoghurt in Colruyt for 2.68 € for 750 g.




This yoghurt was mild and creamy just like the title said, without any chuncks of fruit. It's a sweet yoghurt with a nice fresh taste of lemon and lime without it being overpowering or too sour.

Personally i like lemon/orange yoghurts very well because of their freshness, and this is no exception! I think it may be my new favorite yoghurt too =D I will definitely buy it again, along with some other yoghurts to test out =) I give it 6/6 for score =D

The only bad thing i can say about this yoghurt is that it was a bit hard to get the last spoons of yoghurt out of the packaging. I tried doing the carton upside down for a bit and that helped, but i was impatient, so a little yoghurt ended up in the sink instead of in my stomach when i cleaned out the carton with water. It may help waiting longer, or by opening the carton to get the last bit of yoghurt out =p I don't like draining yummy yoghurt down the sink, even if it's just a little bit xD

Anyone else has tasted this lime-lemon yoghurt? Did you like it? Whats your favorite yoghurt taste? =D Feel free to comment =D

Monday, September 15, 2014

In Belgium

I asked again to get free from work, and this time i got it =) So now i'm in Belgium =D

I arrived yesterday, after taking the 6:30 flight from Bergen to Amsterdam with KLM, followed by bus from Amsterdam to Antwerp =p

In the plane i sat in the seat next to a nice woman who also was travelling to meet her boyfriend. We chatted the whole trip! It's kinda cool that i'm not the only one who finds a foreign boyfriend =D And it was also nice having someone to chat with who i have stuff in common with =D

In the bus we were only like 3 passengers xD I think most people use the train instead if they go from Amsterdam to Antwerp since it's about 1 hour quicker, (it takes 1 hour instead of 2-2.5 hours), but I wanted to try out bus this time since then i got to see more of Netherlands + it was cheaper :x
I slept the first 30 minutes of the bus trip before i woke up and felt too curious of where i was and to look out the window xD Seems the part of Netherlands i got to see was the highway, and i had no idea where i was most of the time xD The bus had wifi, so that was a bonus =D My phone was low on battery though so i tried to preserve the battery a bit. Also the wifi stopped working bit before the belgian border i think (its hard to know where i was since everywhere it looked the same xD)

Below are some photos from my trip.

Outside Amsterdam Airport
I amsterdam
Me in the bus

Somewhere in Netherlands i think
I found windmills =D
In Antwerp
Also in Antwerp

When i arrived in Antwerp they had some car-free event or so, including a Ferris wheel xD We didn't try it out though, instead we went to house with luggage.

I didn't have much sleep during the night, so I ended up sleeping when i got to the house xD After sleeping we went for a walk before sleeping again =p

Now i'm in school mainly just hanging on the pc doing more or less useless stuff while my bf has class =p

It's nice weather here, a bit cloudy every now and then though, but it's more than 20°C during day. In the morning, evening and night it's colder, but it is fall after all =p

Here is a photo i took while walking to the school.

Somewhere in Antwerp

Hope it will be a nice vacation =) I'll continue searching for a job, and hopefully improve my dutch too while i'm here =p Anyone have any suggestions for things to see and do while in Antwerp btw? =D