Monday, April 6, 2015

Product review: Crispy dark chocolate with puffed rice

Time for a product review again =) I found this crispy dark chocolate with puffed rice from the brand Perle d'Or in Lidl in Belgium, and i've wanted to try it for a while. They also have with lighter chocolate, but that one isn't vegan, so dark chocolate it is =) It costed 1.49 € for 125 g in Lidl.


It kinda looks like chocolate pringles =p




The chocolate tastes quite dark, even though the darkness is only 57%. Also the puffed rice content is only 11%, and the puffed rice pieces are quite small. Personally i would prefer more puffed rice so the chocolate chips would taste milder, and also larger pieces of the puffed rice for more crispiness =) 

This chocolate is nice for an occasional snack, but personally i couldn't eat too many chips at the same time (which probably is a good thing, or i would eat the whole thing in 5 minutes  xD). 
I might buy it again in the future, but i'm not sure. There are other things that i like better. With my suggestions for how it would taste better i would probably buy it more often though. I'm glad i tried it out though =p

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Trying to get better labelling on Norwegian vegan Freia chocolates

This one is for the Norwegian people xD There are some chocolates from Freia that are vegan in Norway but they putted milk in the ingredient list without adding milk to the chocolate because there would always be traces of milk in the chocolate from production of milk chocolate on the same location. They did this because of the people who are allergic to milk. So the chocolates are still vegan but if you read the ingredient list they seem to not be vegan. This is confusing for me and many other people, so personally i don't buy or use this chocolate anymore. There is an easy solution to this by Freia explaining on the chocolate why milk is in the ingredient list without actually being an ingredient, so that the chocolate indeed is suitable for vegans but not for milk allergics because it's just traces of milk in it. You can contact them here:

https://contactus.mdlzapps.com/form?siteId=6oyH%2ft29EQgVQQ6KPOLGAQ%3d%3d.

Feel free to send to them too. I did mine under "Forslag" (suggestions). Here is what i wrote:


Tidligere brukte jeg mye vegansk sjokolade fra Freia, men jeg har nå gått over til Coop sin veganske sjokolade etter at Freia puttet melk i ingredienslisten. Jeg er veganer og unngår derfor mat der melk eller andre produkter fra dyr intensjonelt er en ingrediens, mens spor av melk eller andre produkter fra dyr (uintensjonelt) går greit. Jeg har ingen melkeallergi.

Ifølge vegansamfunnet som har hatt kontakt med Freia er melk på ingredienslisten til de veganske sjokoladene for å beskytte melkeallergikere fordi det alltid vil være spor av melk i sjokoladen selv om den ikke er tilsatt melk. (http://www.vegansamfunnet.no/pa-sporet-av-den-tapte-sjokolade/). Dette medfører problemer for veganere fordi spor av melk går greit, men siden melk står på ingredienslisten uten at det intensjonelt er tilsatt blir det stor forvirring blandt veganere og andre. Dette medfører at veganere vegrer seg for å kjøpe en vegansk sjokolade på grunn av Freias dårlige merking.

En løsning på dette problemet som ville gjort at jeg og andre veganere igjen ville kjøpt Freia sin sjokolade er å skrive en liten kommentar etter ingredienslisten på sjokoladen, for eksempel: "Sjokoladen er ikke tilsatt melk eller melkeprodukter, melken kommer fra tidligere produksjon av melkesjokolade på samme produksjonsbånd, så sjokoladen inneholder derfor spor av melk. Dette medfører at sjokoladen er egnet for veganere men ikke for melkeallergikere."

Dette er særlig aktuelt for disse sjokoladene som er vegansk så vidt jeg vet, men som nå har melk i inngredienslisten:
Dronningsjokolade
Selskapssjokolade
Premium 86%

Håper dere løser dette problemet sånn at veganere igjen kan nyte Freias veganske sjokolade uten å bli forvirret av merkingen. Inntil det skjer holder jeg meg til annen sjokolade uten forvirrende merking :)

Ps: Hvis dere kunne merket alle deres produkter med "egnet/uegnet for veganere" eller "vegansk/uvegansk" ville det vært supert!


And here is their reply, which shows they didn't read my mail since they say that none of their chocolates are vegan because there will always be traces of milk in it even if they didn't add milk, while i explained in my mail to them that traces of milk is fine for vegans if it's not added intentionally in the chocolate:


Hei Anette!
Takk for henvendelsen din. Det har ikke skjedd noen endring av produktet.Vi har gjennom våre analyser konstatert at den mørke sjokoladen vi produserer aldri er fri fra melk, da disse produseres på samme linje som melkesjokolade.Før skrev vi : Kan inneholde spor av melk, men vi synes ikke dette er helt rett ettersom den alltid inneholder spor av melk. Derfor har vi nå oppført skummetmelkpulver/tørrmelk i ingredienslisten.Slik ser for eksempel den nye merkingen av Freia Melkesjokolade ut:Ingredienser: Sukker, tørrmelk, kakaosmørkakao masse, emulgator (soyalecitin), aromaMinst 30% kakao

Kan inneholde nøtter og hvete.


Med de nye merkereglene som tredde i kraft i 2014 vil det ikke lenger være lov å gjenta allergenene, de skal kun utheves i ingredienslisten.Av den grunn merker vi fra nå produktene etter den nye forordningen, altså med uthevede allergener i ingredienslisten og spormerking. Ingen gjentagelse av allergener med setningen «INNEHOLDER……..»Freia har dessverre ingen veganske sjokolader, da vår sjokolade alltid vil inneholde spor av melk.Ønsker deg en strålende dag videre!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Mr. Falafel in Brussel

Since i was working in Brussel i figured i had to at least test out 1 restaurant/eating place there when i had the chance. I searched happycow.net for suggestions and i decided to try out Mr. Falafel.  I found it not too far from the famous "manneken pis", just a few streets away =)


Here you get a pita with falafels, and you pick which sauces and salads you want from the buffet for 4.5 €, which i guess is quite cheap. Of course i had to try all of the vegan options in the buffet (a few had milk/egg in it). I was a bit more hungry so i went and refilled the salad (woops xd) after i saw someone else doing it too. There were only 4 tables there, but that went fine since there weren't much people there either =p It came more people after i had ordered. The falafel was delicious and green =D I love when food has nice colors lol =p They had lot's of different foods in the salad buffet; lettuce, tomatoes, corn, cucumber, olives, sour light green chilies, vegetables in sweet and sour sauce, beets, onions, and more =) Of sauces they had tahini and spicy red sauce (and non-vegan mayonaise). I took a picture half way through eating xD


Would be nice to return, hopefully with company then cuz it's boring to eat out alone =D The food was affordable and delicious, especially the falafels =D So if you're hanging around in Brussel you should visit this place =) It's not so far from some of the famous buildings that are on some of the lowest pictures in this blog post.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Lunchbox Antwerpen

Last week i was hanging out with a friend of me, and we went to a place called Lunchbox to eat lunch. Here they offer sandwiches, burgers, wraps, soups, juices/smoothies, salads and pasta. I'm not sure how much of it is vegan, but they had nicely labelled what was vegetarian at least. The restaurant was quite crowded, but we were lucky to get a seat there. They also have take-out if you shouldn't be that lucky. It's not so far from Meir. I had not been in that street before though.


Me and my friend both ordered a sandwich called "Veganist" for 6.50 €. From the name i assume it is vegan =p It kinda looks like a burger, but it's filled with hummus, olives and vegetables. It was really nice and fresh tasting and i like that they use dark bread with seeds, and that they use hummus. Hummus is always yummy to have on sandwiches! It was also nicely sized.


I also ordered a juice/smoothie called "Paradise Isle", that contained kiwi, banana and orange for 4.50 €. I suspect the banana wasn't as ripe as i like it, but it was still nice. They also have a lot of other interesting juice/smoothie options. I sadly didn't take a picture of the juice.

I'm wondering if their veggie-burger is vegan and if they can make their wrap vegan by replacing the non-vegan part (like the goat cheese in the subway wrap) with hummus instead. I didn't ask them, but it would be cool if they also got vegan burger and wrap too, in addition to the delicious vegan sandwich, so that vegans will have a harder time choosing what to order =p

Anyway, it's a place i recommed to everyone who's hungry in the area and want some nice, healthy, filling vegan food =D I hope to return there some day and eat more of that sandwich =D

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Workless again, and pictures from Brussel

Probably fewest of you knew that i even had a job, but i did =p I worked as telemarketer for a company in Brussel where i had to call companies in Norway in Norwegian and try to make them buy long-life light tubes over the phone.

Apparantly I'm not really a sales-talent; i sold zero light tubes in the 4 weeks that i stayed there. Normally i should aim for atleast 25 sales/month... So we can safely say that this wasn't the right thing for me at the moment, but it was nice to try. I learnt some new things, and i got to see Brussel a bit more. Maybe in the future i would be more successful at a job like this, but i think i prefer sales jobs where the costumer tries to buy something and i assist them, or that i do costumer support or something.

It was nice to have something to do at least, but as time went by it seemed more and more pointless to continue, and my motivation dropped. Most of my calls i didn't even get to the part where i sold light tubes, and if i did they weren't interested, or they already had a deal with a supplier.

There was another Norwegian person there too, so i'm not the only Norwegian in Belgium!!! He was better at selling than me (he actually sold something!), but he still had low sales results compared to the others, and he was also losing motivation, so he also ended working when i did. It was nice getting to know him and the other people working there at least =D We were quite multinational there hehe. People speaking French, German, Dutch, Turkish, Danish, Norwegian, English, and maybe other langugages too.

I will miss having a job, but at the same time i enjoy the freedom =D Brussel is also a bit far, so i had to wake up at 6 every day, and spend at least 1,5 hours on travelling each way with both tram, train and by foot. I didn't really mind the travelling. I used the train-ride for studying dutch if i wasn't too tired. The only place i can study good is while travelling lol. Other places i'm too distracted =p

Hopefully i can find a new job that is closer and more right for me, but i guess we'll see =)

Here are some pictures of random buildings in Brussel at least =D Some of you might even know which buildings they are... I don't xD





















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