Pasta Evangelists

My favourite food is PASTA. As a vegetarian, I’ve found Italian food one of the most versatile. So when my friend recommended Pasta Evangelists – the fresh pasta subscription service – I had to try it. Here’s my review and if you want to try some yourself then follow this link to get 25% off your first order.

Unlike many food subscriptions, Pasta Evangelists food doesn’t feel like your average ready meal. This pasta is fresh, handmade and it tastes amazing. The options are always diverse and the veggie menus on offer have been really exciting. So far I’ve had mozzarella tortellini, arrabbiata fusilli, pesto gnocchi, pumpkin ravioli, mac and cheese… and I’ve got Porcini, Wild Mushroom & Chestnut Tortelloni with Thyme Butter & Hazelnuts, Tagliatelle with Ligurian Basil Pesto & Pine Nuts  and Pumpkin Lasagna on the way. I can’t wait to try them!

The ordering process is very simple. Choose a one off order or opt for a subscription to save money. There are three subscription offers: Vegetarian, Variety and Gourmet. Then pick:

  • the number of dishes you want to receive
  • the frequency (weekly, fortnightly etc)
  • when you want your pasta delivered (I go for Tuesdays so I have the delivery at the start of the week)

I like the subscription model because I can be a bit lazy cooking through the week and it’s handy to know I’m always going to have some yummy pasta stocked in the fridge for nights when I’m feeling a bit tired or uninspired.

As for delivery, the fresh pasta comes packed with cool bags and insulation.  I was really impressed with the thoughtfulness of their packaging and the best part is that you can send it all back to Pasta Evangelists for recycling so it ticks the sustainable box too.

And when the food arrives, everything is super simple. Each pasta dish comes with its own recipe card and the different elements are colour-coded so it can be easily sorted out. Typically, there are only about three or four steps to follow and they take about 10 minutes to make and the finished product is Insta-worthy.

I’ll be honest. The big downside of Pasta Evangelists is that it is a little on the expensive side. It’ll cost you about £7 or £8 per portion of pasta although you do save on the subscriptions. Having said that, I do think it’s worth it because it is restaurant-quality and the average ready meal in the supermarket costs about £3 anyway and tastes no where near as good.

And if you want to save some money you can get 25% off your first box with my family and friends referral or simply quote ‘April Smyth’ at the checkout. You get cheap and delicious pasta and I’ll get a free box too. Win, win!

P.S. I’m not affiliated with Pasta Evangelists and this isn’t a sponsored post, I just really love and believe in their products.

Keep up-to-date with my favourite things on Instagram @the.fourth.month.

Top 10 Asian Restaurants in Glasgow

Like me, Zina is a self-confessed foodie and loves exploring Glasgow’s hidden treasures. Glasgow is famous for its curries and Zina’s put together a list of her favourite pan-Asian restaurants that you must try out. I’ll definitely be trying some of these in the New Year whenever I’m in Glasgow. I personally love Hanoi Bike Shop and I’d also recommend Chaakoo Bombay Cafe on St Vincent St. Enjoy Zina’s guest blog and let me know what you think on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram – April


Do you love Asian food or fancy venturing out of your comfort zone and trying it? If you live in Glasgow, I’ve got you covered. I’ve created a list of my fave Asian restaurants in Glasgow. From Indian to Thai to Chinese, I highly recommend you start ticking these off your “places to eat” list.

I classify myself as a part-time foodie. Basically, I spend the majority of my time dining out at restaurants which is probably why I’m skint a lot. It’s a great way to catch up with friends or to go on a date with someone, so no regrets, right? May as well spend your money on the things you enjoy a.k.a good company and tasty food!

Top 10 Asian Restaurants in Glasgow:

Please note: these restaurants are in no particular order – let’s be real, it would just be cruel to make me choose one top Asian restaurant to dine out at in Glasgow when they are so many.

Rishis Indian Aroma

Address: 61 Bath St, Glasgow G2 2DG

Rishis Indian Aroma is an authentic South Indian restaurant that is a must-visit! I was first introduced to this by my bestie who is South Indian herself so I knew that if she went there, then it must be great – and it did not disappoint! From dosas to spicy curries, you can find a great mixture of different types of South Indian cuisine there. Not only can meat-eaters visit the restaurant (the meat is halal) but vegetarians can also be at ease visiting as there are lots of non-meat options on the menu such as Dal or Channa Masala. Rishis won’t break the budget either which is a plus.

Thairiffic

Address: 303 Sauchiehall St, Glasgow G2 3HQ

If you are a lover of Thai food, then Thairiffic is the place for you! Thairiffic (as the name suggests) is a terrific restaurant that offers high-quality, authentic Thai food. From Pad Thai to a Massaman curry, Thairiffic has got you covered with all things Thai. Most dishes offers you to add in a range of different meats and also vegetables or tofu – making it great for vegetarians as well. It also offers a great lunch deal where you can get a main and a starter for only £9.90. What a bargain, right?

The Hanoi Bike Shop

Address: 8 Ruthven Ln, Glasgow G12 9BG

The Hanoi Bike Shop is an authentic Vietamenese restaurant found in the heart of the West End in Glasgow. What makes Hanoi even more special is that every dish is made from scratch daily and all ingredients are sourced locally meaning the menu may doffer slightly depending on what goods they have that day. It has a great range of street food as well as Pho, which is a Vientamense national dish similar to Ramen. Like most others, Hanoi’s prices are decent so won’t blow the majority of people’s budgets. Very highly recommend this unique little restaurant.

Mother India

Address: 2, Industrial Estate, Lexden Lodge, Crowborough TN6 2EG

I haven’t actually been to Mother India yet but it’s on my list so I thought I would throw it in. I’ve heard amazing stuff about it so I’m dying to go give it a try. Mother India is another great Indiarestaurantnt in Glasgow that offers a range of typical Indian foods. You can have either fixed set meals or you can order from the à la carte menu. What’s even better is that you can also order a takeaway which a lot of quality restaurants don’t offer so you can enjoy Mother India’s food even from the comfort of your home! It is slightly pricier than the others places I’ve mentioned so far but from what I’ve heard, it would be worth the money.

Lychee Oriental Chinese Restaurant

Address: 59 Mitchell St, Glasgow G1 3LN

Lychee Oriental Chinese Restaurant was the winner of the “Best Asian Restaurant in Scotland 2013″ award alongside various other awards. Lychee has a great menu offering seafood, vegetarian options, specialties and more! It also has a gluten-free menu. The pricing is reasonable but some dishes are more expensive than others. It just depends what you fancy getting and how much you are willing to spend. Overall, Lychee offers high-standard food and service, which should entice you to visit!

Wagamamas

Address: 97-103 West George Street, Glasgow, G2 1PB

Okay, yes, most cities have a Wagamamas so it’s not exactly unique to Glasgow but I couldn’t not mention this fab pan-Asian restaurant. I legit go to Wagas all the time so it’s defo always on my list of restaurants to visit. If you haven’t had one yet then go right now! You can get loads of classic Japenese foods like Ramen, Gyozas. Katsu curry is a popular choice if you don’t like to venture out. The food gets made and sent out as it’s cooked so all your dishes won’t typically be sent out at the same time. You can eat with chopsticks or request cutlery if you can’t use them (like me – LOL). My aim is to eventually be able to use chopsticks and eat the food like you typically should. It’s ridic that I still can’t use them after all the time I’ve visited – props to whoever can eventually teach me.

Nippon Kitchen

Address: 91 W George St, Glasgow G2 1PB

Another Japanese restaurant in Glasgow that should be on your list is defo Nippon Kitchen. Nippon is very similar to Wagamamas but the bonus is that it also offers Sushi (Wagas doesn’t). So if you are a sushi lover like me but also want other Japanese food then rush over to Nippon as soon as you can. Nippon’s pricing isn’t too expensive and it also has a great lunch offer: 1 COURSE £8, 2 COURSES £12, or 3 COURSES £15. How amazing is that? My fave thing to order is a bento box and also sushi, of course, such as Avacado Makis, Spicy Sake and the Soft Shell Crab Maki’s. Again, I really hope to master chopsticks for my next visit. I’m getting better and better each time I go – LOL!

Koolba

Address: 109 Candleriggs Merchant City, Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom G1 1NP

Need another Indian restaurant to visit? Koolba is the place to go! Koolba has won various awards, including being crowned a winner in the annual “Curry Capital of Britain awards” four times. Amazing, right? Koolba make their dishes using traditional Indian cooking techniques and source their produce from local suppliers ensuring your food will be fresh and of high quality. It has a small lunch menu for 2 courses costing £9.95 and the main menu is, of course, more expensive but definitely worth it. I tried Chicken Biryani when I ate there and it was really good – doesn’t beat homemade biryani though, soz! Anyways, if you love Indian food as much as I do, I recommend you go visit Koolba.

China Sea Restaurant

Address: 12 Renfield St, Glasgow G2 5AL

Fancy a really good Chinese meal? Then China Sea Restaurant is the place to go. You can find all the classic dishes you would order at your local take out but this way you can enjoy it in a proper restaurant. The decor inside is my favourite as it’s done so traditionally, which makes it more appealing to go in. Also, I have to mention, the staff are so nice and pretty funny too. Last time I was in, the waiter kept making fun of mine and my friends’ “strange order” LOL. Like most restaurants, they offers a cheaper lunch deal: Two Course Special Lunch for £7.20. So I’d recommend getting the lunch deal so you can enjoy fab Chinese food at a cheaper price.

Dim Sum Restaurant

Address: 69 West Nile Street, Glasgow G1 2QB

Last, but not least, is Dim Sum Restaurant! This relatively new restaurant should be on your hitlist in the New Year. It offers a varied menu including dumplings, soups, and other traditional dishes. It is decently priced and the staff are friendly, which makes it a good choice for you if you want to try out some Asian foods. It isn’t my favourite place on this list but I definitely want to go back and try out some different foods I didn’t get the last time. Definitely give it a try yourself and see how you like it.


Know any other Asian restaurants in Glasgow that I didn’t mention? Hit me up in the comments and let me know your fave place to go. P.S. if you suggest taking me out to any one of these places, I’ll love you long time. Anyways, happy dining out #AsianStyle!

Love always,

Zina (Pure Fandom Guest Writer)

Follow me on Twitter and Instagram: @OhMyZinaa

If you like pan-Asian cuisine, why not try some of my recipes like vegetarian Pad Thai or this easy-peasy Chickpea Curry.

Huevos Rancheros

It’s a Saturday morning. You probably have a hangover. You’re lying on the couch watching Saturday Kitchen regretting that last glass of rosé wine or those dreaded tequila shots. If not, you’re probably, like me, still exhausted and weary from a hard Monday to Friday working week. Either way, you need a pick-me-up and I promise you these spicy Mexican eggs are exactly the thing you need to kickstart your weekend.

How do you like your eggs in the morning?

I like mine with a… kick.

Huevos Rancheros are hot (not excessively spicy though – just right) but healthy so you can indulge without feeling too guilty. For anyone following Slimming World: ditch the oil for low-cal spray and use the cheese as your Healthy Extra. This is a great filling alternative to a greasy fry up on a Saturday or Sunday morning.

It incorporates some of ye old faithful ingredients such as a tin of chopped tomatoes, onion and garlic as well as some of my favourite spices: cumin and coriander. I love Mexican food so I’m so happy I can now eat Mexican at breakfast time too.

Health benefits? Tomatoes are full of wonderful vitamins. They’re packed with vitamins and antioxidants such as Vitamin A (great for your vision) and Vitamin B and potassium (good for your heart) They’re great for your skin, help prevent various types of cancer and maintain strong bones! Score. Eggs are also a healthy source of protein which I know can be a big concern for vegetarians or anyone considering a vegetarian diet!

This recipe serves 3-4 people. Serve with wholemeal tortilla wraps at breakfast time and eat like a big burrito or with spicy rice at lunch and dinnertime.

Ingredients
  • Oil
  • 1 Red Onion (peeled and diced)
  • 3 Cloves of Garlic (peeled and finely chopped)
  • 1 Red Pepper (deseeded and diced)
  • 1 Red Chilli Pepper (deseeded and finely chopped)
  • 1 Small Green Chilli Pepper (deseeded and finely chopped)
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 1tsp Ground Cumin
  • 1tsp Ground Coriander
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 400g Tin of Chopped Tomatoes
  • 4 Eggs
  • 100g Cheddar Cheese (grated)
  • Optional: spring onions (finely chopped for garnish)
Method
  1. Heat a decent glug of oil in a heavy based pan. Once hot, chuck in the onion, garlic, pepper and chilli peppers and fry for 15 minutes until really soft and caramelised. Half-way through, add the cumin, coriander and salt n pepper and stir through to coat all the veg. While it’s cooking, preheat your grill to a high heat.
  2. Pour in the chopped tomatoes and with the back of your wooden spoon, mash everything down into a pulp. Bring to a boil then reduce to a medium heat before simmering for a further 5 minutes. Remove the bay leaves.
  3. The tomatoes should reduce to a thick stew and at this point, you can create four small wells. Crack your eggs into the wells and pop a lid on top. Poach for about 5 minutes depending on how you like your eggs.
  4. When they are cooked to your preference, take off the heat and pop under the grill to cook the top of the eggs for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Take out, top with grated cheese and place back in the grill for a further 2-3 minutes until the cheese is melted and starting to turn golden brown.
  6. Garnish with spring onions. Serve with tortillas or on a bed of rice.

 

For more foodie updates, follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. If you love Mexican Food, check out my Rigatoni Mexicana

Lazy Lentil Curry

I’m going to call this one “3-Can-Dan” because the basis of this yummy vegetarian curry is just three tins and some dried herbs that you can keep in your pantry at all times for a quick, easy and tasty curry on lazy days.

Truthfully, we had just came home for 10 days in Spain so there was no fresh food in the house. I was researching curries using tinned lentil soup, since we had some in the cupboard, and was perplexed that I couldn’t find any online. There are a lot of recipes using cream of tomato soup which I might try out at a later date. So I was inspired to create a really easy curry out of tinned, dried and frozen food that we had in the kitchen. I am so happy with how it turned out, it tasted so much better than I expected and this is definitely a recipe I will make when I’m living on a student budget in Edinburgh. It happens to be a bonus that it is low in fat, contributes towards your five-a-day intake and is also vegan-friendly.

If you’re following Slimming World and want to make this a syn free delight, swap the sugar for sweetener and use one of the following lentil soups as your Healthy Extra B choice: Tideford Organic Foods Red Lentil Soup with Apricots & Chillies or New Convent Garden Soup Skinny Tomato Vegetables with Laird Lentils Soup. I used Weight Watchers Carrot & Lentil at 4 syns. Be wary – some canned soups have a lot of hidden sugars!

It takes about 20-30 minutes to put together and requires little to no skill. It serves about 4 people. You can serve as a main with rice or, like me, top a baked potato for lunch and freeze the leftovers for another day. It is super filling because of all the lentils and chickpeas which is great for staying fuller for longer. Remember the canned soup you choose will vary the taste slightly so you can experiment with flavour by trying different soups!

Ingredients
  •  1 Can of Lentil Soup (about 300/400g)
  • 1 Can of Chickpeas (drained)
  • 1 Can of Chopped Tomatoes
  • 1 Portion of Any Frozen Veg
  • 1 Onion (peeled and finely chopped)
  • 3 Cloves of Garlic (peeled and finely chopped)
  • 2tsp Turmeric
  • 2tsp Coriander Leaf
  • 1tsp Mild Chilli Powder
  • 1tsp Cumin
  • 1tsp Sugar
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Oil
  • Optional: a dash of soy sauce and lemon juice for extra flavour
Method
  1. Heat a little oil in a non-stick pan. Once hot, toss in your chopped onion and garlic and cook on a low-medium heat for 5 minutes before adding the portion of frozen veg and drained tin of chickpeas. Cook for a further 2-3 minutes.
  2. Once the frozen veg has begun to defrost, it’s time to add your spices: turmeric, coriander leaf, mild chilli powder and cumin. Coat thoroughly and let the spices fry into the veg for about 5 minutes.
  3. Pour in the tin of lentil soup and chopped tomatoes. Stir through. Add a good grinding of salt and pepper and the teaspoon of sugar to sweeten the tomatoes. Let simmer for about 15 minutes. The lentil soup and tomatoes should reduce into a yummy, thick sauce.
  4. Done! Serve on a bed of fluffy rice or on top of a baked potato.

Have you given this recipe a go? What did you think? Which canned soup did you use? I want to see your pictures so send them my way on Facebook, Twitter or tag me on Instagram @thefourthmonthblog. 

Eating Veggie in Marbella: Terra Sana

Consistency Is Key

I’ve been eating in Terra Sana for years. In particular, my family love the breakfasts they serve: fluffy french toast with fresh fruit and golden syrup – yum! Terra Sana is renowned for healthy, simple and ethical eating. If you google vegetarian food in Marbella then Terra Sana will come up time and time again. The atmosphere is relaxed and the company slogan is “food for the soul” which more or less sums up the vibes and the food they serve.

There are several venues to choose from depending on where you are staying on the coast: Benalmádena, Plaza del Mar, Miramar, Marina Banus, La Cañada, Nueva Andalucía and Laguna Village. I’ve eaten in a few of their restaurants and each time they provide consistently good food and chilled out vibes although I personally prefer their sea view destinations to their shopping centre locations.

Setting the Scene

Unlike many places in Costa Del Sol, Terra Sana is not about the flashy lifestyle of the rich and famous. It’s down-to-earth: you are seated at rustic wooden tables and artsy, hippy decor adorns the walls. There is nothing pretentious about their venues; instead they focus on an earthy atmosphere. You can walk straight off the beach with sand in your toes and salt water in your hair and still feel comfortable.

Veggie Options

As I previously mentioned, Terra Sana is famous for their vegetarian cuisine. Their funky health-conscious food lends itself well to a vegetarian and vegan diet making it the perfect destination for anyone adopting a meat-free diet on the coast. They offer an incredible selection of breakfasts, salads, wraps, smoothies, juices and, for the hungrier diner, there are even pizzas and burgers.

Salads

To start with we shared the Terra Sana and Sydney Salads with some cajun spiced chips on the side. Most of you will agree that salads are not often the most exciting option on the menu, especially when you are vegetarian. However, these salads were incredible. The Terra Sana was a mixture of avocado, tomato, feta cheese, dates, cucumber, red onion, black olives and mixed nuts on a bed of mixed lettuce leaves with a summery dressing. If like me, you love nuts and the flavours of a Greek summer then this is the salad for you. The Sydney boasted a great big hunk of warm breaded goat’s cheese with avocado, pear, toasted walnuts, spinach leaves, lettuce hearts, croutons and balsamic honey dressing. My sister has since had to go back to Terra Sana just to get another taste of this amazing salad. It left us scraping the dish for every last bit of hot, creamy goat’s cheese with that delicious tangy balsamic dressing – delicious! You do not need to be veggie or on a diet to enjoy these salads.

Wraps

I split a wrap and a pizza with my sister because we wanted to try out more of the veggie options because there was plenty to choose from. We opted for the Wrap Around which is a flour tortilla absolutely stuffed with an incredible smoked aubergine relish, spinach, avocado, tomato, red onion and cream cheese. The only downside is that it is served cold – we would’ve liked a hot wrap but that’s more of a personal preference. I could have eaten that lightly smoked aubergine relish by the bowl. If this doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, there was also the Tofu Wrap. It will transport you to Asia with smoked tofu, rice noodles, spiced peanuts, shredded Chinese cabbage, bean sprouts, coriander, red onions, red peppers and chilli jam all wrapped up in a tortilla wrap.

Burgers, Pizzas & Stir Fries

My sister and I also split the Zeus pizza which boasted Mediterranean roasted veg, pesto, mozzarella, goat’s cheese and a balsamic dressing. I hadn’t noticed the pizza didn’t come with a tomato base when I ordered. This was strange at first but once I had accustomed my taste buds, this was a lovely fresh pizza with a crispy cracker-like base. Our other vegetarian guest tried the La Sierra pizza which was topped with balsamic mushroom with rosemary, goat’s cheese, mozzarella spinach and pine nut. He also remarked on the uniqueness of their pizza options. Do not go looking for indulgent (and greasy) pizzas that you might find in Pizza Hut or Dominos. This is a health-conscious pizza if such a thing exists.

You can also choose from: a Mozzato pizza (standard cheese and tomato), the vegan Buddha burger (tofu burger with lettuce hearts and apple slices) or a vegetarian spicy stir fry straight from the wok.

Overall Impression

I will admit the food at Terra Sana is somewhat of an acquired taste and I do not recommend it for fussy eaters. However, if you are looking for vegetables, fruit and flavour galore with a focus on ethical and healthy eating then this is where you need to go. Is it vegetarian-friendly? 100%. Is it a cool and fun place to eat? Definitely. Is it indulgent? No. Is it for everyone? Probably not. But a wrap stuffed full of fresh veg with a fresh fruit smoothie does not go amiss as you watch the sunset after a long, hot day on the beach.

Check out Terra Sana on their website. Follow them on Twitter and Facebook.

Have you been to Terra Sana? What did you think? Send me your pictures.

Eating Veggie in Marbella: El Oceano

Welcome to Marbella

Travel blogs were never part of my original plan when I started my blog but I have posted reviews of vegetarian eating at home in Glasgow so I don’t see why I can’t take my restaurant reviews over to the Mediterranean. Throughout my final few days in Calahonda, Marbella I will be reviewing the vegetarian options in a couple of beautiful Costa Del Sol restaurants.

I’ve been visiting Calahonda, a small town between Malaga and Marbella, for twelve years now and I admit that the sunny Spanish coast is not famous for its vegetarian dining in the same way that a city like Berlin is. You can visit Iceland in Fuengirola to stock up on your frozen mince and chicken pieces and cook some of my vegetarian recipes if you are self-catering. However, if you look hard enough you will find some gems and the stunning beach resort, El Oceano, is one of those hidden treasures.

First Impressions

When I discovered my family had booked a table at El Oceano hotel, I was slightly disheartened by the menu. There were no set vegetarian options but it did say that the kitchen prepared vegetarian options on a day-to-day basis for any vegetarian guests. I sighed. This usually means the chef will stir fry some vegetables and try to pass it off as an acceptable meal while my fellow diners scoffed on confit of suckling pig and crispy Thai fish cakes.

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Setting the Scene

El Oceano is a stunning beach-side hotel with luxury accommodation, a beauty salon, a restaurant and poolside bar. The decor is subtle: neutral and light colours reflecting the permanent sunshine that pours in from the conservatory restaurant. While it is definitely luxurious, there is something rustic and vintage that really appeals to me in a world of polished and excessive glamour that you associate with Marbella.

Dining in the restaurant, you are immediately met with wall to wall views of the breathtaking, unspoilt blue ocean. Paired with relaxing live music from slow jazz piano to funky soul singer, Frankie B, it is the perfect setting for eating with family and friends.

Veggie Options

The first thing I did when I was seated was ask a server what the vegetarian option was. There were three vegetarians dining in our group so we were anxious to find out. My fears quickly dissipated as the friendly Spanish waitress informed us that there was a vegetable lasagne, penne arrabbiata, a vegetable curry, mushroom risotto and a goats cheese dish to choose from. It is so rare to get such a great selection and all three veggies were delighted to be able to order three different dishes.

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Cheese & Leek Parcels

To start with I ordered a cheese and leek parcel with a subtle cheese sauce and tomato chutney. My only fault with this dish is that there wasn’t enough of it! The filo pastry was crisp and I couldn’t get enough of that cheese sauce; I was scraping every last morsel off the plate.

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Mushroom Risotto

For my main course, I chose the mushroom risotto. I’ll admit it is a safe vegetarian option in any restaurant but El Oceano put a different spin on a timeless classic. The creamy and indulgent risotto was topped with chunky grilled courgette and cherry tomato which gave texture and flavour to what can otherwise be a same-y dish. Again, I could not fault this meal. It was tasty, light and satisfying. My other veggie diners opted for the vegetable lasagne and penne arrabbiata. While these are also safe dishes, El Oceano delivered on flavour and Jonathan remarked that it was the best vegetable lasagne he had ever eaten.

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Puff Pastry with Strawberries, Cream & Cotton Candy

I had spotted this dessert being served to other tables while we ate and had marvelled at the little drop of fuchsia candy floss on top. Sadly, my candy floss had deflated somewhat by the time it had arrived but otherwise this puff pastry dish was a culinary delight. With fresh strawberries and cream, it was a refreshing and light way to finish off my meal.

Overall Impression

There are no settings quite like El Oceano on the coast. The ocean views are simply stunning. The live music and friendly staff create a vivacious atmosphere without overwhelming you. For someone who isn’t particularly impressed by the excess and VIP lifestyle of Marbella, El Oceano exudes luxury and elegance without compromising those rustic beachy vibes.

As for vegetarians, El Oceano is probably the most impressive destination for veggie and gluten-free options that I’ve visited in my twelve years visiting the coast. Catering to your dietary requirements is not an issue here and you will not be made to feel like a less valid diner because of your lifestyle choices.

To reserve a table at El Oceano for your next visit to Costa Del Sol, visit their website or Facebook page

Have you visited El Oceano? Let me know about your experience and send me your photographs.

The view from Eleanor Mullally-Staunton’s table on her latest trip to El Oceano. Eleanor is vegetarian and recommends the vegetable curry! 

Veggie Pad Thai

I fell in love with Wagamama’s Yasai Pad Thai a couple of years ago only to discover that most Pad Thai’s are made with a fish sauce so even if the restaurant is using tofu or veggies, it’s likely that it still isn’t vegetarian friendly. So I embarked on a mission to make my own tasty pad thai that is completely vegetarian. Like I said, I’ve had a few failed attempts at making a Pad Thai (too stodgy or too eggy) but this is AMAZING. It’s super tasty, pretty healthy and, because it is a stir fry, it’s quick and easy to make. I had added as many vegetables as I could pack in to keep it a healthy dinner option for during the week.
This recipe serves about four people and like my Satay recipe, it combines some of my favourite flavours in one dish: peanut, coriander, lime, chilli. I have included an option for both Quorn chicken and Tofu in this recipe to suit your preferences or to suit whatever is most easily accessible to you. I always have Quorn chicken pieces in my freezer so I tend to use these for cooking unless I go out of my way to buy some tofu. If you’re using the firm tofu, remember to squeeze out any excess moisture by wrapping in a clean kitchen towel and pressing down on it.
Enjoy!

Ingredients:
300g Quorn Chicken Pieces/400g Pressed Firm Tofu (cut into large bites)
One Nest of Rice Noodles Per Person
Sesame Oil (you can use vegetable oil if you don’t have any)
1 Red Onion (thinly sliced)
1 Leek (thinly sliced)
3 Garlic Cloves (finely chopped/minced)
2 Fresh Red Chillies (deseeded and finely chopped)
100g Bean Sprouts
4tbsp Dark Soy Sauce
1tbsp Sweet Chilli Sauce
2tsp Brown Sugar
1 Lime
2 Large Eggs
Handful of Fresh Coriander (roughly chopped for garnish)
4 Spring Onions (roughly chopped for garnish)
25g Dry Roasted Peanuts (roughly bashed for garnish)
Optional: Another lime cut into wedges for garnish

Method:

  1. In a small bowl, beat the two eggs.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix together the soy sauce, sweet chilli sauce, brown sugar and juice of the lime. Set aside.
  3. In a large frying pan or wok, fry Quorn/tofu pieces in a splash of sesame oil for 3-4 minutes. Add the sliced red onion and leek for 2 minutes. Add garlic, chilli and bean sprouts and stir fry for 2 minutes more.
  4. Pour in the sauce mixture and combine well. Stir fry continuously while you cook your noodles.
  5. Cook your rice noodles according to pack instructions. This will usually take 3-4 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water.
  6. Add the noodles to the wok. Toss for a couple more minutes to combine all of the ingredients.
  7. Slowly and evenly pour over the beaten eggs and let them set for 1-2 minutes before stirring briefly until the egg is cooked. Add half of the spring onions, coriander and peanuts and stir through.
  8. Serve in separate bowls and top with the remaining garnish. Enjoy!

If you have a go at making my vegetarian pad thai, let me know what you think and send me your photos.