Pescan: A feel good cookbook by Abbie Cornish & Jacqueline King Schiller {cookbook review}

When the publishers wrote to me and asked if I would be interested in reviewing a copy of Pescan, I responded right away with a a yes of course! Having experienced a vegan lifestyle, but not being able to maintain it after the month, I have been looking for alternative ways to try and get back to a plant based diet.


The authors best friends and they share a love of food and wellness and from that came what they call "pescan." Which is essentially dairy-free, plant-based, and gluten free but with options of high-protein seafood and eggs incorporated.

The book gives us each of the author's story anyhow they got to this book. They also give us a guide on how to feel good in the kitchen, the pescan lifestyle, and stocking your kitchen with all the good things.

Then the rest of the chapters get into the recipes. The first chapter covers the basics and batch cooking then it continues with breakfast, eggs, soups and salads, beans and grains, pizza and pasta, seafood, party food, and last but never least dessert. The book ends with a section called gatherings which includes menu plans for different events and gatherings.


Recipes I have already tagged to try out: 


Everyday Magic Beans
Blended Vanilla Iced Mocha
PB&J Overnight Oats
Curried Tofu Scramble
Banana Pancakes with Cardamom Spiced Berries
Quinn's Breakfast Cookies
Lobster, Corn, and Caramelized Leek Frittata
Creamy Truffle Mushroom Soup
The Happy Hippy Quinoa Salad
California Dream Burgers
Lemon-Pea Risotto with Mint
Fiesta Veggie Rice
Pesto Zucchini (courgette) Noodles with Cannellini Beans and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Creamy Mushroom Lasagna with Pesto
Italian-style Grilled Halibut
Spicy Buffalo Tofu Fingers with Avocado Ranch Dressing
High-Protein Black Bean Brownies

There are so many more recipes to choose from and not only that it has a wealth of information on how to cook basic things so you can play and make your meal time your own. And in my opinion that is the sign of a great cookbook.

This book offers something for everyone. It's great for people who want to avoid dairy or gluten, but it's not just for them. There are some fantastic ideas and flavor combinations and I really can't wait to try the recipes out!


*I was provided a copy of Pescan: A feel good cookbook by Abbie Cornish & Jacqueline King Schiller to review by the publisher, abrams&chronicle books, retails at £21.99 and available now on Amazon! All opinions are my own, I was not given any other compensation nor was I asked to give a positive review, please see my contact/policy page for more information.

Honest Burgers, Reading - Something New at the Reading location {restaurant review}

Honest Burgers hasn't been in Reading for very long, but it's one of the few places in town that I re-visit over and over again. The menu is basic, but I use that term in a good way not in the slang way it is used by the youth of today. Because I have found that the best places to eat are the ones that do a few things really well.

Saying that though the menu has something for everyone, vegetarians and vegans included. Every month they have a special burger that celebrates locally sourced ingredients and keeps the menu interesting.

The other thing they do that helps keep things interesting is that each Honest Burgers has one burger that you can only get at that location. Each one of those burgers usually reflects the area of the location of the restaurant. And that is why I am writing today.

Reading's signature burger has changed.


It has changed to, are you ready for this...... a Jerk Chicken Burger - free-range jerk chicken thigh, smoked bacon, double American cheese, Calypso Fusion jerk sauce, mango slaw and lettuce

Yesterday I took my girls into town to see a movie and then to dinner at Honest Burgers where I tried this Jerk Chicken Burger. I gotta say it was one of the best chicken burgers I have tried in recent times. The chicken was perfectly cooked and the spices perfectly balanced, in my opinion it had just the right amount of heat.

The burger was created by one of the team members in Reading. She worked as a prep chef and made her way up and is now an essential part of their management team. She came to to join the Reading team through a program called Working Chance; the UK's only recruitment consultancy for women leaving the criminal justice and care system.

The Jerk burger uses her family's jerk rub and sauce and a portion of the sale of every burger sold goes to the charity Working Chance as a way to say thank you to them and to help them continue the amazing work they are doing.


If this burger isn't enough for you to visit Honest Burger, I should mention their rosemary salted chips, they are the best and their cocktails are some of my favorite! But not only that as I mentioned above there is something for everyone including veggies and vegans.

In January they launched their vegan burger, which uses a Beyond Meat patty and I tried it when I took part of Veganuary and I have to say I really enjoyed it - I wrote about it in my blog post Top 5 Vegan Recipes & Products and it's still available!

It also has a kids menu that reflects kids tastes. The burgers are sliders and were the perfect size for little people. My eldest daughter loves pickles, like her mom does, and when ordering her veggie burger asked for lots of pickles. Their pickles are made there and so we were brought a bowl with some to try and we were fighting over them! Just another way that they show their dedication to great ingredients.



There are several locations check out their website to find one near you and if you are local to Reading it's located - 1-5 King St, Reading RG1 2HB 

My original review post can be found here.

* I was invited to visit Honest Burgers, I was not compensated in a monetary way for my review, all opinions are my own, please see my contact/policy page above for more information.

Social Media - Do you have niche?

When I first started blogging it was about baking and I titled my blog accordingly and all my social media channels were named accordingly. I only followed other baking accounts and joined in foodie group chats on social media. 

Which was great at the time. However, things change and people change and grow and it's hard to stay within a niche. It's hard to put limits on creativity and it's hard to stay within the boundaries of that niche, to live in a box.

It's not hard I suppose if you don't grow or change.

A few years back now I attended Food Blogger Connect and one of the workshops I attended was all about blogging, not about food just blogging and why we blogged. At the time it felt like there was a simple answer, I liked blogging because it was my little corner of the internet were I got to share something I was passionate about. A place were I could express myself and put words down where someone might actually read them.

But within the confines of baking.

When I posted anything besides a recipe or it got half the views of the ones that did. However, having had a few major things in my life change and my "passion" for baking ebbed my blog has pretty much gone on the wayside.

I spend most of my time now on Instagram and it's there that I now mostly share images of books and follow loads of book lovers and take part in daily photo challenges with prompts all to do with books. It's weird to remember that actually I started blogging not with this blog, but a book blog, one my sisters and I wrote together along with our cousin (pagesofthemind). We stopped blogging about books but, our love of books didn't go anywhere. We just stopped fitting into the niche of "book blogger."

I still read as much as I was baking, but it wasn't always something I shared or talked about because I felt like I couldn't mix the two. It's a little like that now on social media, if you don't have a niche or a theme for your page then you might as well forget it.

Which is so hard as no single person is just one thing. We have many things that we are passionate about or that bring us joy. I love books and I love the bookish community I have found online. I also still enjoy baking, but as I have stated recently and more then once, I just don't bake like I used too.

I still buy and devour cookbooks and that's the one thing I feel like I can share here because it fits in my niche of baking and food. If I couldn't tie in baking or cake or food I thought it would automatically be rejected.


However, it's was pretty presumptuous of me to assume that I had enough regular readers to care. According to my analytics my bounce rate was high, people would pop into my blog via a link or google search for exactly what they were looking for and then leave again. Nothing keeps them here. And that's okay too.

In today's world there is a lot of quick information and once that need is satisfied it goes again and it's not something I am immune too.

It was just a topic I have been thinking about a lot lately. Does my blog have to be just one thing when I myself am not one thing? I am a mother, artist, expat, book lover, plant killer, and I love musical theatre.

I am not just a baker and cookbook addict.

Both of which I still love, but I don't love them more or less then the other things I enjoy. The last few years haven't been easy ones and I felt like I no longer had anything to say. This post was relevantly easy to write harder to decide if I would share it or not.

Point of all my ramblings is that the idea of having a "niche" is restricting, but to be honest it helped when I was starting out. It's just now I don't know where to go or how to change the blog and that's not easy. It's hard not to wonder where my blog would be if I hadn't put myself in a box?

Top 5 Vegan Recipes and Products {veganuary - five on Friday}

Veganuary may be over, but there are a few recipes and products I have added to my weekly shop or recipes I have added to my repertoire also one place I will visit again for their vegan menu.

Not in any particular order:



1. Falafels & Hummus wraps: I was making this recipe for years before I decided to try being vegan and it is still a go to lunch option. Falafels with hummus and spinach, shredded carrots, and either mint sauce or sweet chilli depending on the falafels.



2. Vegan burger from Honest Burgers - are made with Beyond Burger patties, they are the first restaurant in the UK to have these vegan burgers and let me tell you they are good!! I know it might be a bit weird to go to a burger place to get a vegan burger, but the rosemary salted chips are the best so it's always a win-win!



3. Banana bread recipe from bosh! - I have written a separate post for this so check it out here!


image belongs to violife

4. Violife original flavour block: vegan cheese - Cheese was my biggest fear,  I was afraid how it would taste and worried about the texture . Cheese how can vegan cheese hold up against regular cheese? But this one did and I am still using it for recipes and sandwiches.



5. tofu with spicy peanut sauce - this recipe I actually made in February but it was so good even my children liked this one and both ate it right up! Best part is that it goes in the slow cooker and can be left to it's own devices as you sort the rest of your life out.

recipe:
675g extra firm tofu
2 tbsp veggie oil
85g smooth peanut butter
3 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
3 tbsp rice vinegar
dash of lime juice
2 tbsp light brown sugar
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tbsp fresh ginger, choppped
1-2 red chillis, depending how hot you want it
350g baby spinach
chopped fresh coriander
brown rice to serve

Cut the tofu into thin squares or rectangles or whatever shapes you want and pat dry to remove any excess moisture before frying in a pan over a medium-high heat flipping until browned on both sides.
While the tofu is doing its thing mix everything except the spinach and coriander in the slow cooker and when the tofu is ready mix it all together and leave on low from 2-4 hours depending on your slow cooker. 15 minutes before serving add the spinach and cook the rice, if using 10 minute rice, and serve with rice and coriander as a garnish.

*note I only used one chilli as my kids don't like it too spicy, but if you like it spicy use another one!
**note two I chop up the coriander stalks and mix them in with the sauce
There were so many other things I tried and tested in my month of being vegan a few honourable mentions are the Goodfella's Vegan Pizza found in the frozen section and also found in the frozen section Ben and Jerry's vegan ice cream and last but not least the Heck vegan sausages.

Being vegan was definitely an experience and it has taught me a lot and as already stated changed a lot in how I do my food shopping and cook!


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