The 13th Note, Glasgow and a recipe for bombay chips with dipping daal 

And so to the last of the mini reviews from our trip to Glasgow! We arrived at The 13th Note just after they opened on a Saturday lunchtime, we were the second people in but by the time we were eating it was pretty much full! We enjoyed the food, but weren’t as fond of the atmosphere here. As well as good menu, the cocktail list looked great, but it was a little early in the day for us to sample them unfortunately!

On Saturday and Sunday lunchtime, there’s a brunch menu on offer, and we were keen to try two of the dishes.

We ate –

Huevos Mexicanos

Brunch Thali

As the gluten free option for both dishes (instead of flatbreads) we were offered a choice of tortilla chips, rice (I think I’m remembering that correctly!), or chips… The chips have been voted best in Glasgow, so we had to try them! And very nice they were too, thin cut, skin on, and flavoured with salt and rosemary.

The Heuvos Mexicanos was a flavourful dish of scrambled tofu with chillies, tomato, onion and coriander. It had a decent kick of heat and the flavours all went very well together.

The Brunch Thali comprised of daal, raita and bombay potatoes. The daal was gorgeous, rich and tasty with lovely flavours. We dipped the chips in it, which was extremely yummy… The raita was good, although it had chilli in which was a bit if a surprise, I’d usually think of raita as a cooling counterpoint to the chilli in other dishes! The bombay potatoes were actually roasted potatoes with onions and spices, rather than the tomatoey spiced potatoes we were expecting. Very tasty though! All in all it was a delicious meal, and everything else we saw coming out of the kitchen looked great too.

And now my recipe inspired by that meal. In a nod to the chips and bombay potatoes at The 13th Note, I have created… bombay chips! Using the twice cooked method, the chips are first simmered in a spiced tomato mixture before being deep fried. The chips take on the flavours of the tomato and spices subtly but beautifully, and sprinkled with salt and coriander make a perfect dipper for daal. I’m very pleased with them!

My daal recipe has a slightly unusual spice mixture, but it works ever so well, particularly with the bombay chips. I also like to cook the yellow split peas before the other lentils go in the pot, I think it results in a better texture at the end.

Bombay chips and dipping daal

Bombay chips and dipping daal

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Mono cafe bar, Glasgow and a kale salad with lentils, rice and butternut squash

On our first day in Glasgow, we found the apartment we were renting and set out for a wander. It was past lunch time, and with only a limited idea where we were headed we found ourselves outside Mono, yay! We’d looked at the menu online, and it was on our list of places to try. Mostly, it has to be said, because I really, really wanted to try the pho…

Vegan food served in music and performance venues does seem to be a big thing in Glasgow, the three places we tried all followed this pattern, but with nicely different menus!

Mono is a lovely open space, with a raised platform full of tables, and then more dotted around the main floor area. It was very busy while we were there, which was great to see, but the service was very good. It was fun to watch the steady stream of great looking dishes leaving the kitchen!

Mono does have a gluten/wheat free menu with plenty of choices, but they do fry the tofu, chips etc. in oil which is also used for wheat products which limits things if you can’t have gluten rather than just avoid it. This is made clear on the menu though!

We shared hummus, salad and tortilla chips to start, it was a good hummus with all the right flavours.

Alex then had the roasted beetroot and kale salad with pecans, sun dried tomatoes and chickpeas. This also came with a creamy dill dressing which helped to bring it all together. It was a tasty salad, but an awful lot of kale to get through in one go!

I had the pho of course! It came with courgette noodles rather than rice noodles, which was a nice change, but they were a little difficult to eat! The broth was lovely, very different from my Vietnamese style broth, with, I think, lemongrass involved. The selection of vegetables was great, with yellow peppers, mange tout peas and beansprouts among plenty of other things! The veg was cut into rather big pieces though, so along with the noodles I did not manage to eat it in my usual ladylike (ahem…) fashion!

Overall it was a satisfying, tasty, healthy meal which set us up nicely for some more exploring.

In honour of the kale salad, I made this version for work lunches this week, and very good it was too.

Kale salad with lentils and butternut squash

Kale salad with lentils and butternut squash

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The Flying Duck, Glasgow and a mushroom gravy recipe

One of the places we ate while in Glasgow was The Flying Duck, it was definitely our favourite!

It’s a basement venue and the lovely cool temperature and low lighting felt like an oasis after the heat and crowds in the city centre on a Saturday afternoon.

And, the food was great! It’s the menu we’d most been looking forward to, it’s comfort food led, which is something that we just can’t get in a restaurant anywhere near where we live.

And just to make things even better, they serve a gluten free beer, yay! We spent a happy couple of hours relaxing and recharging.

We sampled a few things from the snacks part of the menu –

Buckfast infused jackfruit pulled ‘pork’ taco

Sauteed kale

Macar-own-i cheese

Cheeze and gravy mash

We really enjoyed them all!

The jackfruit in the taco was in a tangy, tasty barbeque sauce, and came with a lovely creamy coleslaw. Never having partaken of Buckfast we think it just brought sweetness to the sauce, but it’s a cute nod to its dubious historical popularity in Glasgow…

The kale was nicely frizzled at the edges so it had that unmistakable smoky brassica flavour. Yum.

Macaroni cheese is absolutely everywhere in Glasgow! I would challenge a dairy version to be tastier than the Flying Ducks macar-own-i version, it’s immensely satisfying. Creamy, savoury, and gloopy! Just as it should be.

Ooh the mash… Lovely mash, topped with cheeze and a gorgeous savoury gravy. Simple, but great!

Mash and gravy is my favourite comfort food, so I’ve been working on my gravy recipe, and here it is. I ate it with potato and kale mash which made for a delicious meal, and a lovely reminder of our meal at The Flying Duck.

This recipe is thickened with vegetables rather than flour so has a lovely silky texture, and layers of savoury flavour. It makes loads, but freezes well.

Mushroom gravy

Mushroom gravy

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June’s Vegan Flowbox review

It seems hardly any time since last month’s box turned up, goodness time flies when you’re working every hour there is!

This is another box with a good weight to it, and a very intriguing rattle when shaken, which is hopefully not something I’ve broken already …

So let’s dive straight in and see what we have..


mystery parcel of fun and goodies

First out is Alice & Oscar’s Quinola Mothergrain Express, it’s a microwaveable pouch of pearl and black quinoa. I’ve had this before and it’s really satisfying and makes a great alternative to a pouch of microwave rice .. Plus the packaging is just great!

Next out is another big pack ( it doesn’t rattle much though, I’ve checked) this is by Made Good and is a pack of Strawberry Muesli Minis .. They look really tasty, and not something I’ve seen before, little bites of muesli fruity bites .. with … vegetables!? Hang on .. Yip .. Vegetables, it includes vegetable powder and shiitake mushroom .. Goodness knows what it’ll do to the taste but it’s certainly interesting!

Ooh, well this is something I’ve wanted to try, Baobab Superfruit powder by Minvita. I see Baobab powder appearing again and again, but know nothing about it and don’t really want to commit to a big expensive pack of the stuff, so this 5g sachet should be a great introduction

A Cliff Bar is next, this is the one item in the box I can’t eat as it has Barley and the evil glutens in it. However it’s Chocolate Almond Fudge flavour and I can see this being a very tasty treat and its 68 Grams so there’s a goodly amount of it too!

There’s the first layer dug through, and I think I see a likely culprit for the rattling .. Hang on .. <shake shake shake rattle rattle rattle>  it is! By Rehlauf it’s Thai chilli & lemongrass roasted soy-beans, again this is a product I haven’t see before, but it’s great packaging and sounds really yummy.

A full size, 400ml, bottle of Faith in Nature’s Pomegranate and Rooibos shampoo is next. I love their products and haven’t tried this shampoo before, it has a very clean and slightly fruity scent, Yay!

Then we have an Organic Acai Berry bar from Beond, this is a raw bar flavoured with Acai and raspberry, it’s off to to be a tasty treat at work.

Another product I haven’t seen before, by Smooze! There are two Fruit Ice’s one is coconut and mango, the other is coconut and pineapple, they look really fun and are off into the freezer now for when the weather warms up or tomorrow .. Y’know whichever appears first 🙂

Last out are Seaveg Crispies by Clearspring, which is a toasted Nori snack, I’m really fond of Nori and often sneak it into dishes for a taste of the sea!


all unpacked and waiting to be eaten .. apart from the shampoo.

Well, what a great selection again! The last few months of Flowbox have been great, interesting and different with a really good mix of products.

By A


May’s Vegan Flowbox review

I’d like to start with a bit of an apology first, I completely missed writing the review of the April box, it was a great selection of foods and if I get chance I’ll write a retrospective review of it, as I’ve eaten most of what was in the box now it would be a fun thing to do.

Anyhow .. On to the May box.The first thing you notice is the weight of the box it’s immense. Opening it up the box is jampacked with goodies.

so much stuff!

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April’s The VeganKind box review

As usual both of my boxes turned up on the same day of the month. This months VeganKind box has got a good weight to it. Whatever is in there feels fairly substantial!

just waiting to be unpacked

So let’s see what’s in there.. This months recipe card is from the Vegan cookie fairy and uses the first ingredient to come out of the box Ginger coconut sugar from Coconom, I’ve tired their normal coconut sugar and it’s good stuff, it has a caramel-y, molasses-y, flavour, I can see how it could work very well with ginger, so this will probably get used in my next batch of biscuits.

Next out is a Dark chocolate Peanut butter cup with Maldon sea salt by Eat Chic . In the interests of reviewing I’ll eat this now … Yum .. The chocolate is dark and slightly bitter with a roasty, toasty, flavour, the peanut butter is slightly sweet and the salt really lifts the whole thing. I like it a lot.

Whilst I’m munching the peanut butter cup the next thing I lay my sticky paws on is a bag of Soffle’s Chilli and Garlic Pitta chips. I have it on good authority that these are a great tasty crunchy snack, but not for me as they are made with wheat flour.

Yay, more chocolate next, in the shape of a pack of Coco Mylk buttons from Ombar, they describe themselves as organic raw chocolate with coconut cream and live cultures, which sounds great!

Ha, and last out is just what I need seeing as I’m now covered in chocolate and peanut butter a nig bottle of Coconut hand wash from Faith in Nature, I’ve used a few of their products and they have always been consistently very good.

photo taken before the mysterious disappearance of the peanut butter cup

It seems like a really good box this month .. Now I’m off to wash my hands.. 🙂

by A


March’s Vegan Flowbox review

As I said in this post both my subscription boxes turned up on the same day this week. I’m only just getting round to looking at what’s in this one but it looks a fun selection!

As usual, it is very nicely presented with the green tissue paper and straw string wrapping.

All wrapped up and full of surprises ...

All wrapped up and full of surprises …

In the paperwork there is a recipe card for juices, some of them sound very tasty.

Anyway, onto the really good stuff…

The treats start to reveal themselves..

The treats start to reveal themselves..

First out of the box is Soffle’s Rosemary and Thyme Pitta chips. This a decent sized bag (60g) and has an ingredients list that is lovely and simple. They do use wheat flour though, so aren’t for me .. They can go the bribe pile.

Next out we have a carton (330ml) of goji berry juice from The Berry Company. Goji is not one of my favourite flavours, but this is also made with grape and passion fruit so I have high hopes!

Then there’s a Doves Farm Banana and hemp seed flapjack, I have a deep love of flapjacks and thankfully these are made with gluten free oats so is Alex friendly!

Next up is fascinating lookin thing! Pure Vida Raw sprouted onion bread, it’s made of onion, sprouted buckwheat, ground flaxseed, olive oil and salt. I haven’t tried anything quite like this before so am rather looking forward to it!

Rawnola from Planet Organic is the next thing I grab with my greedy paws, this is Cacao and vanilla flavour and says it can be used as a sprinkle or mixed with yogurt or as a cereal. Work breakfasts tend to be what we call Poghurt a mix of porridge oats and soya yoghurt, this should make a fun alternative!

Next up is a tiny bottle of Balance bath and shower oil from BalmBalm, the bottle is only 5ml but it says that is enough for 2 or 3 showers .. We shall see! It smells lovely with notes of lavender, mint and geranium.

I was just thinking whether to start munching the next item as I wrote about it but spotted it has gluten in it, it’s a Justnuts Fruitfull Apple and Cinnamon bar the gluten comes from spelt in it so it should be a satisfying eat, just not for me.

The next item is called a Yummy Scrummy! And is from Elements for
Life, it’s a raw brownie by the looks of it and is chock full of fruit and nuts, it also looks so pretty! I’m looking forward to it a lot!

Last out of the box is a jar of Organic Kalamon Olive spread by Esti, I do like a good olive spread and this sounds great, it’s just olives, vinegar, salt, oregano and olive oil yum yum.

All the goodies posing together

All the goodies posing together

It’s another good selection from Flowbox, I like that the treats are primarily gluten free but do wish they did a completely gluten free vegan box too!

By A


March’s The Vegan Kind box review

As sometimes happens both this and my Flowbox box turned up one same day, as they tend to get left with the neighbours it was quite convenient!

I’ll write a review of the contents of the Flowbox over the weekend, but thought I’ll start with The Vegan Kind box first this month.

On opening there is a welcome letter, an advert for Vegfest, and a recipe card for a scrummy sounding Tofu Pad Thai by Vegan Lass.

Underneath, the goodies lie…

The treats hiding in their box!

The treats hiding in their box!

First up is a tote bag, it bears the company logo and is colourful and nicely designed, but not food, so not massively interesting. I’m sure it’ll be fun for some people though!

They've escaped!

They’ve escaped!

Next up we have a Chai Mylk from Rebel Kitchen, I’ve tried a few of their milkshakes and they have all been very tasty, my only criticism would be that they need to be bigger! The ingredients are just water, coconut milk, date nectar, cacao, cinnamon, turmeric and cardamom. I’m really looking forward to it.

Then we have a pack of Emily Fruit crisps – Crunchy banana. These are just banana and vegetable oil, the packaging is lovely and this style of treat is great for work munching.

Next is Angelic Sea Salt savoury biscuits, these are gluten free as well as vegan. Hang on .. I’ll try one before I say anything else … Munch munch .. Ooh, they are good. Nice crunch, slightly salty with a bit of onion. I’m relieved really as I’m not much of a fan of their sweet biscuits but these are great!

Last up, and oh I’m torn about this one! its the Round Up by Ananda foods, basically a veganised Wagon Wheel biscuit, it’s a good inch thick. Chocolate coated biscuit sandwich filled with must be a huge amount of marshmallow! Why am I torn ..? It’s made with wheat flour! I would be Ill for days if I tried this most delicious looking biscuit .. I may have to use it to bribe Ellie to help me with more work on the house!

I’m going to hide the Angelic biscuits .. I’ve eaten three now..

By A


February’s The Vegan Kind box review

Hidden goodies

In this post I mentioned that I get a couple of vegan treat boxes delivered every month on a subscription. They are a great way of discovering new products, and ideas, and providing treats for the month ahead.

if you’ve read my other review then you’ve probably spotted that there is rather more in the Flowbox offering, that box is more expensive than this one, I think they both offer reasonable value for money.

Goodies Revealed!

There are a couple of items I’m particularly looking forward to trying in this box … See if you can guess from the picture … Got It? That’s right! The Mallow Chocolate dips and the organic banana powder! I didn’t realise it was possible to powder a banana, but it gives a fascinating way of getting the flavour into dishes without a bananas distinct texture. The other item .. It’s thick chocolate sauce and marshmallows.. I really can’t say more than that!

Let’s not give the other items short shrift though.

There is a pack of Eat Real Sour cream and chives Quinoa Chips, I’ve tried these before and they make for a tasty snack.

Next up is a Fit Bites Maca Mantra which is a mix of raisins, dates, prunes, almonds, figs, coconut, sunflower seeds and Macca powder. If you haven’t come across macca powder, it’s meant to have assorted health benefits, I found it similar to caffeine but without the associated headaches!

Last but not least there is a pot of White Rabbit Toning Eye Cream, this box regularly includes a beauty product and they are usually fun to try.

It’s a good mix again, and I’ll have to think what I can use the banana powder on!

by A