5 bits and bobs: Burger places in Manchester (veggie friendly)


It’s a bit funny that even though most of my meals are super healthy and I love fat free dinners, burgers have to be my favourite food of all time. Good burgers that is, followed closely by good pizza. Okay, not sure which one of these two are my favourite but that is irrelevant at this particular moment in time.

So on this horrible, gloomy and rainy Monday, while sat at my desk in the office at lunch time, I will share with you lot my top 5 burger places in Manchester. I don’t believe there is anything better than having a satisfying burger at the end of a long day, a burger so delicious that you don’t even feel bad to stuff your whole face in it!

Oh yeh, one thing that is probably against any burger rules haha, I am a veggie so the following burger places are guaranteed to have mouth watering veggie burgers. Although I have been told by the boy, and I could more or less promise, the meat versions are equally as good!

1. I would have to start with Almost Famous because I am yet to find a better place that serves veggie burgers. Although a recent find (no.2 on the list) has to be very close behind as their veggie patch is absolutely amazing, but I will get to that in a bit. For those of you who don’t know what Almost Famous is, basically the heaven of all burgers. They are gourmet burgers so it will be a whole new experience, and they have yummy cocktails, creamy milkshakes and super sweet deserts. They are all worth trying so I suggest to give it a try ! They started in Manchester but are all over the North now, so you’ll find them in Liverpool and Leeds too!

2. We bumped into Bangers and Bacon at Castlefield Market a while ago and the boy tried their meaty sausages. So we had to go try them out in their new place at The Kitchens in Spinningfields. I know the name and sausages and everything sounds completely against my beliefs but trust me when I say this, their veggie version is as good as it can get!

3. Another good one that is on our list since the beginning is Solita! Funny enough, the boy and I had our first date there and man their burgers were good! And they have so much more, so if by any chance you are not a huge burger fan, there will be something on the menu to make you happy! And they’re expanding so watch out for a Solita Restaurant in your area haha!

4. My forth option would probably be Shake Shack but I decided to make a Manchester list so as they haven’t got that far north with their franchise, I’ll have to forget about them for now. And I’ll continue with Handmade burger. They have the longest list of burgers I have ever seen! They even have more than one veggie burger on their menu which is refreshing. One to try for sure!

5. My last but not least burger place is GBK! Which is probably the easiest to get to if you don’t live in Manchester! Their burgers are good, the staff is always super helpful and extra nice no matter which restaurant you go to, and their skinny fries are the bestest!!! And they’ve changed their menu not so long ago so they’ve got so much more to offer now. We were super impressed when we last went and we decided to put it on the top 5 burger places list. That has to say something.

This is exclusively a Manchester list so I am very well aware that there are lots of good burger places out there. Nevertheless, if you’ve got any other amazing places within the Manchester area, please let me know as we’re always looking for a new good burger place to try out!

There are actually a few more places that I’ve recently discovered and I want to try so keep an eye out for the next burger post if you’re into this sort of things ha!

What do you think of my burgers list? Are any of these your favs? Will you be trying them?

Love, Sim x

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Huevos Rancheros with homemade special guac

huevos rancheros

This is probably my favourite meal of whole time, mostly because I could have it everyday and not get bored of it and because it just so fresh and delicious! You feel absolutely amazing after eating it! I know this is supposed to be a breakfast dish but I just don’t understand why… Okay it has eggs, but that doesn’t prove anything ha, I love eggs and I put them on anything if I have the chance. Who doesn’t love a good poached egg in a creamy bowl of soup? Just me? oh okay… Anyway huevos rancheros is a bit too filling and there’s too much going on for me so I decided it makes an incredible dinner, especially an after workout dinner!! And it’s a great dish to just mix all your super foods in! Get ready for an overload of eggs!

Unfortunately, this is the boy’s creation as he’s the one that’s been to Mexico, but nevertheless one worth sharing !

Here’s what you need for the huevos rancheros, but you can add whatever veg you like really.

  • handfull kale, chopped
  • handfull baby spinach leaves, chopped
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 pepper, diced
  • 1 small chilli (or chilli flakes if you don’t have any fresh ones handy)
  • 1 courgette, diced
  • a few cloves on garlic, crushed
  • 300ml passata (or any tomatoey paste for that matter)
  • a knob of coconut oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • two eggs per person
  • tortillas
  • extras: sweetcorn, peas

The recipe should be enough for 4 people but we always save some for next day. Plus they will always ask for seconds so you’d better be prepared!

huevos rancheros

To make the salsa,place kale, spinach, onion, peppers, courgette, garlic and passata into a bowl. Season to taste and mix well.

Heat the oil in frying pan or wok over a medium heat and add the salsa. The boy usually makes two portions at the time, but it depends on the size of pan you’ve got really. You could also make one portion at the time in a super cute cast iron dish and serve it as it is. Careful though, it will be super hot! Anyway, back to our salsa, stir to warm through, than make a few wholes and place the eggs inside!

Put the lid on and let it cook for 3-4 minutes, until the whites are firm. Serve with plenty of tabasco (our favourites are chipotle, habanero, and the green pepper one), guac and tortillas and enjoy!

Ps. Tortillas are best warm, so you can put them either in the oven for a bit under grill or in the microwave.

For the homemade guac (this one is mine ha!)

  • two avocados, the softer the better
  • handful of coriander
  • half a red onion, finely chopped (you can add the other half in the huevos rancheros)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 handful baby tomatoes, choppped
  • 1 hard boiled egg, mashed with a fork
  • the juice of 1 lime
  • plenty of pepper and a bit of salt!

For the guac I usually use a liquidiser but if the avocados are soft enough, a fork will do the job just fine!

Cut the avocados in half and rotate around the pit until it falls. Peel them instead of spoon, apparently all the nutritious ingredients lie in that tiny area in-between the skin and the middle, so you make the most of it when peeling them! Dice them and add them in the liquidiser container together with the lime juice and some salt and pepper. Blitz a couple of times and then add egg, tomatoes, onion, garlic and more pepper! Mix them all together with a fork ( I like my guac with bits, but you can use the liquidiser some more to make it smoother) and then add the chopped coriander at the end!

The hard boiled egg is def the special ingredient and you won’t actually taste it but it makes the guac amazing! Yum!

Guac is so easy to make you’ll never buy the shop version ever again!

<<Can’t seem to find a photo of the guac but i’ll make some more soon, take some photos and updated this post!>>

Have you ever had huevos rancheros or any other Mexican dish that you recommend? Let me know!

Love, Sim x

5 bits and bobs: a weekend in Manchester

My friend from Bruges came to visit this weekend! I took both Friday and today off and it was such a nice break from real life. We did lots of bits and bobs while she was here as it was her first time up North, but I’m only going to talk about Manchester today. There are so many things going on in the city, so many places to see and things to do, you guys should def consider visiting if you have time this summer!


 

Here’s a short list of my favourite things we did this weekend!

1. I know I have blogged about this before; I can’t help but always talk about Castlefield Market. It was pretty obvious that I would take my friend here as she came to Mcr first Saturday of the month! All the stalls were as beautiful as ever and everyone was super nice and friendly. We got ourselves 2 lucky bracelets from the lovely Rachel – the magpie’s daughter, for when we’re not together and unfortunately we don’t see each other nearly enough. She offered to post them so we can get a nice little pressie in a couple of days time! Isn’t she just the nicest?! I know I said it before, but this places is just amazing! Def worth it! You can find everything here, from antique pieces to truffles cheese and believe me when I say that you’ll end up buying a little bit of everything.

2. We continued our Manchester adventure with a visit to John Rylands library on Deansgate. I love this place as it is the perfect example of harmonious continuity in architecture and it blends the old with the new beautifully. Not to mention it totally looks like Hogwarts and it has a great gift shop! If you haven’t already been inside, I suggest you give it a go!

3. I love summer in Manchester, there are just so many things going on! We discovered MIF and pringles summer festival while we were walking around town! Such great places to spend your saturday afternoon, especially with the weather that’s been on.

4. While at MIF we couldn’t help but have some pimm’s and a couple of pizzas from the Honest Crust guys. This is by far the best pizza I have ever tried and I never miss the chance to have some. These guys have been in my life a lot lately, from Altrincham Market to Manchester and even a wedding! You really need to check them out! I know I say this about pretty much everything but I can’t help it if there are so many fantastic places around!

5. My last but not least thing on the list has to be the Northern Quarter. Not because it is the home of Almost Famous burgers but because there are so many antiques shops that you can discover only by taking a stroll around its quirky streets. And if you haven’t already had the almost famous burgers, I seriously don’t know what you’re waiting for. They are life changing, I’m telling ya!

Hope you guys find my list useful and you get inspired to go out there and make it your own! And please do let me know if you have any other places worth checking out!

Have a super nice week!

Love, Sim x

Green quinoa risotto

I know I’ve been away for quite a while but I had a very busy week and weekend! <Blog posts with what I’ve been up to coming soon!> But until then, here’s one of my favourite recipes ever that I’ve discovered a couple of weeks ago!

Who would have thought you don’t have to make rice risotto to satisfy your Italian needs?! This quinoa risotto is all you could ever ask from a super healthy meal!

I got the ”My new roots” book by Sarah B the other week and I couldn’t help but make the risotto straight away. It’s a brilliant book, I highly recommend it ! It’s great for vegetarians and vegans but also for all the healthy spirits out there!  And it has lots of delicious deserts ! Win win situation right here!

Make sure you check out her quinoa risotto recipe, or if you’re feeling adventurous she’s got a sun flower seeds risotto up on her blog!

I’ll put down my version of her incredible risotto if you feel maybe this version is more you!

What you need (makes enough for three):

  • coconut oil
  • one medium red onion
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup (170g) of quinoa, well rinsed
  • 2 and a half cups of veg stock in hot water
  • some italian hard cheese
  • about 3 handfuls of rocket, spinach and kale
  • frozen peas
  • pink Himalayan salt and black pepper
  • spring onions
  • tiny bit of olive oil
  • smoked paprika

Melt a knob of coconut oil in a big pan over medium heat until it melt completely. I love using coconut oil, it makes the food taste so exotic and delicious! And it’s also good for you! Add the diced red onion and sauté for a couple of minutes, until it is soft. Add the garlic and quinoa and give it a food stir so everything is nicely coated.

Add the hot veg stock next and bring the mix to boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 10-15 mins. At this point you are supposed to add the grated cheese( the risotto should be pretty raw) but I forgot and I added the cheese when the risotto was almost done, together with the frozen peas ( about 5 mins before I took it off the heat completely). It tasted great so I guess it’s up to you really! Make sure you add a tiny bit of salt and plenty of black pepper!

While your risotto is cooking away, put the spring onion greens in the oven on grill, sprinkle with some olive oil and lots of smoked paprika and let it grill for about 15 mins or more, until the spring onions turn super soft and smell delicious! Slice the remaining of the spring onions and put aside.

Back to the risotto, let it simmer until it is almost done, take it off the heat and fold the rocket, spinach and kale.

To serve, put the risotto into a bowl, add the grilled spring onions on top. Sprinkle with some more grated cheese, the sliced spring onions and lots and lots of pepper. Sarah says to put some olive oil on top but I think there’s already enough fat in the meal and therefore I skipped this part. The boy did have it with olive oil and he loved it so it’s again up to you! Make sure you serve hot!

Hope you guys like it as much as we did! And make sure you show your love to the amazing Sarah B for being so inspirational in what she does !!!

Love, Sim x

Weekly picks #2

wishlist #2

We went to IKEA at the weekend to pick up some bits and bobs for the kiddies boxes for the wedding so, obviously, I had a look around as well.  It was normal to find a few nice things here and there and I though I might as well share them with you!

1. This cushion was the first thing I saw when we went in, its pattern just stands out in a very nice way without overcrowding the space. I love the black and white zigzag that’s going on and I think it will look great on out sofa!!

2. Every single time we go to IKEA I take a 5 mins break and chill on this comfy chair! Every single time, no exception! The bright green and organic shape makes me wanna stop and stare! And the best part about it is that it spins!!!! It will probably be perfect if it had arms too, but oh well, this is life! That’s probably the only reason why I haven’t got it already. That and the bills that we have to pay haha. Maybe one day…

3. While we’re in the seating area I should probably talk about this sofa I saw. I thought it looked nice, quite different from most IKEA sofas out there. It’s probably because it has nicer legs. I would like to sit on it first but it looks nice and it’s got quite an affordable price. It will be grant to be comfy as well! (I’m not entirely sure why I am looking at sofas… we really don’t need one)

4. I know every single person on the internet has this KALLAX storage shelving unit, but I really need a neat space to put all my crap and I think this one will actually look okay on the hallway. We have to wait and see if it will fit in the new place but I have a feeling we’re gonna purchase this one preeeetty soooooon!

5. I can’t go to ikea and not have a proper look at their cacti! There’re so many to choose from and they’re just so adorable. This pick has been actually bought (oops) but I really couldn’t help myself. And the boy isn’t exactly helping my plant obsession either.(He actually picked them so blame him!)

6. Compared to all the items above, this one I actually need, but as you can see it’s not exactly my no.1 priority haha. I can’t wait to have my own working space very sooooon and I need a good desk lamp for all them late nights! I spotted this one a couple of months back and I think it’s a winner! The floor option is quite fancy too, I might get that one in the end haha. Who knows….

7. My last pick is a rug! Not an obvious choice I would say, but I really liked this odd colour one! I wouldn’t mind it in black but I think this mustardy shade does it justice! I think it would look really good on a laminated floor. What do you think?

Hope you guys like my 7 picks this week! Have you been to IKEA lately? Do you have anything that caught your eye?

Love, Sim x

5 bits and bobs: Best takeaways

    

I was debating whether to write about a good healthy recipe or a great dinner out location but I decided to write something more comforting after a long week, when the only thing you want to do is put your comfy pants on and watch TV !  

Dadammmm I present to you my top 5 Manchester takeaways!

1. Munch. We only tried their curry but I think it’s fair to say this was probably the best curry I’ve ever had ! And I lived near curry mile for three years haha, I probably tried everything!

2. Wasabi. This Japanese restaurant does takeaway as well! And their sushi is pretty good ! I love sashimi so I was pleasantly surprised to see how tasty and fresh it was when it got to our flat! I reckon it also helps how close you are from the actual restaurant but I fully recommend when you’re in need of sushi!

3. Ya souvlaki gyros. We have been introduced to this Greek takeaway by our Greek friends about a year and a half ago. They said it was the closest to the traditional Greek food you could ever get here! I have to admit it was pretty damn good, but then again, everything that’s got halloumi is pretty much perfect to me ! I’ll let you try this one and decide for yourself!

4. Deliveroo. I don’t know if you’ve heard of this one before but it isn’t an actual takeaway. What Deliveroo does is great, they basically deliver delicious restaurant food to your door!!! They’ve got a pretty big list of restaurants and although they give quite a long waiting time , ours got here pretty quick. It’s great actually , can’t recommend it enough !

5. Nudle. The reason why this takeaway is on the list is because it used to be amazing! Not too expensive, very big portions and great quality noodles ! I couldn’t recommend it enough ! I’m pretty sure every single one of my friends have tried and were not disappointed. But that was when they didn’t do takeaway or became famous. Unfortunately, now thay are very pricey, portions became super small and the overall quality of the meal has lowered. Nevertheless , they are still worth trying because they’re probably the only ones of this kind in Manchester ! 

<Warning: their price almost double in the past 2 months and most of the toppings that used to be free of charge are now about 75p extra each .. Not impressed.>
I decided to share this list with you because I love discovering good takeaways once in a while even though I’m a healthy food freak! There’s something about takeaways food that makes you feel so good ! 

I know there isn’t a proper Chinese takeaway in the list above but I was pretty dissapointed with all the ones we’ve tried! Please do let me know if you know any good ones as I always love a good Chinese on a Friday night!

Let me know what you think! And share your fav takeaways in the comments !!!! 

Love, Sim x 

Weekly picks #1

wishlist #1

As any human being out there, I too have lots of things on my wishlist. But unfortunately you can’t always buy everything haha (you either run out of money or space). Therefore, I have decided to put together weekly wishlists (said every blogger ever) so I can keep organised and also be more selective with what I actually need at the end of each month!  And hopefully you’ll like some of my picks too!

As I have said before, we are moving to a new flat this September so I have that terrible feeling that I HAVE TO buy all the cute home decor items that I stumble across. Bad idea Sim… Nonetheless, in the next couple of months you will notice a very predominant home decor theme.. Oops!

1. This H&M metal basket is all that I have ever wanted from a storage item. Of course the bronze one is sold out as we all know the bronze vibe is in the air this year but to be honest, the gold one is so beautiful it kind of overshadows the others! There’s also a bigger one available here (with handles) and if you really want the bronze one, they still have it in stock! Happy days!

2.I am utterly in love with this ceramic plate from H&M. I’ve always had a thing for marble ever since I was a little girl ( I mostly loved how cold it was but the look of it was quite appealing too). I really need this one in my life! Payday treat sorted.

3. It seems I have I’ve got a thing for sold out items. This Bombay Duck cushion represents PERFECTION. I already have their dreamy Pouff (see here) and the matching cushion is just a must! Let’s just hope the black one will be back in stock soon, otherwise I will have to get the blue one and I know someone won’t be so happy..

4. I don’t know if you like Zara Home as much as I do but I am warning you, once you start looking on the website, you can’t go back! This round nest of tables I picked is the perfect addition to my future home! The 2 tables are so versatile you can literally use them everywhere, from putting them in the hallway covered in greenery to using them as bedside tables! All you need to do is use your imagination! And they are discounted until 2nd July! (Out the window goes my waiting until I actually move into the new flat haha)

5. Ikea plants will always be on my wish list as there are so many available I will never be able to have them all haha. This particular aloe vera plant is my absolute favourite at the moment. It’s just so fresh and beautiful, and let’s not forget how beneficial the aloe vera gel is! Heaven! Unfortunately, it cannot be bought online, but do not fear, your local ikea store will def have it !

6. With festival season in full bloom and UK summer just around the corner, this monki dress is just so casual and light, pretty much perfect for this time of year. There’s a black one available, which I will probably get as I am more of a dark side kind of gal but either way it’s a winner! And it is on sale too!! You’re in for a treat here guys!

7. Ever since I discovered Mon Pote, I have been browsing their web shop everyday. I found this House Doctor DK wire bowl a couple of weeks ago ( obvs out of stock now:() and I was so tempted to order it but I asked myself the question. Do I need another fruit bowl in my life? The answer was YESSSSS! But I decided to wait until we move into the new place. Hopefully it will be back in stock until then!

What do you think of my wishlist ? Do you own or want any of these items?

Love, Sim x

5 bits and bobs: Happy weekend

I know I haven’t been very active on the blog lately and I appologise, but I do have a good reason for it! I went to London over the weekend and I had such a good time ! 

My weekend in pictures  

         

1. London itself should be a good reason to be happy. Although I don’t think I could ever live down there, I love it when I go for a few days at the time. It’s so alive and busy, there’s so much going on and you will never get bored.

2. The main reason why I went down to London this weekend was to attend Kayla Itsines’ bootcamp and it was everything I ever imagined it will be and more! If you don’t know who she is, let me just introduce you and then make sure you check out her website. So Kayla is this lovely Australian fitness trainer who managed to help millions of girls around the world with her brilliant bbg guides!  Her guides and Instagram account are just perfect if you’re usually not motivated enough to stick to a health and fitness routine. She’s just amazing !

3. My post workout lunch was an amazing sushi session with my bestie at sticks n sushi. We went to the one in Covent Garden and it was delicious! Def one of the best sushi I’ve ever had! We decided on a lovely sashimi mix ( if you don’t know me , sashimi is basically my life) and one of the sushi platters off their lazy menu to share ! If you live in London or you’re around , make sure you give it a go. I promise it will be worth it ! 

4. I managed to time my London trip just right and therefore I joined my bestie to her end of the year party. The theme was ‘tropical’ and the venue was next to St Paul Cathedral so you can probably imagine how stunning the views were! They had really yummy food and great tropical decorations! We had a really good time !

5. My top 5 thing that made my weekend was our Sunday breakfast! We had organic eggs omelette with juicey radishes and green, yellow and red cherry tomatoes. It was so delicious and I’m sure it def cured some hungovers haha! 

Hope you had a great weekend! Let me know what you’ve been up to!

Love, Sim

The perfect vegan breakfast

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I made this breakfast smoothie for the first time about a month ago, when I decided to use my smoothie maker more often, and I had it every day since! I’m telling you every single day with no exception! And I still love it the same as the first time I had it. I even made the boy to try it and he’s now hooked too!

I am probably not the first one to make it but I am very proud of myself that it ended up so good after I put a few things I had around together without using any recipe!

So for me it is the perfect breakfast, it is vegan (as my body decided after 23 years of life that is lactose intolerant… okay maybe not intolerant but I def can’t have milk anymore) and it is the perfect combo of fruits and fiber and everything! I promise once you try it you’ll be hooked forever!

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So all you need is:

-one medium riped banana ( the darker and ‘uglier’ the better)

-half a cup of oats ( I used porridge oats)

-a cup of milk (I used almond but I’m sure soya would be equally as good)

-a teaspoon of cinnamon (of course you can add as much as you want! who am I to stop you!)

-a tablespoon of chia seeds

-two tablespoons of peanut butter (or three if you feel peanut !)

-about 2 tablespoons of flaxseeds (I like to add mine at the end on top but you could mix them with everything else too!)

– The boy’s input: tiny splash of vanilla extract (I have’t tried it yet but he swears it’s better than mine… hmmmm debatable!)

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So basically you just mix everything you’ve got in your healthy cupboard and voilla ! Your breakfast is ready! I eat mine with a spoon as it’s got the consistency of a very loose porridge but if you prefer drinking it, just add less oats and more milk or extra water!

Let me know what you think or if you have any other breakfast smoothies favourites!

Love, Sim x

Window sill greenery

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A year ago today we got our very first plant, a little layered bamboo, and since then our lives changed! I don’t know how I managed to live for more than 3 years without any plants in my life… Mental! 

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We now have lots and lots of plants including succulents, some cacti and we even have 3 tomato plants haha!  This particular one above is my very favourite and I am a very proud mama as it keeps blooming and blooming over and over again. It makes me so happy even though it has just a couple a flowers at the time . I was a bit worried when I first got it because my mum used to have one and it never bloomed, no flowers whatsoever. As you can see mine not just survived but thrived, so I guess I must have done something right! It’s called kalanchoe if you were wondering and you can get it from Tesco

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Our kitchen looks so much brighter with all of them around. We currently live in a really small place and we are quite limited for space so we stopped buying new ones a couple of months ago. Good news though, we are moving into a new flat in September and I literally can’t wait! I have already eyed a couple of very small cactuses in the garden centre  which are def gonna make my new shiny shelf in the first week !! (not to mention all the plants ikea stores, I can’t even decide which ones I like most, I’ll probably end up buying them all)

My pots are mostly from ikea, but the double mint green one in the top image is vintage and we painted it! It’s also my favourite and I’m planning on making more as they look great in the kitchen or on the balcony.

Do you love greenery as much as we do? Are you planning on getting some anytime soon?

Love, Sim x