World Vegan Day 🌼

Today is World Vegan Day, an annual event celebrated by Vegans all over the world. The event was established in 1994 by Louise Wallis, then Chair of The Vegan Society in the United Kingdom, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the founding of the organisation and the coining of the terms “vegan” and “veganism”.


In the beginning, The Muscle Bakery wasn’t a reaction to any culinary changes but more of a personal development in the way I saw food. However, as my clientele developed and my skills improved, the demand began evolving and I was catering to the needs of my customers as well as developing my own cooking/ baking style.

The request for Vegan food has grown incredibly over the past few years, and even more so in the last year. When I began, my Vegan customers were a very select amount. But now it seems to be the other way around which is actually surreal to see; the way our culinary culture has changed.

With the growth of knowledge, we are all becoming more conscious of the world around us and it’s up to us to change that. So in contrast to when we began, we have developed with these changes, becoming an exclusively veggie friendly bakery.

We have also completely removed plastic bags and looking into veggie friendly packaging and labels.

We also offer a discount to all customers when they return their plastic containers or bring their own bags.


Everyone’s little efforts, make a big difference.


DID YOU KNOW:


A person showering for 2 months uses up the same amount of water that it takes to produce enough livestock for one beef burger.

Broccoli has a higher protein content per calorie than beef.

Every minute, 7 million pounds of excrement are produced by animals raised for food in the US.

Plastic is the only existing material that CANNOT break down naturally.

There is officially so much plastic in the world that any fish we eat, by default also contains plastic.

If every human skipped just ONE meal of chicken per week, environmental effects would be like removing 500,000 cars off the road.

82% of starving children live in countries where food is grown to feed animals in the west.

Brad Pitt, Beyoncé, Ellen Degeneres, Liam Hemsworth, Alicia Silverstone, Jennifer Lopez, Pamela Anderson, Alec Baldwin and Bill Clinton are vegans.


To celebrate this day, we have put together a collection of our best Vegan recipes to inspire you guys; to show that eating Vegan (& veggie) is also super fun and tasty (and not just about eating leaves and carrot sticks).


VANILLA WAFFLES

Vanilla Pancakes


Say yes to waffles with this tasty vanilla flavour waffle, topped with soy yoghurt, cookies, fresh berries and zero syrup.


BLUEBERRY SLICES


Imagine if you married up a cookie, a scone and a cake… this is what our Blueberry Slices are like.


COFFEE COCONUT TRUFFLES


Coffee and coconut? imma go and say yes my friends. Soft truffle centre made w/ coconut flour, infused with instant coffee and coated in luxurious dark chocolate.


CHOC BROWNIES


Fudgey brownies to brighten the day. Using Soy yogurt as a secret ingredient, a recipe to make over and over again.


CHEESY NACHOS


Cheesy nachos without the cheese? C’est pas posible. Thanks to the use of nutritional yeast, make any tortilla your b**tch and make them into badass nachos.


FLAPJACKS


Flapjacks are usually laden with butter, not these tho. With added peanut butter… theres nothing to not love!


GOJI HOB NOBS

Goji Hob Nobs


Hob Nobs minus the gluten and the buttah + added health from the goji berries. Give them a whirl.


PROTEIN PANCAKES

protein pancakes


These pancakes are so tasty, it fooled all our non-vegan friends.


BBQ TOFU

bbq tofu


The easiest way to make tasty tofu, using bbq sauce and not much else! Pair it up in a salad or a spud for maximum taste bud party.


TOFU NUGGETS


Chicken nuggets is so last year, try these tofu nuggets instead.


VEGAN BANANA BREAD

vegan banana bread


Would you believe us if we said a can of pop can replace an egg? This recipe shows you how.


BASIC VEGAN PANCAKES


The simplest and tastiest pancakes you’re ever gonna make! A firm favourite amongst our followers.


We hope these recipes inspire you and remember: even if you swap ONE meal a day to a Vegan meal… you ARE making a difference.


Join us with your feedback #WorldVeganDay \ @themusclebakery \ @themusclebaker


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For 5% off iHerb use code: JCB887


HAPPY VEGAN DAY 🌱

Treat or Treat? 👻

We made a post last year about Halloween, so this year we are gonna skip all that mumbo jumbo and head straight to the treats… no tricks. Its the best part of this holiday anyway, right?


Showcasing our favourite Halloween-ey treats that we’ve rustled up to date:


SPIDERWEB SMOOTHIE BOWL


Get in the Halloween mood with this easy to make smoothie bowl, decorated with yoghurt spiderweb!


FRANKENSTEIN PROTEIN POPS


These Frankenstein Pops are a firm favourite with the kiddos! Laced with peanut butter, decorated with chocolate and coloured in green… fun to make… and EAT!


VEGAN WITCH FINGERS


These Witch Fingers are made with all the healthiest ingredients, but full of all the scare!


FRANKENWEENY CUPCAKES


Try these Frankenweeny cupcakes…The cutest Halloween cupcakes you ever did see.


PROTEIN WORMS


Snack on these protein worms today. Lucky for you they are choc orange flavour!


WORMY MATCHA CAKE


Dont be spooked out by this Matcha cake, what you see ain’t really worms… but walnuts!


HOPE YOU ENJOYED OUR HALLOWEEN THEME RECIPES!


Don’t forget to tag us if you try any of these recipes, you can find us on all social media outlets @themusclebakery/ @themusclebaker


For 20% off Bulkpowders use code: MUSCLEBAKERY20
For 5% off iHerb use code: JCB887


HAPPY (HALLOWEENY) BAKING!

Everyday, should be Pancake Day.

Pancake day is the equivalent of Valentine’s Day for us food fiends, a day where you are OFFICIALLY allowed to eat pancakes pretty much all day (not that we wouldn’t anyway).

Now, what is a pancake?

Quite simply, it’s a cake that you cook in a pan. What makes it so awesome? … IT’S A CAKE YOU COOK IN A PAN. DUH.

We trawled the internet to see what it had to say about pancakes and found this:

PANCAKE / Something you eat for breakfast. I had pancakes this morning.

However, not to be confused with:

PANCAKES / A life changing miracle of fluffy happiness man. So i had some pancakes today, it was so great, i gave my pants to a hobo.

 

Anyway, to celebrate such a phenomenal day we scoured our recipe archives and dug out our tastiest pancake creations AND made a new recipe (scroll to end for that one):


Vegan Pancakes

Vegan Pancakes_main

The pancakes are everything you want pancakes to be; soft, scrumptious, moist, tasty and filling. Top it with rich Vanilla Agave nectar and you have an absolute winner! Perfect for Vegans and Non-Vegans alike.


Easy Lemon Pancakes

Lemon Pancakes

This is our basic staple protein pancake recipe, easy to make with only a few key ingredients. No culinary skills required.


Spinach & Blueberry Pancakes

SpinachPancakes

Looking for something a little more adventurous? Try these Spinach pancakes topped with blueberries! Don’t be put off by their green colour, they are super delicious and extra nutritious. Eating pancakes and getting your greens in at the same time, whats not to love?


Simple Pancakes with Choc Sauce (Dairy-Free)

Simple Pancakes MAIN

Anyone looking for a Dairy-Free pancake option, look no further. These delicious pancakes with a rich choc sauce topping will hit the spot! (Sharing will be the only problem).


Chocolate Pancakes (Low-Carb)

LowCarbPancakes

Similar to our basic protein pancake recipe, except using ground almonds instead of oats making them perfect for those on lower carb diets. Have them simple or topped with your fave sauces or nut butters.


Protein Waffles (i.e. pancakes with abs)

Waffles Header

What happens when your pancakes go to the gym? They become waffles. (Just like these damn fine Strawberry Vanilla Waffles.)


Banoffee Pancakes

banoffeepancakes

Pancakes, Banana and Toffee rolled into one epic stack of pancake porn with a whopping protein content of almost 50g. *Gym buffs rejoice*


Cookie Protein Waffles (more pancakes with abs)

waffleoreo

These pancakes also went to the gym to get its pump on, and met sexy oreo there… and well… Oreo Cookie Protein Waffle was born…


Pancake Cake

PancakeCake

PANCAKE CAKE!!! Layers of chocolate pancake, with protein frosting with more protein frosting and then a protein choc drizzle. 50g protein per slice of 4… WADDUP!


AND OUR LATEST RECIPE:


Vegan Spinach & Banana Pancakes

Ingredients:
Handful Spinach Leaves
1 Cup Ground Oats
1 Banana
1.5 Cup Milk of Choice
1 Scoop Soy Protein Isolate (or sub with preferred protein powder)
1 Tbsp Maple Zero Syrup (or agave/ honey)
1 Tbsp Chia Seeds
1 Tbsp Water
1 Tsp Baking Powder

Method:
Add all the ingredients into a high speed blender ( we used a Nutri Bullet)  and set aside for about 5 minutes. You need to let it set so that the chia seeds get to work and soak up some of the moisture.

Note: If you like your pancakes thick and chunky, the recipe as above will make them like that, however if you prefer thinner ones, just add more water or milk.

Prepare a non-stick pan with a dab of coconut oil or coconut oil spray (We used the latter) and turn hob heat onto medium, which is approximately 4 (of 6) on ours.

Start by pouring a spoonful of batter with a tablespoon and cook for several minutes. Then, flip over gently using a spatula and let cook for another several minutes.

Then, drizzle your favourite sauce, fruit or even nut butter and enjoy these delicately moist and delicious pancakes!

Yields 2 servings.

Nutritional Info (per serving of two):

411 Cals | 8.3F | 61.4C | 22.6P

 


Or you could even go for the easy option and buy yourself some Protein Pancake Mix! Our favourite flavour is the Maple!


Note: Please make sure your pan is non-stick or else you are going to have a BAD TIME making pancakes! Read our How: To Pancakes for more help!

Hope this post gives you all some pancake inspo.

Don’t forget to tag us in your creations, you can find us on all social media platforms @themusclebakery.

Lots of love & Pancakes
The Muscle Baker <3

 

 

 

Veganuary Week Uno 🌱

Let’s take part in Veganuary they said. It’ll be fun they said. No-one warned us about the cheese cravings, dangers of sudden fibre uptake and how easy it is to get fat. But, it aint all doom and gloom, have a read and find out what the experience has been like so far:

For those who don’t know what Veganuary is, we explained it in our previous blogpost: Top tips to tackle Veganuary.


DAY ONE: HANGOVER 💀

My first day as a vegan was quite uneventful, I skipped breakfast as usual (because bed minutes are worth more than breakfast minutes) and waking up on New Years Day still sporting the previous nights make-up (across face and pillow) to the realisation that it was now Veganuary and I couldn’t call up Mr Pizza Man for the usual fix was really tough. More so, with a hangover. But, I mustered up all my energy and rolled out of bed, first into the bathroom to turn myself from drug addict to relatively normal looking human and then into the kitchen to make some avo toast in true cliche Vegan style.

I hadn’t really given much thought to what being vegan implied, I just knew I didn’t want any other living being to suffer unnecessarily on my account, and no I have not watched Earthlings yet.

The hangover had claimed all my energy and nothing was gonna culminate in a greasy cheesy pizza.

The rest of the day was spent opening the cupboards in a majorly uninspired fashion, the hangover had claimed all my energy and nothing was gonna culminate in a greasy cheesy pizza. The night before the change, I spoke to my only vegan friend, and he advised me to throw out all non vegan products. I said I would, but I didn’t. Ingrained in my very being is my father’s voice saying “waste not, want not” or “starving children in Africa would fight over that plate”,every time I attempt to throw food away. So, when the temptation to whip out the cheese and crackers came along, I knew they had to go.

Sorry dad. Was there no one I could offload my brie on?

Humus and carrot sticks for dinner it is.

And with that, day one finito.

*Pats self on back*


DAY TWO: INSPIRED ✨

Woke up late (earning extra bed minutes) and in a huff decided to be pro-active in a bid to make up for those wasted hours. Chopped up all the veggies possible, laid them in a tray and popped them in oven to grill. +5pts to me.

Determined to stick to my plan, I spent a considerable amount of my lunch hour in the health shop along with most of my life savings; stocking up on organic fruits, vegetables, beans, pulses and vegan alternatives.

Then it hit me,Chocolate!

What the hell vegans? Why would you do this to yourselves, and more importantly, me.

Chocolate is my thing. I eat it every day.

Now, for any of you thinking about going vegan, let me tell you this; your chocolate will never taste the same again. Say goodbye to Green & Blacks Butterscotch bars *sad face*. This does not mean vegans cannot eat chocolate, we can, just not the deliciously smooth milk variety.

I’m a fan of all kinds of chocolate, so after a frantic Google search, I found that some of my favourites were in fact vegan. Lindt Excellence, as from 70% cocoa, awesome! It also helps if you (or in Lisanka’s case, your best friend) is a wizard in the ‘free from’ kitchen. *insert Hazelnut truffles here*

Anyhow, whilst on my splurge at the health shop, I discovered something much better than chocolate anyway, dried pineapple. My absolute favourite fruit ever. There are many versions of dried pineapple on the market, most of them heavily laced with preservatives and sugars. Sulfur dioxide is not something I want to be consuming thank you very much. I’ve become an additive snob along with my vegan-ism. Tropical Wholefoods ‘sun dried pineapple’ is 100% pineapple and is organic to boot. I may have eaten the whole bag in sheer excitement.

Lunch was a bit of everything. I went to the only vegetarian place I could think of close by and ordered enough food to feed a small country. Avocado and tomato salad, roast sweet potato and beetroot salad, 3 bean soup, falafel and humus. I must stress, I did not eat this all. The falafel and humus was enough and I saved the rest for later. I guess I tried to over compensate for the lack of obvious protein on my plate.

I spent most of my afternoon engrossed in vegan literature, i.e. Google, Pinterest and Instagram.

Inspired by the colourful offerings I held in the palm of my hand, I set to work on writing up an endless list of ‘to-do’ recipes. The first on my list? Bean burgers. What i ended up with? Lentil & Quinoa patties. Ah well, its only my second day, ill get this.

I know most vegans and vegetarians say this when they make a meat free alternative, but seriously, I did not miss the meat at all. My bean patty was divine and my mother agreed. Although, I’m going to be honest, I missed the slice (or two) of cheese.

For dessert? The remaining Hazelnut Truffles of course.


DAY 3: HELLO FIBRE 🙃

O.K, so none of these vegan blogs warned me about the side effects of upping your fibre intake dramatically. In hindsight I should have seen it coming. I won’t go into the technicalities, but I am under the mercy of my digestive system, and she’s not being very gracious.

To be safe, my breakfast choice was a Coconut Milk smoothie laced with flaxseed, oats and a generous dollop of Hazelnut butter. Somehow, it felt sensible to keep to liquids, or at least it seemed logical to me.

I’ve started slowly telling people that I am cutting out meat, dairy and any other animal products from my diet and for the most part everyone is surprisingly supportive. Vegans tend to get a bad reputation for being pushy, preachy, holier-than-thou know-it-alls, so the common response when you tell someone you’re vegan is a defensive one. I know, because I used to get that way.

I once tweeted something quite awful about a vegan, and how I wanted to slap her in the face with a steak. In jest, of course. It’s not that she was vegan, she was just an ass hole; an ass hole who happened to be a vegan.

I don’t want to be one of those people who sneers at your life choices at the dinner table, or aggressively pushes their beliefs on others.

Lunch was leftover bean patties paired with homemade sprout crispies; an idea that was inspired by one of many Vegan Insta-foodie accounts I have began to follow since starting Veganuary. My judgement clouded by excitement, but my fibre intake jeopardised. A decision I would come to regret.

I feel a constant need to eat and to be nourished, and as a result I’m eating copious amounts of nuts, nut butter, seeds and dried fruit, namely cashews, peanut butter and dried pineapple. I may be eating too much, but how can something so small be so calorific?

*sigh*

Dinner comes along and in usual post-workout fashion, am really tired, cranky and hungry. I only have enough macros left to eat protein and not much else and with that, for the first time since starting, i wish for some chicken. I give myself a few imaginary slaps and proceed to whip up some Satay Tofu. (Honestly… it was horrible, but i ate it anyway.)

Tomorrow will be better, surely.


DAY 4: BLOATED 💩

Not loving myself at the moment if I’m totally honest. I feel like a blow up doll. I’m swollen, uncomfortable and fat.

The thought of a lean scrambled egg breakfast was plaguing my mind. I banish the little yellow clouds of protein goodness from my thoughts and again opt for a liquid breakfast. Paired with a bowl of oats. Girl logic.

Getting ready for work was a chore, everything feels too tight and I was in no mood for the confines of hosiery. I look in the mirror and liken myself to a dairy cow who’s been pumped full of hormones. Even my face looks distorted. What’s happening to me?

Google will know.

“Is veganism making me fat and ugly?”

The short answer is yes, the long one is no.

There is a common misconception, that there are certain things one can do to “detoxify”

When you starve your body of all animal products, a lot of weird stuff happens. You might feel overly emotional and sensitive,experience unexplained aches and pains, tension headaches,flu-like symptoms bloating, constipation, diarrhea (or both), vomiting (or all three). You may start thinking your body is punishing you for deviating from what we all believe is our God given right, eating animals. I likened it to going cold turkey on Heroin, not that I’ve ever been a heroin addict, but if Eastenders taught me anything, it’s that addicts go through hell when they give up the goods.

Hang in there. It will get better, you will get better. Much better.

Your face wont always resemble a big hunk of celeriac (organic of course), I promise.

I will say this though, the withdrawal symptoms are real. It will happen to you. Just think of it as a good spring clean. The body is ridding itself of mercury, pesticides, bacteria and hormones along with a whole host of other nasties found in animal based foods.

Thankfully, i didn’t have to worry about lunch today. Wagamama had my back. All the Edamame beans please.

Note to self: Stop buying dried pineapple.


DAY 5: STILL BLOATED 💩💩

The ugly continues.

I stare at my reflection in the mirror… how is this bloat even normal? I look like I’m in my third trimester, ready to pop triplets and my partner has already begun mocking me. ‘Stop sticking your belly out.’ he says … I wasn’t even. I start to think of all the moments in my life i wasnt bloated and took for granted.

F**K you sprouts.

I proceed to rummage through all my clothes, finding all and any baggy items, telling myself, ‘Today, i will refrain from eating fiber. I can do this.’

Breakfast was again a liquid option. With toast, toast is always a good idea, and 100% vegan.

In a bid to avoid any extra fibre, I steered away from all the cans of neatly stacked beans which I had impulse bought in my pre- veganuary excitement. My next best bet for getting some high protein foods in my belly? Tofu. I remembered a chicken nugget recipe i used to make, so applied the same ingredients and methods to the tofu instead. Thankfully, it was a success and possibly the best Vegan recipe ive made so far. #VegansOfIG rejoice. Tofu nuggets was born.

I start feeling a little bit better come afternoon and the bloat subdued after several toilet visits. (Gotta thank the extra dosages of lemongrass tea for that).

Then much to my surprise, an asos delivery came a knocking at my door, inside? Some new training gear! I popped it straight on, and pranced around feeling as light as a pringle. What a contrast to this morning!

Eager to test out the new gear, i opened up my NTC app and set off for a run. I started running and couldnt stop. I felt alive. For the first time in all of Veganuary i was PUMPED! Was it being Vegan that had made me able to run for so long? Maybe it was, who knows. Either way, i was loving it.

 


DAY 6: OK, I GOT THIS 🙅🏼

Fresh from the previous days motivation i woke up feeling great, not only had it been a while since i was capable of running 10k but for the first time all week… no bloat! YASSSSS! Guess this Veganism is kinda alright!!? With a smile on my face, i swirl up my daily dosage of super greens and hot lemon water before seizing the day ahead.

It was a busy day prepping bars for the week ahead, and even when my oven broke and toilet started leaking… my positivity levels were still high. After all, what is a broken oven in the grand scheme of things? Im alive, i’m healthy and have a fluffy gown that warms me up at night. It could be worse.

 


DAY 7: HAPPY ONE WEEK! 🎉

I would love to say that I woke up this morning feeling rested and refreshed. The truth is I was kept up half the night by my upstairs neighbour. 1 am is as as good a time as any to grind cacao nibs in your antique heavyweight bronze pestle and mortar (So 2017).

I know because after half an hour of racking my brains I asked him what the hell that was.

“I’m making chocolate, darling, come up it’s fabulous. I’ve got cacao nibs on the grind.”

“No thanks, it’s late. I’m trying to sleep.”

“Save me some.Goodnight.”

If I wake up at 10 i’ll get a solid 8 hours.

6 hours later, a frantic mother charges in my room like a bull in a china shop, looking for her charger (why in my room I don’t know).

I’m up. I’m annoyed. Tea.

I love the ritual involved in making a pot of tea. i opted for my favourite: mint tea.

Soak some loose green tea leaves in about an inch of water in a tea pot. Drain after a couple of minutes, this reduces the bitterness in the tea. Add a bunch of fresh mint leaves and add just boiled water. Wait 3-5 minutes. Pour. Sit outside. Watch the ships go by. Relax.

After about 6 months, endless cancellations and several illness excuses, our attempt at a girl date was successful. I met Liz and we ventured up the Rock and onto the new suspension bridge. The day was still, the sun was warming. The apes were out in abundance.

On our way back down from our trek, Liz was telling a story about how she and her family had been chased by a pack of apes because her youngest brother had mimicked one and proclaimed “OOOH” in its face.

As she demonstrated what her little brother had done over a decade ago, an adolescent ape (who up until that point had been indifferent to our presence and totally engrossed in a fruit peelings), leapt from behind her and onto her back baring its teeth whilst grabbing her arm. Luckily, she’s well acquainted with a quick backhand, and she shook the ape off. It seemed like she’d done this before.

I thought animals were supposed to appreciate vegans?

Exhausted from our ordeal we head off for lunch. But first, a quick stop at the supermarket for some lettuce i needed.

Sixteen impulse buys and £50 later we made our way to Wagamamas for lunch. By the way, vegan bacon bits exist, as does “just add water” sausage mix (vegan of course) and Lotus biscuits are Vegan. You’re welcome.

Wagamama’s always delivers, those edamame beans are life. I have been tempted to hit it up everyday instead of cooking myself but, my bank account denies me this luxury. We engross ourselves in eating these little green pellets of protein goodness, sip on green tea and enjoy eachothers company.

One week Veganuary down, i celebrate by making a Veggie Paella and treat myself to a bag of crisps. Yolo.

Note to self: The stated amount of rice in mother’s recipe is correct. Do NOT add more rice. Repeat. DO NOT ADD MORE RICE.


We hope you enjoyed our week one Veganuary. It has been fun to do, (challenging somewhat) but exciting to try new recipes and foods and not as hard as you may believe it to be! You may feel that it is impossible to do it and give up *insert favourite animal based food here* (most people say cheese)  BUT, eating LESS also makes a positive change on our environment! Try it  😄


 

This text is based on the experiences of Elke Hurtado and Lisanka Trinidad. Written by them both. You can find Lisanka Trinidad and some of her blogposts on Just Weight and Tea.


Much love,

The Muscle Baker ❤️

Free-From Eats: Brunch It (Malaga)

Brunch It Cafe 

Location: Calle Carreteria, 46 29008 – Malaga📍

Whenever i need to go somewhere the first thing i do is find somewhere new to eat, (it isn’t really worthwhile without some good food) so one quick search and i found this cute place in Malaga. The typography and cool design kinda sold it to me, the food looked pretty good too. Thanks Instagram.

To get to this location, we used the Sat Nav as we are not very familiar with the area. It’s a good job we did as there were roadworks around the area, which meant a sudden route change. Best suggestion is follow directions as best and as close as possible then park and walk there.

The decor is modern, blacks and whites with a fresh tone from plants, fruits and ornaments. Their large window opens up to allow seating on the front, there is a bar seating area at the entrance, then more seating indoors with one ‘lounge’ table with sofa seating towards the back of the establishment.



To start off I ordered a fresh fruit/veg smoothie. There was a few to choose from and each had a description of what they would help with ie. Digestion, alcalizing, energising etc. I chose the ‘Kotao’ which was for ‘digestion’ and comprised of apples, pear, ginger, lemon and spinach.

They were all priced at €3.50.

The other half decided to go for a slice of their freshly made pizzas, parma ham and pumpkin flavour made on a focaccia style base which looked and smelt DIVINE. (These moments are when i realise how much i miss cheese.)

Anyhow, the pizzas/ sandwiches etc are all made with their freshly baked focaccia style bread and each piece is sold by weight not by slice which is pretty cool. Especially if you’re one of those unlucky people who always ends up with the smaller pieces 😛





For my mains, after much deliberation I chose a salad, bacon salad to be exact. In hindsight it was not the best option and I should have gone for the quinoa salad or veggie burger, which had initially caught my eye. I’m used to eating turkey bacon so when the salad came it was a lot greasier and it was the typical Spanish bacon which has loadsa fat pieces and i dunno i just felt bad eating it. I think the wanting of cheese clouded my judgement!

By default, my partner chose a burger. There was a few to choose from including a turkey burger, veggie burger and soya burger by the names of Buey, Crunchit, Pavo Eco, Veggie & Tofu, all priced at €8.90 and came with a side of fresh cut chips.

Same goes for all their meals, they have a bit of a variety to choose from, designed to suit all and any. They even have a veggie and vegan pizza option: veggie had olive oil, cucumber, aubergine, peppers and Pecorino cheese (made from Sheeps milk) and vegan one had sweet onion, aubergine, cucumber and pepper. Each of the pizzas also had a different type of cheese, some with mozarella, others Parmesan and even one with provolone. 



We weren’t sure if to stay for dessert but like most occasions, i was there… i may as well. But, much to my disappointment i wasn’t able to have anything as none were wheat-free or vegan friendly (without dairy/egg) so i opted for a green tea to soothe my tummy post-food and watched the other one eat a Nutella stuffed focaccia. Sigh.



Price: ☺️ | Location: 😰 | Service: 😄 | Food: ☺️

The place is super cool, the layout is awesome, the decor is trendy and they even have iPads on the tables so you can surf the net. I wouldn’t consider it to be an ‘organic’ place per say, more like a healthified eatery with Italian vibes. They have meal options to suit all and any which is great, especially if you’re travelling there with a variety of people who have different diets and even though they don’t specifically cater to Gluten-Free they do have salad/ smoothie options to choose from. Perfect place if you’re not Gluten/ Wheat intolerant as you can enjoy any of the burgers or pizzas too, whether you’re Vegan or not.

 

Caters to Vegan/ Vegetarian diets (and people who love pizza).

 

Tip: For anyone counting calories/ macros etc my advise would be to log in similar counterparts to what you are eating and be mindful about it. Eg. bean burger isn’t hard to find on MFP, and it is very unlikely that there is a vast difference in macros. Trust me, at some point, someone has logged in something similar in MFP, a quick search and you’re good! If at the very least, for peace of mind.

 


Another from our series of #EatsFreeFrom as we travel around taste testing all the delicious (free-from) foods for you!


 

Any requests? Let us know! 🙂

Much love,

The Muscle Baker

<3

Free-From Eats: Gioia (Marbella) 

Gioia Plant Based Cuisine

Located on: Avda Bulevar Principe Alfonso, Marbella📍

Opening Hours: 13:00- 23:00 (Closed Sunday’s).


I stumbled upon this place after a friend from Marbella posted up some pics after a visit there. At first glance I thought it was going to be a fancy gourmet vegan restaurant, but boy was I wrong and for all the right reasons!


The location is easy to get to and impossible to miss. Take the first right after Guadalpin Suites (opposite Opera Room club) and you’ll see it. Parking may be a little hard but you can park along the front of the hotel anyway.

The setting is simple and quaint, modern with vintage tones. We chose to sit inside as it was a bit chilly, and the sun was no longer shining over it (approx 4pm). Perhaps at breakfast or brunch would be better for outside seating, at least now that winter is coming.

The menu was simple, several choices for starters, mains, desserts, smoothies, teas and wines. However, you could tell the choices had been carefully thought out, using a variety of wonderful ingredients.


Our first choices were of course the smoothies. There were 8 to choose from, 5 of which were fresh juices and the remaining 3 were labelled as smoothies: Classic Green, Summer Breeze, Ruby Tuesday, abc, Banana Cacao, Dreamy Chai and Blueberry Bee all priced at 6eur. I went straight for the Dreamy Chai and my friend chose the Blueberry Bee.

Needless to say they were both delicious, the Dreamy Chai was exactly that… DREAMY. I tend to love cinnamon/ spiced foods/ drinks and this was exactly that! The Blueberry Bee was smoother and fruitier, topped with bee pollen and also really tasty. They are all made with almond milk as the base and sweetened with agave or dates and have added (awesome) hidden ingredients such as maca powder and hemp seed. 


We shared a starter dish: Baba Ganoush, which came with homemade raw crackers and Kalamata olives. The crackers were absolutely delicious and were not dry which tends to happen when foods are made in dehydrator. I polished off the olives (standard) and my friend enjoyed the baba ganoush. Thumbs up so far.

Starter prices range from 5eur to the most expensive choices at 8eur which are mushroom carpaccio and mock sushi.



Onto the mains:

The mains (as usual) is always the hardest, a fussy eater with intolerances is not fun at all and after eyeing up the Mexican Salad which came with guacamole & pico de gallo I decided to break away from my default (safe) salad choice and managed to mix and match the bean burger with gluten-free bread which the owner happily changed for me. (Major bonus points). My friend chose the raw Zucchini Lasagna because she is way less fussy than i am  😝


What convinced me the most about the burger was that it came with homemade condiments: cashew mayo and sundried tomato ketchup. I was really curious about tasting them and also majorly excited about not having to choose salad for once. Bean burger came sandwiched between 2 slices of Gluten-Free bread (buckwheat or spelt options) was coated in sesame seeds and pan fried, with a side of mixed greens and red peppers.

Can honestly say it is one of the most delicious Vegan burgers I have tried to date, (best one was at Teresa Carles in Barcelona) but this coming a very close second. The texture was soft, which is standard for Vegan burgers, yet the sesame coating gave it a slight crunch which really complimented it. Even the mixed greens were really tasty, topped with a light dressing and pumpkin seeds. For someone who usually drowns her salads in vinegar, and didn’t this time… This is monumental 😂

My friends Raw Zucchini Lasagna came layered with spicy marinara, cashew ricotta and brazil nut/ pine nut pesto and she absolutely loved it too. Simple, tasty and really filling.


Lastly… dessert.

There is always room for dessert.

By this point we were REALLY full, but I had travelled all the way there… I wasn’t about to leave without dessert! Luckily they sell bitesize treats such as truffles and cookies which were perfect to satisfy the sweet tooth without them sitting too heavy on the stomach.

I chose the raw White Choc and Raspberry Truffle and my friend chose a Chocolate Cookie which we accompanied with some tea and coffee. I tried both and they were delicious, the truffle mostly tasted of coconut butter, with a melt in your mouth texture while the cookie was crunchy yet chewy and had a rich taste of cocoa.


Price: 😄 | Location: 😄 | Service: 😍 | Food: 😍

In all honesty the place is faultless, the price was very reasonable (we paid 30eur each and literally had one of everything), the service was wonderful, the owner who was the one who served us was happy to amend my meals without hesitation, the decor was pleasing and most importantly… the food was incredible. Bearing in mind i occasionally eat chicken and consider myself a Flexitarian rather than a Vegan, so for me to say that the burger was better than any normal burger i have tried… really does say a lot! 

The location is perfect too, not too busy with hustle and bustle and you can enjoy a nice walk around the area after your meal. Perhaps during busy periods not so child friendly due to it being next to a road but, at the time we went it was really peaceful and quiet so depends at what time you go (and how naughty your kids may be) 😛

Caters to Gluten-Free/ Wheat-Free/ Vegan/ Vegetarian diets.

 

Tip: For anyone counting calories/ macros etc my advise would be to log in similar counterparts to what you are eating and be mindful about it. Eg. bean burger isn’t hard to find on MFP, and it is very unlikely that there is a vast difference in macros. Trust me, at some point, someone has logged in something similar in MFP, a quick search and you’re good! If at the very least, for peace of mind.

 


Another from our series of #EatsFreeFrom as we travel around taste testing all the delicious (free-from) foods for you!


 

Any requests? Let us know! 🙂

Much love,

The Muscle Baker

<3

Everyday we wafflin’

I bought a new double waffle machine recently, you know… the one that makes those sexy looking American Diner style waffles. YAS.

So, in true Muscle Baker style, I didn’t let that red light die down till I was several recipes deep. (If you follow me on instagram @themusclebaker you may have noticed the few days of waffle obsession that followed suit.)


 

Now, making waffles isnt too different to making pancakes which means any pancake mix will work for waffles and vice versa! Just (for me personally) waffles are easier because the machine does all the work for you with a handy light which lets you know when they are done. Regardless, here is our top tips for wafflin’ successfully:

 

QUALITY WAFFLE MAKER // We ploughed through a gazillion options and reviews to check over quality/ price/ customer satisfaction before we bought ours. Don’t just choose a cheap one or even an expensive one because you think it will be good. Our recommendation is: JM Posner Double waffle maker.

SPRAY OIL // This is not essential but it does help a little, especially for Vegan waffles which don’t have eggs.. We use a coconut oil spray which is low in calories and doesn’t add much extra calories. There is also a butter flavour one which tastes lovely and vegan-friendly!

EASY WITH THE MIX // Before you start going crazy making waffles, experiment with the batter first. Check how many spoonful’s of batter it takes to make a full waffle without over-spill. Start small then go adding more batter for every next waffle until you reach perfect size. If your waffle spills it is quite hard to clean so you want to avoid that.

BE PATIENT // Don’t be tempted to put the heat too high in a bid to get the waffles done quicker. Start on a lower heat and wait for it to get to the right temperature, the first 2 waffles will always be the dummy ones anyway, the perfect temp will start once you’ve done a few. Note: some waffle machines don’t have temp options, it’s not necessary but is a nice extra to have. 

DON’T CHEAT THE LIGHT // The heat lights are there for a reason, so pay attention to it! All waffle machines generally are the same whereas there is a red and green light, both of which go on when you turn on machine and then the green light is the one that goes on and off to alert you. In short, when the green light is on don’t do anything.

 


As mentioned earlier, using any pancake batter will work for waffles, so if you are after a simple protein waffle recipe we recommend this one. However, if you are after a Vegan option or egg-less option, the following recipe is for you and works perfectly with casein or a vegan protein blend.

 

This is our latest go-to recipe:

VEGAN PROTEIN WAFFLES



Deliciously dense waffles, perfect for any day of the week.
Credit: The Muscle Bakery

Ingredients

1.5 Cup Coconut milk/ Almond milk 0.5 Cup Gluten-Free rolled oats 0.8 Cup Brown Rice Flour 1/8 Cup Arrowroot Flour 1 Scoop Bulkpowders Vegan Protein Blend* 1 Tsp Xanthan Gum 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract 2 Drops Stevia (or alternative) 1 Tsp Baking Soda 1 Tsp Cider Vinegar Spray oil of choice.

*This recipe will work just the same with casein too, textures will be different but will work perfectly nonetheless. We used Bulkpowders Strawberry flavour casein to test the recipe.

Directions

  1. Mix milk and vinegar together and set aside.
  2. In a bowl mix together all your dry ingredients until combined. Then, fold in your wet ingredients until you get a thick batter.
  3. Heat up waffle machine as per instructions and like mentioned earlier, if you have never done waffles before add less batter rather than more. Add batter when green light goes off, then wait until green light goes off again to open waffle machine to remove waffle.
  4. Note: If you’re waffle has a temperature setting, start at a lower heat then build it up.

  5. Repeat until all batter is used up.
  6. Pile them up on a plate, add your favourite syrup and ENJOY!
  7. Nutritional Info (per serving of 4): 228 Cals | 2.6F | 39.7C | 8.8P

    Free from Gluten, Wheat, Sugar, Dairy, & Egg.


 


Need some waffle inspo? Here are some of our customers creations from our ‘Waffle Party’ event held 15th October at Strength Factory. Proceed with caution, extreme foodporn follows:

Vegan Choc Peanut waffles with Zero syrup, frozen raspberries and almond butter, Nadia’s simple and delicious creation.
Simple protein pancake recipe, smothered in zero chocolate mint syrup, choc mint oreos and a dollop of Nutella. OH MY.
Simple protein pancake sandwich with an apple pie theme! Apple pie filling and Toffee Nakd bites between 2 layers of waffle, topped with whipped cream, banana, caramel waldens syrup and a cheeky oreo.
Rita topped her simple protein pancake with frozen razzies, choc shot syrup and an oreo ice-cream sandwich. Who’s jealous?
Chocoholics look away! Simple protein pancake topped with zero syrup, crumbled twirls, Nutella and an oreo ice-cream sandwich. HOT DAMN.

 

 


No matter your dietary needs, everyone should be able to enjoy waffles! So if this recipe doesn’t tickle your fancy, have a browse on our ‘Pancakes and Waffles‘ recipes section and see if any other recipe suits you better!

Hope you enjoyed the tips and recipe, tag us if you put them to good use!

Find us on all social media outlets @themusclebakery <3

Free-From Eats: Pane Cioccolate (Marbella)

Pane Cioccolate

Located on: Calle 19A, Marbella📍

Opening Hours: 09:00- 21:30 (Closed Sunday’s).

This chain has two eateries, one situated in Sotogrande and one in San Pedro and after visiting (and loving) the Sotogrande one, we just had to visit their bigger San Pedro one. It’s location can easily go unnoticed which is actually a good thing as it means less people.

Here are the directions as it could very easily go amiss:

– Travel along the AP-7 Autopista del Mediterraneo (if coming from Gib-Marbella direction) and take exit 157 which merges onto the A-7 towards Estepona/ San Pedro Alcantara.

– Take exit 170 towards Gaudalmina, San Pedro de Alcantara and take the 3rd exit once you get to the roundabout.

– At the next roundabout take the 4th exit and follow on until the last roundabout, take the 2nd exit. 

– Continue and turn right onto Calle 18, left onto Calle 19, follow left again and your destination will be on your right. 


The setting is lovely, a little bit of shabby chic meets hipster vibes with blue hues and pastel colours all around and delicate decor in the form of cushions, quotes and cute ornaments.

At first glance the menu is extensive with a wide variety of items, all of which are clearly labelled with intolerances (see below). Unfortunately, the wide variety is narrowed down considerably if you need to avoid dairy, egg and wheat but none-the-less there are a few items as well as off the carte Vegan menu items (which you need to ask for).


My first choice was the Apple Pie Smoothie, I had tried it before and it is my absolute favourite! Made with apples, almond milk, agave, lemon and cinnamon, so simple yet so tasty! Definitely recommend if you like apple/cinnamon flavours, but there is something to suit all tastes.

The most impressive part of the menu was their great selection of toasts combinations, they have a different type of bread depending on what ingredient you would need to avoid which is absolutely awesome! There were combinations for all sorts of diets, whether you wanted eggs, tomato, olive oil or avocado, and if it isn’t on menu they are happy to customise it for you.

After reading the menu several times I decided I wanted bread (there is always time for bread) and decided on a Rye/ Spelt Wheat-Free toast. I really wanted a high protein topping that wasn’t eggs though, so I asked if I could have turkey, they happily noted it down and brought me some delicious chargrilled turkey pieces atop of my toast! A pleasant surprise as I was kinda expecting cheap supermarket cold cuts!

The mains had a little bit to suit anyone and everyone, a selection of salads, wraps, burgers, pastas etc. Perfect if there is a group of people with varying diets and taste preferences which was the case for us. (The boys wanted burgers while the girls wanted salads.)

However, I did find the mains a bit hard to choose, mainly because I’m a fussy eater who has to cater to intolerances which is a double whammy of annoyingness for the poor waiters/ waitresses *hides face*

I decided to opt for the ‘Nicky’ salad which is comprised of salad greens, cherry toms, walnuts, chicken breast and a balsamic glaze. (It also contains Parmesan but I had to omit that.)

The other half decided to go for the burger which came in a seedy bun filled with salad greens and a fried quail egg.

Other meals that were ordered were Goats cheese salad and a spaghetti pasta dish, everyone seemed satisfied and happy with their meals (with space left for dessert).


Now, I’m going to be completely honest here… The dessert was the most disappointing part for me because I never got to have any! 😩

All the cakes contained some form of gluten, wheat, dairy or egg and when asked if there was any Vegan desserts available, the waitress offered me a cake but wasn’t too convinced herself about the contents which didn’t inspire much confidence. (And then i asked the guy waiter and he thought i asked for Veal!) lol

Thing is, yes there was some Vegan items, yes there was some gluten-free items (which is great)… But no crossover treats catering to an all in one.

Watching everyone eat delicious Banoffee cake isn’t fun when it looks this incredible 👉🏻

Having said that, i would still go again (maybe prompt them beforehand to make sure there is Vegan cake available) 😛


 

Price: 😅 | Location: 😄 | Service: 😊 | Food: 😄

Would recommend for mixed groups as they cater to all sorts of diets, perfect for breakfasts, smoothies and non-vegan cakes. This place is also child-friendly and has sweets, cookies etc that children would prefer to eat. Overall prices are decent, smoothies at €5, salads around 10€, just don’t be too frivolous ordering drinks as they do add up! 

Caters to Gluten-Free/ Wheat-Free/ Vegan/ Vegetarian diets.

 


 

The first in our series of #EatsFreeFrom as we travel around taste testing all the delicious (free-from) foods for you!

 


 

 

Any requests? Let us know! 🙂

 

Much love,

 

The Muscle Baker

<3

The day of LOVE (and food)

Food is the ingredient that binds us together

Nowadays, Valentines Day is a far cry from what it used to be and has evolved into a somewhat different celebration. It is a day of proving your love to someone… Whether it be to your partner or someone you admire, lavishing them with gifts such as cards, chocolates, romantic meals and so on.

In the UK alone, it is estimated that £1.3 billion is spent every year on Valentine’s, with an estimated 25 million cards being sent. (WOAH!)

In Spain, Valentines Day is known as *add spanish accent* Dia de San Valentin… (sounds romantic).

DID YOU KNOW

Valentines Day started out as a celebration for Saint Valentine, a priest from Rome who was martyred in AD496. However, the celebrations have no romantic connotations and prior to the 14th century there is no link between the saint and romantic love. It is not until Chaucer wrote ‘Parliament of Foules’ that Valentines Day became associated with love.

To us however, Valentine’s Day is also the day where we get to dust off all our heart shaped baking molds, fine red linen, cute ribbons and play around with our culinary creativity… in the name of love of course.

So, here is a few of our creations that we have made over the years in celebration of this day, the perfect little treats that you can impress your loved ones with:

 

HEART PROTEIN BARS

Heart Protein Bar Header

These will no doubt impress the favourite human in your life, a little bit naughty and a whole lot of nice… the perfect treat for Valentines.

BANOFFEE CRUMBLE (Dairy-Free)

BanoffeeCrumble

A combination of almond butter, banana and beef protein make this a decadent treat, perfect to indulge after a romantic dinner.

DOUBLE CHOC COOKIES (Dairy-Free)

ChocCookies

Chocolate is pretty much Valentine’s middle name, it comes with the package. So whip these Double chocolate cookies, and proceed to eat all of them with the important one in your life… what are healthy cookies for right?

PROTEIN HEARTS

ProteinHearts

Cute miniature hearts with raspberry pieces and made with fruit powder, who said eating healthy wasn’t fun?

HEALTHY PROTEIN MAGNUMS

Magnums

Ice-cream is great any time of the year, but at least you get to share it with someone special today… (or not.)

RASPBERRY PROTEIN HEARTS (OR BUMS)

Protein-Hearts-01

Who needs pick and mix when you can have these super cute high protein jelly sweeties! Made high in fiber thanks to Vita fiber powder and in a super deliciously raspberry flavour!

VEGAN BLUEBERRY SLICES

VeganSlices

Knock up this simple recipe in no time with a few simple ingredients, Vegan or not… you’ll love it anyway!

CHOCOLATE PROTEIN HEARTS

Protein-Choc-Hearts-01

As we mentioned earlier chocolate goes hand in hand with Valentine’s, multiply it by hearts + The Muscle Bakery… and we get Chocolate Protein Hearts. Macro-friendly, delicious and easy to make! *thumbs up* Recipe going live tonite on GYMversus.

PISTACHIO CHEESECAKE

PistachioCheesecake

Cheesecake made with a rich pistachio butter base, high protein yoghurt based filling and topped with Raspberry coulis, so good… you’ll be up for seconds… and thirds… and…

 

WafflePop_MAIN

Waffles, on a stick, coated with chocolate and topped with chopped oreos…. if that isn’t love, I don’t know what is…

Don’t fancy sweet recipes, why not try these savoury ones:

LOW CARB SPAG BOL

SpagBol

Low-Carb spaghetti bolognese made with a delicious tomato sauce and low-calorie noodles, perfect for anyone who in prep mode but also wants to enjoy some good food with their loved one.

TOAD IN THE HOLE (Dairy-Free & Vegetarian)

ToadInHole

Admittedly, Toad-in-the-hole is hardly a romantic meal, but trust us… it tastes REALLYYYY good! (plus you can see the red linen in the image so it counts as a Valentine meal). Made with Sorghum flour, almond milk and egg whites… a simple recipe, which is easily adaptable and perfect all year round.

 

Hope you enjoyed these recipes and remember unless otherwise stated, all of our recipes are Gluten & Wheat-Free! Check out our recipe index for a selection of all our recipes across our site and our sponsors.

 

We love seeing your creations, so don’t forget to show us!

We are on all social media platforms @themusclebakery and now you can find us on Snapchat too!

 

Love & treats

The Muscle Baker <3

 

Happy Day of PANCAKES! *foodies rejoice*

Pancake day is the equivalent of Valentine’s Day for us food fiends, a day where you are OFFICIALLY allowed to eat pancakes pretty much all day (not that we wouldn’t anyway).

Now, what is a pancake?

Quite simply, it’s a cake that you cook in a pan. What makes it so awesome? … IT’S A CAKE YOU COOK IN A PAN. DUH.

We trawled the internet to see what it had to say about pancakes and found this:

PANCAKE / Something you eat for breakfast. I had pancakes this morning.

However, not to be confused with:

PANCAKES / A life changing miracle of fluffy happiness man. So i had some pancakes today, it was so great, i gave my pants to a hobo.

 

Anyway, to celebrate such a phenomenal day we scoured our recipe archives and dug out our tastiest pancake creations:

1. Vegan Pancakes

Vegan Pancakes_main

The pancakes are everything you want pancakes to be; soft, scrumptious, moist, tasty and filling. Top it with rich Vanilla Agave nectar and you have an absolute winner! Perfect for Vegans and Non-Vegans alike.

2. Easy Lemon Pancakes

Lemon Pancakes

This is our basic staple protein pancake recipe, easy to make with only a few key ingredients. No culinary skills required.

3. Spinach & Blueberry Pancakes

SpinachPancakes

Looking for something a little more adventurous? Try these Spinach pancakes topped with blueberries! Don’t be put off by their green colour, they are super delicious and extra nutritious. Eating pancakes and getting your greens in at the same time, whats not to love?

4. Simple Pancakes with Choc Sauce (Dairy-Free)

Simple Pancakes MAIN

Anyone looking for a Dairy-Free pancake option, look no further. These delicious pancakes with a rich choc sauce topping will hit the spot! (Sharing will be the only problem).

5. Chocolate Pancakes (Low-Carb)

LowCarbPancakes

Similar to our basic protein pancake recipe, except using ground almonds instead of oats making them perfect for those on lower carb diets. Have them simple or topped with your fave sauces or nut butters.

6. Protein Waffles (i.e. pancakes with abs)

Waffles Header

What happens when your pancakes go to the gym? They become waffles. (Just like these damn fine Strawberry Vanilla Waffles.)

7. Banoffee Pancakes

banoffeepancakes

Pancakes, Banana and Toffee rolled into one epic stack of pancake porn with a whopping protein content of almost 50g. *Gym buffs rejoice*

8. Cookie Protein Waffles (more pancakes with abs)

waffleoreo

These pancakes also went to the gym to get its pump on, and met sexy oreo there… and well… Oreo Cookie Protein Waffle was born…

9. Pancake Cake

PancakeCake

And last but not least is the most epic of them all…. PANCAKE CAKE. Layers of chocolate pancake, with protein frosting with more protein frosting and then a protein choc drizzle. 50g protein per slice of 4… WADDUP!

 

OR you could give these guest recipes a try:

Vegan Pancakes with peanut butter and topped with Reeses Mini Cups by @burtonsbakes

burtonspancakes

Savoury Sweetcorn Protein Pancakes by @the_beltsander

beltsander

Or you could even go for the easy option and buy yourself some Protein Pancake Mix! Our favourite flavour is the Maple!

 

Note: Please make sure your pan is non-stick or else you are going to have a BAD TIME making pancakes!

Hope this post gives you all some pancake inspo.

Don’t forget to tag us in your creations, you can find us on all social media platforms @themusclebakery.

We are now on Snapchat too! Add us! 😛

 

Lots of love & Pancakes
The Muscle Baker <3