Review: Solo Chocolate Salted Caramel Meal Replacement

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I’m terrible for skipping meals out, as long as I’ve had cereal in the morning I’m content.

This is not healthy, and with the long shifts I work means I’m often going long periods without any food or just surviving on rubbish.

I came across Huel (which I will review shortly) and Solo shortly after.

Both options are meal replacements giving you the vitamins, fibre etc that you need in a quick and easy alternative.

Both are vegan and gluten free, although Huel also comes in a non gluten free version (so be aware)

Solo do single meal packs for £2, for you to try. This is a good way to see if you’ll like the flavour. I ordered a couple of flavours and the first one I tried was the chocolate salted caramel.

Now having played around with Huel I’ve learnt that I cannot stand these drinks when made up with water. So I make them up with soya milk or a nut milk.

This one I had Tesco’s own brand soya milk to hand.

The powder itself appears finer than Huel with less ‘bits’ in it.

However when trying to mix it up in a shaker it did not blend well. There were huge lumps throughout the mix no matter how much I shook it up.

I tried drinking this as had not brought any food in with me, to work. However with the flavour and the fact that it just would not lose the large amount of lumps left me feeling slightly ill.

I will give the Solo vanilla mix a go at some point soon. But so far I am sticking with Huel.

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Review: Slim Pasta Spaghetti

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I’ve been terrible lately with getting posts up, life has just been so busy!

Recently I’ve decided to attempt to broaden my diet and eat slightly more healthy options than mainly living off cereal and bacon sandwiches.

Whilst shopping on Ocado I was looking for things that are quick, and easy to cook when I’m coming off a long shift.

I came across this ‘pasta’

Now there were a few different options including noodles etc. However I went for this one as it required no draining. Just chuck it in a frying pan with some sauce and cook for a couple of minutes.

The shelf life is quite decent on it, so it’s a good thing to just keep in the cupboard for a very quick meal.

I’ve had it twice now, the first time I cooked it with some red free from pesto and dried bacon pieces with sprinkling of feta.

This time I tried it with just some green pesto and some sheep cheese that needed eating up.

Whilst the image is not particularly appetising.

It isn’t a bad meal, I much preferred the first combination as without the meat I think the pasta was quite flavourless.

I’d be interested to try this pasta with a more meaty sauce.

I’m not sure how well the pasta works at helping you to lose weight, but it is super quick and easy to cook. Stores well, and is gluten free and suitable for vegans (no cows milk, yay!)

The Clean Plate – Rayleigh Review

Eating Out

I've recently decided to create a 'Free from' directory for myself when needing to find a suitable place to eat out.

I'm slowly building a list of places, which of course means I have lots of new places to try out!

One of these was incredibly local to myself, and I wish I had found it sooner.

'The clean plate' is a completely gluten free cafe.
Not only are they completely gluten free, but they also cater strongly for vegans.
This of course means not only do I not have to study the menu for gluten free items. But I know there's options that will also be dairy free (no dairy from cows for me)

The cafe is not far from Rayleigh station and is easy to find. There is no parking at the cafe, but lots of side streets to park in. So parking was not an issue.

Clean plate is not a huge place, and I've been told it can fill up quite quickly. However we were lucky and picked a relatively quiet time to go.
With a choice of tables, either inside or out.

First decision needed, was of course a drink….. I opted for a vegan milkshake.

The vegan option (aka dairy free) only came in chocolate. However I was given a choice of milks, and rather than going for the standard 'soya'.
I chose my home favourite of cashew milk.

Then of course came the difficult decision of finding something to eat.
When you're used to being given a couple of items to choose from, an entire menu is a bit overwhelming.

There is the standard page and then a page for vegan alternatives of the same.

It was a difficult toss up between pizza or pancakes.
But as pancakes is not an option I've found anywhere else, I opted for that.

I was able to choose the vegan pancakes so that they'd be dairy free, but with the standard menu sides toppings…. 'bacon and maple syrup'

The food was creatively presented, and delicious. The vegan pancakes had a slight hint of banana to them (which I'm assuming is because they're made with them as a dairy alternative) but were tasty and went well with the bacon and syrup.

I also had garlic bread, however ate this before I could take a picture of it (it was delicious though)

Not only did I have so much choice for a mains, but I then found they did raw vegan cakes.
Which of course I had to try.

Looking at the menu they also offer sandwiches etc to take away. Which would be perfect if you needed to grab a lunch en-route somewhere.

Having an entirely gluten free cafe, so close to me is probably not good news for my bank account or waistline. However I can't begin to express how great it feels to not have to worry about explaining my coeliacs.
With the dairy being my only worry, and the cafe catering so well for vegans I can eat most of what's on offer.

I will be going back…..regularly!

Review: Tesco Free From Blackcurrant Cheese Cakes

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Cheesecake, probably one of my most missed desserts as a coeliac and dairy intolerance. 

There were a number of frozen cheesecakes that were gluten and dairy free, that I fell in love with. However can no longer find any of these. Tesco have recently introduced their own branded frozen version, however this is unfortunately not free from dairy.

Due to this, it has been a while since I’ve had a cheesecake fix. Therefor I was of course extremely excited when I came across these chilled cheesecakes in the refrigerated free from section.


I’ll admit to being a little apprehensive once I’d got them home. I’m not entirely sure how a cheesecake can be made with oil and coconut milk. 

Packaging wise, there is two in a pack. The cheesecakes themselves come in two little plastic pots with film lids. 

There isn’t a great deal of dessert in each pot, and so these aren’t particularly great value for money.


The ‘cheesecake’ is a layer of a syrup’y tasting jam, which wasn’t particularly great tasting. The next layer was the strange tasting ‘cheesecake’ part. 

This pretty much tasted like coconut oil, but was still better tasting than the jam like syrup layer.

At the bottom of it all was the biscuit base. Nothing particularly amazing here, just a thin layer of crumbs.

Overall, I was rather disappointed. Yes it’s a vegan cheesecake that suitable for coeliacs and those who can’t eat dairy or eggs. However, it’s not cheap and it’s not a cheesecake.

I’m sorry Tesco but these were a disappointment. I will not be trying them again!

Review: Schar Salti crackers

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I used to really enjoy Ritz biscuits prior to my diagnosis.

Schar have kindly introduced a gluten free version!! 

These are an amazing salty type cracker, absolutely perfect with non cow dairy cheese alternatives (I love soft goats cheese) or Sainsbury’s new new dairy free cranberry Wensleydale. 

The packet is fairly large, unfortunately easy to tear. So might be worth chucking them into a tub. 

Not a great deal to write about these, but they are brilliant for a quick snack by themselves or with a topping.

I’ve purchased them from Kaisers in Berlin and large Tescos here in the U.K

Valsoia Cherry & Cream Soya Ice Cream

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For those of you who have read through my previous reviews, I recently reviewed a Chocolate & Cream ice cream made by Valsoia. 

After the utterly moreish experience with the chocolate & cream flavour, I didn’t hesitate on trying others.

Ocado have a variety of Valsoia products, these are focused on being dairy free. However a few of these items are also gluten free. Just be sure to check before tucking in, as things like the Ice cream sandwiches, or pizza will not be suitable for coeliacs (much to my disappointment)

My latest order from Ocado contained the Valsoia Cherry & Cream dairy free ice cream.


I knew what to expect, having eaten the other flavour on offer. But I was still excited to get the lid off of this delight!

On a boring note, the tub is much easier to access than others without risking broken nails. You simply push the tab down, then just lift it up.

Once the lid is off, you are greeted with a delicious looking ice cream.


Much like the Chocolate version, the ice cream was extremely soft, smooth and light. The cherry is not overly sweet, tasting like real cherries (as opposed to flavourings) and adds an excellent contrast to the ice cream.

It was too easy to eat a very large amount of this, and seeing as the tub is not on the extra large size…. I will have to ration myself! 

I am so happy to find a delicious flavoured dairy free ice cream, that also tastes amazing!!!

Alpro Cashew Original

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Coeliacs disease is bad enough but add an intolerance to cows milk, it’s even worse.

I have really tried with soya milk, and other alternatives. But they just aren’t the same, and whilst they work in tea’s etc. Cereal just isn’t great with soya milk.

I decided to give cashew milk a try. The first thing I tried it in, was a hot chocolate.

My first try of it, I found it a bit unusual and wasn’t so sure, as it added a slightly nutty taste to the drink. However I’ve since fallen in love with it. 

It tastes amazing in hot chocolate, giving a thick, creamy hot chocolate that tastes delicious. 

Since then I’ve started having it with muesli, which it goes with brilliantly. It’s thick and creamy enough to mean you don’t just have a bowl full of watery nuttiness. It’s taste is not overpowering, but gives a subtle flavour that works well with what it is put with.

I’m still not sold on other alternatives. But Alpro’s Cashew milk is a fantastic solution.