Vegan options at Wahaca and the joy of vegan box schemes

Alright, I'm a bit late on this one - I've been subscribing to The Vegan Kind's lifestyle box for a few months, and I've only just got around to posting about it.

You know how these box schemes work right? You give someone a few quid, they send you an assortment of interesting vegan stuff in the post. Sometimes it's stuff you like, sometimes it's stuff you've never heard of, but in general, it's pretty much the best thing you've going to get in the post all month.

Here's the November box (yes, I know we're well into December, but I thought you looked like the forgiving kind, so you'll let me off) for not posting about it last month.


And this is the joy of it - look at that crazy mix - readymade quinoa, crisps, shower gel, milk, caramel sauce and body wash in one package, and all stuff I'd never tried before.

I'll be honest, I'm kind of confused about the crisps - it's a vegan crisp company that sells a flavour called 'how chicken soup saved the day'. Shouldn't it be called 'definitely not chicken, because that's not cool'? Anyway, everything in there I really liked, as much for the novelty factor as for the fact that they tasted good. (Apart from the shower gel, I don't know how that tastes.)

I haven't got around to using the

Another minor discovery in Whole Foods - iced vegan coffee. It's not something that when I went vegan I sat there yearning for, but it's still nice to see it readymade should I ever need it.

Pictured below with some rare London winter sun:


I know you've been secretly craving more updates from my ventures into veg box world. Here's another box from a few weeks ago with carrots, leeks, squash, peppers, mushrooms, parsnips, and probably some potatoes as well.

Come to think of it, it's pretty much like the Vegan Kind box up there - I give some guy a few quid every week, he brings a box of good stuff to my door, and then I have to work out what to do with it.

I ended up making some curry with the cabbage and potatoes, because that's one of my favourite things to do with cabbage. In fact, it's kind of my favourite thing to do with most vegetables. With the parsnips, I made something along the lines of this recipe for creamed parsnips with roast winter vegetables from the Guardian.


But with the squash, I was feeling a bit Mexican and decided to raid the venerable Veganomicon for inspiration. Handily enough, I had a tin of tomatillos to hand and I'm never without a bag of pumpkin seeds (never never never) so what better to make than the green pumpkin seed mole? Seriously, there is nothing, in case you were wondering. It's phenomenal.

And, in case it felt lonely, I chucked in some refried beans, coriander, and squash to get all it going.  I also had some blue corn tortillas in the freezer. Yes, I'll be honest, I bought them because they're blue, but you know, BLUE! How much blue food to you get to eat? Not enough, I reckon.

What's better than tasty Mexican you make at home? Tasty Mexican that someone else makes for you. I thought I'd give Wahaca a go at the request of my other half. I was a bit trepidatious after a few other vegans have reported mixed experiences. And a mixed experience was pretty much what we got.

Though Wahaca does have a menu with dishes categorised by allergen, and you can find all the veggie and vegan dishes in there. That is, if your server knows what it is. Ours had vaguely heard of it and after a while foraging managed to unearth it.

There's not a whole lot of vegan dishes, despite the fact that making vegan Mexican food really isn't that hard and most of the dishes looked like they could be veganised without much effort.

We opted for guacamole to keep us busy:


It was fine, but you can't really go wrong with guacamole can you? Well, if you can, you shouldn't really be in the Mexican restaurant game!

Next, a bit of salad:


It was corn and bean salad, allegedly, but most of it was lettuce with not much in the way of either the eponymous corn or beans. Not much in the way of excitement there really.

That was the less interesting bit, here comes the thing you may want to order if you're in Wahaca (given the paucity of vegan options, you might not have much choice): it's the winter vegetable fajita. The vegan version comes without feta and possibly something else, I can't remember and I'm not sure the waitress could either.

Nevermind, it was fab. So much flavour in such a little package, with mushrooms leading a deep, dark, umami charge. Plus so much rice - more than enough to keep this little carb bunny happy.


On the downside, the salsa was weeping a bit of tomatoey water, so it kind of looked like it had peed on the plate. Ignore that though, and it was very pleasing burrito.

I'd probably go back to Wahaca, but I wouldn't race there - it kind of gives off the impression that vegans are an afterthought or an inconvenience. There's a lot of good Mexican food in London at the moment, so next time I have a hankering for a bit of comida, I'll go seek out somewhere with a few more vegan options.

Wahaca
http://www.wahaca.co.uk/
020 3697 4140 119
Waterloo Rd, Lambeth, London SE1 8UL

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10 comments

  1. The squash tortilla sounds great!
    I've never heard of cabbage curry, but it sounds good. I'm never sure what to do with cabbage myself. The most fun I've had with produce lately is roasting Jerusalem artichokes.
    The iced coffee looks really refreshing. I don't buy them often, but I really can be a sucker for coffee beverages.
    Love mushrooms in a burrito! That doesn't happen enough! Nice find.

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  2. Oh dear heroic chickens and peeing salsa is very concerning :-) And I would sack the crisp namer and replace them with you!

    Your boxes look great - though right now I am glad not to have veg boxes delivered as we haven't been eating at home so much as usual and it would make me guilty. I do love the sound of your kitchen having blue corn tortillas and tomatillos on hand! And I want to know how you do the pumpkin seed mole. Do you have a recipe?

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  3. I haven't tried those box schemes but do like seeing what other people get. I have tried that Almond Breeze iced coffee though, and liked it! Like you say, nice on occasion.

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  4. Thinking of your weeping salsa I'm reminded of how often I try to "pretty up" a plate that I think is going to benefit from a good photo. With so many people photogging their food of late, you'd think restaurants would take it into consideration!

    I'm trying not to get caught up in the swap boxes bc the last thing I need is MORE snacks!

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  5. It's fun looking the different kinds of things you get in those vegan box schemes. I would opt for your homemade Mexican food over weeping restaurant burritos any day. Plus you have blue tortillas. :-)

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  6. Went to Wahaca for the first time on Friday night! We stumbled across it after going out for drinks and I remembered it was supposed to be vegan-friendly. I had the burrito too and thought it was pretty good. I'm keen to try the plantain tacos next time though!

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  7. Great goodies! I've been burned on subscription boxes in the past, but this one seems like it's genuinely worth looking into.

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  8. That's a lot of good food. Those boxes can be kind of fun. I had a sample box sent to me by Vegan Cuts. Similar, I think. Happy New Year!

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  9. What an interesting November snack box…I really like the Rebel Kitchen packaging and I want to try the sea salt caramel sauce, was it good? That’s so cool that Whole Foods had iced vegan coffee - my favorite was the Bhakti Coffee Blend (http://bhaktichai.com/product/coffee-blend-iced-ready-to-drink-bottle/), it’s full of spices, coffee and yummy ingredients! I love having curries during the winter…I must try cabbage in a curry sometimes!

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  10. Thanks for the mention, sorry I missed this at the time! Thought I'd pop you a comment to let you know that I recently went to Wahaca and was told that all the vegan food is fried together with chicken and other non-vegan items. I've never been told this before, and am pretty angry about it! You can ask for a few things to be grilled, rather than fried - like the sweet potato and plantain - but can't have the fried tortilla bowl, which was always my favourite! Rubbish.

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