Chocolate Chip Cookies

Friday, 26 February 2010

I've made my fair share of vegan cupcakes. They're something I really enjoy making. It's all about the chemistry of ingredients and how they work together to form a light, fluffy and delicious treat. I've not really ventured into vegan cookie baking though. I don't really why, I think I must need to purchase Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar! I'm sure that would push me to make some cookies.

Anyway, I was searching for a simple cookie recipe to start me off. I found all sorts of recipes requiring a range of ingredients that I don't have in my cupboard. I found this recipe on YouTube actually. It struck me as an easy recipe with no unusual ingredients (apart from Blackstrap Molasses but I just left that out). Who can resist a chocolate chip cookie?

The recipe was simple and came together really easily. The cookie came out chewy in the middle and crispy at the edges which was lovely. I was quite generous with the chocolate chips and ended up sticking the stray ones from the bottom of the bowl into the formed cookies.

I think I'd use brown sugar next time to add a bit more of a depth of flavour (maybe that's where the blackstrap comes in?) and have altered the recipe to reflect that. As usual, I've turned the measurements metric.

110g Plain Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
1⁄2 tsp Baking Soda
50g Soft Brown Sugar
Pinch of Salt
75ml Maple Syrup
1 1/2 tsp Vanilla
75ml Vegetable Oil
50g Dairy Free Chocolate Chips

Preheat the oven to 175C and prepare a baking sheet.
Sift the flour, baking powder and baking soda into a bowl.
Add the sugar and salt and mix to combine.
In a seperate bowl or measuring jug, mix together the maple syrup, vanilla and oil.
Add the wet ingredients into the dry and mix well.
Add the chocolate pieces and stir until distributed evenly through the dough.
Shape the dough into walnut sized balls and place on a baking sheet. Space the cookies about an inch or so apart as they do spread. Flatten the balls slightly.
Bake in the oven for around 11 minutes. Be careful not to overbake as the cookies may dry out.
Allow to cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.


Quick Noodle Soup

Thursday, 25 February 2010

There's something about a broth that makes you feel good. My mum and my gran always made chicken broth for the following day's lunch after we'd had a roast dinner. I have very fond memories of hearty homemade broths.

I really like noodle soups as a more filling version of a broth. The warm soup with the filling noodles is a winning combination for me. Combine those with crisp, barely cooked vegetables and some subtle spicing and you've got a very happy me.

This soup was made up on the spot and was delicious. It's a bit of a mish mash of flavours but they work really well together. I'll provide you with an ingredients list but the spices and seasonings are all to taste.

Egg free noodles (I used Clearspring Udon)
Vegetable Stock Cubes
Mange Tout
Sugar Snap Peas
Soy Sauce (I used reduced salt)
Chinese 5 Spice
Chilli Powder
Sweet Chilli Sauce

Boil the noodle according to the instuctions and refresh in cold water.
Disolve the stock cube in enough water for your soup and bring to a gentle simmer.
Add the soy sauce, 5 spice, chilli powder and sweet chilli sauce to taste.
Add the vegetables and simmer until they are just tender. Taste for seasoning.
Place the noodles into a soup bowl and pour the broth on top with the vegetables.


Homemade Tofu?

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Since vegan month began I've been looking at all sorts if things to do with veganism. I find myself searching for vegan recipes of all descriptions and, in my search, I stumbled on a few articles about making tofu at home.

Tofu isn't something I'd ever really enjoyed until I tried to make my own tofu scramble. I think the difference was that I wasn't using it as a "meat replacement" but rather as an ingredient in its own right. It is definitely something that I am looking to use more of in my recipes as it is such a unique ingredient.

The whole process of homemade tofu really intrigues me as it seems to simple yet it's not something I've ever really thought about making at home. It seems rather similar to cheese making. There are several articles floating around the internet but these are some that I found particularly good's Homemade Tofu Recipe takes you through the process step by step. It has clear instructions and makes the whole process seem very doable. The pictures are clear and simple and the language used is easy to understand. There are also some recipes to make with your homemade tofu!

Just Hungry's version is a little more in depth and is a series of three posts about making soy milk, making that into tofu and using the "okara" or solids from the process which is a nice way to make the recipe less wasteful (though the suggestions are not necessarily vegan). Again, there are some good instructions (a little more wordy than's but still easy to follow) and the pictures are a good size and easy to view.

So have any of you had a go at making your own tofu? I'm actually quite interested in trying it out (though probably not this month due to time constraints!) and would happily give it a go. Let me know if you've had a go, are planning on trying it or just think that nipping to the shops is much easier!


Peanut Butter Oat Bars

Monday, 22 February 2010

I love simple recipes. Things that you can knock up in a hurry when you get bitten by the baking bug but haven't got the time for a full blown spree. I felt like that last night. It was getting late and I really wanted to make something as I've been away from the kitchen for several days.

I found this recipe on the Alpro Soya website, most of their recipes aren't vegan but this one was and looked really simple. The recipe specifies cookies but I thought they would work well in bar form, a bit like a flapjack. The peanut butter lends a creamy texture to the finished bars and, as I used crunchy, it also adds a bit of a bite.

The finished bars were very sweet so I'd definitely reduce the sugar content in order to preserve some teeth! The texture was a bit like a cross between Scottish Tablet (that kind of chalky, crumbly fudge) and a flapjack. The oats lend a chewy bite while the caramel that is made with the other ingredients turns to a slightly grainy glue to hold it all together. I think you could easily add in all sorts of things to this recipe to change it slightly. Some raisins, dark chocolate chips, cranberries or even chopped nuts would be lovely.

As usual, this recipe is converted metric and this is how I made it but with reduced sugar.

125g Dairy Free Margarine
60ml Soya (or other dairy free) Milk
225g Sugar
120g Peanut Butter (I used crunchy)
1 tbsp Vanilla
300g Oats

Line a 9x9" pan with parchment or foil.
In a saucepan, mix the margarine, milk and sugar and heat gently.
Bring to the boil, stirring and let cook for 1 minute
Add the peanut butter, vanilla and oats and mix well.
Spread the mixture into the pan (alternatively drop by spoonfuls onto parchment lined baking sheets) and leave to set overnight.
Cut into small servings (these are a little too big) and enjoy.


Ginger and Courgette Scones

Monday, 15 February 2010

I had high hopes for this recipe. Adding courgette to a baked treat is not dissimilar from adding carrot to cakes. Adding these things makes for added bulk, sweetness and moisture for baked goods and costs very little.

This recipe came from The Vegan Visitor. I've made a couple of things from there before and generally find the recipes easy to follow andreliable but this time it just didn't work for me. I found that the dough was really sticky (and I'd only used half of the required milk). I had to add loads more flour and it still didn't come together into a dough the could be sliceablle. I had to bake the dough in a round and slice after baking. They took a long time to cook (and browned before they were fully cooked inside - they never really cooked properly).

The taste however was lovely. There was a subtle warmth from the ginger and, although the dough had a greenish tint from the courgette, there was no strong flavour of the vegetable in there. I really wanted this to work and will try and tweak the recipe to work for me. I think the courgette could be squeezed of excess liquid after being grated which could help with the sogginess. I'll have a go at working the recipe through again and will post it if it is successful.

Hopefully this recipe will work out in the future as the flavours were lovely.

P.S. How cool are my pirate breakfast items? There be a pirate breakfast on the horizon shipmates!


Mixed Vegetable Soup

Friday, 12 February 2010

I apologise for being a bit absent this week, I've been really poorly and haven't really been able to cook/eat/write much. But I'm feeling better and have some things to show you now!

Soups are amazing. It wasn't until last year that I really understood how delicious a mixture of good veggies and some spices could be. Most of the soups I make are vegan too (I don't go for creamy soups really) and so this makes something great to post!

Soup is such a simple meal to make and is so versatile, they freeze beautifully, are cheap to make, full of goodness and easy to make in bulk. This one in particular was really easy as I just combined a load of vegetables together with some vegetable stock, salt and pepper and allowed it to simmer until all the vegetables were tender and then blended it. Stick blenders are a godsend when making soup. They're easy to use, clean up more easily than traditional blenders and can be used in the pan the soup was cooked in.

Ingredients (to taste - use what you like, leave out what you don't!)
1 onion
1-2 cloves crushed garlic
2 sticks of celery
1 courgette
1 sweet potato
A chunk of swede
1 carrot
Olive oil
Vegetable stock cube
Salt and Pepper
Dried mixed herbs

Chop all your vegetables up into medium sized chunks. It doesn't have to be beautiful as it'll all get blended up later.
Sweat the onion off in the oil with the garlic until softened slightly.
Add all the reast of the vegetables and allow to cook for 5 minutes.
Pour over the passata and herbs and allow to simmer.
Crumble in the stock cube followed by enough boiling water to just cover the vegetables.
Put a lid on the pan and allow to simmer on a medium heat until the vegetables are tender.
Blend the soup to a consistency of your liking (add mroe water if you want it smoother) and season to taste. Enjoy piping hot with crusty bread.


Butternut Squash Risotto

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

The following recipe and photgraph were kindly provided by Chrissie from Artichoke Zine. She wanted to give you all a recipe that included some of the staples from her post about The Vegan Pantry. Enjoy!

Butternut Squash Risotto

Serves 4

1 Butternut Squash
Olive Oil
Rock Salt
1 Onion
2 Cloves of Garlic
Dairy Free "Butter"
White Wine
500g Risotto Rice
3 Stock Cubes

Cube the butternut squash and pop into a roasting tray which has been drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with rock salt and paprika. Roast on 200c for around 20 minutes, until the squash can be crushed with pressure.

Slice the onion and crush the garlic. Fry on a medium heat until tender. Pour the risotto rice into the pan and combine together. Melt a chunk of butter into the rice and pour a nice amount of white wine into the pan. Season with salt and pepper.

Allow the rice to absorb the butter and wine, before adding two ladles of stock. Keep adding a ladle of stock at a time, for around 30 minutes, until the rice is cooked through and slightly sticky, and most of the stock has been absorbed.

Add another splash of white wine and small chunk of butter and stir through.

Season to taste and serve with garlic bread.


Why Become Vegan?

Monday, 8 February 2010

The following article was kindly written for Full Stomach by a friend of mine, Jhon Cosgrove. Jhon plays guitar for Mike TV and is pretty open about his veganism. I asked him to write about why he is vegan and what it's like touring abroad and eating vegan. As usual with Jhon, there's a bit of swearing so if you're not into that, then feel free to skip. I thought Jhon would bring a bit of lightheartedness to the month and true to form, he did! Enjoy! (And thanks Jhon!)


A blog on why I'm vegan with some unnecessary swear words and a mention of Uri Geller.

By Jhon Cosgrove aged 28 years and a few months.

I'm not sure where to start with this blog. This is the first time I've ever really written about my ethical dietary choice and it's difficult. There's a fine line between preaching and personal opinion. Let's hope I stick with the latter and you don't treat this as a biased, vegan eulogy. I'm kind of aiming this mainly at meaty men and women who maybe haven't ever considered what any of this vegan stuff means. Sorry if you already know this or if I sound condescending but I get asked vegan questions all the time (even more than I get asked 'Why don't you dye your other eyebrow blonde' or 'has anyone ever told you that you look like Sideshow Bob?').

Firstly, I have been vegetarian for ten years and vegan for nearly three. I made the step from the longer 'V' word to the smaller 'V' word after deciding my principals against animal cruelty were basically compromised by the fact that the dairy industry goes hand in hand with the meat industry. It seems to me that many people view the word 'vegan' as a bunch of hippies who don't eat 'real' food, are in some sort of faddy cult or are just doing it to be cool. The general public seem to think that the diet must be really boring and plain. 'How can you survive without cheese!’ people cry at me with disdain. Then follow it up with the second most popular question 'What do you eat then...just vegetables and fruit?' This is usually followed by a disparaging grin. A vegan picnic by anyone’s reckoning must be a sea of undernourished, skeletal freaks dipping carrots in humus and snorting lentils.

I'm vegan for one main reason. I personally believe that cruelty to animals is wrong. That is the bottom line. There are other factors to consider like health and environment but I'm not gonna go into it excessively, as it will be boring for you carnivorous types and you will think I'm just trying to convert you. If you're interested, read up about it! It's as easy as searching the word VEGAN on Google or Wikipedia. I hate flying but I spent a whole night last week researching plane crashes. Knowledge is power! Except in my case, as I'm now even more terrified of flying. As I said before, I don't want to preach and it's your choice. Some people like hot air balloons, some people like watching Holby City and some people like sleeping with members of their own family. I like being vegan and cruelty free. You may say, well I only eat ethical meat and free range eggs. I'm sure when your pissed and on your way home, you stop at that Kebab van, start to salivate, then you reach into your pocket, buy a burger and start to masticate. It's still your choice but maybe have a little look online and see where your food actually comes from, how it's made and sold to you the consumer. I also advise researching 'mechanically separated meat'. You might never eat a hot dog ever again.

Anyway, this is all getting a bit serious isn't it? Let's pull it back in with what the fuck we eat. I like to eat healthy but I also like eating junk. Again I don't want to sound condescending and most of you food fanatics will know all this anyway. You can pretty much 'veganise' most things both savoury and sweet. Instead of me making a list and sounding like (more of) a moron, check out the websites below for some awesome recipes and cooking advice. If anyone is thinking of trying it out even for a day, a week or a month then check out the vegan forums (link below) as they have lots of information and help. I'm not trying to make it sound like a sexual health clinic but it's always good to be clued up and maybe even consult a vegan friend to see what they eat. Don't be put off by the fact that spoon-bending, pseudo-psychic fuckwit Uri Geller is a vegan. There are some famous vegans you can really relate to like Heather Mills or Bryan Adams (apparently). Okay, maybe that's not an argument then...

Enough silliness, back to the task in hand... Travelling and being vegan can be a pain in the arse if you aren't a bit organised about it all. When I go on tour with my terrible band, I usually bring a box full of tasty tricks to keep me going. It's pretty easy once you get used to it and you get to know places you can eat out and the places you can't. Again there is lots of good reading about travelling and being vegan, I'll list some below.

I haven't really got much else to say, other than I hope I have opened up a few eyes (and mouths)* with my dumbed down approach to internet communication. Cheers to Linds for having a vegan month on this blog and sending me cupcakes. Just have a quick read up on this vegan malarkey (just for me, no pressure), check out the websites and books below and maybe even try out a few meals. If you make anything nice, send me some, I'm fucking starving after all this typing.



*This is really unfunny but I'm keeping it in.

Some Useful Websites



Tofu Scramble

Friday, 5 February 2010

I decided that my first official vegan meal of the month should be a breakfast dish. For me, breakfast usually consists of cereal, toast or maybe some kind of fruit salad. If I go for a cooked breakfast is may be bacon and eggs or a full english. Hardly vegan friendly though, right?

I've seen tofu scrambles around and about and never really thought much of it. I bought some tofu the other day when I was preparing for this month and couldn't really think of what to do with it. I was eating breakfast the other morning and saw just how un-vegan my breakfasts usually are (milk on cereal, butter on toast, yogurt on...spoons?) and decided to have a vegan breakfast to start my day.

Tofu scramble is exactly what it sounds like. Tofu is spiced with (in my case) indian flavours and gently heated with onions, mushrooms and tomatoes (or whatever takes your fancy really). The texture resembles scrambled eggs but sligtly drier. This was perfect on wholemeal toast and really set me up for the day. My mum wasn't convinced though and wouldn't try it because it "didn't smell like breakfast." I thought it was great and have since used up the rest of the tofu on another breakfast. I reckon spinach would be an excellent addition...if only I had any!

Ingredients (spices are to taste)
1/4 an onion, chopped
2-3 mushrooms, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
Ground Cumin
Ground Coriander
Chilli powder
Dried Mixed Herbs
Half a block of tofu, drained
2 tomatoes, roughly chopped
Soy Sauce
Black Pepper

Gently fry the onion, garlic, spices and mushrooms in a little oil until the vegetables are soft and the spices are warm.
Crumble in the tofu and stir to coat with the spices. Add a little water if it looks dry.
Add the tomatoes
Continue to cook until the tofu is hot.
Season with soy and black pepper and serve on hot toast.


Vegan Carrot Cupcakes with "Cream Cheese" Frosting

Thursday, 4 February 2010

If you've been reading this blog for any length of time, you'll know that I've done a wee bit of vegan baking over the last few months. I really enjoy it. I love how unfamiliar ingredients come together in such a familiar way. The vegan baking that I've experimented with have always come out moist and delicious and these are no exception.

I chose carrot cupcakes for a couple of reasons, firstly, I didn't have all the ingredients for the ones I wanted to make (fail) and secondly, Al really likes carrot cake. He doesn't like being able to detect any hint of carrot in them though so I used a fine grater (this resulted in a grated finger - ouch!). I think if I made these again then I'd really want to add a bit more spice to bring out the flavours a bit more, I'd also add a few more raisins. I left out the walnuts as I don't care for them and I put in a few more raisins than called for as mine were enormous! The mixture only made 10 cupcakes instead of 12, that could have been because I used muffin cases rather than cupcake papers but I don't usually have that problem.

I made the cream cheese frosting too as I'd never tried it. It was fine but I think a bit of lemon to cut through the sweetness would be great. Vegan cream cheese is disgusting by itself but transforms deliciously when made into a frosting. The cakes were moist and tasty with a good light texture and the creamy frosting complemented them well.

75g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
150g sugar
75ml vegetable oil
75ml soy yogurt (I used vanilla but you can use plain)
1 tsp vanilla
2 medium finely grated carrots
Handful of raisins

For the Frosting, combine (add the sugar in 1/2 cup batches):
50g Vegan cream cheese
50g of dairy free margarine
220g of icing sugar, sifted
Vanilla to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin tin with 12 cupcake liners.
In a medium mixing bowl, mix together sugar, vegetable oil, yogurt, and vanilla. Sift in the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices), and mix until smooth. Fold in carrots and raisins.
Fill the liners 2/3 full. Bake for 26-28 minutes, until a toothpick inserted through the center of one comes out clean.
Once fully cooled, top generously with cream cheese frosting.

This recipe is taken from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World.


JD Wetherspoons - Vegan Option?

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

I went for a meal with my boss the other day. We had been in Norwich sorting some things out and decided that it was time to grab something to eat. We called into a Wetherspoons and looked over the menu. As it was the 1st of the month, I thought it was probably wise to look for a vegan option, this is not an easy task with the menu for this large pub chain. Aside from a side salad there were 2 vegan options and both required a special alteration to the meal.

The first was a tomato soup which needed to be ordered without bread. Just a bowl of soup. Surely there could be a dairy free bread option? I was really surprised by this. The other option was the one that I went for. It was a Chickpea, sweet potato and spinach curry served with yellow basmati rice and poppadoms (naan bread is replaced with extra poppadoms to make the meal vegan) with a small tub of mango chutney. It sounded nice enough so I ordered one.

When it arrived, it looked like it had been sitting around for a while. It had a slight "skin" on the top of the curry sauce and the rice was a bit cold. The poppadoms were stale and slightly chewy - not good because I had 4 to get through. The chickpeas were overcooked and chewy and the curry sauce was vaguely spiced but pretty bland. The tiny pot of chutney wasn't really worth bothering with either. There certainly wasn't enough for 4 poppadoms! I was really disappointed. As the only proper vegan meal on the menu it was really poor.

One of the more popular vegetarian options on the menu is a 5 bean chilli which I considered ordering. The problem is that it contains Quorn mince which isn't vegan friendly. Surely this is a pretty unnecessary addition to a dish that is already crammed with beans. It doesn't quite make sense to me really. There should be more options available in such a large chain of restaurants.

I was pretty appalled by the lack of choice and the poor quality of the food. I'm not sure that it would be too difficult to have a vegan chilli (even if ordered without sour cream on top etc.) made with beans and vegetables rather than Quorn just so that there is more choice available to those who eat a different diet from what is considered the norm.

Low scores for Wetherspoons.


The Vegan Pantry

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

The following piece was kindly written for Full Stomach by the lovely Chrissie from Artichoke Zine. Her blog is great and you should definitely check it out! Her informal, chatty writing makes her blog very approachable and she has loads of pictures of some very yummy looking stuff!

The article contains lots of information about what veganism is and includes a list of store cupboard essentials for no-fuss vegan meals. Thanks Chrissie!


Veganism means that you don’t wear or consume any products which come from an animal. This includes meat, fish, milk, eggs and honey. No fur, suede or wool, and many vegans boycott companies which test their products on animals, and buy eco-friendly cleaning products.

With the technicalities out of the way, it’s not as bad as it sounds! Veganism may seem to cut out a lot from your diet, but these are soon replaced with animal friendly alternatives, a healthier diet, lighter conscience and a broader knowledge of cooking.

Before turning vegan, I spoke to a friend who had been vegan for years. He explained that it changed his life- I thought, “Come on! Changed your life? A little dramatic!" But a few weeks after I went vegan, I had the same light bulb moment. I had lost weight, had more energy, felt positive about my diet and explored cooking in a completely different way.

Veganism has taught me to have an open mind with ingredients; when eggs aren’t available to give cakes their fluffy and risen consistency, you have to look for alternatives. Ripe bananas are a favourite of mine. Oil works very well, as does packaged dried egg replacements. Adding some extra baking powder gives it a gently nudge in the right direction. In fact there are very few recipes which can’t be veganised; meringue is probably top of the list!

You don’t need expensive faux meats and cheeses to make great vegan meals- and supermarkets stock almost all of the essentials.

Here’s a shopping list of products which make my life easier and tastier:

Vegetables: It might sound sort of obvious but vegetables are an absolute staple to my diet; meals revolve around them and I’ve learnt so much about what’s in season throughout the year, when things taste better and what to avoid to have a slightly more environmentally friendly meal.

Spinach: It doesn’t live much longer than a few days, but it can be added to so many dishes that it doesn’t last very long in my kitchen. Use instead of lettuce in a sandwich, stirred into a freshly made butternut squash soup, wilted with butter and freshly grated nutmeg, added to curries and Moroccan stews, popped into salads.

Vitalite Butter: Dairy free butter, it’s creamy and delicious. Can be found in Tesco, Asda and Iceland.

Oatly ‘milk’ and Alpro ‘cream’: I try not to have a completely soya sourced diet, so stick to oat milk. Slightly thinner than soya milk, but with a warmer flavour. Soya cream is a cupboard essential; it brings a peanut butter curry together beautifully, and poured over cherry crumble it’s just brilliant.

Tofu: Tofu is an occasional addition to a meal; my favourite way of cooking tofu is to slice into thin triangles (around 5mm thick), brush with oil and coat with a thick marinade. Grill for around 15 minutes until the outside is quite crisp and the inside is fluffy. Serve with toasted cashew nuts and salad.

Risotto Rice: Risotto is one of my absolute favourite recipes. I always make sure that I have a box of rice in, and add pretty much any vegetables that I have lying around. Have patience and it will be your favourite meal too.

Couscous: So simple but so brilliant. Pour it into a bowl. Pour over some hot water. Pop a plate over the top. Leave for 5 minutes. It literally doesn’t get any better than that. Drizzle with oil, throw in some paprika and add to salad. Use instead of rice with a Moroccan stew. Stuff some portabella mushrooms with it; pour on some melted butter infused with garlic and white wine, and cover with breadcrumbs.

Houmous: It’s the answer to everything. Pitta bread and houmous. Jacket potato and houmous. Carrot sticks and houmous. Houmous in a sandwich with spinach, olives and sundried tomatoes.

Chickpeas: These can be made into so many things; soup, falafel, houmous, added to salads, smashed with raw chillies and coriander, roasted with spices.

Soya sauce: Chop some ginger and add some soya sauce and oil, and you have yourself a stir fry sauce! The fridge is bare? Add soya sauce to cooked rice and toss in some toasted cashews!

Stock cubes: Genius. They make your soups, give your risotto flavour and even make a little afternoon drink. Little cubes of joy.

Flour and sugar: To make life a little sweeter. And because baking should be able to happen at any moment.

Spices: You can find pretty much any kind of spice you like in my cupboards; some twice over. Even three times over. Yes I have three jars of turmeric- and?

Salt: Maldon. Perfect. Crunch it into anything, crush it over a piece of toast rubbed with tomato and drizzled with oil, pinch it into a cake mix and let the flavours hit you.

Olive Oil: Good quality olive oil. Spend a little bit more and drown in flavour.


Look out for more from Chrissie this month as she shows us a simple, delicious risotto recipe.


Vegan Month

Monday, 1 February 2010

Welcome to Vegan Month on my blog!

I should start by explaining why I'm doing this. I'm not vegan, I was vegetarian for some years but have been eating meat for the last 5 years. I'm not squeamish about meat and I do try to eat free range where possible.

Veganism itself really interests me and I understand why people choose this lifestyle but a lot of people don't get it. There seems to be a stigma surrounding vegans that brings to mind a waif-like hippy eating tofu and rice cakes (or cardboard).

While I (and my family) do eat a few vegetarian meals a week, they invariably contain cheese or eggs for a protein kick and though they are delicious, they do contain a fair amount of fat. By incorporating vegan meals into my diet I hope to gain more knowledge and understanding of new ingredients and ways to create healthy, delicious meals that appeal to non vegans.

I am not going to adopt a full vegan diet for a month. I will be trying new recipes and adding them to my usual family repertoire. I will also be reviewing vegan products and restaurants and getting an insight into what it's like to be a vegan.

I have two lovely helpers this month, both of whom are vegan. Christina writes the wonderful Artichoke Zine, she has contributed some of the recipes I will be using this month along with an article about her vegan store cupboard must haves. Jhon is a guitarist in the pop-punk band Mike TV and he's contributing some more recipes and useful links along with a feature about what being a vegan means to him.

So, I hope you enjoy this month's feature, I'm really excited to be beginning this exploration and can't wait to try new and hopefully delicious things!


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