I recently decided to change my diet to more of a plant based diet, and so far it has had some amazing health benefits such as dropping my blood pressure.
I am not totally 100% vegan, I eat eggs, but I don’t eat dairy or meat, and I am still having fish once a week, but I thought that it would be fun to share some of the new recipes that I am creating in the kitchen and some of the restaurant experience that I have had.
I do have some wonderful books for inspiration.
Planted by Chantelle Nicholson is a great book for when you need dinner party ideas. Everybody thinks of a vegan dinner party as a nut roast, but she has brought together a collection of sublime plant based recipes that will wow your guests.
The Global Vegan by Ellie Bullen is a collection of recipes from around the world and more of your ‘everyday’ dishes that you can prepare for midweek meals, She has a great vegan ‘fried egg’ recipe too.
I have found it quite easy to substitute dairy products except for cheese. It’s really hard to find a good vegan cheese substitute for lovely melty cheddar or mozzarella, but things are slowly improving and there will be a pretty close version very soon. It doesn’t help that I am allergic to guar which is often used as a thickener in vegan cheese and vegan ice cream.
I tend to use Nuttelex buttery instead of butter and Cocobella coconut yoghurt instead of regular yoghurt. I mix up my milks using a combination of soy, almond and coconut milk. Cream can be substituted with cashew/coconut cream and with a little effort you can get the lovely thick creamy consistency.
I am not a fan of vegan things that ‘look like meat’, because I am not missing the texture of meat, but there are are some good burgers and sausage substitutes around. Grill’d have a vegan burger as well as a Beyond Burger patty, and both are fairly good although the Beyond Burger has a slight tang of cat food about it.
If you are planning to go to more of a plant based diet, do your research and consult your doctor. Make sure that you get enough protein and that you supplement your vitamins appropriately.
Stay tuned – most of my blog posts from now on will be vegan based or mainly vegan.