Life after Veganuary: the rise of plant-based eateries and selection of vegan recipes

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water splashes at high speed

When I went exploring in the wilderness of Algonquin, (in Ontario, Canada), the leader of the group chose the food for the trip. The lakes we canoed were icy cold: and the meat travelled in the wake of the canoes, netted and secured underwater. Astonishingly the Canadians ate great slabs of T-bone steak with Maple syrup and pancakes for breakfast! I don’t remember much fruit or veg in the mix; maybe corn on the cob. These guys were a little larger than life, with a great appetite for adventure, and food. It was a vibrantly beautiful landscape with a wonder of wildlife. We witnessed beavers building dams and then encountered mini rapids: it makes for great memories.

WORDS: Jean Hill

At His & Hers, we have witnessed a bit of a revolution in eating out over a strikingly short space of time. By chance or design we got invited to more and more vegetarian restaurants, which were a revelation. Then classic restaurants, like Casa Italia, famous for great pasta and meat and sumptuous desserts, started to introduce alternative vegetarian/vegan menus. Both Maluco pizzeria and Casa Italia in Liverpool created beautiful vegan pizzas, that, for me, fizzed more than any alternative meat based version. Our editor favours duck pizza and there is no arguing with that.

Bettina Campolucci Bordi created a vegan menu for Casa Italia a year ago. We sampled most of that menu! It was delicious, and I now cook mushrooms the way she showed me. Her book ‘7 Day Vegan Challenge’ contains a wealth of vegan recipes. We recommend Avocado Benedict with kale and sourdough bread.

Bettina Campolucci Bordi
Bettina Campolucci Bordi

There are exceptions. I asked Gary Usher of Elite Bistros about a possible shift in his classic French cuisine offering to include more vegetarian options. He replied with one word and it was not yes. Have to say, though, I went to one of his restaurants, Pinion, for lunch and there was a complex cauliflower dish that looked like a new departure to me. It was delicious, followed by Crème Brulée, that was pure French cuisine in all its perfection.

I wanted to delve into this foodie revolution, and get a perspective on the relationship between the planet, sustainability and nutrition. I have enjoyed nouveau and vegan cuisine, which would have seriously alarmed my Canadian buddies. Restaurants, inspired by pilgrimage (Pilgrim), or dedicated to fermentation or specialising in Asian or Indian spicy vegetable dishes have sprouted up in the North West and always deliver with sparkling attitude.

I pondered on how crucial the odd tangy chicken wing might be for overall well-being. The sheer power of intense taste with the best of vegan food won me over. Fresh herbs and spices combine harmoniously with nuts, vegetables and fruit to deliver an explosion of blissful flavour.

Some nutritionists sound a warning note about a completely vegan diet. They believe vegans need to add supplements of vitamin B12 and possibly vitamin D3 , although vitamin D is often recommended as a supplement whatever your diet.

Very low Vitamin B12 intake can cause anaemia and nervous system damage. It is an essential vitamin that your body needs. Humans usually get their Vitamin D3 intake from the sun, and if you are UK based you might not be getting all of the Vitamin D3 you need this way.

Sustainability means that we need to consider eating less meat and more plant based foods. Serendipity then, that we have a wealth of delicious food to help us on our way. I still eat meat, less often, and for me it has to be organic and free range. This is self-limiting because it is expensive. Sometimes it has to be the home-made apricot sauce with a little duck and pancakes. Often it is pasta tossed with singed spinach, and cauliflower with sour cream and green pesto: it is a balancing act.

Sean Paul Redding: vegan chef at Organica, Bold Street

Sean Paul Redding

Sean Paul Redding was way ahead of the vegan curve. He has been promoting and serving vegan food to appreciative customers for years, and was a chef to the stars. He is doing a cook along on Friday 29th January 2021 with absolutebodysolutions with details on Instagram. Sean Paul released the recipes and ingredients ahead of the broadcast. Hopefully there will be another opportunity to get involved and cook along.

Maray, Royal Albert Dock, Liverpool

Maray

Mary delivers on Middle Eastern inspired food, with a substantial vegetarian offering. The range is inspiring. Their Disco Cauliflower has acquired star status, but there is plenty more to choose from.  I love their hummus and also the whipped cream goat’s cheese with pickled grapes. Pickle me a grape!

https://www.maray.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/Main-menu

Mattas, Bold Street

Working from home is a reality for millions in the UK at the moment. Matta’s have launched a delivery box scheme containing some of their favourite recipes by well-known foodies in vegan circles.

Co-owner Dalip Matta maintained that with footfall reduced in town of late, the scheme was a great opportunity to enjoy home cooking with great ingredients that come to you.

The Bold Street-based grocery store that began trading in the city centre in 1984 has developed a broader range of new stock focused on organic and vegan products.

The boxes will appeal to those who like home-cooking and cannot get to town at the moment. The range of unique spices included in the delivery box, could be used for many further meals.

Matta’s recipe box enquiries: WhatsApp 07365 385 485

deliveries@mattas.co.uk

https://www.mattas.co.uk/product-category/beans-lentils-pulses/

https://www.mattas.co.uk/country/afrocarribean/

Vegan and vegetarian food totally makes sense in the wider sense of protecting the planet, but hey, it tastes good enough to eat more often.

You may also enjoy: A snapshot of hospitality in the Liverpool region: January 2021

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