What Vegans Eat: Over 100 Simply Delicious Dishes
What Vegans Eat: Over 100 Simply Delicious Dishes
1 London Bridge Street
London SE1 9GF
First published by HarperCollinsPublishers 2018
Text © Brett Cobley 2018
Photography © Andrew Burton 2018
Jacket design by © HarperCollinsPublishers Ltd 2018
Jacket photographs © Andrew Burton 2018
A catalogue record of this book is available from the British Library
Brett Cobley asserts the moral right to be identified as the author of this work
Food styling: Emily Jonzen
Prop styling: Alexander Breeze
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Source ISBN: 9780008320799
Ebook Edition © December 2018 ISBN: 9780008320805
The process of writing this book has been incredibly
rewarding and enjoyable. It also took a huge amount
of time and energy, so I would like to dedicate this
book to all my friends and family for the amazing
love and support I received throughout this process!
I would also like to say a big thanks to the team
of people that worked on this book for their hard
work and expertise. Without the individual strengths
of a team working together, success is never possible.
‘What do vegans eat?’ This is a question that every vegan has been asked multiple times, or one that is often pondered by those yet to take the vegan plunge. There have even been songs written about it! But in this book I hope I’ve answered that question once and for all, with delicious, no-nonsense, simple and realistic recipes that are tasty and satisfying.
You might have friends who follow a vegetarian diet, which excludes meat, poultry and fish but usually includes eggs and dairy, but not realise that a vegan diet is more discerning when it comes to animal welfare. A vegan diet rules out all foods that derive from animals in any form, including dairy products, eggs, gelatine and honey.
There are so many reasons to go vegan – and amazing food is a big one! Discovering incredible flavours through simple ingredients, getting creative with your cooking and sharing the love of good food with family and friends is so rewarding. On top of this, you’ll be effortlessly showing compassion for animals and respect for other living creatures, while also experiencing the health benefits of cutting meat and dairy from our diets that have been proven time and again. The impact of animal agriculture on our environment – from deforestation, to the use of fishing nets – is one of the reasons why I am, and always will be, vegan. However, your diet and lifestyle is a very personal choice. So, no matter where you are in your journey to veganism, I hope that this will be the book that helps you cook with confidence and creativity for yourself as well as friends and family, and ultimately encourage you to ponder, why did I ever eat any other way?
Make sure you visit my Instagram page , for lots more recipe photos including all the recipes you’ll find in this book!
When doing anything new it can feel like there is a lot of pressure to get it right first time, and this can lead to negative thinking about the journey to reaching that goal, where one slip-up might lead to giving up. Adopting a vegan diet can take time as you learn more about what’s in your food and you explore new ingredients. So don’t panic – simply take care, read the labels, ask what something contains if you’re not sure, but, most importantly, if you find you’ve eaten something and realised afterwards that it wasn’t vegan, do not despair and don’t give up!
Here are a few of my top tips so you won’t get caught out:
• Look out for milk. One of the most common issues when grabbing lunch or a snack on the go, or doing your weekly shop is that so many things contain hidden milk. This is most prominent in things like snacks: crisps commonly have milk powder in the flavouring, occasionally even in salt and vinegar flavours. Milk is also often hidden by its different names, so watch out for anything with lactic or whey in the name.
• Anti-caking agents can also crop up in unexpected places, and these often contain animal bone – they are called things like ‘bone phosphate’.
The following ingredients are never vegan, so check for these:
ALBUMEN – an egg white protein.
BEESWAX – comes from bees, obviously!
CASEIN – a protein obtained from dairy.
COCHINEAL (CARMINE) – is a dye made from acid extracted from female insects.
CONFECTIONER’S GLAZE – uses shellac, which is made from beetle cocoons.
FOOD-GRADE WAX – often from beeswax, and therefore bees.
GELATINE – jellified animal fats, often used as a gelling agent in food.
ISINGLASS – a gelatine obtained from fish.
LARD – animal fat.
RENNET – this is used in cheesemaking and comes from milk.
VITAMIN D3 – often comes from fish, beef liver or eggs (unless specified as a vegan alternative).
WHEY – a protein from milk.
A pantry must-have! Available in most supermarkets, health food stores and online. Nutritional yeast has a cheesy, nutty taste and is a great source of B vitamins, including B12, which is often referred to as a hard-to-get vitamin in the vegan diet. It contains antioxidants and has been proven to lower cholesterol, but another great factor is the amount of protein it contains – 9g per serving, which is 20 per cent of most people’s recommended intake.
GOOD FOR: Thickening sauces and adding a slightly cheesy taste!
This is a great addition to the pantry and is widely sold in all major supermarkets by brands such as Alpro as soy cream, and Oatly as oat cream.
GOOD FOR: Soy cream is perfect for creamy pasta sauces or for pouring over a tasty steaming dessert. It’s a great alternative to single cream; it can’t be whipped like a double cream; but that’s where coconut cream comes in!
Great to have in the cupboard or fridge. The silken version usually comes in a tetra pack; it’s long-life and doesn’t require refrigeration, while firm tofu comes in a block packed with water, either plain, flavoured with spices or smoked.
GOOD FOR: Silken tofu is amazing for recreating egg-style dishes and creamy sauces. Firm tofu is perfect for cubing, slicing, marinating and baking or frying.
I’ve saved the best to last. Chickpeas are unbeatable for versatility and they are the perfect pulse to fill you up!
GOOD FOR: Always have chickpeas handy and remember to save the juice, or aquafaba as it’s known, for making mayonnaise, meringues, omelettes and so much more. The chickpeas themselves can be used in vegan tuna, hummus and koftes.
Beans and pulses are a pantry staple as they are an excellent protein source.
GOOD FOR: Everything from a mince replacement to cooking up minestrones or beans on toast, they are the perfect addition to any dish when you want an extra boost of fibre and protein. The types I always have to hand in tins are:
GOOD FOR: You’ll be most familiar with these as those in the classic tin of baked beans. Perfect for creating your own beans on toast or served in a BBQ sauce.
GOOD FOR: Replacing minced meat in cottage pie, Bolognese or simply adding to a dish as a protein-boosting side. Plus they are quick to cook, and if bought tinned they are even quicker!
GOOD FOR: A curry or dhal dish and ideal when you want to make a cheap, satisfying, wholesome meal.
GOOD FOR: You’ll have undoubtedly been using these nutritionally packed beans in your chillies already. They are also great for making spicy bean spreads or adding to tacos.
The only ‘butter’ you’ll ever really need! Perhaps the heartiest of all the beans.
GOOD FOR: Perfect for taking on flavour, these are generally big beans and are really satisfying to bake or add to a minestrone as they have an almost creamy texture.
Regardless of your diet, every pantry needs to contain some serious flavour makers. The very basics for every spice cupboard include:
Dried basil has a completely different flavour to fresh, and in some situations it is no substitute. However, for those times when you need to fry something and want a basil flavour, the dried version really comes into its own.
The sticks aren’t something I would recommend you make space for in your cupboard; although they look great in a fancy photo or if you’re making mulled wine, ground cinnamon is the real star. You can add it to cakes and sprinkle it on sweet treats, of course, but it is also lovely with root vegetables, perfectly complementing their sweetness and adding a little warming spice.
A curry is barely a curry without it. Cumin is a real all-round performer when it comes to adding flavour to spicy dishes. Keep it handy.
This is a must for adding sweetness and spice to curried dishes such as dhals. Great for making your own curry sauces or experimenting with curried hummus.
This hot masala blend is used in curry dishes. It has a fantastic depth of flavour with some heat that means a little goes a long way.
Powerful and tasty, but be careful not to overdo it as it can quickly overpower a dish. A little goes a very long way as it is packed with flavour.
Citrus flavour from fresh lemons is great when used in baking or in traditionally Asian, Italian or Mexican dishes, being both tangy and sweet. Use sparingly, as it is powerful; citrus flavours should be used to complement a dish but add too much and you will quickly overpower other flavours.
This fruit is used in a lot of traditional Mexican dishes for its strong flavour, but also as a preservative, because its acidity extends the life of rapid perishables like guacamole. Lime is also used to offset the heat of many dishes with its tangy fresh taste. Keep both lemons and limes handy to balance flavours and extend the life of perishables.
This is a real staple of my pantry cupboard. Maple syrup is incredibly diverse; it’s great in salad dressings as well as baking, or to add sweetness to a dish and offset the spice or salt taste. Of course it doesn’t hurt that it is also amazing on pancakes, waffles and French toast.
These little seeds give a good punch of heat and flavour, which is why I’ve used them in my chickpea curry (see ). Try using mustard seeds to create your own maple mustard sauce – it will leave you wondering why you ever used honey.
Once grated this is great for baking, and also as a sprinkled topping. Nutmeg has a subtle sweetness and spice that makes it great to pair with rice pudding, porridge and cakes. It might not be your go-to spice, but it is worth keeping around as a flavour-making finishing touch.
Does what it says on the tin – onion powder is an intense onion flavour for when you really want a deep onion flavour, but to add more onions would leave the dish unbalanced.
Dried oregano is very diverse but is traditionally used in Italian dishes. Pair this with smoked paprika, onion salt and a little garlic powder and use it to season potatoes, then thank me later.
This leaf is potentially one of the most useful herbs in the kitchen. Parsley has a fresh aroma and earthy flavour. Freshly chopped on top of a minestrone or casserole, it is just the ticket.
Freshly ground black pepper is a must when topping salads, pasta or bean dishes and is also great for creating gravies and sauces, while white peppercorns are useful for adding punch to dishes like the .
Traditionally paired with root veg, combining sea salt with rosemary really gets the flavour going. The strong scent of this herb adds to its power.
We all know that salt is a chief flavour maker, but it is not as basic as it seems. Smoked sea salt can completely change the game when it comes to savoury cooking and if you have the extra space in your cupboards or racks, garlic or onion salts are always a great addition, however they are not a necessity.
SMOKED PAPRIKA (FLAKES AND GROUND)
A fantastic spice with a very complementary depth of flavour. Those who know the wonders of smoked paprika will spice and sprinkle a lot of their food with it.
A great dried herb to have in the herb and spice rack. It’s perfect for seasoning potatoes in any form and adds a subtle, aromatic twist to breads and baking.
This wizard is not just for adding flavour to your curry or making a fancy latte. Turmeric is also a powerful antioxidant and acts as an anti-inflammatory. It is recommended that you eat it in some form every single day, and it is more active when combined with black pepper. It’s taken by many athletes in pill form purely for its inflammation-reducing properties.
Fortified plant milks are such an asset to the vegan diet. There are so many types and they can be used for a variety of purposes. I’ve given my preferred plant-based milk in particular recipes, but feel free to mix it up. If you’re overwhelmed by the choice, here are a few tips to decide which milk fits your needs.
SOY OR ‘SOYA’ MILK This is probably the most well-known plant-based milk, and one that is widely available. Part of the reason for this is that it has a very long shelf life and can be used in baking, hot and cold drinks, and also on cereal. It isn’t the creamiest or most luxurious option, but it can be just the trick when you are looking for a gluten- and nut-free milk. GOOD FOR: An all-rounder and a good alternative for those who can’t have nuts – fine for hot and cold drinks and baking. CASHEW MILK This is one of my favourite milks! It is creamy and tastes great. It’s perfect in coffee or in baking as well as being great for thickening to make any dish extra saucy. This creamy, delicious milk is a really useful ingredient, but do check if people have nut allergies before serving to others. GOOD FOR: Hot drinks and baking. OAT MILK Although not gluten free, this milk is rich and creamy. Oatly Barista milk is one of the best possible brands for hot drinks as it combines perfectly without separation. GOOD FOR: Barista-style hot drinks, especially milky coffee. RICE MILK Creamy, delicious and tasty. Rice milk is great for cereals and can be used for baking, too. Not as diverse as some of the thicker milks, but it is often sweetened and can be rather tasty with vanilla. GOOD FOR: Baking, porridge and other cereals. COCONUT MILK Traditionally sold in tins for use in cooking to give a creaminess to a curry or help calm the heat of a dish. But there are also versions sold as plant milks for cereal and drinks if you like the coconutty taste. GOOD FOR: Savoury dishes such as soups and curries. HEMP MILK Available in most major supermarkets, this is a winner! Hemp milk ticks a lot of boxes as it is high in protein and great in a protein shake or with cereal or drinks. GOOD FOR: Shakes and cereals. ALMOND MILK This is the go-to for hot drinks for many people, but it does alter the flavour quite significantly – it can taste sweet to some, bitter to others. Personally, I think almond milk is a bit too thin for coffee, but it can work well in baking. Again, be sure to check for allergies before serving it to others. GOOD FOR: Baking, cereal and some hot drinks, but the consistency can vary.
FLOUR Always useful in all kinds of baking, this is a traditional staple and forms the base of countless recipes. Self-raising is incredibly useful in vegan recipes for its additional rising properties, which are required when eggs are removed. I always recommend using unbleached flours whenever possible as bleaching is unnecessary and is bad for gut health. CORNFLOUR An excellent thickening agent to help turn thinner plant milks into a thicker creamy sauce when vegan creams aren’t to hand. ARROWROOT Great for thickening and setting, this is used in the vegan omelette recipe in this book (see ). Arrowroot also has beneficial properties for treating stomach issues and even improving the skin. BAKING POWDER A great raising agent used for replacing eggs in vegan cakes and baked goods. BICARBONATE OF SODA Great for adding air to spongy recipes when combined with acidic ingredients like apple cider vinegar. FLAXSEEDS These amazing little seeds are great for digestion as they are a good source of fibre. They can also be ground and combined with water to be used as a binding agent when creating balls or patties, to replace egg whites. APPLE CIDER VINEGAR Not only great for dressing salads and for its medicinal properties, but also often combined with bicarbonate of soda to create a fizz and replace eggs when baking.
Where do you get your protein from? Did you ever hear that question before you went vegan, thought about going vegan or looked into it at all? Did you ever worry about it? No? Good, you still don’t need to – even on a vegan diet. The protein consumed by animals that is transferred to those eating meat comes from the abundance of proteins in the plant world. We’ve all heard the sound bites such as broccoli containing more protein per calorie than steak, and there is no smoke without fire, but the truth is we don’t need these facts and figures to prove we are getting enough goodness from our food. Animal proteins are ‘complete’ proteins, as they contain all the essential amino acids your body needs. Plant proteins are incomplete, lacking one or more amino acid, so you need to combine sources of different amino acids to get everything your body needs. If you have a balanced, varied diet, protein deficiency is not something you will likely ever suffer from, with or without animal products. A main reason why people can suffer from a protein deficiency is due to issues with absorption of nutrients, which is something that must be addressed, regardless of your chosen diet.
However, if you are embarking on a meat- and dairy-free diet for the first time and are still concerned, or want to get some extra protein in for a long day or pre- or post-workout, here are some great sources that can be added to pretty much any dish:
• SOY AND TOFU
• BROWN RICE
• BEANS AND LENTILS (SEE )
• NUTS AND NUT MILK
• HEMP SEEDS
• PEAS AND OTHER LEGUMES
• CHIA SEEDS
• LOTS OF VEGETABLES, BUT THE REAL PROTEIN HEROES ARE BROCCOLI, KALE, SPINACH, SPROUTS AND MUSHROOMS
• HIGH-PROTEIN BREAD- such as Ezekiel Bread – a type of sprouted bread made from whole grains and legumes that have begun to ‘sprout’. Compared to white bread, made with refined wheat flour, Ezekiel bread is much richer in nutrients and fibre, with no added sugar.