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THE COOKBOOK: Be More Vegan By Niki Webster
Vegan cook and food blogger Niki Webster has travelled around the world to sample some of the best plant-based food out there, documenting it in this cookbook which came out last year. Full of easy recipes that avoid hard-to-find ingredients, most of its dishes can be made with everyday cupboard essentials like pulses, grains and veg. Our favourite recipe? Niki’s giant banana bread cookies with peanut butter ‘nice’ cream, made with frozen bananas blitzed in the food processor. Ideal if you want to make simple swaps or try ‘meat-free Mondays’, there’s something for everyone.
THE INSTAGRAM: Rachel Ama
Self-taught chef Rachel Ama has attracted 233k followers to her easy vegan recipes and lifehacks. With an emphasis on Caribbean flavours and eating seasonally, recipes are packed full of flavour and colour, like vegan jerk tacos with fried plantain, and curried jackfruit with coconut rice. Her ‘fakeaway’ series shows you how to make your favourite takeaways vegan – think at-home Nando’s but with extra veg. Rachel also has her own YouTube channel where she invites guests to cook up a storm in her kitchen, and released her second cookbook earlier this year, One Pot: Three Ways.
THE RESTAURANT: Stem & Glory
There are nearly 200 vegan restaurants in London, with new places popping up every month, but if you want to try delicious plant-based food that doesn’t disappoint, book a table at Stem & Glory. The restaurant has all-day dining options, but the dinner menu has some of the tastiest plates, like barbecue cauliflower wings with a creamy ranch dip, tofu katsu curry, shakshuka with crumbled tofu, and yogi bowls packed with seasonal veg. The restaurant hosts regular tasting-menu nights – ideal if you’re a newbie – and has an extensive vegan bar offering craft beers, wine, cocktails and mocktails. Keep your eyes peeled for the brand’s next outpost in Broadgate Circle which is set to open in April 2022.
60 Bartholomew Close, Barbican, EC1A 7BF
THE TREND: Vegan Fish
Vegan substitutes are nothing new, but those who have tried various brands will tell you some are significantly better than others. Right now, there’s one alternative that’s having a moment – vegan fish. Made to look, taste and have the same texture, it’s a simple swap that’s easy to get on board with. We rate plant-based brand Moving Mountains which has recently created faux fish fingers, fish fillets and fish goujons made from soya and vegetable protein. Bonsan Absolutely Vegan is another SL favourite – its Kofu Fishfree Fillet made from tofu is packed with spices, an ideal replacement for Asian dishes. If you’re in southwest London, make a beeline for Vbelly at Tooting Market where you’ll find a delicious ‘fillet-o-phish’ sandwich made from – wait for it – beer battered celeriac.
THE BEAUTY BRAND: Bite
A favourite of SL beauty editor Rebecca Hull, Bite has attracted a loyal following to its gentle skincare and richly pigmented make-up. Created for sensitive skin, its products are packed full of natural ingredients – like fruit extracts and enzymes, oat flour, olive oil and even volcanic minerals – leaving no room for sulphates, parabens and other chemicals. There’s an extensive range to choose from, but the award-winning lipsticks and crayons that come in over 20 shades are a good place to start. You’ll have to pay import taxes to get this US brand shipped to the UK, but the clever foundation ‘shade finder’ allows you to virtually try on different colours so you can be confident with what you’re buying.
THE TAKEAWAY: DabbaDrop
Here at SL, we’re big fans of DabbaDrop, the south Asian plant-based takeaway service that delivers sustainably made food to homes across the capital. Menus change weekly in line with seasonal produce, and each dish is delivered by bicycle in tiffin tins to reduce the carbon footprint. Set menus include a plant-based curry, homemade daal, fresh salad or slaw, handmade rotis and rice. We like the sound of DabbaDrop’s Sri Lankan menu (available for delivery on Thursday 11th and Friday 12th November) which includes tomato and aubergine curry; beetroot daal; and Kottu rice salad with carrots, cabbage, mustard seeds and chillies. Add on avocado raita, mango chutney and poppadoms to make it a real Friday-night affair.
THE HOT PRODUCT: Supplements
Whether you’re trying veganism part time or want to dive in fully, incorporating the right supplements is wise to ensure you get all the necessary nutrients. According to nutritional therapist Ellie Woodhouse-Clarke, supplements aren’t always needed if you’re eating a diet of home-prepared meals that use plenty of whole grains, fruits, vegetables and plant proteins, but there are a few supplements you could consider. “B12, which is abundant in meat, fish, dairy and eggs, can be tricky to sustain in blood levels on a plant-based diet, so try to add a couple of tablespoons of nutritional yeast (rich in B12) to your food every day. You could also try B12 tablets or an oral spray for easy absorption. Vitamin D is also key – just make sure you choose a vegan lanolin-free D3 or D2 supplement. Many vegans, particularly women, can also become iron deficient so it’s worth checking in with your GP first to have your iron status checked. You could also take omega 3, protein powder, which can be added to smoothie drinks or breakfast bowls, and a multivitamin.
THE MEAL KIT: Grubby
Ready to make swaps but struggle to find the time? Cue Grubby’s plant-based boxes, filled with seasonal produce that can be made into healthy dishes. Available for one-off purchases or weekly deliveries, you’ll get all the ingredients you need, plus a detailed information guide with instructions and nutritional info. This month choose from dishes like garlic mushroom kiev with new potatoes and green beans; harissa spiced courgette with giant couscous, pak choi and sugar snap laksa; and teriyaki jackfruit with Chinese broccoli.
THE EVENT: Vegan East LDN At Colour Factory
Keen to get the girls involved? Colour Factory in Hackney Wick is hosting a vegan night from 6pm every Thursday during November so you can try a range of vegan street food and shop sustainable merch – all to a soundtrack laid on by some of east London’s best DJs. On Thursday 4th November, expect to find food from Chickenish, The Hogless Roast and PickyWops (tasty vegan pizzas you’ll actually want to eat). Sun Kissed Plates will be dishing up Caribbean soul bowls of jerk jackfruit with rice and peas, plantain and vegan mac ’n’ cheese. Don’t miss the ‘eco tattoo’ pop-up.
THE PODCAST: The Disclosure
If you’ve been engaged with vegan activism over the last few years, you’ve probably heard of ‘vegan educator’ and public speaker Ed Winters whose 2018 Ted Talk went viral. If you haven’t, Ed’s podcast is the place to learn all things veganism, including its morality and ethics, how it’s impacting the environment, and what you can do to really make a difference. From the impact of Netflix’s Seaspiracy to how to navigate the festive season as a vegan, each episode is backed with real stats and expert-led advice. If you listen to one episode, tune into ‘Meat & Masculinity – Why Aren’t Men Going Vegan?’