Eating a vegetarian or even vegan diet is becoming more popular. There’s also an increasing trend towards meat-eaters incorporating more plant-based meals in to their way of life.

Vegetables Excite Me

I’m not a vegetarian myself but when it comes to cooking, vegetables are the thing that excites me the most. Going to a market and seeing what’s in season is one of life’s great pleasures for me. Particularly the markets in Italy, France and Spain. And I feel envious of the locals who can shop there every day.

One of the highlights for me of a recent trip to Sicily was the vendors selling their locally grown produce on street corners and pavements … beautiful homegrown tomatoes ( the green and gnarled variety that you never see in a supermarket ), onions, peaches and nectarines from an old man selling out of the back of his car. On another street huge piles of watermelons sitting on the back of a three-wheeler van.

I never plan a meal without considering the vegetables and ideally, I like to serve something green with every meal however simple.

As the renowned American writer, Michael Pollan says “ Eat food, not too much, mostly plants “

Vegetarian Cooking

The challenge for vegetarian cooking is to incorporate healthy sources of protein and fat into each dish. This is where pulses come into their own. Lentils, quinoa, chickpeas and beans are all great sources of healthy protein. Quinoa in particular is one of the few plant foods that contain all nine essential amino acids.

According to the Vegan Society (www.vegansociety.com) in 2017 the demand for meat-free food increased by 987% and is expected to rise further still. People’s attitude towards meat is changing in the UK and Ireland, with data suggesting that there are around 3.5 million vegans in Britain alone, and that 25% of people under 35 have changed to vegetarian or vegan diet.

Historically, the vegetarian or vegan lifestyle was adopted by those primarily concerned about animal welfare, however in recent years the switch is being made by those also, perhaps more so, concerned with the health aspects of eating too much meat and dairy, and the impact of the environment by animal farming.

In response to this shift, we are seeing more options to cater for those who are meat-free with tastier vegetarian and vegan meals available from suppliers, as the food industry tries to make the most of this increase in consumer demand for vegetarian options. Couple this with the trend away from junk food and back to home-cooking, there is also a rise in the number of people searching for vegan recipes and vegetarian cooking courses.

Cooking Vegan Meals

Regardless of the motivation behind the change, for those wanting to make changes in their diet and include more vegetarian or vegan meals in their diet, we can show you how to create fabulous meals which will make you wonder why you ever needed meat.

On our vegetarian cookery course, we can show you how to create a fabulous range of vegan and vegetarian meals that are healthy, nutritious and easy for everyday cooking. Some of the vegetarian recipes we cover in our hands-on cookery class are Seasonal Green Soup, Potato, Chickpea, Cauliflower, and Spinach Curry, Butternut Squash Dhal, Basmati rice with Turmeric & Peas, Lentil, Quinoa, Avocado & Feta Salad, Carrot Slaw, and Seasonal Greens.