Help – I’m going vegan!

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My happy days at Berties Butcher

Yes you read correctly. I’m going vegan – for January. This will be very unexpected to anyone who knows me. I am a dedicated animal product lover. I spent 2012 stocking the wonderful Berties Butcher with the best meats and trying to convince Melbourne to eat more of it. I put butter generously on & in everything. I am generally unbearable without my daily flat white and my morning eggs. I’m also not always the most supportive of vegetarians or vegans friends trying to convince them to come back to the animal goods, to simply make better choices –  Go on, have a little… Not all meat is bad! What about cheese? Who can resist cheese? You get the idea…

So what’s the deal – am I just jumping on the Veganuary band wagon? Well no, that’s just a happy hashtag coincidence. Have I had an epiphany? Well of sorts. And it’s not about the industry being bad, which I know lots of it is. (I always try and make very conscious decisions). What made the difference was being tasked with putting together a vegan eating guide and helping a dedicated meat eater go vegan for a month. I realised how little I knew. Yes I can tell you all the cuts of steak, make all the mother sauces and identify most cheeses by taste. I can write a healthy eating guide, a low budget guide, a seasonal menu. But ask me to write an interesting, achievable, tasty vegan guide for a month. Now that was hard. It’s like I’ve completely ignored veganism. I looked on my heaving shelves of cookbooks for inspiration and couldn’t find a single book that didn’t have meat or dairy. I trawled all my bookmarked recipe sites, pretty much the same. I realised that being a vegan is not easy. And being a food lover and a vegan is even more difficult. Not to mention a wine loving vegan!

So I thought I’d just put it out there and look for a little help & guidance. Share some of my discoveries. And say sorry to any vegans or veggies I’ve offended!

Apprehensively looking forward to a month of experimentation and challenges…

Ali

http://www.veganuary.com/

 

What’s next for the avocado?

When these green, creamy fruits first appeared in supermarkets in the UK in 1960s legend goes that one woman stewed them and served them with custard. Fast forward forty years later and avocados are an everyday staple for lots of us – crammed onto our lunch boxes, on our instagram feeds and ubiquitous on every hip menu.

avocado-16041_1280We are simply captivated with this great, green contradiction – the fattiest fruit in the world but oh so good for us! But as we start to run out of quirky brunch ideas and twists on guacamole what’s next for the avocado?

Image from Nobo Ice Cream
Photo from Nobo Ice Cream

Avocado Ice Cream
Really tasty ice cream made from avocado? It’s here – Nobó is the world’s first ice cream alternative made from avocado, coconut milk, and sweetened with pure honey.  It’s also handmade in Ireland in small batches by two very cool food geeks.  Flavours on sale all over Ireland include Chocolate & Toasted Almond, Fresh Lemon and Vanilla & Coconut or check them out at People’s Park market in Dun Laoghaire for more experimental flavours, they’re avo-control.
Want to know more? Listen to them chat about this incredible Irish product on Monocle Radio (from 35 minutes)

Aveyo TA
Photo from Aveyo

Avocado Mayo
Ah two of my favourite fatty foods come together to make something relatively healthy? Yep it’s happening in the form of Avèyo the avocado mayonnaise. No soybean oil or eggs and it actually tastes like a good mayo. Unveiled recently in the US at the Fancy Food Show it’s made from 5 ingredients and is 82% avocado. Compared to mayonnaise, Avèyo has: 1/5 the fat (2 vs. 10 grams) and 1/3 the calories (25 vs. 90 cal.).  Looking forward to this new squeeze…

Hemsley & Hemsley Pina Colada Smoothie
Hemsley & Hemsley Pina Colada Smoothie Photo by Nicholas Hopper

Avocado drinks
Haven’t you heard? Bananas are sooo yesterday.  These days it’s all about the avocado, adding substance, creaminess and an undeniable hip factor to your drinks & smoothies. Not only that but they can also add nearly 20 vitamins and nutrients to aid in the nutrient-density of your smoothie. Check this super collection of avocado smoothie recipes or Dubliners can pop in the Ranelagh’s Green Beards to try their wholesome Green Goddess smoothie. Or try this incredible Pina Colada Smoothie from the uber stylish Hemsley & Hemsley sisters new book The Art of Eating Well. Loads of avocado recipes in there. Still not convinced? Here’s why swapping out for an avocado can make such a difference. Hass to be done…

 

Chocolate & Avocado cake from Not Quite Nigella
Chocolate & Avocado cake from Not Quite Nigella

Avocado cake!
Yes the knobbly green fruit can even make cakes taste better. They can replace fruit, vegetables, animal products and dairy in various baked goods perfect for any vegans or even just health conscious – you’ll be increasing nutritional value adding the nutrient packed goodness of an avocado to your dessert. I love the texture it adds to baked goods and even better the pretty green hue it can add to your cakes.  Try this bright green cheesecake again from avocado loving Hemsley & Hemsley sisters. Also for any chocolate lovers out there this cake from Not Quite Nigella tastes incredible. So now you can av-your-cado and eat it. 

AVOCADO 101
Why they are so bloody
good for us
Deep fried avocado cone anyone?
The secrets to ripening an avocado
10 really good avocado recipeseatmenow.jpg