vegan food

Join Vevolution At The NEW by CHLOE. Restaurant For A Summer Funday Sunday!

by CHLOE. and Vevolution are teaming up to celebrate this iconic weather, AND the opening of their new restaurant, by hosting a free event!

Plant Based Business: Interview with DARING Foods Co-Founder, Ross Mackay

Ahead of his appearance at the Plant Based Business Bootcamp, we caught up with the co-founder of DARING foods and had a chat about all things entrepreneurship in the vegan food world. 

Green And Gold: A Journey Into The Amazing Benefits Of Turmeric + Peas

Vevolution wouldn't be possible without the support of our amazing sponsors. In this guest blog one of our headline sponsors Tideford Organics talk about the amazing healing benefits of Turmeric and their new range of summer soups.

GREEN AND GOLD: A JOURNEY INTO THE AMAZING BENEFITS OF TURMERIC + PEAS

At Tideford Organics we’ve always been interested in producing great tasting food that’s also good for you. The incredible health benefits of a plant-based diet were one of the reasons we became the UK’s first dedicated organic vegan brand in September 2016, and haven’t looked back since! In our search for delicious recipes we often come across vegetables, fruits, herbs and spices that also just so happen to be jam-packed full of nutrients. 

In summer we still like to bring a little Tideford magic to the table, and this year launched two new limited edition summer soups, a traditional Gazpacho Andaluz and a completely new recipe for us: Summer Pea, Coconut + Turmeric Soup.  

Peas are an incredible resource in a vegan diet – low in calories (100g raw contains 81 calories), and like legumes a great source of both protein (around 5g per 100g) and fibre to support your digestive system. If you’re in need of an energy pick-me-up come lunch or dinner time, peas are a great choice, providing provide plenty of B Vitamins and Iron plus Vitamin C for a healthy immune system. Plus peas provide Calcium, Copper, Manganese, Zinc and Vitamin K – all important nutrients for your bones. These little green beauties are also a great choice for your heart, being rich in the phytosterol ß-sitosterol, known for its ability to help lower cholesterol levels.

Our Asian-inspired take on a pea soup was always intended to revitalise and refresh, but as we discovered, the bright golden-yellow of the turmeric we included could also be bringing some incredible properties to the party. Turmeric has been used in India and many other countries for thousands of years. Its distinctive yellow colour lends itself to curries, as well as to your hands if you’re preparing it fresh, but you’ll also have seen it popping up in cafes in turmeric lattes or tea, on deli menus and in increasing numbers of supplements. But why is this little root getting so much air time?

Recent research focuses on health benefits which appear be due to the various compounds within turmeric known as curcuminoids.  The most important of these compounds is curcumin, which is known for its powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Consuming more turmeric and particularly curcumin may therefore be helpful in reducing the risk of certain conditions – it’s been shown to be beneficial for the heart and brain, lowering inflammation and reducing joint pain. 

As curcumin is poorly absorbed into the bloodstream on its own, it’s best consumed with a little black pepper and some healthy fats which can enhance its absorption. Try it in a vegan Turmeric Latte, or Tideford’s Summer Pea, Coconut + Turmeric Soup. 

Find our more at tidefordorganics.com, and with thanks to Nutritionist and Chef Christine Bailey MSc MBANT CNHC MIFM https://www.christinebailey.co.uk/

Exclusive Interview With What The Pitta Co-Founder Cem Yildiz

Pictured left to right: Loui Blake and Cem Yildiz at Vevolution Festival November 2016

Pictured left to right: Loui Blake and Cem Yildiz at Vevolution Festival November 2016

I first met Cem Yildiz Co-Founder of What The Pitta about 4 years ago through my old housemate and friend Joe. 

Back then Cem wasn't a proponent of the vegan diet. He was in-fact more inclined to talk about bulletproof coffee (coffee with butter in it) or the benefits of eating a paleo style diet.

Then about 18 months ago a few of us got together for a catch up and Cem was asking me a lot of questions about veganism. I could see his attitudes towards veganism starting to shift and now 18 months on Cem is a huge advocate of a shift towards veganism

We caught up on the eve of the vegan kebab business he co-founded What The Pitta opening their second site at Boxpark in Croydon.

Cem and Roj, What The Pitta

Ok, let's start with the big question. What was the key thing that made you go from lets say a pretty large consumer of animal products to the vegan advocate and entrepreneur you're today?

I had already been visiting The Feel Good Café, a vegan café down the road from where I live in Chingford and then one day the owner offered me a free ticket to go and see Dr Michael Greger in London talking about his latest book How Not To Die.

W
hen I saw the stats and science on the big screen I just couldn’t go back to eating meat knowing I could be doing serious harm to myself.

Both yourself and Roj who you run What The Pitta with are from a Turkish background. How did they react to you shifting towards vegan and setting up a vegan kebab shop?

The first thing my Dad said to me when I told him I was no longer eating meat was,“I know you’re into health stuff but this is a step too far!”.

As for the vegan kebab business, I didn’t even see it coming, it was a conversation on the beach in Turkey, which escalated, and now we have two premises!

You're a man of many talents and interests and definitely someone I would call a polymath or a multipotentialite. You currently also co-host a successful podcast, co-run What The Pitta, make films and you're a qualified personal trainer.

How do you effectively manage your time? And who do you look to for inspiration? 

We all have a finite amount of time and your life is built through your experience so you have to constantly challenge yourself by doing new and varied things. As for time management, when you enjoy something and you're working towards your vision of a good life you’ll find the time.

I don’t watch any TV and I don’t play any computer games, I try to use my time intentionally and I still get seven to eight hours sleep.

I also believe that it’s very risky nowadays to have one source of income, for most people their job is their lifeline. If they lose that they can’t pay their bills.

Having multiple streams of income built around your passions is a much safer idea so I always advise people to start a side gig alongside their full time job, whether that’s selling crafts on Etsy or going freelance with some of the skills you’re currently using in your day job.

"As for inspiration, I love reading and listening to podcasts and audio books, so James Altucher, Gary Vaynerchuck, Tony Robbins, Zig Ziglar, Jim Rohn are just some of the people who inspire me".

You may have heard the quote “success leaves clues,” I think when you listen and read the books from inspiring and successful people everyday you begin to see patterns in behaviour and you can start applying them to your own life.

I love James Altucher’s idea of getting 1% better everyday in terms of education, health and relationships.

Powerful Nonsense a weekly podcast hosted by Cem

Powerful Nonsense a weekly podcast hosted by Cem

How have you found switching to a vegan diet in relation to your performance in the gym?

To be honest first of all I lost a load of weight, then I gained it back, then I managed to deadlift a personal best but I have not been hitting the gym as much as I’d like. I have probably been about four times in the last three months due to getting What The Pitta up and running and moving house but the funny thing is my muscles feel harder and I can always see my abs.

Once I’m settled into my new place and have my home gym setup I’m going to be hitting it hard, so I’ll have to get back to you on that one!

So how did the idea for What The Pitta come about?

What The Pitta Kebab

The idea for What The Pitta! came from Roj’s uncle who owns a similar business in Freiburg, Germany. We thought the vegan doner was a brilliant idea and the product was so tasty we knew it had potential with vegans and non-vegans alike here in the UK.

Do you find non vegans come and eat at What The Pitta? And if so what is their general reaction to the food?

Yeah, it’s very split. I think a lot of our customers fall in to the meat reducer category and I think that demographic is growing everyday. People are becoming more conscious of where their food is coming from and the harm it may be doing to them, environmentally and to the animals.

It’s always funny when we get either a vegan running back over just to confirm with us that it’s not meat or a meat eater tell us they had know idea it was vegan. Good food is good food and going meat free more often is the way forward for society.

What The Pitta is opening their first restaurant at Boxpark in Croydon this March. What can people expect from you guys at the new site?

Boxpark Croydon

We’re really excited to share some of our new dishes at BoxPark Croydon especially our Vegan Lahmacun – a type of Turkish pizza usually topped with mince meat. We’re going to serve ours on our signature freshly prepared bread base with a combination of tomato puree, herbs and our secret spiced soya mince.

Obviously our Vegan Doner will still be on the scene as well as a new lentil soup (Mercimek). I think we’re just going to keep experimenting with traditional Turkish dishes giving them a vegan twist.

Boxpark does really feel like a step up from our wooden shed in Shoreditch but we just going to keep growing and bring more vegan food options to hungry Londoners.

Do you have any advice for anyone reading this thinking of setting up a plant-based food business?

the lean startup

Test your concept as cheaply as possible. Read The Lean Startup by Eric Reiss. It’s so much easier nowadays to go online, find an email, get a food stall setup for a day and test your product. Social media is incredibly important for finding your customers too but if you’re a plant based business you’re already in good hands, vegans are one of the most supportive communities I’ve ever encountered and so you will always find people willing to point you in the right direction, lend a hand or offer their skills or services. Be bold, ask for help and embrace the community or you can always hit me up and I’d be happy to help.

Website: http://whatthepitta.com/

Twitter http://twitter.com/whatthepitta

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/whatthepitta/

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/whatthepitta/

Podcast http://www.powerfulnonsense.com/

Everyone’s Talking About The C-Word!

With our first event of 2017, Vevolution Topics: Vegan Food Innovation happening tomorrow (7th February) we have asked vegan foodie blogger & chef Kind State Of Mind aka Ellie Phoebe Brown to be our guest blogger and talk about the hot topic of cheese! 

Tickets are still available for our Food Innovation tomorrow at The Trampery. Ellie will be there giving out samples of her incredible food. To help get you in the mood for some food innovation inspiration we will leave you with Kind State Of Mind...over to you Ellie!  


Everyone’s Talking About The C-Word!
By Ellie Phoebe Brown
Kind State Of Mind

Oh but I could never give up cheese!" If I had a penny for every time I’ve heard that phrase in response to any mention of being vegan, well ... I’d be paying myself actually because even I’ve uttered those - now clichéd - words. I was a major cheese lover for years and although my reliance on dairy is over, it seems cheese is still a hot topic with both vegans and non-vegans alike. 

Why is cheese such a big deal? You may remember the headlines a few years ago stating that cheese is as addictive as hard drugs. While the attention seeking articles were referencing genuine research into “addictive-like eating”, the actual journal (published in early 2015) unsurprisingly concluded that matters were in fact - as ever - far more complex than the simplistic, and awry conclusion spun by the media. 

If it’s not purely biological, what else makes us crazy about cheese? I think there’s a compelling argument to be made for the role of psychological factors in our apparent cheese dependance. Cheese is, by and large, a comforting food. Its high fat and calorie content render it synonymous with special occasions, treats and well, really tasty things! Cheese on toast, macaroni cheese, pizza, the Christmas cheese board, it’s all about pleasure and indulgence (which helps somewhat in explaining why the cheese salad never caught on!) No wonder our brains tell us we love it. Cheese is also often a food we are brought up eating, so it additionally has positive associations from our childhood. Growing up as a vegetarian I ate a lot of cheese and therefore it’s linked to many of my happiest food-related memories from home. Bearing in mind the comfort and memory associations that people have with cheese, on top of possible biological reasons, we can begin to understand the hold it has over people’s eating habits. 

So if you’re vegan you’re just supposed to give up all that good stuff then? Nope! You just have to make a few changes. There is a whole world of dairy free cheeses out there, and it’s growing at a fast pace! With availability increasing in response to growing demand it’s easier than ever to get your hands on some vegan cheese. Large retailers such as Ocado and Holland & Barrett sell vegan cheese products, and last year Sainsbury’s brought out their own range of vegan cheeses in collaboration with Vevolution's sponsor Bute Island Foods. The latter has proved so popular that it exceeded their sales expectations by 300% in its first month, a sign if there ever was one of how mainstream the desire to ditch dairy has become. 

It’s not just large retailers either. There are now many smaller suppliers emerging too, selling their own tasty hand-crafted cheeses. Companies such as Mouse’s Favourite, a London-based company making artisan nut-based cheeses, and Nutcrafter Creamery from Glasgow, who make an impressive array of aged and organic vegan cheeses. International companies are also looking to get in on the UK’s booming vegan cheese market. The American company Follow Your Heart recently launched a small selection of their vegan cheeses over here, which I personally really love. I hope more companies follow suit, to increase the selection of products available to U.K. vegans as The States seem to be streets ahead of us in the product development stakes and this, in turn, will generate some healthy competition and innovation between brands. 

For many people giving up cheese is the main barrier to becoming vegan. However, with more and more vegan cheeses coming on to the market all the time, with even better textures and flavours than before, this last hurdle to becoming vegan may soon be a thing of the past! 

And lastly…. Of course, you can make your own vegan cheese! Here’s a cheap, simple and tasty way to make your own cashew cheese. With a bit of practice, you can adjust the flavours with different herbs and spices but garlic and chive are a great place to start!\

Garlic and Chive Cashew Cheese
By Ellie Phoebe Brown
Kind State Of Mind 

Makes: One round cheese
Prep time: 30 minutes plus chilling time

Ingredients:

  • 100g raw cashews, soaked overnight

  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

  • 2 cloves of garlic

  • 1/2 tsp fine salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 tbsp water

  • Small bunch of chives (or other herb)

Method:

  1. In a food processor or blender place all ingredients except for the chives. Process until the mixture becomes smooth and creamy in texture. You'll need to keep stopping to scrape down the sides to ensure it all gets blended. Keep blending until it stops being lumpy and grainy and looks like a smooth soft cheese. This may take 5 - 10 minutes so keep going! You can add a little more water to get it moving in the blender if absolutely needed - but if you want to make a firm cheese try to avoid adding too much extra liquid.
  2. Finely chop the chives and stir into your smooth cheese mixture. If you add them to the blender to combine you will end up with a green cheese - so best to stir them in! Have a taste and add more salt if needed.
  3. If you want to make a soft cheese spread, like a cream cheese, then all you need to do is transfer the cheese to a small bowl, cover and refrigerate for a few hours. You can eat it immediately - but it will set slightly if you leave it to chill, making a slightly thicker spread.
  4. If you want to make a firmer cheese, like the one pictured above, then you'll need to remove some of the moisture from the cheese. For this you'll need a square of double layer cheese cloth, or a thin, clean tea towel. Lay out the cloth and scrape all of the cheese mixture into the centre of the square and roughly shape it into a round shape. Gather the corners of the cloth, bring together the top and fasten with a  rubber band to create a little parcel (see pics)  I tie it above my sink to drain for a few hours (you could also put it in a sieve above a bowl) and then place it in a dish lined with kitchen towel in the fridge for a further 3-4 hours or overnight. (You can also put it straight into the fridge in a sieve or wrapped in kitchen towel but I've found the 2 step process removes the most water, resulting in the firmest cheese.)
  5. Once it's been in the fridge you can gently remove the cheese cloth and there will be your little cashew cheese!
  6. The cheese will keep for about 4-5 days in the fridge, in an airtight container - but it never lasts that long around me!

For a more detailed version of the recipe with photos go to my blog post here: https://kindstateofmind.com/2017/02/02/easy-garlic-and-chive-cashew-cheese/


Be sure to check out Ellie's other recipes and food tips over at her blog Kind State Of Mind and follow her foodie adventures on her social channels - Instagram, Facebook & Twitter.

Ellie will be at Vevolution Topics: Food Innovation tomorrow Tuesday 7th February and will be giving out samples of her yummy food creations so don't miss out and grab your ticket now: https://vevolution-topics-food.eventbrite.com/