I successfully completed Veganuary – and learned a lot from it. I tried several new recipes, taught myself how to make seitan, and made some awesome discoveries that’ll fit right into any plant-based diet.
I’ve been a fan of Essential Cuisine for years, and I’ve mentioned their vegan gravy a few times, so you might imagine my delight in discovering their Halal beef and Halal chicken stocks are totally suitable for vegans! Both are excellent as a base for soup, or for adding additional flavour to chilli, ‘mince’ & tatties, or a plant-based shepherd’s pie. I use them in place of salt in savoury recipes to add an extra punch.
Meanwhile, the last few months have seen me on a vegan cheese journey, and I’ll be honest. They just don’t taste like cheese. Don’t get me wrong, many of them are lovely in their own way, but they’re not something I’d confidently put on a cheeseboard for a non-vegan friend – until now. I’m happy to report I’ve found two brands of plant-based cheese that just might fool any cheese lover.
The first is New Roots. They do a stellar cashew camembert as well as an amazing array of soft cheeses. My favourite of these is the Herbs de Province. The second brand I love is Mouse’s Favourite. Their camembert is a bit milder than the New Roots, but it’s so very good. They also make an Aged Dulce that is the most cheese-like vegan cheese I’ve ever tasted. It’s absolutely superb. All of the cheeses I’ve mentioned are quite pricey, but they’re true artisan products. And they’re really, really good!
Plant-based milks don’t need much improvement. I like many of them, and regularly use oat, cashew, and a blended variety, and haven’t seen the need to venture much beyond that until yellow split pea milk caught my eye. I am so glad I tried it because I love it. The brand I use is called Mighty Pea and it’s outstanding in a latte or over cereal. It’s also fortified with calcium and B12, which is handy if you’re on a plant-based diet.
My last find isn’t new, but it’s great. Henderson’s Relish will need no introduction to foodies from Sheffield and environs, where it’s a beloved and omnipresent culinary staple. It has a flavour similar to Worcestershire sauce, but without anchovies, so it’s perfect for jazzing up soups, stews, pasta sauces, and casseroles. I like adding it to gravy as the vinegar notes help lift and brighten.
Are there any plant-based products you can’t live without? Do let me know!