The blog of a vegan oldie

Posted by Guest on 02/11/16 in Articles, Life After Retirement, Recipes

Hello. I’m Barbara, a very new vegan oldie! I was a vegetarian for many years, then in July 2016 I started a vegan diet for health reasons.

I thought that I would miss all my favourite foods, particularly eggs and milk and definitely cheese. But I have found that I absolutely love my new diet and would like to share what I eat with you. That way you can see how easy it is to cook nutritious meals, which not only look good, but are inexpensive, healthy and appetising too.

I am a textile artist so it is important to me that what’s on my plate is colourful and attractive, just like the pictures I create.

My daughter is vegan and suggested I share what I eat on social media. It was with great trepidation that I started posting meals on Instagram. First I had to learn how to use my mobile phone! If you are not a great fan of IT, using all this technology can be daunting. If in doubt, don’t be embarrassed – ask a younger person for help. Once you get going you won’t look back. It’s quite extraordinary to be part of a worldwide community of people of all ages who write to me and like what I post.

Now for the food! I am very much a haphazard cook and almost never measure quantities of ingredients. Because everyone’s palate is different, I suggest you look at the components of the dish and add as much or as little as you like to get the flavour you prefer, starting with a pinch of something like herbs and adding more until you are happy with the blend.

Here are a few of my recent meals to show you what I prepare. I try to use seasonal ingredients and include a mixture of fruit, vegetables, grains, pulses, nuts and seeds and soya. All the meals can be scaled up or down depending on whether you are cooking for one or a group.


Smashed marrowfat peas with onions: gently cook chopped onions in a small amount of olive oil. Add the peas them mash with lots of mint and serve on sourdough toast.


Baked potato with chilli bean casserole. Tins of kidney beans in chilli sauce are readily available and I added tomatoes, cumin, thyme and root vegetables, then cooked this mixture in the oven until the vegetables were tender.


Lentil soup made with red lentils, carrots, celery courgette, pumpkin, tomatoes, mixed herbs, stock powder. Boil until cooked then serve sprinkled with dulse seaweed.


Comfort food: ‘sausage’ and mash. Mash is made from boiled potatoes and celeriac then mixed with margarine and mustard.


Pears and blackberries cooked in the oven with cinnamon stick, star anise, a small amount of water and margarine and a sprinkle of brown sugar.


Stir fry with rice: red camargue and wild rice served with a mixture of leeks, courgettes, chickpeas, red pepper, chopped spring onion, marinaded tofu, ginger and soya sauce cooked in a small amount of oil.


Rainbow salad: warm giant couscous, smoked tofu, grated carrot and beetroot, chopped walnuts, yellow pepper, spring onion, mustard vinaigrette.


Stuffed mushroom: half cook onion, celery, buckwheat and thyme in olive oil and a bit of water. Add to mushroom, sprinkle with yeast flakes then bake.


If you would like to see more of what I cook please visit Instagram, and for my textile art see www.artintextiles.co.uk or my Twitter or Facebook page.



Happy cooking!

Barbara Shaw


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