Book review: BOSH!

BOSH! Simple Recipes; Amazing Food; All Plants by Henry Firth & Ian Theasby. HQ, hbk, 288pp, £20.

There are now so many excellent vegan cookbooks available that it can feel difficult to distinguish between them, but this one really does stand out and is highly recommended. The recipes are all based on the videos available via the BOSH! website (https://www.bosh.tv/recipes/main-dishes) and You Tube. The videos are short but (using a speeded-up technique) show a specific dish being created from start to finish in a matter of minutes (the Portobello Mushroom Wellington is completed in just one minute and 20 seconds). BOSH! represents the modern ‘make it quick and make it easy’ mindset of an impatient generation addicted to their phones and iPads. However, the BOSH! videos are entertaining, very slick and informative, and it’s pleasing to see that the online success of BOSH! has culminated in an old fashioned printed book. The book available in e-book or printed format, heavily discounted, from that Behemoth online store whose name that I just can’t remember.

Paul Freestone

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The Eden Café is expanding

The Eden Café, the “antipodean style café in the market town of Witney serving all vegetarian, mostly vegan and gluten free food and beverages”, is expanding. Since the café opened in December 2014 the proprietors have been hampered by a lack of space, with seldom room for more than about a dozen customers at a time. However, they are now able to take over the adjoining unit in Wesley Walk, formerly a vintage and retro clothing business. The extension, which will allow for “more seating, a bigger kitchen and a much-needed storage room”, hopefully leading to an expanded menu and some evening opening, is being funded by a crowdfunding campaign, offering supporters the opportunity to have their name added to a ‘Tree of Thanks’ to be painted on the wall of the café. A list of crowdfunding options and rewards can be found at: https://www.edencafe.kiwi/crowdfunding-rewards.html.

Paul Appleby

Soul Shine Wellbeing Space

Soul Shine Wellbeing Space (www.soulshine.org.uk) in Radley Road, Abingdon, opens today, 16 April 2018. Founder Vicky Rainbow describes Soul Shine as “A beautiful sanctuary offering carefully crafted classes & workshops in The Nia Technique, Yoga, Dance Meditation, Arts/Crafts & More, empowering people to feel good about themselves. There will also be therapies offered soon and the space is aiming to be purely vegan.” We wish Vicky success with her venture.

Paul Appleby

Reading Vegan Market

During a recent visit to Ribizli, the vegetarian (and mostly vegan and gluten-free café in Wallingford; https://www.ribizli.co.uk/), I picked up a flyer for Reading Vegan Market, which is held on the last Saturday of the month, 10am to 4pm, at Station Hill, Reading, RG1 1NF. The market offers “vegan street food, cakes, cheeses, confectionery stalls and more, brought to you by amazing, ethical local companies and start-ups.” Details at: http://www.ethiccollective.life/.

Paul Appleby

Eco footprint of the food we buy

I came across this thought-provoking ‘card’ at the end of a friend’s email and thought it would be worth sharing with readers. Presumably, the message is that if you only eat the plant foods pictured, the eco footprint of your diet would be considerably less than 60% of your total contribution, although this would obviously depend on other aspects of your lifestyle such as what forms of transportation you use and how you heat your home.

Paul Appleby

Vegan Berlin

If you’re vegan and looking for a travel destination where you’ll feel at home, you couldn’t do much better than visit Berlin.

Germany has been ahead of the game in terms of vegetarianism and veganism for some time, but a recent visit to Berlin proved that the UK still has a long way to go to make vegans feel truly at home. Most cafes and restaurants in Berlin have several vegan options and, according to Berlin-Vegan (http://www.berlin-vegan.de/english/), there are more than 60 eateries that are exclusively vegan. The Happy Cow website lists 173 vegetarian and vegan cafes and restaurants in the city (https://www.happycow.net/europe/germany/berlin/).

There’s something to suit everyone, from vegan cocktail bars, microbreweries, and crêperies to outlets selling doner kebabs and currywurst, the traditional Berlin snack that is said to have originated from a post-War fusion of ‘British’ and German foods. There are plenty of healthier options too!

We stayed in the Mitte district and found numerous options within easy walking distance. Momos (https://momos-berlin.de/) offers a selection of organic vegetarian and vegan dumplings that are really good value and great for sharing. If you want to convince meat-eaters that vegetarians and vegans can eat tasty burgers, then Peter Pane’s (https://www.peterpane.de/) fairytale ‘burgergrill bars’ offer five choices of vegetarian burger and four vegan ones, as well as a temping vegan chocolate brownie with ice cream and peach compote; the restaurants are very popular, so you will need to book in advance. Father Carpenter Coffee Brewers (https://www.facebook.com/fathercarpentercoffee/), situated in a recently renovated courtyard, is a great spot for breakfast or lunch and offers dishes including avocado on sourdough bread and a very tasty selection of winter root vegetables and spicy chick peas.

You’ll never find it difficult being vegan in Berlin and there is no shortage of websites that offer recommendations; the only difficulty you’ll have is knowing where and what to choose. For further information and suggestions, check out these websites:

http://www.berlin-vegan.de/english/

https://theveganword.com/48-hours-in-berlin-what-to-eat/

https://www.happycow.net/europe/germany/berlin/

https://www.lonelyplanet.com/germany/berlin/travel-tips-and-articles/berlins-10-best-vegan-restaurants-that-carnivores-will-love-too/

Anne Orgée

Berlin_Father_Carpenter_Coffee_Brewers

(A meal at Father Carpenter Coffee Brewers, Berlin)

OxVeg

Oxfordshire's local veggie group

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