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Vegan Feast at Brookhouse Mill

The week after my Dad died I went to Brookhouse Mill for a drink with my family before my brother returned home to Spain. Once there we decided to have some food, but ordinarily I would book in advance so they would be prepared to make something vegan for me. When I don’t book, I usually get something like jacket potato wedges or anything I can adapt easily.

On this particular night I said I was happy doing that unless the chef wanted to make me something. He said he would, and I was presented with this:

I had peppers stuffed with couscous and topped with courgette, Cajun potato wedges, deep-fried polenta, homemade hummus,  sauteed mushrooms and walnuts, and poppadom crisps (not pictured). It was delicious and I felt so guilty that I couldn’t finish it.

I would highly recommend Brookhouse Mill (facebook and twitter) for any food, and also if you’re looking for a really good vegan meal. If you book in advance they can come up with something really amazing. The head chef Aaron used to be vegetarian so creates really special meals, and the other chefs are all excellent, including Nigel who made this feast.

Disclaimer: I worked at Brookhouse Mill for 8 years.


Vegan Pancakes

A day late but I couldn’t use being vegan as an excuse not to have pancakes! I used the recipe from the Eighth Day website. When I get it right they work out really yummy.

I had them with strawberry jam and raspberry and passion fruit yoghurt. I meant to do a batch of savoury pancakes as well, but only remembered after I put the sugar in the mixing bowl. So 11 sweet pancakes instead!

I reckon the recipe could be easily adapted to make scotch pancakes by using self-raising flour or adding baking powder.

I also made vegan Danish pastries the other day which were quite yummy. I’ll post a photo of the next batch, which will hopefully be a bit more successful than the first!


Celebrity vegans

I have decided to blog a list of unlikely celebrity vegans. By this I mean people you wouldn’t expect to be vegan because they do not conform to the stereotype. Judging by the number of comments I get about ‘looking healthy for a vegan’, it’s fairly obvious that veganism needs re-branding. I haven’t worked particularly hard to put this list together: it’s basically a mash up of lists from Wikipedia and Happy Cow.

I’m going to start with actor James Cromwell, simply because he became vegan after playing Farmer Hoggett in Babe. Other vegan actors and actresses include: Woody Harrelson, Daryl Hannah, Casey Affleck, Ed Begley Jr, Joaquin Phoenix, Tobey Maguire, Olivia Wilde, Jenny McCarthy, Darren Boyd, Vanessa Williams, and Jared Leto.

There are also a lot of vegan musicians, many of which are punk or straight edge. I won’t go through all of these, but I will mention Tom Gabel of Against Me! simply because I adore him. Others include Bryan Adams, Brian Bell (Weezer), Johnny Marr (The Smiths, Modest Mouse, The Cribs), Michael Franti, Anthony Keidis, Jason Mraz, Adam Yauch (Beastie Boys), and Geezer Butler and Bill Ward from Black Sabbath.

Against Me!

‘Business type’ vegans include: Anu Garg (founder of; Gulu Lalvani (founder of Binatone); William Clay Ford Jr (Ford CEO); Russell Simmons (co-founder of Def Jam records); and Biz Stone (co-founder of Twitter).

Deceased vegans include River Phoenix and Cesar Chavez. There is also some dispute over whether Leonardo da Vinci was vegan. He certainly did not eat meat and also released caged birds, but it unclear whether he consumed eggs, milk, etc.

A couple of odd ones: Steve-O from Jackass has been vegan for a couple of years. Howard Lyman is a former cattle rancher and now a vegan writer and speaker. And Mike Tyson has been vegan since 2009.

And lastly to the sportspeople. The following people have chosen to become vegan for either ethical or health reasons, but there has been no negative impact on their performance due to their diet:

  • Carl Lewis: track athlete, winner of 9 Olympic gold medals and 8 World Championship gold medals.
  • Scott Jurek: ultramarathon runner, winner of: Hardrock Hundred (2007), Badwater Ultramarathon (2005, 2006), Spartathlon (2006, 2007, 2008), and Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run (1999-2005).
  • Brendan Brazier: winner of Canadian 50-km Ultramarathon Championships in 2003 and 2006.
  • Fiona Oakes: cycling and marathon runner, and former Olympian.
  • Georges Laraque: recently retired Canadian ice hockey player.
  • UFC competitors Mac Danzig and Luke Cuomo.
  • Professional wrestlers Bryan Danielson and Taryn Terrell.
  • NBA players Salim Stoudamire and John Salley (retired).
  • NASCAR driver Andy Lally.

So there you go. By no means a full list: I have deliberately avoided unhealthy looking and more stereotypical vegans, but it is a growing celebrity and sporting trend. I think it is particularly encouraging to see the number of models and ‘fashionistas’ who are becoming vegan. Hopefully that’ll give a boost to more stylish vegan shoes (and clothing), and once again put fur where it belongs.