NOT that long ago, veganism was the remit of shoe-less hippies, then as it crept closer to the mainstream, it was seized by the young and trendy on Instagram.
But according to Henry Firth and Ian Theasby, the duo behind BOSH, there’s no reason why veganism shouldn’t be for everyone.
They want to show people that the plant-based Travel can be easy, tasty, and totally non-judgemental.
BOSH! started life as a popular online video series, and now the pals and Business partners are taking the next step with a cookbook.
Theasby became vegan first, and says: “To be honest, it wasn’t easy to begin with, but it has proven to be the best thing I’ve ever done.”
In response to this, Firth jokes: “I thought it was ridiculous! We were living together at the time and I was eating a lot of meat. I remember him cooking these disgraceful curries and telling me they were vegan – they didn’t look appealing at all.”
However, it didn’t take long for Firth to get involved. Like many people, it was a Netflix documentary that changed his mind.
“After about three weeks of taking the piss out of Ian, we watched Cowspiracy together and it was like a switch flipped in my brain.”
The former Sheffield school friends had worked together before, and decided their newest venture would be vegan cooking – and so BOSH! was born in 2016.
“People who eat vegan are wonderful people who are doing so out of compassion, and that can never be a bad thing,” notes Firth, discussing the negative public image veganism’s sometimes associated with.
Unlike many Insta-vegans, the guys are far from militant. “We’re not advocates for the whole world going vegan, we just want people to eat more plants. That’s our message,” Firth states simply.
Thankfully, they’re not alone in wanting to help give veganism a new – more relatable – name. “I think more and more, it’s fine to be vegan, to have a vegan meal, and to be friends with vegans. Lots of athletes and celebrities are plant-based, like Lewis Hamilton, Miley Cyrus, Serena Williams and Zac Efron,” Firth says.
“I think the fact neither of us are traditionally trained chefs has really resonated with our channel and helped us grow, because it’s what you would call everyday food,” Firth explains. “It’s not some fancy-schmancy salad with quinoa and silly ingredients you can only buy in Wholefoods, it’s just normal food.”
From fish and chips to spaghetti bolognese, the boys want to show that a vegan diet doesn’t mean you have to stop eating your favourites – and neither do you have to go from zero to hero overnight. It’s fine to dip your toes in and find ways that makes plant-based eating work for you.
“Three years ago, we spotted that there was a real problem – people wanted to eat plant-based food but there really wasn’t a decent source of easy-to-follow, hearty, healthy, nice-tasting recipes, and we kind of filled that void,” Firth says.
If you’re interested in giving a plant-based diet a go, but aren’t sure where to start, the Bosh! boys offer this simple advice: “The first question to ask yourself is, ‘How can I get my favourite foods?’ You want to know what Indian and Chinese food you can eat, or of you want to make lasagna or a roast, how you’re going to do that,” says Firth.
It’s about turning the “meat-eater’s cravings into vegan form”.
Here’s one of their recipes to try at home…
Buffalo cauliflower wings
1 large head of cauliflower
150g plain flour
300ml plant-based milk
2tsp garlic powder
1tsp onion powder
1tsp ground cumin
1/4tsp black pepper
100g panko breadcrumbs
120g dairy-free butter
200g buffalo hot sauce
For the ranch sauce:
150g cashew nuts
150ml plant-based milk
1 tbsp lemon juice
2tsp garlic powder
1/4tsp black pepper
handful fresh parsley
1. Add the cashew nuts to a pan of boiling water and boil for 15 minutes, then strain and run under cold water to cool slightly. Set aside until needed later.
2. Meanwhile, break the cauliflower into florets and cut the stem into bite-sized pieces.
3. Put the flour, plant-based milk, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, paprika, salt and pepper into a bowl and whisk to a batter.
Pour the panko breadcrumbs into another bowl and rub them between your thumb and fingers to break into slightly smaller breadcrumbs.
4. Tip the cauliflower into the batter and toss to coat. Transfer to the bowl of breadcrumbs, a few pieces at a time, and toss gently until well coated.
Spread the cauliflower pieces over some lined baking trays and bake for 20 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, melt the dairy-free butter in the microwave and stir in the hot sauce.
6. After 20 minutes, remove the tray from the oven, pour over the hot sauce and carefully roll the cauliflower around until the pieces are fully coated.
Put the tray back in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until a sharp knife glides into the thickest parts of the cauliflower and the outsides are really golden brown and crispy. Remove from the oven.
7. While the cauliflower is cooking, put all the ingredients for the ranch sauce, except for the herbs, into the food processor or liquidiser and whizz for one to two minutes until smooth and creamy.
Transfer to a serving bowl. Finely chop the parsley and chives and add most of them to the sauce, reserving a little for garnish.
8. Serve the cauliflower wings while they’re still hot on a serving plate, sprinkled with the remaining herbs and with the ranch dip on the side.
BOSH! by Henry Firth and Ian Theasby is published by HQ, HarperCollins in hardback priced £20.
Source : BournemouthEcho