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Marching on (wherever I may be)

Eating vegan in March was a tale of two cities, or one city and a small town.  I thought a week in Paris would be a challenge but it was mostly fine. However, I was much more nervous about a trip to Scotland at the end of the month. Yes there are great vegan restaurants and cafes in Glasgow and Edinburgh, but my work took me to a smaller, more remote town than that. It is a place with a high street that’s too small for chain cafes or restaurants; and the sole hotel in town, where I was staying, had no in-room fridges for storing food. So I was worried, but yet again, my fears were almost entirely unfounded.

The hotel had no vegan meals on the menu, but whipped me up a hot “vegetarian full Scottish” minus the egg in the morning, which included a very satisfying slice of veggie black pudding. And when we ate there in the evening, the chef came up with a few different ideas for our main course and starter.

In the town, the beloved tea room made no mention of plant milk on the menu, so I chose black coffee and green tea, but there was a spicy bean burger labelled vegan, so I fell on that for lunch. At another local pub I had another bean-burger-no-cheese-or-mayo one evening. Beans are good for you right? The fancy bistro offered an overcooked and underspiced penne arrabbiatta, but I couldn’t get too angry about it, cos they squeezed us in at the last minute.

Needless to say, perhaps, there were no vegan meal options on my EasyJet flight from London to Edinburgh, but there was a Pret at the airport so naturally I got my sandwich “to go”: it was little cheaper, and probably much nicer, than what was available to buy in the air.

Vegan in March 2017. Unstoppable lentil machine. #vegan #whatveganseat

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Otherwise, apart from a yummy tofu bento in Soho and bizarre-sounding falafel roast dinner (with a really delicious gravy) at a local place, this month was all about eating in, and trying new recipes. I really loved a couple of variations on this chickpea sandwich filling, but I was disappointed by “next-level vegan enchiladas” where the tasty filling was smothered by a harsh tomato sauce. I think also my cashews were a bit “soapy”, which didn’t help the topping. I may have nearly cracked a good vegan lasagne – basically this – and I was very chuffed with a roast vegetable risotto.

Best/worst thing about the month? I had read that Campari is vegan now, so I indulged, but reading this I am not so sure.

Important Friday afternoon meeting.

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Favourite discovery of the month online is these funny cooking videos, which are now pretty much exclusively vegan. I was already a devotee of The Unnatural Vegan’s vids but these have far more jokes in.



Pamela Hutchinson is the editor of Silent London

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