October 7, 2020

7 Vegan Fall Recipes To Keep You Cozy!

We’re trading those summer BBQs for cozy stay inside cook-ins as the nights get longer and we’ve got a recipe or a few to keep you warm and toasty through fall season. 7 vegan fall recipes to be specific! Swap light bites for hearty meals, comforting creamy textures, and seasonal flavours – we have it all! We’ve brought together the best from our kitchens, straight to yours. Get bookmarking and try them all out.

Herby Crusted Butternut Squash Tenderloin

This is a show-stopping centerpiece to give the wow factor to your Sunday roasts and holiday celebrations of all kinds. It’s pretty easy once you know how. Once it’s under your belt you’ll never forget it. Nothing beats the sweet and delicious bite of our Butternut Tenderloin, complete with a festive herby crust.

BBQ Tofu and Polenta

Ultimate comfort food. Creamy warm polenta with Crispy Tofu, bringing back memories of Summer BBQs, with enough heartiness to carry you through the cooler nights. Always goes down a treat!

Vegan Cheeseburger Wellington

Want to give yourself a challenge? Looks fancy, but really isn’t that difficult. Grab some ready-made burgers and get rolling that pastry.

Roast Vegetable Centrepiece

A Wicked CLASSIC. Veg boards are our thing here at WH. You can whip this impressive roast veg board out at any fall-winter gathering. Definitely a good one to master.

Apple Pie Oatmeal

Crispy mornings mean one thing – oatmeal! We use a different technique to the standard stir-in-pot porridge method, you’ll be looking forward to the mornings when you have a hot bowl of Apple Pie Oatmeal, spiced for the season, to look forward to!

Perfect Roast Cauliflower

Never underestimate the humble cauliflower! We love this simple roasting technique that makes this a wonderful side any season.

Vegan Berry Crisp

The definition of cozy. Warm sweet berries with a crispy cinnamon topping. Just serve up with some Vanilla Coconut Cashew Cream and you’re good to go.

Want more inspiration? Check out our Wicked Healthy YouTube Channel!

Get pinning! We’re over here on the Wicked Recipes Pinterest.

Check out some of our vegan dessert recipes!

October 2, 2020

Wicked Healthy Kids Now Streaming on KidoodleTV!

wicked healthy cooking for kids
wicked cooking classes
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Kidoodle is available in over 160 countries on over 1000 mobile and connected TV devices including iOS, Android, Roku, Samsung TV, Fire TV, and more!

kidoodle tv safe streamingFind your device, sign up for free, and get watching Wicked Healthy Kids: https://linktr.ee/KidoodleTV

August 19, 2020

The Momentum Continues! Gathered Foods, Makers of Good Catch Foods, open huge new plant-based seafood production facility in Ohio

Yet, more good news for the oceans and sea life!

In a year that could have easily brought production to a grinding halt, Good Catch Foods have expressed much gratitude to have celebrated many successes in the plant-based space…and we’re only in August!

If you’re new here, Good Catch Foods is the chef-led plant-based seafood company, co-founded by creators of Wicked Healthy; chefs Chad and Derek Sarno. Launching originally with a clean and plant-based tuna alternative, over the past 2 years, the brand has now branched out internationally and hit freezers with their products across the States.

This week’s news may be one of the most significant announcements so far, as it’s 3 years in the making. Gathered Foods, makers of Good Catch Foods, have just opened a state-of-the-art 42,500 sq ft manufacturing facility in Ohio. The facility currently has 52 employees and is on track to expand to full capacity with up to 80 positions by the end of the year. Not only does this create a positive result for the planet, but also the local community.

[evc_blockquote type=”left-line” custom_class=”pulled_quote” text=”“We are incredibly proud to establish a strong manufacturing footprint in the U.S. as we grow our product portfolio. With Good Catch’s rapid expansion and the launch of our new line of frozen plant-based entrees and appetizers, having our own production facility enables us to optimize productivity and efficiency. We are fully committed to delivering high-quality plant-based seafood products which delight and satisfy our consumers each and every time.”” font_size=”28px” line_height=”44px”]

– Christine Mei, CEO of Gathered Foods.

This space has the capability of producing $100 million worth of plant-based protein annually. Pretty staggering numbers and when you crunch it down, that’s a lot of sea life being saved!

We caught up with Good Catch co-founder, Chad Sarno, for a quick chat about 2020 so far:

This has no doubt been a rollercoaster year for you and the Good Catch team. What is it that underpins this rapid growth and sense of urgency?

Absolutely. We are seeing and will continue to see, a ton of forward momentum and innovation in the plant protein sector compared to 10 years ago. The impact opportunity to really disrupt the seafood category is enormous, so seizing the opportunity now makes sense. From our standpoint at Good Catch, we see this as a huge innovation opportunity and are very excited to share our products and future pipeline with the foodservice industry.

With so many groundbreaking and disruptive goals ticked off this year, are there more things on your list that you hope to accomplish before 2021?

We are extremely grateful for the momentum that continues to push plants forward. At Good Catch, we will be diving into the foodservice space in the coming autumn months, and while understanding how this space is shifting with COVID, we feel the excitement of restaurants being able to offer plant-based tuna melts, for example, on menus in the near future.

It would be fair to say that this year has uncovered many environmental issues globally, but the uprising of plant-based seafood is bringing a lot of hope! From being in the thick of this, what do you have the most hope about going forward?

Globally, we consume between 250-300 species of animals from the ocean, compared to around 30 from the land. Being able to put extremely high-quality offerings in the marketplace that make sure people don’t “miss” the taste of seafood could relieve the huge pressure being placed on our aquatic ecosystems. That’s very exciting to me and a source of great hope for the health of our oceans moving forward.

We’re seeing more plant-based seafood products cropping up in the market - what is it that gives Good Catch the edge in your opinion?

Once we were able to develop the protein texture, the sky was the limit when it came to application work! I am really proud of our frozen line, Crab Cakes, Thai Fish Cakes, and Classic White Fish Style Burger. The burger in particular is very reminiscent of a lightly seasoned white fish burger I used to have as a kid growing up on the coast of New England. Paired with horseradish tartar on a buttered bun- it definitely brings me back to childhood.

A Whistle-stop Tour of 2020

timeline_pre_loader

January

$32million Series B funding round closed; including two strategic investors: Greenleaf Foods (owned by Maple Leaf – largest animal agriculture company in Canada) and 301 INC, the venture arm of General Mills. Expansion into the UK. This funding would enable the dedicated facility to be up and running, meaning Good Catch can meet the demand.

March

Plant-based disruption! Joint venture partnership with Bumble Bee Foods (makers of Bumble Bee Tuna), a collaboration that created an opportunity for Good Catch to benefit from BB’s 120 years in the industry.

May

Gathered Foods raises an additional $36.8 million in capital from celebrity investors, including Paris Hilton, Lance Bass, and Woody Harrelson.

July

New frozen lines added to the US market! New England Style Plant-Based Crab Cakes, Thai Style Plant-Based Fish Cakes, and Classic Plant-Based Fish Burgers – to be available nationwide in the US by the end of 2020.

August

Gathered Foods open the 42,500 sq ft manufacturing facility in Ohio, with a view of employing 80 people by the end of the year.

good catch feastWondering what this vegan seafood is made of? It’s a proprietary six-legume blend (peas, chickpeas, lentils, soy, fava beans, and navy beans). And the fishy flavor? A superior umami taste is created from seaweed and algae extracts. Trust us, it tastes just like the real deal. As an added bonus, all Good Catch ® products are free of dairy, GMOs, mercury, toxins, microplastics, microfibers, and are safe and enjoyable for those with shellfish allergies.

At this rate, we’ll have plenty more great news to announce over the coming months, but if you haven’t tried Good Catch yet, what are you waiting for!

Get your hands on some Good Catch – check the store locator here.

Want to get cooking? Give these Good Catch recipes a go!

July 12, 2020

Good Catch Plant-Based Fish Burgers, Crab Cake, & Thai Fish Cakes are in freezers Stateside now!

It’s been over 3 years in the making and Good Catch’s chef-created frozen line can now be found in stores in the US (check the store finder here to find your nearest retailer), with more locations coming soon! “Launching on the east coast and in New England, our old stomping grounds where we grew up seemed like a perfect way to showcase this new line,” said Chad Sarno, Co-Founder & Chief Culinary Officer at Good Catch

3 new delicious seafood-free entrees and appetizers will be joining the already-popular tuna alternatives, crafted from Good Catch’s proprietary six-legume blend (peas, chickpeas, lentils, soy, fava beans, and navy beans), which also carries a similar nutritional profile as fish-based tuna. Expanding the options for ocean lovers and saving our precious sea life with every Good Catch product you choose instead of fish!

Meet the new products:

Good Catch Fish-free Crab Cakes

New England Style Plant-Based Crab Cakes:

A savory treat flavored with sweet red and yellow bell peppers, green onions, a kick of spice, and parsley. These plant-based crab cakes are ideal for a quick bite. Pan-sear and top these with a plant-based spicy remoulade, and fresh-squeezed lemon, or pair them with red sauce and pasta for a heartier meal.

vegan fish cakes

Thai Style Plant-Based Fish Cakes:

This tender whitefish-style cake is flavored with an exotic balance of aromatics and spice for a Thai-style zest that is perfect for Asian-inspired menus. These cakes taste delicious pan-seared and are great on their own with a sweet chili dipping sauce, or an ideal way to top off lettuce wraps, Asian-style fish tacos, or tiny appetizer sliders.

vegan fish burgers

Classic Plant-Based Fish Burgers:

These hearty burgers have a light whitefish texture and flavor, and are simply seasoned with green onion, celery, sea salt and pepper. For a taste of seaside comfort any time of the year, pan-sear these burgers and top with pickles and horseradish tartar sauce.

[evc_blockquote type=”left-line” custom_class=”pulled_quote” text=”“Quality and innovation are essential to the Good Catch culinary journey,“ said Chad Sarno. “Recreating the taste and texture consumers expect from whitefish and crab cakes challenged our team to push our boundaries. We are really proud of the final outcome.“” font_size=”28px” line_height=”44px”]

It’s been a big year for Good Catch; with the news of a $36.8 million Series B Financing Round kicking off 2020, international expansion and distribution in Tesco UK, a joint distribution venture with Bumble Bee Foods (a leader in the traditional seafood space), the opening of our new production facility, celebrity backing from public figures, such as Paris Hilton and Woody Harrelson and now branching out into the freezer aisle!

The motivation?

“According to the United Nations, nearly 90% of the world’s marine fish stocks are now fully exploited, overexploited or depleted, with fisheries subsidies playing an integral part. Keeping startling statistics such as this in mind, Good Catch believes that the only truly sustainable seafood is one that allows fish to remain in the ocean, undisturbed

June 29, 2020

New Wicked Kitchen Products @ TESCO UK (P.S. there’s cake!)

Plant-based is growing! More exciting new additions to our Wicked Kitchen and Plant Chef range this month for the summer! Our goal is to make it as easy as possible for you to enjoy awesome plant-based food at home! We’ve added a line of delicious meal kits, pulled mushroom shreds, new plant-based meats as well as delicious meat-free staples like koftas and fish-fee cake and nuggets. Oh, and you can find us in the bakery now too with 2 super tasty vegan cupcakes!

MEAL KITS

Inspired by popular dishes from around the world, our new meal kits come in ‘Bangin’ Beetroot Tikka’; dreamy tikka masala with a rich coconut, tomato sauce and fragrant spice blend, ‘Vindaloo Vibe’; fiery Goan inspired vindaloo with purple carrot, tamarind and a sweet n’ spicy hit, ‘Punchy Pumpkin Laska’; fragrant pumpkin broth with rich coconut, lemongrass, galangal and coriander, ‘Shiitake Ramen Broth’; deep umami shiitake broth with herb flavours, wakame seaweed & sesame seeds and ‘Crackin’ Coconut Korma’; Korma curry with an aromatic blend of tumeric, ginger and garlic flavours. Each kit consists of a range of aromatic spice blends with recipe suggestions to create the ultimate plant-based restaurant-quality meal right in your own home!

SHREDS

We’ve been teaching you to pull your own ‘shrooms for a while now, but we’ve taken the effort out with our new King Oyster shreds – a supermarket first! Choose from three versatile flavours; Shawarma; with smoky spices and a hint of coriander, Korean; in a miso, sesame and punchy chilli marinade and Mexican; with kickin’ coriander, oregano and a squeeze of lime – all packed with bold, flavoursome ingredients to deliver an intense Wicked flavour that’s all-important in a meat-free swap! Perfect in wraps, tacos, pittas, and/or with noodles.

MEATS

Another exciting first market addition is the Wicked Kitchen BBQ Fib Rack. It’s a protein-packed and plant-powered rack of not-ribs, smothered in a smoky, sticky sweet Texas inspired BBQ sauce. Sausage fans won’t be missing out either with the launch of our Little Brats, mini bangin’ bangers that are perfect to barbecue over the summer!

CAKES

Our first time in the bakery! Our wicked little cupcakes come in Chocolate, with a smooth caramel core and Lemon with a crunchy zesty topper!

PLANT CHEF NEW ADDITIONS

Chunky, meat-free koftas are on the menu in our new Plant Chef line! Choose from ‘Tex Mex’ for a protein punchy, smoky hit, and traditional ‘BBQ’ flavour, packed with pea protein, red peppers, and black turtle beans. We’ve also added ‘Fake Steak with Garlic Melt’, ‘Fish-Free Cakes’, and ‘Breaded Meat-Free Nuggets’, making perfect additions to a summer spread.

 

Head to the Wicked Kitchen Foods website to see the entire line.

April 30, 2020

6 WICKED BASICS: HOME MADE SAUCES

Nana’s Red Sauce

Just like our nana used to make! Our nana was a second-generation Italian American who lived in Billerica, Massachusetts. This classic red sauce is slow simmered, and the flavors are layered one by one. No-one should be buying their red sauce in a tin when it’s this easy and delicious to make quickly at home! Perfect with spaghetti.

Pesto

You can’t beat a fresh pesto, bursting with flavour! We subbed parmesan for nutritional yeast in this one. Another one that works great with staples like pasta – find our Pesto Pasta recipe right here.

Harissa

For the spice lovers! If you do anything during lockdown, make sure you master a good hot Harissa! It’s the perfect addition to soups, dips, dressing, or marinades. Here is the Harissa Sauce recipe and a great Harissa Grilled Vegetables Recipe.

Vegan Cheese Sauce

This is the vegan nacho cheese sauce everyone is talking about! So simple and loaded with plant-based goodness. Sweet potato, cauliflower, chickpea water, oat milk, a roasted jalapeño for a kick in the pants (or not, if you can’t take the heat)…seasonings and voila—you got yourself some insane sauce, partner!

Tomato Habanero Jam

This one takes a little bit more effort, but is worth it! It’s more a jam than a sauce and it is an absolute winner with our Vegan Grilled Cheese recipe!

BONUS! We’ve compiled our favourite prepping hacks that we compiled from years working as chefs in professional kitchens. How to peel ginger, a trick to store guacamole, how to make your own garlic oil, and many more!

For more basics, grab a copy of our Wicked Healthy Cookbook!

Get pinning! We’re over here at the Wicked Healthy Pinterest Page.

March 18, 2020

Wicked Immune System Booster Foods – By guest Barb Sheldon-Thomas, CHNC

We want you to know that we care for all of you Wicked ninjas out there, and are thinking of you during this challenging time. Here are a few tips about how these immune system booster foods can support you during cold and flu season from our in-house nutritionist, Barb Sheldon-Thomas.

*Please note that this article is for educational purposes only and not meant to replace medical advice. Always consult your doctor about your own health and circumstances.

Giving our bodies the fuel they need to support immune function is always crucial, and particularly when more aggressive viruses are around. Food is our fuel and creates an impact on our bodies, either by supporting us (whole foods) or creating congestion (nutrient-deficient food products). We can look to the nutrients in the food itself especially if we are tight on budget and cannot afford expensive supplements. Here are a few of my favorite nutrients and foods that help to generally support the immune system. Remember- everyone is different and nutrients affect us all in a variety of ways. Consult with your health care provider before beginning any new health regimen.

PUMPKIN SEEDS AND CASHEWS:

Nuts and seeds contain zinc, which is a mineral that has been shown to provide infection-fighting properties. Lentils and garbanzo beans also contain this trace mineral.1 Get sprinkling those pumpkin seeds on everything from salads to tacos and make yourself a nice fresh batch of cashew milk while you are at it.

MUSHROOMS:

You know we love mushrooms here at Wicked, and part of the reason is that studies have shown for years that they contain immune-supportive compounds. Shiitake, reishi, and maitake are particularly well studied but even crimini mushrooms offer potential immune support. Cook and eat liberally! Here’s some of our favorite mushroom soup recipe.2

HERBS, ROOTS, AND SPICES:

We sometimes forget or don’t even know, that herbs and spices are important health allies. Most green herbs like cilantro, parsley, and rosemary have antimicrobial properties, spices have thermogenic action in the body which help detoxify, and roots like garlic, turmeric, ginger, and onions contain minerals and compounds that are anti-inflammatory and sometimes even anti-viral. 4 5
Here’s our spice guide to help you spice up your health!

DARK GREEN LEAFIES AND BERRIES:

Nature shows us where the nutrients are! The deeper and richer the color of our plants, the more unique nutrient compounds they contain. Things like kale, spinach, swiss chard, blueberries, and raspberries all contain vitamins like Vitamin C and B5 that help keep our immune system functioning optimally5. If you are new to cooking with these plants, you can always start by putting them in the blender! Here’s a link to an awesome, nutrient-dense smoothie recipe to help you do that.

RED AND YELLOW FOODS:

Plants that are red, orange, or yellow contain the phytonutrient beta-carotene (think: carrots). Beta Carotene is very supportive for tissue, especially lung tissue regeneration and development, and scavenging free radicals and protecting our cells.3


Most importantly, though, Wicked friends, at times like this, it’s essential that we reduce our sugar intake, and increase our quality of sleep. These two steps can go a long way to contributing to your body’s resiliency4. Refined sugar can deplete our body of nutrients which can cause an inflammatory response in the body and suppression of certain immune factors. Best to feed your body nutrient-dense fuel that gives our immune warriors fighting chance to do their job. And as far as sleep goes, use this opportunity of canceled events and extra home time to get cozy, drink some chamomile tea and get your sleep on. Well-rested bodies get a chance to fortify their systems and replenish their energy while they sleep!

So, take this time for you! Get cooking, get these immune system booster foods in ya, get cozy, read a book, and stay strong over the next while. And don’t forget to drink that water!

REFERENCES

  1. Impairment of cell-mediated immunity functions by dietary zinc deficiency in mice | PNAS. short. Accessed March 13, 2020.
  2. White button, portabella, and shiitake mushroom supplementation up-regulates interleukin-23 secretion in acute dextran sodium sulfate colitis C57BL… – PubMed – NCBI. Accessed March 13, 2020.
  3. β-Carotene Is an Important Vitamin A Source for Humans | The Journal of Nutrition | Oxford Academic. Accessed March 16, 2020.
  4. Role of sugars in human neutrophilic phagocytosis | The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition | Oxford Academic. Accessed March 13, 2020.
  5. Systematic Screening of Total Antioxidants in Dietary Plants | The Journal of Nutrition | Oxford Academic. Accessed March 16, 2020.

February 13, 2020

THE WICKED KITCHEN 2 YEAR ANNIVERSARY!

We recently celebrated our 2 year anniversary of the Wicked Kitchen range! We’re extremely proud of what we’ve created and have loved seeing the range grow to more than 80 products, across Tesco U.K. stores in only 2 years!

Plant-based is here to stay!  This is only the beginning and we’re thrilled to be leading the change within the biggest supermarket in the UK. We couldn’t have done this without you, your support and wanting to eat less animals! So thank you!  Thank you for supporting plant-based foods, sharing across social media and for all the great feedback and love from all of you.

Tesco is home of the innovative, foodie Wicked Kitchen range and the more affordable, easy swap solutions of the Plant Chef ranges. They also showcase a myriad of other exceptional plant-based food and drink companies, hand-selected with a little help from our very own Chef – Director of Plant-Based Innovation.

To celebrate 2 successful years Tesco held a party at HQ, with some of our favourite plant-based brands and game-changers in attendance to celebrate and show colleagues that you can have it all on a plant-based diet. No sacrifices, no compromises!

We partook in ‘tuna’ style sushi and fish’ goujon sandos, WK sticky toffee pudding with Oatly ice cream, saucy pasta, and Amazeballs, WK and PC pizzas and everything in between. We shared the normality of lifestyle without having to eat animals and what it is all about! This event was all about getting stuck in a bit of everything (hello, samples), with a mix of our philosophy, 80% healthy 20% wicked golden ratio! We also had the awesome BOSH boys, Ian and Henry, down to do a demo and sign their new book, ‘Healthy Vegan’. And the all inspiring and lovely crew from Veganuary.

Of course, no Wicked party can be without a whole array of mushrooms! Our supplier, Smithy Mushrooms, brought the King Oysters and Cluster Browns. Showcasing the log growing method, that we are trialing. Mushrooms = the new meat!

WICKED KITCHEN

Snack pots and our new spice range.

PLANT CHEF

PLANT-BASED SUSHI

complete with imitation fish eggs, crafted from Ginger.

OATLY

how we love thee! We had our favourite oat milk flowing all day, keeping the Tesco staff sufficiently caffeinated, provoking many cries of ‘this is pretty good actually’ – damn right it is!
We also treated everyone to a scoop of Oatly ice cream, atop a slice of our Sticky Toffee pud.

BOSH

giving the crowd a sample of what’s to come in their new tv series ‘Life on the Veg’, with their delicious Curry House Jalfrezi cooking demo.

OUMPH

Giving you some ‘Oumph’! Epic veggie soy protein gyoza and saucy strips to tempt the meat-lovers.

WASTE NOT JUICE

In a bid to tackle the food-waste crisis, Waste Not Juice are saving the day! Rescuing ‘imperfect’ fruit and veg and juicing it into these delicious and vibrant drinks.

BOL

The great people at BOL, showcasing their healthy, wholefood salad and meal jars.

One for the lovers – showing off our Valentine’s Day offerings! Vegan chocolate brownie, anyone? This is the first time Tesco has offered a plant-based meal deal on the 14th and we’re thrilled to have pioneered this! More info here on our Wicked Vegan Valentines Day Meal.

Check out our full Wicked Kitchen range on our new website: Wicked Kitchen Food and browse the plant-based section of the Tesco website.

February 10, 2020

Wicked Gets Schooled with School Night Vegan: An interview with Richard Makin

Hi, It’s a School night!! Welcome our newest member to the Wicked team, in the form of Richard Makin. He’s the guy behind School Night Vegan, (love the name!) and knows a thing or two about creating insanely delicious plant-based recipes. Richard has teamed up with us to help bring even more amazing new recipes to our blog every week, so keep your eyes peeled for these. We sat down for a chat to help get to know Richard better.

Welcome to the Wicked family Richard! How did you first hear about us and what we do?

I remember it well! I first heard about Wicked just before you guys launched Wicked Kitchen in Tesco. I was working in street food back then and shared a prep kitchen with the guys behind Eat Chay (London’s best vegan street food, in my opinion). I was pulling a late shift and was waiting for a batch of cookies to bake when I spotted your book in their station. From the minute I started flicking through I was a super-fan. I wasn’t even vegan at that point, but something about the energy and unapologetic way you talked about vegan food had me hooked and I’ve been obsessed ever since!

What sort of street food did you create back then?

Ironically, I used to make ice cream. For around 4 years I was the proud owner of London’s first ice cream sandwich truck. I quit my job in an office back in 2015 and decided to have a go at making and selling food. As a (then) vegetarian, I skipped the burger truck and the taco stall idea and went straight to ice cream. But over time, dealing with huge quantities of eggs along with insane amounts of milk and cream, I couldn’t help but question whether I was doing the right thing. My friends at Eat Chay taught me a huge amount about the joys of cooking with plants and before long I had made the jump to a vegan diet. I closed my business and launched School Night Vegan less than a year later.

Was it exclusively your experience with the ice cream company which made you try a vegan diet, or was that just one influence for you?

vegan chef from school night veganI’ve been vegetarian practically my whole life and as a huge animal rights advocate, my mum did an awesome job of always letting us know where our food came from. So from square one, I knew more than most people about the brutality behind our food system. Like most vegans, I spend a lot of time wondering why I didn’t make the jump sooner, and for me, it all came down to a simple misunderstanding. I genuinely used to think I couldn’t call myself a food lover if I were vegan. In my mind, those two things just didn’t fit together. Once I figured out that this was nonsense, I was on a one-way trip to V-town! If anything, the challenges of retraining myself to cook vegan have only added to my love of food. My cooking is so much more considered, creative and adaptive than it ever was, and that’s 100% down to turning vegan.

Where and why did School Night Vegan pop up in this story?

My own blog School Night Vegan started out as more of a chef’s journal. As I was closing down my ice cream company I found myself with more and more time, particularly on week-night evenings. I hadn’t lost my love for great food so I set myself a series of challenges around veganising my favourite recipes. I think the first recipe I nailed was an absolutely killer vegan lasagna and I was determined not to lose the recipe I’d worked so hard on. I launched a free blog and started learning how to take better pictures of food. Instagram followed and it all went a bit crazy after that. If you’d told me back then that I’d be sharing vegan recipes with over 75,000 people, I definitely wouldn’t have believed you.

What is your favourite recipe on School Night Vegan and is it equally popular with your followers?

It’s actually really difficult to predict what’s going to be popular on School Night Vegan, and it doesn’t always link with my favourite recipes. I made a really stunning chunky tomato soup with fresh oregano and these beautifully tender meatballs which I was obsessed with for about two weeks. It was one of those recipes I just didn’t get bored of and it made me really, really happy every time I ate it. On the blog, however, it was a big flop! By far the most popular recipe I’ve ever created was for a super simple pasta sauce made with tomato puree and vodka. Sure, it was delicious, but I’m not sure it deserved 16,300 likes!

In your opinion, what are the biggest barriers to becoming vegan, and how can we shake things up?

vegan chef making dessertTo most people, being vegan is still one sacrifice too far. I know this because I was one of those guys, just 3 years ago. I knew all the dark secrets behind animal agriculture, and yet somehow I convinced myself that cutting out animal products was just too much to ask. It’s sad to see how many people are content to see their horizons shrink, year on year until they’re living a tiny life, eating the same steak and chips, day in, day out. I don’t know about you, but that’s not how I plan on living my life. I like to think we’re active players in disrupting this rubbish. We’re both here to prove that taking risks is fun, pushing boundaries is exciting and that making big, compassionate changes to your lifestyle is hugely rewarding. My goal is to hopefully break that “steak and chips” mindset by showing people just how fun and fulfilling vegan food can be.

And finally, what do you plan to bring to the team here at Wicked?

great tasting vegan burgerWriting recipes is my thing: it makes me really happy and I think our take on vegan food is a really great match.  I like to think that, between us, we have a pretty good grasp on most areas of vegan cooking! I also think we do a good job of pushing each other to stretch our limits. My relationship with vegan food is such an excitingly positive one and I can’t wait to share that with the Wicked team. Likewise, this is just another stretch of my huge, vegan learning curve and I hope to keep learning from you guys, as well as showing you the occasional trick of my own!

We’re happy to have you on the team Richard! Looking forward to School Night Vegan creations!

February 4, 2020

WICKED VEGAN VALENTINES DAY MEAL DEAL at Tesco

Skipping the crowded restaurants on the 14th never looked (or tasted) so good.

Head to Tesco UK stores/the website to order yours on Feb 7th. [Only available in the UK, apologies to those overseas!]