Join us in celebrating #WorldVeganMonth this November! It’s been amazing to see how far the vegan movement has come over the years; here at Nourish, we have made it our mission to aid and assist the movement, by publishing the ideal accompanying vegan guidebooks to help you join in and celebrate.

Take the Living on the Veg! quiz to get matched with the Nourish cookbook that will be your #WorldVeganMonth companion – share your results with us on social media using the #LivingontheVeg hashtag!

The Part-Time Vegetarian’s Year by Nicola Graimes is available to buy NOW!

How things have moved on since my original The Part-Time Vegetarian was published five or so years ago. The culinary climate has definitely changed for the better, with more of us choosing to eat plant-based meals on a regular basis. And to prove the point, research figures show that, impressively, one in three in the UK have cut down on the amount of meat they eat, with 60 per cent of vegans and 40 per cent of vegetarians having adopted their dietary preference over the last 5 years.

While the health benefits of a plant-based diet – the reduced risk of major chronic diseases, obesity and diabetes – are well documented, it has been the growing concerns over the environmental impact of intensive animal farming that has spurred much of the move towards flexitarianism, vegetarianism and veganism over the past few years. Recent research has revealed the hefty footprint of intensively reared meat, with the conclusion that the single most effective way to reduce our environmental impact is a global shift towards a flexitarian diet that contains only small amounts of ethically reared, good-quality meat and dairy, eaten once or twice a week with a plant-based diet being predominant.

For me, one of the most exciting aspects of the shift towards flexitarianism is how inspiring and creative plant-based cooking has become. Nowadays, no chef worth their salt would forget to include a vegetarian or vegan dish on their restaurant menu. What’s more, many openly relish the exciting culinary possibilities of plant-based cooking.

As a family, we have become more mindful of what and how we eat over the years. Like many families, our eating preferences vary and I’m constantly on the look-out for meals that both meet our differing tastes and that can be adapted if need be. Whether we eat meat just once a week; just at weekends; as part of an extended family get together; for a dinner party; or not at all, I’ve found that flexitarianism is a way of eating that can be moulded to suit our individual needs.

I’m hoping that this sense of versatility, adaptability and variety shines brightly in the recipes in this book. Importantly, vegetables always take centre stage with a focus on what’s in season. Where meat (or seafood) are included they are in cost-, eco- and health-conscious small amounts and treated as a garnish, side, topping or second to the plant-based components of the meals. At the heart of this book is the growing relevance of a mindful connection with what and how we eat.

Shine Brighter Every Day by Danah Mor is available now! Read on for an exclusive excerpt…

 

No Food Is Forbidden, Unless Your Body Says So

When it comes to nutrition and our health, I like to keep it as simple as possible, to understand the science and the facts, and then make my own conclusions by listening to my body when it reacts with foods or chemicals.

There is no forbidden food,
unless your body says so. We can eat anything we want as long as
our bodies agree. We just need to learn to understand how our bodies communicate. The secret to vitality
is not being obsessed with what you eat or how often you exercise. It’s about getting in tune with yourself and your environment. Most of us are so disconnected from ourselves and nature that we don’t recognize a stomach ache as the body signaling a problem, we don’t know what vegetables grow in which season, how milk or meat really gets into our supermarket, or where our liver is located.

We need to re-tune our mindset and understand that we are an expression from the inside out
and not from the outside in. If our mindset is in tune with nature, we naturally make new choices without feeling restricted. Changing the way we think is the only way we can positively change our lives. When we change our perspective, we suddenly have new desires, different cravings; we no longer want the same things, and making positive choices becomes effortless. I’ve lived through this, and I can tell you how much better it is than forcing a new diet or lifestyle upon yourself. We might have to put in a bit of effort to achieve a new way of thinking, a new mindset, but then it becomes natural, even fun.

If your mindset is in harmony with your essence, you will make new choices naturally without having to sacrifice what you think you need. Instead, you choose what you want. How do we know what we truly want? The connection between our body and our spirit is the foundation of life. Our mindset can allow or interfere with this connection. When our personality is in alignment with our spirit, that is authentic empowerment. The capacity to listen and foster the connection between these two is a secret for true inner joy and happiness.

I have always heard a clear voice in me that sounded humble, generous and real. Then all the other voices invaded my head – what my parents, teachers, sports coaches, and anyone that came into my life thought they should tell me about how to live or even how to listen to myself. Now it’s hard to know which voice is really me. It may be the hardest thing to re-learn, because so much noise has invaded our bodies that it can be hard to know when it’s really us speaking. But taking care of our body relies on our ability to listen to ourselves.

When I was studying Ayurvedic medicine at university in London, we were constantly reminded that our modern medical system separates the body from the mind (forget the spirit). In Ayurvedic medicine, the body, mind and spirit are inter- connected. How you think and express yourself is reflected in your physical body. How you eat and act is reflected in your spirit and mood. Ideally your spirit should shine and be expressed all through your body and into your choices and actions. In every consultation with a client, I often speak about food last because, first of all, food isn’t everything.

Awareness and knowledge are the basis of conscious choice- making. Without awareness and the capacity to think, question, reflect, and make our choices, are we any more than puppets? The decisions you make and actions you take are the means by which you evolve. Each moment, you choose the intentions that will shape your experiences and where you focus your attention.

I’m so excited to share a drop of the wisdom and knowledge of Ayurveda with you, one of the oldest medical systems that exists. Ayurveda, the science of life, introduced me to a world I didn’t know existed; a world of peace and harmony for health and vitality. It is far more appealing to me than the Western medical and nutritional world that seems so obsessive. Ayurveda gave me insight and knowledge that allowed me to see and understand life from a point of view that simplifies and answers so many questions. Considered the mother of medicine, Ayurveda is more than 10,000 years old. It’s a holistic science that takes the whole person into consideration: body, mind and spirit. Every part of our body is connected. Our thoughts and emotions can affect our digestion, just as our physical sensations can affect our mind. If everything is interconnected, our bodies can constantly speak to us through physical signs. It was through the study of Ayurvedic medicine that I learned how important it is to listen to my body, especially when it comes to food, digestion and lifestyle – and how I understood the connection between food and mood. Ayurveda celebrates our bio-individuality, that everybody

 is unique, so we have to learn what diet and lifestyle best fits us.

So, the real secret to vitality is understanding your body’s language and improving your communication with it – on every level.

***

Shine Brighter Every Day is available now.

Shine Brighter Every Day by Danah Mor comes out on May 12th, and today we’re sharing a little peak inside. Read on to hear from nutrition expert and Ayurvedic practitioner Danah about how awesome our bodies are, and get a flavour of the book. 

 

If we knew how amazing our bodies were designed to feel, we wouldn’t think twice about our choices. 

How do you explain to someone driving a car from 1970 that the ride doesn’t have to be uncomfortable, smell like petrol, or constantly break down? It’s likely they’re just happy their car gets them around. And even if it doesn’t cost much to get it fixed, they will take some persuading to change to a newer model! 

Most of us have become accustomed to disease, pain and discomfort in our bodies and minds. We are happy enough to have a body that simply gets us around, rather than making an effort to see how we could improve things for ourselves. Sometimes, even, we don’t want to leave our comfort zone of discomfort and disease; we prefer not to know and just stick with the disease. 

Shine Brighter Every Day is about improving your quality of life, preventing disease, and manifesting the best version of yourself. It unlocks a lifestyle, a way of thinking – a state of being – that is in tune with your body, inspired by the unwritten laws of nature, cutting-edge modern nutrition science, the ancient wisdom of Ayurvedic medicine and my own personal experience. I’m urging you to have the courage to be interested and try a few little steps to see how your body responds and thanks you. 

You can only feel as good as you think you can. 

When I was around thirteen, I lost a large portion of my vision, and this has given me a new perspective on life. Ultimately, it has shown me how many things are possible. Life is what you make of it. It’s not what you have – it’s what you make of what you have. I can’t change my condition. But by perceiving my condition in a different way, I was able to overcome bigger barriers than most of us can imagine and as a result build a life that I love living. I did this by not focusing on my problem and what I couldn’t see, but rather focusing on what I could see. And I realized that I actually see much more than many people. I realized just because we have ears, it doesn’t mean we listen, and just because we have eyesight, it doesn’t mean we look. The curiosity to look without projecting an illusion is harder than I ever imagined. Looking without expectation, with courage to see the truth, is one of the hardest things I have come to learn. Your willingness is your biggest asset; wanting to be or do anything is the beginning of truly becoming the driver of your own life. 

 

Shine Brighter Every Day is published on May 12th, and is available to preorder now.

The Easy Indian Cookbook by Manju Malhi comes out next month, and we decided to take a look at some of the beautiful ingredients which Manju introduces in more detail at the beginning of the book. First-time cooks often find the number of spices and ingredients used in Indian cuisine to be quite daunting – but the simple truth is that preparing an Indian meal is very straightforward. Mastering just a few basic techniques and becoming familiar with some of the essential ingredients will strip away the mystery and make preparing Indian food less time-consuming, much more satisfying and incredibly rewarding.

YOGURT (DAHI)
An essential ingredient in Indian cooking, yogurt is a staple for many vegetarians and many homes in India still make their own practically every day. There are countless uses for yogurt but the main ones are making yogurt drinks and chutneys, such as raitas, and using yogurt as a souring agent, a thickening agent, a meat tenderizer and a flavour enhancer.The yogurt in India comes from buffalo’s milk and is thick and rich. Greek-style yogurt and natural unsweetened yogurt are the nearest substitutes.

 

BAY LEAF (TEJ PATTA)
The type of bay leaf used in Indian cooking is the leaf of the cassia tree. These leaves are long, thin and light green in colour, with a mellow, spicy aroma and a sweet taste. In Indian cooking, the bay leaf is used as a flavouring in meat and rice dishes and it is an important component in the Moghul style of cuisine. One or two dried leaves are sufficient to scent a dish and they can be removed easily before serving.

 

CURRY LEAF (KARI PATTA)
These small, shiny leaves, about 2.5cm/1in long, are used whole in Indian cooking, much like bay leaves. The leaves, which have a citrus scent, lend a dish a distinct curry aroma. Curry leaves are generally heated in oil to release their flavour. Once heated, they look shrivelled and crispy. Fresh curry leaves can be stored in a sealed plastic bag in the fridge for up to 1 week.

 

DRIED BEANS
After lentils, dried beans are the second-most common pulse consumed in India. They need soaking and the longer you store them, the longer you need to cook them because they toughen with age. The green split mung bean (moong dal) is light and delicate when cooked, looking cream or yellow in colour with flecks of green.

CHICKPEA OR GRAM FLOUR (BESAN)
This flour is pale yellow in colour, silky in texture and has a pleasant, nutty aroma. It is used in the preparation of both savoury and sweet Indian dishes. Be careful not to confuse gram flour with graham flour, which is made from wheat. Like all flours, gram flour should be stored in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight, as exposure to heat can cause it to go off and take on a stale, rancid taste.

 

RICE FLOUR (CHAWAL KA ATTA)
Rice flour is a fine, white powder made from grinding white long grain rice. Free from gluten, it is often used in Indian cooking as an alternative to wheat flour to make Indian-style flatbreads such as South Indian appams or soft breads. Rice flour also acts as a binding and thickening agent. You can make your own rice flour by pulverizing uncooked Basmati rice grains in an electric grinder but it is also available in speciality shops and in most supermarkets.

The Easy Indian Cookbook is available from 10th March.

 

Whether you’re taking part in Veganuary and looking for inspiration, or have been eating plant-based for ages and just want to freshen up your weekday menu, we’ve got some great books for you to check out.

 

Rose Elliot’s Complete Vegan 

Rose Elliot has been at the forefront of vegan and vegetarian food writing for over 35 years. In this book,
Rose gives readers a masterclass on vegan cookery, with over 150 recipes from basics including vegan milks, butters, cheeses and creams to breakfasts, labor-light midweek mains, spectacular dishes for entertaining and delicious desserts and baked goods.

The recipes range from the comforting and familiar like Vegan Macaroni Cheese to more exotic fare, such as a fragrant Aubergine Pilaf Cake. Following a vegan diet doesn’t mean missing out on your favourite foods!

 

Virtually Vegan

This modern collection unlocks a whole host of inspirational vegan dishes – with delicious suggestions of meat and dairy variations to add in the later stages for those who want it.

Try a classic breakfast of Vegeree (eggs optional), master the ultimate lentil and ale pie, or enjoy the flavours of a niÇoise salad (with or without fish). And with a dedicated, dairy-free baking section, learn how to make sweet treats that everyone can enjoy.

With over 120 delicious, flexible recipes, from Sort of Sushi to Almost Paella, rice pudding to pavlova, discover how easy it is to eat vegan (or not!) whenever you want.

 

The Best Gluten Free & Dairy Free Baking Recipes 

 

Grace Cheetham reveals how to perfect the art of baking without gluten and dairy. Try your hand at Thyme Biscuits or Olive & Rosemary Foccacia for a delicious snack, make a quick Fig, Rosemary & Olive Pizza for friends and family, or go for full-on indulgence and bake Chocolate & Beet Cake, Fondant Fancies or Passion Fruit & Coconut Cheesecake (or all three!)

 

You’ll find straightforward instructions carefully worked out to keep cakes moist, pastries and pies in once piece, and cookies with just the right amount of crunch. Grace offers up a whole host of delicious treats so that you don’t have to give up on one of life’s greatest pleasures.

From steaming to stir frying, deep-frying to braising and even smoking, I Love My Wok will show you exactly how versatile the wok really is. Showcasing over 100 delicious and nutritious recipes for all occasions, Nicola Graimes shows how one pan really can do it all.

To showcase these fantastic recipes we have chosen just three of our favourite recipes…

Golden Purses

Serves: 4, Prep Time: 15 minutes, Cooking Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

1 tbsp. sunflower oil (plus extra for deep-frying

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

5 spring onions/scallions, finely chopped

5cm/2in piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped

250g/9oz minced/ground chicken

2 tsp. Chinese rice wine or dry sherry

20 wonton wrappers

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Sweet chilli sauce, for dipping

 

Method:

  1. Heat a wok until hot. Add 1 tablespoon of oil, then the garlic, spring onions, ginger and chicken and stir-fry for 4 minutes until cooked through.

 

  1. Pour in the soy sauce and wine and cook, stirring for a further minute or until all the liquid has evaporated. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

 

  1. Place one wonton wrapper on a flat surface, keeping the others covered with a damp cloth. Put a tablespoon of the chicken filling in the middle of the wrapper. Brush the wrapper with a little water, then gather the sides up around the filling and pinch together to make a bag, enclosing the filling. Set on one side, covered with a damp cloth. Repeat with remaining wrappers and filling.

 

  1. Heat enough oil in the wok to deep-fry the filled wontons. When the oil is hot enough to brown a day-old cube of bread in 35 seconds, add 3-4 wontons and cook for 1-2 minutes until golden. Repeat with the remaining wonton.

 

  1. Serve immediately with sweet chilli sauce, for dipping.

 

 

Yakisoba Noodles

Serves: 4

Prep Time: 15 minutes

(plus 1 hour marinating time)

Cooking Time: 25 minutes

 

 

Ingredients:

350g/12oz firm tofu, drained, patted dry and cubed

250g/9oz dried ramen noodles

2 tbsp. rice vinegar

1 tbsp. tomato ketchup

2 tbsp. vegetarian ‘oyster’ sauce

1 tsp. soft light brown sugar

1 tbsp. sunflower oil, plus extra for greasing

1 tbsp. sesame oil

5cm/2in piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped

1 red pepper, sliced

1 carrot, sliced diagonally

2 courgettes/ zucchini, slice diagonally

250g/ 9oz Chinese leaves, shredded

6 spring onions/scallions, white and green parts separated, sliced diagonally

Handful of toasted sesame seeds

 

For the marinade:

3tbsp Japanese soy sauce

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 tbsp. sweet chili sauce

3 tbsp. mirin

 

Method:

  1. Mix together all the marinade ingredients in a dish. Add the tofu and stir to coat. Leave for 1 hour, turning the tofu occasionally. Drain, reserving the marinade for later.

 

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/ 350°F/ Gas 4. Put the tofu on a lightly oiled baking sheet and roast in the oven for 20 minutes, turning halfway, until crisp and golden.

 

  1. Meanwhile, cook the noodles following the packet instructions. Rinse, refresh under cold running water and set on one side. Mix together the rice vinegar, ketchup, oyster sauce and sugar in a small bowl and set on one side.

 

  1. Heat a wok until hot. Add the oils, then toss in the ginger, red pepper and carrot and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the courgette/ zucchini, Chinese leaves and the white part of the spring onions/scallions and stir-fry for another 2 minutes.

 

  1. Mix the rice vinegar mixture and the reserved marinade together and add to the wok with the cooked noodles. Toss over a medium heat until combined and heated through, then serve with the tofu, sesame seeds and the green part of the spring onions/scallions sprinkled over the top.

 

Crispy Pork Balls with Spinach

Serves: 4, Prep Time: 20 minutes, plus 30 minutes chilling, Cooking Time: 20 minutes

 

Ingredients:

500g/ 1lb 2oz. lean pork fillets, roughly chopped

2 birds eye chillies, deseeded and thinly sliced

5cm/2in piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped

Handful of fresh coriander/cilantro leaves, roughly chopped

2 sticks lemongrass, peeled and finely chopped

4 spring onions/scallions, chopped

4 tbsp. groundnut oil

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 tsp. mustard seeds

½ tsp. chilli powder

500g/ 1lb 2 oz. fresh spinach, tough stalks removed

4 tbsp. Chinese rice wine or dry sherry

3 tbsp. light soy sauce

1 tsp. sugar

Juice of 2 limes

Salt and freshly ground black pepper.

 

Method:

  1. Put the pork, bird’s eye chillies, ginger, coriander/cilantro leaves, lemongrass and spring onions/scallions in a food processor and process to form a coarse paste. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then form into 16 walnut-sized balls and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

 

  1. Heat half the oil in a wok and fry the pork balls, four at a time, for 4 minutes, turning occasionally, until golden. Add more oil if necessary before cooking the next batch and keep the cooked balls warm while cooking the remainder.

 

  1. Wipe the wok clean; pour in the remaining oil and heat. Add the garlic and mustard seeds and stir-fry for 30 seconds, then add the chilli powder, spinach, rice wine, soy sauce and sugar. Stir-fry for 2 minutes, then add the lime juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve, topped with the warm pork balls.

 

Nicola Graimes is an award-winning cookery writer and former editor of Vegetarian Living magazine. She has written more than 20 books, including The Top 100 Recipes for a Healthy Lunchbox, The Big Book of Wok, The Big Book of Low-Carb Recipes, Veggienomics, The New Vegetarian Kitchen (that was chosen as one of OFM‘s Top 50 Cookbooks of the Year) and The Part-Time Vegetarian for Nourish.

 

‘I Love My Wok’ is available to buy from the 17th August 2017 from Nourish.