Cookbook Review: The Occasional Vegan

It took me years to go fully vegan. I was vegetarian on and off for a long time before dipping my toe into veganism, but old favourites and comfort food often tempted me back. When I went vegan four years ago, finding cake I could eat was a rare treat and I often felt left out or not very well catered for at most restaurants.

Now we’ve never had it so good and junk food is all around. Supermarkets and restaurants are catching up with vegan offerings and bloggers are inspiring us all with their creative concoctions. Alongside nourishing dishes and macro-meeting meals, we can veganise our childhood food and recreate nostalgic eats we crave. This is exactly what Sarah Philpott has done in her cookbook, The Occasional Vegan.

Vegan food can seem intimidating to the uninitiated and I’m often asked ‘what DO you eat?’. My answer is always ‘EVERYTHING’ and I now have this book to back me up. The Occasional Vegan is full of so many of my favourite foods like curry, spaghetti bolognese, hearty soup and comforting cake. My trashy student staple Pot Noodle has had a healthy homemade makeover too and I can even recreate fast food favourites including KFC and fish and chips! The Kentucky Fried Cauliflower is particularly exciting and that spice blend is one I’ll be reusing again and again.

I love that these recipes are so simple, without any intimidating ingredients. I can whip up an easy and impressive dish with things I already have in the cupboard. Sarah’s recipes may be simple but they’re not lacking in flavour, comfort or creativity. One of my favourite inventions of hers is the sweet potato kiev! A tasty take on childhood freezer food.

This book will be well used in my kitchen as it’s full of handy tips, nutritional information and measuring guides alongside the brilliant recipes. If you’re looking for accessible, unpretentious vegan food to impress even the most sceptical friends and family, then this is the book to cook from.

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