Aimee Ryan is the Brighton-based food writer behind vegan recipe blog Wallflower Kitchen. Her debut cookbook (White Lion Publishing, £20) is for people who, like her, love nostalgic, traditional British home cooking, but want to follow a plant-based diet.
After turning vegan in 2014, Ryan was determined not to give up her favourite childhood meals, and has set out to “veganise” her beloved British eats with easy, everyday recipes.
Ryan promises her well-tested, appealingly photographed dishes will be easy to prepare and taste familiar. Her ingredient guide sets out simple vegan swaps and must-haves, such as nori seaweed for a fishy taste (ideal in her tofu, beer-battered “tofish” and chips), kala namak (black salt) for an eggy taste, and nutritional yeast for a cheesy, savoury flavour.
Chapters include “pub grub”, weeknight dinners, afternoon tea and British bakes (hello, vegan Victoria sponge and “cheese” scones). She cleverly recreates such carnivorous comforts as crispy bacon strips with rice sheets (seasoned with soy sauce, balsamic and maple syrup), bangers and mash, Lancashire hot pot and Sunday roasts.
A cold, uncertain start to the new year called for hearty, warming crowd-pleasers; hence why I plumped to try Ryan’s cider and bean stew and her meat-free take on shepherd’s pie with champ mash, followed by a seasonal pud.