vegan cooking

My previous blog post was in January 2020 on giving up shipping containers, and before that on the problem with pets in October 2019 and fairly regularly before that. The problem has been Covid. I wrote 1000 words every day for 12 weeks during the first lockdown but it was haphazard stuff, some commentary on the situation, some personal, not really suitable for putting online. After that I wrote several versions of an article I was invited to write for an essay collection. All that time I was ‘shielding’ hiding in fear of the virus, because of bring ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ as a result of surgery needed following a car crash. I honestly feel pathetic and so I was determined to write something – anything! – just to get going again.

I’m writing this on 2 January 2021 when people are again being encouraged to be vegan for a month: ‘veganuary’ as it’s called, and a piece in the Guardian on 3 February 2020 reported that 400,000 people worldwide signed up last year. There is masses of information online on how to do this, vegan recipes and plenty of adverts for vegan products, very often ready meals and that kind of thing. I am writing about it on my Tagoreanworld blog because I’ve recently completed an article on Tagore and education and this was part of the conclusion:

In my writing on Tagore I have always seen his relevance, his hopes for a new dawn, as connected to movements like permaculture, out of which the Transition network emerged in recent years, to help local groups turn to local food growing, and local craft skills and creativity.[1] The charity Plants For A Future which I have been managing for fifteen years also emerged out of permaculture, and provides an internationally important online database with details of thousands of useful plants for designers of food forests to choose from.[2]

Plants For A Future was started thirty years ago by Ken and Addy Fern as a veganorganic research project. I have not been vegan myself for all that time but most of my cooking has been vegan and for almost three years I have been exclusively vegan – with the aim of also being ethically vegan, which means keeping to a set of rules about the fruits we eat and the vegetables I cook with being grown as locally as possible, ideally home grown, or sourced from a local veg box service, or grown in the UK and sold in a local greengrocer, and where I use ingredients from further afield, I make some other form of pledge such as fair traded or from a local health food shop.

Today I made curry with rice and dal. The main vegetables in the curry were locally grown: cauliflower, carrots, swede, potatoes, onions. Other ingredients such as rice, red lentils, chickpeas, ginger, garlic, red pepper, creamed cocoanut, spices came from further afield. Herbs came from our garden. I don’t use recipes but here are photos of the food being cooked and as served up.


[1] Transition Network, [accessed 29/12/20]

[2] Christine Marsh, ‘Spreading the Food Forest Revolution with Edible Perennials’, [accessed 29/12/20]

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