If you’re coming here as a new vegan or perhaps someone who is just curious about the concept of veganism, I’d like to applaud you for having an open mind and the courage to try something new. You can’t tell from here, but if I met you in person I’d be squealing in excitement about the possibility of a new vegan friend. But for now, let’s settle for virtual high fives.
Let’s face it: making the switch to veganism ain’t easy. For that first little while, your thoughts run immediately to all your favourite foods that are now off the list—and that list seems to run long the first time you think about it. It’s a process we all go through. And then, the first time you experience someone publicly making fun of or questioning your new lifestyle, or you’re out for a meal with no apparent vegan options in sight, you want to immediately run back to what’s familiar and acceptable. Animal foods have probably permeated your life since infancy when you started eating solid foods, and that deeply ingrained acceptance and routine is hard to change.
A practical resource and cookbook in one, The New Vegan offers helpful and humerous advice and over 90 tempting recipes to get you started. Although I think the recipes are the star of this book, Aine also sets out to answer all the key questions that come up as a new vegan, and covers vegan-friendly fashion and beauty products too—including how to make your own.
Her recipes are designed to make the transition as easy as possible, and yet they are innovative enough to pique the interests of long-time vegans who have cooked their way through all the cookbooks they already own. From breakfasts like savory Indian-style crepes and mix-and-match overnight oats, satisfying snacks like crunchy chipotle chickpeas and healthy meals like layered no-bake pesto tart, to tempting desserts like sticky bourbon baklava, this book has been fun to cook through over the last few weeks. Plus, most of the recipes are complemented by gorgeous photography by Nassima Rothacker.
So far, I’ve made the spicy jerk-style cauliflower steaks, the easy, banana-flavoured no-bake granola bars, the wholesome and easy-to-make broccoli and quinoa bites, and of course this crunchy, zingy, summer-style fig and grapefruit granola. I highly recommend adding this granola to your summer breakfast repertoire. It’s particularly good with almond milk and topped with blueberries, grapefruit segments and more dried figs, or to simply snack on by the handful.
Thanks to Aine for putting her efforts into another beautiful book, and to Kyle Books for allowing me to share this recipe with you. Enjoy!
Yield: Serves 8 to 10
1. Preheat the oven to 325°F.
2. Place the oats, ginger, and lemon zest in a baking pan, stir to combine, and gently toast in the oven for about 10 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, melt the coconut oil in a small saucepan before whisking in the grapefruit juice and the agave or maple syrup until combined.
4. Crush the hazelnuts and pistachios in a mortar and pestle (leaving a few whole) and set aside. Pulverize the seeds in a mortar and pestle or mini food processor and coarsely chop the ﬁgs. Stir everything through the toasted oats until fully combined.
5. Pour over the syrup mix and coat thoroughly. Spread the mixture out on a large baking sheet and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, shaking every 10 minutes to prevent sticking. Remove from the oven and let cool completely before transferring to a storage jar. The granola will keep for about two weeks.
Recipe from Áine Carlin’s The New Vegan. Republished with permission from Kyle Books.