There are some strange food awareness days, National Tartar Sauce Day and National Melba Toast Day to name just a few hundred, but one day which deserves to be recognised is Plant Power Day.
Not so long ago, you would have recoiled at the thought of a day which is about eating plants, I mean what’s nice about digesting a conifer?
We are obviously now much better educated and of course we are talking about a vegan diet that focuses around foods derived from plant sources. This can include fruit, vegetables, grains, pulses, legumes, nuts and meat substitutes such as soy products.
The rise in meat-free plant-based diets is incredible.
Demand for meat-free food has increased by almost 1,000% in the last few years and the total value of the UK plant-based market was £443 million in 2018, so it’s fair to say that this is not a fad!
There are several reasons why people have made the move towards plant-based food. For some it’s because they have become vegan (although 92% of plant-based meals consumed in the UK in 2018 were eaten by non-vegans) while for others it’s more to do with the environmental benefits (a plant-based diet cuts the use of land by 76% and halves the greenhouse gases and other pollution that are caused by food production).
Regardless of why people choose this path, as a chef, I think it all comes down to the quality of the food you eat and undoubtedly, there’s never been a better time to opt for a plant-based diet, with so many amazing meals no available.
Plant Power Day Origins
It’s at this stage that I would like to doff my chef’s hat to Alpro, the company behind Plant Power Day for their Plant Based Bucket, a vegan twist on a friend chicken and chips meal.
Described as the first fully edible takeaway and available to order (today only) in London and Manchester via Deliveroo, it features vegan chicken nuggets, sweet potato fries, and a garlic dip. The coup de grace though is that it is served in an edible bucket made from nuts, seeds and spices.
Now, I would love to say everything you see in the picture we have taken for this week’s Plant Power Day-inspired recipe is edible, but surprisingly, I couldn’t get the SK staff who tasted my vegan kidney bean and lentil kofta to also try the plate and wooden stick!
Vegan kidney bean and lentil kofta
- 200g red kidney beans
- 200g green lentils
- 60g potato flake
- 1 tsp garlic puree
- 1 tsp ginger puree
- pinch of salt
- 1 tbsp parsley
- 1 tbsp oregano
- 25ml water
- 1 tsp dried chilli (or to taste)
- Place all the ingredients into a food processor to combine to a coarse mix. Form the mixture into discs of approx. 25g each. Place on a baking tray and bake in a 185oC oven for 12 – 15 minutes.
Red pepper and tomato compote:
- 250g chopped tomato (tinned is fine)
- 75g diced onion
- 30g tomato paste
- 125g diced red pepper
- 10g garlic puree
- 15g rapeseed oil
- 10ml red wine vinegar
- In a pan ‘sweat’ the onions in the oil until soft, then add the red peppers, tomatoes and garlic and cook until fully combined and most of the liquid has gone (approx. 5-10 mins).
- Then add the red wine vinegar and cook until all the liquid has evaporated. Allow to cool.
- Serve the kofta and compote with hummus and salad.