Today I'm making a vegan black eyed bean soup which is crammed full of healthy vegetables, making a chunky soup that will fill the emptiest of bellies but also bursting with bold flavours to satisfy the most demanding of taste buds. It's easy double or triple up the quantities to make ahead and freeze for next week's lunches.

Chunky Ginger and Black Eyed Bean Soup

Gavin Wren Recipes, Soup, Vegan, Vegetarian

About 10 years ago I lost a lot of weight. Over 4 stone to be exact, it also proved to be a turning point in the food history of my life, it was a time when seismic change occurred to some of my most deeply ingrained, English eating habits. Soup became my new lunchtime God, eschewing the bread it replaced, leading me to hunt high and low to find or create the perfect, filling, tasty soup. This vegetarian ginger and black eyed bean soup is my latest effort, and boy, it’s a good’un. Death of the Sandwich. I gave up eating sandwiches. That stalwart of the lunch table, which had filled my boots and nurtured me through my childhood, adolescence and twenties, into the tall, strong and fat man I became by the age of 30. Bread had been so integral to my life that I had barely chosen…
Should I eat meat? fishing

Should I Eat Meat? Part 1 – Fishing

Gavin Wren Food Opinion Pieces, The World of Food

Last week I wrote about my moral dilemma around eating meat. I've decided it's morally incongruous to eat meat if I'm not prepared to kill, butcher and cook some animals with my own hands. As a city dweller, I've never experienced the killing and preparation of meat, or going fishing for my dinner, because they've been far removed from my daily lifestyle. The only way for me to resolve this dilemma is to go out and kill some animals, then prepare and cook them, before reflecting on how I feel about the process.

My recent holiday in Goa, on the west cost of India, should have provided abundant opportunities to head out to sea and catch some fish to begin exploring this dilemma. Whilst there I decided to embrace the chance to seek out and... come and read more...
A filling and sustaining chunky soup loaded with goodness and hearty ingredients. This chunky butternut squash and lentil soup is a meal-in-a-bowl which virtually becomes a stew as the liquid is almost entirely soaked up by the lentils, chickpeas and squash. The Indian influenced spices have come in to play, featuring a warming host of flavours which will warm your cockles even when the temperature's so cold that the central heating doesn't. It's so good that it's my lunch bowl for the next three weeks, yes, I've just made a triple batch of this, giving me a happy fridge and freezer full of lunchtime joy.

Chunky Butternut Squash and Lentil Soup

Gavin Wren Recipes, Soup, Vegan, Vegetarian

Today I’ve got a fantastically filling, Indian influenced, chunky butternut squash and lentil soup with chickpeas that will keep your tummy filled, your body fuelled and your cockles warmed throughout the coldest days of the winter. Fantastic India. I’ve just returned from a truly beautiful holiday in Goa, India, where I spent three weeks doing yoga, laying by the sea, reading and travelling across the width of the country to the eastern city of Ranchi, to visit my 93 year old, Canadian resident great uncle. I rarely see him, as we’re separated by 4,368 miles and the Atlantic Ocean, but we had both travelled to India for our Christmas breaks this year, so travelling a mere 1,200 miles across India to see him was the itinerant equivalent of popping down the road to meet for a coffee. We had a lovely time and I hope I’m still flying to the…
Should I eat meat?

Should I Eat Meat?

Gavin Wren Food Education, Food Opinion Pieces, The World of Food

Background. I’m having an existential crisis. The foundations of my culinary world are being rocked to their core, because asked myself the question “should I eat meat?”. The best way to describe my diet is flexitarian. I eat everything, however almost every meal I prepare at home is vegetarian, I rarely ever cook meat and buy fish once a week. If I try new recipes from cookbooks or blogs, they are almost exclusively vegetarian and the new recipes I create are almost exclusively vegetarian (hence this blog being 99% vegetarian). Despite this largely vegetarian lifestyle, there’s no underlying urge to become a full-blown vegetarian, because some of my favourite dishes involve meat. I’m an absolute sucker for raw meat and fish, I start salivating at the thought of a sashimi platter or steak tartare. The problem is that I’ve become obsessed with the moral implications of eating meat. I recently…
Melanzane in Saor is an amazing vegetarian and vegan aubergine (eggplant) dish in a sweet and slightly sour sauce, which is unique to Venice and follows a proud history of Italian food using love, respect and time to get the best of the ingredients. It's a serious make ahead dish, needing 2 days to mature but worth the wait for those fantastic flavours and perfect for buffet spreads or picnics.

Melanzane in Saor (aubergine)

Gavin Wren Recipes, Side dishes, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Today I’m recounting an amazing Italian dish called ‘melanzane in saor’, or aubergine ‘in Saor’. It’s a very simple yet beautifully balanced Italian dish that has sweet and sour flavours that work just beautifully together. The age is the important thing, you need to make this dish well in advance to let the flavours develop, it’s perfect to make a day ahead for a buffet spread or to take along to a picnic, but don’t hurry it. If there’s one thing that Italian cooking has ever taught me, it’s that love and respect are the ingredients that make food beauteous. Visiting Venice. Just over a year ago I visited Venice, one of the most confoundingly beautiful places I’ve ever been to. I expected hustle, bustle, noise and expensive food, which was entirely correct, however I hadn’t prepared myself for the heart and soul of Venice, which is the important part.…
Make celeriac the most popular side dish on the table this year with my honey glazed celeriac recipe which sees this vegetable dish dripping with honey and rich, dark caramelised colours. Easily cooked in one pan on the stove, this vegetarian dish is just as good served up next to a piece of fish or meat.

Honey Glazed Celeriac

Gavin Wren Recipes, Side dishes, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Today I’m having a reflective look at my life before launching into the recipe of the day which is honey glazed celeriac. This is a true barnstormer of a recipe that passed my unfailing recipe test… can I eat the whole lot in one go. Without doubt, yes. It’s also an incredibly easy way to make this ugly root become the most popular dish on the table, just chuck it in the pan and leave it to cook down and caramelise into lovely sweet hunks of veg. Digging About in my Past. Whilst bumbling through the archives of my writing yesterday, I happened across an unpublished piece I wrote in the first week of 2016. It’s a quasi-rant surrounding the excesses of Christmas accompanied by a creative piece of photography, one of the few examples where I have composited two images to create the impossible, it’s an image that defies…