Review

Bed and Broccoli

World Vegan Day is this Sunday, and it's also the release date of this vegan cookbook by Australia’s first vegan bed and breakfast.

Broccoli-review

Product details

Product name: Bed & Broccoli... a very special vegan experience

Reviewer: Alycia Crofton

Price: $49.99

G Rating:

5

Following a vegan diet is often associated with missing out good food and giving up some enjoyment in life.

But Nikki and Scott Medwell prove that a vegan lifestyle means great food, and an ethically-richer lifestyle than they’d ever imagined.

It was the lack of travel accommodation options, combined with their passion for a vegan lifestyle, that prompted the Medwell's to open the first vegan bed and breakfast (B&B) in Australia – Bed & Broccoli, in Katandra West, Victoria.

The couple haven’t looked back, having recently been awarded Highly Commended in the Accommodation category of the 2014 Green Lifestyle Awards. The Bed & Broccoli duo truly are green movers and shakers, as the UN released another report earlier this year saying that globally, we need a 60 per cent reduction in consumption of animal products to properly address land use, hunger, and climate change.

For the Medwell’s, starting their B&B was not only about showing their guests the benefits of a vegan lifestyle, it was also an opportunity to accommodate rescued farm animals.

Not just a cookbook, Bed & Broccoli is the story of why the Medwell’s became vegan, and why you the reader might be considering a similar change. The book covers other aspects of sustainable living – such as preserving food and installing solar panels – and focuses on the importance of connecting with animals to find motivation in a vegan life. This includes a tribute to Miss Dinks, their first rescue hen, whose personality and triumph over illness captured the attention and hearts of the local and online community; she is a symbol of the Bed & Broccoli ideals beyond just eating non-animal products.

Nikki creates dishes that remind us of ‘traditional’ meals, especially those with happy Aussie childhood memories. Her meals are about bringing joy and excitement to food – they’re visually appetising, and full of flavour to satisfy all manner of tastes and cravings. Her recipes also come with the knowledge of eating food made with true appreciation of the ingredients, animals, and the environment.

Most dishes are surprisingly quick and simple, using herbs and spices to enhance fresh veg – always making an appearance as the main stars of the show. The Butter Bean dip, for example, is a brilliant idea that requires just one step in a food processor. This book is aspirational in proving that vegan cooking can actually be easier than meat-based meals, as there’s less time needed to fuss about to get the meat cooked just right.

From soups, sausages and jams, Nikki also ventures into faux meats such as ‘tofurkey’ and ‘tofish’ which really do look just like the real thing. Vegan staples like seitan or egg replacements are necessary to replicate these foods, but they are also substitutable (and other suggestions are provided for gluten-free). Nikki implores readers not to stray from the recipes she’s made in order to realise just how satisfying they can be. There are also plenty of dishes to try without having first purchased the harder to source ingredients in a vegan pantry. Desserts are tempting, and with treats like Peanut Butter and Strawberry Jam Cupcakes, or the Cointreau Orange Cheesecake, there is definitely no missing-out here!

Beautiful photos of the Bed & Broccoli property and animals that roam free fill the book, reiterating that living vegan is a lifestyle, not just a diet. The only thing that would make the book better is if it was printed on Forestry Stewardship Council-certified paper, but this really is a practical manual and guide for making the transition to a more compassionate lifestyle – with just a hint of sticking it to the big food corporations to boot.

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We have 3 copies of this gorgeous book to give away – click here for your chance to win!

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