An open letter to omnivores… 

Seriously who thought fuck face Omnivores would’ve been telling you that you had to have meat. That she was a chosen one and (me) simply loved such a  calling and needed help with my game.

Well I’m here to tell you that you have no damn right to tell me how the right way to eat protein is. We, as  humans have found a way to eat protein no matter what the asshole behind us in the queue said.

Meat-eaters will never stop asking and vegans always get sick of hearing it:
“How do you get your protein?”
The image of a skinny (not to mention gangly and dread-headed) hippie has typically been the poster child of veganism. After all, there’s no way we can be muscular, fit and even bulky as vegans, right?
Wrong.
Vegan athletes like Brendan Brazier, Rich Roll, and Jimi Sitko are changing the negative stereotypes, proving that plant-based protein can not only build strong muscles, but can keep a vegan healthy enough to run, swim, bike, dance or pump iron – no flesh-eating necessary.
So how do you get your protein? Here are 10 vegan sources to try on for size:
1. Veggies: Yep, good old greens will pack a protein punch. One cup of cooked spinach has about 7 grams of protein. The same serving of French beans has about 13 grams. Two cups of cooked kale? 5 grams. One cup of boiled peas? Nine grams. You get the idea.

 

2. Hemp. No, you don’t have to get high to get your protein. But toss 30 grams of hemp powder in your smoothie and get about 11 grams of protein – just like that.

 

3. Non-Dairy Milk. Got (soy) milk? A mere 1 cup of soy or almond milk can pack about 7-9 grams of protein. Eat with some fortified cereal and you’ve got a totally vegan-friendly breakfast.

 

4. Nut Butter. Eat up your peanut butter, almond butter and cashew butter. A couple of tablespoons of any one of these will get you 8 grams of protein.

 

5. Quinoa. I kinda think quinoa is God’s gift to vegans (and gluten-free peeps!), as it’s versatile, delicious and delivers about 9 grams of protein per cup.
6. Tofu. Four ounces of tofu will get you about 9 grams of protein. And at about 2 bucks a pop, it’s a cheap vegan’s BFF.

 

7. Lentils. With lentils, you can make rice dishes, veggie burgers, casseroles and more. One cup cooked delivers a whopping 18 grams of protein!
8. Beans. They really are the magical fruit. With one cup of pinto, kidney or black beans, you’ll get about 13-15 grams of protein, a full belly and heart-healthy fiber.

 

9. Tempeh. One cup of tempeh packs abour 30 grams of protein! That’s more than 5 eggs or a regular hamburger patty.

 

10. Sprouted-grain bread. Pack a sandwich with vegan sprouted-grain bread and you’ll get about 10 grams of protein in the bread alone.

 

Still want to ask me where I get my protein? Yeah. That’s what I thought.

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Clootie Dumpling – my favourite Scottish desert…

A traditional dessert pudding called clootie dumpling is made with flour, breadcrumbs, dried fruit (sultanas and currants), suet, sugar and spice with some milk to bind it, and sometimes golden syrup. Ingredients are mixed well into a dough, then wrapped up in a floured cloth, placed in a large pan of boiling water and simmered for a couple of hours before being lifted out and dried before the fire or in an oven. Recipes vary from region to region e.g. in North Fife and Dundee it is not common to use breadcrumbs but the use of treacle is common.
Here is my favourite way to make it:
Preparation time

30 mins to 1 hour

 

Cooking time

over 2 hours

Serves 8

Ingredients

225g (8oz) plain flour, plus 25g (1oz) for sprinkling

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1 tsp mixed spice

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground ginger

¼tsp sea salt

175g/6oz caster sugar, plus 1 tbsp for sprinkling

100g/4oz shredded suet

100g/4oz sultanas

75g/3oz currants

75g/3oz chopped stoned dates

50g/2oz Muscatel raisins

1 apple or carrot, coarsely grated

1 tbsp black treacle

1 medium farm-fresh egg

150ml/5fl oz buttermilk

225g/8oz clotted cream

Method

Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda, spices and salt into a bowl and stir in the sugar, suet, dried fruits, and the grated carrot or apple. 

Mix the black treacle with the egg and some of the buttermilk and mix into the dry ingredients to give soft mixture with a cake-like dropping consistency.

Dip a large piece of muslin, an old pillowcase, a pudding cloth or a tea towel into boiling water, remove it and squeeze out the excess water. Lay it out on a surface and sprinkle a 30cm/12in circle in the centre with the 25g/1oz of flour and the 1 tbsp of caster sugar. Spoon pudding mixture on top and tie securely with string, leaving a little room for the pudding to expand. 

Rest a large heatproof trivet or container in the base of a large pan so that the pudding is not in direct contact with the heat. Place the pudding on the trivet/container, knotted side up. Pour in enough water almost to cover the pudding, cover with a tight-fitting lid and simmer gently for 3-4 hours. Take a peek every now and then and then to check the water level and top it up if necessary.

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Lift the pudding out of the pan and dip it briefly in a bowl of cold water (to ensure that the outside of the pudding does not stick to an ovenproof serving plate). Then remove remove the cloth and place the pudding on an ovenproof dish/plate. Slide it into the oven and leave it for 15 minutes until the outside of the pudding has dried off. 

Serve in chunky wedges with scoops of clotted cream.