It’s been a while since my last blog post, which is partly due to some things that have been out of my control. It’s always a bit weird over the holiday season anyway, but add to that travelling to the US with a big time difference and the flu (Andrew and I spent the first 6 days here in bed), and it’s just not going to happen. I did want to do one more post before we sneak out of 2016 though – to look back at what this year has meant for me and the vegan community. It’s been a interesting year for sure, full of some pretty high highs and low lows.
Here are some stats from 2016:
Top blog posts:
- Singapore noodles
- My favourite restaurants in Leicester
- Chicken style seitan
- The Leicester Vegan Fair preview
- The Leicester Vegan Fair review
2016 was the year of experimentation for me. I tried so many new dishes (many of which are not on the blog, yet), and I really feel like I’ve found my groove in the kitchen. It helps that we finally finished the kitchen renovation this summer (after 2 years!). Some of the recipes I posted on the blog this year include palak paneer, crispy avocado and jalapeño tacos, freekeh salad with chive mustard dressing, jackfruit crab cakes, tom kha soup, garlic and herb dip, Singapore noodles and chicken style seitan.
2016 was also a great year for travel. I discovered just how easy it’s becoming to travel as a vegan, no matter where in the world you are. I started off the year in Tucson, with a little snowboard trip to Telluride (where we also stopped off in the Grand Canyon). In May we did a short weekend trip to Lyon where we hung out with an old friend (best friends since we were 7!), and included one lovely night in Paris. In July I visited my dad in NYC where I got to hang out with my twin sister and introduce her to just some of the amazing vegan restaurants in the city. Too much food, too little time. In September Andrew and I went to Cyprus for our summer holiday. Not the most veggie-friendly place, but we made it work. In October we spent a day wandering around Cambridge and stumbled upon a delicious sushi restaurant. Also in October, Andrew and I spent 2 nights in Bath for our wedding anniversary (number 6!). It was a magical weekend, and I couldn’t believe how vegan friendly the city is. In December we spent 2 nights in Porto to watch Leicester City in the Champions League. Porto was an amazing place, and the vegan buffets we sampled were just perfect.
This year I did a couple interviews and contributed a few vegan recipes – including an original one made just for Wayfair:
- Guest recipe, jackfruit tacos, One Green Planet
- Guest recipe, tom kha soup, Leicester Market
- Interview: My vegan story, Vegan Banana
- Spring vegetable tarte recipe, Wayfair
- Interview: Lindsay aka Leicester Veggie, Friends With Salad
I was delighted to see that Leicester has gone from strength to strength in terms of becoming a vegan foodie destination. This year we had our first ever vegan market, held at the historic covered market in the city centre. It was such a great success, they held a second one just weeks later. In November the market returned to a different location, but that didn’t seem to stop people from coming in droves.
There were also several new restaurants that popped up, offering vegan options on the menu like Bodega Cantina. And then there were the Vegan Grindhouse takeovers of Brewdog Leicester – the first was a Mexican themed night, and the second was surf and turf.
In all, it’s been a busy, successful year and a really positive one for veganism. I had hoped to do a blog post on Veganuary, but I ran out of time. If you are a meat eater or a vegetarian and want to see what veganism’s all about (without the full commitment), I would definitely recommend giving it a go for the month of January. The Veganuary website is an extremely useful resource, and I promise you won’t regret it!
In terms of what I’m looking forward to for 2017, I guess it’s more of the same. I hope we continue to see veganism grow, more restaurants and chains hop on board, and more awareness in general about animal agriculture in the mainstream media. For me personally, I’d like to try and post more often on the blog, and do more contributions to other websites. And maybe along the way influence a couple friends to give veganism a go.
Here’s to the New Year!