We’ve been super-excited to work with “Easy Speedy Vegan” author Katy Beskow on our social media and emails lately, on a M(O)ther’s Day treat to enjoy with loved ones ( take a look at our Instagram @thoughtthebrand if you haven’t yet). Katy became vegan back in 2006 and was eager to find simple, plant-based recipes to suit her busy lifestyle. From this came her oh-so handy book, full of fuss-free and flavoursome meals. In addition, Katy is a cookery tutor. Read on to find out how she got started on her incredible journey - and to discover what exciting plans are ahead!
How did you get into vegan cooking? Was it something you grew up with?
I became vegan 15 years ago in 2006, when I moved to London for university and stumbled across a fruit- and-vegetable market, which left me intoxicated with new fragrances and tastes. I had a very limited budget, and very little time to cook, so I found that vegan foods allowed me to cook dishes that would become staples, without the use of any animal ingredients. I also switched to cruelty-free cosmetics, and never again bought clothing that used animal products. I grew up in a ‘meat and two veg’ family kitchen, so I’ve always enjoyed creating homely comfort foods, but with a sustainable, ethical twist.
I’m now the author of nine best-selling cookbooks which are published worldwide. When I became a vegan back in 2006 and started veganising my favourite comfort foods, I decided to start a simple blog to share the recipes with others. Since then, I have written regularly for magazines and newspapers, published nine cookbooks, run vegan cookery lessons, developed recipes for brands, and showcased fuss-free vegan cooking at food festivals. Although I never dreamed that this would be my career- I feel like I’ve got the best job in the world!
An absolutely favourite recipe, both a comfort meal and the perfect dinner party recipe?
I love cooking food to share with people! My favourite is a one-pot chickpea, apricot and lemon tagine, served with fresh herb tabbouleh, pink pickles, warmed flat-breads, hummus and pomegranate.
What was your inspiration for the current book?
Vegan food is often associated with long cooking time and lengthy preparations, as well as being expensive. “Easy Speedy Vegan” has 100 recipes which have fast cooking times (10 minute, 20 minute, and 30 minute recipes) easily accessible, cost-effective ingredients to make vegan cooking simple, fast and fun.
What/ if any stigma have you experienced around veganism?
I think that fear of the unknown is the biggest barrier- what do you buy? How do you cook it? Switch the regular items in your fridge for vegan alternatives, choose a plant-milk (there’s so much more availability than soya milk now), switch to a vegan butter, and choose a fresh vegan cream cheese. As you finish an item, such as mayonnaise, purchase the vegan alternative at your next shop. Simple changes that make the world of difference. Fifteen years ago I used to hear “but you don’t look like a vegan?!” I’m not sure how they expected me to look (dreadlocks and tree hugging, perhaps!) but perceptions have definitely changed for the better.
3 key ingredients to have in the cupboard?
- Canned chopped tomatoes
- Canned coconut milk
- Canned chickpeas
Any good plans for the future?
My next book is out later this year - it’s one I’ve wanted to write for so long!
Watch this space… we will be checking in with Katy when her new book lands....