‘COMFORT food inspired by adventure’ is the subtitle of Jackie Kearney’s second cookbook, My Vegan Travels, due out in November. It’s the sequel to her Vegan Street Food, which found plant-based inspiration in India and South East Asia and the flavour of that entertaining travelogue with recipes lingers here.
But where that book was a product of happenstance – for millions across the sub-continent subsistence is via pulses and veg, dictating the vegan theme – the new book is very much a primer for those making an ethical lifestyle choice. So we get store cupboard advice and basic vegan recipes as well as sections devoted to this ‘adventures’ – at home and in Europe, America and Asia.
In its culinary boundary hopping it reminds me of her kitchen hero, Yotam Ottolenghi and its family-friendly dishes are a far remove from Masterchef, where the Chorlton-based made her name.
Warm and anecdotal, it would make a lovely Christmas present for vegans and inquisitive non-vegan alike. What’s not like about a nod to her Irish heritage, the ‘Blasket Bunny’. OK, en route to Dingle to swim with its famous dolphin she had a difficult time finding veggie food, but she doesn’t bear a grudge. Hence this vegetable and Guinness stew inside hollowed out soda bread, a variant of the South African staple, Bunny Chow.
Deep South aside, she had better vegan experiences on her USA road-trip, notably in Portland, Oregon and, naturally, California. First recipe from this book you should try is BBQ Artichokes with Ranch-style dressing, a surprise discovery in a roadside joint after a session hugging Giant Redwoods. The book is peppered with such vivid, tasty moments. Go buy.
My Vegan Travels by Jackie Kearney will be published by Ryland Peters & Small on November 14, price £16.99. The (cropped) picture of Jackie is from the brilliant ‘Tampopo Heroes’ exhibition celebrating 20 years of the local pan-Asian chain, for whom Jackie has worked as vegan consultant.