VEGANUARY comes but once a year, only for an increasing number it’s becoming a year round affair.
There was a time when you were only slightly more likely to run into a vegan as you were an extra terrestrial. They lived on a diet resembling wet cardboard – the vegan, not the ET – only without the flavour.
There may once having been a vegan stereotype, but those days are long in the past. The argument that a vegan lifestyle is better for the planet is one which has really started to strike a chord as concern about climate change mounts.
Veganuary has become a major event. Supermarket shelves are groaning this year – delivery problems regardless – under the weight of plant-based products, and an increasing number of restaurants are serving up vegan menus.
Included among those is Thai favourite Giggling Squid in Leamington. The Regent Street restaurant is serving a small, but one has to say, perfectly formed menu of Veganuary Specials.
Quorn was one reason in the past that vegan diets were considered flavourless, and well, boring. That certainly cannot be said of the starter Bangkok Corn Fritters – sweetcorn and Quorn fritters, served up with crunchy fresh vegetables and delicately spiced with red curry paste.
The Satay Pattie Salad – crispy patties of Quorn, potatoes and chickpeas, with a wonderfully sweet satay sauce, and again perfectly spiced – are no less moreish.
Third starter on the menu, Veggie Goodie Bowls – diced starfruit, water chestnut and chestnut comes served three ways, with a plum and tamarind sauce, satay sauce and a mushroom larb sauce. While not sure about the latter, the satay was certainly another winner.
Quorn is no longer just a meat substitute. It is an ingredient in itself, and it features in two of the three mains.
The Sticky No Chicken is just what the name suggests – big and flavoursome sweet and sticky chickpeas and Quorn bites wok fried in red chilli, sesame oil and rice wine, with crispy green beans.
Also on the menu is Go Green Curry, and alternative take on arguably the most famous and popular of Thai dishes. As alternatives go, this is a very special dish. It packs in bags of flavours and wonderful textures, including among them butternut squash, plantain, and pea aubergines. Again, it has the perfect spice bite.
Also on the menu is a Southern Aroma Curry – butternut squash, chickpeas, radishes and red kidney beans simmered in a paneang curry sauce.
Those who can fit in a dessert – after generously proportioned starters and mains – may enjoy the Sweet Banana Coconut Dessert – plantain cooked in sweet coconut milk – but be warned a sweet-tooth is very much required.
Giggling Squid have a created a fine range of plant-based dishes, which vegans and non-vegans alike can enjoy.
Visit www.gigglingsquid.com for further details.