After the continued success of our weekly meal deliveries through this lockdown period, we just wanted to let everyone know how much we've loved cooking for you each week in the EMK kitchen!
Seeing as the whole reason we decided to offer these weekly meals was to offer support during an uncertain time and bring people together within the local area, we thought it would be nice to provide you guys with some more information about Chef Cat, the foodie fanatic behind Eat More Kale UK.
So a little from Chef Cat herself...
I have been running a catering business for over 10 years now, and have loved food and cooking ever since I can remember, probably stemming from working with my nan and grandad in their deli shop as a little girl. Food has always been a huge part of my life, and something I can always turn to in times of uncertainty to bring back a little joy into the everyday.
Before running Eat More Kale UK, I ran Cat's Cookery School in Marlow for around 6 years, offering catering and classes to local people, all focusing on homemade, organic, and delicious food. However, following my daughter becoming vegan back in 2016, I began the start of my own vegan journey, turning fully vegan a year later and consequently retraining as a vegan chef and nutritionist at CNM in Kings Cross.
Following the completion of my degree, I worked part-time in Vanilla Black, a fine-dining all-vegan restaurant in Holborn, which furthered my resolve to entirely transform my existing catering company and cookery school in alignment with my new mission in the world of vegan cheffing: to enable more plant-based eating.
Taking the knowledge I learnt at CNM, paying close attention to nutrition and the fundamentals needs of our bodies, alongside the skills and finesse I was able to develop and refine during my time at Vanilla Black, I took on a totally new approach to catering, teaching, and vegan cooking.
Following the launch of Eat More Kale UK in 2018, our first campaign was to set up a series of bi-weekly workshops, detailing the intricate details of skills such as vegan cheese-making, pantry staples, vegan baking, and easy vegan meals. Alongside the classes, I began catering private events, parties, and private cheffing, introducing local people to accessible, nutritious, and of course delicious vegan food!
We then decided to launch our pop-up supper clubs! Each supper-club focused on a different theme and style of dining, whereby a whole vegan menu was cultivated for our guests to indulge in. The first supper-club was an Italian gourmet five course meal, followed 3 months later by Burgers and Beers, and finally our Tapas night!
Following the success of these classes and events we decided to take the leap and launch the Maidenhead Vegan Market: seasonal all-vegan market in the centre of Maidenhead, showcasing the talents of small vegan businesses across the South East of England, and hopefully encouraging the wider community of Berkshire and Buckinghamshire to consider veganism as a lifestyle they could get behind. After the first successful market, we ran three more, and began plans on setting up vegan markets in other nearby towns, however, then Corona decided to hit, and everything changed.
So, following the lockdown of the whole of the UK on the 23rd of March, it seemed that all of our projects were temporarily stunted, and so we decided to refocus our efforts and resources into the launch of our weekly meal deliveries! Our initial motivation for delivering these meals was simply as a way to offer support to our local community during a difficult time, but since then - wholly because of the overwhelming positivity of the responses we've received from our customers - it's become so much more than that; a source of joy for us and for our customers in an uncertain and strange time. So much so that we plan on carrying on with our weekly deliveries long after Corona says hasta la vista.
Thanks for reading!
After much trial and tribulation I've finally nailed this recipe for a vegan eggless omelette! Tested on my lovely family for brunch on Easter Sunday in the sunshine, they devoured it; a sure sign of deliciousness I hope.
So, as promised, here is the recipe!
• 170g extra-firm tofu
• 80ml plant milk (plus extra for batter consistency)
• 1 Tablespoon cornflour
• 1/8 teaspoon turmeric
• 1/4 teaspoon black salt
• 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and pulse until smooth. Tilt blender to see if batter will slowly flow. If not, add additional milk by the tablespoon until the batter is pourable. (Note: A fluffier, non-flowing batter is good for making Mock Scrambled Eggs, but it will break apart as an omelette.)
Place a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add about 1 Tablespoon of olive oil and swirl pan to coat (or spray generously with cooking spray).
Pour the "egg" batter into the pan. Spread the batter gently to completely coat the bottom.
This is a great time to prepare any omelette fillings, such as onion, red pepper, vegan cheese, or whatever vegetables you have left over.
Cover and cook omelet 6 to 8 minutes until the top appears dry. If the omelette doesn't move freely when shaking the pan, gently work a spatula underneath so it loosens from the pan.
Add toppings to the half of the omelette farthest away from the pan's handle.
To plate, begin to slide the omelette onto a serving plate. When half of the omelette is on the plate, tilt the pan over so the omelet folds in half.
I would love to sees any pictures if anyone attempts to recreate this recipe!
Hope you enjoy!
In the Eat More Kale kitchen over the past month we’ve been adapting to lockdown and the reality of social distancing in our everyday lives. With the cafes we usually supply to closed for the foreseeable future, we’ve had to find new ways to not only generate income, but also to use our available resources and facilities to help our community during these strange times. So, with the launch of our weekly meal deliveries we’ve been able to supply meals to people in and around the local area, which has not only kept us way busier than we could ever have thought, but has also brought us - and hopefully our customers - joy during the uncertainty of the current climate.
Considering the locality and the availability of produce has been key for us, and we’ve often had to construct our menus around the only ingredients available to us that week, a lesson we’ve welcomed and hope to continue heeding in our kitchens in times to come. Additionally, we’ve had to rethink packaging and delivery, not only because of social distancing, but also because of the new style of food we are providing; meals for one, two, and four meant all new packaging and transport arrangements, including the use of recycled cardboard boxes from our wholesale weekly deliveries.
We’ve been really grateful for the extra work, and as a small family-run business we’ve appreciated the distraction from the confinements of lockdown and the anxiety it brings. Cooking has never stopped being a wholly positive thing in the lives of my family and I, even more so now, and especially given the lovely feedback we’ve received from our customers.
During this lockdown of course all of my staff are staying home, so I’ve enlisted the help of my two daughters, the youngest who is in GCSE year, and the oldest who has just finished university. This is a rather ambivalent time for both of them and they are both somewhat in limbo; unable to pursue goals they’ve been working towards for the past few years. So, I hope that working in the Eat More Kale kitchen, providing meals to people who really enjoy what they’re cooking, will bring them a sense of temporary purpose, and is a welcome distraction from some of the freedoms they have lost.
Home-cooking is so often the remedy to many of life’s problems, and so to be able to not only use cooking as an outlet for anxiety, but also to try and help ease the anxiety of others through delicious bundles of plant-based food, provides us with a much-needed purpose throughout the uneasiness of these times.
As I’m sure you’ve read and heard continuously from other optimists across the internet, I really do hope that we can not only make the best of these months of lockdown, but also to truly use it as a period of reflection; as a way to reconnect with the fundamental truths of life, and to reprioritise our lives and livelihoods to be more centred around our families, our neighbours, our communities, and at the centre of it all, ourselves.