Making your own recipes is a fun affordable way to use up leftover veggies, or what’s on sale at the farmers’ market. Base meals around cheap staples like pasta or rice (take your own container to the zero waste shop, but eat rice up quickly, as it’s a food poison hazard, if left too long). Eating plant-based recipes is good for animal welfare, the planet and your health. It’s also a good way to replace tasteless and expensive plastic-wrapped ready-meals from the supermarket. Thai Red Curry Sweet Potato Soup (Rainbow Plant Life) is a creamy aromatic soup made with cheap red lentils. It’s made in an Instant Pot, for a quick dump-and-go recipe.
Unless you are a passionate raw foodist, you likely won’t be buying durian, a tropical fruit from Indonesia. A favourite with wild orangutans, this absolutely stinks! So much that it’s banned on public transport. People differ in describing its taste – from vanilla caramel cheesecake to vomit-flavoured custard! Food writer Richard Sterling says the odour is like ‘pig-sh*t, turpentine and onions – garnished with a gym sock!’
Many foods are toxic to animal friends, so keep these recipes away from nosey paws. If making your own bread or pasta, keep fresh dough away from pets (it can expand in the stomach) and never use xylitol (a sweetener that can be lethal, if licked)
Unlike many countries that tend to only eat foods from their own culture, England is a haven of multi-cultural foods from across the world. So this is a series of posts on how to enjoy international cuisine (either made-at-home or eaten out) that is kinder to animals, the planet and your health.
Thailand is a big country (slightly larger than Spain) with a population similar to ours (70 million), and 10 million of them live in the main city of Bangkok. Nearly everyone is Buddhist, which influences a lot of what people eat, and much of the food is sold on floating markets, sold on little boats. Some of the main dishes are Pad Thai (a noodle dish with soy sauce, beansprouts and peanuts) and Thai Green or Red Curry (two popular pub grub meals in England).
Forrist organic Thai seasoning collection is beautifully packaged in glass jars, in a compostable box. The kit includes coriander seeds (the base of Thai curry pastes) along with cinnamon, cumin, chilli flakes, ginger, garlic, green peppercorns, basil, whole cloves, sea salt and black peppercorns.
Many Thai dishes feature coconut milk, so ensure your coconuts are monkey-friendly (not harvested by monkey slaves). Biona and Nature’s Harvest are two good brands, sold in zero waste tins – Chaokoh is the main brand to avoid that still uses monkeys, sold at many UK online stores including Amazon – a good reason to boycott the richest man in the world who still puts money over ethics – buy your books from Blackwell’s instead, if you have no local indie bookstores to support).
Other popular ingredients in Thai cuisine are garlic, lemongrass, lime juice and vegan fish sauce (avoid seaweed for thyroid issues). Desserts often feature tropical fruits like mango (sticky rice with fruits is a popular Thai pudding).
Plant-Based Thai Recipes
Butternut Squash Curry with Chickpeas (Rainbow Plant Life) brings the amazing flavour of Thai food to your table, using simple ingredients. This dish also freezes well, for leftovers.
Vegan Thai Fishcakes (So Vegan) are shrimp-free and made with tofu. Use tamari rather than soy sauce, to make them gluten-free.
Plant-Based Thai Desserts
Mango Passion Fruit Mousse (Addicted to Dates) uses aquafaba (the brine water from tinned chickpeas) to make a ‘meringue’ for a light fluffy feel.
Mango Cheesecake Bars (Addicted to Dates) tops a creamy vanilla lime cheesecake with sweet mango curd, on a no-bake crust.
3-Ingredient Mango Ice Cream (Addicted to Dates) is made with mango, coconut milk and vegan condensed milk. It’s no-churn, so does not even require an ice-cream maker.
Vegan Mango Cake (Rainbow Nourishments) is made with heaps of fresh fruits, and needs no store-bought egg replacers. Fluffy and golden, with a lush cream cheese frosting. Made in one bowl.
Plant-Based Thai Recipe Books
Vegan Asian: A Cookbook is by Philippines author Jeeca, who recreates foods from across Thailand, Japan and China. With a bonus chapter to make the basics like teriyaki and vegan fish sauce, recipes include:
- Pad Thai
- Drunken Noodles
- Curry Tofu Cakes
- Green Vegetable Curry
- Korean Bibimbap
- Japanese Yaki Soba
- Indonesian Fried Rice
- Dumplings & Pho