Bosh! Meat by Henry Firth and Ian Theasby – Review
By Gail Schuster
Henry Firth and Ian Theasby are lifelong friends from Sheffield, and the founders of Bosh! the biggest plant-based online channel in the world. Over half a million people have viewed their recipes and over one million of their award-winning and best-selling cookbooks have been sold.
They have had their own television series, Living on the Veg on ITV and their products are stocked in all major supermarkets. Their first publication, Bosh! was the first vegan recipe book to get to number 1 in the UK.
Their latest offering is Bosh! Meat, a somewhat confusingly named collection of over 100 vegan meals. Many such cookbooks are based on using just vegetables, fruits, tofu, and pulses. Whereas this makes use of the wide range of alternatives which are now available in supermarkets, for example not-chicken pieces or plant-based sausages, which have massively improved in taste and quality recently, as well as in variety.
The author’s aim is to cover food for every eventuality, from easy weeknight meals to impressive offerings for special occasions; speedy fare which requires simple cooking techniques, and some which are more complex. All sorts of cuisines from around the world are included from Lancashire Hotpot to Moqueca (Brazilian Fish Stew), and all of them meat free.
Ready-made, plant-based products in the shops are often made from mycoprotein pea, soya, rice, wheat, and chickpea proteins, so it is possible to buy many types of vegan alternatives. However, the authors also provide recipes for making your own ‘meat’ products from wheat proteins. There are directions for making your own sausages, bacon, chicken, beef, and tuna as well as cheese, milk and butter replacements; handy for those who wish to know exactly what is in their food.
The ‘Crispy Korean-Style Chicken Wings’ were particularly delicious and not difficult to do, and the ‘Creamy Red Pepper Penne’ was also a good evening meal, not requiring any complicated cooking skills. However, both included ingredients which may not be familiar to some people. I had to look up what gochujang was in the former, a red chilli paste. Nooch in the latter, I had already come across, but it may be unfamiliar to people new to a vegan diet. In fact, it’s a deactivated nutritional yeast which is a source of protein, fibre, and B vitamins and is easily available in supermarkets.
Some of the recipes have a very long list of ingredients, which I find a bit off-putting, particularly if they include things that I am unlikely to use again. However, even these tended to use items I already have in the cupboard, for example, common spices and other store cupboard staples.
Bosh! Meat includes a good range of meal suggestions for dedicated vegans keen to try something new and for people, like me and my family, looking to include more plant-based options in their diet. This latest work from the Bosh! duo is a testament to the variety and interest that can be created.
Bosh! Meat by Henry Firth and Ian Theasby is published by HarperCollins