Food & Drink | Vegan special

Food & Drink | Vegan special

Light up the BBQ for a delicious aubergine steak, then check out Bristol vegan charity Viva!’s food tips

Thinking about going vegan but not sure where to begin? Most start by gradually changing over by introducing new vegan dishes into their weekly meals rather than completely switching straightaway, so that it is not too daunting or complex.

There is also an array of vegan products now widely available from meat alternatives such as tofu and quorn to ready meals, ‘ice-cream’, snacks and a range of alcoholic drinks. The range of foods and drinks available has been on the increase for a few years, driven by the huge rise in demand.

So, if you are thinking of going vegan – or just want to decrease the amount of meat and dairy in your diet – why not try this delicious recipe from Viva! for starters and check out our selection of eateries. Enjoy!

RECIPE: Aubergine steaks

1x aubergine
Glaze (for one aubergine – double up if necessary)
1 tsp red miso
1 tsp syrup (eg agave or maple, etc)
2 tsp mirin (rice wine)
1 tsp soy sauce (use Tamari if gluten free)
2 tsp toasted sesame oil

Optional serving suggestions:
Sweet potato wedges, tofu skewers, brown rice or other grains, green salad


  1. Slice each aubergine into circular steaks, about 2cm thick. You can also slice them lengthways but make sure they are flat to aid thorough cooking.
  2. Sprinkle the aubergine slices with a little salt, on both sides, then leave to sit while you prep the other ingredients.
  3. Mix up the glaze until fully combined and set aside. Prepare any optional side dishes now.
  4. With a sharp knife, make slight criss-cross patterns across each side of the aubergine steaks.
  5. Brush the glaze generously over both sides of each steak, leaving a little to brush on just before serving.
  6. Place on a red-hot BBQ or well-oiled griddle for a few minutes per side. Aim to caramelise the steak without burning it. You want the aubergine to soften without being too mushy.
  7. Once softened and nicely charred, brush the aubergine steaks with the remaining glaze. Add chilli flakes and fresh parsley, if desired.

Recipe courtesy of Viva!’s recipe club

Easy foodie tips

Viva! recommends adding colour to every meal as “the chemicals that give foods their beautiful colours… protect your health” and suggests:

  • Add berries, banana and ground flaxseeds to cereal. Sprinkle with cinnamon to sweeten
  • Make a smoothie using berries, any other fruit and unsalted nuts with soya or almond milk
  • Add grilled tomatoes to mushrooms on wholegrain toast
  • For a vibrant colourful salad, add rocket leaves, sliced mango, berries, pear, walnuts, yellow pepper, sweetcorn
  • Add tomatoes and watercress to a sandwich
  • Add extra veg and any peas/beans/lentils to casseroles, pasta, curries and rice dishes
  • Snack on a high protein food such as mixed unsalted nuts or seeds with fresh or unsweetened dried fruit. (The protein slows down the release of the fruit sugars and that’s what your body and brain loves!)

To boost flavour, Viva! suggests adding small amounts of herbs and spices such as:

  • Black pepper, caraway, cardamom, cayenne, chilli pepper, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, garlic, ginger, juniper berries, mustard, nutmeg, oregano, parsley, mint, rosemary, sage, saffron, turmeric and thyme

Herbs and spices are packed with antioxidants which fight many diseases including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, some cancers and some of the effects of ageing.

Bristol’s vegan eateries

Here in Bristol we have a wide selection of vegan eateries – here are just a few…

Vx Bristol
123 East St, Bedminster
‘A cruelty-free vegan lifestyle doesn’t have to be boring’

Café Kino
108 Stokes Croft
‘A vegan co-operative cafe in Stokes Croft, Bristol owned and run by its workers’

Oowee Vegan
65 Baldwin St & 54 Picton St
‘Oowee vegan serves up the tastiest vegan chicken burgers, beyond meat burgers you have ever tried!’

Fi Real
57 West Street, Old Market
‘Simple, colourful café serving a menu of vegan and veggie Caribbean food, plus homemade juices’

Koocha Mezze Bar
39 Gloucester Rd, Bishopston
‘Koocha was founded in 2018 as Bristol’s first totally vegan restaurant – a plant pioneer’

Eat Your Greens
156 Wells Rd, Totterdown
‘Fully licensed, plant-based café’

East Village
Boyce’s Ave
‘East Village is well behaved dog friendly and serves all vegan foods plus gluten free options’

Cathy Parnham

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