Going vegan has never been easier with leading supermarkets, restaurants and even smaller independent companies increasingly catering to the demand for plant-based and cruelty-free products.
But whether you’re looking to adopt the whole vegan lifestyle or simply cut down on your meat intake, knowing where to start when cooking a plant-based meal can be challenging - and it’s something Riverford hope to change with their new vegan recipe boxes.
“We were just finding that a lot more of our customers were telling us they were vegan and that they wanted more options,” explained Liz Sowden, Horsham’s very own veg lady who has been part of the Riverford team for around three years.
“I think the level of interest at the moment is in terms of eating well for personal health, and for the good of the planet and for wider impact - people are thinking about it a lot more so we see that as a really positive thing.”
With different dishes on the menu each week, the boxes contain fresh and 100 per cent organic produce which is delivered straight to your door.
Each box comes with all the ingredients measured out, a step-by-step recipe card and helpful cooking tips making it easier for those short on time, while also eliminating food and packaging waste in the process.
The recipes are labelled under three categories - ‘foodie’ for the more adventures, ‘light’ for a healthier option and ‘easy’ which is the most straightforward to follow.
There is also the option to mix and match between the vegan and non-vegan options, you can order as often or little as you like, and you can add any other items from your weekly shopping list to your order.
This week’s vegan offerings include smoky mushroom tacos and avocado with a cooking time of 25 minutes, cauliflower and butterbean puttanesca which contains only 530 calories, and a celeriac and turmeric curry with black rice which takes 50 minutes and has nearly double the calories of the puttanesca - arguably something to suit everyone.
“I think it’s sometimes quite difficult if you’ve become vegan quite recently to continuously come up with things to cook that’s not just the same old nut roast or whatever,” continued Liz, who lives in Pulborough.
“It’s quite nice to have a recipe box because you know exactly what it’s going to be, but it’s not something you would’ve necessarily thought of cooking yourself.
“Then what a lot of people do, once you’ve done your recipe from the recipe box, if you really like it you then have another recipe to add to your repertoire.”
Riverford was founded in 1987 on a farm in South Devon and the recipe box scheme began when farmer Guy Watson converted his first field into an organic one and started delivering vegetables locally to friends.
These days, Riverford deliver around 50,000 boxes a week to homes across the UK from their regional farms.
But despite being a national company, Liz prides herself on offering a personal service to her customers in the Horsham and Dorking area.
“I have a small team of drivers and vans and look after the area in every sort of sense - deliveries, customer service, local marketing. But the main thing is having someone local and personal who can become part of the local community and understand what the customers need.”
To find out more or to order, visit www.riverford.co.uk