Niki Webster believes food should be exciting and never feel like a chore. Here she talks us through her favourite foods and has devised a 7-day vegan meal plan.
Seasonal ingredients and keeping my meals simple, yet tasty, are important to me. A lot of my midweek meals revolve around the same ingredients but cooked in different ways for variety. The key to creating interesting vegan food is to combine lots of different textures and flavours together.
Since I started working for myself, my weekly diet has changed. My old routine, which consisted of waking up at 6am, quickly making breakfast and rushing to work, has been replaced with getting up a little later and having more time to think about breakfast. I now get up at 7.30am, have my daily cold-coffee mixed with almond milk and vanilla before deciding on what to eat. What I make depends on what I have planned for my blog that week – to me, all meals are a great opportunity to create content. My favourite breakfast is leftovers – by themselves, or on toast, or oats of any kind. Overnight porridge is a go-to because it’s a healthy and delicious option and, made the night before, is handy when time is of an issue.
When I’m at home, my lunches are centred around what I’m doing that day. So, if I’m recipe developing for a client or my own blog, I’ll eat what I’ve created.
I love creating seasonal recipes and I’m currently loving cooking with cauliflower and celeriac. I recently created these hassle-back butternut squashes with Indian spices and crispy garlic, which I am now obsessed with having. If I’m having an admin day, my lunch will be quite simple. I’ll just mix together whatever I have in my fridge, normally: hummus, olives and salad leaves topped with nuts and seeds. If I fancy something hot, I make a big bowl of vegetable soup.
I love warming one-pot meals on cooler days; so, I make a lot of curries, dals and chunky soups packed with pulses. I serve my main meal with different dips, breads, pickles and salads.
Once a week, we go out for Indian food – it’s my favourite cuisine. Where I live has some of the best Indian restaurants in the country. My ultimate go-to restaurant is the Raja Monkey, Birmingham which serves incredible southern street food.
Out and About
As a blogger, I’m lucky that I get to attend different events, and last week I attended two. The first was a plant-based supper club in London. We drank beetroot gin cocktails and ate mushroom scallops on parsnip mash, and vegan sausages with the creamiest mash. This was followed by an amazing night at a local cafe called Kanteen, Digbeth, which has now become one of my favourite spots to attend.
If I’m in London for events or meetings, I love Detox Kitchen – they do a variety of different vegan and vegetarian meals that are perfect for a quick lunch or grab-and-go.
7-day meal plan
Your at-a-glance guide to Niki’s food diary…
- Breakfast: Cold coffee, sourdough toast with dips from the fridge – hummus, pesto and pickles
- Lunch: Lentil soup
- Dinner: Hasselback butternut squash, hummus (pictured; recipe on my blog)
- Breakfast: Cold coffee with almond milk
- Lunch: Crushed peas on sourdough toast
- Dinner: My roast pepper and chickpea stew with dukkah (pictured; recipe on my blog)
- Breakfast: Toast with kimchi cashew cheese (pictured)
- Lunch: Leftover roast pepper and chickpea stew with dukkah (recipe on my blog)
- Dinner: Alpro/Bosh Event – mushroom scallops, sausage & mash
- Breakfast: Overnight oats with chia and caramelised bananas
- Lunch: Mini vegan burgers
- Dinner: Tomato & chickpea curry with potato and pea cakes
- Brunch Cold coffee with almond milk. Beetroot crepes with pesto & mushrooms (recipe on my blog)
- Dinner My sweet potato, cauliflower and peanut stew (pictured; recipe on my blog)
- Breakfast: Small bowl of leftover cauliflower and peanut stew
- Lunch: Hoisin mushroom steam buns (pictured)
- Dinner: Raja Monkey – Thali with chickpea main. Plain dosa
- Breakfast: Cold coffee and buckwheat pancakes with blueberry compote (pictured; recipe on blog)
- Lunch: Hoisin mushroom steam buns
- Dinner: Persian herb and bean soup, flatbreads, butterbean hummus, roast veg