<<A team of local plant-based food enthusiasts are kindly sharing their stories, providing ace tips and answering queries from Climate Action Newcastle supporters.
Yasmin Alganzoury has many strings to her catering bow: Egyptian cuisine, vegan products, exquisite occasion cakes, cookery courses, to name but a few. Olwyn's been to find out what drives her passion for plant food.>>
***Main VEGANUARY coverage can be seen here.
I got to know Yasmin through her wonderful catering at local community events, then through discovering her personalised
vegan birthday cakes (pictured: a beetroot/chocolate cake with a hiking theme, plus a climate theme for my sister). More recently, her stall at Jesmond Food Market (and other pop-ups) has been my go-to for home-made granola, kimchi and vegan mayo made with chickpeas. But I never asked why and how she developed her vegan skills, so Veganuary 2024 was a good time to find out more.
"More than a decade ago, I started my business making cupcakes when the children were small – but I was always experimental, seeking to add in my Egyptian know-how and extra sparkle. The move towards plant-based cuisine was sparked at the end of 2017, when a friend who used to buy my food became vegan. I knew nothing about it, so started a lot of research into nutrition and expert views. I wanted to "veganise" my recipes, and it worked out well. The dishes were even more delicious!
At that time, I knew nothing about vegan alternatives so I started to research. It was quickly clear that this approach is good for people and good for the planet! I personally became a vegan in 2018 and without even aiming to, I lost unnecessary weight, felt much healthier and my head was clearer.
I continued to educate myself, and now enjoy passing on to others how enjoyable vegan food can be. Wonderful ingredients can veganise dishes, without needing to use things like “fake meat”, which are often ultra-processed and poor for nutrition. But if a client requests a meat dish as part of catering for an event, I will still do that – I understand why that is needed. After all, my own family still occasionally would like non-vegan food!”
**** YASMIN’S RECIPE CHANNEL (YOUTUBE) IS CALLED LAYLA’S KITCHEN
Has a mix of vegan, Egyptian and non-vegan food
You can meet daughters Layla and Amina making home-made pizza!
Planning ahead for Shrove Tuesday, you can see a demo of vegan pancakes
****INFO ON COOKERY DISPLAYS AND COURSES
Arranged with local groups and community venues
Dates/times usually advertised locally and on Yasmin's Facebook page
****YASMIN’S JESMOND FOOD MARKET STALL (pictured above)
Visit at Armstrong Bridge from spring through to late summer - her dates can be checked on her Facebook page.
****YASMIN’S VEGAN COOKIES ARE AVAILABLE AT NUCASA IN JESMOND https://www.highlifenorth.com/listings/nucasa-2/
****YASMIN’S SUGGESTED LINKS
· “You are what you eat” (Netflix documentary) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oygkWmXyOaM
GINGER & LEMON VEGETABLE SOUP
· Healthy winter mix including oats, veg mix, lemon vitamins and invigorating ginger.