CHILL TIME: ROXY & BEN, SO VEGAN
We catch up with So Vegan team Roxy & Ben to talk about their new book ‘So Vegan In 5’, their journey so far and their journeys to come.
WHAT WAS YOUR JOURNEY TO START SO VEGAN?
We grew up thinking vegan food was bland, boring and complicated. Then we decided to try it for ourselves and we realised it could be incredibly fun, simple and packed with all the flavours we love. We wanted to share this new passion with as many people as we could, so we launched So Vegan with the mission to revolutionise the way we all think about vegan food.
DO YOU THINK YOU NEED TO BE A DECENT COOK TO GO AND STAY VEGAN?
You don’t have to be a decent cook to go vegan and stay vegan. It’s now easier than ever before to find ready-made vegan food in your local supermarket. But we would always encourage people to learn how to cook from scratch because it can be a massively rewarding process. It’s not essential, but you’ll probably find it easier to stay vegan if you understand the basics - how to combine flavours, prepare vegetables and construct a meal - because you’ll probably find the journey more enjoyable and empowering.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE INGREDIENTS TO USE IN KITCHEN?
We’ve totally fallen in love with tahini. You’ll find us adding it to everything, from granola and energy bars to salads and roasted veggies. It’s incredibly versatile and has an intense ‘nutty’ flavour. We’ve also started using miso paste a lot more frequently. We use it to season pasta sauces, burgers and stews. That amazing umami flavour adds tons of depth to a dish, which is sometimes missing in vegan food.
WHAT IS THE MOST CHALLENGING PART OF GROWING A FOLLOWING ONLINE?
We spent over two years running So Vegan in our spare time while we both worked in the music industry, which was a huge challenge. As the channel grew to hundreds of thousands of followers, we found ourselves wanting to invest more time testing and developing recipes, but we were already at our max. But recently we’ve been working full-time on our debut cookbook So Vegan in 5, which will include over 100 super simple 5-ingredient recipes, and we can’t wait to give So Vegan our full attention!
WAS PUBLISHING A COOKBOOK A GOAL THAT YOU HAD BOTH HAD OR DID IT COME ALONG LATER?
When we launched So Vegan, we had absolutely no idea where it would take us. But between us, we’ve always had the drive and ambition to go as far as we could and ‘So Vegan in 5’ is the next step in our journey. We’re so excited about sharing it with everyone and hopefully it’s an example of how you can achieve something if you’re passionate and determined enough to see it through.
WHAT WAS YOUR FAVOURITE PART ABOUT CREATING YOUR NEW COOKBOOK?
Creating So Vegan in 5 was an unforgettable experience. There were times when we were testing up to 8 recipes in a single day during the middle of the summer heatwave. It was exhausting but thrilling at the same time. Our favourite part was probably shooting photographs for the cookbook, which involved inviting all of our friends to dinner and enjoying a feast of vegan food. All of our friends have been really supportive so it was great to get them involved in the book.
DO YOU HAVE ANY OTHER EXCITING PLANS FOR THE FUTURE?
We have some very exciting plans to launch a new series of recipe videos, which we’ll be announcing soon! But for now, we’re focused on ‘So Vegan In 5’ and showing the world how easy it can be to eat more plants.