Starting New Year with a veg out - Plant-based podcast could help kick off a healthy 2022

Whether it’s in our career, lifestyle or health, a new year is often the cue to turn over a new leaf.

Literally, perhaps for anyone looking to improve their eating habits, with the number of vegans in the UK reportedly rising by 40 per cent in the past 12 months, and an estimated one fifth of the population likely to be meat-free by the end of the year.

Of course, taking on any lifestyle change can be hard to achieve alone, but for anyone wanting to switch to a plant-based diet, the What The Focaccia podcast is a good place to start.

The series is hosted by Niki Webster, of Rebel Recipes, and Bettina Campolucci Bordi of Bettina’s Kitchen, drawing from the pair’s previous experience in blogging, writing recipe books and of course, cooking.

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    Webster is the chef behind RebelRecipes.com as well as being an award-winning cookbook author, launching her third title, ‘My Vegan Year’, at the end of last year. Its focus is on making cooking easy for anyone looking to go a little more plant-based, as well as offering helpful tips and tricks on home-growing produce.

    “Veganism isn’t just about the food we eat,” Webster says. “It’s about doing the best for your body, for animal welfare and for the environment.

    “I know that it can be quite daunting, and some aspects of veganism still have a slight militant notion to it, but I don’t create recipes specifically for vegans – I create recipes for foodies.”

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    Among the specialist guests on What The Focaccia are Asma Khan, owner of Covent Garden restaurant Darjeeling Express, plus cookbook author Chantelle Nicholson, on an episode entitled ‘Bringing an International Flair to British Cooking’.

    An area of particular interest to Webster who has travelled around the Middle East and Asia, adding recipes from these regions to herculinary palette.

    Similarly, co-host Bettina Campolucci Bordi embraces cuisines from many cultures in her latest book ‘Celebrate’. With a Norwegian father and Danish-Bulgarian mother, she began her culinary career making homemade jams and pickles as a child and catering for family dinner parties as a teenager. “I love travelling, sampling and experiencing different cultures and countries through food,” she says.

    “I wanted to show how food could be inspiring, and where it comes from, and that cooking from scratch is the single most powerful thing you can do for yourself and your family.”