Why Our Favourite Made in Chelsea Star Became Vegan & A Recipe For Our Chocolate and Peanut Butter Brownie.

Posted: 29 July 2016

 

This week we spoke to Lucy Watson: an MIC star known for being ‘blunt and opinionated’, she’s also a PETA campaigner and has her own jewellery line. We had a chat to her about her decision to become vegan and asked her for tips on eating out in London.

 

How long have you been vegan for, what inspired you to become vegetarian and eventually vegan?

I grew up on a working farm, I moved there when I was 5 years old. The farmer thought it was really important to educate us on how the farm was run. At one point he took us to a slaughterhouse and it was really savage. Once I realised that all the cute animals that were running around on the farm were actually the ones I was eating, I was immediately put off. Neither of my parents were vegetarian at the time and it was probably quite weird for them to be told by a six year old, ‘I am not eating meat anymore’. But I’ve stuck by it ever since. I just think its extremely cruel and my diet has never suffered from not eating meat.

And three months ago, I became vegan. I watched the documentary Cowspiracy – I hadn’t realised the calves were killed when they were taken away from their Mothers, it’s just so savage. From that point on I thought ‘I just can’t!’ and I have actually felt so much healthier since. It was the best decision ever!

 

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What is the biggest myth about being a vegetarian?

People often say that you are going to get ill, your immune system will suffer, you are going to miss out on all that protein. My boyfriend, for one, said ‘I need meat for protein’. But you actually don’t, you can get protein in so many other ways, beans, rice, almond milk. And its way healthier for you with much less saturated fat. It’s such a myth that vegans are going to get ill and that they don’t have enough vitamins. If it is something you are worried about you can always take supplements, I take calcium supplements every day. 

 

Do you find it difficult eating out in London? Do you have any tips for any new vegans or vegetarians?

It’s a little more difficult since I became vegan, obviously even as a vegetarian it’s still quite hard and you don’t have that much to choose from. It’s getting better but especially being vegan I have seriously struggled eating out, places just do not have vegan options. It takes a lot of research, going out for dinner. I have to research before I go. I always look at the menus, sometimes I call ahead to check if it’s vegan friendly. It can be a bit of a hassle.

That’s why places like this [Mildreds] are perfect because you just know that you are going to be able to eat and even your meat eater friend’s have loads of options and will love the food. So it’s great. 

But again, Just research. Peta is really good, they have section on their website that’s really helpful. But, don’t be afraid of cooking at home as well, you can make amazing food at home. I eat a lot healthier now and get a lot less take-outs.

 

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What is your favourite vegan meal and what’s your favourite thing to cook at home?

I really like the Curry at Mildreds – because it’s very filling and a lot of the time people think of vegan food as lettuce leaves and wet salads but you can find things that will fill you up with lots of flavour. 

When I became vegan I was really scared about not having mac&cheese in my life and I have been looking for alternatives. Recently I made this pasta (I used whole wheat) with roasted red pepper and sweet potato, blended it with almond milk and garlic and it made the most amazing sauce. It’s not the same as mac & cheese – but it tastes really good!

I also like Amy’s Kitchen Mac & Cheese!

 

How did you get involved with campaigning for PETA?

They found out I was vegetarian and got in touch about campaigning against fur. Doing what I do on the show, a lot of people wear fur and Chelsea is renowned for wearing fur. I think for them it was great to get someone involved with that lifestyle to speak out and say it is really bad and that there are so many alternatives.

So I was really keen to do it and was happy to promote cruelty-free-lifestyles. It has had a great response! We’ve also done a vegetarian campaign. And there is another that we’re currently working on that I can’t really talk about yet.

But I think it’s great to shock people to get them thinking, sometimes preaching in an aggressive manner doesn’t always work as well. It’s a different approach but I think it works. 

Lucy Watson

 

We sent Lucy home with a copy of our cookbook. And we would like to share with you a recipe from it :

 

Mildreds Vegan Chocolate and Peanut Butter Brownie Recipe 

mildreds vegan chocolate and peanut butter brownie

 

Ingredients

320g wheat flour
240g light muscovado sugar
240g dark muscovado sugar
120g cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of salt
150g good-quality chunky peanut butter
225ml water
225ml veg oil
2 tablespoons good-quality vanilla extract
60g of good-quality dark chocolate chips
Vegan vanilla ice cream to serve (optional)
 
For the Hot Chocolate Sauce
250ml soy cream
1 tablespoon golden syrup
120g of good-quality dark chocolate chips
30g muscovado sugar 
70g cocoa powder
250ml water
 
Preheat the oven to 170°C/fan 150°C/Gas Mark 4. Line a 20 x 30-cm baking tin with baking parchment. 
 
Put flour, sugars, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt in a bowl and mix together thoroughly to remove any lumps. Add a tablespoon of peanut butter, the water, the oil, vanilla extract and chocolate and beat with a whisk for 2-3 minutes to combine. The mix should be the texture of whipped cream; if it looks to thick, add a little more water. Pour the mix into the prepared tin and even out. 
 
Put the remaining peanut butter in a piping bag and use to pip lines over the brownie mix, making sure that you reach the edges. Drag a knife through the top layer of the mix in the opposite direction to the lines to create a marbled effect. Bake for 45-50 minutes (or until semi-firm in the centre). Set aside to cool. 
 
For the sauce, heat the cream and syrup in a saucepan over a medium heat until they begin to boil, then remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate. Whisk the sugar, cocoa and water together in a bowl and pour into the chocolate mixture. Whisk well and return to the heat to warm through. Whisk briskly together for 5 minutes or blend with a stick blender for 3 minutes until glossy and smooth. 
 
Cut the brownies into squares with a sharp knife and serve with the warm chocolate sauce and vanilla ice cream.