The Occasional Vegan

Sarah Philpott
Publication Date: 
Thursday, March 15, 2018
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‘The story behind why this was written is equally as inspiring as are the dishes​’ – Buzz Magazine

‘[Sarah Philpott’s] reasoning to try vegan food is sound. Less cruelty, more deliciousness, and some more healthful fare. But this doesn’t come with a glare and crossed arms. It is for us to enjoy. It is vegan food, and it’s for everyone.’ – Eat Happy Reads

If you’re looking for accessible, unpretentious vegan food to impress even the most sceptical friends and family, then this is the book to cook from.​’ – Vegan Burd

The Occasional Vegan is a collection of 70 simple, affordable and delicious recipes, suitable for newcomers and long-time vegans alike, that will keep you well-fed and healthy. Author Sarah Philpott’s recipes are accompanied by the story of her own journey to becoming a vegan, exploring the ethical and lifestyle arguments for a plant-based diet.  It’s a journey that more and more people are taking – the number of vegans has increased by 350% in the past decade – and food lover Philpott shows that embracing veganism certainly doesn’t need to break the bank. Her recipes are homely and easily cooked, suitable for old and young, gourmet cooks and the kitchen novice.

The Occasional Vegan is divided into four sections:
The Working Week: quick meals for busy people
Something for the Weekend: lazy brunches and Sunday lunches
High Days and Holidays: special occasions like birthdays, Christmas and Easter
Comfort Food and Children’s Favourites.

Each section is packed with delicious dishes and illustrated with gorgeous photographs.

Health, affordability, the environment, animal welfare: there are many reasons for becoming a vegan – or becoming more vegan – and in The Occasional Vegan Sarah Philpott shows how to do it, in the kitchen and in life.

Here are two sample recipes from The Occasional Vegan:

‘Beat the Blues Salad’


‘Kentucky Fried Cauliflower’




Review by Sarla Langdon, Bay Magazine

Monday, June 10, 2019

The Occasional Vegan by Sarah Philpott (Seren £12.99)

I was as startled by the title of Swansea writer Sarah Philpott’s sumptuous new book, The Occasional Vegan as any-one would be. There’s no such thing as an occasional vegan, I hear you protest. There are only fanatical vegans, cultish vegans, uptight vegans… can understand why I thought this fine local writer promised a fresh new perspective we should all share.

And indeed, Philpott’s book has a relaxed, sensible take on veganism, an inclusive insight suggesting that we could all extend our repertoire of enjoyable foods by adding some of the gorgeous vegan recipes in her book to our daily menus.

Philpott shares her sympathies with the vegan cause and explains the dialectic briefly—-but her message is: include the faddy and the restricted diets into your vittles vocabulary, you will only enrich your dinner table. A very modern attitude, and very sound, any way you look at it.

Review by Antonia Levay, Buzz Magazine

Thursday, April 26, 2018

The first 35 pages of this wonderful book are dedicated to a voyage into veganism, healthy cooking tips, practical advice, tools of the trade and why Sarah became a vegan. She talks about her relationship with food from a young age, to her 30’s where the option of a cruelty-free lifestyle became her way of life and, from this, her absolute decision to become a vegan. 
That’s before you even get into the 70 beautifully illustrated recipes inside. The story behind why this was written is equally as inspiring as are the dishes. Her love of food and total admiration for her mother who brought her up as a single parent in Wales is a genuinely heartwarming tale, which makes this book more enjoyable. Divided into four sections – ‘The Working Week’, ‘For the Weekend’, ‘High Days and Holidays’ and ‘Comfort Food and Children’s Favourites’ easily dispels any myths about cooking with plant-based produce and delivers a fun and easy go-to reference book. 
Veganism as a dietary choice among British people has increased by 350% in the last decade and is still growing, with all ages converting to a healthier and more sustainable way of eating. The Occasional Vegan is a handy guide to help you venture into a meat-free world of cooking while maintaining a tasty and interesting selection of dishes. My personal favourites from the book are Kentucky fried cauliflower with sweet potato fries and the one-pan brunch... delish! Do it, your body will thank you for it.

Review by Vegan Burd

Thursday, April 5, 2018

It took me years to go fully vegan. I was vegetarian on and off for a long time before dipping my toe into veganism, but old favourites and comfort food often tempted me back. When I went vegan four years ago, finding cake I could eat was a rare treat and I often felt left out or not very well catered for at most restaurants.

Now we’ve never had it so good and junk food is all around. Supermarkets and restaurants are catching up with vegan offerings and bloggers are inspiring us all with their creative concoctions. Alongside nourishing dishes and macro-meeting meals, we can veganise our childhood food and recreate nostalgic eats we crave. This is exactly what Sarah Philpott has done in her cookbook, The Occasional Vegan.

Vegan food can seem intimidating to the uninitiated and I’m often asked ‘what DO you eat?’. My answer is always ‘EVERYTHING’ and I now have this book to back me up. The Occasional Vegan is full of so many of my favourite foods like curry, spaghetti bolognese, hearty soup and comforting cake. My trashy student staple Pot Noodle has had a healthy homemade makeover too and I can even recreate fast food favourites including KFC and fish and chips! The Kentucky Fried Cauliflower is particularly exciting and that spice blend is one I’ll be reusing again and again.

I love that these recipes are so simple, without any intimidating ingredients. I can whip up an easy and impressive dish with things I already have in the cupboard. Sarah’s recipes may be simple but they’re not lacking in flavour, comfort or creativity. One of my favourite inventions of hers is the sweet potato kiev! A tasty take on childhood freezer food.

This book will be well used in my kitchen as it’s full of handy tips, nutritional information and measuring guides alongside the brilliant recipes. If you’re looking for accessible, unpretentious vegan food to impress even the most sceptical friends and family, then this is the book to cook from.

Review by The Flexitarian

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

If you are looking for some easy and no-fuss delicious vegan recipes then you are in luck! Newly published cookbook, The Occasional Vegan by Sarah Philpott offers a selection of recipes bound to please vegans and non-vegans alike.

Sarah Philpott has had a long love affair with food and recreates, in this book, some of her favourite childhood meals inspired by her mum’s cooking. She talks about how her mum taught her to appreciate simple homemade recipes and how food shaped many of her life experiences. While Sarah grew up with the big appetite of an omnivore, her vegan journey started in her thirties when she became aware of the plight of animals in the meat, fish and dairy industries.

Whether you are a devoted vegan or someone looking simply to cook more plant-based recipes, The Occasional Vegan is filled with straightforward dishes using ingredients that can easily be found in your local supermarkets or shops. The emphasis of this cookbook is on a balanced diet and not a “clean eating” fad, something I also feel strongly about and certainly try to promote on The Flexitarian. While certain Instagrammers and bloggers out there are all about “Free-From Everything” diets, Sarah’s no-nonsense approach to cooking is certainly refreshing. It is not about  becoming obsessed about what you can or cannot eat but in fact enjoying wholesome plant-based food that will in turn nourish and nurture your health and wellbeing.

After explaining her own journey from meat eater to vegan, Sarah goes on to talk about vitamins and nutrients which are essential to good health and should be part of a balanced diet. These are the basics of nutrition which we should all be aware of while not necessarily being obsessed by.

Sarah also makes a handy list of ingredients needed in a typical vegan pantry and gives a selection of seasonal produce to look out for throughout the year. Beginner cooks will also find a handy section to help with some simple cooking techniques.

The Occasional Vegan is organised in four sections:

  1. The working week: quick and easy breakfasts, lunches and dinners.
  2. Something for the weekend: lazy brunches, lunches and meals for friends and family.
  3. High days and holidays: dishes for special occasions.
  4. Comfort food and childhood favourites: think cawl, lasagne and chocolate brownies.

Illustrated by beautiful photography, The Occasional Vegan is a book for every occasion from weekend brunch to quick weekday dinner or Christmas Day lunch.

Some of the recipes that caught my tastebuds are Black Bean, Sweetcorn and Coconut Stew, Baked Lemony “Feta” with Lentils, To-Fish and Chips with Minty Mushy Peas, Banana and Peanut Butter Loaf, Tacos with Pulled Jackfruit, Kentucky Fried Cauliflower (KFC) with Sweet Potato Fries, Chocolate and Chestnut Puddings.

Inspired by flavours from around the world, Sarah creates recipes made from wholesome ingredients and demonstrates how easy, hearty and delicious vegan food can be.

The Occasional Vegan is a cookbook for anyone interested in enjoying a balanced plant-based diet. Forget the latest fad diet and embrace a vegan lifestyle. Take it in your own stride. It could be for a day, two days a week or by being fully vegan. Whatever your journey, you will soon feel the benefits as in Sarah’s own words “it can make you healthy & happy while you really can have your cake and eat it”.


Review by Rebecca Storch, Eat Happy Reads

Friday, March 23, 2018

The introduction of The Occasional Vegan by Sarah Philpott (a glowing advertisement to the benefits of veganism) got me in my 90’s feels. We must be around the same age and her references to the music of the time and political happenings all tied in with the food of the decade, got my sense memories tingling. Bird’s Eye waffles, Heinz Tomato Soup and white bread – listening to the sounds of girl power on the telly. I mean, how often does a cookbook talk about The Millennium Bug and Tony Blair?

I related to what Sarah said, big time, and I’m pretty sure there’s a whole raft of thirty somethings out there who would nod their head in agreement with Sarah’s depiction of adolescence.

It’s this realness that makes this book so refreshing, because her stories and weaved into the recipes and even into the pictures. Sarah is unabashed about saying how food was a comfort and how meals from certain times in her life have inspired her recipes today. This book speaks the kind of language that I aim for with Eat Happy. Food is absolutely pleasurable, and the more we accept that and stop denying it, we’ll find our way to a balance that feels happy for us. Because going back to those teenage years, and the messages we were consuming, it’s easy to see why we have developed a strangle hold on food (and our desire for it).

In the 90’s, Sarah, and so many of us, were surrounded by the booming diet industry with magazine pages filled with ridiculous diets and the samey model bodies plastered all over. Her words bring to my mind the feel of those magazines in my hands; the papery gloss with their 1200 calorie diets. Three days to beach bodies. Chicken and salad. 1 bowl of special nothingness with skimmed milk.

On turning 30 Sarah decided to embrace a lifestyle change and jump into veganism. And thankfully, her relationship with herself and her food became balanced and happy and she found creative expression in this new world of food possibilities.

Yet, there is one big ethical rule that needs to be adhered to if one is to become a vegan, but I’m happy to say, Sarah is all for choice. Yay! Her reasoning to try vegan food is sound. Less cruelty, more deliciousness, and some more healthful fare. But this doesn’t come with a glare and crossed arms. It is for us to enjoy. It is vegan food, and it’s for everyone.

And those recipes! There are a few that I’m going to be trying straight away because I’ve never heard of such combinations which are also totally doable!

One is the Choco Mousse. When you drain your next batch of chickpeas, wait! Don’t tip away the water because Sarah’s amazing looking chocolate mousse uses the chickpea water, aka aquafaba, which then acts like an egg white, thickening and gelling the rest of the sweet ingredients. A must-try.

And speaking of chickpeas, how amazing does this Berry Booster look? It’s a savoury breakfast where berries and chickpeas are combined to bring a pop of colour to your morning. Something I would never have thought about, but looking forwards to try this!

I don’t feel I’m going too far here when I say, I’ve rarely read a cookbook like this before. If ever. I can’t remember a time I read a cookbook and felt inspired to make the meals in it because I felt a connection the author or the story behind them. I appreciate when a cookbook makes a meal look simple, but I never appreciated that I needed more than that. Thankfully, The Occasional Vegan provides both!


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