A little bit about me …

Where did the name Flower Bird and Dock come from I hear you ask… So here is the tale, my dad has always called me Flower Bird since being a little girl. I loved the fizzy drink Dandelion and Burdock, but at that cute little age I would call it Flower Bird and Dock (aww how sweet). My family mean a lot to me and this fond memory and my given nickname has now become the name of my website, blog and maybe future books if I work my socks off!!

The frequent questions I have been asked since changing from a vegetarian to a vegan diet is …..’ but what can you eat’ and ‘oh that must be really difficult’ (Whilst looking at me like I’m an alien with two heads). My answer is always no, actually I find it very easy and almost any meal can be adapted and ‘vegified’ (I just invented a new word, but it’s my blog and I can do what I like 🙂 ).

So the age old question ‘but what can you eat being vegan’… Rather then get a list of the delicious fruits, vegetables, rice, pulses, nuts and the exciting things you can make with them tattooed down my arm, I figured, to do a blog would be a good way to let people know the kind of food I love to eat. Some which I eat regularly and are a part of my ‘go too’ menu, quick easy but absolutely delicious. Others which I would make as a treat, which are fun, exciting and maybe a little bit random, but never the less it is what I enjoy eating.

I am not afraid to try new things and love mixing sweet with savoury… People seem to have a view that to be a vegan limits you… however I’ve always felt it has opened doors to trying new things, exploring flavours and using your imagination when it comes to food. When I was a vegetarian I would go to the same restaurants and order the same things, which always seemed to be smothered in cheese. Now I realise this is what restaurants do to make a quick and boring meal more appealing. Now I go to new restaurants, like an adventurer on a new voyage, trying meals I probably wouldn’t have picked before. I have tried food that if I hadn’t taken the leap to go vegan I would never have experienced….and lets face it I probably wouldn’t be sat here creating my first blog for everyone and anyone who is interested to read. So lets say it has opened up more doors then one for me.

My aim is not to try and convert people to be vegan but to help inspire people to not be afraid to try new things and to be creative with food…. Food is fun!! My route to veganism started from when I was just a ‘wee nipper’… My parents became vegetarian when I was around 4 years old, to be healthier, so naturally I ate what I was given (mainly veg stews and frittata’s ha ha). Back then even being vegetarian wasn’t really understood and at restaurants you would have one option if your were lucky…and to eat vegetarian when you were abroad this was even harder. My diet would be margarita pizza or a jacket potato, which is all well and good in moderation but not every meal. So gradually my parents and brother started eating a little fish when we were on holiday, then meat until eventually this was happening when we were at home again and they were they were back to their carnivorous ways. But for some reason I decided I wanted to remain vegetarian. Now it wasn’t until the day of Netflix when I was finally ‘Vegicated’… I watched the Vegicated documentary and it changed my way of thinking and although I wont judge others on their decisions… I decided at this point that I did not want to be a part of that anymore, I didn’t want to contribute to the suffering of anyone or anything…So hence forth I started eating a vegan diet… And 4 or 5 years on and I’m still going strong (I’m a poet and I didn’t even know it).

I am not a Michelin Star chef and nor have I had the pleasure of working with any, my cooking journey started at about 20 years of age, prior to this I was a microwave meal type of girl… Because to be quite frank I had no idea to cook something from scratch could be so easy. I was a student living in a house share in Salford. My friend Holly came stay over and I was asking what we should do for tea (in Yorkshire we call dinner or your evening meal, tea, incase you didn’t know). She said don’t worry I’ll cook and bring all the ingredients. Now thinking back, what Holly made was a simple vegetable pasta dish with all the veg you can think of, with a tin of tomatoes, garlic and herbs. Now who would have though such a simple and straight forward thing could change your whole way of thinking about food….but it did. I remember saying ‘ I could do that’ and that’s where my experimental cooking journey began. From that moment on microwavable meals were a thing of the past… I was buying fresh ingredients and throwing it into the pan to see what I could rustle up…. And here I am.

I hope my blog can help to inspire you to play with your food… I know we were told not to as children, but how can you know you don’t like something if you have never tried it. My recipes are not concrete so feel free to add and change things as you please…. Be adventurous and remember food is fun.