Our new Vegan Shop in O’Brien’s Bridge, Co. Clare in Ireland.

A vegan cheese shop!

After a year of planning and more than six months of renovation we finally opened our vegan shop.
The original intention for the premises was to create a vegan cheese factory, one of the very first in Ireland. It happened to have a space facing the main street, so a small shop front seemed appropriate.
I was told that the ‘shop’ was absolutely necessary. ” The shop will be a place for you to speak to people about what you are making and about veganism.”
And they were so right.
Nearly every time we open, someone comes in to talk about their experience with vegan cooking or a vegan lifestyle… some are curious what a vegan shop is all about.

On this particular day a lady came in and said, “I had seen the sign go up and was waiting for the shop to open”.
After looking around and tasting the cheese samples she selected a Garlic & Chives cream cheese from the fridge and come over to the counter. It is here that I often engage with them as they wait for me to add up their purchase. If they seem chatty I often ask them if they are vegan. ” We are not vegan”, she said, ” We are mostly vegetarian but we still have chicken from time to time. But lately my daughter who is 10 is asking us what she is eating. It is hard for us to tell her that it is chicken.”
I looked at her and smiled. Children are amazing, they know. Too young to influence their parents, yet sometimes they refuse to eat and then things start to change.

Ever held a chicken in your arms?

This lady was listening to her children, she had come into our new vegan shop with a mission. “We are now trying to do at least one vegan dish a week and I want to know more.”
She needed a little direction so I showed her our small library. I explained that it held a very special cookbook. You may have heard of it, Hungry Soul, How to Cook 100% vegan. I recommended she take it on loan, which she did.
I am now looking forward to hearing how she got on with her vegan dishes. Maybe she is making 2 or 3 vegan meals a week, every little bit helps.
… and eventually, she may be able to answer her daughter’s question with an easy heart.

Children understand more than we think

Did you know that children are very aware of the food they eat and often complain to their parents when they know it is meat. This seems to happen around the ages of 9 or 10.
Children have a natural affinity with animals, be it pets or domesticated animals or even wild animals.
Children know. If children were told what animals go through, how meat comes to their table, most would refuse it.

Here’s a little help … an easy creamy pasta recipe.

One most children will eat.

Creamy Pasta dish …with a little Hungry Soul vegan cream cheese … yes, very tasty.
INGREDIENTS:5 garlic cloves, minced1/4 tsp. chilli flakes400g can whole tomatoes1 Tbsp. tomato paste1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar ( Apple cider vinegar will also work )2 Tbsp. Natural Vegan Cream Cheese by Hungry Soul 250 g spelt fettuccine pastaFresh ground black pepperA small handful of fresh basil leaves

METHOD:– Soften the garlic slightly is a drop of good olive oil, careful it does not burn.- Add the can of tomatoes, the tomato paste, chilli flakes and balsamic vinegar then simmer for 15 minutes.- Allow to cool a few minutes then transfer it to a food processor or use a plunge blender and make it all nice and smooth.- Return sauce to the pot adding the Hungry Soul cream Cheese and stir well, set aside.- Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and cook your pasta until al dente. Drain reserving a cup of cooking water. – Add the pasta to the sauce and ½ cup of cooking water and warm again.- Just before serving add the basil leaves.
A nice grind black pepper is lovely over each plate.
Serve it with garlic bread … all children like garlic bread!

Hungry Soul – Vegan Cream Cheese
Only available in Ireland … for the moment.