One thing I’m obsessed with is getting maximum flavour to make my dishes interesting. This either entails lots of different and varied ingredients, or just being clever with certain flavours I know will deliver. The main stumbling block for people switching to a vegan diet is that they can miss the flavour satisfaction they used to get from meat and dairy: the ‘umami’ flavour – here is a great article that really explains it well: http://www.theveganrd.com/2012/04/is-umami-a-secret-ingredient-of-vegan-activism.html
So I’m always looking for ingredients for my food, like mushrooms, soy, nutritional yeast, tomatoes, etc that will give that flavour hit at the back of my mouth. I will share what I find…. and here is a recent one: Shake o’cini… found in the ‘posh’ section at Sainsbury’s. It is a very fine powder of porcini mushrooms which you can add to soups, curries, stews, bolognese, sauces – as long as you cook it for a while, anything goes. It’s a brilliant buy – I highly recommend it.