Veganuary across our business

How we’re supporting veganuary around our business

Winterbotham Darby heart

We are passionate about food.  At our heart are people who spend a lot of time  talking about what they are cooking and eating.  As we continue to develop and grow our plant-based category, it should come as no surprise that we have more and more staff who are turning to a plant-based diet.  This Veganuary we catch up with a few colleagues who have taken up the challenge to eat plant-based for 31 days to see how they are getting on , to share any tips and also show is what they are cooking.

Matt: understanding our categories

A massive foodie and our Head of Inspiration and Development, he took up the challenge, alongside his family this January.  Matt says, All round I think its a positive experience and an essential one if you are developing products for vegans and flexitarians.  Just from a health perspective its good and there is a growing understanding that eating more plants is important for gut health. The challenge to continually come up with new recipes is also good for me, just like everyone else I struggle to bothered to cook sometimes and Veganuary is a massive inspiration boast, which we all need at times.”

Asked for some kitchen inspiration, Mob Kitchen are his favourites this year – with recipes which are quick, easy and pack a punch flavour wise which is essential. They taste amazing but just happen to be vegan.

See below for some of Matt’s vegan creations on Instagram 

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A post shared by Matt McAuliffe (@matty_mc___)


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A post shared by Matt McAuliffe (@matty_mc___)


Nutty Pithivier

Monika: using an app to make the switch easier

Monika was another colleague wanted to try Vegan eating for the month. She prefers to cook from scratch, rather than depend on ready-meals.

Monika has really been enjoying the challenge and says, of continuing after the month is up, ” I believe it’s ok to have an animal based product from time to time, as long as it is locally and sustainably sourced from a supplier respecting high welfare standards. I like my morning coffee with a dash of organic milk and I prefer honey to sugar, but I will continue my flexitarian lifestyle.”

So her top tip is that she uses the Waitrose & Partners Food App for recipe inspiration. She says “You can search ‘vegan’ and save your favourites in customised folders.  What I like about this app is you can create a shopping list, so cooking vegan is just as simple as cooking any other meal.”

One of her favourites on the app is the Nutty pithivier with watercress and pistachio pesto.  She says, “this recipe has a lot of ingredients and it is quite complex, but it was very tasty and filling at the same time. Plus it includes all the macronutrients and good balance of essential micronutrients.

Ellen: plant-based = more energy

Ellen decided to take part in Veganuary for the challenge. She’s a product developer for our plant-based category so she felt it was important for her to understand the challenges of a plant-based diet.

She says, “It’s highlighted the sheer amount of day-to-day store cupboard ingredients and products that contain some form of dairy or meat. I also decided to take part in Veganuary to see if it would have any affect on the way I feel. You hear about people moving to a plant-based diets and the positive effects it has of various aspects of their lives so I was interested to see how it would affect me. I have certainly got tonnes more energy especially in the evening since being plant-based and feel much more motivated to carry out daily exercise.”

That’s definitely a glowing endorsement from a lifestyle perspective but what about her recipe inspiration?


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      Izzy: cooking with someone else makes it easier

      Izzy and her sister Laura are based in the office at one of of manufacturing sites. They’ve taken on the challenge together, partly for the health but also environmental benefits.

      They’re both really enjoying it and Izzy says, “It helps that we live together and can make tea together but also motivate each other. We also usually make soup with our soup maker at this time of year anyway so that has coincided well for lunches.”

      They’ve shared some of the dishes they’ve created and also a few products they’ve found useful.

      Izzy's veganuary tips

    Finally, Ellen leaves us with some Veganuary tips to help make switching to a vegan diet easier:

      • Plan & be organised. I find if you plan your weekly meals, breakfast, lunch and dinner it is much easier to stick and enjoy your vegan lifestyle. It takes more time thinking about recipe ideas and therefore if you plan in advance you can just crack on when it comes to meal times.
      • Don’t just reply on alternatives – Since I have been taking part in Veganuary I haven’t eaten many meat alternatives. This isn’t necessarily out of choice, but I am finding it a great way explore vegetables & pulses etc in new ways and formats.
      • Spice things up – there’s a pre conception that plant-based foods can lack in flavour. Don’t be afraid to really add lots of spices, herbs etc to jazz things up. Even using drizzle & dressings can really help to add another dimension to the meal.
      • Try different things & don’t just stick to the recipe – I really struggle following recipes to a tee and I enjoy making it up as I go along. Having said that there are some great base recipes to use which are easy to adapt and shape into something you know are going to love and enjoy.

January 18, 2021

5 minute read

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#fishlessfriday anyone? Throwback to the @squeakybeanveg February takeover when Sam @nomeatdisco created a loaded fishless finger sarnie stuffed full of mushy peas, tartare sauce & chunky wedges. Immense, quick, easy and absolutely delicious. Go tuck into tasty...😋 🌱 ...

We really cherish our long-standing relationship with international charity @actionagainsthungeruk. We donate 1p for every pack of @foodsunearthed products sold and amazingly, all those pennies we've been collecting since 2010 have now totalled £854,000! This helps them with their incredible work saving the lives of malnourished children and supporting their families beat hunger. To read more about them, click the link in our bio ...

In true British style #nationalpicniweek hasn't quite delivered on the weather ☔ . But ANY kind of picnic counts so even an indoor carpet picnic works for us. Of course, no such event is complete without a quiche, so here's ours - with our hugely popular semi-dried tomatoes and olives. We love how versatile they both are. Happy picnic-ing (and come on please sun) 😎 ...

We first bought chorizo to the UK in 1990 and it's still so popular 31 years later! Whatever the weather this Spanish favourite is amazing in a range of dishes. It certainly doesn't disappoint in this delicious potato and chorizo hash with some delicious runny eggs nestled on the top. Breakfast or lunch, you decide. What's your favourite chorizo dish? ...

Although nothing compares to seeing photographs hanging in a gallery , this 'virtual' exhibition of the 2021 @foodphotoaward is a close second. It gives a taster of what is to come in November when an exhibition of this year's finalists goes live at @royalphotographicsociety. Click on the link in our bio and take a wander round - not forgetting to check out Winterbotham Darby Food For Sale, obviously. ...

If you're in this weekend (and let's face it - most of us are) then why take a foodie trip with @marksandspencer's Italian night family dine in. Call us biased but we love the 'Nduja Meatballs with Pappardelle which is a dish in the deal. *whispers* It might be something to do with the fact that the 'nduja is one of our favourite products. And that we supply it through our foodservice team. But, despite our bias it really is a star in our range of Italian continental products and that's what we're about - delivering fresh and flavourful products. ...

🏆 Congrats to @smithfoto59 🏆 - winner of our Food For Sale category at last night's @foodphotoaward with his image Street Vendor. 📸 A gorgeous picture with beautiful tones. We can't but marvel at the ingenuity of the woman's stall made out of a pram - perfect for mobile sales.
We love this category as it's so close to our hearts (being in the business of selling food ourselves) and echoes our passion for delivering happiness through food.
To see all of the finalist images across the awards click the link in our bio ☝️

Delighted, once again to be part of the @foodphotoaward and to sponsor the Food For Sale category. Good luck to all the shortlisted photographers and filmmakers. We'll be watching with our fingers crossed for you all later

It’s finally here!
Join us this evening 20:00BST on @youtube to celebrate the @foodphotoaward Awards hosted by @fred_sirieix
Reposted from @foodphotoaward

We've been friends with Spanish continental meats since 1992 when we first introduced them to the UK market. They've gone from strength to strength becoming a firm favourite with many shoppers. Today it's a brunch of dreams featuring Spanish chistorra, tomatoes, cubed potatoes and eggs. One pan, MAXIMUM flavour and minimal washing up. What's your brunch favourite? ...

#Fact - in one single day this week, we produced a record-breaking 213,000 pots of olives and antipasti. So it's official, the British consumer loves olives! Are you a lover or a hater? ...

We're big fans of the med diet and the tomato is so integral to that. So today we're closing our eyes, opening a pot of @foodsunearthed slow roasted tomatoes and savouring the memories of being somewhere warm and sunny. Extremely versatile, they can be enjoyed straight out of the pot, or are great as an ingredient - just like in these cous-cous and roasted tomato stuffed peppers. How do you prefer to eat yours? ...

📣 If you're vegan, a flexitarian or just like tasty food - then this is one for you. New ready-to-eat @squeakybeanveg Chargrilled🔥 Cajun Mini Fillets. No messing around. The taste and texture are a game changer. Well done to the plant-based team for creating something magical - now available in 200 @asda stores ...

Happy day of chocolate 🍫 . Celebrate with pimped up pancakes plus a drizzle of chocolate sauce and fruit. Oh and to top it off we added cream. But this isn't just any old pancake stack - it's a VEGAN stack (check out our very own @squeakybeanveg) as it's all plant-based on here. Enjoy your day and tell us what you're eating? ...

With a long weekend ahead of us, we can take it easy right? More time for lazy mornings which means a nice brunch. We've made ours with smoked brunswick ham, but you could add prosciutto, parma or speck for a touch of decandce. Add tea, coffee or juice and RELAX 🍳 ☕ ...

🐟 If you love fish then this is one for you - pan fried cod with roasted vegetables, rosemary roasted potatoes and sliced chorizo. Chorizo is one of our most popular continental meat products. Many years on after we first launched it to the UK retail market consumers love it just as much as they always have done. What's your favourite way to eat chorizo? happy Friday 🐟 ...

📣 The long awaited shortlist for the @foodphotoaward is now live!! 📷 This year has seen a bumper crop of gorgeously creative entries. We're delighted to see what's in our 'Food For Sale' category. So grab a drink, click above and scroll through to see what gorgeous images have been shortlisted. Is one of yours on there - let us know? Click the link in our bio to go straight to our 'Food for Sale' category ⬆️ ...

We understand consumers and we know that on shelf appeal and pack stand-out is so important. After research and trial, our @foodsunearthed brand have re-designed their packs using stronger, eye catching use of colour and a disruptive use of pattern (we love that nod to the Med too). Look out for new olive packs in @waitrose and @ocadouk. What's your favourite? ...

It's might be #BritishPieWeek but we think it's perfectly acceptable to add a little continental twist. Our pancetta, either smoked or unsmoked, is great to add to add flavour. Just like in this chicken & mushroom pie. The ultimate in comfort, made with authentic ingredients. We deliver happiness through food. What's your favourite pie? ...

Today is National Pig Day. Our welfare journey began in 2000 & since then we've been improving the welfare of pigs by working with @CIWF

We're committed to the following: + considerably more space for each pig + larger breeding facilities for each sow + free farrowing and +no pigs subjected to tail docking or teeth clipping.

These commitments have led to us, along with some of closest farming partners, to win awards and achieve what was considered 'impossible' in Europe. We thank them all for their dedication and pledge to continue the work with them.