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I first became vegan because I was watching a lot of documentaries on the farming industry and I saw how devastating it is. You wouldn’t believe how many resources are put into making meat products. I decided to try and do something about it, but at first I was just eating Linda McCartney’s sausages with waffles and beans, then maybe some porridge in the morning. It was good though, because it got me into cooking.
At first, I kept it simple by making dishes like risotto and different types of pasta, whereas now I like to experiment. Sometimes I make some terrible meals because I experiment a bit too much. I think, ‘this might work’ or ‘that might be a thing’, but it ends up being a sloppy mess that doesn’t really taste of anything. I tried making a vegan cheese loaf using nutritional yeast, potatoes and cauliflower – it didn’t really hold together, but it tasted good! I’ve definitely come a long way in my cooking since I turned vegan, but I still bang in some Linda’s when I don’t have enough time.
There are so many great places to eat in Nottingham if you’re a vegan. You should head over to the Prickly Pear on Mansfield Road, they do a vegan mac‘n’cheese that I swear by. I recommend The Angel Microbrewery on Wednesdays, as it's half price on most of the meals. The fish and chips there are amazing – tofu wrapped in seaweed and battered, then you get a side of mushy peas and chips.
By day I’m a teaching assistant, going around local schools and helping out with learning support. By night I work behind the bar at Broadway cinema. It can get pretty intense – but y’know, free cinema tickets! - Matthew Wasylko
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