UK’s First Meat-free Butcher Is Opening in London This Summer

In celebration of World Meat Free Week, Sainsbury’s is opening the UK’s first meat-free butchers store in London.

The pop-up will be open from 21st-23rd June to showcase the wide variety of vegan meat alternatives available and how convincing they can be to encourage passers-by to try swapping meat for plant-based alternatives.

At first glance, passers-by might mistake the store for a traditional butcher’s thanks to meat alternatives such as strings of Sainsbury’s ‘Shroomdog’ sausages decorating the window.

Inside they’ll discover over 20 meat-free products from BBQ Pulled Jackfruit and Chorizo-Style Shroomdogs to meatless mince from the Meatless Farm, vegan steaks and bacon.

The in-store butcher will be specially trained to share advice on plant-based cooking methods and recipe tips and tricks to help get the public involved in World Meat Free Week.

Visitors will not only be able to buy ingredients for their dinner but will also have the chance to taste many of the supermarket’s vegan products entirely for free.

Buyer for Sainsburys, James Hamilton said: “Whilst we’re seeing a huge climb in sales of our plant-based foods, we know from conversations with customers that there is a sense of trepidation about cooking with them. So, our Meat-Free Butchers has been launched to encourage people to get up close to the products, try what they like and take home some valuable cooking advice and recipe inspiration.

“We have carefully selected the products on offer from the growing range of over 100 plant-based products now available at Sainsbury’s, so customers are in for a real meat-free treat when visiting the butchers!”

Source: Vegan Food & Living

Tomato, Eggs and Beans with Creamy Kale Pesto


1 (14 oz) can of cannellini or white kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2 tomatoes, chopped
4 large curly lettuce leaves or curly endive
1/2 ripe avocado, sliced
4 poached organic eggs

Kale Pesto

1/4 cup coarsely chopped raw cashews or blanched almonds, soaked
1-1/2 cups chopped kale stems
1 cup packed fresh basil, blanched, strained, and blotted dry
1 cup packed parsley sprigs, blanched, strained, and blotted dry
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan or nutritional yeast
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 large garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
2 tsp blonde miso
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
pinch of crushed dried red pepper


  1. In small bowl, place nuts and cover with 1 cup cold water. Set aside for at least 2 hours to soften. For optimal results, soak for up to 7 hours.
  2. Drain nuts and place in high-speed blender along with remaining pesto ingredients. Pulse, scraping down inside of bowl, until coarsely pureed.
  3. Add water, 2 Tbsp at a time, and pulse until mixture is smooth and creamy. Add more seasonings to taste.
  4. Transfer to airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Alternatively, pack into ice cube trays and freeze. Once frozen, transfer to sealed container and freeze for up to 1 month. Makes about 2-1/2 cups pesto.
  5. In medium-sized bowl, combine beans and tomatoes. Gently toss together.
  6. To serve, line 4 serving plates with lettuce. Spoon bean and tomatoes on top. Place a couple of avocado slices on each and top with some pesto. Place poached egg on each and another dollop of pesto. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Alive magazine

In Pictures: Home-grilled Plant-based Dishes

Grilled Tofu Steaks With Spicy Strawberry-Ginger Glaze

Grilled Mushroom Cobb Salad

Grilled Vegetable Flatbread Pizza

Grilled Artichokes

Pineapple Ginger Tofu over Edamame

Grilled Vegetable Tacos

Alone, They Stink. Together They Create Dark Chocolate’s Alluring Aroma

Veronique Greenwood wrote . . . . . . . . .

If there was ever a science experiment you’d want to participate in, it might be this one: sitting in a booth and inhaling the tangy, intense aromas of dark chocolates. But not just anyone gets to join this research. The people doing the sniffing were trained to detect subtle differences in scent, helping chemists uncover just which odor molecules are behind the distinctive smell of these rich treats.

In a paper published last week in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, the researchers behind this endeavor reveal that dark chocolate’s aroma comes down to 25 molecules, in just the right concentrations — some of which you might find rather disgusting if you sniffed them on their own.

The sensory panel was part of a study on chocolates with cacao contents from 90 to 99 percent, which are growing more popular, said Michael Granvogl, a chemist at the University of Hohenheim in Germany who wrote the paper with Carolin Seyfried of the Technical University of Munich. While chocolate flavors — which, like all flavors, are a combination of taste and smell working together — have been studied for decades, this was one of the first times chocolate of such high cacao concentrations has come under the microscope. Or rather, perhaps, the sniff-o-scope.

Fed through a battery of analytical machines, the chocolates yielded 77 compounds that could contribute to the chocolates’ aroma. Some were at levels too low to be detected by the human nose. But around 30 others made the sensory cut.

If you looked at a list of what each molecule smells like individually, you might notice something surprising. For instance, acetic acid, the odor molecule present in the highest levels in the chocolates, smells like vinegar by itself. And 3-methylbutanoic acid has a rancid, sweaty stench on its own. Then there’s dimethyl trisulfide, which smells like cabbage.

But these and other compounds, at very particular concentrations, work together to play the elaborate pipe organ that is our olfactory system. Together they attach to receptors in the nose and the back of the mouth to play a specific set of keys, creating a neural chord that says not “cabbage” or “sweat” or “vinegar,” nor even a mixture of these, but “chocolate.” Specifically, in this case, “very dark chocolate.”

Working backward to assemble the chord, the scientists were able to re-create the scent to the satisfaction of the trained sniffers using just 25 of those molecules.

The goal is not necessarily to create artificial versions of familiar food aromas. Understanding what is behind a smell can help make it clear what has gone wrong when a food product has an off-taste or scent.

The study also suggests that the wonderfully diverse world of flavor and aroma may, thanks to our pipe-organ sense of smell, be generated by a relatively small number of molecules working in concert. In other work, Dr. Granvogl’s colleagues have found that with around 226 molecules, they can make mixtures that capture the flavors of about 227 different types of food, from meats, fish and cheeses to chocolate.

“Butter is very easy — you only need four components to mimic butter flavor,” he said.

It is the concentrations of the molecules, not just their identities, that count, he and his colleagues have found. The exact same molecules make up the flavor of peanuts and hazelnuts, for instance.

“If you mix it in different concentrations, you end up on the one side with a hazelnut flavor and on the other side, a peanut flavor,” Dr. Granvogl said.

Source: The New York Times

Eating Blueberries Every Day Improves Heart Health

New findings published today in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition show that eating 150g of blueberries daily reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease by up to 15 per cent.

The research team from UEA’s Department of Nutrition and Preventive Medicine, Norwich Medical School, say that blueberries and other berries should be included in dietary strategies to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease – particularly among at risk groups.

The team set out to see whether eating blueberries had any effect on Metabolic Syndrome – a condition, affecting 1/3 of westernised adults, which comprises at least three of the following risk factors: high blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist, low levels of ‘good cholesterol’ and high levels of triglycerides.

Lead researcher Prof Aedin Cassidy, from UEA’s Norwich Medical School, said: “Having Metabolic syndrome significantly increases the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes and often statins and other medications are prescribed to help control this risk.

“It’s widely recognised that lifestyle changes, including making simple changes to food choices, can also help.

“Previous studies have indicated that people who regularly eat blueberries have a reduced risk of developing conditions including type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. This may be because blueberries are high in naturally occurring compounds called anthocyanins, which are the flavonoids responsible for the red and blue colour in fruits.

“We wanted to find out whether eating blueberries could help people who have already been identified as being at risk of developing these sort of conditions.”

The team investigated the effects of eating blueberries daily in 138 overweight and obese people, aged between 50 and 75, with Metabolic Syndrome. The six-month study was the longest trial of its kind.

They looked at the benefits of eating 150 gram portions (one cup) compared to 75 gram portions (half a cup). The participants consumed the blueberries in freeze-dried form and a placebo group was given a purple-coloured alternative made of artificial colours and flavourings.

Co-lead, Dr Peter Curtis, also from UEA’s Norwich Medical School, said: “We found that eating one cup of blueberries per day resulted in sustained improvements in vascular function and arterial stiffness – making enough of a difference to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by between 12 and 15 per cent.

“The simple and attainable message is to consume one cup of blueberries daily to improve cardiovascular health.

“Unexpectedly, we found no benefit of a smaller 75 gram (half cup) daily intake of blueberries in this at-risk group. It is possible that higher daily intakes may be needed for heart health benefits in obese, at-risk populations, compared with the general population.”

The research was led by the University of East Anglia in collaboration with The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, the University of Southampton, the University of Surrey, and the University of Cambridge. It was funded by the US Highbush Blueberry Council and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).

Source: University of East Anglia

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