Tucked away in the quaint town of Quinson, Provence, rests a plant-based B&B run by one of the nicest men I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting, Jim.  Jim, or now known to me as Vegan Jim, is an animal activist from Holland who believes eating organic, locally-sourced produce is key in life.

 

When he’s not running his Airbnb, or attending lovingly to his two ‘kleine kattens’, Mia and Mimi, Jim is giving a voice to other, larger animals; predominantly elephants and dolphins, who he believes need special attention.

 

Bigger animals need more money, more effort and more equipment’, he says, ‘and people are often unaware of the abuse that goes on behind the scenes of these so-called animal encounter experiences.’

 

Jim has been running his plant-based business since 2010. His ‘ancienne ferme’ (French for ‘old farmhouse’), La Vudele, is set between vast lavender fields, decked with organic linens, and cleaned with biological products. Jim himself, lives a vie belle, and is mostly found lounging beneath the sweet-smelling blooms of his wisteria in an organic T-shirt; biodynamic, locally-sourced wine in hand – of course.

 

During my stay at La Vudele, Jim kindly offered to show me how to prepare a few of his favourite, simple to recreate, plant-based dishes. I have listed these below for you too to try at home. While experimenting with them, I advise whacking on a bit of Stacey Kent and dousing your incense burner with lavender aromatherapy oil for that proper Provence immersion.

 

Let’s start with… Pain Per Du (French Toast)

 

Whisk 1 cup of plain organic flour with 3 quarters of a cup of oat milk until it turns into a nice fluid consistency. Cover slices of organic bread in the mixture, sourdough is best. When the bread is covered on both sides, add it to a frying pan and cook over a medium heat, fry in a little biological grapeseed oil. When the bread is cooked on both sides, turn up the heat, add a little cinnamon and organic cane sugar. The sugar will then melt and create a coating. Place the pain per du on a plate and dust with cacao powder, icing sugar (just a tiny bit!) drizzle with agave syrup, and accompany with fruit and soy or coconut yoghurt; c’est tout!

 

 

Plant-based Crepes

 

This is so easy! Create a fluid mixture by whisking 2 cups of organic plain flour and 1 and a half cups of oat milk. This will make enough for 4 crepes. Fry the mixture in grapeseed oil, and there you have it! Sprinkle with coconut flakes, agave syrup and lemon juice, or instead with maple syrup. It’s deliciously sweet!

 

For a savoury version, sauté mushrooms in grapeseed oil and add garlic. Season with salt, pepper and chopped parsley. Très français!

 

 

Gratte ail

 

I could eat this every day! It’s so simple, I can’t really classify it as a recipe, but here goes anyway. All you need is a gratte ail dish, which in English is a ceramic garlic grater, I found one from Chez Tante Edith on Amazon. Grate a fresh clove of garlic in the dish, add organic olive oil and sea salt, and voila! Dip sourdough bread into the mixture and enjoy.

 

 

Cold Cucumber Soup

 

For a serving of 4, blend 3 organic cucumbers (2 peeled and 1 left as is, all with the seeds removed), 1 small pot of natural soya yoghurt, a handful of fresh mint, 1 peeled apple, a clove of garlic, half a sweet onion, a few chilli flakes, 1 teaspoon of raw cane sugar, a pinch of salt and pepper and blend.  Garnish with mint leaves and soya yoghurt.

 

 

Vegan Chocolate mousse

 

Mix silken tofu (1 packet of Clearspring organic silken tofu) with a tablespoon of cacao powder (or to taste) with a tablespoon of organic agave syrup and 1 drop of edible essential peppermint oil.

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