Good morning!

I am off to work in a moment and today I will be thinking about a nice 1940s meal I can prepare tonight….something with potatoes in!

The fitness challenge is going well and I have walked for 40 minutes everyday and eating vegan is going well too although I really am missing my cheese and the other morning it would have been so nice to have a bacon buttie!

During the 1940s, because of rationing, most family meals consisted of a high proportion of vegetables. As I LOVE vegetables this is not a problem for me. The problem lies in ensuring, that as a vegan, my nutritional needs are filled. I am taking my milk, cheese, egg and meat ration and having instead some raw nuts and extra beans and pulses.

As eggs were srictly rationed during the war there are many authentic eggless recipes I can use so that will be no problem.

Now it’s time to start moving my current vegan diet over to a vegan wartime diet so please check back or offer any thoughts or suggestions as I try and do so authentically as possible.

Thanks so much for all the comments and input and I am looking forward to responding shortly..

Have a lovely day!

C xxxxx


13 thoughts on “Pondering….

  1. Good luck, we did a recipe over the weekend that was beetroot, mushroom and potato based, unfortunately it also had single cream and some butter in it, so fine for Veggies but not Vegans 😦


  2. Hi there Carolyn,

    Always find your blogs so interesting and informative – good luck with the vegan wartime diet.
    Have you tried Crispy Kale Chips

    Fresh kale
    Olive oil

    Preheat oven to 350
    Rinse and dry the kale
    Rip into bite sized pieces
    Combine kale,oil and salt in a bowl until kale is coated
    Spread on a baking sheet – make sure the pieces aren’t touching
    Bake for approx 18mins until crispy.

    You can sprinkle on nutritional yeast for a cheesy flavour or add garlic paprika etc.

    This is from http://www.sparkpeople

    my son Alex signed me up to it to try to give me some incentive!!!

    ((((((((hugs)))))) xx


  3. So I can think of several ways to go about this.

    1) Make authentic wartime recipes substituting vegan ingredients for the meat and cheese, for example a shepherd’s pie made with ground seitan (just stick it through an ordinary meat grinder) and mushroom gravy.

    2) Use ingredients that would have been available on rations to the wartime cook without necessarily adhering to authentic period recipes, for example, roasted beetroot with cashew cream and horseradish dressing.

    3) Use period recipes that wartime vegans had available to them, for example mock goose, which you can find an authentic recipe for here: http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/food-and-drink/features/a-taste-of-austerity-can-chef-valentine-warner-conjure-a-feast-from-wartime-food-rations-1867313.html

    4) In the spirit of wartime resourcefulness, a combination of all three. What’s your preference?


    • Hi Lili

      I think it has to be 3…. I am committed to seeing through the 1940s Experiment and although I have experimented with vegan meat substitutes over the past few weeks and non-authentic 1940s recipes I’d like to make the Vegan aspect of it useful research into Veganism during the 1940’s ….

      As far as I can see Vegans had extra nut rations and beans/pulses, margarine (I think they had just one brand of marg then and it was non-animal fat) etc instead of animal fats, meats and dairy

      ALMOND MILK is an alternative to dairy milk for many vegans…. I did some research into this and can see Almond Milk has been a popular alternative in many kitchens way back to medieval times (almond milk kept much better without refrigeration) … I think it is quite correct to assume that the vegan, during WWII, receiving nut rations, would have indeed used some of their raw nuts to make almond milk..

      It really is quite fascinating….


      C xxxxx


  4. Carolyn, The only reference to wartime margarine I’ve found (nerd that I am, I have been looking for some time!) says it was make of whale oil and coconut oil. Which sounds lovely ;0)

    I’m really interested in what their marg was as I’d really like to know how much/little grain based vegetable oil they ate. I’d be really interested in any info you have.

    My prefered choice when not using butter or lard is coconut butter. It tastes amazing and is great in baking. And it is almost authentic – just missing that delicious whale oil!

    Thank you! Lorna


  5. Right then, if you have Jane Fearnley-Whittingstall’s wonderful book The Ministry of Food, Thrifty Wartime Ways to Feed Your Family Today, you’ll find a recipe there for Mock Fish Pie, which is vegan if you leave out the cheese. I’ll look into wartime mock cheeses, because I think they had nut cheeses. She also gives recipes for Apple and Blackberry Pudding, Beetroot Pudding, Mince Pie, Herby Dumplings, and Brandy Snaps, all of which are easily veganizable with nut milk or cream and margarine. If you saw the Valentine Warner special Ration Book Britain, you’ll remember they refer to soya sausage links, so those were available, as was soya flour. I think Ruth Mott made icing with it in the Wartime Kitchen and Garden Series. I can also recommend Marguerite Patton’s We’ll Eat Again, which you probably have.

    Let me snoop around. I think the Vegan Society is likely to be your best resource for authentic wartime recipes (there’s an article on wartime vegans here: http://www.veganviews.org.uk/vv79/vv79war.html) but I have a few old volumes to look through. And, I have a little booklet called War-Time Cookery to save fuel and food value which has a couple of pages of vegan or veganizable recipes. What’s the best way to get them to you? Post here?


  6. And it occurs to me you might want to contact Janet Clarkson over at http://www.theoldfoodie.com. She has a wonderful (and apparently bottomless) library of old menus and recipes, and she’s very nice. I found this perfectly vegan “Soup for Air-Raids” here: http://www.theoldfoodie.com/2011/01/sustaining-soup.html.

    And let’s not forget good old Mrs. Beeton, whose book was still in use during the war years (and updated, even today). She has some nice looking vegetable recipes here: http://www.mrsbeeton.com/25-chapter25.html. You could use a recipe such as Artichokes à l’Italienne as written, or whack it into a pudding basin and steam it in a crust, as Ruth Mott did with plain leeks for the Wartime Kitchen and Garden series.


  7. Thank you LILI for that info… I haven’t got that book (although I have all Ms Pattons wartime ones). I must check that out!

    I really feel they would have made nut cheeses as well as made almond milk especially if they were getting extra nut rations…

    I too found the article you linked to

    QUOTE: “Although not readily known, vegetarians and those who didn’t eat dairy foods or eggs had to register with their local Food Office in order to be issued with a special ration book. So whenever they went to collect their rations, they were given more eggs, cheese and nuts, instead of meat.

    Also on a monthly points system, if you saved 16 points on your ration book, you qualified for 2lb (900g) of dried fruit or 8lb (3.6 kg) of split peas.”

    I really appreciate your assistance!!!

    My e-mail address is cekins@southshorenow.ca



  8. I saw something the other day on you tube. A guy made crisps (potato chips) using the peelings leftover from his potatoes. He melted some lard on a baking tray in the oven and then added the potatoe peelings (which he dried first). He baked them until crispy. Good for a snack! I’ve just started my own ration challenge (inspired by you) and am raising money for alzheimers society, I’d sure love for you to pop over and see! I will be using some of your receipes in the forthcoming days! I’m excited!


    • Hey Georgina- BTW I think what you are doing (The Ration Challenge) is GREAT! Yes vegans eat potatoes but RAW VEGANS wouldn’t simply because raw vegans eat food without cooking or only gently heat food or dehydrate at low temperatures…



  9. Hi Georgina, I think tempewytch’s comment was more about the lard that the potato peelings were cooked in. Vegans wouldn’t use lard because this fat comes from animals (pigs). I don’t call myself vegan since I eat whatever’s served when I am a guest, but I am 100% vegan at home. I roast piles of potatoes but I just use a drizzle of canola oil in the bottom of the pan.
    That’s very commendable of you to go without to raise money for such a good cause. It must add some of that “Dig for Victory”/sacrificing together for a common cause feeling that sustained the original rationers!


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