Ever wondered if grain-free vegetarian food could be appealing as well as enjoyable? That’s what Lucy Robinson has been doing since the last thirty years: making vegetarianism the new attraction.
For Lucy Robinson vegetables are the love of her life. Be it artichokes, beetroot or spinach, Lucy can create a delicious recipe out of any vegetable, even the ones you hate. From the appealing kebabs or to the tortillas, everything she makes is vegetarian as well as grain-free.
Vegetarian and grain-free, that’s unheard of, isn’t it? But, for Lucy that was there was no other option. In her 20s while living in the beautiful city of Paris, working on her PhD sounds, she pretty much seemed to have the ideal life but that wasn’t the case. “I became increasingly became depressed. I could do my research but I couldn’t hold it in my head,” she says. On a friend’s suggestion she got tested for wheat allergy and turned out she was severely allergic to wheat.
As her condition worsened, another friend suggested to go to a naturopath. It was diagnosed that Lucy is deeply intolerant to meat and all kinds of grain, including sugar derived from sugar cane which is a grain. “He said if I became vegetarian, I would be fine. And four days later I felt like a six year old. Ever since, I haven’t touched grains and meat.”
With the kind of food restrictions Lucy had to live with it could have easily turned her everyday diet into bland, unexciting food for the rest of her life. But instead, she saw this has an opportunity to be creative and experiment. “This might have been a culinary life-sentence but I’ve always been an adventurous eater and saw this as an exciting new challenge to experiment with palette of tastes,” she says.
From a Chef to an Author
Lucy has come a long way ever since. A musician by profession, Lucy Robinson was the Head of Postgraduate Studies and Research in Royal Welsh School of Music in Cardiff where she now teaches part-time. She plays the viola da gamba and has performed in various places such as Wigmore Hall in London and Sydney Opera House. This year he released her first book, The Grain-Free Vegetarian which is a repertoire of innovative recipes over the decades
.“I never planned on writing the book. It just happened,” Lucy says. It all started with one simple gesture. One of her teachers, Wieland Kuijiken would invite all the international students to his home for lunch with his 7 children. So when Lucy started teaching, she followed his tradition. “My students enjoyed my cooking very much. At first they said: ‘why don’t you write a cookery book?’ And once I agreed, their question changed to: ‘when is your cookery book coming out?’ It all happened because of them,” she says with a broad smile.
Through this fascinating journey, she found her four most important men, her husband and her three sons, constantly by her side. “I brought up my sons as vegetarians and everything was grain-free but they could have bread. And it was noticeable how healthy they were,” say the proud mother. An ideal Christmas day special at her home is the Mock Goose which has everything except goose.
Know what you eat
Lucy believes in organic food, buys vegetables only from the Farmer’s Market and off the shelf is a big no for her. She grows vegetables such as pumpkins, asparagus, herbs and artichokes in her backyard.
She goes on to say, “Alex (middle son) who came home asked me if I was buying Peruvian asparagus. Well, I wasn’t because of the air miles. And apparently the Westerners grow the asparagus in Peru, damming up the main rivers leaving no water for the local people to grow their crop.”
“It’s not just about what’s healthy for her, it’s about the planet. We should always know the where we are getting our food from. The food we eat shouldn’t has left someone starving,” she adds as a last piece of advice.
Lucy Robinson has made vegetarianism fun, creative and most importantly absolutely delicious.