The power of veg

Photo: The Natural Cook by Tom Hunt (Quadrille), by Laura Edwards

Published: 13 Sep 2019

Our resident chef, Tom Hunt, joins this issue’s rallying call for more veg on our plates!

In a world where food has become far too complicated, the phrase ‘eat the rainbow’ describes how to eat a nutritionally diverse diet in just three words. In the same way, author and journalist Michael Pollan has distilled dietary advice into three wise maxims, ‘Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants’.

My approach to food, which I call ‘Root to Fruit Eating’, has three key points: Eat for pleasure. Eat whole foods. Eat the best food you can. When followed, these can inspire a minimal-waste, veg-centric approach to food that is as diverse as it is nutritious.

Veg Cities is a campaign led by Sustain and the Peas Please initiative, inspiring London to ‘eat the rainbow’ and ‘mostly plants’ without waste, working with organisations from schools and hospitals to workplaces and restaurants. Encountering colourful and diverse vegetables on farms, in allotments and at the market helps remind us how delicious they are.

We need your help to get your city or local area growing, cooking, selling and saving more vegetables. If you’d like to get involved, visit

Veg Power Slaw

This is a vibrant salad to eat during the colder months, full of so many raw nutrients. Play around with different ingredients and, as the season changes, substitute the dried cranberries for blueberries and include whatever raw veg you have from kohlrabi to celeriac. For an extra boost of veg power sprout your own mung beans: cover dried mung beans with plenty of water and leave to soak overnight. The next day, drain and leave in a covered bowl or jam jar with the lid loosely screwed on. Rinse and drain twice a day. After two days they will have started to sprout and be edible. After three days they will have good-sized sprouts. Put them in the fridge until you’re ready to use them.

Serves 4

200g carrots, grated
1 small beetroot (about 150g), grated
3 beet tops or kale leaves, shredded
2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
A handful of sprouted mung beans
1/2 lemon, juiced
A small bunch parsley, roughly chopped
150g dried cranberries, dates, cherries or blueberries

Put the grated carrots in a large bowl. Next add the grated beetroot to the bowl. Do not mix the salad until you are ready to eat it so that the colours stay separate. Add the rest of the ingredients. Mix and serve. The salad will keep for three days in the fridge but is best eaten straightaway.