VEGANISM and indulgence are not things you'd necessarily associate with one another, but former Made In Chelsea star, Lucy Watson, is trying to change that.

The 27-year-old, who grew up feeding the ducks on her parents' farm and became vegetarian aged six, switched to veganism two years ago - but got bored of being stuck in a cycle of just eating salads and soups. "I was a bit clueless about what I could eat," she admits, "and I did miss indulging myself."

Hence why she's put together her cookbook, Feed Me Vegan, to help make other peoples' "journey to being vegan a little less daunting", and prove that "food can still be amazing, even if it's vegan". Think cruelty-free mac and cheese, banoffee pie, chocolate fudge cake, chilli, cheeseburgers and carbonara - yes really.

"This sounds silly, but I didn't really realise cows didn't produce milk naturally," says Lucy, on what triggered her shift to veganism. "I forgot the fact they had to have a baby, and one day it hit me: What happens to that baby? What happens to the calf? Because if we're using all the milk, the baby won't survive.

"It was a weird realisation - I think it was after I watched [Netflix documentary] Cowspiracy, I researched it. I remember saying to my boyfriend, 'I think they kill the calf'. He was like, 'No, no definitely not, they don't', but I researched it and sometimes it is the case.

"I was just like, 'Oh my god, I can't contribute to that'."

Cutting out dairy, she says, wasn't a challenge in itself: "I don't miss the food at all, it would actually make me feel a bit sick if I ate it now."

However, she does occasionally miss the ease of being able to walk into a restaurant - and order anything off the menu without having to go through the rigmarole of explaining veganism to a bemused waiter. But awareness has massively improved, even in the couple of years since she made the switch.

In fact, it's a growing trend - between 2006-2016, the number of vegans in Britain increased by 360%, and Lucy reckons veganism "will eventually become mainstream". Partly because "the planet can't cope with the pressure we're putting on it", and partly because "we all have compassion within us", she says.

"I think eventually, people will realise that veganism is the only compassionate option," Lucy adds passionately. "Eventually they'll change laws around the situation, and it will become a lot harder to access non-vegan products. I hope to see it in this lifetime, and if not, I'd hope to leave behind some sort of influence."

Lucy's household is not entirely vegan though - her pets still eat fish (her German Spitz Digby keeps barking happily in the background during our chat). "I feed them all-organic, ethically-sourced fish. It's the best I can offer for them," she says. "I don't even know if they should really be living under my roof, the domesticated animal thing is all a bit baffling - so I don't really want to force them to live a life I would probably adapt to a lot more easily than they do."

And what about her boyfriend, model and fellow MIC alumni James Dunmore? He was a meat-eater, however, Lucy reveals: "The other day he was like, 'I'm going to go pescatarian', and to be fair, he's pretty much been pescatarian since. Before that he had chicken in his life, which was in our freezer."

Lucy's sister Tiff and mum Fiona are vegan too - so what are they going to eat at Christmas, with turkey off the menu? "Christmas is an interesting one, but it's just one day, it doesn't really matter," she says with a laugh. "I'll just be eating a s***-load of vegetables."

So how do you eat macaroni cheese if you're vegan?

"Anyone who knows me will know about my mac and cheese obsession. I struggle to understand why you wouldn't like mac and cheese," explains Lucy Watson. "Whenever I tried to switch to veganism previously, this was the dish that would make me relapse. I just couldn't resist it.

"So I HAD to find a good recipe for mac and cheese - one that would actually taste similar to the original," adds the former Made In Chelsea star, explaining how this recipe ended up in her new book, Feed Me Vegan.

"Many of the recipes I tried use cashews, but I never felt they were successful at recreating the flavours and textures. Thankfully, this one is spot-on and the mushrooms add an extra texture and flavour that take it to the next level."



(Serves 1)

100g dried flat rice noodles

1tbsp soy sauce

1tbsp tamarind paste

1tbsp light muscovado sugar

1tbsp vegetable oil

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

2.5cm piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and cut into thin strips

1/2 red onion, thinly sliced

1/4tsp ground turmeric

100g firm tofu, crumbled

120g prepared stir-fry vegetable mix (such as carrots, beansprouts, Asian greens, etc)

1tbsp chopped peanuts and chopped coriander leaves, to garnish

2 lime wedges, to serve


1. Soak the noodles in cold water for 10 minutes or until soft.

2. Put the soy sauce, tamarind and sugar in a bowl and mix together, then leave to one side.

3. Put a non-stick wok over a high heat. When hot, add the oil, garlic and ginger, and cook for 30 seconds. Add the onion, turmeric and tofu, and stir-fry for four to five minutes or until the tofu becomes crispy. Add the vegetable mix and stir-fry for two minutes.

4. Lift the noodles out of the water and put directly into the wok. Stir-fry for two minutes, then add the tamarind sauce mix and two tablespoons of water. Stir-fry for another two to three minutes or until the noodles are soft and coated in the thickened liquid, then garnish with peanuts and coriander. Serve with lime wedges.



(Serves 6)

500g dried macaroni

40g dried wild mushrooms

2tbsp vegan butter

250g chestnut mushrooms

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1tbsp thyme leaves

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the bechamel sauce:

50g vegan butter

3tbsp plain flour

800ml almond milk

1/4tsp grated nutmeg

4tbsp nutritional yeast

200g vegan Cheddar cheese, grated

50g vegan Parmesan cheese, finely grated

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the topping:

40g vegan Parmesan cheese, grated

2tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves


1. Preheat the oven to 220°C (200°C fan, gas 7). Cook the macaroni in boiling, salted water according to the packet instructions, until al dente. Drain in a colander and refresh under cold water until cooled.

2. Put the dried mushrooms in a small heatproof bowl. Pour 150ml boiling water over them and leave to rehydrate for 15 minutes. Drain the mushrooms, reserving the liquid for the bechamel sauce. Roughly chop the mushrooms.

3. Melt the butter in a non-stick frying pan over a high heat. When hot, add the wild mushrooms, chestnut mushrooms, garlic and thyme. Cook for five to eight minutes until the mushrooms have browned well. Season with salt and pepper, and remove from the heat.

4. To make the bechamel sauce, put a large saucepan over a medium heat, then add the butter and stir until melted. Add the flour and cook for one minute, stirring constantly. Whisk in the milk, and continue to whisk until the sauce thickens, then lower the heat and add the remaining ingredients. Stir until the cheese has completely melted.

5. Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper. Add the mushrooms and macaroni to the saucepan with the sauce and stir well until everything is evenly coated. Transfer to a deep 25 x 30cm ovenproof dish.

6. Mix the topping ingredients together and sprinkle over the macaroni. Cook in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until the topping is golden brown and crunchy.



(Serves 2)

200ml almond milk

2tbsp light brown soft sugar

2tbsp wholemeal flour

1tbsp nutritional yeast

1/2tsp ground cinnamon

A pinch of salt

2tbsp vegan butter

4 thick slices day-old white bloomer bread, sliced about 2cm thick

For the spiced plums:

3tbsp vegan butter

3tbsp light soft brown sugar

6 large ripe plums, pitted and quartered

1/4tsp ground ginger

1/4tsp ground cinnamon


1. Begin by pan-frying the plums. Put the butter and sugar in a non-stick frying pan over a high heat. When it begins to bubble, put the plums into the pan. Sprinkle over the spices and cook for four to five minutes until soft, stirring occasionally. The plums should be well coated with the glossy syrup. Remove from the heat.

2. Pour the milk into a bowl and add the sugar, flour, nutritional yeast, cinnamon and salt. Whisk well.

3. Put a large non-stick frying pan over a medium-high heat. Put the butter in the pan and wait until it begins to sizzle. Take each piece of bread and dip both sides into the milk mixture until soaked well.

4. Add the soaked bread slices to the pan and cook for three to four minutes on each side until golden brown and crispy. Put the plums back over the heat to warm through.

5. Serve the plums on the bread, making sure to use up all the spiced buttery syrup.

Feed Me Vegan by Lucy Watson, photography Mike English, is published by Sphere, priced £16.99. Available now.