Veganism has been on something of a PR rollercoaster in recent years. Not that long ago, it was the remit of shoe-less hippies, then as it crept closer to the mainstream, it was seized by the young, white and rich of Instagram.

But why shouldn't it be for everyone? That's what Henry Firth and Ian Theasby, the duo behind BOSH!, think. They aren't here to take down Insta-vegans, nor are they fighting meat-eaters. Instead, they just want to show people that the plant-based lifestyle can be easy, tasty, and totally non-judgemental.

BOSH! started life as a wildly popular online video series, and now the pals and business partners are taking the next step with a cookbook. Prepare to push aside all your preconceptions around veganism as they talk us through everything plant-based...

How they became vegan...

Theasby became vegan first, and says: "To be honest, it wasn't easy to begin with, but it has proven to be the best thing I've ever done."

In response to this, Firth jokes: "I thought it was ridiculous! We were living together at the time and I was eating a lot of meat. I remember him cooking these disgraceful curries and telling me they were vegan - they didn't look appealing at all."

However, it didn't take long for Firth to get involved. Like many people, it was a Netflix documentary that changed his mind: "After about three weeks of taking the piss out of Ian, we watched Cowspiracy together and it was like a switch flipped in my brain."

The former Sheffield school friends had worked together before, and decided their newest venture would be vegan cooking - and so BOSH! was born in 2016.

"People who eat vegan are wonderful people who are doing so out of compassion, and that can never be a bad thing," notes Firth, discussing the negative public image veganism's sometimes associated with.

For Firth, the real problem is the media. "Right now, it makes great headlines to talk about vegans and people whose families have been farming for generations clashing," he says.

Unlike many Insta-vegans, the guys are far from militant. "We're not advocates for the whole world going vegan, we just want people to eat more plants. That's our message," Firth states simply.

Thankfully, they're not alone in wanting to help give veganism a new - more relatable - name. "I think more and more, it's fine to be vegan, to have a vegan meal, and to be friends with vegans. Lots of athletes and celebrities are plant-based, like Lewis Hamilton, Miley Cyrus, Serena Williams and Zac Efron," Firth says.

"I think the fact neither of us are traditionally trained chefs has really resonated with our channel and helped us grow, because it's what you would call everyday food," Firth explains. "It's not some fancy-schmancy salad with quinoa and silly ingredients you can only buy in Wholefoods, it's just normal food."

They practice what they preach too, serving up a spread of hummus, veg, crisps and guacamole when we meet - some of which is homemade (like the delicious guac) and some which came from the shop down the road. The boys are passionate foodies but see no need in making life harder than it needs to be.

The focus might be on simple staples, but this doesn't mean BOSH! doesn't mix it up a bit too. Theasby credits his DJ background as inspiration for mashing recipes up - such as their 'guacaroni' (guacamole and macaroni) and burrito samosas.

But not all their recipe ideas pay off; both groan as they recall one particular attempt, which became known as the 'Jackson Pollock cake'. "It was a brioche braid that basically tasted good, it just didn't look very good," says Theasby, laughing. "So we decided to embrace the fact it doesn't look amazing, and came up with the bright idea of flicking coloured icing all over it and calling it the Jackson Pollock cake. Needless to say, it never saw the light of day!"

From fish and chips to spaghetti bolognese, the boys want to show that a vegan diet doesn't mean you have to stop eating your favourites - and neither do you have to go from zero to hero overnight. It's fine to dip your toes in and find ways that makes plant-based eating work for you.

"Three years ago, we spotted that there was a real problem - people wanted to eat plant-based food but there really wasn't a decent source of easy-to-follow, hearty, healthy, nice-tasting recipes, and we kind of filled that void," Firth says.

If you're interested in giving a plant-based diet a go, but aren't sure where to start, the Bosh! boys offer this simple advice: "The first question to ask yourself is, 'How can I get my favourite foods?' You want to know what Indian and Chinese food you can eat, or of you want to make lasagna or a roast, how you're going to do that," says Firth.

It's about turning the "meat-eater's cravings into vegan form". Sounds good, right?

Tofu chips


(Serves 4)

2 x 280g packets extra-firm tofu

4 large Maris Piper or other fluffy potatoes (about 1kg)

3 sheets nori

Vegetable oil, for deep frying

For the marinade:

1 lemon

200ml white wine

1 tbsp caper brine (water from a jar of capers)

1 tsp salt

For the batter:

180g plain flour

40g cornflour

½ tsp salt

½ tsp black pepper

240ml ale

To serve


2 lemons, cut into wedges

Sea salt

Minted mushy peas and tartare sauce


1 Press the tofu using a tofu press or place it between two clean tea towels, lay it on a plate and put a weight on top. Leave for at least half an hour to drain any liquid and firm up before you start cooking

2 Once the tofu is pressed, drain away any liquid that's collected on the plate. Cut the block lengthways down the middle so that you have two long rectangles, then cut across each rectangle to make eight even-sized blocks. You should end up with 16 tofu pieces all the same size.

3 Make the marinade by cutting the lemon in half and squeezing the juice over a bowl, catching any pips with your other hand. Add the white wine, caper brine and salt and stir to combine. Add the tofu, turning to cover it in the marinade. Set aside to marinate, turning occasionally.

4 Fill a large saucepan with water and bring to the boil on a high heat. Peel the potatoes and cut them into 1cm-thick chips. Tip them into the water, bring it back to the boil and cook for five minutes. Drain the potatoes, spread them out over a clean tea towel and leave to dry.

5 To make the batter, put the flour, cornflour, salt and pepper into a mixing bowl and stir to mix. Slowly pour in the ale, whisking continuously so that no lumps form. Set aside once you have a smooth batter.

6 Use scissors to cut 16 rectangles of nori the same size as the sides of the tofu blocks. Take a piece of tofu out of the marinade and stick one of the nori pieces to it (the wetness of the tofu will help it stick). Hold the nori in place with two cocktail stick. Repeat so that all the tofu pieces have a piece of nori on one side.

7 Heat the oven to 180°C.

8 Pour the vegetable oil into a deep saucepan so that it comes no more than two-thirds up the side. Put the pan on medium-high and heat to about 140°C (this is a fairly low temperature for deep-frying so if you don't have a thermometer, put a chip in the pan to test the temperature: When it's ready, the chip should float but take a little while to brown).

9 Put half of the chips in the hot oil and deep fry for three to four minutes, then take them out with a slotted spoon and spread them out on kitchen paper on a plate for a few minutes to cool slightly. Put the rest of the chips into the oil and repeat the process, spreading them over another plate of kitchen paper to cool. Turn up the heat and get the oil really hot, around 180°C (this should make a wooden spoon dipped in the oil sizzle around the edges).

10 Carefully put the first batch of chips back in the hot oil and fry for four to five minutes, until they're really golden and crispy. Take the chips out with a slotted spoon and spread over a baking tray. Sprinkle with sea salt and put the tray in the oven to keep the chips warm. Bring the oil back up to 180°C and tip in the second batch of chips. After four to five minutes, remove and spread over a second baking tray.

11 Get the oil back up to 180°C and line the plates with fresh kitchen paper. Take the nori-lined tofu blocks and dip them into the batter in batches, turning them carefully so they're completely covered. Carefully drop the battered tofu 'fish' into the hot oil and fry for three to four minutes, until they're dark golden brown all over (you may need to cook them in batches if there isn't much room and so the temperature of the oil doesn't drop too low). Remove the tofu 'fish' with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper for 30 seconds, then carefully remove the cocktail sticks. Repeat so that all the tofu blocks are double-dipped in two coats of batter.

12 Take the chips out of the oven and immediately serve on warm plates. Divide the crispy tofu 'fish' pieces between the plates and add large spoonfuls of minted mushy peas and tartare sauce. Serve with tomato ketchup and the lemon wedges for squeezing.

Cauliflower wings


(Serves 2-4)

1 large head of cauliflower

150g plain flour

300ml plant-based milk

2tsp garlic powder

1tsp onion powder

1tsp ground cumin

1tsp paprika

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp black pepper

100g panko breadcrumbs

120g dairy-free butter

200g buffalo hot sauce

For the ranch sauce:

150g cashew nuts

150ml plant-based milk

1 tbsp lemon juice

2 tsp garlic powder

¾ tsp salt

¼ tsp black pepper

handful fresh parsley

4 chives


1 Add the cashew nuts to a pan of boiling water and boil for 15 minutes, then strain and run under cold water to cool slightly. Set aside until needed later.

2 Meanwhile, break the cauliflower into florets and cut the stem into bite-sized pieces.

3 Put the flour, plant-based milk, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, paprika, salt and pepper into a bowl and whisk to a batter. Pour the panko breadcrumbs into another bowl and rub them between your thumb and fingers to break into slightly smaller breadcrumbs.

4 Tip the cauliflower into the batter and toss to coat. Transfer to the bowl of breadcrumbs, a few pieces at a time, and toss gently until well coated. Spread the cauliflower pieces over some lined baking trays and bake for 20 minutes.

5 Meanwhile, melt the dairy-free butter in the microwave and stir in the hot sauce.

6 After 20 minutes, remove the tray from the oven, pour over the hot sauce and carefully roll the cauliflower around until the pieces are fully coated. Put the tray back in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until a sharp knife glides into the thickest parts of the cauliflower and the outsides are really golden brown and crispy. Remove from the oven.

7 While the cauliflower is cooking, put all the ingredients for the ranch sauce, except for the herbs, into the food processor or liquidiser and whizz for one to two minutes until smooth and creamy. Transfer to a serving bowl. Finely chop the parsley and chives and add most of them to the sauce, reserving a little for garnish.

8 Serve the cauliflower wings while they're still hot on a serving plate, sprinkled with the remaining herbs and with the ranch dip on the side.



(Serves 12-15)

215g sugar

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1.5 litres plus 2tbsp vegetable oil (preferably flavourless, like sunflower)

500ml water

½ tsp salt

½ tsp vanilla extract

240g plain flour

For the chocolate sauce:

100g dark chocolate

185ml plant-based milk

40g sugar

½ tsp vanilla extract


1 First, make the chocolate sauce. Break up the chocolate and put it into the small saucepan with the plant-based milk, sugar and vanilla. Stir to a smooth sauce. Transfer to a serving bowl and set aside. Next, sprinkle 115g of the other batch of sugar, along with the cinnamon, over a large plate and set aside.

2 If you are using disposable piping bags, pile them up and roll them together to make one thick cone (a single bag is likely to split). Cut a small hole at the tip, insert the piping nozzle and push it all the way down to the bottom so that it sticks out of the hole. Spray or brush the inside of the bag with a little oil. If you are using a reusable bag, insert the nozzle and coat lightly with oil.

3 Pour the 1.5 litres of oil into the large saucepan so that it comes a third of the way up the sides of the pan. Heat the oil to about 180°C, or until a wooden spoon dipped into the oil sizzles around the edges.

4 Meanwhile, put the water, the remaining 100g sugar, the two tablespoons of vegetable oil, salt and vanilla extract into the medium saucepan and place on a high heat. Bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove from the heat, add the flour and beat vigorously with a wooden spoon until it forms a thick, sticky dough (you'll need to use a little elbow grease). Spoon the mixture into the piping bag.

5 Pipe six churros onto the lined baking tray, each one about 10-15cm long. Carefully transfer the churros to the hot oil (if you're feeling brave, you can pipe them straight into the oil, but be careful!). Fry for eight to 10 minutes, until golden and cooked through. Use a wooden spoon to move them around if they stick together.

6 Remove the churros with a slotted spoon and lay on the kitchen paper for one minute to drain. While they're still hot, transfer to the cinnamon-sugar plate and roll until completely covered. Repeat with the remaining dough - you may need three or four batches. Serve with chocolate sauce on the side for people to pour over if they wish.

BOSH! by Henry Firth and Ian Theasby is published by HQ, HarperCollins in hardback on April 19, priced £20.