Cranks – a glorious institution 

Cranks was a small chain of vegetarian wholefood restaurants in the UK back in the eighties and nineties, and an institution in its own right. It did much to dispel the myth that vegetarian food was all lentils and brown rice, with its delicious, innovative, baked-on-the-day fresh produce.

Sadly financial pressures caused it to close its doors for good in 2001. We have never seen it’s like again, despite the rise of healthy eating, vegetarian and vegan eating.

It’s remaining and fitting legacy is its cookbook. Unlike recipe books today it isn’t filled with glorious photographs of each dish. The recipes are in tight, rather dense print with no illustrations to break them up. But if you could only have one vegetarian cookbook, this is the one for you. It has everything. And all the recipes I’ve tried are easy to make, delicious, and have all worked without fail. 

My chestnut bake comes from here, without which family Boxing Days would simply not be the same. As does the worlds best nut roast, stuffed with a delectable layer of cheese and tomato for extra flavour. And their wine and nut pate has converted more stout meat eaters than I care mention.

Thankyou, Cranks. Still relevant and in my eyes still the best after all these years. 


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