Cooking on the beach: Lulu’s vegan recipe

Cooking on the beach: Lulu’s vegan recipe

Lulu Thelwell is the Community Projects Developer at Knowle West Media Centre. Lulu was one of 91 Ways’ 180 guests who came to our launch back in June. 

Lulu’s favourite dishes are inspired by North African and Middle Eastern cuisine as it brings back fond memories of travelling, “I remember cooking tagines over open fires on the beaches with local people celebrating Ramadan. When I went vegan this was the best cuisine to support my new diet so I embraced it and I learned to cook it well”.

Having grown up in Hong Kong, Lulu also enjoyed the East Asian cuisine with Chow Fan being a particular childhood favourite “this prawn special fried rice dish was my favourite. When we moved back to England we could not buy it anywhere and so my mother would cook it in her Aga”.

Although Lulu is inspired by such flavourful cuisines, she also has fond memories of food a little closer to Bristol. “I remember visiting my grandmother in the Channel Islands. She grew her own vegetables and every meal would be more or less the same….but they were never boring because the food was so fresh and delicious.”

Today, cooking is important to Lulu and her family: “most people help but there is always one ‘Head Chef’ otherwise we all try to take over! Each person has their signature dish and respects the others’ talents. There is lots of talking, sometimes music and sometimes wine. Everything is cooked from scratch and we love to include friends.”

Lulu’s Vegan Tagine
Lulu’s own recipe for baby aubergine tagine embraces both her love of Moroccan flavours and the use of fresh vegetables. “This recipe is inspired by my Moroccan travels but it is my own recipe! It reminds me of good times”.

10 baby aubergines, halved
1 onion, finely sliced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1½ tsp smoked paprika
10 dried apricots, chopped
2 chillies, finely chopped
1 vegetable stock cube
2 cans chopped tomatoes
200g chickpeas
Handful of green beans
Handful of parsley
Handful of toasted almonds


  1. Heat the oil in a large non-stick pan and fry the onion and garlic for 5 mins. Stir in the paprika and chillies, cook briefly, then tip in the stock and tomatoes.
  2. Add the aubergines and apricots, then cover the pan and cook gently for 15-20 mins until the aubergines are meltingly tender. Add the chickpeas and warm through.
  3. When the tagine is ready, stir in the parsley and almonds and serve on a bed of couscous with yogurt and steamed green beans