Niki And Ray On The Radio


A local radio DJ made a New Years resolution to eat two vegetarian meals a week and Niki, along with her Dad went popped into the BBC Radio Merseyside drivetime show to help Simon Hoban get started…

Below you can hear or download Niki and Ray’s appearance on the show, as well as read the transcript of their Friday (6th Feb) evening appearance.

Before the show Niki made Simon one of her legendary curries and those of you who have tasted these know…. Listen on:

[audio:http://2manykids.com/zlmre5_dX/20120106-niki-ray-simon-hoban-radio-merseyside.mp3] » Download/embed



[SIMON HOBAN] Oh we’ve got food coming into the studio and I like that fact.
It’s a Friday night and you might have heard earlier in the week one of my New Years rezzies, err was to try and eat two vegetarian meal, err a week which was part of a you know cut down on the old red meat thing and try and eat a bit more healthfully. So who better to encourage me to to do that and to provide culanary inspiration than Liverpool vagan Niki O’Leary who runs scouseveg dot co dot uk and her Dad Ray, hello to you both.

[NIKI O’LEARY] Hello ! (giggles)

[SIMON] Thanks to you both for coming in…

[NIKI] You’re welcome

[SIMON] Scouseveg dot co dot uk and that’s a website I’ve not been to yet and what’s on there ? What would I find on there then ?

[NIKI] Err ooh gosh a whole host of information, errm details about anything that’s relevent in the news at the moment about going veggie or vegan… places to eat in Liverpool, if you are veggie or vegan…

[SIMON] Are there many ?

[Niki] Err… there’s quite a few yeah, it’s getting much better.

[SIMON] Is the egg place ? Egg Cafe ?

[NIKI] Yeah the Egg Cafe is fully veggie, erm and there’s lots of restaurants on there that cater well for veggies and vegans.

[SIMON] Ok… so I’m saying this rapth (?) cos I wanna do it for health reasons – is it going to help me in terms of my overall health to try and have two veggie meals a week ?

[RAY O’LEARY] Yeah certainly it’s erm… its a start. I mean vegetarians and vegans it’s a journey anyway. Err it doesn’t have to be severe overnight, err thing that you take on…err so

[SIMON] You wean yourself onto it then ?

[RAY] Yeah… I mean all of the, the less meat you eat you obviously have less saturated fat in your body. Err… a vegetarian diet is proven to be – to reduce obesity, err which is a problem these days anyway, it also erm… when we go vegetarian, you know when you look into vegetarianism, you do tend to look at your food a bit more… and you tend to try things out. You tend to cook your food more. You tend to eat less processed food, which is a good thing of course – and that’s great for your health.

[SIMON] Yeah, yeah… because I am always wary of, you know, these slices of ham you get in a packet, they just can’t be you know they’re pumped full of water for a start aren’t they ?

[RAY] Well that’s right.

[NIKI] Yeah yeah – and all the ready meals that you know, people seem to be buying these days.. full of sugar, salt excetera…

[SIMON] Well I tell you what I did I went out and bought and I don’t know what I can do with these yet – I bought some red lentils, some yellow split peas and some pearl barley.

[NIKI] Right that’s a good start !

[SIMON] I was pretty impressed with that yeah, what can I do with that ?

[NIKI] Well, with the lentils you can make a Dal errm… yeah lentil dal is really filling as well, erm with the other stuff, you make soups and things like that which are obviously good for lunches…erm and you will find that the more you experiment, erm there is a misconception that you know veggies just eat salad and lentils and nuts and stuff like that, but actually you know once you go on that journey, you find there’s a whole host of things… and err personally I find that you experiment more, errm you know because there’s this kind of, you find that you want things to be more interesting.

[SIMON] That’s right, because it’s not all mushroom risotto is it…and you know, nut roasts and I tell you – and I can tell that because the smell that’s assaulting my nostrils is beautiful that we’ve got here that producer Lou’s brought in and you have made me, well it’s err, erm a curry – clearly by the smell isn’t it ?

[NIKI] Yeah it is I made it for you last night. (laughs)

[SIMON] You’re an angel I’m actually quite hungry as well so… What’s in this then ?

[NIKI] Well in erm…the spices are all blended by myself I don’t any curry powder or anything like that… put individual spices in…

[SIMON] It must have taken you ages.

[NIKI] Not at all you just throw them in, and erm.. the base of it… erm basically is.. I put in the like a faux, faux meat in there which is like a pretend beef really.

[SIMON] Is that Quorn ?

[NIKI] No no it’s actually err… a soya based one… and the reason for that is I just wanted to let you have a taste of something that was kind of a pretend meat, just to give you the experience and also there’s chick peas in there… erm thrown in there for good measure… and tomatoes…

[SIMON] What I would say about that having tasted it is because the, spices are so strong and it’s so…err sort of flavoursome – you don’t really notice it’s not meat, if you know what I mean it’s just texturally the same isn’t it ?

[NIKI] Yeah.

[SIMON] So you don’t really notice and you get away with it.

[NIKI] That’s it a lot of my friends who come to dinner at mine I obviously always cook erm, vegan, and err they say like anything I cook they’re like wow… if you make the flavours good, you don’t need the meat.

[SIMON] That’s right there’s a few, what are they chick peas ?

[NIKI] Err yeah, yeah.

[SIMON] and… *ahem* wow… that is quite hot !

[NIKI] Ha ! Ha ! Ha !

[SIMON] What is the spice in this ? Is it cayenne or something like that ?

[NIKI] Erm… there’s chilli in there, there’s egg al masala, there’s cumin.. err there’s ginger, there’s garlic… Erm yeah I have been known to be a bit…

[SIMON] I like it spicy I do like it spicy…. The next hour of the show could be a bit risky though err… So what’s the difference your… if you could explain the difference again between vagan and vegetarian ?

[NIKI] Ok, yeah vegetarians don’t eat meat, erm tend to stay away from slaugherhouse by-products like geletin and stuff like that, they don’t eat fish. A vegan it’s a little bit more it’s a lifestyle thing so it’s basically everything – nothing derived from an animal, erm which includes things like also what you wear… erm your make up, the things that you drink stuff like that.

[SIMON] You know most people haven’t got time, Ray, have they, to run around supermarkets checking the back of packets to make sure there’s nothing in there thats… not compatible.

[RAY] Yeah but things are getting better, erm and you know.. it really was hard slog, at one time. It is getting better… – Going back to what you were saying about preparing food though even, I mean… people seem to… we live in a very fast society, but we do need to slow down and start thinking about our food and spend more time actually cooking it, and eating it with our friends and family. At the end of the day what we put in our bodies, reflects on our health. So we should spend more time and that is the trick really, that is the trick. We need to do that.

[SIMON] Well that’s delicious and in the news I will, consume more of that it’s absolutely Niki thanks for doing that for us.

[NIKI] You’re welcome.

[SIMON] And you’ve brought me some recipe cards to get me going.

[NIKI] Yeah we’ve actually brought you, not only recipe cards we’ve brought you a bumper starter pack and a bag of goodies as well, to take home.

[SIMON] The thing that, the thing that I’m going to struggle with the most is it’s such a cliche now is the bacon butty Saturday morning, you know that’s such a huge treat that.

[NIKI] Well…

[RAY] You can get, you can get mock. bacon erm…

[SIMON] Does it smell the same ?

[RAY/NIKI] Mmmm.. aher…not quite…

[SIMON] That’ll be the last thing I kick, you know that’ll be the bit where I’ll have to go cold turkey.

[RAY] Well Simon I can tell you that was me.

[SIMON] Yeah ? Same thing ?

[RAY] I was yeah you will crave it, you will crave it because at the end of the day you are used to having this food for a long time, err comparatively and err you will crave it, but that craving does go and you replace it with such flavours as you’ve just tasted there.

[SIMON] There’s a vote I’m going to give it a go two meals a week is what I’m going to aim for first of all… Thanks alot for your recipes and it’s scouseveg dot co dot uk right ?

[NIKI] Yep. Thank you very much.

[SIMON] Niki O’Leary and err… Dad Ray. Thanks a lot for that. It was delicious.

[RAY] Enjoy.

[SIMON] Everyone at home is jealous at home. Thanks for that.


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