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...

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.

BOSH! is just normal, everyday food...

Chelmsford Weekly News:

Fish and chips with tofu instead

“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!”

Chelmsford Weekly News:

Cauliflower buffalo wings from the BOSH! cook book 

It’s OK to dip your toes in...

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?

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

READ MORE: VEGAN RECIPES WITH JUST SEVEN INGREDIENTS