Shoots and roots

“The best thing about it – I can dance to my own beat!”

“Eat your vegetables!” – everyone remembers that loving phrase iterated by our parents from the very first moment we could hold our own knife and fork. They told us they would make us big and strong and you know what, they had a point! For Phil it was that kindly nudge from his parents combined with a faraway trip and a growing passion for food that fostered his love for those healthy greens!

It was about five years ago that Phil started to truly celebrate the wonderful world of vegetables. “I went travelling around Bolivia in South America and over there I had a lot of time to think and hang out. I had a shift in my perception towards animals and so it was during that trip that I decided to become a vegetarian.”

Phil (right), owner of Shoots and Roots – vegan food stand

When Phil came back he quit his job in insurance and decided to become a vegetarian chef. He wanted to move vegetables to the centre of the plate and make them the hero of a dish! He started a course in Cooks Academy during the day and enrolled in a nutrition course in the evening. “I really started to see food as medicine, food as health”. Phil gained work experience in Cornucopia and The Happy Pear which encouraged him to go out on his own and set up his own veggie loving food business. He started cooking in his mother in law’s kitchen, trialling different recipes and redefining cooking with vegetables to make his food exciting and satisfying even for meat eaters.

In 2015, he set up his first market stall that specialised in vegan food. And so Shoots and Roots was born!Market Stall Menu

The business is all about using high quality ingredients, applying the right treatment and coaxing out amazing flavours. “The best thing about it – I can dance to my own beat!”

Shoots and Roots now trade at Sandyford lunchtime market on Fridays and Honest to Goodness Market and Green Door Market on the weekend. A glowing success, Phil has now started to wholesale in 7 Avoca Stores across the country!

The Food

The menu comprises wholesome, colourful, tasty vegetarian food that even omnivores like myself couldn’t resist!

The main attractions are the savoury vegan burgers with accompanying side salads:

Beetroot burger with roast carrot hummus and basil pesto

Cake 1: Beetroot, chickpeas, short-grain brown rice with roast carrot hummus and basil pesto – the patty is firm on the outside, tender on the inside, subtly spiced and seriously satisfying. The hummus – sweet, savoury and dangerously addictive! The basil pesto – bursting with a fresh herby flavour so delicious you might be tempted to eat it by the spoonful!

Cake 2: Sweet potato, blackbean and cashew nut. Definitely next on the tasting list!

Other items include: Polenta pie, vegan, chickpea pancake, veggie parcels and raw cacao brownie.

The salads:

  • Grated Root Veg and Red Chard in a Hazelnut Vinaigrette
  • Spelt Pinto Bean, Aubergine and Broccoli
  • Three Cabbage Slaw
  • Bulghur, Butternut Squash, Cauliflower, Almond and Mint
  • Kale, Buckwheat, Pumpkin Seed and Celeriac
Salad Selection
Salad Selection

The result: an epic meal that transports you to a vegetarian heaven!

Betroot burger with 3 side salads
Shoots and Roots operate at Sandyford Lunchtime Market every Friday 12noon – 2pm.

**Food for Thought

  • The Greek philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras was one of the first and most famous vegetarians. He ate a fleshless diet called the “Pythagorean diet” until the term “vegetarian became popular in the 19th century
  • Famous people who allegedly follow the vegan diet: Pythagoras, the Buddha, Albert Einstein, Leonard da Vinci, Vincent Van Gogh and Paul McCartney to name but a few.
  • India is the country with the largest vegetarian population
  • It would appear that the human body is designed for a vegetarian diet : the shape of teeth and of our intestines is more common in herbivores