If you are trying our Veganuary, then well done! I hope that this will be a month of delicious and healthy food for you. However, I know myself that it’s not that easy to cut out so many of the foods you’re used to eating in one fell swoop. So, here are some tips that you might find helpful, and that I am using this month to help my poppa try a bit of plant based living.
Big things cookin’
It seems to me that lots of my old quick fix dinners involved eggs and/or buttered toast. It’s a very clever idea to make at least one meal a week that can be made as a big batch and stored in the freezer. Particular favourites of mine are stews, soups, curries or lasagnes. Buy some nice sturdy zip lock freezer bags and the future you will have beautifully wholesome home-cooked meals within just 2 to 3 minutes of microwave action.
For me, one of the hardest things about a plant-based lifestyle is that so many cakes and chocolatey things contain that pesky bit of milk or butter. Returning back to work after the holidays, and battling dark and cold mornings means that a sweet treat hiatus is out of the question, so it’s really important for me to have a stock of little sweet treats that won’t mess up my vegan intentions. Whether it’s vegan chocolate (from Sainsbury’s Basics dark chocolate, to Bourneville, to Hotel Chocolat’s festive fruit and nut), my sublime raw vegan fudge, or a little ginger biscuit, plant-based pleasures make life that little bit easier.
Spice up your life
Lots of curries and tagines are traditionally meat and dairy free, and the spicy and exotic flavours will occupy the palate of even the most dedicated carnivores. Try my sumptuous sweet potato curry for an ultra satisfying one-pot wonder that packs a punch. You can even serve them with a healthier wholemeal naan if you want to show off.
Plan a veganniversary party
As if healthy and delicious food wasn’t enough of a reward, you might consider booking a table at a a cool vegan or vegan friendly eatery. Not everywhere has one (I can give some good recommendations for Budapest, Vienna, Nottingham and London!), but a Nando’s veggie burger or Zizzi vegan pizza will probably be available in most places of the UK. You could even have a little house party, but in any case, if you have a date set in your mind to celebrate your success, you’re more likely to be able to fight on in your weak moments.
Find a planty pal
If you have somebody to accompany you on your journey, it can really help. If a family member joins in, it’s great to cook together and you can control what is in the cupboards. If you have a work or school friend, you can take it in tuns to prep vegan packed lunches. If you can’t find anybody in your real life, even just watching vegan Youtubers or joining a Facebook group can help you feel less alone, and provide inspiration. You could also be my friend.