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5 Tips to make Veganuary easy and delicious

BY Paola Westbeek

5th Jan 2023 Recipes

5 Tips to make Veganuary easy and delicious

Want to give Veganuary a go? Here are some tips for trying an animal-free diet for climate change, health and animal cruelty reasons

From reducing our carbon footprint and mitigating the devastating effects of climate change to significantly improving our health and standing up against the cruelty of intensive animal agriculture, there are many reasons to go vegan. Due to an ever-growing demand for plant-based options, adopting a vegan diet has become easier than ever these days. Supermarkets have expanded their range of vegan foods, and more and more restaurants are catering—sometimes exclusively—to vegan diners. In fact, in the last five years, the number of vegan restaurants in London has more than doubled!

If you’re not quite ready to commit to a permanent diet change, but curious to give an animal-free diet a go, here are five tips to make Veganuary easy, delicious and perhaps even life changing! 

Stocking your pantry 

In order to experience the full health benefits of a vegan diet (the list includes everything from losing weight and keeping it off to potentially reversing and lowering the risk of lifestyle-related illnesses such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease), try to stay away from processed foods. While there’s nothing wrong with indulging in a vegan deep-freeze pizza once in a while, ideally, your diet should be built around a broad spectrum of nutrient-dense, whole foods

Vegan pantry stocked with legumes, grains and nuts

Keep your pantry well-stocked with legumes, grains and nuts

Aim to visit your local farmers’ market often to stock up on seasonal produce and fresh herbs that will add colour and flavour to your meals, but keep your pantry filled with protein-rich legumes (beans, lentils, chickpeas), wholesome grains (quinoa, oats, brown rice, whole-grain pastas and noodles) and nuts and seeds (almonds, cashews, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, flaxseed, chia seeds, hemp seeds, nut butters).

Keep coconut milk and tinned tomatoes on hand for quick curries, soups and stews. Sugar-free dried fruits including dates, apricots and cranberries can be used to add sweetness, while dried spices such as turmeric, pepper, chili, curry, cardamom, cumin and coriander will not only impart incredible aromas and depth of flavours, but are also known for their medicinal properties.  

Tweak your recipes 

Supermarkets now carry a wide variety of meat and dairy replacements, making it easy to swap out the animal products in your favourite recipes. However, don’t hesitate to think outside the box and experiment with vegetables, beans, nuts and seitan. When crumbled in a food processor, for example, mushrooms make a great replacement for minced meat in dishes such as lasagne and chili. And do give the humble tofu a go. For better texture, press the tofu for about an hour by wrapping it in a clean kitchen towel and weighing it down with something heavy.  

"Don’t hesitate to think outside the box and experiment with vegetables, beans, nuts and seitan"

Ever tried tofu fingers? Combine panko, dried herbs, garlic powder, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper in a shallow dish. In another dish, whisk a few drops of apple cider vinegar into some oat milk. Coat the tofu in cornstarch, dip in the thickened oat milk and bread with the panko mixture. Bake in a 200°C oven for 25 to 30 minutes, turning a few times, and serve with vegan sriracha or lemon-pepper mayo.  

Craving scrambled eggs? Make scrambled tofu instead by cooking crumbled tofu with spring onions, garlic, turmeric, pepper, kala namak (black salt) and nutritional yeast. Speaking of eggs, you can easily replace them in bakes by mixing one tablespoon of ground flaxseed with three tablespoons of water. 

Meal planning 

Thinking ahead will save you time and money. On Sunday, plan your weekly dinner menus and prepare batches of soups, stews and aromatic curries, which will only need reheating and a side of whole grains.  

Vegan meal prep

Meal planning and prep will help make things easier

For quick work lunches, make a batch of quinoa salad with legumes, sun-dried tomatoes, spring onions, chopped herbs and diced crisp vegetables. Preparing overnight oats or breakfast puddings with chia seed in jam jars means no excuse to skip breakfast on busy mornings! 

Get inspired 

Meal planning is one thing. But where can you actually get inspiration for delicious and easy vegan meals? Of course, the Veganuary website is a great place to start. By signing up, you’ll receive free recipes and lots of great tips. The bosh.tv website has tempting recipes for everything from a Sunday roast to “fish” and chips that will impress even the most diehard meat eaters.

"Where can you get inspiration for delicious and easy vegan meals?"

In addition to culinary inspiration, plantbasednews.org, pcrm.org and nutritionfacts.org provide a wealth of information about the many health benefits of eliminating animal products.  

Eating out 

Many restaurants now have vegan options on the menu, but you can always call in advance and ask if they’re willing to cater to a vegan diet. Most chefs will be pleased to make something special for you.

If you’re specifically looking for vegan restaurants, the Happy Cow website and app lists options (and reviews!) in more than 180 countries. It will prove especially indispensable when travelling, but just browsing through the restaurant menus will leave little doubt about how incredibly delicious being vegan can be! 

If you're willing to take the plunge on Veganism, How To Go Vegan: The why, the how, and everything you need to make going vegan easy is available on Amazon.

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