BY CLAIR WHITTY
Planning on taking the 31-day Veganuary challenge and going vegan for January but don’t know where to start? Here are some tips to help. A vegan diet will naturally involve lots of vegetable and grains, however, don’t go too heavy on the carbohydrate rich grains as a filler. Also avoid falling into the trap of eating too many packaged, processed vegan foods. You can easily create your own tasty nutritious home-made meals once you have some easy-to-use recipes and a cupboard full of ingredients ready to go. Buy your fresh ingredients in advance. This will help you stay on track and avoid food wastage too.
Store cupboard ingredients can include nuts, seeds, nut butter, tahini, coconut oil, good quality oils, tofu, and tempeh. Have a nice variety of herbs and spices both fresh and dried. Have soya sauce, tamari, coconut aminos to add taste and flavour to your meals. Tinned chick peas, broad beans, kidney beans, and lentils are good to start off with, later you can progress to dried pulses and lentils. Nutritional yeast flakes are a good source of B vitamins and B12. Chia seeds and flax seeds are versatile ingredients and make a great substitute for eggs in recipes. Oat biscuits are great for topping with dairy free cheese, tomatoes, houmous, or nut butter. Keep a stock of plant-based milks, you can get dairy free cheese, cheese sauce, vegan cream, vegan butter, yoghurt, egg replacer, and delicious dairy free chocolate too at your local health food store.
Keep an eye on protein, a simple way is to eat a variety of nuts and seeds, almond, cashew, Brazil, and pecan, sunflower, flax, and pumpkin. Protein powders can be added to fruit or vegetable shakes. Tofu, Lentils, and pulses are great too. Quinoa is good for breakfast, or to make vegetable patties, chick peas work well to make falafels, and tinned pulses can be added to soup to add extra protein.
If you miss the meaty texture then, tofu, tempeh, Jackfruit, and aubergine are ideal. Jackfruit will add a meaty texture to your dish and is ideal for making meals reminiscent of pulled pork or meaty burgers.
Struggling for ideas? Give us a call, we would love to help you with ideas on how to stick with your plan.