January is finally upon us, and as we collectively sign as the twinkly fairy lights come down and reality bites, we can also start to set some health goals and good intentions for 2020.
You’d have to be living under a rock not to have heard about Veganuary, so if you’re giving it a whirl, trying to adopt a flexitarian approach to eating or are simply intrigued about the plant-based lifestyle, we have five tips for making Veganuary easy peasy…
1. Make some simple swaps
Switching to a vegan way of life can seem daunting, so why not take the meals that you usually make and…vegan-ify them! Although that’s almost definitely not a real term, switching ingredients like mince with red lentils can take some well-loved, staple dinners and make them plant based without any drama.
Chilli, spag bol and lasagne can all be made using lentils instead of beef or pork mince; just add your usual veggie ingredients such as garlic, onions, peppers, celery, tinned tomatoes and mushrooms, and use dried red lentils in place of the meat. You may need to add a bit more veggie stock to soak into the lentils, but give it a go and you’ll soon get the hang of it…
Chickpeas are also great added to bean chilli instead of ground beef, and if you get really confident, you can even try making pulled pork with shredded jackfruit!
2. Try a plant based milk – you may be surprised!
Several years ago, the plant-based milk options were somewhat limited to soya and almond, but now there are so many different brands and varieties. It may take a while to find one that you love in place of your usual cow’s milk, but when you crack it, it can be a great win for the plant-based eco warrior within!
Quick tip, if you don’t fancy trying lots of different types of alt-milk, go for Oatly Barista. It’s sooooo deliciously creamy in coffee and makes the loveliest lattes. You’re welcome!
3. Take advantage of the supermarket’s latest products
This year, it’s estimated that 350,000 people are trying Veganuary. That’s a huge increase on last year, so plant-based foods have been firmly on the supermarket new product development agenda for some time.
M&S has knocked it out of the park with it’s Plant Kitchen range, with 100 new lines added in anticipation of Veganuary this year. Try the Tofish & Chips, Beetoot and Carrot Bourguignon or No Chicken Kiev for a quick lunch or dinner. Yummy!
4. Get creative with some super soups
Soups are a great way to use up veggies, get your five a day and feed your family with some warming delights this winter, so get creative in the kitchen.
Grab some parsnips, swede and sweet potato, add some turmeric and garam masala and viola, spicy root veg soup! And if you fancy feeling super virtuous, add a few bags of watercress to potatoes, onions and veggie stock, blend and add copious amounts of black pepper for a gorgeously creamy and thick soup, bursting with vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants. And no meat or diary in sight!
5. Make it sweet – try Vegan baking!
If you really want to impress family or friends, try some vegan baking! We will happily hand this one over to the experts, so step forward Manchester mum Pamela Higgins, also known as SpamellaB, whose food blog is always bursting with mouthwatering treats that are mainly vegan friendly, sugar and gluten free. This double chocolate tart is an absolute winner, and – oh OK it’s supposed to be a Christmas pud, but it’s guaranteed to brighten up your January a bit! Just gorgeous!
Are you trying Veganuary or adopting a flexitarian lifestyle? What are your top tips?