How to Vegan 101

Whether you’re an avid meat eater or a strict vegetarian, converting to veganism (even if only for Veganuary) can be a daunting prospect. As somebody who turned vegan overnight, I know how hard the initial transition can be. Below are some of the things that I have implemented into my everyday life over the years to create an interesting and varied vegan diet .

Kitchen Staples:

Fruit and veg: Obviously, fruit and veg are going to be a major part of your shopping list. Must have veggies are sweet potatoes, courgettes, peppers and mushrooms as you can put these in literally anything.

Protein: Legumes and beans will be your go-to for protein. Chickpeas are delicious in curries and lentils will bulk up a Bolognese-style sauce. Alternatively, add kidney beans and some extra spice to your Bolognese sauce to make a ‘chili non carne’ (I often fill my enchiladas with this).

Vitamins and minerals: Nuts and seeds are a great source of omegas and other vitamins/minerals – sprinkle them on top of meals for an extra bit of goodness.

Carbohydrates: Pasta, noodles and bread – these are the same as your meat-eating counterparts. Most types are vegan, but check the ingredients to be sure.

Image Source: Isobel Parker

The Best Vegan Substitutes:

An absolute necessity for vegetarians and vegans alike are the almighty Linda McCartney sausages. So cheap, so versatile and so quick to cook! Stock up your freezer for when a hungover sausage sandwich calls.

Other good meaty substitutes are jackfruit (similar texture to pulled pork) and tofu for stir frys, fajitas etc.

Oat milk is great in coffee for a creamy texture, whilst soya and rice milk work well in tea for a subtler, less nutty taste.

For sweet treats, Green Guerrilla in the market hall have the most incredible brownies, flapjacks and cakes.

Being vegan doesn’t mean ditching chocolate. Most dark chocolate is vegan, as are the Tesco dark chocolate digestives (so tasty and only 60p a pack!)

Probably the most important factor – food after a night out. Fear not; Pizza King’s chips with curry sauce is vegan and cheaper than a pizza. A win-win situation really.

 

Image Source: Isobel Parker

Eating out:

An absolute necessity for vegetarians and vegans alike are the almighty Linda McCartney sausages. So cheap, so versatile and so quick to cook! Stock up your freezer for when a hungover sausage sandwich calls.

Other good meaty substitutes are jackfruit (similar texture to pulled pork) and tofu for stir frys, fajitas etc.

Oat milk is great in coffee for a creamy texture, whilst soya and rice milk work well in tea for a subtler, less nutty taste.

For sweet treats, Green Guerrilla in the market hall have the most incredible brownies, flapjacks and cakes.

Being vegan doesn’t mean ditching chocolate. Most dark chocolate is vegan, as are the Tesco dark chocolate digestives (so tasty and only 60p a pack!)

Probably the most important factor – food after a night out. Fear not; Pizza King’s chips with curry sauce is vegan and cheaper than a pizza. A win-win situation really.

Image Source: Isobel Parker

Insta Inspo:

When I’m running out of ideas for new meals to cook, I like to get inspiration from some of my favourite Instagram accounts. Below are a few that I highly recommend:

@veganpixie_

@thefeedfeed.vegan

@accidentallyveganuk

@weareveganuary

@veganbowls

Hopefully these top tips will help you to complete Veganuary, or even just inspire you to implement a few vegan elements into your ordinary diet.

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