Today is World Vegan Day and November is World Vegan Month, giving you the perfect opportunity to give going vegan a try – even if it’s just for one month – heck, even if it’s just for one week! This is for those of you who haven’t taken the plunge yet; maybe there are a few things holding you back, like convenience, cost or cheese – or perhaps you’re just nervous about making such a big change to your life. This month is your chance to dip a toe into the vegan water and see what happens.
Earlier in the year we shared our tips for going vegan, and how to make the change as simple and enjoyable as possible – if you have any questions, tweet us at @TheNodMagazine. We’re also on Facebook now – you can follow us at (you guessed it!) @TheNodMagazine. We’re really excited to start building a community of vegan and vegan-curious folks, so give us a Like and tell us what you’re thinking, wondering or struggling with.
We get a lot of questions about meal ideas and how to veganise your favourite recipes, so we’ve but together this guide to our favourite breakfasts, lunches and dinners.
As the mornings are getting colder we love whipping up a bowl of creamy porridge for breakfast. Our long-time favourite has to be Dorset Cereals’ gingerbread porridge, closely followed by oats with a mashed banana stirred through, topped with peanut butter and a dash of cinnamon. For those looking for something cooler try a smoothie bowl topped with granola, or dice an apple and stir through almond or coconut yogurt with granola and cranberries. Don’t forget the ground chai and flax seeds for an extra boost of nutrients. At the weekends we love treating ourselves to a plate of Jus Rol croissants and cinnamon swirls, or a fry-up complete with veggie sausages, scrambled tofu, grilled tomatoes, fried mushrooms, beans and toast.
During the winter months we love Glorious soups’ range, which is labelled vegan – or a huge number of supermarket soups, accompanied with a buttery roll. VBites make a great range of vegan ‘meats’ like ham and garlic sausage, perfect for sandwiches and wraps – or for a healthier option try roasted vegetable and cous cous salads, or a cold pasta salad. For on-the-go lunches, stop off at Pret for their vegan specials or pop into Tesco for their falafel wrap, as part of their bargain £3 meal deal.
It depends on what you would normally eat, whether you’re a fan of Mexican or Indian food, or prefer Italian classics like bolognaise and carbonara. All of these can be easily veganised, using alternatives like soya mince, beans, lentils and soya cream. We love a weekly stirfry with a sauce made from peanut butter, soya sauce and Sriracha and a side of spring rolls and thai crackers (you can find them in Tesco and Sainsbury’s) – or keep it simple with a ready-made sauce.
If you fancy a night out there are a number of high-street restaurants that now serve a vegan menu – including Nandos, Wagamamas, Zizzi and Meat Liquor. Or support your local independent restaurant and enquire about their vegan options – the more that we demand it, the more chance we have of finding new and exciting places to eat. As a general rule, Indian, Chinese and Italian restaurants can usually veganise a dish for you – simply by omitting ghee, fish sauce or cheese and cream.
We hope that helps! There are so many options out there, and so many recipes that can easily be veganised, but these ideas are a great place to start as you embark on your vegan journey. Supermarkets are getting better and better at labelling products as suitable for vegans, but don’t be too worried if something isn’t labelled, it can be a bit hit and miss and we wouldn’t want you missing out on some gems. Happy World Vegan Month!