Surviving Veganuary II: Try these foods
Updated: Feb 25
How are we doing Veganuarians? Are you former (and future) carnivores struggling through mounds of lettuce and weeping at the sight of a sausage roll?
Or have you found your feet?
As I've mentioned, my beloved better half, S, is vegan and that makes me essentially vegan. You know how Samuel L Jackson's character in Pulp Fiction says his girlfriend is vegetarian so that basically makes him vegetarian? Well that's me.
It's also the only thing Mr Jackson and I have in common.
But my adventures as a suffering carnivore have given me valuable insights to help you folks through the second half of your month-long trial.
You will be pleased to know that the biggest challenge of choosing to go vegan can also be its biggest pleasure. Namely, you cannot eat most of the things you used to so you have to find new foods - and new ways to use them.
Here are a few staples which have become favourites of mine
Yes, it looks dull. But cook it with a splash of soy and apple cider vinegar in the water and you have got a nutritious, tasty and easy accompaniment to any meal. Think of quinoa for veganism as potatoes are to the carnivore life.
Marinated tofu pieces
I know you miss the taste of meat, I am here with bad news, you are not getting it back. Some of the meat-flavoured instant noodles do a decent job and are still vegan (somehow) but you are better off finding new flavours. This is more fun than the basic tofu and easier to cook.
The iconic millennial food stuff is a dream for the vegan lifestyle. It's easy to prepare and tasty enough to go on a salad, in pasta or next to anything else. It's also good for you, so that's a win. I'd dump your cynicism; you're going to have to discover new greens.
These are one of my go-to ingredients. Don't faff about boiling them, pop them straight in a pan with a dash of oil. They go in fajitas, can boost a vegan mince chilli and are a key facet in Buddha Bowls - more on them later.
It is like spinach's cooler cousin. Again, keep it simple: rub it with a bit of salt and oil and pop it on a baking tray in the oven until it goes a bit crispy. It is an ideal snack and the perfect addition to a dish which needs a little 'Je ne sais quoi'.
How many of you are on a four pasta meal week? This delight treads the line between pasta and rice and provides a lighter variety with a bit more flavour. It's also great in a risotto.
Don't do the powdered stuff and I am personally not a fan of soy milk particularly. This goes really well with cereal, coffee and in porridge. Just don't put it in tea
I had a bit of an issue with dates as a kid. Don't know why. Now they are one of my favourites. They are a great snack, they bring any smoothie to life and - if you are feeling adventurous - they can help you out with that chocolate craving. My recipe for vegan date & chocolate brownies is here.
Frankly this should be a staple food anyway, but it is a good and tasty way of getting some energy in the morning.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay