A few years ago, going vegan was associated with hemp clothing and making your own soap. However, with celebrities such as Beyoncé jumping on the vegan bandwagon, the vegan lifestyle has a fresh new look.
And for good reason. A vegan diet has great health benefits, not to mention environmental kudos.
If you’re thinking of going vegan but are worried about missing out on your favourite foods, there’s no need to fear!
With minimal effort and a little creativity, you can easily create delicious vegan meals at home to set your taste buds tingling.
Here’s how to go vegan, and stay vegan without feeling like you’re missing out.
What is Veganism?
Before we get started, what do vegans eat?
A vegan lifestyle means cutting out any animal products from your diet and lifestyle habits. That means no meat, dairy products, honey, leather, wool or silk.
Some people call themselves ethical vegans and avoid animal products due to animal cruelty concerns and factory farming, while others are in it for the health or environmental benefits.
For more information on what exactly you can and can’t eat, the vegan society website should point you in the right direction.
Find Vegan Alternatives to Your Favourites
One of the biggest hurdles stopping people from going all the way is the fear of missing out on their favourite comfort foods.
However, it’s getting increasingly easy to recreate your favourite treats at home.
Here’s a few simple recipes to try:
Fried Chicken and Chips
Tofu makes a fantastic replacement for chicken as it has a satisfying texture and takes on flavour really well.
Create a spice mix out of your favourite herbs and flavourings such as garlic, ginger, chilli, mustard and oregano to coat your tofu chicken pieces for that classic ‘finger lickin’ goodness!
To get that perfect crispy coating, the trick is to coat the pieces in flour, panko bread crumbs and the spice mix before frying in a deep fat fryer. Chuck some potatoes into the fryer and whip up a quick vegan slaw for a vegan feast in no time!
Top vegan tip: use a smidge of marmite to get that meaty flavour and a good dose of B12!
Mexican Bean Chilli
A simple swap from meat to black beans can result in a rewarding bowl of vegan chilli.
This one is super easy; simply chop up your veg, whack it in a slow cooker with the beans, lentils and spices and leave it to work its magic.
Serve with a healthy dollop of guacamole and steamed rice. Quick, healthy and kind on the wallet!
Did you know black beans are a great source of protein and are a lot cheaper per gram than meat!
Dairy-free Ice Cream
Sometimes all you want is a sweet treat after dinner.
The good news is, vegan desserts are easier to make than you might think. Take dairy-free ice cream for example, all you need is some fruit, sugar and dairy-free milk. Add it to an ice cream maker and it does the hard work for you!
Here’s some flavour inspo:
- Mango and lime sorbet
- Banana, peanut butter and oat milk
- Vegan chocolate chip with Oreo crumble
There’s now a whole range of dairy-free milk options to choose from. Pick from soya, oat, cashew, coconut, almond or hemp!
Always Carry Emergency Snacks
When hunger pangs strike and you find yourself far from home, it’s easy to give in and reach for the nearest chocolate bar.
However, with a little preparation you can avoid this scenario altogether. Carrying nuts, seeds and fruit in your bag gives you something to munch on when the desire takes you.
Another tasty vegan snack is popcorn. You can even make your own sweet or salty popcorn at home with a popcorn maker! Perfect for home-movie nights with friends.
Pick the Restaurant
Going vegan doesn’t mean you have to give up going out to eat. If all your friends or colleagues are out celebrating, staying home will make you miserable.
If you’re worried about finding vegan friendly options on the menu, why not take charge and organise where you’re going. This means you can do some quick research beforehand and make sure there are some tasty vegan options on the menu.
You’d be surprised at how many UK restaurant chains offer great vegan options; Pizza Express makes a pizza with vegan cheese and Wagamama’s have loads of vegan dishes to choose from.
Try Something New
If you’re going vegan for the first time, why not take this opportunity to try something new?
The world of fruits and vegetables is vast and it’s likely there’s something out there that you’re yet to try. Visiting a world food market is a great place to discover new foods.
Once you’re home with your stash, you can experiment by whipping up different smoothie combinations in a blender. Why not challenge yourself to a different flavour combo every morning for a week? A quick and healthy breakfast option to keep you on your toes.
Sugar and Spice and All Things Nice
The key to getting the maximum flavour out of vegan food is to be heavy handed with the seasoning.
Fresh and dried herbs, spices, vinegar and vegan sauces can all add that special something to a simple dish.
Get Creative in the Kitchen
One of the biggest things that throw people off the vegan wagon is getting stuck in a food rut.
Combat this by picking one night a week to get creative in the kitchen and experiment with flavours.
This doesn’t have to be an expensive or laborious task. With the right kitchen tools, creating new vegan recipes is easy and fun. A multipurpose food processor can lend a hand in the kitchen by whipping up sauces, blitzing veg and making breadcrumbs in minutes. MasterChef eat your heart out.
Stock Up on Vegan Basics
Returning home from a long day at work to an empty cupboard is a disaster waiting to happen. When you’re tired, that’s when the cravings set in and you’re just a moment away from picking up the phone and ordering a giant cheesy pizza.
That’s why it’s so important to keep a well-stocked cupboard with all the vegan basics to hand.
Here’s a list of essential vegan items;
- Nutritional yeast
- Beans of all varieties
- Vegan stock
- Maple syrup
Do it With Friends
Creating new habits is easier with friends. Someone to share recipes with and keep you on track when late night cravings kick in can make transitioning to vegan a whole lot easier.
Try out some vegan friendly restaurants together or invite them round for a home-cooked meal so you don’t have to feel like you’re missing out on social occasions.
It’s All About Texture
To make food satisfying, it’s all about that crunch. Creating foods with an interesting mix of textures is a simple way to make vegan food exciting.
From crispy, deep fried cauliflower pops, to dehydrated vegetable crisps, a little bit of bite keeps things from getting bland.
Don’t Scrimp on Calories
Sitting down to a plate of lentils and a few sad lettuce leaves while everyone else tucks into a full roast dinner is no fun for anyone. But there’s no need to feel deprived!
One of the great things about going vegan is that it means you can eat more food! Without calorie heavy meat and dairy, your body needs more of the good stuff to keep it ticking along.
That means you can indulge in a few extra snacks throughout the day and say yes to that vegan chocolate cake for dessert!
Focus on What you CAN Eat
Instead of getting worked up over what you can’t eat, it’s best to focus on the massive list of tasty fruits, veg, pulses, beans and grains you can eat till your heart’s content.
Vegan living should be about abundance not restriction!
If you’re thinking about transitioning to a vegan diet, give yourself a helping hand in the kitchen by investing in a few hard-working gadgets that will help you stay on track.
Geepas offers a great range of multipurpose kitchen appliances to make cooking delicious vegan food at home as easy as pie.
To see how Geepas can help, explore the rest of the Geepas kitchen appliance range and get cooking!