Tips for Veganuary 2022

Veganuary first launched in 2014 as a way to help people go vegan for the month of January. If you are taking part this year we have put together some of our best tips from Greener Beauty HQ and from the UK Vegan community.

If you are taking part in Veganuary make sure you have signed up officially with them as you will receive a daily email from them with lots of amazing tips and suggestions.

Veganise your Favourite dishes

For me it would be totally unsustainable to try veganuary without veganising my favourite recipes. And I think this is a great place to start. The image below is one of my favourite pre vegan Jamie Oliver recipes for asparagus and green vegetable lasagne that I have changed to have a vegan recipe (it was veggie before). Click on the image to get the recipe.

This is much easier than it sounds. If you are making spaghetti bolognaise all the ingredients should be vegan apart from the mince and any cheese you put on top. So replace the mince with either a vegan mince or maybe a nice mix of lentils or beans? Or I had a gorgeous one that used aubergine in very small pieces instead of mince and it was honestly the best bolognaise I’ve ever had!

If you aren’t sure how to change a recipe to be vegan break it down and find vegan replacements for non vegan ingredients.

Try to be as organised as possible especially at first

When changing what you are eating whether its going vegan or any other change its best to be organised as much as possible to start with.

Plan your meals in advance and batch cook if possible so you can reheat for dinner or lunch. If you need ideas for recipes check out the BOSH boys.

Go to the supermarkets armed with a shopping list including ingredients for all your favourite dishes in vegan form.

Make sure you have vegan friendly snacks available so if you get peckish you can eat something then. This could be anything from a piece of fruit, some carrots and hummus or a bag of vegan friendly crisps. Just make sure you have something, these hungry moments are when you are most likely to cave in and eat something non vegan.

 

Nooch is about to become your best friend!

Have you cooked with Nutritional Yeast before?

If not Nutritional Yeast or Nooch is about to become your best friend. Added to a sauce nooch will add a deliciously cheesy taste and texture to any dish. Use it on pasta or I even sometimes add it to leeks with a bit of milk to make a cheesy leek side dish.

Don’t put pressure on yourself!

Now of course there might be some that disagree with this statement but I personally don’t think that veganism is about perfection, its about doing the best we can and causing as little harm as humanly possible. The reason I say this is that you might buy a loaf of vegan friendly bread and an insect might have been killed in the harvesting of the wheat. We do the best that we can.

And if you accidently eat something that isn’t vegan don’t waste your energy on kicking yourself about it.

 

Look out for accidently vegan items

You might be surprised at the amount of things that are accidently vegan. Check the ingredients of items you have in your cupboard and you might be surprised!

Personally I had not eaten party rings since I was about 5 at a birthday party. However a few years ago a friend got me some when I popped round to hers for a cuppa as they are vegan and they are pretty good option if you want a quick sweet biscuit.

Other Tips! 

We also asked for Tips from some of our vegan friends and here are the best ones. Some really good nuggets here so I hope you get loads out of it:

“When cooking veg, use an all purpose seasoning like Kucharek or Vegeta (found in the Polish section of most major supermarkets). It makes a world of difference to the flavours!”

Piotr Glodowski, Brighton

“Veganuary is not a competition. If you find yourself slipping off the wagon at any point don’t write the rest of the month off – just get back on it. If you eat vegan for only 6 days of the week, it is still better than eating meat 6 days of the week. Veganism is a journey, a road we all travel along at a different pace. Just start again the next day, no one is judging.” 

Jules, owner of Annies Vegan Treats who have this delicious Veganuary Treat Box available.

“I have so many tips! 
– Think about meals you already like, and then try to veganise those
– Remember you probably already eat a lot of vegan food – fruit, vegetables, pulses, etc. It doesn’t have to be daunting
– If it feels difficult or overwhelming – think about WHY you’re going vegan.
– Don’t tell yourself you CAN’T eat certain foods – you are CHOOSING not to
– Try not to eat too many processed vegan foods. There are lots of them out there, but vegan doesn’t always equal healthy
– Herbs and spices are your friends
– Join support groups – Veganuary have groups on FB/Twitter/Instagram
– ENJOY IT! YOU’RE DOING AN AMAZING THING!”
Claire Field

“It’s easy to get carried away with the huge choice of vegan fast food and substitutes but these can end up being very expensive as well as unhealthy, remember that.”

A tip from Star Khechara of The FaceLift Diet

“Try to adapt meals you already love rather than try brand new meal ideas. Keeping it simple is the key.”
Holly Cranfield, Brighton
“My top tips are to start with your favourite meals and veganise them. If you can have 5 or 6 go to vegan dishes you will never go hungry. Then don’t forget all the simple comfort foods which are vegan anyway like beans on toast, a jacket spud with beans, hummus and salad or left over vegan chilli. Also talking of left overs, batch cooking those favourite meals and freezing in portions ready to reheat really is helpful. My favourite batch cooking meals are a variety of soups (those short dated cheap veggies are great for this), spag bol, chilli, curries and bean casserole. Vegan food also doesn’t have to be expensive if you cook this way with fresh veggies and dried pulses.”
Claire McCormack owner of Luna Tree Jewellery
“Find your favourite plant milk by giving a few a go to find the one you like. Barrista versions don’t curdle in tea. Ask someone to sponsor you who you can share recipe ideas/struggles/questions with. Take a cheese break before trying vegan cheese! Try out pulses and grains-quinoa, black beans, bulgharwheat, chickpeas. Nutritional yeast is your new best friend! Make pesto by blitzing olive oil, salt, green leaf such as basil, spinach, nettle, kale then add any nut or seed (hemp, pine, walnut, sunflower see) and then a generous sprinkling of nutritional yeast. Try scramble tofu-you may never switch back to eggs. Firm tofu seasoned with turmeric kala namak (or just salt) a little bit of sweet such as maple or agave and mix it all in-add to a pan of sizzling onions and garlic and then add tofu scramble and any veggies you want such as mushrooms, kale, peppers. Make the most of the vegan offerings and restaurants whilst eating out!”
Lynne Elizabeth Mason, Brighton

“A can of fizzy drink (eg coke for chocolate or a lighter colour fizzy drink – fizzy water works great) mixed into box cake mix makes a low effort vegan cake “

Sofi Fantom, Brighton

“I would advise new vegans not to join too many vegan pages, there are some vegan nazis out there that make you feel like a failure no matter how hard you try. And a big one. If you are giving up cheese then go a week or two cold turkey before you try the vegan versions. Cheese is addictive and it takes a while to get rid of the taste. It might put you off if you get a bad one to start with, I once tried a fake brie that tasted like washing up liquid, it was not pleasant!”

Angela Phillips, Brighton

Such amazing tips.

Do you have any tips that you would add?

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