Changing your diet to one that excludes animal parts and secretions doesn’t have to be difficult or daunting. In fact, it is easy, cheap, healthful, and tasty. Below I share the staple recipes that keep my household going throughout the year.
Soups The formula for any soup is: Base + main event + stock + combine + (blend) = eat
Bases – A soup base consists of (to taste):
Your basic onions, garlic, and sanda little chilli for spice.
Your mild spices that won’t overpower the flavour but add colour and warmth:
pinch of turmeric (yellow colour, immune function benefits, anti-inflammatory)
Paprika (red, a little spicy)
Onions and Garlic – Lightly sautéed (fried) in olive oil until soft and mixed.
Main event Popular flavours of soup:
Carrot and Coriander
Broccoli and Cauliflower
Courgette Soup (Zucchini)
This is really refreshing. It’s simple to make:
Chop some courgettes,
Fry them in a spread and some olive oil with garlic and herbs,
Make a broth with stock and herbs,
Cool, blend, serve:
(It’s garnished with carrot sprouts from the carrots I’m growing)
To this soup, to ANY soup, you could add some liquid smoke. You need the tiniest dash of this and it gives a smoky flavour that runs through the soup. I stress, you do not need a lot!
Leek and Potato
Simply, chop some potatoes, get them in a large pan with stock,
Fry some leeks with garlic in olive oil and perhaps a spread to make them creamy,
When the leeks are softened add them to the potato broth,
Roasted Pepper (Capsicum) and Tomato
(using coloured peppers Red/Yellow/Orange, but not Green, and either cherry or big tomatoes)
The method is similar for any soup, here the tomato and pepper is shown.
It takes about an hour to prepare and cook
This is the roasted red pepper and tomato blended in the NutriBullet and stored to take and share with friends.
Chilli Corn (kidney bean and sweetcorn) And the wondrous
Vegetable Broth – which have a few times a month (containing all the veggies you can find in your fridge, garden, store cupboard, or freezer)
Chowders – add soy/almond/any plant-based milk to the broth at the end of cooking to make it into a chowder! Works best with corn.
Make Your Soup
Simply take the ingredients from your main event and chop them up to bite-size (if you are not blending)
You can roast them in the oven or fry them in with the onions etc. – I prefer to roast things like peppers and tomato, carrots, and broccoli, but I prefer to simply chuck in the corn, kidney beans, coriander, and potato chunks – as you try the recipes out using the basic formula, you will get to know which flavours you prefer.
Stock – Simply boil a stock cube in water.
So you have your base of oniony, garlicy, spicy, anti-oxidancy, immune system-boostingy goodness
You have your roasted or thrown in main event veggies
You have your pot of stock Combine them in a large pot
Cook it all up together for a while to let the flavours infuse
If you are blending, then cool first, your blender probably won’t like hot ingredients unless you have one of those soup making combined blender thingies.
I have a NutriBullet which was the best £100 I ever spent (no, I am not by any means well off).
Veggie Broth – The concept with the vegetable broth though is simply to get yourself a big pot with some water, stick in a stock cube or two, then throw in your veg – what usually goes in ours is:
Mushrooms Onions Garlic Chillies Spices Potato Cherry tomatoes A bit of passata Carrots Zucchini (courgettes)
Leeks Peppers (capsicums, all colours)
Curries – The base of a curry starts of similar to that of a soup.
Fry garlic and onions, use more oil than with a soup though if you like, add in all your spices, fresh ginger and chillies to the oil and fry, but unlike a soup, you can cook on a high heat and char stuff and it will work.
Once the above is all nice and soft, add chopped tomatoes and reduce this to a paste.
You don’t have to reduce to a paste if you want a wetter curry to add more ingredients to.
You can add about two tins or a whole carton of pasatta, just be sure to add this at the beginning so you get all the flavours infused with the tomatoes, to avoid your curry becoming too tomatoey.
A curry should definitely have more spicy stuff though including but not only or limited to: In order of importance:
Garam masala – a spicy yet not hot staple spice made up of many different spices – buy a tub for your store cupboard
Turmeric – anti-inflammatory properties and immune system building spice, I stick this in my smoothies and a pinch of it wherever I can, and try to get it in me daily
Coriander – fresh or dried
Ginger – again good for immune function and staving off colds
Outside of these, curry powder, tandoori powder – they all contain the general spices you would want in a curry in one handy tub
The benefit of stocking up on spices is once they are in your cupboard you could come home with nothing but a courgette, an onion, and a carton of passata, and make yourself a nutritious and tasty meal, for about a quid ($1)
Types of Curry
Potato and Cous Cous This curry is made from sautéed potatoes. Par boil them first (boil them a little so they are not completely cooked), then you can sauté them alone in oil to crisp them up, or sauté them in your spicy onion/garlic/oil mixture.
Puy Lentil Peasant
People sometimes say “I can’t afford to be vegan/vegetarian”
In fact it’s cheaper to buy vegetables and fruit than it is to buy meat, cheese, milk, and eggs. Excluding animals from your diet is not expensive.
It only takes cooking from scratch.
Puy lentils are little dark green bundles. They can be used to substitute for “mince” of any kind (see below).
Cook these up in water with spices to flavour, just boil away and keep tasting, they are ready when you can bite into a spoonful and none are hard.
Use these in a simple tomato curry paste base.
Soy protein-based pasta sauces (Chilli and Bolognaise)
Often when I get home from work I pick up a carton of passata, a tub of mushrooms, and a bag of soy mince (or puy lentils).
Here I’ve made a basic sauce for a bolognaise and chili with Tesco Soy Mince – any vegan soy mince will do (Tesco being a UK supermarket, Sainsbury’s also do the a soy mince).
The bolognaise served with simple pasta, and the chilli served in a fajita with fresh avocado to cool the heat.
The soy mince is cooked in Onions and garlic Red wine A little dark chocolate Fresh lemon juice Fresh chilies or chili powder
These three ingredients are more for a chilli – and you would amp these up if you were making a chili, but are still nice in a bolognaise.
Passata Chopped mushrooms
Chopped peppers – any colours
Kidney beans or Turtle beans
This sauce will yield a rich, delicious, substantial tomato sauce with mince.
Instead of mince though, you can use puy lentils and kidney and/or turtle beans.
This is an alternative to using any “meat substitutes”, because you don’t need to in cooking sans animals, the puy and beans provide the same consistency of the mince, with more, and more pure, nutrition.
I suggest puy lentils as an alternative to “mince” because these stay firm when cooked. Simply rinse off, boil up (maybe with some flavouring such as spices or salt and pepper) then use as you would use mince.
I bring this home, fry some garlic and onion in olive oil, add the passata and mushrooms, simmer away, and viola – pasta sauce or chilli is made to be eaten with fajitas and guacamole, sliced avocado, or with pasta as bolognaise.
This is a quick meal, and it’s still good for you.
But don’t worry, you can still eat junk and be vegan! (see below)
You don’t have to use soy mince to make chilli. You can use this delicious, bean and corn-based, one pot recipe. You stick all the ingredients in a pan, put the lid on, and just leave to cook.
So what’s in the pot:
Chopped peppers (capsicum)
Juice of a lime (leave lime in pot)
Tin of sweetcorn (niblets)
Bunched coriander (cilantro)
Chilli powder and chopped chillies (to taste, it will be hot)
Turn on a low heat, put on lid, leave to simmer
Serve with rice and sliced avocado
I also love to serve this bean chilli wit plain soy yoghurt and tortilla sticks
I made a two-tone cottage pie recently using sweet potatoes and lentils. This meal is a traditional British mid-week meal.
Another basic recipe that you can tweak once you get the general gist;
For the mince version: Fry your onions, garlic, and mince in a pan.
For the lentil version boil your lentils in stock whilst frying your garlic and onions. When soft they will look like this. These lentils have been credited with assisting a flat tummy, being one of your five a day, and being a great source of protein.
You can make either version of this, but I made both to demonstrate. The sweet potato and lentil version was far nicer, but the mince and normal potato version more traditional and likely more what your friends will be used to if you are making them a vegan meal as opposed to an animal-based one.
So once you’ve got your onion, garlic, mince or lentil concoction into the one pan, mince browned and onions softened, (no need to brown the lentils as they cook through boiling), you add gravy. Red Bisto For Meat is vegan, but does contain palm oil.
Simply make some not too thin, not too thick gravy and pour into your base.
Now you can add some sliced or chopped carrots and some garden peas, frozen or fresh is fine. And you will end up with a mixture which looks like this:
And with this meal you can create a few leftovers. once you’ve filled your oven dish with the mixture and you have any left over, store these in the fridge to microwave later for a readymeal-type snack. You can use any extra lentils for recipes later in the week.
For your potato topping simply boil your potatoes, let soften, and add plant milk of your choice and vegan spread for a creamy mash.
When adding sweet potatoes I baked these in spread (for a buttery texture and taste) in the oven in baking foil. Once they came out they were soft and could be added to the white potatoes for the sweet potato topping:
Here’s what the sweet potato mash looked like when combined:
You know what to do now; spread the potatoes over your cottage pie mix. If you feel it’s not moist enough on the bottom (you want a nice gravy to come out with the pie to go with the potatoes on top), make more thin-ish gravy and add as needed:
Peak the potatoes with a fork for crispiness, it’s a nice contrast with the more moist pie filling. I’ve poured some soya milk over the top here in parts to ensure the potatoes don’t try out.
Cook for around 30 minutes, just check on it to ensure you have a nice crisp on some of your peaks.
Serve along with some gravy for people to add as they like:
Sweet potato and lentil version:
Three of us ate this and it was quite filling. I transferred portions into containers and microwaved through the week. This was just like a shop-bought readymeal, but far more tasty and nutritious.
I would recommend oven or hob cooking it over microwaving, but for convenience microwaving for about 5 minutes made a delicious and quick meal.
Quick Sweet Potato Meal
I whipped up a quick dish with what I had in the cupboard for myself and a friend:
Sweet potato baked with vegan spread and Nando’s sauce – some Violife on top
Fries – we have a deep fat fryer and it makes crispy fries akin to McDonald’s fries – at a fraction of the cost
Hummus – just dolloped on the plate
This meal could not be simpler, it’s healthful, filling, and has a variety of textures and tastes. You could whip something similar up with a variety of ingredients. Another example of a quick vegan meal.
Quick Potato Meal
You’re vegan(ish?) so you have avocados lying around. That’s likely all you have lying around too outside of absolute staples.
Here’s another quick meal I made using the cashew sour cream (see below) I recently discovered and now use daily!
Simple, nutritious, tasty, filling, cheap:
HOW TO MAKE CASHEW SOU R CREAM
This recipe could not be simpler, tastier, healthier, more filling, more versatile, and I could not be more impressed with it. If someone had told you ten years ago that you could eat sour cream every day; on your baked potatoes, chillies, in your chickpea salad sandwich filling, you’d have told them to stop being silly.
Soak cashews overnight in water in the fridge
Blend the cashews, the water, juice of one lime, and dash or two of apple cider vinegar. It will look like this (in an old peanut butter jar). It will keep for about a week in the fridge (give it a stir if you like, or add more water and blend).
It tastes like sour cream, it feels like sour cream, but it’s a healthful alternative. I know, it’s crazy.
Sandwiches – The concept of a sandwich – usually say ham and cheese – it includes margarine. You may wonder how the heck can you make a sandwich without animals? I’ll tell you!
Butter/margarine – hummus replaces these, spread hummus on your sandwiches, not congealed lactate secretions. Of course you can find a vegan “butter” or vegan spread recipe on YouTube or online. I personally can’t be bothered and would rather just use hummus!
Fillings Sliced avocado Lettuce and leaves Cucumber Roasted peppers Olives, Jalapenos – think the Subway VeggieDelight:
Fried tofu (has that eggy texture and feel that comforts a hangover)
Add mustard or vegan salad cream – the Granovita is very true to the original concept and keeps for about a month in the fridge
I found this epic sandwich idea from someone on my facebook page, so here is their picture and their words:
“Epic sammie for lunch tomorrow, from left to right: chickpea salad, homemade pepper jack, smoked tofurky, Top to bottom: vegenaise, Popeye pesto and mustard all on homemade bread with greens and all mine. A different flavour combination in every bite!”
So I did make my own chickpea sandwich filling! What kind of sandwich does this make?
Good for work or kids’ lunchboxes. I pulsed in the NutriBullet….
Salad Cream (Granovita)
I used what I had lying around, but if you want to jazz this up, make the above concoction, and mix in:
Add finely sliced onions spread and serve. It’s really that simple. This can create a baguette something like a “tuna crunch” flavour. Adding nutritional yeast is something many people do to their chickpea salad.
Here are the results of the quick version:
Sausage Sandwich – I’ve found soy-based sausages work best, and make a sausage sandwich fit, at least, for my other half who is recent meat-eater. The sausages below are Tesco own brand soy, and are served with brown sauce or mustard.
Avocado, mushroom, walnut, hummus sandwich
One easy way to make a sandwich vegan is to use hummus in place of butter or marg. It makes the sandwich more tasty.
I make this often to gain the benefit of avocados’ and walnuts’ good fats, protein, and many other health benefits.
Spread hummus on your bread,
Slice avocado and place on bread,
Fry mushrooms – perhaps in garlic? – add on top of avocado,
Push broken walnuts into the soft avocado,
It looks and tastes delicious, and is healthful:
I use VBites Cheatin’ Rashers. The other half told me these were much like the turkey bacon he found in Jamaica – I wouldn’t know about that.
Fry your rashers in a lot of oil to keep them moist, and don’t cook for too long as they become difficult to bite into.
I serve mine this way:
Want your food to at least LOOK like flesh?
We got you covered! Welcome to “seitan”, the mock meat made with gluten. Good for you? I wouldn’t say so, not as bad as decomposing flesh, but not a health food. Just take a look at it though.
I made this sandwich as a snack with stuffing.
Griddle, fry, or oven bake your can of mock duck (you can buy this from Chinese supermarkets, some normal supermarkets, and online) until it crisps up.
Add hot water to some stuffing, just use what you like, the PAXO onion and sage is vegan. Use some dairy-free spread to cream it up.
Bake in the oven on a high heat for about 20 minutes.
When cooked, put this all between bread and eat it. Doesn’t it look like meat? Well it isn’t, but it has the texture and taste of bland meat. I’m sure you could spruce it up like you do meat, or you can just eat it like this, it’s filling and pleasant.
BUY YOURSELF A SANDWICH TOASTER
Then you can pimp your sandwiches to a warm pocket! My favourite toasted sandwich is pesto, cheese, and tomato.
Here’s that sandwich before and after toasting. A toaster will cost about £20, if that, but is a staple accessory for me.
Scrambled Egg and A Cuppa Tea?
No, not quite. Scrambled tofu and a cup of tea perhaps.
This is the most basic tofu scramble recipe you can get, and it turns out much like scrambled eggs.
Crumble some firm tofu into a frying pan along with “butter” (Vitalite, Pure, or homemade),
some fresh garlic, and/or garlic salt,
and some tumeric (for the yellow colour as well as the health benefits) – you don’t need a lot and once cooked the flavour of this is subtle.
Serve on a crumpet with a cup of tea. Milks that can recreate tea using cows’ milk are: Alpro Soya For Professionals OR Almond Breeze. At least that’s what I’ve found.
Be more adventurous with your scramble by adding:
Chilli Powder or Chillis
Anything you like
I found a recipe online with great pictures, mine is so basic you might want to start searching the web for the more adventurous world of tofu scramble ideas:
I also recently did a bit of a fancier version with onions, garlic, herbs, turmeric, mushrooms, and Nando’s sauce:
Here’s Rachel’s tofu scramble recipe.
You will find the Full English below, that’ll fill you up. I’ve also had a few dabblings with the wheat-based breakfasts loved in the US: French Toast, and Pancakes. Here are two easy recipes:
Your bead wash is:
Plant milk (any will work)
Chia or Flax seeds (these will bind the mixture, make it a bit sticky)
Cinnamon (to taste, I found a needed more than a few dashes from this jar
I added a few walnuts into the mixture because I like to eat walnuts every day
So you blend this lot up
to make a bread wash that looks like this:
Get a pan nice and hot on a low heat, turn it up and fry the bread until golden brown. The chia seeds will keep the mixture together and stick your wash to your bread.
Enjoy with a cup of black coffee
This is the better pancake recipe:
1 cup flour
1 cup milk
1/4 cup applesauce
2 tsp baking powder
2 tbls sugar
2 tbls oil
Risottos The concept of risotto is simple again – cook your risotto/abborio rice by frying in oil then adding stock slowly
Griddle some tofu and broccoli – or whatever vegetables you are having: Asparagus and Lemon Sausage, Red Wine, and Mushroom Mushroom and White wine – simply replace some of the stock with white or red wine when cooking
This could not be easier or more wonderful.
Basically blend up the following, and don’t blend for too long if you have a NutriBullet as it will turn to slush, you want texture for your pasta to grab hold of.
Fresh basil Toasted Walnuts or Pine Nuts Garlic – roasted or raw – or a bit of both (raw garlic helps collagen production and builds the immune system, which is why I include a clove a day of raw garlic in my diet)
I realise this recipe is oh so simple, but I did photograph each stage as I was looking forward to making this, given that I adore basil pesto.
So here’s your step-by-step, fool proof guide to green yumminess:
The penne version you see came out a good consistency. Never underestimate the power of the NutriBullet motor.
The second batch was far too blended, but it still tasted brilliant.
Do I have to use pasta?
No. Pasta is calorie-rich, nutrient-poor, stodgy carb food, and more and more people are avoiding these types of food. As someone who enjoys nutrition, I am avoiding pasta more and more, and recently made my pesto dish using courgette/zucchini pasta. You can buy a Spiralizer to make zucchini pasta, or you can just slice it into strips and boil.
Simple Pasta Dishes
You’re hungry, not much cash, you can make more than one dish from these four ingredients.
In a supermarket such as Lidl you will find these jars of antipasti for £1 each. You can use
Green or black olives
Get a bag of pasta, in Lidl 29p
Cook your pasta while you warm some crushed garlic, your chosen antipasti, oil from the sundried tomatoes (or artichoke hearts) over a low heat.
Stick the pasta in your “sauce”. This meal is cheap, easy to make, tasty, and filling.
You can add “nooch” (nutritional yeast) for a nutty, cheesy flavour that might be used to getting from Parmesan.
I’ve made a few versions of this plebilicious meal now, one using this dried TVP mince, which I purchased from Amazon.
Again it’s simply mince, garlic and onions, green olives, garnished with nutritional yeast.
Pâté is the easiest thing to make – providing you have a blender of some sort. I make mushroom and walnut, but once you are an experienced cook you can experiment. Mushrooms just provide the best base as they become silky and substantial when cooked.
Sauté a good amount of mushrooms in a large pan with onion and garlic Toast the walnuts on a cast iron skillet or frying pan Add a glug of white wine, or better, Champaign/Cava, to the mushrooms
Add the walnuts Warm through The mushrooms should be cooked rather than raw, but not reduced to shadows of their former selves.
The walnuts should be nicely toasted and warmed into the mushroom mixture.
Cool the mixture before blending Blend the mixture until it forms a paste Spoon this paste out into serving tins Serve on warm toast It has a flavour reminiscent of the pâté of your childhood made with sparking Champaign and the livers of tortured hens.
The difference with this pâté is it’s cheap as heck, tasty as heck, includes healthful ingredients, you can eat as much as you like and do absolutely no harm to your wasteline or your body as a whole, and there is no cruelty involved.
I’ve made this about five times already for the above reasons.
Two separate attempts equal two separate consistencies, these were my first two tries. The first had no wine in and was more textured.
I blended the second, more moist mixture, for longer, and what came out was much like champaign chicken liver – similar texture, with the odd lump of onion, similar consistency, delicious on the warm sliced toast.
Another food processor creation. It doesn’t have to be a NutriBullet, but they are great at their job.
Get an avocado,
A few cherry tomatoes,
Half a clove of raw (or baked) garlic,
Some sliced chilli,
Some lemon juice,
Blend it up for a few seconds or a minute (depending on blender type),
You now have guacamole.
Serve this with a fish-style dinner of fishless steaks, peas, chips, or beans? Salad maybe… or just eat from a tub with some crackers as a snack.
This is pure nutrition too: avocado with its good fats and abundant nutrients, garlic’s cancer protection, the well-known anti-inflammatory properties of chilli, and yet more Vitamin C from lemon juice.
These are my breakfast, and if not, I work one into my day, every day for the following reasons:
I paid £100 for my NutriBullet (just under a tenth of my monthly wage, and just over a third of my monthly rent) and I want to get my money’s worth It ensures I get a good dose of the vitamins and nutrients my body requires for optimum function in one easy step, then the rest of the day I can do as I please without worrying
I can stick in some amazing nutrients that we don’t tend to get usually which are superfoods and have a recognisable impact on my skin and hair (see below)
The NutriBullet has been worth it for me because the motor is as good as the informercial says. It does blend everything up into a drinkable formula, and I have found it works better than my previous large or small smoothie makers. So what goes in?
Fruits to include and their main benefits:
Apples – carbohydrate
Pineapple – Vitamin C
Vegetables to include and their main benefits:
Carrots – Vitamin A – you know that stuff they put in face cream! ^_^
Kale or Broccoli – calcium, protein, anti-cancer properties, iron – you don’t really taste the broccoli or kale if you add a little bit to each smoothie, and then you’re getting enough of it without noticing
Nuts – Protein – any nuts will do! I’ve read that walnuts are good for brain function and are recommended to take in once/day, so a couple in each breakfast smoothie wouldn’t go amiss
Superfood powders to include and their main benefits:
Spirulina – apparently makes your hair grow and makes healthy hair (walked for me, I have been told my hair is longer of late)
The colour of most of my smoothies comes from spirulina. A tiny amount reduces the brightest reds to the deepest, darkest blue-green colour. This is because spirulina is a blue-green algae:
Microalgae contain substances of high biological value, such as polyunsaturated fatty acids, amino acids (proteins), pigments, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Edible blue-green algae reduce the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines by inhibiting NF-κB pathway in macrophages and splenocytes. Sulfate polysaccharides exhibit immunomodulatory, antitumor, antithrombotic, anticoagulant, anti-mutagenic, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and even antiviral activity against HIV, herpes, and hepatitis.
Look at all this goodness in one glass, talk about getting your 5 – 7/day sans effort!
Maca Root – this gives a berry-like taste to any smoothie
Raw Cacao – this is what people are referring to when they talk about chocolate being healthy I use raw cacao mostly in this way:
Did you ever have the Banana Chocolate Vivanno with Espresso Shot?
They discontinued it in the UK, and I remember spending about $7 on one in the US when I was addicted to them – I had seven espresso shots in mine. Well you can recreate this at home using:
One banana – frozen or not
Your favourite instant coffee granules
Raw cacao powder
Blend this up and you get a frothy, bananary, bittery chocolately, milky
ROCKET FUEL depending on how much coffee you put in. In the mornings this can really wake you up, I mean really.
Banana Protein Shake
I made this one day because I had a hangover. All the years I would pop to the shop and spend £1 on a Banana Yazoo. All the cruelty that contributed to, all the harm that was doing my body. This alternative is just as sweet, just as tasty, and actually good for you.
It couldn’t be much clearer what I’ve done here, but I blended the following:
Frozen (and/or fresh banana)
Handful of almonds
Half a spoonful of tumeric
Plant milk (this time I used Alpro Soya)
Junk Food Dinners
If you’re even too squished after a hard day’s work to stir a pasta sauce, turn the oven on, stick in a couple of Linda McCartney sausages and some oven chips covered in American Chip Spice.
Warm a tin of baked beans on the hob, stick it all on a plate, and there you have what I would call junk food… but it’s still not going to give you heart disease.
“Full English” Breakfast – also using specialist vegan products (see below)
The Full English has never been hailed as a healthy breakfast. The vegan version though can actually be said to provide valuable nutrition.
My version here replicates the main ingredients of a “Full English”:
Scrambled eggs (tofu for us)
Is basically firm tofu fried in a pan with garlic, salt, pepper, and tumeric (which gives a yellow colour replicating scrambled eggs AND of course all the wonderful health benefits of tumeric – which I also take daily in smoothies)
Bacon (Fakon/VBites Rashers)
Sausage (Linda McCartney brand here)
Here’s your Vegan Full English in action:
We often have toast with it too smile emoticon and a cuppa tea! (or coffee)
Specialist Vegan Products
There are a lot of specialist vegan products on the shelves, usually stuff trying to mimic the meat and dairy we once loved.
I liken it to Bollywood cinema– some offerings are divine and wondrous discoveries, some are so awful they make you spit water through your nose.
I’ve not tried them all, but I will say that when it comes to congealed breastmilk, there doesn’t seem to be a substitute – not surprisingly really!
Milk – Almond milk seems the nicest and easiest to make the transition.
Those of you native to England, UK, I have fantastic news for you! Marks & Spencer have a new Almond Milk Product which is similar to the cows’ lactation we are all so used to that it goes well in tea and I’ve been drinking it by the glass.
I mostly use almond or soya milk on cereal, and for that purpose there really is no discernible difference. I actually used to guzzle semi-skimmed milk by the four pinter daily. It took about one month of quitting dairy cold turkey for two stone in weight to drop off me and for my stomach to become flat as a pancake.
UPDATE – I’ve started using Good Hemp. It’s quite creamy, keeps for a while in the fridge, my new favourite. I buy a few cartons a month and keep them in the cupboard, they last the month that way, and I place one in the fridge and use them one at a time on cereal or in smoothies.
VPud – Fake black pudding. Black pudding is dried pigs’ blood. Call me a hypocrite (who isn’t?) but as a meat eater I found the thought of this disgusting, so never ate it.
I picked this stuff up though for a try and was pleasantly surprised. Its flavour is heavy on barley, its texture grainy – I guess I’m not selling it well here, but served toasted with cherry tomatoes on toast for breakfast, as below, it’s actually a treat.
It’s made in Lancashire by a company that also, unfortunately, makes the real thing, but you can find it in those vegan speciality shops.
VBites make cheese, they make sausages, they make chick’n bites… I’ve tried a few of their products and, as well as the rashers above, one I really like is the fish steaks. We have a fish dinner a few nights a month, as above. My other half eats fish (as a rule) and says these are very like good old battered fish shop cod.
You can produce a quick, light and crispy batter to coat anything from mushrooms to vegetables. Turns out a little like what they put around chicken legs if you add garlic powder.
When I made this batter the taste was phenominal.
However, I didn’t do too well with coating my mushrooms and ended up eating the batter as some kind of crispy snack. The batter consists of:
1/2 Cup self-raising flour
1/3 Cup corn starch
3/4 Cup Sparkling water – you could use beer for say Beer Battered Onion Rings
2 Tablespoon Baking powder
Warm oil – the oil you are already heating to fry your goodies (this can be any oil you like from olive to sunflower, just warmed on a low heat to spattering, then turned right up just before you add your goodies)
Garlic powder to taste – I just shoved a load in because I like garlic
When I made this batter the taste was phenomenal.
However, I didn’t do too well with coating my mushrooms and ended up eating the batter as some kind of crispy snack.
HOT DOGS! (Tofu Weiners)
Delicious! Many of us have heard about the unmentionables that go into making hot dogs. I wouldn’t call these a health food either, but there are no lips, trotters, anuses, or entrails.
What about lunches for work?
A salad of simple capsicums, raw onion, or leaves can be decorated with artichoke hearts, olives, capers, or another flavoursome addition.
Cereal and plant milk for a snack. This lunch is filling with a lot of flavour. It’s also inexpensive.
Fry onions and garlic in oil
Add seasoning. Here’s what I used
Cook some rice. I used white here, and here’s how to cook it:
1 cup rice
3 cups cold water
in pan with salt and dairy-free spread
high heat, uncovered, bring to boil
low heat, lid with steam valve on
heat off, lid on, leave to settle. It comes out nice and fluffy:
Add chopped tomatoes to your seasoned onions and garlic, allow to marinate
Add kidney (or any) beans and chopped green (or any colour) pepper (capsicum)
I also added coconut milk at this stage
When the sauce is marinated, combine with the rice
I served this in a fajita with guacamole (see above) and salad
I made a simple dressing for the salad using just
Apple cider vinegar
The Worst that could Happen
Even at its worst, eating real food isn’t that bad. For instance, tonight I had no sausages, no nut roast, no pies. So I made myself “sausage and mash” anyway!
I had veg in my fridge (which is cheap to buy on the whole), so I made a dinner of mash, steamed broccoli and kale, peas, fried onions, and gravy.
Unceremonious it was, but it was tasty and nutritious. I had a plate of food that was not too shabby, without the “meat”y element that usually sets the veg part alight in traditional mealtimes.
So here is my no frills dinner. It’s just vegetables! So perhaps vegans do only eat ‘twigs and grass’ sometimes, but it even then, it really ain’t that bad.
If I make a more adventurous vegan recipe, I’ll do a separate post and link it here.
I haven’t made this one, but just to show you that you absolutely do not have to go without at all: KFC Chicken Drumsticks
So, it really couldn’t be simpler. Proper food is better for everyone!
Better for me! See part one where I explain why animals are not food.