I meant to publish this WAY earlier but hey ho, I’m rarely on time in life so why would I be online? Actually, I’m ALWAYS on time but that lie made the opening sentence of this post easier to write so….
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I’ve been vegan for a while now, vegetarian even longer, carnivorous intermittently, on a diet of breastmilk for a few short months, juicing = NEVER.
And it seems as though a fair few flirt with a flexitarian diet too. Perhaps you’ve found this piece searching for, “vegan recipes for people who like their stomach”, or perhaps for this, “why does vegan cheese make me cry” but more likely this, “vegan recipes because I’ve just signed up to Veganuary and I can’t eat any more Oreos.”
Perhaps none of the above. However you found me, you are in the right place if you want a roundup of my FAVOURITE, tried, tested and devoured vegan recipes.
Disclaimer: If you like chia seed puddings you’re in the wrong place. I hate that stuff!
I feel a bit of a fool writing this post as it’s so simple I’m sure most people have a far better system in place but honestly, this is one of my most requested blog posts (by at least one person ;)).
Reducing your food waste may not be a huge priority but it is one of mine. It’s the easiest way to reduce your overall household waste as, realistically, it involves one of three things; buying less food, eating more food or planning better. I am good with all three of these things but let’s be realistic and accessible to those who don’t want to eat more food, can’t buy less and want the third, most Virgo option on the table.
Let’s talk meal planning
I’ve been heavily into meal planning since the whole family became vegan. It’s helped us reduce our waste, eat a bigger variety of food and, genuinely, have a little fun each week. Come on, don’t judge me on this!
Before you start, all you’ll need is some sort of meal planning notebook. I have a very, very old one that is still going but it’s not the best as there’s no space to add a shopping list. I’d recommend either using a blank pad you customise with the days of the week and a space for a shopping list, or use an online notes app.
Before I jump in and give you my simple meal-planning tips I wanted to let you know my go-to resources for finding good vegan/plant-based recipes.
My Favourite Vegan Resources
Minimalist Baker always has great, simple plant-based recipes and I’ve never made a dud one!
Oh She Glows is another fave and I especially adore her food photography.
Aine Carlin first cookbook Keep it Vegan is a classic I often refer back to.
I adore my beautiful Riverford Autumn/Winter cookbook; the recipes aren’t exclusively vegan but it’s a gorgeous guide to eating seasonally and my go-to when random veg like Pain de Sucre pops up in my veg box!
Start with what you have: Any veg that needs to be used up lest it grow roots and propagate in your fridge? A glut of pasta you need to get through? I have a weekly veg box so at this stage I also look at what’s coming in my next delivery.
Note the days you’re out: This isn’t tricky for me as I basically never go out but you might have a weekly date night or exercise class or whatever so it’s good to keep note, so you know not to make more than you need.
Set categories: I use a bit of a strange system as I rely on what my bulk store has in stock. So to keep it both flexible and reliable I use 5 categories to base my meals on; rice, grain (cous cous/quinoa etc), pasta, potato and legume (lentils, chickpeas etc).
Start planning! This is when I grab my cookbooks and start poring over them, picking whatever takes my fancy. Of course, we have staples (Like the chilli from this book!) but I like to add new bits and pieces too. Most importantly, the meals we cook tend to be in line with the seasons as per our Riverford veg box.
Make a shopping list: Pretty important but amazing how I often I forget this step! This is why I suggest having a space for your list as the most simple you can make your meal plan, the easier it is to stick to. At the moment, I write on the back of my meal plan OR pop it on Sunday which is when we tend to wing it a bit.
And thus concludes one of the least exciting blog posts I’ve ever written! I hope you enjoyed it because I GENUINELY loved writing it!
This post was supposed to go live on WEDNESDAY, but I’ve had such a bonkers week I scheduled it for the wrong day. DOH.
That’s not a great introduction to what I wanna chat about today tbh, but hey ho. Since transitioning back to being vegan last year, I’ve been asked a lot about vegan travel. Because, as a travel obsessive (and journalist) it’s pretty high on the ‘topics I think about most often’ list.
It’s a funny concept isn’t it though? The thought I wouldn’t be able to travel anywhere because of what I eat. But having travelled all over the world I know there are certain places where I’ve eaten a meal and couldn’t tell you what on earth it contained.
Y’all know I’m not too strict, and if someone offers me a cuppa with cows milk I really don’t stress. But I also wouldn’t want to be accidentally chowing down on a baby cow while twiddling noodles round my fork either.
I guess what I’m trying to say is this: I have to think a little bit more deeply about where I want to travel to next.
Although I’m not really one for ‘bucket lists’ and I certainly don’t keep one (too morbid) I have started planning out my travels a lot more, because baby and because work is a LOT busier than it used to be.
Even so, I like to keep a bit of wiggle room in any list, so I’m hoping this expands to include a few more destinations by the end of the year. We’ll see 🙂
So, in no particular order, please find the vegan travel destinations I’m desperate to visit this year!
To be honest, even though I ate meat when I was in India, it’s one of the EASIEST destinations for vegan travel due to the sheer volume of delicious vegetarian food on offer.
In fact, it’s not even a ‘thing’ to worry aout finding specific veggie or vegan restaurants because you can essentially divide Indian cuisine into two types: North Indian and South. While the north is a little more meat heavy (except for cows which are sacred in Hindu culture), while the south is way more vegetarian.
I’m SO keen for a beach break, so I’m thinking of heading down to Palolem, a hippy paradise in Goa, home to yummy curry, cheap beer (Goan tax on beer is the lowest of all Indian states!)and SUN.
I’ve been SO keen to visit Newfoundland. I don’t know exactly why, but I am just desperate to take a trip over the pond to magical Atlantic Canada…….because Newfoundland dogs, and because OMG poutine and hello, yes please it’s only a five-hour flight!
When I go I’m pretty excited to get cosy at the beachfront located, super cute White on Wood
I can’t speak French. (I know., I know….so I let the funky music do the talking, talking……?) But I CAN speak Deutsch. Sprechen sie Deutsch? Ja?
Then you probably long to sing Auf Wiedersehn and “Wie komme ich am besten zum bahnhof bitte?” too then.
Apologies for this aggressive, slightly braggy detour into my beautiful German. All this is to say I’m excited to take a trip to Berlin this year!
But I’d always imagined Germany to be the worst kind of place for vegans. All that sausage, y’all! Apparently, though, it’s a total haven for us herbivores! Huzzah!
I’ve heard so many great things about design hotels in Berlin I only have one choice, the Hotel Zoo Berlin
From somewhere vegan-friendly to the country that eats the most butter in the WORLD.
Yep, France. I’m a Francophile guys so I can’t go a year without visiting my favourite country, and this year I’m off the Provence for a wedding (I love it when my friends get married in nice places!) and I can’t wait to see how I fare.
Paris was pretty easy, to be honest because, well, it’s a city but there’s also a burgeoning vegan scene and I’m excited to while away some lazy Provence days at the beautiful Provence Hotel.
So, you’ve decided to go all plant-based for Veganuary and after the first, smug, five days where you feel radiant, are excited about making your own houmous and the joys of Holland & Barrett it’s date night and you are PANICKED.
Because you normally go to Nandos. Or Le Relais de Venise. Or Meat Liquor.
Where the fudge do you go when you want to carry on with your vegan diet BUT you really can’t face another night in cooking from Lucy off of Made in Chelsea’s cookbook.
DON’T PANIC. An adopted Londoner since 2003, I’ve been vegan since 2015 with one chunky break while preggo (I know, I know…..) and I am seriously lazy. Which means I like to eat out a fair amount (yep, I know this is why us millennials can’t afford bigger houses so shush.)
Here are my favourite vegan restaurants in London. Some chains, some indie, some east, some west. But all, hopefully, will help you have a dreamy night out while staying vegan (if you want to, obvs, no judgement here.)
I feel supremely lucky I live within walking distance of this awesome restaurant. Although it’s called ‘Veggie Vegan’ all the dishes are vegan, and some are even raw!
Although the restaurant is quite small, and gets booked up easily, we’ve always managed to get a spot and eat until we pop. The drinks are divine, the desserts BIG and plentiful and the lunchtime buffet (all you can eat yo!) is SUCH good value at £5.50 per person.
South Indian Restaurants
Okay, okay I know this isn’t a definitive restaurant but if you don’t know already, South Indian food is hella vegetarian.
And therefore you can also expect to find stacks of vegan options. Obviously, Indian food is traditionally cooked in ghee but not all dishes are so I find this to be the easiest option when eating out or ordering takeaway.
Despite having lived approximately 15 minutes walk from the Gate for about six years now, I only deigned to visit last week. LAST WEEK people!!
I’ve been missing out, because it’s bloody delicious. Not for those on a tight budget this is definitely a special occasion restaurant but the food was divine, and the service excellent.
There’s also branches in Finsbury Park and Marylebone.
I must admit, one of the things I really miss is eating curried goat and jerk chicken (which i basically do annually at Notting Hill Carnival) so I was happy to discover this little gem serving vegan and vegetarian Caribbean food!
Although this is in south London (Tulse Hill), don’t hate on it because it’s worth a visit.
Another east london stalwart, the Black Cat Cafe is a co-operative as well as being 100% vegan. So you can feel all warm and fuzzy while you enjoy a giant portion of fishless chips (the insta-famous dish).
AND, it’s super good value too. But it’s in east London…..ahhh man, I have to break my own rules and trek east sometimes 😉
The cafe is currently closed for refurbishment but will reopen in February 2018.
If you missed the news, this pub is the VERY first vegan pub in London! Maybe the UK?! Anyway, I haven’t visited yet…..because it’s new (as of January 2018) and it’s in Homerton, in the depths of East London (which, as you know, I rarely visit).
Opened by Club Mexicana owner Meriel Armitage, the food is probably gonna have a Mexican vibe. But you know what? I vow to test it out for you guys. I’ll trek to fudging Homerton for you…..gah. I will. Promise.
I just love the name! And it’s pizza. One of my favourite foods in the universe……Located out in Fulham (the other end of North End road to 222 Veggie Vegan), Pickywops serves delicious, creative pizza and does takeaway too.
What do you think? Have I saved your date night?! Let me know in the comments.
As I write this I’ve been vegan (with one BIG break while I was pregnant……) for about two years. But for a huge chunk of that time, I refused to label myself as anything. Why?
Because people are seriously judgemental when it comes to diet aren’t they? And I include myself in that category too, because I’m judgey (a word, not a word?) as fook. It’s just one of those things. Food is just super important to us humans and I think we all have funny little quirks when it comes to our eating habits.
Needless to say, if you’re reading this post you are either a new vegan yourself (trying Veganuary out perhaps?) or friends with someone who is. When you make a big change to your lifestyle; because that’s what being a vegan means I guess, changing your lifestyle as well as quitting animal products, it intrigues people, inspires curiosity and it also threatens people a little.
Some people, not all I hasten to add. Some people. But it does, doesn’t it? I think when anyone does anything we feel is ‘good’ or something we ‘should’ do too, but don’t want to, we feel a bit, well, pissed off. I know I do. I can’t even cope with how much waste I need to reduce and my brain can’t seem to cope with the idea of switching to cloth nappies instead of the ‘chuck ’em on a landfill and leave them to ruin the planet’ ones I currently use (*bows head in shame*).
So that, I think, is why people ask so many questions, and also why those questions can be a little bit clunky. But, as a vegan, I’m here to tell you they’re fudging annoying 😉
Where do you get your protein? This is the worst, you guys. THE WORST. I refer you to this response: “One cup of spinach has about 7 grams of protein”
Why are you vegan? Is it for health reasons? Erm. Why do you love junk food? is it for sexual reasons? I mean…….
I could never give up cheese. How do you do it?! Dude, I’m not gonna lie, it’s rough out there. Vegan cheese tastes like death.
Oh, you’re vegan! Don’t ask me to give up my birthday steak?! I mean, I definitely won’t. Because I literally give zero sh@ts about what you eat.
[when ordering food together] What are you gonna eat? Is that vegan? This one is just tiring. Don’t worry about what I’m eating. And please don’t keep asking me…..it’s so dull.
Okay, so all of that sounds super narky but honestly, I jest for the sake of the post. If you are recently vegan, good luck and godspeed! You’re changing the world 🙂 And if not, you are also awesome!
In today’s episode I share the reasons behind my return to veganism and I’ll give you some tips for making the change (if you want to) as well. I shared this with my newsletter first, and I had such an interesting reaction I wanted to share it with the Podosphere (?!) too.
Ultimately, there is NO judgement from me on your dietary choices. This is just a chat about why I decided to quit animal products.