Many people have told me that they want to try being vegan but they just don’t know where to start. It can feel like way too much of a commitment and if you’re not someone who enjoys cooking, a massive ball ache. Of course you can be a vegan who lives on chips and skittles – you’ll be dramatically reducing your carbon footprint and saving animals’ lives – but you won’t feel the amazing health benefits. The truth is that you do have to put a bit more effort in – because you’re cooking from scratch – but it’s totally worth it because this is your body and your health we’re talking about. It really doesn’t have to be tricky though, and I can prove it. I’ve written up the EASIEST and YUMMIEST (not to mention most nutritionally valuable) vegan recipes for you, and compiled them into a menu for one week. I’ve given you seven breakfasts, seven lunches and seven dinners so you can mix and match. So why not have a read, buy what you need, cook it up and eat this way for one week only. Then see how you feel; physically, emotionally, and in your soul, and go from there. Just one week!! Go on……………….
Easy Vegan Breakfast Options:
- Porridge made with plant milk (almond, oat, soy or rice – find your favourite).
- Toast with dairy free spread and marmalade, jam, or peanut butter.
- Cereal e.g. cornflakes or muesli served with ice cold plant milk – check the labels as some contain milk – WTF. (Label checking is actually a very important life skill. Get into the habit of looking at the ingredients list on everything you buy because it makes you realise all the crap that goes into processed foods. If you don’t recognise the ingredient, it isn’t good for you!)
- Massive smoothie – chuck in whatever you have lying around e.g. bananas, apples, celery, spinach etc, and then add oat milk or orange juice and some oats to thicken it up. You do not need me to tell you how much your body will thank you for this.
- Avocado on toast.
- Beans on toast. Protein for breakfast! (Or lunch, or tea.)
- Vegan Fry Up = Vegetarian sausages, fried mushrooms, fried tomatoes, baked beans, spinach, hash browns and toast with dairy free spread served with fresh fruit. LUSH. (We have tried all on the sausages on the market and Linda McCartney sausages are the bollocks.)
Easy Vegan Lunch Options:
- Pasta with dairy free pesto (available in all large supermarkets). Mix in spinach and add basil, chopped tomatoes and pine nuts for extra nutrients and yumminess. (This is also perfect as a kid’s tea served with plenty of chopped carrots, sugar snap peas, celery and hummus for dipping.)
- Falafel is a great friend at lunchtime. Eat with a leafy salad (because IRON), sprinkled with sunflower seeds, pine nuts and superfood chia seeds. Or all three. Make your own dressing in seconds using olive oil, balsamic vinegar, mustard, salt, pepper, and a teeny bit of golden syrup.
- Sandwiches or wraps (or a jacket potato if you’re really hungry) filled with any (or all) of the following; vegan sliced cheese (Violife is good), tomatoes, avocado, hummus, guacamole, pesto, beans, beetroot, grated carrot, cucumber, lettuce etc. The options are endless – you DON’T need cheese!
- Put some chick peas, chopped red onion, apple and celery into a food processor with some vegan mayo (‘Follow Your Heart’ does a great one called ‘Vegenaise’), season with salt and pepper, and shove into a pitta pocket with some fresh tomatoes. You can also add pesto to this if you fancy it. Delish.
- Cous-cous – buy it already made with roasted veg or make your own. Eat with a leafy salad (because CALCIUM).
- Make a bean salad (because PROTEIN), by mixing together a chopped red pepper, a chopped avocado, some sweetcorn, a tin of black beans, and dress with lime juice, maple syrup, and a pinch of cumin. Serve with crusty bread dipped in garlic infused olive oil. MMMMmmmmmm.
- Sunday Roast – If you don’t fancy making a vegan roast lunch you can easily buy one and then serve it with all the trimmings. You can even make vegan yorkshire puds if you can be arsed.
Easy Vegan Dinner Options:
- Vegan shepherds pie. OMG you guys, this is SO tasty. Worth the chopping I swear on my whole life. Boil some potatoes and then mash them using dairy free spread and some plant milk. Season with salt and pepper. Then just chop an onion, a stick of celery, and three or four carrots and saute in some rapeseed oil (which contains the lowest saturated fat of any oil and has 10 times more omega 3 than olive oil). Then add a tin of sweetcorn, and a couple of tablespoons of tomato puree or ketchup and mix it in. Make up a mugful of veggie stock (using a stock cube or builion), and slowly stir it into the mixture. (You can thicken with a bit of flour if you want to.) Lastly add a teaspoon of thyme and another of sage, and then season with salt and pepper. You can also add a dollop of maple syrup if you want. (YUM.) Simmer until the veg are soft, and then cover it all with the mashed potato and bake until bubbling. YOUR FAMILY WILL GO WILD FOR THIS TEA!
- Cauliflower and potato curry. So easy! And so good! Just saute an onion, and then grate in some fresh ginger, three chopped garlic cloves, a teaspoon of cumin, another of curry powder and a pinch of tumeric. A minute later, add a can of chopped tomatoes, and a teaspoon of sugar. Break a whole cauliflower into florets and add them all, along with two potatoes (peeled and cut into chunks). Simmer for 30 mins, stirring occasionally and adding a drop of water if needed. Serve with toasted pitta bread and a green salad.
- Anna Jones’ Tomato and Coconut Cassoulet is one of my favourite dinners EVER. I literally dream about it at night. You can find the recipe here. You’re welcome.
- Veggie burgers are super easy and most are really delicious. Pull them out of the freezer and serve with whatever you like to serve burgers with. You can also make dirty hot dogs by putting Linda’s veggie sausages in hot dog buns and lacing them with fried onions, ketchup, vegan mayo, and American mustard. Heaven! Don’t forget the corn on the cob!
- Dhal curry. Packed with protein and absolutely delicious. This recipe has become a firm favourite in our house. Yes you have to concentrate when you make it for the first time but after that you’ll be able to do it in your sleep. And everyone will become your best friend because dhal is the freaking BEST. (Mix in some spinach before serving it with brown rice.)
- Sloppy Joes are the nuts. Saute a red onion and a couple of chopped garlic cloves in some rapeseed oil until soft. Add a chopped red pepper, and two cans of chickpeas and continue to saute. Then add a can of tomatoes, two tablespoons of tomato puree, a tablespoon of maple syrup, and a teaspoon each of oregano, cumin, paprika, thyme and some salt and pepper. (All this stuff should already be in your spice rack because you are a grown up.) Simmer for ten minutes and then serve in burger buns with a leafy salad. Perfect. OR, just fry a chopped red onion, add a can of chick peas, some ready-cooked lentils and a tin of sweetcorn as a taco filling. (The tacos kits you can buy come with seasoning and salsa as well as the tacos.) Supper in SECONDS.
- Stir Fries are super because you can just chop up and fry any veggies you have in the fridge, and then toss in some egg-less noodles or serve them with rice. For an easy sauce just mix some soy sauce with garlic, ginger, lime and a pinch of brown sugar to taste.
- If you come to the end of the week and can’t face cooking – give yourself a break! You’ve cooked all week long! WELL DONE!!! How about a take away tonight? Order yourself a delicious curry (most curry houses have loads of vegan options) or get yourself a vegan pizza. You deserve it. (Incidentally www.allplants.com will deliver a selection of incredible and reasonably priced plant based meals straight to your freezer and it doesn’t get easier than that.)
Vegan Snacks, puddings and treats:
Being vegan doesn’t mean you have to miss out. You can veganise literally ANYTHING. Fancy an apple crumble? Just use oil instead of butter for the topping. Want a cake? Vegan bakers reach for the oil, use a little extra baking powder, and rely on apple sauce, bananas, or flaxseed instead of eggs. Supermarkets now stock a wide variety of dairy free chocolate and there are a whole world of vegan yoghurts and ice creams out there too – many of which are really bloody amazing, and many sweets and biscuits are accidentally vegan as well. But bear in mind that half the fun of going vegan is all the shopping you have to do when you’re suddenly so slim that none of your clothes fit anymore, and so you don’t want to screw that up by eating shit in between meals. If your main motivation for veganism is weight loss – try not to snack. The recipes above should fill you up beautifully so you shouldn’t feel hungry until the next meal time, but if you do, get into the habit of reaching for a carrot instead of a biscuit.
Don’t freak out when you eat out. There are more and more vegan options popping up on menus every day, but if you can’t see one just ask the kitchen to make you something vegan and delicious please. And they will.
Ok so that’s it. Just check you have the ingredients – and go for it!!! I would LOVE to hear how you get on. Message me! Huge love. X