So, one week into Veganuary and I’m about to type out a sentence I never thought would make it off my keyboard let alone out of my mouth:
I like being vegan.
Don’t get me wrong, I miss bacon like I miss new episodes of GIRLS, I’ve had random cravings for egg and soldiers, not to mention actual tears have come to my eyes at the prospect of not being able to eat a cadburys creeme egg ever again, but I am genuinely considering going vegan full time once Veganuary has ended.
I’m currently sat typing this blog post on a red wine hangover (don’t worry it was vegan) drinking a coffee with coconut milk, having just demolished a delicious avocado, spinach and cherry tomato wrap. Had I not been doing Veganuary, my wrap wouldn’t have been a wrap at all, it would have been a stodgy McDonalds cheeseburger, accompanied with a large side of salty fries and my coconut coffee would have been a thick creamy chocolate milkshake. I would have had it delivered to my door via UberEats and ate it in bed, because it was all too easy to do just that.
Veganuary is not only forcing me to indulge less but it is forcing me to get up and be active in my kitchen. It’s forcing me to prepare, cook and get creative with my own food – and I’ve really enjoyed it. I thought I would have cracked by now by nibbling on some cheese or sneaking in a burger. But I’ve been loving the food I’ve eaten over the past week. As I said, it’s been hard at times and I’m sure it will continue to be a challenge, but I wanted to share with you the best (oh and the absolute worst) vegan meals I’ve had this week.
I was never really a burrito person until the end of last year when I suddenly began craving them all the time. Now I’m hooked. So when I decided I was doing Veganuary, creating a vegan burrito was at the top of my list of vegan meals to cook. From the ingredients below I made three burritos and had them each day for lunch. I literally just whacked all these ingredients in a pan. Delicious! And can be eaten hot or cold.
(All ingredients Aldi)
Mediterranean Quinoa with Wheat berries
Hummus & Quinoa wrap
Another easy peasy one. I just put all the below ingredients into a wrap and voila! A tasty (and very filling) lunch.
(All ingredients Aldi)
Red & White Quinoa
Posh Mac No Cheese – Paradise Unbakery
On Saturday, my housemate took me to Paradise Unbakery in Kensal Rise, a completely vegan café serving up breakfast, brunch, dinners, as well as sweet treats like cakes and such. Whilst I kept it simple by going for Avo on toast (my new favourite breakfast) my housemate indulged in the ‘Posh mac no cheese’ a vegan creation of spelt pasta with cashew nut cheese topped with toasted coconut flakes and a side salad. I didn’t eat this, so I guess it can’t be listed as one of my favorite meals, but Emma swears it was delicious and it looked bloody lovely. I’ll certainly be trying that on one of my planned visits.
Coconut Yoghurt & Banana Wrap
It’s exactly that. I spread Alpro coconut vegan yoghurt over a wrap with chopped bananas and a good healthy drizzle of Sweet freedoms chocolate sauce (yup, completely vegan chocolate sauce!) and oh em gee, I was in heaven.
I am addicted to sugar & chocolate and that has been the hardest part of Veganuary so far for me. I instantly crave something sweet after I’ve had something savoury and usually I would satisfy that craving with a sugary treat – biscuits, chocolate bar, ice cream. But of course all those products have dairy in them. So initially it’s been a struggle to find sweet things to satisfy my cravings – although a lot of you guys have been very helpful on Instagram by messaging and commenting to let know of vegan sweet treats – but in the mean time, this coconut and banana dish has been a savour, and is so simple, plus it’s ten times healthier than shoveling an entire family size dairy milk bar in my gob (ooooh, dairy milk though)
Vegan cheese potato bake
This was a disaster! On Wednesday evening I had a real craving for cheese. So I did some research online and found that Sainsburys do a ‘Free From’ range that included a vegan cheese that had been praised online by vegans.
I poured all the leftover vegan burrito mix I had made into a dish, and covered in sliced up potatoes that I had fried in herbs and coconut oil. It looked sooooo tasty.
I then sprinkled my grated vegan cheese all over the top and popped in the oven for 25 minutes. The cheese already had a weird smell to it, but after being melted at 220 degrees in the oven, it smelt absolutely revolting. Not wanting to be put off by the smell (after all blue cheese stinks, but lordy lord it taste good) I went ahead and ate my dish. I was really proud of it. It looked delicious.
But as a friend told me afterwards, there is NO subsistute for cheese. Cheese is cheese and it can’t be replaced. And this grated vegan free from cheese stuff was not. for. me.
Not only did the smell and taste make me feel sick, but I woke the next day with an upset tummy and vowed never to eat vegan cheese ever again!
Not really a meal, but yeah, I have decided I’m really not an almond milk kinda gal. I much prefer soya. I suspected this on day one of Veganuary when I had a coffee with Almond milk and it tasted like crap. But my dislike for Almond milk was confirmed when I gave it another bash two days later and I poured it all over my Weetabix.
No, just no.
It ruined my Weetabix. It’s just not for me.
So. One week in and all good. Who knows how the next three weeks will go, I may change my mind and pack it all in, hopping back onto the meat and dairy bandwagon … but somehow I can’t see that happening. I will of course keep you updated and report back at the end of Veganuary with my decision, but for now you can keep up with progress by following me on Instagram – wish me luck.