I think one of my favourite tags on Instagram is #WhatVegansEat. It’s a really awesome way for people to discover new ideas for feeding themselves when they’re avoiding animal products. So, my mission in this blog post is to help you answer the question:
What do vegans eat?
I’ve found some pretty great products and repeated some go-to meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner so far this Veganuary so I thought the half-way mark to be the perfect time to share them with you. Here goes!
Toast, toast and more toast is always a safe bet. Get some avocado on there for extra fuel and an adequate dose of good fats. Marmite is another vegan-friendly spread, as is almond butter (or any old nut butter, always best to double-check the label though) and jam is always a delicious (but very sugary) choice.
Smoothies and juices are a very sensible breakfast decision. Add almond milk, fruit and oats to your smoothies to make sure you’re staying fuller for longer and when it comes to juicing, green is good.
Lastly, overnight oats is a hugely popular breakfast among the vegan gang. Again I’ll mention Instagram, it’s awash with beautiful pictures of bowls containing insane amounts of super-healthy ingredients to start the day.
It’s 2015 and the world is waking up to the idea of healthier snacking (and making a pretty penny from it, but that’s a rant for another day) which means that there are more and more vegan snacks making their way onto supermarket shelves. These are some of my favourite nibbles to buy or make..
- Sweet and Salty Propercorn – so delicious, such a miracle that it’s vegan. If you want to try another brand make sure you check the back of the packet ’cause they’re not all free of animal products (woe is me).
- Soaked almonds – I’m pretty sure it was Deliciously Ella that first introduced me to the concept of soaking almonds and I’ve never looked back, awesome snacking.
- Cucumber and berries – I was as shocked as I’m sure you are to discover how good these tasted on the same plate. Maybe I have super weird tastebuds, let me know.
- Dried fruit – lovely sweet pick-me-up treat, dried mango is a solid fave.
- Oatcakes – Rude Health make an amazing product called Rye Oaty which is my (and my Mum’s) go-to vessel for almond butter at snacktime.
There are of course tons more but I’ve got an entire blog post to get through, so if I’ve missed out your favourite vegan snack make sure you leave it in the comments so everyone can find out all about it!
Lunchtime is the enemy for an unprepared vegan, especially in the beginning. The key to avoiding a rumbling stomach is packed lunch, because unless you work in central London you’re unlikely to find a grab ‘n’ go sandwich (or even salad) that’s free of animal products.
Wraps are a real go-to for me, quick to russle up the night before work and easy to fill with vegan-friendly veggies and spreads. My ultimate favourite combo at the moment is houmous, sweet potato falafels (available at Waitrose), spring onions and sweet chilli sauce. Beautiful combo, seriously.
Roast vegetables are gorgeous if you’re lucky enough to be at home when lunchtime rolls around, this recipe for smoky sweet potato and borlotti bean bake is a must-try. But roast parsnips, sprouts, potatoes, onions, garlic, anything is lovely – especially at this time of year.
Food Doctor do a fab range of lunchpots with quinoa and bulgar wheat for around £1 a pot which are available in most supermarkets. I really love ’em, they’re like a super-healthy pot noodle and I love finding products that are ridiculously convenient without being insanely bad for you.
From the people I’ve spoken to who’ve tried a vegan diet, dinner is the meal they struggled most to pull together. A lot of people feel that veganism is all about sides and they never feel as though they’re eating a complete meal. It takes some work to get around this way of thinking but with the right frame of mind and the best ingredients, you’ll get there. Everything is possible!
Quinoa is a really good staple to have in the cupboards at all times, dress it with finely chopped garlic, lemon juice and a good glug of quality extra virgin olive oil for a sensational taste. Cooking a batch up in advance can make evening mealtimes a little quicker. Add grated carrot, avocado, tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, falafel, tofu. Anything plantbased will almost definitely go well with quinoa, and it’ll take you a few weeks to find out what combination works best for you. The key thing to remember is to pile that plate high with veggies so you’re not left feeling a little disappointed.
Vegan “meat replacements” are usually not my thing, but I have found one product that I love in this category. Linda McCartney’s vegetarian sausages are 100% vegan friendly and can almost always be found in my freezer. Serve with lots of beans or lentils (fried with your favourite mix of herbs and spices) for a super-filling meal. It’s worth mentioning at this point that despite my initial presumptions, most Quorn products aren’t vegan.
Carrot and courgette “pasta” is an idea I experimented with in this recipe and have been going back to ever since, make sure you add nuts to get a substantial tummy-filling plate of food! Normal pasta is mostly vegan too, as are the majority of tomato-based jar sauces so stock up on those for lazy days! Adding a chopped onion is always a good move to sneak some extra veggies in.
But that’s just the start!
I’ve only really skimmed the top of what vegans can eat, but I hope that I’ve given you enough ammo to give it a go if that’s what you want to do. Please please do fill in any gaps in the comments so that vegans everywhere can pick up new tips and tricks. I look forward to sharing the rest of Veganuary with you all!
Thanks for reading x