This is my fourth year taking part in Veganuary, but my first that I’ve decided to keep a food diary. This is because for omnivorous people that have never delved into veganism themselves, what a plant based person eats day in day out appears to be of great interest.
It’s also a good exercise for me to carry out so that I can monitor what I’m eating too much or not enough of, and see where there might be gaps in the essentials that I need to be getting into my body.
I’ve got a few reflections and observations following my first week of the challenge which I’ll save til the end. For now, here’s what I’ve been eating all week:
16 vegetarian spring rolls from the ASDA frozen party food range. Dipped in sweet chilli sauce. I hadn’t really eaten much at all the day before (NYE) and urgently needed to put something beige in my stomach.
3 hash browns, spinach, baked beans, mushrooms and tomatoes. It’s not a fry up, but it feels pretty similar when you’re still hanging and just need potatoes and beans.
I wanted to have kind of a homemade takeaway situation. So I made spicy peanut cabbage udon noodles (cabbage cooked in 1 pint veg stock, 1 tbsp chilli bean paste and 1 tbsp peanut butter with straight-to-wok udon noodles added right at the end). We also had sweet and sour tofu – recipe here – and chinese takeaway crispy seaweed, recipe here.
Tomatoes, mushrooms and crispy tofu. I fried the tofu first until crispy, then added the tomatoes and mushrooms (halved) and cooked til it was a lovely jammy mess – adding garlic powder, salt, pepper and a little bit of chilli jam half way through.
Leftovers from yesterday’s dinner.
Butternut squash and caramelised onion puff pastry tart with cabbage and parsnip mash.
Houmous, avocado, pineapple, beetroot and hot sauce pitta.
BBQ potato wedges and baked beans
(I slept through dinner time on Wednesday night because back to work was all a bit mad for me)
Two houmous and marmite pittas
BBQ parsnips (parsnips drizzled with oil and BBQ rub and roasted for about thirty mins), half an avocado, cavalo nero and quinoa. Plus a creamy beetroot sauce I made by whizzing up beetroot with alpro single cream and a bit of lemon juice.
Stir fried vegetables (the packet kind) with straight-to-wok udon noodles and soy and ginger sauce.
Carrot cake and custard. The cake I made using this mix by Free & Easy and do you know what? I actually rate it. It’s nothing on buttery, homemade cake, but it’s not half bad for something that comes out of a packet.
Carrot cake and custard. Yep, for breakfast. It was Friday. I’d say “no regrets” but actually it was a lot of sugar for so early in the morning and I did have some regrets.
Leftover quinoa, 2 sticks celery, houmous, Nando’s peri-peri sauce. Just a pathetic attempt to try and pack in a bit of protein and a bit of veg as quickly as I could – we were on our way to the cinema and I didn’t have long.
Stir fried veg, crispy tofu, cooked flat rice noodles. I’m usually not one for stir fry veg packets cause they feel like cheating, but we found two for 50p each in ASDA and who am I to turn down something that cheap and easy. Sometimes it’s nice to go into the kitchen and have dinner on the table ten minutes later.
I woke up at like midday so just had one great big cooked breakfast. Two veggie sausages from ASDA (these ones) which I bought purely cause they were a quid. They were nice enough but I’d be in no rush to grab them again, I prefer the faux meat texture to the rice/veg one for a cooked breakfast. Two hash browns, baked beans, roast tomatoes, sauteed mushrooms.
Celery, carrot, radishes, houmous and Nando’s peri-peri sauce.
You may have noticed that there’s been an over reliance on crunchy vegetables with houmous. This is, I think, for two reasons. The first: it’s really fucking easy. The second: I’m obsessed with peri peri sauce and houmous right now, and I’m looking to get my fix at all times.
Looking at the above, I feel like it’s lacking in beans and pulses which are a really important part of a vegan diet where protein is concerned. I’ll try and up the levels for next week.
Overall, I’m really enjoying Veganuary this year. I’m being mindful about the amount of food I’m eating to make sure I’m getting enough of everything, I’m a little better at planning meals in advance to make sure I don’t get caught out, and I’m absolutely loving the sudden increase in my veg intake.
Are you doing Veganuary? How are you finding it? Let me know in the comments..