Veganuary

I haven’t actually taken part in veganuary… but I know a lot of people have, so I thought it might be good for us to share some recipes and I’m hoping you might also have some advice for me!

This time last year I stopped eating all meat apart from fish and replaced cow’s milk with plant based milks. I’ve now also stopped eating fish… but I’m still struggling to quit the cheese.

My long term goal is to eat a plant based diet at home and relax that to vegetarian when I eat out or if someone else is cooking for me (if a vegan option isn’t easily available). That’s quite a long way to explain my diet so Beardie came up with the term “Flexigan”. Let’s get that trending!

Gradually making changes to my diet is working for me and my next step is to completely cut out cows milk at home. But I know that my favourite hot chocolate powder has milk in it… and how do I stop eating cheese?!

So here are my questions for you:

  1. What are your favourite vegan dishes?
  2. What do vegans eat in sandwiches?!
  3. Are there any good nut cheeses I should try?
  4. Have you had any issues with deficiencies? (Deliciously Ella hosted an interesting podcast here)

Here are a few of my favourite recipes (and yes… I’m in love with Deliciously Ella).

Deliciously Ella Vegan Lental Bolognaise

I’ve been cooking this every week through the winter and it’s yum! I make a big batch so it covers a couple of meals and we sometimes add chilli and have it with potatoes or use it as a base for a shepards pie-ish. I miss out onion & garlic because I have a mild intolerance and it’s still super tasty.


Parsnip, Cranberry & Nut Roast

We made the Deliciously Ella Nut Roast on Christmas day and unfortunately we weren’t keen… it was pretty dry and heavy. So I made these for our second Christmas day – and they were lovely. The Weston family was sold and next year we’ll be having these instead of turkey!

I wish I’d taken a photo… I promise they looked exactly like this.


Deliciously Ella Five Ingredient Cookies

These are perfect for an afternoon snack and relatively guilt free! I’m not tempted to eat too many as they’re mostly made from dates…

I’ve also made these Energy Balls and they were delicious too. I tend to find that both of these are better eaten within a few days – they last longer but taste better freshly made.


Deliciously Ella Creamy Pea & Spinach Pasta

We ate this so much last summer and I’m sure we will again this year! It’s super quick, easy and tasty.

The first time I cooked it I was put off by the smell of the warm coconut yogurt… but strangely it tastes better than it smells! We also add pine nuts when serving.


I’m looking forward to trying your favourite vegan recipes!

Plastic!

There has been a lot of talk about plastic recently. Firstly after Blue Planet highlighted the issue and then Drowning in Plastic left us all horrified!

I’ve made some fairly big changes in my life over the last couple of years, largely as a result of wanting to lower my impact on the environment. Cutting out single use plastic has been part of this.

However – with some things it’s not been quite as simple as just cutting it out. For example – I already had a large amount of poly post bags and throwing them away would just add to the problem!

When I run out of post bags I will be switching to a non-plastic alternative, but in the meantime your orders will arrive in one of these…

The dark grey bags are biodegradable so they can go in your normal waste and will break down over time. The spotty bags are poly. If you want to recycle them – in the UK you can take them to a supermarket that recycles carrier bags (check with your supermarket). I’m looking forward to replacing these with non-plastic so please order lots from my shop so that we can use them up quickly!

Outside of work I have made a few changes to cut back on plastic, but I know there is still more I can do. Any tips?

I’ve been trying to shop at the grocers for fruit and veg instead of the supermarket. It’s not completely plastic free, but it’s better. I mean – come on Sainsbury’s… do you really need to deliver avacados and bananas in a little plastic bag? And fish that is already packaged in plastic in another little plastic bag when we’ve specifically requested “no bags”?! I’m starting to get angry so I’ll move on!

I invested in a bamboo coffee cup earlier this year, which is great. Our local favourite places now only use compostable cups anyway – so we don’t have to feel guilty if we forget them. And I also bought a metal flask which I love!

Throughout the summer heatwave my flask kept water nice and cool in the garden. It also means that I don’t have leaves or bugs falling in my glass, cats drinking out of my glass when I’m not looking or the danger of knocking over and smashing my glass… the flask has taken a battering. I bought it for when I’m out and about (times that I might have bought a plastic bottle) but I actually use it all the time at home as well!

As you know – I’ve also been thinking more about my clothing and have been making as much of my wardrobe as possible. I do wish it was easier to get hold of nice organic cotton – if you know a good place to buy let me know! Watching The True Cost on Netflix has had a big impact on how I view fashion retail.

I’ve also made some changes to my diet. I stopped eating meat (apart from fish) at the beginning of the year and stopped drinking cows milk shortly after… but I’m still eating cheese. It’s a somewhat hypocritical diet I know!

Eventually I want to eat a mostly vegan diet and I find that gradual changes are more likely to become permanent changes. This is a change I’ve been wanting to make for a while but I was pushed over the edge by watching Cowspiracy and Carnage. I’ve also been inspired by Deliciously Ella (I’m a little bit in love with her).

Have you been managing to use less plastic/reduce your impact on the environment somehow? All advice welcome x