Sunday 3 January 2016

Tips for New Vegans/Transitioning

Hi anyone who's still around since I haven’t posted for a long time now! One of my New Years resolutions is to post on this blog once a week! It seemed fitting at the start of Veganuary and being still quite a new vegan myself, I made some tips for other new vegans or if you’re thinking of going vegan. Please read and enjoy and feel free to add anything in the comments section!

1. Veganise Simple Omnivore Meals

Of course I would suggest expanding your knowledge and buying lots of vegan cookbooks however, sometimes recipes (especially vegan) can be very complicated with ingredients that you may not have in your cupboards. So instead of feeling down about not being able to create these recipes just yet you can just veganise your favourite meals that you used to love. How? It’s very simple, all you have to is use substitutes!

MEAT: Either exclude the meat and use vegetables instead or use a meat substitute if you want the familiar taste.

Pancakes with Maple Syrup
 and Strawberries
MILK: Then for milk there are lots of substitutes such as soy, almond, oat and many more! My favourites are soy and almond, I love having either of them on my granola in the morning!

CHEESE: As for cheese you can just leave it off or if you were a cheese lover there are lots of alternatives. Personally I like the violife cheese and coconut cheese to top my pizza or pasta!

BUTTER: There are also lots of alternatives to butter and margarine. Personally I love the Pure range and use the sunflower version if I am baking and the olive version on savoury snacks such as toast or crumpets.

Scrambled Tofu 
EGGS: Depending on what you’re making there are different things you can use. You can use an actual egg replacer made for that such as the Orgran No-Egg or Ener-G Egg Replacer, flax-seed, unsweetened apple sauce (or cooked apple cooled), or a banana. Your best bet for egg replacers is just to google which is best for whatever you’re making and it will come up with lots of results!

HONEY: I have never liked honey so I never used it but now if I need a sweetener I will use agave nectar, which is available in Sainsburys!

This way you should be able to create simple but satisfying meals that taste familiar and keep you happy. 

2. Make sure you realise how much is actually vegan!

Lots of food that you wouldn’t think is actually vegan! Sainsburys is the best at clearly labelling their own products as vegan. This includes, their bagels, part-bakes, some pasta sauces, dry pasta, wraps, ciabatta rolls, pittas and many more plus an extensive free-from area. Though bear in mind “free-from” doesn’t always mean vegan you won’t struggle to find treats and snacks for yourself here.

3. Make a plan for the week (I only do this for dinner) and always make extra!

Mushroom and Walnuts on bagels
This does take a little time once a week to sit down and decide what you want for dinner but trust me it makes it so much easier in the long run. This way you can then plan your shop around the ingredients you know you will need, saving you money and wasting food that you don’t use up.
When you’re making dinner always make a little bit extra to either store in the freezer for another day or in the fridge for the lunch the next day! This will just make it easier in those times when you have less time on your hands! Such as if you woke up late (which I usually do) or come home late from work (which is also usually happens haha)

4. Try new things!
Potato Salad
One reason my mum was first against me becoming vegan was that she thought because I was fussy and didn’t eat many vegetables that I wouldn’t be eating properly. When I turned vegetarian I tried a lot more Mediterranean vegetables rather than your usual roast dinner veg. I enjoyed this a lot more and so started experimenting with these sorts of vegetables and incorporating them into my dinner and became a lover of this type of veg! Since becoming Vegan I have tried even more things such as dates (how I managed without eating these before I do not know haha), kale, tofu and lots more.
5. Join groups and communities!

Garlic Mushrooms
Watch vegans on Youtube, follow them on Instagram join groups for your area on Facebook! They are all very welcoming and share recipes, suggest restaurants to try and all round will help you onto or through your journey of veganism. If you live in Brighton and want to know places in which you can eat out at, I've already posted a couple of reviews and will be posting more soon!
Remember to always keep an open mind and have fun and explore all the possibilities of a healthy balanced (sometimes naughty) vegan diet and make friends along the way, all while causing no harm to any living animal and less harm to the planet. Why wouldn’t you want to live like that? And don’t worry if you mess up, it happens to all of us, just accept it and move on. Live your values and love your life.
See you next week

Catrina x

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  1. Loved it! Also very surprised by the coconut cheese! Do you have to go to a specialist shop to get that? Keep it up bubs! xx

    1. It's so good! In Brighton there is a shop called infinity food and that's where I buy all my vegan necessities, but tesco's sell vio life and most Holland and Barrett's have cheese alternatives! Thanks bub x