Veganuary: Meal Plan, Recipes and Vegan Essentials

Veganuary is officially upon us.

This January, thousands of people have made the pledge to stick to a plant based diet for one month and with over 500,000 vegans already living in the UK – veganism, it seems, has never been more popular.

People everywhere are choosing forks over knives. With many citing the environmental impact, the ethicacy of intensive farming methods, and emerging researching into the nutritional quality of meat, as causes for concern.

And when the critically acclaimed Netflix documentary ‘What the health‘ went viral in 2017,  it seemed somehow inevitable that this already burgeoning movement would be slingshot into the mainstream. And indeed it is on social media where the effect has been most remarkable.

Vegan got sexy.

Since its launch in 2014 Veganuary has gone from strength to strength. The brainchild of wife and husband pair, Jane Land and Matthew Gordon, this simple pledge, styled after the popular ‘Stoptober’ and the somewhat démodé ‘Movember’, has seen the kind of year-on-year growth that city bankers can only dream of.

Now, with nearly a third of under-35s saying they want to try a vegan diet and vegan options flying off the shelves in Tescos & Asda the time has never been better to give Veganuary a try.

Veganuary Essentials

veganuary shopping list

Oh the vegan shopping list. The source of much derision and of great personal and emotional expense. A trip to the supermarket needs to be your first port of call this Veganuary.

There’s nothing wrong with reading Goop but you should know ahead of time that ‘raw water’, quinoa puffs and coffee colon cleanses are not essential.

Much more necessary are the baked beans and mushrooms that must surely obscure the spotlight in the depths of even Gwenyth Paltrow’s bountiful larder.

Dairy

While Quorn (not always vegan) has been around for years – the many Doubting Thomases of veganism usually point to dairy as their main sticking point with the plant based diet. Luckily for you, the past few years has seen unprecedented advancement in vegan food tech (you can even buy vegan poached ‘eggs’).

This is the golden age of veganism – happy détente in the decades long attrition between the herbivores and the omnivores – so there’s no more need for dry weetabix and margerine. There are a world of options at your finger tips:

Milk

Soy, Almond, Cashew, Oat, Hemp or Rice. Dip your toes into the shimmering ivory pool of plant milk at your local supermarket and choose your favourite – those with a sweet tooth will find nostalgic satisfaction in the myriad chocolate, coconut or vanilla options that line the shelves of Aldi, Lidl and more.

Pro tip: Oatly’s Barista Range continues to receive rave reviews and is, for many, the only choice for those who need a ‘proper’ cuppa in the morning.

Cheese

In the spirit of glasnost we’re prepared to admit that on the whole it’s not that great. A precious few simply stellar alternatives are available though. Look out for good carma’s parmesan and violife’s orignal cheese.

Try dousing your next dinner with some tahini, lemon juice and a liberal sprinkling of pine nuts instead

Vegetables

Just buy them all. Really, go wild. They’re cheap, filling, and you’re going to be eating a lot of them. One of the joys of a vegan diet is exploring new ingredients, new cuisines and new recipes. Veganism will make you a better cook. Guaranteed.

Some essentials you’re going to want to get in include:

  • Onions
  • Celery
  • Carrots
  • Mushrooms
  • Garlic
  • Potato + Sweet Potato
  • Aubergine
  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli
  • Courgette
  • Fennel
  • Leek
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Cabbage
  • Squashes

And the undisputed doyen of vegan veg – Artichokes.  I promise you, you have literally no idea how much you love artichokes right now.

Protein

Keep it simple here. If you’re not feeling too comfortable with vegan cooking then a great way to start is by veganising old meals. Linda McCartney, Fry’s Family, Quorn Fishless Fingers are your friends.

Once you’ve got a few vegan bolgneses under your belt why not try Tofu, Beans, Lentils and Tempeh. It takes a little while to find what you like, but persevere and you will be rewarded with lean, delicious and wholesome meals.

Fruits

We will let you in on a little secret.

Dates and figs are better than chocolate.

Don’t believe us? Doesn’t matter. You can buy vegan ice-cream, vegan chocolate and vegan cake pretty much everywhere these days and they’re amazing.

Veganuary Meal Plan

Guinness once ran the slogan “good things come to those who wait”. Well Guinness, that’s all well and good. But honestly, I’m hungry right now and we cant be more than 2 years away from getting Alexa to make our dinner for us. So forgive me if I want something a little… quicker.

Stuck for a sandwich at work?  Peanut butter & banana will get you through that post-lunch dip. Back at home? A broccoli and tofu stir-fry can be knocked up in a matter of minutes.

Even better is the veganuary website which has a whole host of amazing meal plans for you to choose from.  Quick and easy meals for one or hearty family friendly fayre. They’ve got your back.

Another fantastic resource is the vegan recipe hour that runs on twitter each Thursday with over 27,000 people sharing their favourite recipes, both homemade and from across the web.

Veganuary Recipes

veganuary katsu curry avant garde vegan recipe

There are literally thousands of recipes out there that you would never believe are vegan. YouTube tastemakers Avant-Garde Vegan and Hot For Food are on hand to keep you fed until next January.

Alternatively, check out our Acai Berry Smoothie Bowl. It’s packed with essential anti-oxidants to help you fight off those winter colds and stirred through with a little extra protein to fuel your day.

Veganuary Extras

So you’ve been vegan now for one month – hey that wasn’t so bad, right? – and now you’re thinking about what comes next. Well take a moment to think about how you feel – healthier, lighter, more money in your pocket? If you enjoyed veganuary and you’re thinking about moving forwards then there are a couple of things you ought to know about veganism.

  • Don’t worry about protein! Protein deficiency is so rare that it is practically a myth. If you’re a gym bunny then you can still find all the protein you need without any of the whey. Our advanced protein powder formula comes in chocolate or vanilla and it is your go-to side kick for the gym.
  • Your digestion will get better. Your body is still adapting to the new nutrients and this takes a little time. For most people this is around 4-6 weeks. If you really cant stand it and you’re sick of blaming it on the dog then we wouldn’t blame you for picking up some organic probiotics to smooth things over in this ahem… turbulent period.
  • Keep an eye on your Iron intake, if you start to feel more fatigued this could be a sign of deficiency. Spinach is a great source of natural iron, alongside tofu and brown.
  • Vitamin B12 or  ‘vegan kryptonite’ is not readily available in plant-based foods; that’s the bad news. The good news is that this essential vitamin is readily available on amazon and it’s cheap. For just 10p a day you can get a 4 month supply in a handy spray. Not too shabby.

b12 spray vegavero