Ahh Vegan November, Veganuary’s lesser known lunar cousin. In case you didn’t know, it’s World Vegan Month! A time for some to celebrate their already plant-powered antics and for others to dip their toes in the wonderful world of veganism.
Even the more seasoned vegs among us appreciate the odd hint and trick to level up plant-based living. So without further ado, we’re here to serve you our November Nine: essential hacks for a deliciously easy Vegan November.
1. Mind Over Matter
Approach the month positively. This is about celebrating all the good stuff and definitely not worrying about the can’t-haves and the #veganfails. Pat yourself on the back for all the plant-based successes and fun and let the slip-ups slide.
2. Don’t Forget Texture
For those who say vegan food is boring, we say either they haven’t discovered Bonsan, or they’re forgetting to include a variety of textures in every dish. Your rainbow salad might look colourful, but how about chucking on some toasted seeds for added crunch? Now why not add some chunks of kofu? Lightly fried until crisp on the outside and soft in the middle. Drizzle over something unctuous, like olive oil or maybe an incredible vegan dressing and now you’re talking (drooling!). Anna Jones, queen of the varied veg plate, has more wisdom on this here.
3. Simple Swaps
If you’re finding the notion of leaving meat behind for a month (or more) daunting, have no fear. We’re lucky to live in an age where quality, organic meat subs are readily available and – in our opinion – more delicious than the ‘real thing’. From steak equivalents through fish-free tuna to pulled pork analogues, kofu and jackfruit pretty much have you covered.
4. Stay Sweet
Most vegans like a sweet treat as much as the next guy, and we don’t think veganism should be about depriving yourself. Also, chocolate is good for you. So there. Stock up on easy sweet fixes, like vegan sweets or absolutely vegan chocolate spread. Or if you’re feeling adventurous, have a go at making a mouth-watering plant-based pud (psst, it’s a myth that making vegan desserts is harder!).
5. Nutrient Nerves
When it comes to vegan nutrition, there’s a lot of scare-mongering about. Our advice is to get clued-up on what you need to be healthy, plan…and chill. It’s really not hard to tick all the boxes when you know how. Nutrients to keep an eye on include calcium, iron, vitamins D and B12 and omega 3. As for protein, if you’re eating plenty of beans, pulses, nuts and kofu, you’ll be grand!
6. Keep Stock
Don’t chuck your vegetable peel! Keep a paper bag in the freezer and pop in your veggie waste as you go. From carrot to potato peel, even onion skins and herb stalks. When you’ve got a bag full, chuck the lot with some water and vegan bouillon or miso in a stock pot and simmer it up for a couple of hours. Strain it and you’ve got some lovely vegan stock you can freeze or use right away in soups, stews and risottos for depth of flavour. This one is a great zero waste tip!
7. Eat Out
So many places offer vegan options now, there’s no reason to stay home while your omni friends go out and have fun. Happy Cow takes the stress out of finding the perfect place for dinner.
8. Timing is Everything
If you’re a newbie going vegan for November, factor extra planning time in for meals and snacks. You’re essentially learning a new skill and might need to scroll some recipe pages and spend a bit longer on your shopping list and meal plan. It won’t be long until it’s all second nature though, worry not!
9. Show, Don’t Tell
Vegans face a lot of judgement and are often accused of doling out the same. While we know it can be hard to put a lid on your passion, people have TED Talks for lectures – they don’t want them from friends. Bust some misconceptions instead: show how delicious and varied vegan food is by hosting a plant-based dinner. We’ve got recipes and products to please even the biggest doubters.
Are you taking the #vegpledge this November? Tag us in your creations and let us know what you thought about our November nine!