Thinking of going vegan? Here’s How
Veganism is just great. It’s good for you and it’s good for the planet. But we get it - it’s hard! How can you enjoy a healthy, balanced diet from “just plants”? What even is seitan? And how the hell are you meant to live without cheese?
They’re the questions that even the most devout of vegans asked before they made the change – so if you’re thinking of going vegan but you just don’t know how we feel ya. And we decided to rally around the office to ask what made going vegan easier for them. Some made a gradual transition, cutting back on plant-based products here and there and eased into things with meat substitutes in familiar recipes. Others went, well, cold turkey #punny. Whichever way you choose to make the change, or even if you want to just cut back on animal products a bit, the key to it is in your fridge.
Let me paint you the scenario with my imagination brush – you’ve just come home from work, you’re tired, hunger strikes and you want to cook up a storm. You look in the fridge – a sparse landscape of only some eggs and that tofu you bought last week and have no idea how to cook. It’s moments like this that even the best of us would just think ‘sod it I’ll make an omelette. And that’s why its all about the fridge essentials. Making little changes to your everyday products and having something familiar in the freezer you can fall back on when the temptation to ‘relapse’ arises is a must. So, whether you’re 100% plant-based and proud or just dipping your toe into flexitarianism, here is our list of fridge essentials to help you get into the vegan groove.
Disputably the most essential of essentials, changing what milk you put in your tea is one of the hardest transitions to make. It’s all down to personal preference really, so experiment with different types as they all have subtle differences. If you’re into coffee then hazelnut milks tend to go better due to their roasted nutty taste and their ability to froth better. If you’re new to it all and are struggling to adjust to the difference in taste we’d recommend oat milk all the way – it doesn’t curdle in hot drinks and it has a pretty neutral taste. Or try soya if you’re gluten-free. Buy Oatly oat milk here:
The biggest stumbling block for going plant-based – how are you meant to live without cheese? Well thanks to brands like Violife and Sheese some pretty realistic alternatives have been created. And they’re not just making stuff you’d grate on your jacket potato, they’re even developing gourmet stilton and halloumi. This Violife Cheddar flavour is a perfect all-rounder and an absolute fridge essential.
If you enjoy making things from scratch then a frozen mince substitute is great to have in. Just do a cheeky switcheroo in a mid-week spag bol or a moussaka if you’re feeling a bit Gordon Ramsay. This meat-free mince from Fry’s is a super realistic substitute – I’ve served it to my carnivore friends and they didn’t even notice, even my dog begs for it. It also comes with a gravy pouch for extra meaty flavour so it’s a great gateway alternative for those new to the vegan life.
Fruit & Veg
Obviously! Things like kale and spinach are a great staple to have in as they keep for ages and are great in smoothies as well as with savoury dishes.
But you have to have some naughty to balance out the good. With weird and wonderful new foods from tempeh to jackfruit, going vegan can seem like a really drastic change at times. Sometimes you just want a comforting classic, and with this in mind we have developed the gourmet pizza that vegans and those with allergies have been waiting for. They’re perfect to keep in the freezer for when you just can’t think what to cook. The same goes for chicken style nuggets – we love these dangerously realistic ones from Fry’s
Midnight snack? PB+J on toast. Nuff said.
From baked to borlotti, beans are a great source of protein. The fact they keep forever and are probably the most versatile ingredient makes them a must have. Keep a few cans in your cupboard and you’ll be surprised how much you use them.
Of course! When the munchies kick in you have to have something in you can nibble on and the options are endless. Dried fruit and protein balls are great if you’re feeling all healthy, but if you’re having a cheat day you have to try Hippeas or anything from Livia’s Kitchen – the ingredienst are all raw and organic so they’re not even that guilty either. Shop snacks here.