Veganuary
We Are The Vegans, The All-Powerful Soya Consumers!

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Before I begin let me say: Veganism is not the be-all or end-all.

You don’t need to go vegan to save the planet from global warming. Veganism isn’t a cult. Vegans can still live very happily with a high protein diet.

For many, veganism can seem quite daunting, especially the athletes among us. There’s always the worry that a vegan diet may not have everything meat or vegetarian diets provide. But if we step back and give it a little think, there isn’t much that you can’t get from a vegan diet that you can from eating meat.

Protein, check.

There’s so much protein in soya alternatives to meat: chickpeas, lentils, nutritional yeast.

Calcium, check.

Soya milk has the same amount of calcium as cow’s milk. This is because soya is naturally high in calcium and vitamin B.

Carbs, check.

Don’t worry, you can still binge eat your pasta and midnight choco pillows – just check they’re the vegan ones.

Snacks, check.

Ok, so you will need to give up some of the good stuff (like those Katsu Curry Pringles) but there are plenty of awesome vegan alternatives. And even so many accidentally vegan treats! For all you essay biscuit eaters, you can get a pack of vegan bourbons from Aldi for just 22p. And party rings are accidentally vegan too.

Life doesn’t get much better than that, does it?

So, in reality, going vegan isn’t as bad as you might think. It’s definitely an idea to go on a trial run first. It’s all good at the start when you go on a £60 shopping haul for all those cool vegan alternatives that you keep seeing but, especially for us students, it needs to be cost-effective.

To help you on your way, here are some of my favourite affordable vegan recipes:

Vegan BLT Sandwich – Tofu Bacon

(makes 10)

Ingredients:

  • 200g block firm tofu- recommend the @tofoo Company
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup – you can also use golden syrup
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp smoky paprika
  • Lettuce, tomato, vegan cheese, and ketchup (optional; for sandwich assembly)

Method:

  1. Mix together the soy sauce, maple syrup, black pepper, salt, and paprika in a bow. Add thinly sliced tofu and leave to marinate for 15 minutes.
  2. Once marinated, whack the tofu in a frying pan with a little oil and cook for 3-5 minutes on each side.
  3. Now assemble your sandwich; lettuce, tomato, tofu bacon, vegan cauliflower cheese, and (optional) ketchup.

Lentil, Chickpea and Potato Soup

(serves two)

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of chickpeas
  • 60g red lentils
  • 60g potatoes
  • 3 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp onion salt
  • 2 tbsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp mustard seeds (optional)
  • 2 knorr vegetable stock cubes
  • 300ml + 200ml boiling water
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tbsp Oatly single cream – found in Tesco, Sainsbury’s etc…

Method:

  1. Add 200ml boiling water to a saucepan along with the lentils and chopped potatoes, then cook for 15-20 minutes until soft.
  2. Add the chickpeas and continue to cook for 5 minutes then drain.
  3. Add the paprika, onion, salt, black pepper, turmeric, and mustard seeds to the pan and combine.
  4. Pour the mixture into a food processor and blend until smooth whilst adding 300ml vegetable stock as you go.
  5. Now heat the soup in a saucepan and you’re ready to go.
  6. Pour into a bowl, drizzle with oat cream, and add the basil leaf on top.

Vegan Raspberry Gingerbread Slices

(makes 20)

Ingredients:

  • 100g @yumandyay milled mixed seeds & raspberries – found in Sainsbury’s
  • 250g plain flour – or gluten-free flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 0.5 tsp xanthan gum – for gluten-free
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 120g dairy-free butter or margarine
  • 175g sugar
  • 1 tbsp flaxseeds + 3 tbsp water
  • 200g raspberry jam
  • 200g dairy-free chocolate – recommend @thefreekitchenco Dark Chocolate
  • 10g walnuts

Method:

  1. Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, xanthan gum, ginger, and cinnamon into a bowl.
  2. Add the dairy-free butter to the bowl, using your fingers to make breadcrumbs.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix the flaxseed and water together then let set in the fridge for 15 minutes.
  4. Once set, add to the dry ingredients and combine to make a dough.
  5. Once combined, wrap in cling film and leave in the fridge for 15 minutes.
  6. After chilling, roll out the dough to approximately 3cm thick and place in a 30cm by 20 cm baking tray lined with baking paper.
  7. Place in the oven for 15-20 minutes at 180°C.
  8. Once baked, leave to cool for 10 minutes before spreading raspberry jam evenly.
  9. Melt the chocolate and pour evenly on top of the jam (this can be messy but it’s all fun).
  10. Final touches: sprinkle some crushed walnuts on top and leave them in the fridge for a couple of hours to set.

Vegan and Gluten-Free Double Chocolate Muffins

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(Makes 6)

Ingredients:

  • @creativenature Carrot Cake Mix – can be found in Tesco or Aldi
  • 150ml vegetable oil
  • 130ml cold water
  • 30g dairy-free white chocolate, cut into chunks
  • 30g dairy-free dark chocolate, cut into chunks

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C and line a cupcake tray with cupcake cases.
  2. Add the cake mix to a mixing bowl with the water and oi, mixing for 5 minutes until combined.
  3. Now add the dairy-free dark and white chocolate chunks and mix.
  4. Using two spoons, evenly distribute the mix into 6 cupcake cases then place in the oven for 30-35 minutes.
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