As Veganuary draws to a close, I thought I’d do a rare recipe-based blog post before I return to my regular schedule of book-ish stuff. Vegan eating has been so much more interesting and tasty than I had expected. The ‘rabbit food’ comments people hurl at you when you say the V word are quite unfounded. Sure, I’ve eaten more veggies this month (which is good, right?) but I’ve also tried out some amazing, indulgent family-friendly treats that are handy to have up your sleeve vegan or not. In fact, if you know anyone who is dairy-intolerant or doesn’t do eggs, for example, these recipes will be great for them too.
This ‘Wacky Cake‘ is a moist, light chocolate cake that easily converts into cupcakes. I tried it in a square cake pan with icing and in small muffin tins with a dusting of icing sugar, both worked a treat.
2. Sausage rolls
These tasty sausage rolls are technically a Thermomix recipe, but I don’t have one, so a normal food processor did the job fine. I swapped the overnight-soaked-almonds for almond meal, too. If you’re vegetarian but not vegan, add real feta cheese instead of the vegan almond-meal version. Either way, my omnivore friends and family gave these the thumbs up!
3. Mushroom and garlic bread swirls
This sounds exotic, but it’s actually super easy. What’s more, I’ve swapped out the filling for plain garlic butter*, pizza stuff and strawberry jam (see photo above!). All were really good!
4. Beetroot and chickpea burgers
These colourful burger patties have a nutty taste and are extremely filling. Serve them on their own with salad, or pile up your lettuce, pickles and onions on a sesame seed bun. Most tomato sauces are vegan, as well as quite a few mayonnaise options – and chips, of course! I haven’t found a lot of vegan cheeses that float my boat, but these cheese slices were tasty enough for a burger or wrap.
5. Easy baked potatoes
So, for Christmas, before I’d even announced my Veganuary intentions, my mother bought me one of these exotic as-seen-on-tv potato bags. I love a kitchen gadget, but I was highly suspicious. I shouldn’t have been! Fluffly baked potatoes in 4-8 microwave minutes. From this carby, comfort food base, you can veganise your heart out with garlic butter*, baked beans, homemade coleslaw or steamed veg. If you’re catering for the family, it’s easy to add cheese or mince if they insist. Job done.
Between recipes like these, and putting a vegie-based spin on the usual pastas, stir fries or sushi we eat as a family, my month of veganism really hasn’t been that difficult! After feeling pretty dozy for the first week or so, I can now honestly say I have more energy, clearer skin and 2 kilos less than I started with (it’s not a huge change, but I’m not complaining).
If you like a good set of stats, one month of living vegan also saves…
- 124,917 litres of water
- 84 sqm of forest
- 543 kg of grain
- 273 kg of C02
- 30 animal lives
Food for thought indeed.
*My ‘butter’ of choice has been Nuttelex, but there are plenty of cheese and butter alternatives on the market. You’ll soon find one that suits your tastes.