World Vegan Month

Happy World Vegan Day everybody!

Apparently November is also World Vegan Month, so I’m going to do my best to post a blog a week, like I did for Veganuary, about my favourite vegan products/ recipes/foods etc. (I haven’t made a proper plan yet so bear with me)

So to kick things off, I’m going to make a list of some of my favorite vegan brands that make great food alternatives and make my life that little bit easier.

Violife

My cheese saviour. They have such a great range of cheese alternatives, I’ve only tried a tiny fraction so far. I love them because they’re available in Tesco, convenient for my big shop, and in Holland and Barrett, so I don’t really have many different brands to compare them to that are more difficult to get a hold of.

Of the ones I have tried though, their cream cheese spread and cheddar block/slices are my faves.

Cheddar-flavour-550x500

AND I can’t wait to try their new Halloumi wedges which I found in Sainsbury’s last week.

Vbites

Specifically, their ‘Cheatin” range of fake meats. The chicken style, ham style and turkey style are lifesavers for a sandwich lover like me, because it takes two minutes to prepare when I’m running late for work, and they taste great. Available at Holland and Barrett. who always have great sales on like buy one get one half price etc., and they’re only £1.79 a packet to begin with.

Linda McCartney

My queen. Affordable, frozen, available in most supermarkets, and, most importantly, delicious. There is so much to choose from, but my personal faves are the rosemary and red onion sausages, country pies and sausage rolls. The burgers are amazing too, and the scampi bites are yummy and I haven’t seen any other alternative to scampi by any other brand. Basically, all hail Queen Linda.

Sainsbury’s/Tesco

Obviously not just vegan brands, but over the past year these supermarket giants have been absolutely smashing it with their free from ranges. From cheese, to yoghurts and desserts, to jam tarts and my absolute favourite cheesy nachos (thanks Tesco), and not to mention ready meals (this unhealthy/lazy vegan’s dream) being vegan is not only easier it is more affordable, when practically every month one of the supermarkets brings out a new own brand product at half the price of the branded.

It is also really handy that my mum, not being experienced at reading food labels, can go into Tesco or Sainsbury’s and pick up something from their own range that she knows I’ll be able to eat because it says ‘free from milk and eggs’ on the front.

Sainsburys

Oatly

And finally, my favourite plant-based milk for tea and porridge has to be oat milk. But that’s not the only reason I love Oatly, the wonderful Swedish brand; they also do a cream and a creme fraiche alternative. When I was veggie, I was a huge fan of creamy pasta dishes using creme fraiche, cause they were easy and quick. Now I can use the same recipes, just with the Oatly creme fraiche instead! And if my mum’s made an apple crumble, the single cream goes down a treat too. And they’re available in Tesco soo what’s not to love?!

61660_200ml_creamy_oat_fraiche_UK_Side_lowres

Oatly are also just a great company, you should go read about them here.

That’s it for this week, folks. Hopefully I’ll be back next week to ramble about other vegan-related goodness. Thanks for reading!

Advertisements

Veganuary – Week One

Finally, after over two years of being a vegetarian and banging on about how I want to eventually be vegan, I’ve gone and given it a go!

So far, it’s going really well, and I’m so pleased. I’ve had two tiny dairy slip-ups – one on New Year’s Day when extremely hungover and I was made a milky cup of tea, and the other stealing a small piece of bread with butter on it – but that’t it, and after a week I’m getting used to it and I don’t think it’ll happen again. After all, the first time I said I was going to do a veggie big shop, I came home with a ham and pineapple pizza, and I haven’t done that since!

wp-1483893516167.jpg

Linda McCartney sausages, mash, peas and onion gravy – vegan comfort food 

I definitely think it’s a good idea to go vegan gradually. I have a number of friends who have gone straight from being an omnivore to trying veganism and have failed within the first few weeks or months; many then giving up on the idea because they think it’s too hard.

Being veggie first means I’m used to cutting things out, finding alternatives and reading food labels. It also means I’m firm in my beliefs and my reasons behind giving up meat, and extending that to giving up eggs and dairy, so it’s less about willpower and more about remembering why I’m doing this, and that makes it much less difficult.

Here are some of my favourite vegan products that I’ve found so far:

 

First is obviously that vegan staple: tofu. These marinated tofu pieces are so easy to cook and so delicious I don’t know why I wasn’t using them before. The meal is a yummy stir fry – Sainsbury’s frozen stir fry veg, Cauldron tofu pieces, Yutaka wheat noodles and Sainsbury’s light soy sauce.

Next there’s my favourite, so far, plant-based milk: Oatly! oat milk. Perfect in porridge, my favourite breakfast (Quaker Oats Golden Syrup Flavour), and I’ve heard it’s great in tea so I’ll definitely be giving that a try.

wp-1483893845132.jpg

Hazelnut milk in coffee is pretty good, and rice milk is okay, but I’m hoping when I try more milk alternatives I’ll find one that I like more.

Next something that is very important to me: vegan cheese. I was so happy when Sainsbury’s brought out a range of free from cheese-style products, but very nervous to try them.

20170108_164117

Luckily, I like them! The cheddar-style is probably my least favourite, but on a sandwich with some salad it’s hard to tell the difference. The other two are perfect straight swaps for the dairy version, and I use them in the exact same way.

Finally some sweet things I found in the free from section where I work (Booths, northern Waitrose if you haven’t heard of it :)) Lazy Day Foods free from millionaire shortbread and Bell’s Gluten-free jam tarts – they’re delicious! Who needs dairy or eggs??wp-1483893785930.jpg

Next week I’ll make another update on how the month is going – possibly with some reviews of the documentaries I’m planning on watching this week, just to keep me motivated.

Thanks for reading!