So you're thinking about going vegan? Or perhaps you've already made it to the club and are struggling to shift dreams of loaded cheese burritos, a bacon sarnie or an indulgent gooey chocolate cake.
Well we're here with the good news...there is no need to sacrifice those dream-evoking treats. With a few simple tricks you can blend roasted cauliflower into creamy vegan cheese, make caramel out of sticky dates and even transform shredded coconut into paprika ‘facon’.
Read below for our 5 tips on how to eat vegan without feeling like your missing out.
1. Flavour and texture are king
When attempting to recreate your favourite dish as a vegan-friendly version, first think about what it is you love about it. Is it the satisfaction of its texture, its nostalgic flavour or is it both? Imagine getting a bowl of great tasting mashed potato but instead of the creamy, cloud-like experience you were expecting, it’s lumpy! Massive Food Disappointment. Or a lump of cheese that has a great texture to it but tastes of nothing. Again hello MFD! So really consider what it is you enjoy about a dish and make sure that’s covered. A cauliflower pizza may look similar but if it’s the springy dough of a pizza base you love, it’s just not going to cut it.
2. Don’t think about ‘cutting out’, think about ‘adding in’
If your first thoughts of going vegan are all about what you’ll miss or what you’re losing, mentally this change in diet is going to be a lot harder to stick to. If your focus is on ‘adding in’; new recipes to try, new ingredients, new flavours… you’ll soon start to feel like you’re gaining far more than you’re losing and it’ll become an exciting, positive change all round.
3. Don’t try completely new dishes, work out how to adapt your favourites
Food has an incredible way of bringing us comfort when we’ve had a bit of a rough day or are feeling exhausted after a hectic schedule. In walks in that comfort food dish! Whether that’s a tummy warming curry, a shepherds pie or a simple bolognese making these dishes vegan will help you when you frankly can’t be bothered to think of what to make that evening.
4. Restock your pantry/fridge with key items
Having a cupboard stocked with vegan cooking essentials that work in a variety of meals will help you out when food stocks are getting low or you’re struggling to feel inspired. Apple cider vinegar, tamari, pulses and nut butters are a few of our must-haves, get the full list here.
5. Take it step by step and don’t be hard on yourself
It’s a big transition and not all of us can go straight up cold turkey. Accept that whatever changes you’re taking, both big or small, to eat a vegan diet are a step in the right direction for your health and sustainable living.