Last year was a record breaking year for the number of people who signed up to be vegan for the month of January (and possibly beyond). This year looks set to smash that figure, already over 250,000 people have signed the pledge to be vegan and the figure is set to rise to 300k by the end of the campaign.
The majority of people cite animal welfare and cruelty as the main reason for shunning meat, fish, dairy, eggs and all of their by-products. For some it’s also about protecting and preserving our planet, and for a smaller number it’s for health reasons. Whatever inspires you to go vegan it can only be good news for all creatures that inhabit this precious resource.
And the retailers, restaurants, supermarkets and cafes have been quick to react to this growing trend, with more vegan options on their menus and their shelves making veganism even more assessable to the masses.
So if you are taking part in veganuary (and there’s still time if you haven’t signed up yet https://veganuary.com/blog/veganuary-2019-campaign-launch/ ), let me share with you a few tips, suggestions and easy peasy recipes to get you going or keep you motivated:
- Lets kick off with our national treasury Sir David Attenborough, who’s urging us to stop eating meat in order to reduce climate change
- Most mainstream restaurants now have a decent selection of vegan options including Escabeche (and their sister restaurant Baresca), tempting you with such delights as aubergine tumbet, tempura courgettes and for pud apple, almond & raisin empanadillas. Laura Ashley cafes have a vegan afternoon tea boasting scones and double chocolate cake.
- Harvester (along with other ‘chain’ pubs) has launched a vegan menu, featuring a Jamaican style katsu curry, Pizza Hut’s jackfruit pizza has smashed all sales targets and will now feature in all its eateries.
- But lets not forget our smaller independents; Fordes café, near Tudor Square has a decent range of sandwiches, plant based milk options etc. as does the recently refurbished No 8 deli on Gordon Road. Chocks Away at Nottingham City Airport is gaining a reputation for delicious breakfasts and scrummy cakes. The Tea cosy at Edwalton has also added some vegan options to its menu and you can now have a vegan cream tea at Tiffin tea house on Abbey Road. The newly opened Garden café in Cobden Chambers, city centre not only has imaginative and delicious dishes but a zero waste policy. And I challenge you to eat a better value vegan fry up than the one served at the Avenues café on Sneinton Market. Its £4.50 and that includes a hot drink. Bargain of the centaury!
- And supermarkets are not taking it lying down either; Marks and Spencer’s recently launched vegan range ‘Plant kitchen’ is proving a hit. Their cauliflower popcorn is very tatsy and it’s hard to find their vegan slaw as it keeps selling out. Iceland not only have a ‘no bull’ range of vegan burgers, sausages etc but they are also committed to ditching palm oil – a major contributor to deforestation which reduces the habitat of orang-utans as well as removing plastic packaging from its own-brand products.
- B&M are selling vegan wines for a very reasonable price, as are Aldi along with vegan milk, ready meals, tins of jackfruit, gluten free spaghetti etc.
- Probably Greggs vegan sausage roll got most people talking, with many shops selling out, and if it winds up Piers Morgan all the better!
- In Nottingham we are also very lucky to have Sneinton Vegan market; an outdoor event that occurs on the first and third Saturday of every month. There you will find vegan fast food, vegan products, clothing and delicious cakes, cheeses and breads. All from local independent bakers and makers.
- And don’t forget your local greengrocer has been selling vegan friendly vegetables and fruits for years. That’s a point worth remembering because a lot of the new products hitting the shelves are processed, which means they could be higher in salt, sugar and fats. I always advocate to my clients and cooking class guests that making most of their meals from scratch is not only cheaper but more filling and generally more nutritious.
- If you want to increase your repertoire of vegan dishes there are plenty of recipes out there to whet your appetite. A good place to start is the vegan society website and the Bosh boys cook up some mean dishes. I regularly share my favourite vegan recipes via my blog .
- If you need to build up your cooking confidence then why not come to one of my vegan cooking classes, where you will be guided through such delights as sweet potato falafels, beany tacos, mac no cheese or a classic nut roast.