First and foremost this will not be a vegan food blog! I’m just sharing how my first month went because I’ve had so many questions…so here we go.
Yep, I went vegan recently. After careful consideration and much thought I’ve decided to change my eating habits and not have animal products in my diet.A year ago I would never have considered making the move but during my years travel all the signs were there, I just had to make the decision.
A few reasons why:
- In Buenos Aires I went to an amazing restaurant and got a steak and I didn’t like it, I hated it in fact. It was there and then that I realised that if I can’t enjoy one of the best steaks in the world I’m never going to.
- I met someone travelling who was a vegan and after many chats and seeing what food she ate it really put the idea in my mind
- Being more informed played a huge role in my change. I’ve always been rather oblivious I guess to what happens to animals. I researched a lot, I read articles, I watched documentaries and everything I found out was bad so it made the decision super easy after that.
- Health. It’s pretty self explanatory, if you eat a big chunk of meat or loads of cheese you know it’s not healthy it’s pretty simple.
I’ve been asked so many questions about my new life change I thought I’d put it all down here as well as share what I’ve actually eaten because the question I’ve been asked the most is “Oh my god what can you even eat now”. Turns out I can eat a lot and it’s definitely more about what you CAN have rather than what you can’t. I think thats a really negative way to look at food if all you think about is what you have to eliminate. I’ve actually really enjoyed cooking new recipes and discovering new dishes to eat.
So for my first month as a full time vegan this is what I ate/took photos of. Turns out it’s not too hard at all to change and I actually enjoyed adapting some of my favourite meals with animal products into vegan meals.
Oats and fruit are my go to breakfast on week days anyway so I didn’t have to change too much on this front. The only change is almond or coconut milk which actually increases the flavour so it was win win.
On the weekend I opt for a more something a bit different so here’s also what I’ve had. Avocado and vegemite on toast as well as an amazing brunch made by my husband consisting of black beans, avo, hash brown and cherry tomatoes.
Various soups, crackers with hummus and vegetables and dinner left overs have been my go to. My usual lunch this month has been Dr Karg or Rice Crackers with avo and hummus.
Bangers and mash
Who said being a vegan would be so different? I love bangers and mash on a Sunday night and these lovely Linda McCartney sausages hit the spot. Instead of using butter and milk for the mash I used a knob of vegan cheese or free from margarine to soften it up. Vegan mayonnaise is a thing and I think it’s even better than the real thing.
Wraps with any sort of vegetables and beans has been a meal I’ve made a few times this month. Mexican is one of my cuisines so just trying to keep the Mexican love alive.
Vege burger with left over vegetables
I had vegetables left over from a wrap night and just put one of Linda McCartney’s burgers in the oven and boom this was a delicious meal.
Broccoli, potato and carrot soup (home made) with pine nuts
Vegetable chilli with guacamole
Pepper, courgette, beans, onion, garlic, tomato paste and avocado make this one of my favourite dishes this month.
Vegan bowl from Arancini Brothers
This was a little birthday treat from my friend Rachel and it was so good! Arancini Brothers was one of my favourite places in London and I am so pleased that they cater for vegans.
Wholewheat pasta with courgette, tomato, pepper and topped with vegan cheese (sheese)
Vege burger and sweet potato fries
All of my friends have been super supportive when it comes to cooking and eating out. Rachel cooked me this lovely dish on my first week back home. Amazing vege burger with sweet potato fries.
Vegan chilli again but this time even more vegetables!
Pizza was one meal that I genuinely thought I would have to give up when I started eating vegan food but I was wrong! The pizza base is a wholewheat wrap which I toasted slightly before adding tomato paste, vegetables and topping with sheese.
Baked potato was our go to hungover Sunday meal, we used to have bacon and creme fraiche with it but now it’s all about the vegetables! I made it similar to the way I make my chilli, lots of veg, tinned tomatoes and kidney beans. I added some sheese although it didn’t actually need it and topped with guacamole.
Chilli, cauliflower and quinoa was one I whipped up quickly after work one night. This tasted even better the next day after all of the ingredients had set together and it made for a delicious lunch.
Vegetable pasta with pesto
Super easy dish with wholewheat pasta, pepper, courgette, sun dried and cherry tomatoes with pesto. Most pesto has mil or cheese in it but I managed to find vegan pesto which was a total win!
Gnocchi with vegetables
I adore Italian food and I was really worried I’d have to give up but actually I’ve enjoyed adapting my favourite recipes. This gnocchi is not made with cheese or egg which is great and I just mixed three peppers, garlic, spices and a tin of tomatoes.
This was something I was worried about once I made the change, that I wouldn’t be able to enjoy food and eating out because my options would be limited but I’ve found in London almost everywhere will cater. Franco Manca is a great chain of pizzeria’s across London and I have one just down the street. This pizza was just as good as the others on the menu and it was vegan!
I found Club Mexicana at Street Feast in Canada Water and I almost couldn’t believe their food was 100% vegan. These tacos were insane and I also shared some ‘cheese’ fries with guac with my friend and we literally could not believe it was’t real cheese. I can’t wait to find these guys again around London because the food was phenomenal and the girls that worked there were super friendly too.
The Bach is a kiwi run cafe in Hoxton and Broadway Market that cater to all sort of dietary needs. For brunch with friends I chose hummus, potato, falafel and salad.
Banana Tree is a chain of Asian fusion restaurants, myself and friends ate here on night, the food was seriously tasty. Falafel balls, aubergine sauce with vegetables and rice was the vegan dish available on the menu. With a taste card we also got 2-4-1 meals.
The grocery shop
It’s worth mentioning that my shopping bill has plummeted which is a real upside to eating vegan. Tins of beans are so cheap in the UK as well as vegetables and fruit so my food bill has probably halved. I stocked up on a variety of beans, grains, spices and lots of veggies. I also bought a few Linda McCartney frozen foods for the nights where I get in from work late and can’t be bothered to whip up a meal.
Check out my insta for my meals and tips on where to find the best vegan eats on instagram here @hackneyvegan
All blog posts will be back to normal now, I’ve got six months of South American adventures to share so stay tuned!