As the new year unfolds it brings with it a sense of renewal and opportunity for change. Many of us set resolutions to enhance our general well-being—common goals are to quit smoking or hit the gym. But now, more than ever, there’s a growing trend towards rethinking our food choices. Transitioning to a vegan lifestyle, however, can be challenging. Fear not! To guide you through this year’s Veganuary challenge, we’ve compiled tips and recommendations that not only help you navigate this journey but also inspire a more sustainable lifestyle, all year round.
Let your inner chef shine!
When first starting vegan, the best advice will be to fall in love with raw ingredients, spices and fire! It’s the best way to learn how exciting and surprising vegan recipes are. Challenge yourself with vegetables you have never cooked with before–those bizarre enormous winter vegetables are culinary mysteries to discover! Pumpkin can be a great storyteller, see London host Marc’s Roasted butternut squash velouté or Paris host Catherine’s own organic pumpkin risotto for inspiration. Most importantly, take your time, use your own cooking references and skills and start creating!
Dig out your lunch box
Temptation lurks everywhere, from the office to the street and your friend’s house and vegan options are not always available. Be prepared to fight temptation by always carrying snacks like fruits and nuts.
Making vibrant, rainbow-colored lunches for the office not only ensures you stay on track but might also inspire others to join the Veganuary challenge. Carrying food with you will guarantee pleasure and good nutrition, meaning you won’t need to settle for a dull dish of vegetarian sides.
Experience the vegan foodscape
Ever wondered what a menu of only vegan delights looks like? Vegan restaurants and experiences are popping up in cities all around the world and vegan chefs are exploring amazing and creative ways to craft fully plant-based dishes that will satisfy all your cravings and provide, well, a rather extraordinary experience.
Exploring the vegan scene is also a great way to discover other food cultures and their own vegan creations. So become a locavore, explore your city, order the vegan option at restaurants, and go to vegan experiences near you–let yourself be surprised and inspired!
On jackfruit, eggplant, cauliflower, and other vegan meat replacements
In Western societies, we often build our plates around a meat dish. Meat is a central component of many diets–it’s the pièce de résistance. When starting a vegan or a vegetarian diet, it’s important to recreate this dish structure and, believe it or not, there are vegetables that provide that flavourful and “meaty” element to elevate a dish.
Whole cauliflowers can be roasted with spices and smoked paprika and shared with friends or family (after trying this, you won’t ever miss roast chicken again!) ; eggplants are great meat replacements in any stew recipe due to their firm structure and heat-resistant form; jackfruit is truly a pulled pork or chicken replacement that I can dare to say tastes even better. And if you are craving a burger, Portobello mushrooms are your go-to with their spongy texture and amazing earthy flavours.
You can also find soy-based protein that perfectly mimics ground beef for an amazing vegan Bolognese and, don’t forget, you can always rely on the classic vegan best friend in all its forms: tofu!
The vegan food industry has managed to recreate almost any form of processed foods –from ham and bacon to burgers and nuggets. The industry’s provoking communication campaigns tackle cultural stereotypes and encourage people to try plant-based products. There’s no doubt that you’ll find great vegan options!
Many people argue that one of the most difficult things to let go when going vegan is cheese. We think that’s exactly why the vegan cheese industry is blossoming.
We’re in the age of breakthrough innovations inspired by age-old traditions. Modern cheesemakers are uncovering the secrets of Gruyère, Roquefort, and Cheddar and transforming nuts into incredible cheese platters. Join in at home by making your own cashew cream cheese and share it with your friends!
Discovering the incredible array of faux-cheese options is one of the most exciting parts of the vegan challenge.
Vegan desserts? Go for water and chickpeas!
It can be a challenge to avoid pastries and desserts during Veganuary, as most of them contain eggs and dairy. The good news is that vegan pastry chefs are truly taking it to another level offering an amazing repertoire of classic and avantgarde vegan pastry recipes for you to choose from. Host Punam’s Dirty Chai Cake is a mouthwatering dessert that will definitely impress your guests!
Tips? To treat ice cream cravings choose the deliciously refreshingness of sorbets–better if they’re natural! Craving something crunchier or sweeter? Meringues can easily be made vegan with aquafaba (chickpea water!) and you won’t be able to taste the difference.
Not all foods need to be veganized though–classic Oreos are already vegan as they aren’t made from any animal-derived ingredients.
Vegan challenge information starter pack
If you are ready to tackle this whole month of following a vegan lifestyle, being informed is key!
Recent research has shown that vegan diets improve many aspects of our overall health and energy. For example, Netflix’s new documentary, featuring the TwiNS Stanford study, explores how different diets affect identical twins with: one is a meat eater while the other is vegan. The results are fascinating. As well as contributing to the environmental preservation and animal welfare.
There are an overwhelming number of ways you can enjoy Veganuary this month without restricting your diet and missing animal products. At eatwith, we invite you to become your own eco-hero. The biggest risk is that you will keep some of those amazing recipes and experiences forever in your lifestyle.
So, what are you waiting for? DM us and let us know what new things you try!