We are almost at the end of December. Has it been as indulgent a month for you as it has been for us? As we approach the New Year, many of us will be thinking of incorporating healthy changes to our lives. Some of us will be considering upping our exercise regime to help with physical health. Others might be incorporating mindfulness practices to aid with mental well being. Others will be looking at trying to make healthy food choices after overindulging over Christmas. If eating healthier is one of your aims for the New Year, you may want to consider eating more plant based foods. In Veganuary: A Guide to Plant Based Living we explore the benefits of veganism. We have also collated a list of 15 delicious vegan recipes to try out during January.
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Veganuary is a coined term that combines “vegan” with “January.” It challenges individuals to adopt
What is Veganuary?
a vegan lifestyle for the entire month, encouraging them to exclude all animal products from their diets. This includes not only meat but also dairy, eggs, and other animal-derived ingredients. The challenge sheds light on the reasons behind this growing trend and the myriad benefits associated with a plant-powered lifestyle.
Why do people participate in Veganuary?
There are various reasons why individuals choose to participate in Veganuary:
- Health Consciousness: Many people see Veganuary as an opportunity to explore a diet rich in fruit, vegetables, and whole foods, which can lead to improved health outcomes. A plant-based diet can contribute to lower cholesterol, better heart health, and a reduced risk of certain diseases, including type 2 diabetes.
- Environmental Impact: Adopting a vegan lifestyle is recognized as an effective way to reduce one’s carbon footprint. Animal agriculture is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, deforestation, and other environmental issues.
- Ethical Considerations: Concerns about animal welfare and the ethical treatment of animals in the food industry drives some individuals to embrace Veganuary as a step towards a lifestyle that avoids contributing to the exploitation of living beings.
Trying Veganism Beyond January:
While Veganuary serves as a great introduction to plant-based living you might not be ready to give up your bacon rolls. I know that for me being vegan is not an option but I do enjoy having meatless meals. If you are like me, perhaps you would prefer to give “Meatless Mondays” a go. This is an initiative which advocates cutting out meat at least once a week. This can provide a more sustainable and achievable approach for those who may not be ready to fully commit to a vegan lifestyle.
A really popular Meatless Monday choice at our home this delicious Vegetable Balti.
Veganuary: A Guide to Plant Based Living
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 red onion, peeled and sliced
450g sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
2.5cm root ginger, peeled and grated
3 tbsp medium curry paste
225g cauliflower florets
1 x 400g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 x 400g can tomatoes
175g spinach leaves
- Heat the oil in a large pan and add the onion and sweet potatoes, frying for 5 minutes until just brown .
- Add the garlic, ginger and curry paste to the pan and cook for 30 seconds.
- Add the cauliflower, chickpeas and tomatoes along with 300ml of water and bring to the boil before covering and simmering for 15-20 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
- Stir in the spinach and cook for 2 minutes until wilted.
- Serve with rice and naan bread.
Meatless Mondays Options
Going meat free does not mean boring! There are a whole ton of delicious meat free recipes out there and you really won’t feel like you are missing out. We have collated a further 14 different recipes which we think will become firm Meatless Mondays favourites.
Reviews on this recipe are generally 5 stars however, one or two reviews point out that the sauce is rather watery. You might want to thicken up the same or reduce the amount of tomatoes used. You can also add some additional bulk and nutrients to the recipe by adding some lentils.
These falafel burgers make for a delicious, healthy and quick dinner. The recipe calls for a tub of tomato salsa to serve but you can also make your own preferred accompaniment. I like hummus or perhaps some Greek yoghurt with lemon and mint.
A great alternative to traditional moussaka.
The variety of mushrooms and lentils in this recipe pack in the flavour in this meatless lasagne.
Add your ingredients to your slow cooker before heading out to work and come home to a delicious homemade soup.
Check out our other soup recipes here. Most of these are vegetarian although not vegan.
Add the chili flakes slowly and taste as you go if you don’t like your pasta to be super spicy.
Lentil bolognese is perfect when you fancy a bowl of comforting food but are trying to reduce the amount of meat you eat.
This super easy and delicious meal will be ready in about an hour. It is a perfect weekend evening dinner which will be enjoyed by both vegans and omnivores.
Just like pasta, noodles are a perfect choice when looking for delicious meat free meals. The noodles soak up the flavours for a scrumptious meat free dinner.
I like topping my lentil tacos with shredded cheese but omit or go for vegan cheese if you are going all in on veganuary.
These noodles are rich and satisfying – you will definitely not miss the lack of meat.
The key to this recipe lies in marinating the mushrooms to pack in the rich flavours.
Deliciously spiced peppers and mushrooms with avocado and lime make for a fabulous and quick midweek dinner. I’m not keen on corn tortillas so for us, I make this with flour tortillas and again I would add some cheese and salsa.
With no need to pre boil your pasta this pasta bake is the ultimate in easy meals! If you are just reducing your meat intake and not going full on vegan, you can replace the cheese to your whatever cheese you like most.
Transform Your Diet Regime
Veganuary offers a transformative experience, encouraging people to reflect on their dietary choices and embrace a plant-based lifestyle for the month of January. Whether driven by health, environmental concerns, or ethical considerations, participating in Veganuary can be a gateway to long-term positive changes in one’s life. So, why not consider giving it a try and explore the vast, delicious world of plant-powered living?
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