Veganuary 2019: the story so far

Veganuary 2019: the story so far

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

veganuary

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
cows

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.

Portello Lounge, West Bridgford

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

west bridgford online

You will also find my article on West Bridgford Online https://www.westbridgfordonline.com/2019/01/susan-hart-veganuary-2019-the-story-so-far/

escabeche

  • 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
  • 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.

marks and spencer

  •  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!

sausage

  • 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
Vegan sneinton Market

Vork Pies

  • 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 https://www.vegansociety.com/resources/recipesand the Bosh boys cook up some mean dishes https://www.bosh.tv. I regularly share my favourite vegan recipes via my blog http://www.nutrition-coach.co.uk/blog/japanese-broth-tofu/.

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

Professional baker-to-be

Professional baker-to-be

Last week I read a post on Facebook from Vicky Leigh asking for volunteers to taste and critique her vegan cake.  Well, it would have been rude not too.  So the following day two generous portions of cake were delivered.

vegan cake

Vicky had already warned me that it was the first time she’d made this banana biscoff cake, based on the ‘Bosh’ boys recipe (with some tweaks) and said the presentation wasn’t right; having run out of icing, it wasn’t looking as good as it could.

Well, I disagree, don’t you?  I think it looks professional and appetising

If you’d like to check out the original Bosh recipe follow a link to their tv channel https://www.bosh.tv/recipes/biscoff-coffee-cake

What did it taste like I hear you ask!

First of all it looked like any other sponge cake.  Now that’s a good thing in my book because some vegan cakes are very solid but Vicky’s cake was light and airy.

vegan cake

 

I bet if you waved that under anybody’s nose they would not assume it was vegan.  The taste was very caramel (thanks to the biscoff biscuits) and the banana didn’t overpower but made it nice and moist.  The butter cream, made with vegan spread was really creamy and not too sweet.

How many of you didn’t know those individually wrapped caramel biscuits you often get at coffee shops with your Americano were ‘accidentally vegan’!

vegan cake

All it all it was a winner and I’d happily pay for a slice with my oaty cappuccino, if it were served in a local coffee shop.

Which might be a possibility because if Vicky’s cakes prove tasty and popular it may become her new line of business.

Being creative is a constant learning exercise and after watching a few more ‘how to’ videos Vicky seems to have mastered the art of presentation.  This is another of her creations this time a simple (anything but!) chocolate cake

vegan cake

Isabel (another taster) had this to say “I tried the chocolate one and it was absolutely delicious, one of the best vegan chocolate cakes I’ve tried. Heaven.”

So here’s to many more vegan cake tasting experiences.   It’s a tough job but somebody’s got to do it!

Vicky, the soon to be professional baker has done it again.  This time it’s a simple Victoria sponge, that’s been pimped up with some gorgeous pink frosting

vegan cake 3

 

The inside was as good as the outside

But how did it taste….. wow amazing.  If I served this with a pop of tea no one would think it was vegan.  The cake was moist and light with the right amount of sweet jam and ‘butter’ cream.  The frosting was very light and almost mousse like in its consistency.

vegan cake 4

I asked Vicky about the sugar she had used to make her frosting, and she admitted her usual make of sugar wasn’t available and the alternative just didn’t come top to scratch as it left a felt slightly graining feel.

It just proves every day is a ‘school day’ and there is always something new to lean and an experiment to me conducted.  But if the results are as good as this….Wow!

vegan cake

 

Another slice of Vicky’s vegan cakes made its way to me this week.  It was a variation on the biscoff cake.  It was very moreish, moist and very tasty.  Im not a massive cake eater so I found it a bit too sweet and the icing was a bit grainy.  Vicky explained that crushed biscoff biscuits were used in the icing hence the texture.

vegan cake

But a breakthrough came when we discussed how Vicky could have the caramel intensity without the grainy texture.  This is all part of perfecting the best cake ever, and sadly it may mean more taste testing for me.  Oh well somebodies got to do it!

vegan cake

Sausage and bean casserole

Sausage and bean casserole

This is a really great dish if you want to follow a more plant based diet, you’re supporting the veganuary campaign, participating in meat free Monday, need a bit of a change to your current vegan diet or just fancy something that’s really simple tasty and comforting

Using sweet potatoes not only adds complex carbs to the dish (our primary energy source), but also great levels of fibre, protein and vitamin A.  The addition of tinned beans – here I used borlotti beans but cannellini, butter beans or haricot would all work, adds plenty of protein and fibre and of course will count as one of your five a day.

So here’s what you need for 2 – 3 people

4-6 vegan sausages.  At the moment I love Sainsburys Shroomdogs and Frys sausages, but feel free to use your own personal favourites

1 tsp olive or rapeseed oil

1 onion or half a leek – or a mix of the two

2 sweet potatoes – washed but not peeled

1 tin of borlotti beans and their liquid

1 tin of chopped tomatoes

1 garlic clove

2 tsp smoked paprika,

Large pinch (or more of) chilli flakes

and 1 – 3 handfuls of red lentils.

Small handful of chopped parsley

Fry the sausages in oil until golden, about 15 minutes (but read the packet). I

sausage casserole

In a large pan fry 1 sliced onion and/or half a leek until soft.

Add the cubed sweet potatoes cook until softening, you may need to add some water if the ingredients stick.  

sausage casserole

Add the beans and their liquid, chopped clove of garlic, tinned  tomatoes, smoked paprika, chilli flakes and the red lentils. cover and cook until the lentils and sweet potatoes are really soft, about 20 minutes.

sausage 1

 

 

Half way through add the cooked sausages and check if you need to add more water.

 

Once cooked pour in to two or three bowls and scatter over chopped parsley 

sausage casserole

And why not serve it with some toasted garlicky sourdough bread.  Delicious

garlic bread

Veganuary

Veganuary –  have you gone meat free this month?

Veganuary is an international campaign aimed at encouraging people to be vegan for the whole of January. https://veganuary.com.  Last year the campaign grew by 183%, with 168,542 people signing up to go vegan.  So far this year over 250,000 people from 193 countries have taken the month-long pledge to try veganism

veganuary

Concern for animals, taking better care of the earth’s resources and the environment, the health advantages of a plant-based diet or curiosity are just some of the reasons for people taking up the veganuary pledge, with many high profile vegan celebrities on board

 

veganuary

vegan miley

 

If being vegan for a whole 31 days seems too much of a challenge then why not try taking part in the ‘Meat Free Monday’ campaign, originally started by the late Linda McCartney.  If you need recipe ideas then have a look at the ones I have created for you. http://www.nutrition-coach.co.uk/blog/category/recipes/

Who can resist the ultimate comfort food – LM vegan sausage and onion sandwiches!

LM vegan sausage sandwich

If you’re not a diva in the kitchen then the supermarkets are on hand.  Many have seriously upped their vegan game.

Marks and Spencer.

Marks and Spencer’s new vegan range. Photo by Sally

aldi

Aldi’s vegan aisle Photo by Sophie

 

Eating vegan food is now easier than ever, thanks to raised awareness, an increase in veganism and the availably of foods on the High Street, in restaurants and cafes.  For instance last year Pizza Hut announced that all of their restaurants will now stock vegan cheese, after it was successfully trailed; Zizzi and Pizza Express have been serving great vegan options for a while now, with more in the pipeline I’m sure

Zizzi's

Zizzi’s

Waggamamas has an ever expanding vegan and vegetarian range

Kare Burosu ramen

Kare Burosu ramen

Many coffee shops now serve vegan sweet treats, sandwich shops like Pret have even created a number of vegan only outlets and Greggs has just launched a vegan sausage roll, that is flying off the shelves

And small independents are also keen to attract new vegan customers; Chocks away https://www.facebook.com/Chocks-Away-Nottingham-City-Airport-379455688792762/  a cafe linked to Nottingham City airport has increased its range of vegan options

chocks away

chocks away

 

And No 12 Hounds Gate https://www.no12houndsgate.co.uk , Nottingham is a new vegan and vegetarian only cafe

pastrami

No 12 Hounds Gate

carrot salad

No 12 Hounds Gate

And pubs like the Angel microbrewery in Nottingham City centre http://www.angelmicrobrewery.com and the Horse and Plough http://www.castlerockbrewery.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/April-menu-Vegan-1.pdf at Bingham are really flying the vegan flag

Angel micro brewery

Angel micro brewery

Starbug burger, Horse and Plough

Starbug burger, Horse and Plough

If you are currently taking part in veganuary or going meat free every Monday and want to continue then consider coming to see me, either for a one to one nutrition consultation or one of my vegan cooking classes.

vegan cooking class

 

 

Speedy stir-fry

Speedy stir-fry – serves 2 or 3

For more healthy eating advice please visit my website http://www.nutrition-coach.co.uk/

IMG_3640

To celebrate the Chinese New year why not cook yourself this vegan speedy stir-fry.

This recipe makes a really quick and tasty light lunch or a more substantial supper dish.  The peanuts and sesame seeds add protein and some useful minerals like iron and magnesium and all the veggies are bursting with vitamins, fibre and antioxidants.  The wholegrain rice also adds some useful protein and fibre.

 

 

 

IMG_36311 packet microwavable wholegrain rice

½ (100g) large onion – sliced

2 (130g) carrots – cut into matchsticks

1 (130g) red pepper – sliced

80g spring greens or spinach or kale- shredded

20g fresh ginger – thin strips

¼ – ½ tsp dried chilli flakes

30g unsalted peanuts or cashews

1 spring onion – sliced

½ tsp soy sauce

1 tsp *toasted sesame seeds

 

 

Heat a wok (or non stick frying pan) until it is really hot and add 1 tsp of vegetable oil. Quickly add the sliced onion and keep them moving in the pan (with a large spoon or chopsticks). After 2 minutes add the carrots. Again move them about to stop them burning. If it looks too dry add a splash of water

 

After another 2 minutes add the pepper, greens, ginger and chili flakes. Cook for 5-8 minutes until the veg soften slightly

 

In the meantime microwave the rice according to the instructions on the packet (usually 2 minutes).  This step can be missed out, just tip the rice straight into the wok and cook for an extra 2 minutes with a splash of hot water

 

IMG_3639Add the steaming rice to the wok and mix in. Add the peanuts, soy sauce and spring onion and again stir to mix

 

IMG_3644

 

 

Divide into 2 bowls for a generous evening meal serving (358 calories) or into 3 bowls for a lighter lunch or 5:2 fast diet meal (238 calories). And sprinkle over the toasted sesame seeds

 

Now you know how simple it is what are you waiting for?! 

* To toast sesame seeds. Heat a nonstick frying pan – don’t add any oil. Add the sesame seeds and keep moving the pan to stop the seeds burning. They will start to colour and go golden brown after 2-3 minutes. Switch off the heat and allow to cool before tipping into a container with a lid. The toasted seeds will keep for 2-3 months

Veg out – No 12 Hounds Gate, Nottingham

Veg out – No 12 Hounds Gate, Nottingham

 

For various reasons many of you are trying ‘veganuary’, a world wide Campaign to encourage people to be vegan for the whole of January.

veganuary

As you know I was a lifelong vegetarian and a recent convert to vegananism and I’m always on the look out for new places to try that are either wholly vegan/vegetarian or have great vegan options. And No 12 Hounds Gate in the City centre (formerly the white rabbit teahouse) is a great new find. It’s a small independent vegan/vegetarian café run by a young couple, Ritchie and Lauren who pride themselves on making dishes from scratch using locally sourced ingredients and suppliers.

no 12 hounds gate

The owners Lauren and Ritchie

 

And their promise is that anything on the menu can be made vegan

Screen Shot 2018-01-20 at 12.28.48

They shut at 4.30, so my friend and I decided to have a very late lunch or was it an early tea and arrived at 3pm, there was not a seat to be had. But the other visitors kindly moved around and with some rejigging and many apologetic smiles for nudging and bumping we were seated.

specials

Now time to concentrate on the menu and the specials board. We were spoilt for choice I didn’t know whether to have an open sandwich, with some delicious and unusual sounding fillings, a robust salad or make up my own Buddha bowl. But we both agreed we needed to save some room for a pudding!

pastrami

Pastrami and wholegrain

 

In the end I opted for Pastrami and wholegrain – homemade vegan pastrami, wholegrain mustard, mayo, sauerkraut, gooey vegan cheese and rocket served on toasted bread for £5. My friend ordered the ‘special’ warm roasted carrot salad with quinoa, mint, clementine, cranberry’s, vegan cheese and walnuts for £7.50

carrot salad

warm roasted carrot salad

 

Check out my review online at the Nottingham Post http://www.nottinghampost.com/whats-on/food-drink/vegan-reviewer-cant-fault-nottingham-1089499

NP vegan review

When my open sandwich arrived it looked pretty impressive, as was the large carrot salad. Both looked beautiful, but equally as important they tasted delicious and not to miss out we shared the dishes. Ritchie and Lauren had somehow elevated the humble carrot to being the star of the show and I still don’t know how they made the pastrami but it was amazing and each mouthful had so many different flavours and textures.

pastrami1

After a suitable gap we decided to share a pudding and opted for the ‘special’ toasted homemade banana bread with vegan peanut butter and chocolate ice cream topped with caramelised walnuts for £4. Now who wouldn’t want to tuck in to that and we weren’t disappointed when it arrived. It was gooey, chocolatey and peanut buttery. I was very pleased we decided to share because it was a rather generous portion

banana cake

toasted homemade banana bread

 

I would highly recommend this café to anyone. The owners are very accommodating and engaging and were happy to talk to us about their plans for the future of the café. It has a very sociable feel to it, partly because it is so cosy and the tables are quite close together.

We were the last to leave and the closed sign had just been put up but a young couple were standing outside in the cold looking at the menu so Ritchie said they could come in and eat something whist they tidied up the café. How kind is that

steamy outside