Making the Change: Vegetarian to Vegan

Veganuary, the perfect time to talk about my journey to veganism!

I’ve been a vegetarian all my life. I was raised by a vegetarian mum and a vegan dad. We never had meat in the house but the lifestyle was never forced on me. As a child raised as a vegetarian, I hated the unfamiliar smell of meat and fish, to the point where sitting next to anyone eating it would make me feel sick (still true to some degree!) and I would have to hold my breath and look the other way going past the fish counter in supermarkets (also kind of true now!).

Being a vegetarian kid there are certain things that were a bit different. For one thing, shoes for school were a bit harder to find. As I got older we mainly went to ‘Vegetarian Shoes‘ in Brighton for them, that way we knew we had the whole shop to choose from! When I was old enough to understand, my parents explained to me what Gelatine was, and I remember walking home with a packet of Fruit Salad sweets, and my dad checked the ingredients for me and told me that they had gelatine in. I asked him “does that mean I can’t eat them?”, and he said that it was up to me, that I knew what was in them and that the choice was mine. I didn’t eat them.

With a one vegan parent and one vegetarian, we always had both cow’s milk and soya milk at home, neither one pushed on me more than the other. Everyone is always surprised when I tell them that I chose the soya milk from a really young age, never wanting dairy. I think this has really made my journey to veganism a LOT easier! I grew up watching my dad struggle to find anything to eat at restaurants, especially on holiday where he would often just have to get a plate of chips, and I think this put me off veganism as I was growing up, it all seemed so much of a faff! But I have really noticed a positive change in the availability of products for both vegetarians and vegans which I think is fantastic!

In the past I’ve said to people that I would be vegan it weren’t for: 1. Maltesers having milk in them, and 2. Brie. With that said, I never really knew the extent of cruelty to animals in the dairy industry. Now that I am more informed on the subject- mainly due to the fact that it is being talked about more with social media, netflix documentaries etc., the switch to veganism is less about what foods have to be cut out, and more about the ethical considerations and how my choices can make an impact, for better or for worse. Christmas has just been and gone with the bountiful cheese selections (including brie), and people say “aren’t you tempted by it?”, and I say no. It isn’t like a diet where you feel deprived of certain foods that you aren’t allowed. Once you take a look into what happens to the animals that are unfortunate enough to be born into the industries that make these foods, you can’t forget it. However, if a vegan-friendly malteser-style chocolate was invented, I’d be more than okay with that!

I think going vegan is a big step for a lot of people, maybe less so if, like me, you’re already vegetarian. But it is so worth it! There is so much support, and so many like-minded individuals out there that it is easier than it has ever been! There’s the age-old question of “but, what do you eat? Salad?”. I think from now on I’ll just direct anyone asking that over to my Instagram!

I’d love to hear from anyone who has made the change to veganism, or even if you’re trying vegetarianism for the first time, it all helps towards the same goals! Let me know your experiences in the comments 🙂

-B x

Vegan for the Animals

Vegan for the Planet

Vegan for myself.

 

 

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Sweetcorn Chowder

Perfect for this cold weather, here is the recipe for a tasty sweetcorn chowder with a great chilli kick!

The weather is getting colder, so I recommend making some of this yummy, spicy gorgeousness!

Serves 4

 

Ingredients

1 medium potato, diced

1 medium onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves

Oil for sautéing

1 medium leek, sliced

200g Tinned Sweetcorn

1 cube vegetable stock

200mls water

1 tablespoon flour

1 red chilli, deseeded and sliced

Salt & Pepper

 

Method

In a large saucepan, sautée the onions and garlic for 3 minutes. Add the leek and potato and continue to cook on a low heat for another 3 minutes or so.

Add the flour to the vegetables, mix together, then add the vegetable stock, water, sweetcorn (saving some sweetcorn for after blending) and chilli.

Bring the chowder to the boil, then simmer gently for 30 minutes or until the potato is soft. Blend together to your desired consistency, then add the rest of the sweetcorn and heat through. Season with salt & pepper then serve!

Enjoy & Let me know what you think!

 

 

Tomato, Olive and Pesto Tofu scramble

A gorgeous vegan dish- super quick to make, and so tasty! 😍 DELISH!

Serves 1, or 2 if as a side.

This is what I made when I fancied a cooked breakfast… but also wanted to have Pesto 🙄

Ingredients

-tablespoon (ish!) of vegan margarine or oil to fry

-1/2 block Tofu (I used cauldron), liquid drained away and crumbled

-6 cherry tomatoes, halved

-olives, however many you like!

-Pesto, 3 tablespoons, or however much you want (I like to be quite generous!)

Method

Fry the tofu and tomatoes in a frying pan, seasoned with salt to your taste, stirring occasionally to make sure it doesn’t stick.

Once the tofu is starting to brown, add the olives.

When the tofu is well browned, add the pesto and mix well.

Fry for a further minute or so then plate up!

Enjoy! Let me know how you get on and share your photos with me on Instagram!

-B

Curried Squash Pasties

100% vegan, totally Autumnal, completely yummy pasties! What’s not to love?

Serves 4

I LOVE Autumn! One of the best things about it is the many amazing seasonal foods that come with it, one of which being squash! I have had some beautiful squash in my kitchen for a while (which I bought mainly because I thought they were pretty!), and thought it was time to use them in something.

IMG_4144This is super easy (like everything I make!) and absolutely delish!

Ingredients

Pastry:

  • 230g Plain flour
  • 120g Vegan Margarine (I used Pure Sunflower spread)

Filling:

  • 1 Red Onion, finely chopped
  • 400g Squash, chopped into chunks
  • ½ teaspoon Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Mixed herbs
  • 1 teaspoon Coriander
  • 1 teaspoon Turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon Ginger
  • 20g Margarine
  • 2 Tablespoons water

Method

Prepare the pastry: rub the margarine into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs, then add just enough water so that it combines into a stiff dough. Chill while you prepare the filling.

Preheat the oven to 200ºc

Prepare the filling: lightly fry the onion in the margarine, add the squash, herbs spices and mix until well coated. Continue to cook gently for a few minutes with the lid on. Add the water and mix again, then leave to gently cook for around 15 minutes (or until squash is cooked).

Roll out the pastry to about 5mm, and using a small circular plate (I used a saucer), cut around to make 4 circles and place on a greaseproof paper covered baking tray.

Divide the mixture between the 4 pasties, then fold in half (dampening the edges so they stick). Crimp the edges with a fork if you wish. Poke a few holes in each pasty to allow steam to escape, decorate if you wish (and can be bothered!) and put in the oven for around 20 minutes, or until cooked!

Enjoy!

Please let me know what you think, and if you try making them use #veggiebeckyblog on Instagram so I can see what you’ve been up to!

-B xx

Vegan Blueberry Muffins

Any excuse to have cake for breakfast! (or lunch, or dinner…)

Makes 12 Muffins

I LOVE a good blueberry muffin, so since I’ve been doing a lot of vegan baking I thought I’d give a vegan version a try!

I pretty much always have a stash of frozen blueberries and all the other ingredients are things that I think everyone probably has in their kitchen cupboards! These are super quick and easy to make, and taste darn good too!

Ingredients

1½ cups of plain (all-purpose) flour (and a little to coat the blueberries with before adding to the batter, this helps to stop them sinking during baking)

½ a cup of sugar

¾ cups of soya milk

¼ cup oil

2 tsp baking powder

¼ tsp cinnamon

½ tsp salt

1 cup frozen blueberries (I used a bit more than this as I like mine quite fruity)

Method

  1. Line a muffin tin with cases. Lightly coat blueberries with flour and set aside. Pre-heat oven to 200°c
  2. Sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and sugar into a mixing bowl and combine
  3. Add the soya milk and oil to the dry ingredients and mix
  4. Add the flour coated frozen blueberries and mix until they are evenly distributed
  5. Spoon the mixture equally into the cases and bake for 25-30 minutes
  6. Leave them to cool for a couple of minutes in the tin before removing the muffins.

 

I hope you enjoy these as much as I did! Please let me know how you get on, and also if you have any tips/improvements you’ve found!

-B x

 

Gingerbread Men Recipe

These are super easy to make and totally vegan friendly- what’s not to love!

So I know that it is WAY too soon to mention the C-word, but that said I really fancied making some gingerbread men so what can you do?! These are super easy to make and totally vegan friendly what’s not to love!

Makes: approx 24 small biscuits

Time: 60 minutes (including 30 minutes cooling time/cup of tea time 😉 )

You will need: A medium sized saucepan, mixing bowl, wooden spoon, sieve, baking tray(s), rolling pin, cooling rack.

Ingredients

190g Plain (all-purpose) flour

60g Margarine (vegan-friendly)

½ teaspoon Ground cloves

1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

1 teaspoon Ground Ginger (more if you’re like me and like them super ginger-y!)

90g Brown sugar

2 tablespoons Golden Syrup

1 teaspoon baking powder

Method

  1. Put the margarine, golden syrup and sugar in a medium sized saucepan on a low-medium heat and stir every now and again until melted and combined.
  2. Sift flour, baking powder and spices into a bowl and mix until well combined.
  3. Taking the saucepan off the heat, mix the dry ingredients into the margarine mixture until it resembles a dough (adding more flour if necessary)
  4. Make into a ball shape and wrap in cling film. Chill in the fridge for 30 mins or so.
  5. Pre-heat the oven to 180°c
  6. Unwrap the dough and on a floured surface, roll to approx half a centimetre in thickness and cut out using whichever shaped cutter you like.
  7.  Transfer to a baking tray and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until they are firm.
  8. Cool on a wire rack before icing (if you wish).
  9. ENJOY!!

Let me know what you guys think and any tweaks or adjustments you suggest!

p.s. I also like putting some orange zest in them for an even more festive treat!

Vegan Blueberry-topped Waffles

Prep: 5 minutes

Cooking: 5-10 minutes (depending on waffle iron)

Serves: 2

Who doesn’t love waffles?! Being vegan (or running out of eggs) shouldn’t stop you from enjoying them. Here is a super simple recipe for some Vegan waffles topped with a blueberry sauce and fresh blueberries and strawberries. Served with soya yoghurt for a bit of freshness.

Ingredients

Waffles:

70g Plain flour

1 Teaspoon Baking Powder

240ml Soya Milk

2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil

1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

1/2 Teaspoon cinnamon (optional)

Low-cal cooking spray (fry-light or similar)

Sauce:

2 Handfuls of fresh or frozen blueberries

2 tablespoon Agave Nectar (or sugar if you don’t have this)

4 tablespoons water

Toppings:

Fresh blueberries, strawberries and soya yoghurt

Method

Turn on waffle iron to start it heating up.

  1. Put all the ingredients for the blueberry sauce in a small saucepan, give it a stir and start on a medium heat. Leave your sauce to start cooking (gently stir occasionally) and get to work on the waffles.
  2. Measure out all ingredients for the waffles and whizz up in a food processor! (I used my smoothie maker as it’s less washing up and easy to pour from)
  3. Before pouring the mix out, give the iron a couple of sprays of oil. Cook as per your waffle iron instructions.
  4. By the time your waffles are cooked the sauce should be gorgeous, thick and dark purple in colour.
  5. Dish up however you like! (P.s. start the pan used for the sauce soaking straight away to make life a lot easier!)

Hope you enjoy- let me know any top tips and ideas in the comments ❤️

-B