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Veganuary: Days 2 & 3

Making it through a whole day as a vegan has proven that it is possible for a meat-lover like me to go vegan. Now I just need to keep it going for another 29 days.

Day 2 started with porridge with oat milk and an oat milk cappuccino, with a dash of Whittard’s luxury hot chocolate powder. The oat milk frothed and the coffee tasted delicious. Having to survive without my best friend the cappuccino was a big worry before embarking on this journey, so I am very pleased to report that you can still make decent coffee with non-dairy milk. Thank goodness.

I was doing really well until 10:30am, or Snack Time. The kids had something from their selection boxes. I opened the cupboard, saw a myriad of things I am not allowed to eat, promptly closed the cupboard and ate a banana. If that is not great willpower, I don’t know what is. I also decided I needed to make some vegan brownies, tout suite.

 

Lunch

I trialled a recipe featuring sweet potato and roasted chickpeas, a tahini-based sauce and a tomato & pea salsa for lunch. The sauce didn’t really work – I think I should have used hummus. I spent ages making it, adding random stuff to try and make it taste better. I would have been better off just using coconut yoghurt and saving myself the hassle. The sweet potato and chickpeas were good though (just roasted in the oven with some olive oil, seasoning, ground cumin, coriander, cinnamon and paprika).

Sweet potatoes & roasted chickpeas
Sweet potatoes & roasted chickpeas

 

Vegan brownies, Round 1

My mission for the afternoon was to make vegan chocolate brownies. We love a good home-baked brownie in our house. Our normal recipe comes from the classic “Usborne – My First Cookbook” and features both eggs and butter. Doh! After a brief google, we came across a very simple-sounding recipe for a vegan equivalent from the BBC website.

All you need is self-raising flour, caster sugar, cocoa, soy milk, sunflower oil and vanilla extract. We added some bashed cashews for good measure. Mix it up, bung it in the oven for 30 mins and you are good to go.

Verdict: A passable brownie but not good enough to rival our normal brownie recipe. The texture is more spongy and it tastes more like a cake than a rich, chocolatey brownie. I think I need a recipe that uses dark chocolate rather than cocoa powder. Definite room for improvement. We will try again and report back!

 

More recipe trialling for tea

For tea, I decided to try another Deliciously Ella recipe – this time for a roasted butternut squash and courgette salad featuring wilted spinach and black beans, all in a yummy dressing and served with quinoa and bashed cashews, pistachios and almonds (standard vegan garnish for every meal!)

Roasted Butternut Squash & Courgette with Black Beans, Spinach and Quinoa
Roasted Butternut Squash & Courgette with Black Beans, Spinach and Quinoa

Well, what can I say. It was delicious. And filling. A great mix of flavours and textures. And super healthy. My only tweak for next time would be to roast the courgettes and butternut squash for a little longer (I used defrosted chopped veg from the freezer, so it was a little mushy to start with). But it was a really scrummy dinner for a cold, dark January evening. Highly recommended!

 

So, all in all, a successful Day Two of Veganuary. Until we reached night-time, that is…

I slept really badly last night. I was hungry in the night. I’m not sure if it is because I didn’t eat enough (which I don’t believe, because I had two helpings of lunch and a pretty hefty bowlful of tea) or if it is because my body is used to processing meat and got through its work quicker (an expert in biology, I am not!) Either way, I slept badly because of it. I am hoping it is part of the adjustment process. I will let you know if the feeling continues!

 

Things I’ve learnt today:

  • Oat milk is great for cappuccinos and the like
  • Not all vegan brownie recipes produce good vegan brownies
  • Buying granola containing honey isn’t helpful when you are vegan…
  • Deliciously Ella recipes are really good
  • My body is clearly still adjusting to being fully vegan
  • Veganuary is a big thing. Even Chris Packham is on board:

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