18 days

Hello sweet peas,

Today marks the 18th day of being vegan and I will say it has got slightly boring. I have been very strict not enjoying Pancake Day and checking packaging, for egg and milk especially, before I buy anything. I shouldn’t complain because it was my own choice to do this however I can tell you all now, I won’t be altering my lifestyle to vegan permanently because I am a foodie. I definitely think being vegan has broadened my cooking skills, especially at dinner time because you have to think before you cook making sure everything is suitable and also vegetables go off quickly therefore have to organise what I am eating. Today I restocked on vegetables including peppers, cucumber and carrots because I can’t get enough of them and they are the main dietary ingredient to all my meals, of course. Tonight I am planning an aubergine and bean sprout inspired rice dish with lentils and mixed seeds with a tomato based sauce. Anyway I thought I’d give you a small insight to what I have been eating the past two weeks and four days to either tempt you to try vegan, give you culinary inspiration or if you’re just curious really.

I am not a big breakfast person, even though it is said to be the most important meal of the day but when I do have time I stuck to fruit either as a smoothie or just to eat on the go. I absolutely love satsumas and large crunchy apples alongside a large glass of orange juice. For lunch, I usually eat chopped up carrots/peppers/cucumber and lettuce leaves dipped in houmous, guacamole or salsa. Being a student, dips aren’t really a budget product however without buying dairy products or meat, it has meant I can indulge slightly. One of the best things to come of being vegan is remembering my love for houmous and chickpeas just in general. Houmous does have a high fat content (be warned!) however it is a perfect fatty substitute to cheese or cream which are regular elements to most dishes. I also bought simple soups like lentil or tomato and made them into stews adding pitta bread, lentils and sweetcorn for a more filling meal when it was cold.

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Another thing; I did attempt to make vegan flapjacks involving oats, apple sauce and mushed bananas to act as a holding formula with added blueberries and raisins however the result was a rather soggy mix even after being cooked for twenty minutes. It was tasty however for next time, I’ll add less apple sauce and more oats. The altered recipe is simple: 1 apple and 2 bananas blended together with 3 cups of oats spread across a greased baking tray. Then add a handful of blueberries and raisins to the mix evenly spreading them across and bake for 20 minutes till the edges turn crisp. Of course you can add whatever you want to the flapjacks, but that is just a basic idea of what I made.

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Unfortunately I didn’t take a photo of the flapjacks on their own but as you can see, they are soggy. Don’t be put off buy their sogginess, they were still very yummy and next time I am going to add pumpkin seeds and raspberries instead of raisins and blueberries. Here I have added satsuma segments and pineapple chunks, and this is the sort of snack I have been eating.

For dinner, I usually have vegetable stirfrys with or without pasta, rice or couscous. The vegetables I have used include: carrots, cucumber, bean sprouts, peppers, sweetcorn, kale and tomatoes. To add different elements to my dishes I have added lemon juice, mixed seeds including sesame and pumpkin seeds, lentils and picante peppers for spice. It is very important to season any dish you cook and my favourites are rosemary, grounded black pepper and thyme. One night I grilled some vegetables and had them inside houmous-filled pitta breads which were delicious although I had made way too much filling. Also I would recommend adding beans to your dishes to fill them out; I have used cannelloni, kidney and butter beans which are all individually yummy but make a great three bean salad if you want to quickly throw something together.

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  1. Tomato, cannelloni bean, bean sprout and sweetcorn couscous.
  2. Grilled carrot, kale, pepper and bean sprout filled pitta breads with houmous.
  3. Kale, lentil and mixed seed spaghetti with picante peppers in a tomato puree.
  4. Kale, pepper, mixed beans and seeds with lentils stir fry with a pitta bread.
  5. Uncle Bens’ Mexican Pilau Rice with added sweetcorn, lentils and picante peppers.
  6. Carrot, cucumber, bean sprout and kale stir fry with picante peppers, sweetcorn and sesame seeds.

In terms of snacks, I have munched on pretty much anything that is classed as vegan. Raisins, popcorn, tinned peaches and pineapple, vegan snack bars like Nakd and more vegetables. I do love chocolate so finding an alternative has been difficult being on a student budget however I have bitten the bullet and stuck to fruit. To be honest, it is quite easy to snack throughout the day on vegetables because it is great goodness for your body so it isn’t too bad at all however the only problem is when it comes to dinner time and you have to continue eating more vegetables!

18 days down, 10 more to go. See you guys later, gotta go make dinner.

Keep smiling,

Love Poppy x

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