(continued from part 1)
Years ago getting hold of vegan food was very hard, and there wasn't much choice. Nowadays there is vast and growing array of tasty food to choose from – to suit all budgets.
Veganise your diet
The simplest way to stick your toe in the water is just to replace your usual favourite menu items with a vegan equivalent – burgers, pizzas, sausages, mince, bacon, cheese, pies and pasties, cakes and biscuits. At the shop we are happy to advise which of these you might like to try – some recent meat replacements are really astonishingly good! As for milk, we do a large range of plant milks to suit all tastes. Personally I like the Oato oat milk which we have delivered in glass bottles from the local milkman – British grown oats, barrista, glass refillable and reusable bottles so NO PLASTIC and much more sustainable. We also like Naturli 'Do NOT call me M_lk' which has the equivalent nutritional profile to semi skimmed milk, and their butter is JUST like dairy butter, good for cooking as well as spreading on toast. Oatly and Sojade are also good milks. Vegan cheese has improved vastly over the last 10 years, Patifu tofu pates are great for sandwiches, so is hummus or sliced meat replacements, and egg free mayo is very nice. Then, when you are relaxed a bit and know that you won’t starve, you can start developing a range of healthy, easy meals that you enjoy.
Everybody is short of money nowadays and being vegan doesn't necessarily mean spending a lot of money on food. Lentils are nutritious and cheap – try adding beluga lentils to TVP mince for delicious and nutritious shepherds pie, red lentils for soups and veggy stews, green lentils for a lasagne, chana dahls for curries. You can use chickpeas in risottos, nuts in salads etc, both a good source of protein. Surprisingly, some dishes like lasagne and trifle are actually really easy to veganise, with a little help like vegan jelly and vegan cheese sauce. There are lots of helpful recipes online e.g. at https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/collection/budget-vegan-recipes or https://thestingyvegan.com/
Tips on cooking and baking
It's easy to make cakes without eggs by adding either an egg replacement or some ground flaxseed, a little vinegar and extra baking powder. You can have fun trying new things like scrambled eggs and cheesecake made with silken tofu, kebabs using veg and assorted firm tofu, even meringues with aqua faba. Yoghurt – if soya yoghurt doesn't appeal try coconut (delicious) or Nush (almond yoghurt with fruit, and totally delicious, and no added sugar). New products are coming out all the time (mostly naughty stuff), like 'Shicken' Korma curry or Tikka kebabs, or Coconut Collaborative 'Wonderfully whippable' Double Cream.
These are not necessarily 'wholefoods' but are much better than the dairy equivalent and make it a lot easier to stay on the straight and narrow if it tastes so good! Booja booja ice cream, made from cashews, is totally scrummy, and there's a huge range of vegan chocolate available nowadays some organic, some fairtrade, some palm oil free. We also sell hot pasties cooked fresh every day in the shop which are very popular with diehard vegans and carnivores alike.
The main thing I want to say in this blog is that going vegan is an all round GOOD THING and if you fancy giving it a go, then doing Veganuary is a good time to start. It's much easier and more enjoyable than it used to be given the huge variety and availability of vegan food nowadays, it's good for you, good for the planet and good for the animals. And we at Tod Almighty are happy to help you in that endeavour in any way we can.
Three Valley Vegans (local group supporting all who want to move towards a vegan lifestyle)
Muse Music (vegan cafe and record shop in Hebden)
Yakumama (excellent mainly vegan restaurant in Tod)
Nelson's (vegan restaurant and wine bar in Hebden)