We’re almost half way through Veganuary and if you’re one of the thousands of people who pledged to give up animal products for the month, then you’re doing pretty damn well!
Going vegan can be an exciting and rewarding new experience but it can also feel a bit daunting. Change can be quite scary, especially if it’s set around a highly controversial topic like veganism.
I get asked a lot if I found it hard to go vegan. If I miss cheese or get cravings for meat or eggs.
The truth is I did find it hard to go vegan but not for the reasons most people expect to hear.
I went vegan after watching the documentary Earthlings. I highly recommend watching it if you want to know more about how humans (mis)treat animals within different industries (food, clothing, pets, zoos, etc.). A fair warning though, it has very graphic content and I found it upsetting to watch.
For me the hard part was opening my eyes to the pain animals endure at the hands of humans and trying to explain my decision to friends and family, feeling misunderstood, angry and helpless.
Everyone handles the emotional side of it differently and it’s a very personal journey to embark on.
Enough with the heavy stuff now! When it comes to the more practical side of making the transition I’ve learned ONE thing which made going and staying vegan so much easier.
Get creative! Sounds a bit silly, bear with me.
Buying substitutes for what you would usually eat is great and can help with cravings BUT it’s soooo much fun to get crazy in the kitchen and experiment with different ingredients and food combinations.
Sticking to recipes is a good idea if you have guests over and you can find a veganized version of pretty much anything BUT have you tried throwing your favourite vegetables in a saucepan and making your own kick-ass pasta sauce? Spices, herbs and condiments are your new best friends. Vegetables, pulses and grains can make the most exciting dish if you try creative new ways of seasoning them.
Amazing flavour combinations I discovered since going vegan are tahini and mustard, ginger and garlic, peanut butter and curry, sage and pretty much anything! And the list goes on.
Don’t only think about all the food groups you are giving up. Think about all the new dishes and flavours that you never would have discovered if you didn’t make this change.
This little revelation of mine is the reason I started this blog in the first place. I always enjoyed cooking to some extend but only after going vegan and being forced to mix things up did I really get into it.
I mean, who would have thought that cashews make amazing creamy sauces and cheesecakes?!
To showcase what I mean I gave myself a little challenge. Our fridge and food cupboards were almost empty the other day. I was getting a bit hungry about two hours before dinner time, craving a small, salty and flavoursome snack.
So I browsed my fridge and added a few different things to the blender. A handful of olives, a few cherry tomatoes, one garlic clove, a generous splash of olive oil, pepper and salt, blend it all up and I ended up with a delicious tapenade-like spread. And it hit the right spot!
So go and get crazy!