Vegan’it Easy

Spirulina. Amaranth. Millet. Chia. Flax. Chlorella. Hemp oil. Nutritional yeast. My kitchen cupboards are brimming with items I never even knew existed two years ago. But now I can often be found in the aisles of Holland and Barrett and my local health food store, Peppercorns, scouting out these random and wonderful products which, if I’m honest, I’m still not entirely certain how to use to their full potential. I chuck some into smoothies and salads, replace rice or quinoa with bulgar wheat or amaranth, and pretty much hope for the best.

But this begs the question, is it all really necessary? Do you really need all this stuff to be a healthy, functioning vegan? And I think it probably isn’t. Not really. It’s great if you can afford it and it broadens your horizons, it is of course all healthy stuff which all has its place and its role to play. But what about those people who are just starting to navigate this vegan landscape, which could initially be a bit daunting to some newcomers whilst they find their feet? What about those who are toying with the idea of going vegan but are petrified by all these dodgy-looking and sounding powders and grains, or those who don’t have £10 to spend on what is essentially a small pot of bright green algae which tastes disgusting? (Spirulina, of course.) I think it is so easy to lose yourself to the hype of all these things and think that to be vegan, your cupboards have to be stocked with things you aren’t really sure how to pronounce. You can end up spending a lot of money if you’re not careful, just because you think you should. It’s easy to get swept up in it without taking stock that it doesn’t have to be so complicated. There’s a lot to be said for going back to vegan basics.

IMG_5391

Let’s not forget that fruit, vegetables, nuts, beans and seeds are all suitable for vegans. Stick them all together in whatever combination you prefer and you can quickly and easily have yourself an awesome, filling, healthy meal in the form of a huge salad or a warming, wholesome bean soup. And still get all the nutrients and micro nutrients you need to thrive. Similarly, a sweet potato is probably as simple as it comes – cheap and yes, vegan! I am a whole foods vegan so I avoid anything processed and eat as close to natural as food can possibly be. I think it is always a good idea, where possible, to keep it simple. So that’s what I do. If it isn’t a whole food, I don’t eat it. But for vegans who don’t want to be so restrictive with what they can eat, there are even more simple choices – dishes using bread and pasta are vegan (most of the time, not egg pasta, obviously!) and are simple, cheap and filling, just add in lots of veggies to make it healthier and more nutrient-rich. Easy. And all things you would find in any supermarket and, more importantly, could spell correctly if asked on a game show! Not that you probably would be, but hey, you could. I’m thinking Bullseye…

At this point, I fear this post may be getting a bit contradictory and I may be losing you. I’ve just said I have all these things in the cupboard but now I’m saying you don’t need to. I think I should clarify my point…

Whilst I do think that some of the fancy health products have their place, it’s good to experiment with new ingredients from time to time and I do use some of them, my point is that it doesn’t have to be so complicated. If the odd-sounding products mentioned at the top of this post are what’s stopping you from going vegan, then please remember that it can be, and is, a lot simpler than that. Leave the spirulina for later down the line. For now, keep it simple. Cut out the meat and add more greens. And believe me, the protein will take care of itself. #itseasy2bvegan

Advertisements

One thought on “Vegan’it Easy

  1. Stephen Smith says:

    Good post. Demystifying some of the veganness scariness. I also think, as a non-vegan, that you could go one step beyond that and give people an indication of what they can do with it and make, essentially, what to do at mealtimes? Big salad and bean stew yes, but what I realise is that a lot of the things I already eat are vegan, or can be easily.

    Breakfast Fruit, any! Cut up a banana and throw over some granola or muesli. Pour in almond/soy milk. Granary toast/seeded batch/bagel with jam on. Like a fry up? Beans, grilled tomatoes, mushrooms, spinach, toast.

    Lunch/Dinner

    Pasta – 1 – tomato sauce, grilled aubergine. 2 – Olive oil, broccoli, chilli and pine nuts. 3 – Sundried tomatoes and spring onions. 4 – Olives and capers.

    Soup – Any veg soup with no cream. Broth. Thai/Vietnamese/Japanese noodle soups

    Salads Hummus and carrot sticks Cous cous with onions, raisins, chick peas etc Rice salad Pizza with no cheese

    Curries Get yourself some basic Indian spices…(turmeric, cumin, coriander seeds, mustard seeds, curry leaves, chilli powder, garam masala, fenugreek, cloves, cinnamon, cardamon etc…) Then you can make easy… Daal – lentils and garlic Saag aloo – spinach and potatoes Chana masala – chick peas and tomatoes Aloo gobi – cauliflower and potato Bombay potato – potato with spices Vegetable biryani – rice and veg Sweet potato korma Bindi Brinjal

    Remember, rice is vegan! Some naan and roti/chapati can be if no butter/ghee. Popadoms too.

    Stir Fry Noodles or rice with Bean sprouts, cabbage, water chestnuts, carrots, leeks, soy sauce, chilli etc

    Chew on that!

    >

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s