Each year November comes around and I am so excited to shout out about all things vegan, plant-based, eco-friendly and everything just all-round good for the planet. This year, more than ever, access to healthy food has been a major issue for some. The global pandemic has definitely made things tougher for a lot of people, whether that is financially, physically or emotionally.
While I appreciate the privileged position I am in to be able to try new and exciting vegan products as they launch and have the ability to choose my meals, I know that this is not the case for everyone. Yet, it can still be a simple transition to make, with the right guidance and education.
2020 has been a great year for cookbooks and one that stands out in particular in raising awareness for living and eating plant-based on a budget is the fabulous cookbook from Toni aka @plantbasedonabudget and Michelle from @vegan.
Their joint cookbook is called The Friendly Vegan Cookbook, and it is exactly that.
It has an informative intro with helpful swaps for those transitioning to a plant-based diet and where to find different sources of nutrients and key store cupboard staples. Turning the pages of the main recipe section, you’ll notice that they use “normal” ingredients; flour, vegan butter/margarine, sugar, vegetables, tins of food… all of which are fairly inexpensive. Yet, they talk about the recipes and present them in such delicious ways that you’d be challenged to not find a recipe to tickle your fancy.
If you’re looking for a more creative and equally as delicious book, Niki aka @rebelrecipes has just released her second cookbook aimed at younger people and educating them in going (a bit more) plant-based: Be More Vegan.
While this book may have a few “fancier” ingredients and a few spices, the majority of Niki’s recipes focus on wholefoods – which are namely fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans and legumes. From hearty warming curries to vibrant spring rolls, delicious burgers and sweet treats, it’s a great book for anyone looking to try out a few simpler recipes.
For a third book recommendation, I just had to mention Jack Monroe from Cooking On A Bootstrap.
I’ve listened to a few interviews with Jack about her personal financial struggles and the tough time she had feeding her family filling, healthy and delicious meals. I have to point out that not all of her recipes are plant-based, but a lot of them are, as this was what she found to be cheaper! One top tip of hers that spring to mind is using stewed tea in place of red wine in sauces for that depth of flavour. All of her recipes come with a price tag per portion a attached, which is great indicator of just how inexpensive it can be – Vegan Rainbow Dhansak Curry for 31p!
From cookbooks to actionable steps that you can take in the kitchen to make veganism a little more accessible – The Vegan Society’s theme for 2020 and their “Live Vegan for Less” campaign.
These are just a few simple reminders of inexpensive ways to shop and life a more plant-based lifestyle, but it doesn’t stop there.
Remember that a lot of things already in your home are naturally vegan (flour, sugar etc) and don’t feel like you have to use coconut sugar or spelt flour – which are more expensive. While I love all of these alternatives, it’s important to go back to basics because ultimately having lots of part-time vegans makes a much bigger impact than only a handful of full-time ones.
And don’t be afraid to slip up: no one is perfect and so in the same way, there is not “the perfect vegan.”
Let me know your thoughts below – anything and everything! Are you vegan already? Are you thinking about including few more plant-based meals into your week? Are you plant-curious?
p.s. find the recipe for these Chocolate Stuffed Dates 3 Ways here.