- Food and Cooking
What Do Vegans Eat? – A Day in the Life of a Gluten Free Vegan.
It is a common misconception that following a vegan diet is difficult, expensive and time consuming due to large amounts of food preparation being needed. To anyone who eats a diet that is based around meat and other animal products it is understandable why they feel that removing these will leave them with very little choice in what they could eat.
Looking at the situation in this way, a plant based diet does appear to be very dull and restrictive. However there is a wide range of easily obtainable foods that are naturally vegan as well as many more than have been developed specifically to be free from all animal products. Health food shops and some supermarkets sell many items that can be used as substitutes for meat item such as vegan sausages, pies and cheeses as well as non-dairy milks and milk products such as yoghurt being more commonly available. Of course, all vegetables, fresh and frozen fruits, nuts, seeds, dried fruits and grains are naturally vegan friendly. Many brands of common items such as biscuits, breads and pastas are also completely free from animal derived food stuffs. The steady growing ‘Free From’ sections in many supermarkets can also be a good source of dairy and egg free foods including desserts, ice cream and breads.
If you do not want to buy specialist foods or find that this are too expensive or hard to find locally, there are still many plant based foods that can be used to keep your meals varied and nutritious. If finding vegan substitutes and other foods locally proves to be difficult there are many online shops that have a large range of items.
Some examples of naturally vegan foods include:
- Fresh fruit, vegetable sticks, nuts and dried fruit all make great vegan snacks
- Stir fries and salads – take care to check the ingredients of any sauces and dressings as these often contain milk or egg.
- Pasta or potato bakes – with or without vegetables
- Many cereals are suitable for vegans and can be a good addition to your diet as they are often fortified with vitamins and minerals.
- Beans on toast. If you want to use a spread there are several that are vegan friendly available in Free From sections of many supermarkets.
- Fried mushrooms on toast.
- Homemade vegetable based soups such as butternut squash and carrot or tomato. Many shop bought soups contain milk but they are a simple and filling meal to make at home.
- Vegetable based stews, casseroles or curries.
A Day of Vegan Meals
Breakfast – Two small bananas, sliced and topped with vanilla soya yoghurt.
Brown bread toast with vegan spread.
Lunch – Half a bag of bought stir fry mix with sweetcorn, soy beans, broad beans and peas added. Drizzled with gluten free soya sauce and freshly ground salt and pepper.
Lightly salted kettle chips.
Dinner – Bought Bombay potatoes and boiled basmati rice.
Gluten free vegan chocolate cake made using this recipe - http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/chocolate-avocado-cake
Snacks – Munchy dried fruit and nut mix - http://www.elderberryarts.co.uk/munchy-mix-dried-fruit-and-nut-mix/
Are You Vegan?
Recipes to Try
Butternut Squash Soup
1 medium butternut squash
1 large carrot
300ml (11fl oz) vegetable stock
½ tsp cumin
Salt and pepper
1. Cut the squash in half and remove the seeds.
2. Rub a little oil onto the carrots and onion and place the onion, carrot and butternut squash onto a baking tray. The squash should be placed face down.
3. Roast the vegetables for 40 minutes or until tender.
4. Allow the vegetables to cool for 10 minutes so that they can be handled. Scoop out the butternut squash flesh and remove the onion skin. Place these into a blender and add the carrot, vegetable stock and cumin.
5. Blend until smooth and season to taste with salt and pepper. For a thinner soup simply add a little more water and blend.
Slow cooked Sausage Casserole
500ml (17 fl oz) passata
1 onion, diced
50g (1.5oz) mushrooms
1 tbsp paprika
1 tsp garlic
8 vegan sausages
1 can of haricot or cannellini beans
Salt and pepper
1. Brown the sausages in a little oil. Remove the sausages and fry the onion for 2 minutes.
2. Place the passata, mushrooms, garlic, paprika and beans into a slow cooker. Add the onions and stir to combine.
3. Add the sausages and stir so they are covered in the sauce.
4. Cook for approximately 3 hours on high or 5 on low. This casserole can also be made in the oven by placing it into an oven proof dish and cooking for 1 hr at 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4.
Fresh and Crunchy Salad
200g (7oz) sugar snap peas
1 green eating apple, cut into matchsticks
6 radishes, finely sliced
3 spring onions, finely sliced
1 tbsp sesame seeds
1 punnet salad cress
1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and serve.
© 2015 Claire