Many people decide to use the month of January to give being vegan a try. There are many benefits from cutting out meat, both for our health and the good of the planet. But trying to prepare interesting and tasty vegan dishes can be a challenge.
Jane Clark from Country Practice gives us her thoughts on eating and preparing vegan food.
I have several friends who are vegans, and I have to say they are extremely healthy with bounding energy. However, it would not suit me as I enjoy some meat, fish and bi-products from animals such as eggs, fish, honey and butter. I only have meat maybe three times a week, as two of my household are vegetarians. I have come to really enjoy cooking and eating vegetarian meals as they are so colourful and tasty.
January has become a month for promoting different health matters, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. However, I do have reservations when it comes to food and our diet, as suddenly changing it can cause problems. So keep an eye on how you feel, if you decide to change what you eat.
There are many reasons to eat certain diets, for example religious beliefs or certain health conditions. Choice and conscience surrounding farming practices, animal welfare or the sheer love of animals also sway people towards their preferred diet.
So, what should we be eating? Definitely a balanced diet that includes protein, carbohydrates, and vegetables, whether following vegan, vegetarian or a meat-based diet.
The thing that I have discovered when preparing any vegan or vegetarian food is that a good food processor will become essential.
To help you with some vegan meal suggestions, here are my hints and tips on sweet potato jackets.
I always used ordinary potatoes as jackets, until I discovered the joys of sweet potato jackets.
They cook very quickly, typically 40-45 minutes, but obviously this depends on the size of the potato so keep checking. They are juicy and delicious. They also make great potato wedges, and when used like this, unlike ordinary potatoes, no pre-boiling is required. If you are an air fryer convert, check your settings but be assured, sweet potato will behave beautifully in your fryer.
As with the humble spud, these jackets can be filled with all sorts of interesting things.
Cookbooks a packed full of information and recipe ideas and the internet has become a valuable source of inspiration. Use the recipes as a basis for your own likes and dislikes, play and attempt things that perhaps you might not have done not so long ago.
By letting go of one or two old favourites and introducing a few fresh ideas, the kitchen will become your happy place and mealtimes an adventure.