One of the hardest things to get right on a vegan diet is making sure you’re getting enough of all the good stuff, like nutrients and vitamins. There are lots of benefits to a vegan diet, but cutting out meat and other animal products means you’re missing out on protein and vitamins you don’t usually have to think twice about. A vegan food trend to pop up over the past few years is Veganuary. “What is Veganuary?” we hear a few meat-loving foodies cry. It’s basically adopting a vegan diet for the month of January, after all the over-indulging and eating of the festive season. A simple idea, but a challenge. And it’s meant vegan diets have spanned year-long for a lot of foodies after a successful Veganuary stint.
To lend a helping hand to anyone thinking about taking the full-time dive into the vegan way of life, we’ve rounded up five ingredients to get into your new green diet. Packed with health benefits, flavour and the potential to work in plenty of different dishes, get these five into your meals and you’ll have a balanced vegan diet. But if cooking with new ingredients – or just cooking in general – isn’t your thing, we’ve found some dishes you can try them in on tastecard. So as well as no cooking, you can get yourself 2 for 1 or 50% off. Going vegan doesn’t sound too difficult now, hey?
What to add to your diet for Veganuary and where to find it on tastecard.
Tofu or not Tofu?
Bursting with iron, calcium, the nine essential amino acids and more, there are loads of benefits of tofu. Sometimes called bean curd, it’s made from the curds of fresh soya milk and then pressed into a solid block. A vegetarian’s secret weapon, it doesn’t sound all that appetising but trust us, it’s a great ingredient to pack out any veggie meal with. From tofu burgers to tofu salads, you can add it to just about any dish. The raw texture of tofu is smooth and soft with a bit of a crème-caramel consistency. But you can quickly crisp it up but frying it, or just serve it raw.
Try it at…
Banana Tree and order the Tofu Singapore Laksa. Made up of rice noodles, Banana Tree’s house special spiced coconut broth aubergine, tofu and beansprouts, all topped off with coriander and crispy shallots.
If you’re craving a meat substitute, jackfruit’s your man. With the stringy texture of pulled pork, pulled jackfruit is being used in vegetarian tacos and burgers. And it’s even made its way into some sweet dishes too like jellies and upside down cakes. Low in calories and a brilliant source of fibre, jackfruit’s one of the best meat-substitutes around and it absorbs flavour really well, making it even more versatile. Still wondering “what is jackfruit?”. Have more of a read here.
Try it at…
Giraffe in their Jackfruit Curry. It’s a spicy curry served with jasmine rice, spring onion, chilli and coriander. And we love it.
Did someone say beans?
To keep your skin, muscles and hair healthy and strong (just the way you like them), getting enough protein in a veggie diet is key. So, beans like chickpeas, black beans and broad beans are a must. High in amino acids, they’re the chemicals that form protein and help to build muscle. But as well as protein, they’re packed with antioxidants, vitamins and nutrients like zinc, fibre, iron and magnesium. And because there are healthy starches in them, you won’t be left feeling hungry. Fitting into loads of different dishes, beans are the perfect meat substitute for curries, chilis and spag bol.
Try it at…
Chiquito in their Burrito with Benefits. A beetroot & chia seed tortilla jam-packed with grains, kale, beans, sour cream and Pico de Gallo salsa served alondside a citrus salad and tortilla chips.
So, fancy trying these vegan dishes for less this Veganuary?
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