Co-op product developer, Kate Addison, takes us through her top vegan recipes and GRO products to see you through Veganuary (and beyond).
Have you taken the plunge and decided to take part in Veganuary this year? Or, simply fancy trying out a few more plant-based meals? That’s fantastic news — eating more plants can be better for the planet and your body.
But if you’re worried you’re not going to be able to enjoy your favourite foods for a whole 31 days, never fear! Because you can still enjoy nachos, burgers, millionaire’s shortbread and even an English fry-up! Scroll down for some easy vegan recipes to see you through the month, plus tips to help make Veganuary a breeze.
1. Moroccan-style cauli and rice bake
I love all the different textures going on in this dish, from the soft, sticky and sweet roasted vegetables to the crunch of the toasted almonds. Plus, it’s low in saturated fat for a healthier midweek option.
Tip: It’s useful to keep a few ready-made or read-cooked staples in your cupboard, such as microwaveable rice, so you can easily whip up a meal in minutes.
2. Vegan one-pot pasta
This recipe involves making your own vegetable stock, but if you’re in a rush, then a veggie stock cube will do. Simply throw all the ingredients in a pan, leave to simmer and you’re done! Easy-peasy.
3. Vegan all-day breakfast
One of the main concerns people have about going vegan is having to miss out on lots of non-vegan favourites — an English breakfast being one of them. The good news is you can easily ‘veganise’ most meals. Try this plant-based spin on an all-day breakfast, complete with vegan sausages, baked beans, hash browns and mushrooms.
4. Sweet potato and spinach korma
I think curries are one of the easiest and most delicious meals to eat on a vegan diet. They’re fantastically versatile — simple sub in your favourite veggies, pulses and spices — and don’t require any fancy kitchen skills. This is one of my favourites: a creamy sweet potato and spinach korma. It’s made with tinned coconut milk and smooth peanut butter for extra richness, plus a ready-made curry paste to keep things simple. You’re going to love it!
Tip: Planning and cooking your meals in advance is a great way to ensure you always have a quick dinner to hand. Why not double the quantities and freeze half for a rainy day? Then, simply defrost and serve with rice or naan breads.
5. Chick pea rainbow salad
A quick and colourful lunch that’s low in saturated fat and quick to make!
Tip: If you’re stuck for easy vegan lunch ideas, take a tip from our GRO vegan range. These Co-op GRO falafel & houmous wraps, made with Moroccan-style chutney, sweet chilli sauce and chick peas, make a brilliant on-the-go option.
6. Mexican-style cauli nachos
A big plate of loaded nachos is a Friday night favourite that no one wants to compromise on. Enter these cauliflower versions, which are baked until ultra-crisp and drizzled in a zesty yogurt dip.
7. Vegan burgers
Homemade vegan burgers are surprisingly easy to make — and cheap, too! This foolproof recipe uses lots of storecupboard staples — such as tinned kidney beans, breadcrumbs, spices and canned sweetcorn — and only takes 25 minutes to make. Serve with fluffy buns and your choice of fillings.
Tip: If you don’t have time to make your own burgers, pick up a pack of Co-op GRO The Incredible Burger instore for an easy fix.
8. Banana curry
You may have already taken the plunge to go vegan for a month, so why not go all the way and make this barmy banana curry? It’s a fantastic dish for those who love a sweet-and-savoury combo. Plus, it only takes 25 minutes. Give it a go.
Tip: If you’re stuck for inspiration, you can find plenty of tasty and interesting meal ideas online and on social media. Spend a little time searching for recipes you like the look of. It’s a good idea to pick a few that are easy to make and you know you’ll return to again and again.
It’s important to make Veganuary as feasible and enjoyable as possible, and that involves indulging in a couple of sweet treats from time to time. For me, that looks like this version of millionaire’s shortbread, complete with crumbly biscuit base, golden date caramel and dark chocolate topping. Enjoy a slice with a cup of tea.