Vegan cuisine has come a long way in recent years. Remember when veganism was regarded as pretty extreme? In Britain today, there’s never been a better time to dip your taste buds into a plant based lifestyle. Our knowledge of the astonishing positive impact it has on the environment has been spreading like the global obsession for avocado on toast. As a result, the last 10 years has seen the number of vegans in Britain rise by a staggering 360%.
January is fast approaching and you may have started to think about challenging yourself to Veganuary. Or maybe you fancy cutting down your meat intake a bit to reduce your carbon footprint. Whatever your motive, you can start by gradually introducing tasty meat-free meals into your life. You don’t have to be vegan to enjoy delicious vegan cuisine!
We’re challenging common misconceptions towards plant-based meals
Myth number 1: “Vegan food is beige and boring”
The most common stereotype about vegan food and definitely the furthest from the truth.Vegan dishes actually tend to be the most colourful and vibrant - making use of a wide array of vegetables and grains.
If you’re not familiar with many vegan dishes, be prepared to open your palate up to a new world of bold flavours from humble vegetables, fruits and spices.
Have a look at our vegan Jackfruit Hopper - try and tell us this is beige and boring!
MYTH NUMBER 2: “I WON’T GET THE NUTRIENTS I NEED”
It’s understandable to think that without meat, plant based food could leave you lacking certain important nutrients. However, there are plenty of ways to include protein, omega 3, iron and calcium in your food. Vegan food is heavy on nuts, seeds, pulses, tofu and tempeh which are delicious and versatile sources of protein. Some of the best sources of iron can be found in leafy green vegetables like spinach and broccoli (also great for calcium).
In fact, following a plant based lifestyle encourages you to cook food for yourself, rather than relying on take-outs or restaurants which more often than not contain a lot of highly processed meat and additives.
Myth number 3:“I don’t want to eat processed ingredients that are trying to mimic meat”
With plant based food being hot on trend at the moment, you’re correct in thinking that there’s been a surge in mock meat products (e.g facon or tofurkey) on supermarket shelves. You’re also right in claiming that they’re often very processed.
However, the best tasting vegan food doesn’t rely on these kinds of meat alternatives to make up the basis of the dish. If it’s the texture of meat that you think you’ll miss, there are so many delicious vegetables to experiment with to fill that hole. Take our Cauliflower Steaks with Chana Masala for example. The cauli steaks have a complex meaty texture which absorbs their gingery spiced marinade arguably better than any steak of meat would!
Another great vegetable to work with is Aubergine - it braises beautifully to become a hearty meat-free substance.
Myth number 4:“Veganism is just a passing fad”
Vegan and Vegetarian food is deep-rooted in many cultures and is often related to some of the world’s oldest religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism.
Much of Egyptian cuisine is vegan, due in part to local Coptic Christians abstaining from all animal products over Lent and other fasting periods. So in short - no, veganism is not just a passing fad and doesn’t look like it’s going away anytime soon!
Here’s our Eqyptian Koshari dish to tempt you a little more.