Here we are over halfway through the first week of Veganuary 2018, how are you doing? I’m well aware that the first few weeks can seem daunting but believe me, it only gets easier. One thing I always found really helpful during my Veganuary was to see meal ideas for a complete day of eating. It helped me to make a weekly meal plan and shopping list, both of which are great stress relievers. This was my inspiration for today’s what I ate in a day: Veganuary edition 1 – 0 -1
Today was a pretty typical day of eating for me. I usually eat 2-3 meals a day with minimal snacks. I struggle to eat first thing in a morning so breakfast is often the meal I skip, preferring to go straight into brunch. When I do have breakfast it’s usually a small portion and has to be extra tasty. Dinner and tea (that’s lunch and dinner to some of you) are usually large and filling. I may snack once or twice a week depending on what I’ve eaten but it’s not part of my everyday routine.
Breakfast is usually flavoured porridge or something on toast. I’ve never really been a cold cereal kind of girl. In the few weeks of summer we have here in the U.K then I usually switch to smoothies or nice cream bowls. The season for that type of eating is short so I’m soon back to warmer fayre.
Dinner / Lunch is often made up of leftovers from the day before or quick and easy throw together meals. I eat a lot of salads, even in winter when I prefer to add a warming element to them. I’m not a purist, if its vegan I’ll eat it. I’ll frequently use instant rice, tinned beans, flavoured grains and meat replacement products. I have no shame about this and recommend them to everyone, particularly to new vegans during times of transition. This balances out with lots of fresh vegetables and home cooked food almost every day. I eat minimal snacks or treats and takeaways or meals out are pretty rare.
Tea / Dinner is usually home cooked. I’m a huge believer in cook once eat twice so often cook an evening meal every other day and eat it two days in a row. Not only is this a great way to stick to a weekly shopping budget, it reduces waste and frees up space during the week for me time. I tend to cook comfort food classics with a vegan twist. Most of the meals I eat now are adaptations of things I’ve eaten my whole life. This is a great tip to help new vegans start building up confidence in the kitchen.
What I Ate in a Day: Veganuary Edition 1
This is my favourite porridge recipe, Choca Mocha Maca Oats. I’m not going to lie, this tastes like dessert and probably has the sugar content to match. If you don’t have a particularly sweet tooth you can omit the maple syrup and switch to unsweetened plant milk.
Despite its gooey, chocolately appearance it’s actually chock full of protein and nutrients. This breakfast is like a squidgy warm hug from the inside out and keeps your belly feeling full and happy for hours
- 1 Cup Chocolate Oat Milk
- 3/4 Cup of Oats
- 1/2 Ripe Banana
- 1 Tbsp Peanut Butter
- 1 tsp Maple Syrup
- 1 tsp Instant Coffee Powder
- 1/2 tsp Cacao Powder
- 1/2 tsp Maca Powder
- In a saucepan mix together the dry ingredients first.
- Add the oat milk and whisk well to combine and break up the powders.
- Turn pan to a medium heat, stirring continuously.
- When the oats are half-cooked, about 3 minutes in, add the peanut butter, maple syrup, and banana.
- Continue to whisk until everything melts and all the powder is absorbed.
- A small handful of chopped walnuts and a sprinkle of cinnamon will top it off nicely.
Dinner / Lunch
If you’ve yet to try the Quorn Hot and Spicy Burgers then you’re definitely missing out. These are the vegan equivalent of a spicy breadcrumb chicken fillet burger and I adore them. Wraps are quick and easy and I love having warm sandwich alternatives, especially in Winter. This version satisfies my comfort food cravings on every level yet has enough veggies to keep it fresh and light.
As I was feeling extra hungry today I served it with lettuce cups stuffed with leftover tofu and mushroom rice. I also drizzled some of my leftover tofu sauce over the wrap as an alternative to mayo or sour cream. I highly recommend you make a huge batch and spread it on everything, you can find the recipe video here.
- 1 Large Tortilla Wrap
- 1 Quorn Hot and Spicy Burger or Vegan Chicken Style Burger of choice
- 1 Tbsp Houmous
- 1-2 Chopped Spring Onions
- 1/2 Mashed Avocado
- Sliced Tomato
- Shredded Lettuce
- Tofu sauce, sour cream, mayo or salsa dressing.
- Cook the chicken burger according to packet instructions.
- Meanwhile, wash and chop the salad veggies.
- Heat the wrap in a dry frying pan for 1-2 minutes on each side.
- Spread the houmous all over the wrap.
- Add the salad, be sure to not overload the wrap.
- Slice the cooked burger and lay on top of the salad.
- Drizzle over your choice of dressing and sliced pickled gherkins if you have them.
- Wrap up as tight as possible and slice carefully in half.
Tea / Dinner
After my large dinner I wanted something fairly light but energy dense for tea. This is one of my favourite go-to salads, I could literally eat this every day. Chickpeas add the protein and bite that lifts this from a mere side dish to a worthy main meal. The spicy, zesty marinade gives a warmth and zing that make it a perfect winter salad. In the past I’ve baked the chickpeas for around 20 minutes in the marinade before adding them. In all honesty I think I prefer the chickpeas like this, soft and buttery, straight from the can.
The addition of hot toasted pumpkin seeds is definitely worth the extra step. They literally take 2 minutes in a dry non-stick pan but add so much in the way of flavour and bite.
- 1/2 Can (approx 200g) Chickpeas, Washed and Drained
- 2 Large Handfuls of Kale
- 1/4 Cucumber, Sliced, Seeds Removed
- 2 Spring Onions, Chopped
- Handful Tomatoes, Chopped
- 2 Tbsp Roasted Peppers, Chopped
For the marinade
- 2 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast
- 1 Tbsp Curry Powder
- 1 Tbsp Toasted Sesame Oil
- 1 Tbsp Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
- 1 tsp Lime Pickle
- 1/4 tsp Smoked Paprika
- 1/4 tsp Turmeric
- Drain and rinse 1/2 Can of Chickpeas.
- Mix all the marinade ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
- Add the chickpeas and stir to coat. Use 1 Tbsp water at a time to make the dressing blend easier.
- Wash and massage the raw kale for at least 3 minutes. This helps to begin to break it down which allows the dressing to absorb better. More importantly, it makes it easier to digest and extract the nutrients.
- Add the kale to the marinated chickpeas and stir well.
- Toss in your salad vegetables and stir or massage everything together until well coated.
- Dry toast 1 Tbsp of pumpkin seeds for 2 minutes until they release their aroma and are nicely toasted.
I’m often asked if I cook and eat this way when no-ones looking. The short answer is yes. Do all my meals look presentable, Insta worthy and beautiful? No. Will I spend time searching for the best available light and plating my food until it’s just right before eating it? No. Will I lavish just as much love, time and attention cooking a meal only I will see and eat? Absolutely YES.
Self-love for me begins in the kitchen. The very act of stirring, chopping, and tasting is a meditation to me. I find a deep sense of comfort in the rhythm and repetition. And of course, I love to eat. Whether that be junk food or a nourishing salad, I’ll do my best to make it right and enjoy every bite.
Is your kitchen a place of sanctuary or stress for you? Let’s continue the conversation in the comments below.