this is what I found.
Firstly, why did I decide to try veganism? After years of hearing more and more talk of the environmental and ethical benefits of veganism, or at least reducing your meat consumption, I really wanted to do it. But didn’t know if I could.
In fact, the vegan diet was a total enigma to me and apart from the odd vegetarian meal at a restaurant or meat-free Monday, where I’d fix myself a salad, I had no idea what to expect.
However, since being diagnosed as lactose intolerant in my early 20s, dairy-free alternatives have certainly cropped up in my life more regularly (so long, incessant stomach cramps). What’s more, I lived with a dedicated pescatarian for a year in 2018, and enjoyed the occasional breaks from meat and the variety of veg she introduced me to. It was time to put my positive hat on and embrace the challenge!
It was a bright, crisp morning and my first delivery of vegan meals arrived promptly at my door. You can handily track your delivery (so I knew I had time for a shower before the parcel arrived) and everything was neatly bundled in recyclable packaging. The box also included ice packs, which I thought was a nice added touch. My second delivery was due later in the week.
I tucked into the snacks straight away – granola bites and sweet potato brownies. I was impressed with how chocolatey and fudgy the brownies were, but be warned, the granola bites have a kick of cinnamon to them.
Here goes nothing… goodbye dairy, goodbye steak, goodbye chicken. I’ll be honest, the week didn’t start well. I’d opted for a peanut butter bagel. The problem? I don’t like peanut butter one bit. I tried my best but I’m afraid it didn’t convert me. I thought it might because it looked so delicious. If you’re a PB fiend though, it’d be perfectly delicious and filling.
Lunch was a generous portion of Mediterranean vegetable and tofu skewers served with rice and red peppers. I was impressed with the creamy-tasting Oatly yoghurt marinade and made a note of it to include in my cooking in the future weekend cooking.
After a long day at work, I was ready for a tasty tea (that’s dinner to anyone below Nottingham). The lentil and aubergine ragu with noodles was flavourful and reminded me of a hearty Bolognese. So far, so good.
Well overnight oats are delicious! The fruity compote on top really made the dish and I lapped up the whole pot before work. They also tasted creamy, which was surprising given the fact they had zero dairy in their listed ingredients.
Lunch was less of a success… jackfruit seems to be the king of the vegan diet at the moment, but the distinct flaking and texture of the fruit (akin to pulled pork) was a step too far for me. The accompanying barbecue sauce, rice and veg was tasty, and the other jackfruit dish I had in the fridge was donated to a vegan friend who claimed it was ‘really lovely’.
My evening meal was nutritious butternut squash steaks, served with houmous (my favourite) and plenty of vitamin-rich veg. I really enjoyed this dish and had loads of energy the next day.
In the words of Donkey in Shrek, ‘in the morning, I’m making WAFFLES!’… albeit vegan ones. To say I stubbornly believe a good waffle batter requires some sort of dairy and eggs, these were pretty tasty. They were served alongside a blueberry compote, which provided a bit of a sweet kick when I needed it most.
Lunch came in the form of a fragrant butternut squash and coconut curry with white rice. Apart from yearning for a naan bread, this dish was expertly spiced and made for the perfect fuel for a busy day.
Non-dairy yoghurt with granola? Yes, please. Although this wasn’t the most filling of breakfasts (I’m a die-hard Marmite toast fan) I enjoyed the combination of smooth, creamy yoghurt and crunchy, wholesome granola.
Lunch was chickpeas and quinoa accompanied by a tangy sauce. Although the title didn’t grab me, the meal was super healthy and tasted great. Side note: chickpeas are extremely filling, so if you know you’re not going to eat for another few hours, they’re a winning choice!
The end of the week = fluffy banana pancakes with a sweet berry compote. These kept me really full until lunchtime and would be something I’d consider in the future if I was going for a boujie brunch with friends.
Dinner was my favourite from earlier in the week, a flavourful tofu and fried rice dish served with a deliciously umami teriyaki sauce. After a busy week this was a real treat and something I’d definitely cook up again at a later date.
I didn’t keel over, I felt perfectly sated for the entirety of the week, and I felt fitter (it’s not every week I actively search for new jeans without crying in frustration). And what’s more, I found the meals tasty, wholesome and varied. Although I won’t be remaining a vegan, I certainly will be mixing in more vegan meals.