The Vegan Society found that one in five Brits have cut down on meat consumption during the COVID-19 pandemic and one in five are keen on new alternatives. Even so, many are deterred from embracing a vegan lifestyle because they believe food prep will become too complicated. So we spoke to the experts to find out all the best tips, tricks and easy-to-follow recipes to make plant-based eating painless.
1. Stock up on flavourful essentials
You might see a vegan diet as more restricted or even bland, but with a cupboard full of flavoursome ingredients, your food will pack just as much of a punch.
As Sam and Carmen, the cooks behind Our Modern Kitchen, explain, “A healthy spice rack is invaluable for plant-based dishes. A pinch of paprika will transform a meal into something rich and vibrant, while a cinnamon stick will bring a comforting warmth to a boring meal. Also, invest in garnishes like fresh herbs and roasted nuts – you’ll quickly find a new love for vegan food.”
2. Try something new
A great way to eat vegan is to try out different cuisines that focus on a variety of vegetables and plant-based ingredients.
“Many Nigerian dishes are vegan,” says Tokunbo Koiki, founder and owner of Tokunbo’s Kitchen. “One of the favourite dishes from my menu is Ẹ̀fọ́ riro, which literally translates as vegetable stew. My version is cooked with everyday ingredients that are accessible to all, and it’s always a delight to non-Nigerians.”
3. Think ahead
Brain fried from work and no motivation to cook? Learn to forward plan and you’ll always have a delicious, no-effort dishes available.
Foodie influencer Ceren Has (@ceren.cooks) suggests batch cooking to beat the dinnertime blues. “Pick a day that works for you, when your mind is clear and you’re raring to go – perhaps a lazy Sunday afternoon before the week ahead. Choose a vegan recipe that freezes well, like chilli or Bolognese, and batch cook. That way, you’ll always have something hearty and filling to fall back on.”
4. Reach for replacements
These days, going vegan doesn’t mean depriving yourself of the foods you love. From burgers and meatballs to nuggets and noodles, a plant-based diet can incorporate all your classic comfort foods – and then some.
“There are so many great ‘mock meat’ vegan products available now, which you can accompany with delicious cooked veggies, salad and grains,’ says TV chef and cookbook author Celia Brooks. “If you’re cooking from scratch, stock up on tofu (plain, smoked or marinated), tempeh, tinned beans, pulses, nuts and seeds, and work those into every meal.”
Keeping your fridge well stocked is key, so you always have a protein source ready to go. Co-op’s plant-based range, GRO, has everything from burgers to bangers and mince to meatballs, ready to recreate your favourite dinners.
Make vegan eating easy with Co-op GRO – 100% plant-based, 100% flavour
This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io