This weekend there was a vegan festival here in London and you may have seen Instagram feeds filled with #vegan and #plantbased or perhaps you attended the festival yourself. What with veganism hitting the headlines recently and more and more people adopting a vegan diet, we thought we’d explain a little more to those of you who aren’t sure what veganism actually is.
The Vegan Society define veganism as:
“Veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.
There are many ways to embrace vegan living. Yet one thing all vegans have in common is a plant-based diet avoiding all animal foods such as meat (including fish, shellfish and insects), dairy, eggs and honey – as well as products like leather and any tested on animals.”
You can read more about this here. But people follow a plant-based diet for a variety of reasons from health considerations to environmental due to intensive farming or for religious reasons.
One of the biggest misconceptions about vegans is that all they can eat is a plate of greens but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Options are actually very broad but it is important to ensure you get all the nutrients you need from eating a varied and balanced vegan diet.
It is quite easy as a vegan to eat five portions of a variety of fruit and veg a day but it can be tricky getting enough protein from fruit and veg alone (though it is possible!) So eat some beans, pulses and other proteins too – have some dairy alternatives such as soya drinks, which are enriched with calcium. Choose unsaturated oils and spreads, and eat in small amounts and as with omnis, it is important to have plenty of fluids – around eight glasses a day. If you’re having foods and drinks that are high in fat, salt or sugar, have these less often and in small amounts.
If you are exploring veganism do take a look at the Vegan Society website, or there are a lot of support groups online too.
At eco cuisine a dish which is very popular with our vegan clients is a chickpea curry.
For two persons
Sauté two onions and add two chopped cloves garlic – cook until soft. Then boil four tomatoes and skin then chop and add to the onions. Next add 1/2 inch piece of grated ginger.
After 10 minutes add a teaspoon each of cumin, coriander, garam masala and turmeric and sauté for a further 10 minutes.
At this stage you can taste and if you want more spice for a bit more kick, add chopped fresh chillies to your heat tolerance.
Add your tinned chickpeas with water and then add some seasonal veg to bulk it out – if making now, I’d be adding some lovely kale for texture and flavour – just simmer for 20 minutes and serve with brown rice.
Tried it? Share with us over on our Facebook page.
Remember we cater for a variety of dietary requirements and provide meat/fish/vegetarian and vegan catering.