The start of November means it’s time for crackling bonfires, spending hours prising treacle out of your back teeth and vegan food. That’s right, November 1st is World Vegan Day.
Vegans don’t consume eggs, animal’s milk or cheese or yoghurt made from it and, of course, meat – yep, they even forego bacon. Some people choose to give these foods up because they’re concerned about animal welfare, while others become vegan as part of a health kick.
Are you of the view that a meal isn’t a meal unless it features meat? We’re going to prove you wrong.
Are you already #teamvegan? Hi! We’ve got some new ideas for you.
Interested in enjoying more meat-free meals or even considering Veganuary, but not sure where to start? You’re in the right place too!
No matter how converted or cynical you are, there’s a tasty vegan recipe here for you. Try them – we dare you.
Tasty vegan burgers
Forget all your preconceptions about burgers. They don’t have to be greasy and meaty, and cheese and bacon are not compulsory toppings. Beef is not the only burger flavour. Repeat, beef is not the only burger flavour.
Burgers are a great meal to start with on your foray into vegan cooking. The Veg Space has a brilliant recipe for black bean and jalapeno burgers that will create a flavoursome, spicy patty for you to top with lettuce, red onion and tomato. Add extra chillis or use kidney beans or chickpeas to make this recipe your own.
Lots of supermarket bread rolls are vegan, so you won’t necessarily have to change your favourite burger bun. Serve with sweet potato fries and there you have it, vegan burger and chips – we told you that you wouldn’t miss the meat, didn’t we?
Vegan bolognese pasta bake
Few meals are easier to make or more comforting on a chilly November night than a pasta bake. You’ll be surprised just how easy it is to turn your trusty old favourite bolognese into a vegan dish that all the family will love.
If you already make your own sauce from chopped tomatoes, veg and herbs, you don’t need to change anything – just add lentils instead of mince. Pasta’s vegan and so is vegetable stock, so the only real change you’ll need to make concerns your cheesy topping.
Wallflower Kitchen’s instructions for vegan bolognese pasta bake include a great alternative to melted cheese that relies on nutritional yeast. We know this sounds like something that would be used in a science experiment, but you’ll be amazed just how cheesy it actually tastes.
Remember, like with meaty bolognese, you can adapt this lentil version into a chilli by adding extra spice and a tin of kidney beans, or turn it into shepherd’s pie filling, using almond milk to make the mashed potato topping creamy and delicious.
Bean and sausage - yes, vegan sausage! - casserole
Let’s put something straight: beans and sausage should not reside together in a tin. However, they’re perfect together in this vegan casserole recipe from Made by Luci.
Obviously you’ll need to track down some vegan sausages, but these are now widely available from most supermarkets, so this shouldn’t be a problem.
Luci’s recipe is packed with vegetables for added goodness and spice to give it an extra-warming kick, making it a gorgeous winter warmer.
Vegan curry night
Chickpeas are the perfect substitute to meat in a curry. Lots of curry recipes already use coconut milk, which is handily vegan, and by packing out the sauce with veggies, chickpeas or a mix of both, you can quickly have a super tasty and filling curry.
It’s the spice we tend to love about our favourite curries, not the specific type of meat, so forget about the beef vs chicken vs prawns debate and embrace vegan curry. Just look how good Jessica in the Kitchen’s coconut chickpea curry looks – we told you vegan food was alright.
Meat-free Sunday roast
Thinking of going vegan, but not sure you can live without a weekly roast? You can still join in, as long as you’re prepared to spend a bit of time making your own seitan – a kind of meat substitute made out of wheat gluten and beans.
Amuse Your Bouche has a recipe for a sage and onion version on her blog, which tastes just like traditional stuffing, but without the meat. Serve with roast potatoes, vegetables and a vegan-friendly gravy, and you won’t feel like you’re missing out on the Sunday roast at all.
There are recipes for all kinds of vegan substitutes out there, including vegan bacon. If you’re not sure whether you can go the whole hog – please forgive the animal reference, but we’re not sure ‘the whole seitan’ works quite the same – start small with #meatfreemonday and gradually build more vegan meals into your life. You’ll be mashing beans instead of opening packets of mince and wondering what all the fuss about chicken was anyway in no time.