Being trapped in the library in early January makes Veganuary tough, even if you are a dedicated (although occasionally lazy) vegan. While Sheffield is great for vegan junk food, if you want a quick and healthy snack, your best bet is to bring a packed lunch.
The past year has seen an explosion in the number of companies that have jumped on the Veganuary train, and veganism seems to have graduated from a hipster trend to a genuine lifestyle alternative. Going hand in hand with that, however, is the fact that it is easier than ever to eat vegan junk food. Iceland has a large selection of burgers, pizzas, meatballs and sausages; Sainsbury’s has you sorted for sliced ‘ham’ and ‘chicken’, and Tesco has a wide range of nachos, biscuits, and yoghurts. If you’re on campus, Bar One can satisfy all of your deep fried or sugary needs and Interval can serve you hearty, carb loaded food at a reasonable price.
That said, there are a couple of problems with Veganuary and veganism in general. If it isn’t done properly you can find yourself missing serious amounts of protein in your diet, which is replaced with carbohydrates and high levels of saturated fat. The other issue is that eating healthily as a vegan still seems synonymous with plain vegetables and pulses.
This is why my goal this Veganuary was to introduce my friends to a tasty, quick, and cheap vegan snack that could be made at home. I love avocados as much as the next person, but as my bank account doesn’t, they were out. Shop bought meat substitutes are expensive and so they were avoided also. What I settled on was savoury vegan tarts. Chickpea flour, water, vegetables, and seasoning makes the perfect savoury snack and introduction to vegan food. When my farmer friend ate four in a single sitting before asking me to make him a batch, I realised that the key to a successful Veganuary isn’t to ape non-vegan food.
After all, imitation meat is never going to satisfy you if you are used to ‘the real thing’ (although the Greggs vegan sausage roll is sold out in most places I look). Instead, original recipes appear to be the way to go.
Image: Kai Kalhh