I always said I would never go vegan. Pretty much solely as I love cheese. But also my uncle had a dairy farm when I was growing up and I spent time out there with the cows and know that they were not leading terrible lives. However now this is all changing, as the price of milk is pushed lower and lower cows are being couped up in tiny spaces and never seeing the light of day. On top of that they are milked constantly and all the horror stories you get told by Peta about the dairy industry are slowly coming true in this country too…….
This post is not about that though (I don’t want to preach!), this is about my first little go at going vegan. I will admit I have not been 100% vegan mainly due to being ill for the last two weeks but I have really tried. So for anyone considering it at the moment this is a short list of my initial findings on going vegan.
I eat a lot of quorn or superstores own brand meat/chicken free mince and pieces, it just makes life easy. So my first stop was to the health food store to get some vegan chicken and vegan mince. I bought a couple of different brands. I gave them a try but just didn’t like the texture, and on top of that they were expensive, twice the price I am used to. But I was willing to stick with it for my cause. Roll on two weeks and more blog reading/ packet reading and no such sticking with it is necessary!! It turns out Quorn are about to start vegan chicken (watch this space) and the meat free mince in Morrison’s is vegan too. The meat free range in a number of supermarkets have vegan pieces, however Morrison’s seem to have better ethics than others so I am happier buying there. On top of that Morrison’s stock a brand called Fry’s who are vegan. All in all, a really simple start on the meat substitute part. It has been really really easy, and no expensive trips to the health food shop will be required moving forward!
Next up was milk. This was really easy for me, I have been drinking almond milk for years, not exclusively but I do really like it. It is maybe not as good as semi skimmed milk in a cuppa, but it’s fine. I decide to take going vegan as an opportunity to try out new milks. I tried oat milk which is ok but it doesn’t really have much about it. For me this is my least favourite. I have also tried hazelnut milk. Now that I love!! It is lovely in a coffee and amazing in porridge. Unlike almond milk, which just tastes like a milk substitute (if that makes snese!!) hazelnut milk really strongly tastes of nuts. I really recommend giving it a go, vegan or not, however it’s brown, so really doesn’t look to appetising haha!
Then there was the bit I was dreading, cheese. Years ago I made a vegan lasagne for a good friend and just opening the cheese both my husband and I felt sick, like really sick, we were not even overeacting. This made me even more scared to try vegan cheese. I started with a random cheese I bought from Tesco, a Tesco free from and it was the exact same, the very smell made me die a little inside. Not to be put off though the next time I did my shopping I bought another type to try, this time choosing VioLife. When I tried it in a bun at a family BBQ I was pleasantly surprised, although no one in my family agreed haha! I bought it again and have since had it melted and put in wraps, on my chilli cheese fries and on a lasagne. I will not lie and say it tastes just like cheese, it doesn’t! It is quite processed and has that taste to it, but as an alternative I am happy with it. I have a big long list of types to try but will have to do some digging. No doubt before the end of the year I will have a blog post devoted to vegan cheese!
The one category I am missing out which may be a huge deal to others is sweets, chocolate and cakes. I am a savoury girl, the thing I will really miss is a macaroni pie and it makes me sad to think I will never have one again, ever………..but there are loads of vegan crisps so I am good. But yeah for other people the cake, chocolate, sweets situation may be harder. I fully intend to get on to this in future, but right now it just isn’t on my radar as I have not wanted any yet. I will say though, is it really a big deal to have less choice for things that are so bad for you anyway lol?!?
So that is it, my first step into being vegan. All in all, I am glad I made the decision and it has been pretty painless. If anyone has vegan finds they love and I have missed, please share in the comments below!