Day 2: Woman vs food

So here I am at the end of day 2! A rainy freezy day, and I’ve been hungry for most of it, but I’m proud to report that so far my resolve has remained in tact… moreover, this vegan lark is turning out to be accidentally rather healthy, despite us taking on Veganuary more as a cooking challenge than a health kick.

The main reason for this is that the new regime is proving very effective at keeping my paws out of the office biscuit jar – since my only vegan colleague left last year, Veganuary-friendly treats have been few and far between at work. Old habits die hard, mind, and I’m having to be vigilant while I forge new ones – I very nearly absentmindedly helped myself to a chocolate from a box of Quality Street today, before I caught myself. Mainly, though, I’m warding off the urge to snack by drinking pints of water – that’s got to be good for me, right?

Another thing I noticed today is that I’ve been thinking about food pretty much constantly… partly¬†because I’m hungry, and partly because dinner etc takes a bit more imagination/planning while I’m getting the hang of my new diet! Fortunately I have always enjoyed mulling over recipes, though :-)The cravings have been stronger today too – mainly cheese (every recipe I imagined today had grated cheese on top, which I had to keep mentally erasing), as well as biscuits, and sweet potato – this latter one is ok though, as we’re going to use it in tomorrow’s dinner!

I should add that I’ve been hungry not because vegan food isn’t filling, but because I didn’t bring enough lunch to work today – I’d packed leftovers from our trip to the Hackney Temple of Seitan, but nommer that I am, I hadn’t really left enough for a second meal, so rumbly tummies it was for the afternoon. I know eating leftovers isn’t really in the spirit of using Veganuary to try new things, but I do sometimes bring in the remains of the previous night’s meal under my normal diet (when I’m short of lunch money or prep time), so I don’t think it’s cheating. In any case, I made a lovely from-scratch dinner (which will also be my lunch tomorrow, ha ha!) which I’ll talk about in a sec.
At first glance the seitan scraps didn’t look that appetising – the gluten had gone a bit slimy, and if it had been real chicken I wouldn’t have trusted or eaten it! But reheated it firmed up again well (to the extent that it actually became a bit rubbery), and stirred into the remaining mac n’ cheez it was delicious… alas there just wasn’t enough to keep me full till I got home.
Once again, I had cause to be grateful that Hula Hoops are vegan friendly, nomming a bag on the tube home, and when I got in I had a couple of teaspoons of peanut butter so that I didn’t devour the whole fridge while making dinner. Dinner itself was bubble and squeak, using up the last of the Christmas vegetables before they went off – swede, potato, shredded sprouts, peas, onion, and spring onion, all mashed together and fried with plenty of garlic, chilli flakes, black pepper, and smoked paprika.


This latter ingredient is a new one to me, purchased by Si on New Year’s Day to mark my induction into veganism. It’s something that he asks for every time we’re cooking chez moi, so this was a good excuse to finally acquire some of this flavoursome stuff! We chose La Chinata’s paprika, which is a lovely deep red colour, smells great, and comes in a nifty tin… though it was the tin that nearly proved my downfall, I found it so hard to get into! In the end, on the verge of attacking the offending article with a tin opener, I managed to pry out the cylindrical lid using a combination of the cutty bit on a bottle opener (all my knives and teaspoons proved too big to slide under the metal lip by themselves), a paring knife, and a spoon… who would have thought that the trickiest part of veganism would be getting at the food??

In the end, the effort was definitely worth it, though – the smoky flavour of the paprika is wonderful, and made my crispy mash even tastier. I also frizzled up a portobello mushroom to have on the side, cut into slices, to give me something with a bit of bite in contrast to the softer textures (and to distract me from the fact that I’d normally top bubble and squeak with an egg!). A delicious and filling meal, and one that created plenty of leftovers… I’m looking forward to having Si back to cook with tomorrow though.

Looking further ahead, I’ve just arranged to have lunch with a couple of girlfriends on Saturday… nothing fancy, we’re just going to Spoons ahead of the theatre, but it strikes me that this will be my first meal out in a non-specifically vegan eatery. I wonder how I’ll get on?

Today I ate/drank…
Tea with almond milk
Leftover seitan ‘fried chicken’ and mac n’ cheeze
Hula hoops
Peanut butter (with a spoon)
Bubble and squeak with a portobello mushroom
Orange squash with fizzy water
Today’s cravings…
More cheese
All the cheese
Sweet potato


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