Vegan

Day 31b: Final thoughts

This month has absolutely flown by, but (or, because!) it has been so much fun. More than that, it feels really comfy – every time we do a vegan month, whether that’s Veganuary or ‘Septofu‘ (it’ll catch on, trust us…!), it feels more ‘normal’, and it’s easier to keep ourselves fed in a healthy, but just as importantly, an interesting way.

I asked Si for his final thoughts, and he says that this Veganuary has been the most robust that we’ve done – in terms of sticking to the dry January theme too – but also the most creative. We’ve tried more things than ever before, with less reliance on pre-made or processed food, and most importantly it felt completely normal. The more you do it,  the easier it becomes – it doesn’t feel like such a dramatic switch, and the more you know you can create things from scratch, the more confidence you have to experiment. This is Si’s third Veganuary, and his fourth month of veganing, and he says it’s been his favourite so far.

We’ve had a few misses along the way (cold cauli Alfredo was not one of my finest efforts, and we’ve had mixed success with aquafaba) but they’ve mostly been hearty, healthy hits. I asked Si for his highlights of the month, and he picked out the cauliflower hot wings, squash wellington, Venezuelan arepas, mix and match salad, ‘chickn’ and mushroom pie, potato and beetroot risotto, and jewelled aubergine.

My favourites were the cauli tikka masala, vegan sausage rolls, garden gyozas, tacos, broccoli stir-fry, and of course Simon’s beautiful carrot cake… but I also adored the pizza and ‘cheeseboard’ that we had in Brighton – my mouth is watering just thinking about it now!

It’s been a lot of fun, and we have tried out a lot of useful cooking skills, as well as learning how to make the most of our local market. I’m also really pleased by how good we are becoming about meal planning and, crucially, not letting anything go to waste. Got a leftover cauliflower stalk? Into soup it goes! Some cherry tomatoes going soft? Hello pasta sauce! These are habits we’re keen to build on throughout the year. And we will be putting some of these skills into practice tomorrow when my parents come to visit – we’ll be creating a super-interesting dinner for my vegetarian mum!

But before we sound too virtuous, I should admit: with less than an hour of Dry January to go, we’ve just ceremonially installed a bottle of our homebrew white wine in the fridge, to share with my folks tomorrow night. Bring it on!

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