Hello, internet, we’re back! Simon and Carly reporting for duty, and ready and raring to go for another month of delicious vegan-ing.
We traditionally complement our Veganuary adventures with another challenge in September (which, agreed, doesn’t split the year evenly, but we usually have show tours and my birthday in July)… but this year we’ve pushed things forward a month to fit in with travel plans.
So here we are on day 1! As usual, we’re going teetotal for the month too, though Si has decided to up the monk-like ante even further by giving up caffeine too – I’m not going quite that far, though I’m going to make an extra healthy sacrifice by giving up the sugar in my tea.
We’re looking forward to another month of creative cookery and healthy living, trying out new recipes and revisiting old favourites. We never got round to making lime marmalade or trying to do a vegan lemon curd, so with a bit of luck this will be the month… I’ve also got a veggie biriyani recipe that I’m particularly keen to try.
So how has day 1 gone? To be honest, given that I particularly enjoy the creative aspect of our veganing, I haven’t covered myself in glory – but I didn’t slip up either, so I will just vow to do better tomorrow.
Today I’ve been travelling for work, so started the day with a hideously early train – what better to combat the bleariness with than a nice cuppa? The station had plenty of places that would furnish me with soy or almond milk – however, I was a bit miffed to find that I’d be paying 55p extra (almost a third of the cost of the tea extra) for the privilege – Vegan tax, I call it! It’s funny – high street chains do seem to be getting better at catering for vegans but, just as when we found that none of Tesco’s new plant-based range was included in the lunch meal deal, you still have to pay extra for the privilege.
In my haste to get tea and catch the train, a confession: I forgot that I wasn’t meant to have sugar. D’oh! But the almond milk was very tasty – a welcome reminder of how nice vegan tea can be.
Upon reaching my destination, I faced a real test of my resolve: the meeting was accompanied by not one, not two, but THREE kinds of cake as well as tea and coffee (with no plant-based milks). But did I crumble? (mmmm, the cake did look lovely and crumbly) I did not! Virtue was triumphant, and I was sadly cakeless.
Karma did not pay me back. On my way back to London -by that point, two hours past lunchtime and starving – I tried to find something that I could eat on the train, but was frsutrated by the village I was in being too remote to have much in the way of shops. There was a chippy, and a butcher’s offering mouthwatering pies and sausage rolls, but plant-based options were conspicuous in their absence. At last, with about 10 minutes till my train was due, I found a McColls – bamboozled by the unfamiliar shelf layout, and without time to look at the packaging of every sandwich, I am afraid to say that I resorted to grabbing two bags of ready salted crisps. Creative they were not!
This does highlight how limited vegan options still are in some places – or, at least, how much more effort you have to make. If it was any other month I’d have just grabbed a random sandwich and gone – in August, thoughtful eating is very much flavour of the month.
I was out at the theatre in the evening (avec my staunchly self-declared ‘carnivore’ sister, who I have so far failed to convince either of the merits of a meat-free meal, or that soy milk in tea is not something to be suspicious of) so dinner was a quick bite at Wasabi – chosen because I love their vegan options but there was plenty of ‘normal’ (her words) food for sis. Though of course I couldn’t have my very favourite thing, which is a lovely soft and sweet doriyaki…
Counteracting the salty unhealthiness of my ‘lunch’, I delved deep into a gorgeous pot of vegetable tanmen – thick rice noodles in a beautiful broth, packed with tofu, cauliflower, broccoli, bean sprouts, Chinese leaf, carrot, pak choi, mangetout, wakame seaweed, and chilli powder, garnished with fried shallot and spring onion, and heaped (on my request) with extra sliced chilli, crispy onions, and coriander. It was hearty, it was warming, and it was absolutely delicious – what a relief to get some veg in me! Just the ticket – and even if sis wasn’t convinced to try it, that just means all the more for me!
Today I ate/drank:
- Tea with almond milk
- No cake…
- Coke zero
- Two bags of ready salted crisps
- Spoonful of peanut butter and a raw mushroom
- Veggie tanmen
- No doriyaki…
- Fizzy squash