The number of vegans in Great Britain has quadrupled between 2014 and 2019. There are currently over 600,000 vegans in England and this number is steadily growing.
With Veganuary well-underway the number has surely sky-rocketed, however, there are many who won’t succeed as they aren’t used to this drastic lifestyle change.
Some common misconceptions of veganism are that you “can’t eat anything” and that the food has no flavour. This could not be further from the truth. George Rouse, owner and founder of the luxury catering service George’s Kitchen, has enlightened us with several of his tips and mouth-watering recipes for all of you struggling with Veganuary, as well as any others curious about just how diverse and delicious the vegan lifestyle can be.
Adapt the dishes you know and love
Just because some of your favourite dishes aren’t vegan-appropriate in their current state doesn’t mean they can’t be adapted to be totally vegan-friendly and equally delicious. As long as you’re capable of doing a little research into finding the perfect alternative to your meat and dairy products, then you will be rewarded with a truly mouth-watering meal. I would always recommend jackfruit as an amazing pulled pork substitute. Add some avocado to your pulled BBQ jackfruit sandwich and you’ve got an incredible, filling lunch.
Another classic favourite is the burger, and contrary to popular belief, meat is not a necessity to this staple of the fast food industry. A delectable burger can be made with anything from tofu and mushrooms, to beetroot, to soya beans. Although this may not sound as appetizing as a juicy bit of beef; the right herbs and spices, a generous layer of vegan cheese and perhaps some homemade tomato salsa can help you produce an unforgettable and shockingly healthy burger.
To address the common misconception that vegan food is flavourless, may I suggest that everyone remembers the rule of G.R.O.L.S. Whether creating a vegan dish or not, the addition of Garlic, Rapeseed Oil, Lemon, Salt, or usually a combination of a few of these ingredients, will always result in a cacophony of indulgent flavours for your vegan dishes that even your most carnivorous friends won’t be able to fault.
Embrace your creativity
Once you have a basic understanding of what vegan-friendly foods can replace your favourite meat and dairy products, there should be no limit to your creativity in the kitchen. Pizza may seem like an automatic right off for any budding vegan, but once you’ve identified your favourite vegan cheese there’s no reason why it should be. A huge variety of vegan cheeses exist, from a mozzarella or cheddar style to a creamier version, or even a variety of artisan style alternatives. And then why stop at a basic pizza? How about breaking the mold and trying my pesto and avocado pizza! Top your base with pesto sauce, avocado, pine nuts, cherry tomatoes and garnish with some rocket leaves and basil for an explosion of flavour!
On the topic of cheese, you would expect a delicacy such as cheesecake to be impossible to recreate as a vegan dessert. On the contrary, a few simple adjustments can result in a delightfully rich vegan cheesecake that will certainly satisfy your sweet tooth. Use a combination of raw walnuts, pitted dates and sea salt for the base (with a little water to help it all stick together), and blend a mixture of raw cashews, full-fat coconut milk, maple syrup, coconut oil and lemon juice to create the perfect filling. After chilling in the freezer for 4-6 hours you will be left with a mouth-watering vegan cheesecake that will make you wonder why you didn’t go vegan sooner.
If you would like to know more about the luxuries George has to offer, visit his website at www.georgeskitchen.co.uk