Recipe corner: veganism

Veganism is not that difficult

Image: Ailin Cheng

Propelled by a hoard of bougie Instagram bloggers, veganism has been on the rise. This year, I decided to partake in the hype and take on the ordeal of a plant-based diet throughout Lent. My skeptical preconceptions were soon dashed. Veganism has made me increasingly aware of my food choices – not only in regards to nutrition, but also the implications they have for the environment.

The thought of veganism on a student budget may seem soul-crushing, but in saving money from buying animal-products, stocking up on other vegan fantasies is very manageable. An easy, satisfying meal can be made by stir-frying some vegetables – I use the Tesco’s stir-fry pack along with spinach and garlic – and mixing this with rice and chickpeas. The high-fibre content of the vegetables makes the meal no less filling, yet the low carbohydrate and saturated-fat content spares you from a post-indulgence food-coma. Equally important is the exclusion of unsustainably sourced animal products, making this meal guilt-free in more ways than one.

Vegetable produce can be extremely versatile. Try this for a meal plan: start the day with half a banana, sliced to fill up a peanut-butter and jam sandwich. For lunch, mash half an avocado and combine this with coconut yoghurt and lemon juice. Stir-fry some spinach and garlic, and mix this with the avocado-concoction. Serve this on top of pasta with a sprinkling of nutritional yeast as a vegan version of carbonara. As a snack, chop up the remaining banana over some coconut yoghurt topped with granola. For dinner, stir-fry some more spinach with garlic. Add some pan-fried Quorn fajita strips (a chicken substitute), and serve this on top of rice. Mix together peanut butter, soy sauce and sesame oil, and pour this over everything; you’ve made a vegan ‘chicken’ satay. Slice up the remaining avocado to garnish on top.