How we’re supporting veganuary around our business
We are passionate about food. At our heart are people who spend a lot of time talking about what they are cooking and eating. As we continue to develop and grow our plant-based category, it should come as no surprise that we have more and more staff who are turning to a plant-based diet. This Veganuary we catch up with a few colleagues who have taken up the challenge to eat plant-based for 31 days to see how they are getting on , to share any tips and also show is what they are cooking.
Matt: understanding our categories
A massive foodie and our Head of Inspiration and Development, he took up the challenge, alongside his family this January. Matt says, “All round I think its a positive experience and an essential one if you are developing products for vegans and flexitarians. Just from a health perspective its good and there is a growing understanding that eating more plants is important for gut health. The challenge to continually come up with new recipes is also good for me, just like everyone else I struggle to bothered to cook sometimes and Veganuary is a massive inspiration boast, which we all need at times.”
Asked for some kitchen inspiration, Mob Kitchen are his favourites this year – with recipes which are quick, easy and pack a punch flavour wise which is essential. They taste amazing but just happen to be vegan.
See below for some of Matt’s vegan creations on Instagram
View this post on Instagram
View this post on Instagram
Monika: using an app to make the switch easier
Monika was another colleague wanted to try Vegan eating for the month. She prefers to cook from scratch, rather than depend on ready-meals.
Monika has really been enjoying the challenge and says, of continuing after the month is up, ” I believe it’s ok to have an animal based product from time to time, as long as it is locally and sustainably sourced from a supplier respecting high welfare standards. I like my morning coffee with a dash of organic milk and I prefer honey to sugar, but I will continue my flexitarian lifestyle.”
So her top tip is that she uses the Waitrose & Partners Food App for recipe inspiration. She says “You can search ‘vegan’ and save your favourites in customised folders. What I like about this app is you can create a shopping list, so cooking vegan is just as simple as cooking any other meal.”
One of her favourites on the app is the Nutty pithivier with watercress and pistachio pesto. She says, “this recipe has a lot of ingredients and it is quite complex, but it was very tasty and filling at the same time. Plus it includes all the macronutrients and good balance of essential micronutrients.
Ellen: plant-based = more energy
Ellen decided to take part in Veganuary for the challenge. She’s a product developer for our plant-based category so she felt it was important for her to understand the challenges of a plant-based diet.
She says, “It’s highlighted the sheer amount of day-to-day store cupboard ingredients and products that contain some form of dairy or meat. I also decided to take part in Veganuary to see if it would have any affect on the way I feel. You hear about people moving to a plant-based diets and the positive effects it has of various aspects of their lives so I was interested to see how it would affect me. I have certainly got tonnes more energy especially in the evening since being plant-based and feel much more motivated to carry out daily exercise.”
That’s definitely a glowing endorsement from a lifestyle perspective but what about her recipe inspiration?
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- Dishoom-inspired Breakfast Naan with vegan sausages, homemade naan and chili ketchup
- Jamie Oliver’s Vegan Shepherd Pie
- Domestic Gothess’ Vegan chocolate cake (below) which is deliciously indulgent
Izzy: cooking with someone else makes it easier
Izzy and her sister Laura are based in the office at one of of manufacturing sites. They’ve taken on the challenge together, partly for the health but also environmental benefits.
They’re both really enjoying it and Izzy says, “It helps that we live together and can make tea together but also motivate each other. We also usually make soup with our soup maker at this time of year anyway so that has coincided well for lunches.”
They’ve shared some of the dishes they’ve created and also a few products they’ve found useful.
Finally, Ellen leaves us with some Veganuary tips to help make switching to a vegan diet easier:
- Plan & be organised. I find if you plan your weekly meals, breakfast, lunch and dinner it is much easier to stick and enjoy your vegan lifestyle. It takes more time thinking about recipe ideas and therefore if you plan in advance you can just crack on when it comes to meal times.
- Don’t just reply on alternatives – Since I have been taking part in Veganuary I haven’t eaten many meat alternatives. This isn’t necessarily out of choice, but I am finding it a great way explore vegetables & pulses etc in new ways and formats.
- Spice things up – there’s a pre conception that plant-based foods can lack in flavour. Don’t be afraid to really add lots of spices, herbs etc to jazz things up. Even using drizzle & dressings can really help to add another dimension to the meal.
- Try different things & don’t just stick to the recipe – I really struggle following recipes to a tee and I enjoy making it up as I go along. Having said that there are some great base recipes to use which are easy to adapt and shape into something you know are going to love and enjoy.
January 18, 2021
5 minute read