View Full Version : Kind Of New To Veganism - Hi!

Queer NewVegan
Feb 3rd, 2014, 02:40 PM
Hey all, I'm Emily, 20 and from the UK. All my life I've been going from omnivore to vegetarian even though I don't even like meat. My father is a very "cave man" bred person so believe a large portion of every meal should be meat, he's a stubborn man and I wanted an easy life. I moved out with my partner a year ago now and have yo-yoed between vegetarian and vegan, the one time I was set and ready to go on veganism I got a virus for 3 weeks and my doctor advised me to stick to an omnivore (as he said "normal") diet.

We're moving to a new house March 1st and I have decided that that move is going to be the start on permanent veganism as I'm starting to make myself feel sick every time I eat an animal product. I would start now but this month we're clearing out of freezers and cupboards of food to have a clean slate in the new house. Until then, I'm going to eat a 75% Vegan diet. I just need to know your easiest breakfast/lunch recipes as I work in an office 9-5 and the kitchen isn't Vegan friendly! something I can either take with me and prepare & cook in 10 minutes or prepare the night before and refrigerate (prep & cook time on the night 20-30 minutes).

I also would love to know where in the UK sells the best and cheapest Vegan produce? I've used Asda and Holland & Barretts in the past so any other ideas? All welcome :-)

Thank you, hoping you all have a beautiful day.

Feb 3rd, 2014, 03:30 PM
Hi Emily - just wanted to say welcome.

Am not the best person for lunch recipes as I work from home and tend to polish off anything left over from the night before's dinner. Maybe you could do that sometimes - put leftovers in a box and eat them cold (with dressing if applicable - e.g. a spicy vinaigrette for something like pasta and veg) or warm them up? Only thing I would be careful with is rice as you can get bugs from it if it's left to languish and then not heated through properlyi.

Otherwise I have a bit of a weakness for sandwiches - doesn't have to be boring if you ring the changes on seasoning. Avocado and hummus is a good (and quick), as is grilled marinated sliced tofu with salad.

Re shopping, buying stuff like beans and rice in bulk from Asian supermarkets or similar is meant to be economical. Some online stores like Traidcraft also have bulk deals but I don't know how cheap they are. Haven't found anywhere very cheap for tofu and stuff like that.

Good luck with the move and switch!

Feb 3rd, 2014, 11:16 PM
Hi Emily, welcome and congrats on making the change! Regarding breakfast and lunch for the office, do you have a fridge and a microwave? If so, you could bring some vegan milk (soya, almond, rice etc) or yoghurt for cereal and bring leftovers to heat up. I have also been known to throw together some quick lunches before heading to work, such as sandwiches (as harpy mentioned) or even noodles or couscous with some veg, beans/tofu and some sauce. Good things to have are also snacks such as fruit, nuts, dried fruit, crackers, cereal bars or something like bombay mix, all of which you could get in H&B. Being in London recently I saw that alot of UK supermarkets have vegan snacks such as samosas, falafels, and those Innocent veg pots, as well as houmous of course :)

pat sommer
Feb 4th, 2014, 09:26 PM
Hi Emily,

Good luck with all your transitions!

If you tell us where you are able to shop for food, we can have a better idea of recipe selection. Are you lucky enough to have ethnic ingredients available?

Feb 5th, 2014, 12:38 AM
Hi Emily,

I'd second Blueberries' recommendation of couscous. It's really convenient to prepare and can be as interesting as you make it.
You could roast up the veg of your choice (I like aubergine, courgette and red pepper with a little garlic) and mix it through couscous made with veg stock and a little harissa if you like things spicy. That would be yummy taken to work the next day in some tupperware. Otherwise, some version of 'imam bayilda' goes nicely with couscous, and you can make a quick version the night before. I cut corners a little and pan fry the aubergine in lots of oil, the add it once browned to a pan of onion, garlic, chopped tomato and/or passata, basil and cayenne pepper :-)

If you like antipasti, perhaps you could prepare a mixed jar in the evening with your favourite dressing, and have it in a pitta with houmous? It can be expensive sometimes, but if you have an Aldi or similar near you they often sell sun-dried tomatoes etc a lot cheaper than the bigger supermarkets. I think Aldi sell vegan flapjacks too! Some of their fresh salad is also tasty and cheaper (especially the Piccolo tomatoes.)

I do eat rather large lunches so perhaps it would be a bit heavy, but I think pies are good to make in batches for freezing. Mini loaf tins are an ideal size, and the pies can be frozen ready to cook the night before (and then reheated if there's a microwave at work.) Plenty of packs of shortcrust pastry are vegan, and a creamy sauce to go in with the veg can be made with a little oil, flour, veg stock and a dash of soya/oat milk.

To add to harpy's suggestion of Asian supermarkets, I have found the Chinese shop near me good for buying different sorts of egg-free noodles cheaply. The tofu there is usually quite good and they sell tasty (but probably horribly unhealthy) packs of spicy dried tofu.

I find H&B relatively expensive for dried fruit/nuts and oat milk, but some of the freezer items aren't bad value.

Thinking of saving money, when I buy a fresh tomato-based soup or pasta sauce that I want to get more meals out of, I add enough passata to increase the size of the portion but not drown out the flavour :o

I hope at least some of that is of some use :-)

Queer NewVegan
Feb 6th, 2014, 10:34 AM
Ah thank you all!! This has been so helpful, you have no idea. I was slowly getting drowned in the online recipes and ingredients! Luckily I live within range of an Aldi, Lidl, Morrisons, Asda, H&B and my city centre has a huge Chinese supermarket (come to think of it, theres a huge Indian food based supermarket just a tad further up the road). I will have to explore the unknown and pick up some of the suggested!

At the moment I am cooking large Veggi bakes (vegetables on the bottom, a layer of Vegan cheese my partner kindly bought me and spicy potatoes on top), freezing them and taking slices to work or eating it for dinner. I also just experimented with making my own curried chickpeas for pittas/wraps. There is some wonderful ideas for food out there!

Thank you all so much, it's been of a wonderful help to me :-)

Feb 6th, 2014, 12:50 PM
Hello again - the Vegan Society posted this link on its Facebook page yesterday http://www.fitsugar.com/Vegan-Lunches-You-Can-Take-Work-14859587 and then there was a long thread discussing what people ate for lunch. If you can access Fb and need more ideas, you might want to have a look at that too.

Feb 6th, 2014, 01:20 PM
...large Veggi bakes (vegetables on the bottom, a layer of Vegan cheese my partner kindly bought me and spicy potatoes...

Wow that sounds lovely! :)

pat sommer
Feb 6th, 2014, 06:16 PM
Oooow Indian grocer: I absolutely love Besan -chickpea flour- for turning stray leftovers into veggie burgers or nuggets.
Bits of cooked rice, few cooked beans, chopped veg, nuts or seeds, nearly anything can be bound with a batter of Besan -thick for juicy ing or thinner if mix is dry-
Pan fried or brushed with oil and baked. My fav is rice, mushroom, broccoli tops and sunflower seeds.

Chinese grocer has the fixings for our fav cold sesame noodle. So many recipes out there but relies on good black vinegar (Shaanxi province) decent soysauce and chili paste. We like buckwheat noodle but white is traditional. This is a good bring-along meal because it is dressed just before eating, freshly made.
Dark Chinese tahina paste is mixed with water to double cream. Can cut with light tahina too if milder is desired. keep separate
Mix half half black vinegar and soysauce, garlic may be added. keep separate.
Layer over cooked drained noodle cooked greens, tofu, raw ingredients etc in a variety of texture. Anything goes.
To serve, pour over a splash of soy/vinegar then mix in.
Next a lovely stream of Tahina cream and a glop of chili paste to taste.

For some exotic-flavour fun, pick up a small bottle of prickly ash oil. A couple of drops adds a strange savory something -almost caraway or juniper- to stir fries or bakes.

Mar 6th, 2014, 06:57 PM
Hi Emily, I hope the first days of you going entirely vegan are going well!

In the morning, as I'm typically short of time, I'll have green smoothies. I'll drink the rest of the smoothy during the morning. Then depending in how much time I have I'll have some dried fruit (dates, figs, apricots, etc) without sugar added or one or two bananas as a quick snack or some other fruit. I sometimes make sandwiches or 'cheese' toasties. I might have some homemade yoghurt, although there are also lots of ready made vegan yoghurts in the shop. I used to buy those little alpro ones when I was living in the UK. At the time I also had cereals with nut milk or oatmeal porridge.

Anyway, good luck to you, the beginning is the hardest I think, lots to find out and people with opinions to deal with ;).