I will set you straight right now. I failed to complete my week of veganism. I failed within the first half a day. By 12.30pm on Sunday I’d taken a big bite out of a courgette cake (full of butter and eggs). I hadn’t forgotten about my challenge, I just wanted the cake.
I thought because I love A LOT of vegan food (especially curries with coconut milk in) that not eating meat, butter, milk, eggs and fish for a week would be fine. But I was instantly bored and frustrated at the prospect. It felt like I was restricting and punishing myself, and I didn’t like it.
However, on a positive note, I did have a few delicious vegan meals and treats during my week, so I will celebrate those occasions with you:
- Homemade vegan millionaire’s shortbread from the Foodie Teen cookbook. The shortbread was made with ground almonds and coconut oil, the ‘caramel’ from dates and peanut butter and the top layer was 85% cocoa chocolate. They were very delicious. And as they were ‘sort of’ healthy I decided they were also an appropriate breakfast item!
- Dinner out at the new Cambodian restaurant Angkor Soul in Marple. On Sundays they do a vegan only menu. It’s a modest little venue, but the food is amazing. I ordered a noodle and tofu dish which was tasty, but not as incredible as Jamie’s ‘Cambodian kari’ – a curry made with lemongrass, sweet potatoes, peppers, peanuts, coconut milk, seitan and served with chilli fried rice. I was so envious that Jamie agreed to swap dinners with me. He is the best boyfriend.
- Coconut dal with spring greens from my ‘Riverford’ Spring/Summer cookbook. The coconut milk made this dish so creamy and rich. I challenge any carnivore to crave meat after eating this for dinner.
- Spicy spinach and chickpeas with rice. Not as more-ish as the coconut dal, but still a really nice dinner.
- This time I had billionaire’s shortbread at Leon’s restaurant. They do a range of ‘healthy-ish’ snacks, but this was the only vegan one I could find. The description read a ‘date and polenta shortbread based top with date caramel and dark chocolate’. So pretty similar to my millionaire’s one and extremely melty and chocolately and amazing.
Despite not succeeding this week, I will continue to experiment with vegan recipes as there are some tremendously tasty and creative vegan food ideas out there. And the added bonus of vegan food being healthy and good for the planet gives it an extra feel good factor.
This week’s environmental challenge is to ‘shop locally and ethically’ by going to the Unicorn Grocery in Chorlton. I will also endeavour to chat to staff and find out a bit more about the shop’s values and how they operate. I’ll be back next week to fill you in.