Wednesday 6 February 2019

#Veganuary Food Diary - Week Five and Wrapup

Dec 2020 Update
I've published a memoir entitled Finally a Vegan: My Journey to Veganuary and Beyond by Stephanie Jane.
Get yourself a copy from my Etsy Shop or find out more on my Literary Flits blog post

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Aubergine And Tomato Curry
by Vegan Recipe Club 
This is a post about my experiences during Veganuary 2019. I'm going to talk about vegan food. If that's going to offend you, please feel welcome to discover My Travels in Spain or read Reviews of My Favourite Books instead!

As in previous posts, appetising photos have been 'borrowed' from their respective websites. Click pretty pics to see their recipes!

Here's what I ate this week:

Every day: Porridge made with flaked oats and soy milk

Tues: Roti with homemade Hummus
Wed: Pita bread with Tumaca and with Peanut Butter, apple
Thur: Pita bread with Peanut Butter, apple

Brown Rice And Lentil Burgers
by One Green Planet 
Tues, Wed: Brown Rice And Lentil Burgers on a bed of Red Cabbage
Thur: Aubergine And Tomato Curry with Chips

Both my final Veganuary dinners were great and the Brown Rice And Lentil Burgers were definitely triumphant because I have now sussed how to make proper veggie burgers that don't crumble when cooked. Thank you One Green Planet for the recipe! I had bought a little tin of genuine Arabic Harissa paste in Spain a week or so ago and found the burger recipe through that ingredient. Use With Caution! Harissa paste is delicious, but super-hot-spicy!!
I celebrated the last night of Veganuary with a slow cooked Aubergine And Tomato Curry created from a Vegan Recipe Club recipe. It's shown with rice in the photo, but I served mine with chips - and local Cerveza Victoria beer - because I am classy like that!

So what's my Veganuary verdict?
Well, first up, I feel great! I've had so much energy this month that, according to my OH, it's been Quite Irritating! I guess no-one wants to live with Zebedee! Is this all down to what I have been eating though? I think partly yes because I experienced an energy spike when I changed to a vegetarian diet around six months ago. In a too-much-information admission, I am peri-menopausal and found that, over the past couple of years, I have wanted less and less to even be around meat, let alone to eat it. I suspect my changing hormones have a lot to do with my desire to change my diet, and responding to my body's needs has benefited my health and, consequently, my happiness.

However, over these same couple of years I have also been learning a lot about the realities of commercial food production in the UK and Europe. Animal factory farming is simply not an industry I can stomach supporting. So maybe my dietary and emotional change is driven by education as much as hormones. In my book choice this week (see below) Tobias Leenaert discusses cognitive dissonance - which is where we simultaneously hold, and act upon, two conflicting ideas in our brains. In this instance for me, resolving the I don't like factory farming / I eat factory farmed products conflict has felt incredibly freeing.

Plus, of course, I do love my food! On a shallow level, Veganuary has given me an even better reason than usual to spend ages hunting out new recipes and trying new foods. Dinner is usually one of the highlights of my day and I've spent a lot of January thinking about it! We all know how much doing what we love makes us happy!

So overall, and despite a few slipups in Week Two, I am delighted with how Veganuary went for me. So much so that I plan to continue with my plant-based diet through February and beyond. Whether I will take up the Vegan label yet, I'm not sure. On a practical level, I own two pairs of leather boots which are too worn to donate to a charity shop, but not yet worn out enough to be unwearable. Plus I feel I should have more than a few weeks experience under my belt - so to speak - beforehand.

Finally my last vegan motivation book suggestion this week is another nonfiction tome, the provocatively excellent How To Create A Vegan World by Tobias Leenaert. You can Read My Review Here.

Are you doing Veganuary too? If so, please link up your recipe successes in the Comments so I can visit and be inspired!


  1. How wonderful you feel so energetic! Obviously your veganuary food works fantastic and now I want to try these lentil burgers :) Keep it up!
    xx Rena

    1. The lentil burgers were so yummy and now I have a reliable basic recipe that I can tweak with different herbs and spices :-)

  2. Those burgers look so yummy! All the veggie burgers I’ve ever made have fallen apart. I’ll have to look at that recipe. I’m glad you feel good and the diet was a success!

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

    1. I think it is the starch in the rice that helps them stick together. A very versatile recipe!

  3. Those burgers look really good. I would try something like that.

    1. They weren't too fussily difficult so I'll be making them again

  4. Am glad you have more energy. Those burgers look amazing, might try them myself. I hope you have a wonderful weekend x

  5. I appreciate you sharing your motivations and also what you actually tried. Neat how you found the non-crumbling burger recipe. I'd not heard of that paste before. Good to know that a little dab will do you. Congrats on your challenge and cheering you on as you continue.

    1. Harissa is from North Africa - Morocco I think. This was the first time I've tried it and Wow it's hot!!

  6. The curry sounds good and the Harissa sounds good! I like spicy foods. They're kind of addictive. Animal factory farming is quite disturbing, and I feel like it causes problems with the meat. If animals are raised humanely, something greed doesn't allow for, the meat is much more safe. I could easily go without meat, but I like dairy a lot. Thanks for sharing your experiences! :)

    1. The harissa was a bit too hot for me really, but using it sparingly means the jar should last months so it's economical!

  7. Glad you found it a positive experience. I cook vegan but am more flexible when eating out, though haven't eaten meat for many years

    1. I was surprised by the options open to me when eating out in Spain. Complete vegan meals were't always possible - though with more experience I think I could have done better - but there were always good vegetarian choices :-)