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Help me think about a vegan Lent- going to do this!

(37 Posts)
drspouse Sun 28-Jan-18 09:00:44

I'm an omnivore as are my family but I'd like to try and do something for the planet for Lent.
I generally plan meals but DH will cook more or less anything easy with a good recipe.
Everyone else can remain omnivorous and we'll have meat on Sundays (that's how Lent works).
Questions: I assume it's long enough that I need to take care of vitamins but I'll be OK for calcium? What should I be taking?

I'll probably have either porridge with vegan milk, or toast/spread/peanut butter for breakfast. I'm not a huge milk drinker but I may have cereal with plant milk if I can find one I like.
If DH is doing sausages or fish fingers or whatever I'll just get him to put in a vegan one for me.

So I need some ideas for:
3 kid pleaser meals per week - one of which can go in the oven on a timer and is VERY easy (DH takes them swimming on a Tues and we're late back)
2 or 3 adult meals that are v quick post work. 20-30 mins tops.

Nice vegan ready meals (DH and I sometimes go down that route but they can be curry etc).
The nicest vegan sausages/crispy bakes etc.
Nice vegan tinned soup.

A couple of kid friendly baking ideas.

Lunches beyond hummus and falafel! I can get some vegan sandwiches at work if I forget and usually I take leftovers or an easy sandwich (don't really want to cook separately!).

Also: DH doesn't like beans unless well concealed, nor lentils ditto. DCs are 3 and 6 and eat most things (so a beans on toast type meal is fine if it's me and them - often have that for our lunch). He'll eat chili with a lot of carne. DCs will happily eat dhal etc.

ivenoideawhatimdoing Sun 28-Jan-18 20:42:57

Really easy OP.

Kids meals - Quorn Fish Fingers/Nuggets etc.
Get make your own pizzas from supermarket counters without cheese or make your own with fresh bases
Pasta with Dairy Free Pesto or a tomato sauce
Sausage and Mash with Beans or gravy
Veggie Curry with a shop bought sauce (either Chinese or Indian eg Sweet and Sour sauce, Hoisin, Balti, etc)

Nice Vegan ready meals can be bought from Tesco (they have a new Wick'd range which is pricy but amazing)

Lunches are easy, home made soup, onion bhaji and onion chutney sandwich, tomato pasta salad, fresh vegetable salad with your favourite veg and a non dairy dressing, wraps with false chicken or steak or just veggies and sweet chilli sauce.

drspouse Sun 28-Jan-18 21:01:12

Ooh onion bhaji sandwich! Mmm!
I think the DCs will eat lentil bolognese or lentil cottage pie but not so sure about DH. DCs will be happy with cheese free pizza but I might have to do several sections as one will want salami but no cheese.. one cheese and peppers etc etc.

drspouse Sun 28-Jan-18 21:02:02

Oh and what about supplements etc?

travailtotravel Sun 28-Jan-18 21:11:26

I'm just finishing vegan January. There are so many things out there now being plant based us much easier. I have to be honest and say I miss my scrambled eggs in toast on Saturdays and am a cheese lover so will go back to eating those - cheese more on weekends.

Forvwasy cheat stuff, Sacla gave z free from pesto without cheese and an aubergine pesto too. Both lush for the lazier days. You may also find nutritional yeast flakes helpful to add to stuff for vitamins. Looks like fish food, adds a lovely cheesy nutty taste to food.

SandAndSea Sun 28-Jan-18 21:14:45

I'm vegan and my gp made me see a nutritionist to check my bones would be OK (etc.). The first time I saw her, the nutritionist looked at my food diary, did some calculations and said it was fine, no worries at all. The one thing she told me that was useful was that organic plant-based milk doesn't have nutritional supplements in. So, as much as you might want to buy organic, it might be wise to stick to non-organic, at least to start with.

I also take organic black strap molasses daily to boost my mineral intake.

Eat lots of fresh food. Lots of colour. Throw in some lentils, chick peas, seeds and nuts. I make flat bread using chickpea and buckwheat flours - very easy and nutritious and great with soups or curries.

PaperdollCartoon Sun 28-Jan-18 21:24:43

If you’re on Facebook join the group ‘vegan supermarket finds UK’ it’s very helpful to see what people are finding in different shops.

Probably worth taking a multivitamin, never hurts. If you just do Lent nothing much to worry about, but if you keep it up longer you’ll need to take b12. In fact it’s worth taking anyway, many people are b12 deficient and most are eating omnivorous diets.

Try to eat a range of different veg, beans and lentils today, as well as potatoes, rice etc. Most dried pasta is vegan. Linda McCartney sausages are the best, her 1/4 pounder burgers are also delicious. But lots of the alternatives take a while to get used to so you might not like them straight away. The Quorn vegan nuggets are fab. Things like waffles, smilies, many hash brown are vegan. I don’t eat much of these but good for throwing in the oven after a long day.

Tesco have just brought out a vegan ready meal range ‘Wicked Kitchen’ but I haven’t tried them yet. There aren’t many ready meals but it’s getting better.

I just bought a book called Vegan in 7 which is also vegan recipes in 7 ingredients or less, might be good for easy meal ideas.

Lunches I often have leftovers, or things like cous cous with chickpeas, olives, sundried tomatoes. Soup. Rice with broccoli/kale and avocado is a fave.

SandAndSea Sun 28-Jan-18 21:26:09

I've recently worked out how to make a ploughman's sandwich and it's delish! I buy vegan cheese and mayo from the supermarket. Add some leaves, pickle, a chopped tomato and ta-daa!

A fave dinner is a stir-fry. Generally, I make a sauce using plum jam, soya sauce, garlic and root ginger. (It's also easy to do a sweet and sour.) Spring rolls are often vegan.

Linda McCartney do quite a few vegan products - their sausages, burgers and country pies are both good. (Cook the sausages on a wire rack as they're v greasy.)

SandAndSea Sun 28-Jan-18 21:33:21

Iron can be an issue for vegans too which is obviously important for women. Check out the Lucky Iron Fish:

SandAndSea Sun 28-Jan-18 21:36:01

Another tip: Years ago, an elderly doctor (old school) told me to make sure I eat potatoes with the skin on as it's good for the bones. I often do this for this reason.

drspouse Mon 29-Jan-18 09:17:43

I do eat the skins!
Just had a yummy coconut cappuccino from Costa near work but neither they nor Greggs which is my other chain option seem to have any vegan breakfast food. I'll have to see if there's a hole in the wall place that does plain toast and jam as I do have a work breakfast every week or so after I drop the DCs.

drspouse Mon 29-Jan-18 10:09:37

OK I've been through the recipes at the new box scheme I'm trying - Simply Cook - and about half the vegetarian recipes are either vegan or vegan-able. So that is giving me a bit more confidence!
Because they only send you the condiments, you can more easily alter what else you add to it.
I will try tofu scramble when I get round to it, DH loves scrambled egg and I'm happy to add it to stuff if it gets him eating vegan, but he's not a fan of tofu so far...

(cheeky plug - if you want to try a four-meal box for £1, send me a PM and I'll drop you the code. I already have a box for Iranian Vegetable Stew at home, and I'm planning to try Bibimbap, Jambalaya, Mexican Tinga, and Mushroom Stroganoff next time. I will need hints on soured cream/Greek yoghurt subs though - I have some soya yoghurt in my supermarket basket but a good tip for a brand would be great plus the soured cream idea as you can't really use yoghurt quite the same for Mexican).

drspouse Mon 29-Jan-18 11:08:00

Aaargh another question

The HV said (when my 3 yo might have had a lactose issue) not to give her rice milk or soya milk.
I will try the Oatly if I can as everyone says how nice it is but is it OK for her to have tofu scramble/soya mince maybe once or twice a week? As it's not her main drink (she has a fair amount of milk - cereal and drink at breakfast every day)?

SandAndSea Mon 29-Jan-18 12:01:57

I can't answer that but I can recommend the Co-op if you need to buy a vegan sandwich/wrap.

drspouse Mon 29-Jan-18 13:29:24

Yes handily there is one near work!

Mysteriouscurle Mon 29-Jan-18 22:28:22

@drspouse oatly do something, I think its a creme fraiche alternative if thats any good to you. Theres also sour supreme which is a sour cream alternative. Tofutti make it I think. Its thicker than sour cream. Ive often wondered about thinning it out with soya milk as its actually quite "solid" compared to sour cream

drspouse Tue 30-Jan-18 09:21:02

I'll look out for that thanks!

PaperdollCartoon Tue 30-Jan-18 11:20:12

The quick buy lunch items are getting more and more by the day. M&S now have loads, Tesco have lots of their Wicked Kitchen range. Boots have about 4 vegan things. I never go in Sainsbury’s but I imagine there’s a few. Pret are amazing for breakfast and lunch. I often only have fruit for breakfast but apple and peanut butter is great, or Aldi do a high protein granola that I love with vegan yogurt (usually Sojade as it’s the only one that’s got live cultures, but I also like Alpro and Tesco’s own) and sometimes fruit. Easy to eat at your desk

drspouse Wed 31-Jan-18 22:13:55

We don't have a Pret but I saw some lovely looking almond or coconut porridge pots in a small Sainsbury's the other day.

drspouse Mon 05-Feb-18 10:07:47

Right - it's coming up soon - I'm getting my ducks in a row and have my big order from the supermarket coming this week!

Couple of questions:
If I get cheap soya milk (rather than expensive Oatly) for porridge/rice pudding will it taste minging?

What is reasonably OK for a takeaway? Am I safe to assume that a Chinese takeaway's stir fried tofu/vegetable dishes are vegan? I am assuming that generally Indian food is cooked in ghee though? Most Indian takeaways in our area are run by Indian Muslim families and are heavy on the meat anyway, though they have veggie options (and things like lentils/spinach/mushrooms sound lovely). They aren't really into paneer that I can see.

First few days' menus look like this
B: porridge, or toast and nut butter, or nutty muesli and oat milk
L: soup, roll and soya yoghurt, or leftovers
D: cashew stir fry; Iranian Vegetable Stew, maybe with a flatbread or something; DIY pizza (DS will be happy we can have a cheese free one for us two and cheesy for DH and DD).

WiggyPig Thu 08-Feb-18 12:58:53

I find cheap soya milk tastes like wallpaper paste. Try unsweetened Koko, it's lovely in porridge and rice pud.

My local Chinese takeaway veg dishes are vegan. Look out for fried rice though, it usually has egg in. Papa Johns do a "remove all cheese" option and is vegan that way - you can either shove some vegan cheese on when it arrives and blast it under the grill, or I just get extra olives and pineapple for that salty-sweet boost. Some Indian places use ghee but ever such a lot now use veg oil; you'd need to ask.

drspouse Thu 08-Feb-18 13:04:53

We don't have Papa John's but maybe Dominos do similar?

WiggyPig Thu 08-Feb-18 14:34:55

Dominos is a Dominot I'm afraid for vegans sad they use milk powder in all their bases apart from the gluten-free, which contains egg:

drspouse Thu 08-Feb-18 15:33:21

How silly!
We live in a small town that is graced with very few chains but some nice small independent places. Will just have to ring up and check!

ThatWhiteElephant Thu 08-Feb-18 17:42:22

SandAndSea how do you take the black strap molasses? I put it in some hot water and it was yuck!
Also, can you share the recipe for your chickpea flat breads pls?

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