Going plant-based!

Genuinely don’t remember if I mentioned this in a previous post, but I have relocated to Manchester permanently so I will be updating my website information to reflect that.

Hi, hello! I know it has been a while since I last posted, as you can imagine I have not been inundated with opportunities to eat out and visit new restaurants. The last six months or so have been fairly influential on my lifestyle and I am excited to share with you what is new with me.

First and foremost, I have transitioned from vegetarian to fully plant-based. I am hesitant to use the term vegan, because this is mostly a food-related transition for me and won’t play too large of a part in other choices in my life. I have always tried to shop sustainably and make environmentally conscious choices, but I don’t want the pressure right now of completely adopting the title. I also am not being overly strict with myself, if we have something in the house that isn’t vegan we aren’t throwing it out and if there is free food being offered round, or cake at a friend’s birthday, I will still enjoy it. To use a term coined by a friend of mine in Manchester, I am probably more ‘freegan’ – vegan unless it’s free. However, my partner and I have been enjoying cooking vegan food and trying new alternatives.

So today I wanted to share some tips I have found helpful for eating plant-based in Manchester – as well as in general!

Milk alternatives

I am an avid coffee drinker, as well as a tea drinker before I went vegan. I have been loving Oatly Barista milk in my coffee, but I’m not as sure it loves me back. I tend to get a sore stomach sometimes after having it, so as good as it tastes I am looking at swapping this back out. We have just got in some almond milk (which I don’t normally buy because I know it’s not the most environmentally conscious) and I also want to try hazelnut and coconut milk as alternatives. Generally we use oat milk for everything, but I think the different chemicals/oils in the barista addition doesn’t agree with me, so I’d recommend just using normal oat milk or making it yourself! Definitely recommend Oatly and Minor Figures as my two favourite brands (the latter has not been associated with Donald Trump support if that influences you!).

I have FINALLY found a milk that I can stand in normal tea, I have really turned into a herbal tea drinker the last few months! Alpro My Cuppa is absolutely delicious and tastes the most similar to normal milk, so hugely recommend this. It’s literally been designed to work in tea, that’s the kind of commitment to a cup of tea I’m excited by.

Protein sources

There are obviously tons of ways to get your protein as a vegan, the animals are just an unnecessary middle man between the natural protein and our bodies. However, I do appreciate it can be hard to know where to start.

Firstly, if you are a fan of mock-meat, I really like the brand ‘naked glory’ which you can find in the frozen section of ASDA and I’m sure other supermarkets also stock it. Sainsbury’s caramelised onion shroomdogs are also delicious and I eat my fair share of quorn chicken nuggets.

If you aren’t a fan of mock-meat, there are loads of natural sources such as lentils, chickpeas, most beans, quinoa and oats. My partner makes his own seitan which I have found to be the most delicious and efficient way to consume large amounts of protein. I eat 100+g of protein each day as I lift heavy weights and I am trying to build muscle, so it is super important to me and seitan is definitely one of my favourite ways to get it. I also eat a lot of tofu, my favourite way is broken up and fried like scrambled eggs, topped with salt, pepper and paprika to serve.

I love making protein pancakes for breakfast and if you want to give them a go the recipe is super simple:

70g oats
30g protein powder (this batch was salted caramel)
1tsp baking powder
1 ripe banana
200ml non dairy milk

Literally stick it all in a blender and then voila you have pancake batter!

I top mine with golden syrup and frozen raspberries.

Another breakfast I love is baked oats:

50g oats
20g protein powder (I used salted caramel)
1 ripe banana
vanilla extract
golden syrup or maple syrup 1 spoon
150ml oat milk (or other plant based milk will probably work!)
1tsp baking powder

Again, blend your dry ingredients, mash the banana and then add it all together. It also works if you don’t blend the oats, just depends which one you prefer! Bake for about 25m at approx 160 degrees celsius.

Eating out

In Manchester there is no shortage of delicious vegan food options. In terms of delicious junk food, Wholesome Junkies and Herbivorous are my go tos.

For a healthier option, Greens is a restaurant I have been to a few times and I’ve had their ‘cook at home’ box for Valentine’s Day which was great. I also love The Allotment Vegan Eatery and Vertigo.

Staying healthy

Contrary to popular belief, going vegan does not mean losing weight. In fact, there are so many delicious vegan options nowadays it’s very possible to go the other way! I make sure I have a huge salad for lunch every day, which is lettuce, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, roasted veg (normally sweet potato and carrots), the naked glory roast tenderstrips, light french dressing and topped with seeds and nuts. This fills me up and provides me with lots of delicious nutrients and vitamins. It tastes nothing like your typical ‘salad’, the mixture of raw and roast veg is a game changer and I challenge you not to enjoy it!

Another way to get these concentrated nutrients is a smoothie bowl. The key is always to use way less liquid than you expect and repeat the process of pulsing and stirring many times (you need a decent blender). It’s also important to use only frozen veg.

I also love a wrap, whether it’s a breakfast wrap with tofu scramble, avocado and vegan sausage, or a lunch one with salad, mock meat/seitan and roasted veg. I find them such a great option for breakfast and lunch!

I hope that was helpful, let me know if you have any specific questions or anything else you would like to see me write about. I am definitely open to ideas!

If you liked this post you might like: A check in, this one about vegan junk food, or this one on a vegan friendly weekend in London.

Kayleigh x

4 thoughts on “Going plant-based!

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