12 delicious dishes to see you through Veganuary
A record number of 50,000 people have signed up for Veganuary this year, pledging to follow a vegan diet for the duration of January. If you're taking part and don't know how to begin, fear not. We’ve put together a list of quick, delicious plant-based dishes to try with your young people.
From heartwarming one-pot chillis and curries, to gooey peanut butter cups and bonfire banana boats, you’ll be amazed at how easily you can adapt your young people’s campfire favourites. With an open mind, you might just stumble upon a whole new world of flavour, and save some money, too.
Happy exploring, and don’t forget to share a picture of your feast on social media! We can’t wait to see how you get on.
Before we get stuck in, here’s a quick explanation of the difference between vegetarians and vegans, in case you’re unsure:
Vegetarians exclude meat (including fish and shellfish) from their diet, but continue to consume other animal products, such as dairy and eggs. Vegans do not eat anything that comes from an animal. They do not consume meat (including fish and shellfish), dairy products, eggs or honey.
Five hearty one-pots to serve on a cold night
Nigella’s tangy spaghetti with marmite* (simply swap the butter for vegan butter, and serve without parmesan)
Tomato and cannellini bean stew (Gluten free)
Warming sweet potato chilli (Gluten free)
Courgette spaghetti with tangy vegan pesto (Gluten free)
Vegan Thai green curry (Gluten free)
Four tasty sandwiches to take on your next hike
Crunchy Vietnamese rice paper rolls (Gluten free)
The TLT (a fun spin on the BLT, traditionally made up of bacon, lettuce and tomato)
‘Chickpea of the sea’ salad sandwiches (yes, vegan tuna exists, and it’s delicious!)
Top tip: Loads of sandwich fillers and snack foods are ‘accidentally’ vegan. Fruits, seeds, beans and vegetables are, of course, naturally vegan. So are the majority of jams, chutneys, pickles, nut butters, olive pastes, vegetable pates and hummus dips, though you should always check the label to be sure. Vegan cheeses and mayonnaise are now widely available in most UK supermarkets, as are a wealth of vegan meats, made from proteins like tempeh, soy, and seitan. The possibilities are endless, so mix and match to suit your Group’s tastes.
Three desserts to eat by the campfire
Three-ingredient peanut butter cups (prepare ahead of camp and eat around the fire) (Gluten free)
Bonfire banana boats (use dark chocolate, avoid marshmallows or buy vegan ones) (Gluten free)
Toffee apples (Gluten free)
FAQs about veganism
How common is veganism in the UK? How likely is it that I will have a vegan young person in my Group?
There are half a million vegans in the UK. Although they only make up a small percentage of the population, the lifestyle is becoming more commonplace. In the last decade, the number of vegans in the UK has increased by a whopping 360%, and the change is largely led by young people. In a study by leading researchers IPSOS Mori, almost half of the vegan population surveyed fell into the 15-34 age category (42%), compared to just 14% who are over 65.
Why do people follow a vegan diet?
There are many reasons why a person might decide to follow a vegan diet. Broadly speaking, these reasons tend to fall into the following categories.
For environmental reasons
If people are concerned about their impact on the environment, they may decide to go vegan. This is because plant-based foods are proven to be less carbon intensive. You don't have to take the full jump into veganism to make a difference, though. Even incorporating a ‘Meat Free Monday’ into your week can significantly help to reduce your footprint.
For ethical reasons
Some people go vegan because they disagree with the way the meat, dairy and egg industries operate. They may feel a personal connection to animals, or have concerns about welfare standards within the farming industry.
For spiritual reasons
Vegetarianism has been a common thread among the major world religions, even if only a minority have adopted the diet as an expression of their faith.
In Buddhism and Hinduism alike, it is not uncommon for believers to avoid animal products, though not all Buddhists and Hindus are vegan.
In Jainism, veganism is commonly practiced. This is because many Jains believe in the concept of ahimsa, which involves practising non-violence towards all living things. Similarly, some Christians adopt vegan diets as an extension of their belief in the stewardship and protection of the Earth’s resources.
For financial reasons
Although some items, such as fancy vegan cheeses, are more expensive, plant-based meals are generally much cheaper to prepare, especially if you are cooking in bulk.
For health reasons
Many people choose to eat more vegan meals simply because they want to incorporate more fruits, vegetables and pulses into their diet.
A note on allergens
Please double check the recipes and ingredients listed here for any allergens, and always consult with your young people and with their parents/guardians before cooking with your Group or section, in case there are any allergies you are unaware of. You should be especially careful when dealing with any severe allergies within the Group, as, in extreme cases, cross contamination can be just as harmful as consumption itself.