An Expert’s Guide to Veganuary

Vada Voices

by George Rouse

The 600,000 vegans throughout England are steadily recruiting more and more ethically conscious eaters to their ranks, and in the midst of Veganuary, this number has surely gone through the roof. Many of those partaking in January’s healthy event will go on to adopt the vegan lifestyle permanently, but many more will give up before the month is over as they can’t handle the change in lifestyle.

Despite the sheer amount of vegans in Great Britain quadrupling between 2014 and 2019, there are plenty of misconceptions that are still perpetuated about their practice. It’s classically said that vegan food is flavourless but this is certainly not the truth. Simply understanding the methods of creating a symphony of flavours in your vegan meals is all that’s needed to make your Veganuary a personal success story. That’s why George Rouse, owner and founder of the luxury catering service George’s Kitchen, has provided some insightful advice to all those on the brink of veganism.

Important ingredients

There are several ingredients that are essential in creating the mouth-watering flavours present in the majority of your favourite dishes. These culinary necessities successfully bridge the gap between a dietless life and veganism, and it’s likely you don’t truly appreciate their value.

Garlic, rapeseed oil, lemon and salt. Vegan dish or not, these staple ingredients should always provide a bountiful array of flavour to any meal you make if used correctly. You will rarely want to taste salt in your food, but the simple addition of it in the cooking process, or as a seasoning, should help other flavours burst forth from your dish. The uses of rapeseed oil seem virtually endless in the world of food and a small to generous splash of this heavenly substance can provide a multitude of recipes with flavours you never knew existed.

Adapt your favourites

Although the essential flavour-makers have been covered (not to mention countless herbs and spices) you may still be thinking that without meat, egg and dairy, your favourite meals will still be lost to the vegan lifestyle, but this is not the case. Whilst some things will need to be cut out, it’s important to understand that everything is replaceable. A delicious vegan burger can consist of tofu, mushrooms, soya beans or even beetroot. Prepare your preferred meat substitute with the appropriate herbs, spices and seasonings, layer with vegan cheese and (I suggest) serve with homemade tomato salsa, and you’ve got yourself a delicious, and fairly nutritious, vegan burger.

After a little trial and error, you should be able to work out which substitutes you prefer and what you think goes with what – in the end it’s all preference, and there are so many options to choose from. Take cheese for example; would you prefer a mozzarella style substitute, or perhaps something more creamy? You may even be partial to the more artisanal varieties or something completely different. The choice is up to you, but once you’ve found what works, there should be no end to your creativity.

Try some of my favourites!

If your creativity is waning, or you just want someone else to tell you what to do, there are always recipes to follow online that will result in some seriously delicious vegan meals. Why not try my veggie thai red curry? This fragrant dish is completely vegan-friendly and will leave your taste buds tingling! It consists of a variety of ingredients, including (but not limited to) tofu, mushrooms, chillies, peppers, lime, lemongrass, ginger and coriander. This vibrant dish will take you across the world in an explosion of East-Asian flavour and will leave you wondering why you didn’t go vegan sooner.

If you’re looking to satisfy your sweet tooth, my sticky toffee pear pudding is the perfect vegan dessert for a frosty winter evening. Using almond milk and rapeseed oil as your key substitutes, your sponge cake should also include mixed spice and linseeds for a festive flavour. Top with delectable toffee pears and you will be wishing you had made more!

About the author

George Rouse, owner and founder of the luxury catering service George’s Kitchen. A relentless passion for food developed at a young age, mixed with twelve years of experience in both the food and drink industry allowed George to offer a more dynamic dining experience when he set up George’s Kitchen. As the heart and soul of the business, George will make sure to provide an unmatched level of service; from learning all about the vision you hold for your special day, to plating and serving your most-loved dishes with unwavering pride.

If you would like to know more about the luxuries George has to offer, visit his website at georgeskitchen.co.uk.