Guest Post: Karin Ridgers on Veganuary

Image of the Veganuary logo

I am so excited to be working on the Veganuary project. As a quick explanation, think Movember, but instead of growing a moustache we have 3,000 people going vegan for January. It’s the first year and next year will be bigger and better too.

I am working closely with the media and celebrities who are taking the challenge – the feedback has been amazing. It made my day when Alice Robertson, Beauty Assistant for YOU magazine in The Mail on Sunday, said she would be taking part and then commented when looking at the Ocado site:

I had no idea there was so much variety available! I honestly didn’t think that there was such delicious sounding food accessible to vegans. 

Ocado has kindly stepped up to support our campaign, thanks guys!

So, before we go any further, here’s how we define precisely what we mean by ‘vegan’…

Basically we don’t eat anything from an animal. This includes dairy products, meat and fish. Now, this may sound a little daunting at first, but nowadays you can find vegan versions of everything.

From dairy-free milks, ice creams, chocolate, butter and cheese, to ‘meat-free meats’ and ‘fish-free fish’, there are all sorts of options available. And once you really start to look into your food choices, and maybe even decide to go vegetarian or vegan full-time, a whole new world of food opens up before you.

Twenty years ago, when I first went vegan, we had to drive an hour and a half to Brighton to pick up suitable foods (no one had even heard of soya milk). Now there are so many suitable and delicious vegan foods available and, without the confines of a regular supermarket shelf, Ocado has made life even easier for us vegans.

So, whether it’s for health, for animals, or for the planet, why not join us for the remainder of Veganuary?

There’s lots of inspiration out there – you’re not alone! Hear how the legendary Uri Geller is getting on here on his Veganuary page, or former Minder and EastEnders actor and author Gary Webster. And here is my page in case you would like to see how I am doing too.

I’ll close  this blog entry with a few words from some of our supporters…

Embracing the month of Veganuary is a great way to start the year; it could even be the way to start a new life. So go for it. What is certain is that you’ll be feeling much better for it. That’s why I’m supporting Veganuary, I just want people to feel better.”                   Benjamin Zephaniah, poet, presenter and author

I’d recommend anyone to give this a go, there’s nothing to lose and everything to gain. If you make just one new year resolution it should be to go vegan for a month. It will change your life.”                                                                                                                            Dale Vince, founder of Ecotricity and chairman of Forest Green Rovers football club.

Have a browse of the Ocado vegan range by following this link: http://bit.ly/19hVC76

And how about these recipes to get you started?

Shaun Rankin’s Sun-dried Tomato Bread 

Image of Shaun Rankin's Sun Dried Tomato Bread at Ocado

Spiced Sweet Potato Slices

Image of Spiced Sweet Potato Slices recipe

Have fun experimenting, and good luck with the rest of Veganuary,

Karin

Guest post: Karin Ridgers’ veggie Christmas

Restaurant advisor and Founder of VeggieVision TV, Karin Ridgers, writes on catering for veggies and vegans at Christmas. Read on for lots of great ideas…

Image of Karin Ridgers

So, you have a vegetarian coming for Christmas? Firstly, there is no need to panic. With a little preparation and a chat with your guest before the big day, everything should run smoothly.

Many veggies do love the traditional Christmas dinner, so ask if they would like something completely different or not. Perhaps they would prefer not standing out at the dinner table and would just enjoy everything that everyone else is eating – without the meat!

Maybe as their centrepiece a tasty Chestnut Bourguignonne Pie would go down well, or simply some meat-free alternatives. If it all sounds too much, talk to your guest. They might be able to bring their own turkey substitute, making things much easier.

Image of Chestnut Bourguignonne Pie

 Here are my top Christmas catering tips

  •  Make sure that the veg and roast potatoes are cooked separately from the meat or any animal fat.
  • Gravy can easily be made without meat juices. We always add a spoonful of Vegemite to ours as it tastes great, is vegan, and is bursting with B vitamins.
  •  Check the ingredients of mince pies and Christmas puddings – some will not be veggie or vegan friendly. If you’re making your own, just run the recipe by your guest beforehand so there’s no stress at the dining table.
  • Replacing butter for vegans couldn’t be easier. Tomor is great for cooking with, and there is also Vitalite which I know several people like as it is very buttery.
  • Tofu is super for recipes such as quiches, or simply mashed up and fried with onions and dairy-free cheese for my favourite: Scrambled Eggless.
  • There are many dairy-free milks to choose from, like soya (light/unsweetened/organic/wholebean), coconut milk, various almond, hazlenut, oat, rice, hemp… see what they prefer.

Image of Veggie lunch

No matter why you are exploring meat or dairy-free options, never focus on what you won’t be having, always focus on the abundance of new products that are out there waiting for you to try!

Have a delicious Christmas

Karin Ridgers

For my full, free guide go to veggiechristmas.com or follow me on Twitter @veggievisionTV

 

NB Karin is vegan – all non-vegan links are Ocado’s