Veganuary is a campaign that inspires and supports people to try being vegan for the month of January. People become vegan for a range of reasons, including health, animal welfare, environment and financial.
I am in favour of people including more plant foods in their diet, although I do prefer a balanced approach. My belief is that animal-based foods do have their place in a healthy balanced diet, but I accept that concerns about modern farming techniques raises issues about the way animals are treated and the effect of intense farming on the environment.
Becoming vegan needs careful planning to ensure all nutrients are provided in optimal amounts.
Veganuary lasts for just one month but if you are thinking of becoming vegan long-term, it is important to consider your nutrient status, particularly protein, iron (especially in menstruating women), iodine, vitamin B12, omega-3 fatty acids and zinc.
Vegan sources of protein include legumes, nuts and seeds. It is perfectly possible to be vegan and very healthy, but it is also possible to be vegan and very unhealthy. I once had a vegan client who was just eating pasta and vege-burgers! Vegan – yes, but certainly not a healthy balanced diet.
Here is a vegan supper recipe to get you started:
You can vary it according to taste, but this sheet-pan supper uses just one oven sheet-pan, one knife and one chopping board to prepare. Sheet pan cooking is a great method to make a whole meal without using any saucepans and not spending lots of time tending to a meal. The idea is to cook the entire meal on one oven tray, adding the ingredients in order of how long they need to cook.
For this supper, I started off my tray bake with chunks of sweet potato, carrots and leeks. Approximately 20 minutes into cooking time, I added courgettes. Another 20 minutes later, I added baby plum tomatoes, a tin of chickpeas (drained) and tin of chopped tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper, then just before serving, a garnish of fresh basil leaves. Simple!