Cutting down on dairy? Make Veganuary a doddle with our innovative vegan recipe swaps
Thinking about joining in with Veganuary but not sure where to start? Every year, thousands of people take on veganism for the month of January, removing all animal products from their diet and lifestyle.
Though plant-based eating is an exciting new culinary chapter, it can also be a shock to the system for some people.
Why? Well, most vegans gradually transition from eating meat to being a vegetarian before committing to a 100% plant-based diet. But for those partaking in Veganuary, the diet change is often (ironically) cold-turkey. Needless to say, this makes the month all the more challenging.
If you’re feeling stuck for inspiring vegan recipe ideas, fear not. This is where we come in!
As the only chocolatier to run two restaurants — our Rabot Restaurant in London and our Rabot Restaurant at our Saint Lucian hotel — we’re used to experimenting with vegan ingredients to make innovative new dishes. It’s fair to say that both our London and Saint Lucia-based chefs have produced a wealth of truly unique and utterly exquisite plant-based creations over the years. In this article, we tap into this fountain of knowledge to share some of our favourite vegan recipes with you.
Vegan alternatives: The basics
It’s all well and good covering some exciting vegan meal recipes, but we need to touch on the basics first. Here are a few plant-based swaps that you’ll find yourself using every single day throughout January.
This one’s easy. Ditch the dairy milk for an alternative such as oat, soya or almond milk. While oat milk is our favourite for making creamy coffees, soya milk will taste great in your morning muesli. You’ll find a range of dairy-free milk in your local supermarket. Try them all and discover your new go-to.
Did you know that plant milk makes an excellent base for Velvetised hot chocolates? Dairy-free certainly doesn’t have to mean fun-free.
Your egg alternative will depend on the dish you’re making. If you’re hoping to make scrambled eggs, you can make scrambled tofu instead.
If you just need something to bind your cake mixture, you can make a chia seed egg. For each real egg stated in the recipe, add one chia seed egg made from 1tbsp chia seeds and 2tbsp water.
If you’re a big fan of spaghetti bolognese or beef chilli, Veganuary may seem a little daunting. Luckily, you can easily make a vegan chilli or pasta dish using lentils instead of mince. Not only are lentils high in protein, but they’re also particularly high in iron, magnesium, zinc, and potassium — very handy indeed!
You might have thought that chocolate would be a firm Veganuary no-go — but that’s certainly not the case! Though you’ll have to leave standard milk chocolate for February, there’s a world of vegan chocolates out there.
If you’re a fan of dark chocolate, you’ll still be able to nibble on our 70% Dark Chocolate Batons, sip our Classic 70% Dark Hot Chocolate, and experience the creaminess of our Raspberry Nutmilk Ganache Selector — our vegan alternative to milk chocolate made with finely milled hazelnuts instead of milk.
Order a few vegan chocolate goodies through our online shop and stock up for the long month ahead!
Like egg, the best cream alternative for you will depend on the dish you’re creating. For instance, if you’re cooking up a delicious curry, you can use coconut cream or full-fat coconut milk. If you need whipped cream or crème fraîche, there are some oat-based alternatives on the market.
Nothing will taste quite the same as real cheese, but substitutes have come a long way in the past few years. Try sprinkling nutritional yeast over your meal for something akin to parmesan. For a creamy option that tastes great on pizza, we recommend making your own cashew cheese — it’s easier than it sounds!
There are also plenty of ready-made vegan cheeses on the market that are perfect for lunchtime sandwiches.
You’ll also need to think about…
While bodycare isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you’re preparing for Veganuary, it is an important area to consider. Many toiletries and cosmetics aren’t actually vegan, so check any new purchases for the trusted Vegan Trademark. You’ll be pleased to know that most of our all-natural Rabot 1745 Beauty products are also vegan — apart from the occasional dash of wild honey!
If you were surprised about body care, you’re in for a shock with alcohol! Lots of wines, beers, and ciders are created using animal products, placing many on the no-go list for Veganuary. There are lots of helpful vegan alcohol guides online, or if you’re shopping in person, just make sure you check the label.
You’ll be pleased to know that lots of our cacao-infused tipples like our Mango & Passion Fruit Gin, Cherry & Raspberry Gin, and Salted Caramel Cacao Vodka Liqueur are suitable for vegans — even our award-winning Cocoa Beer. Looks like your drinks cupboard can still see some use in January!
Plant-based recipes for Veganuary
Now for some quick and easy vegan recipes:
Vegan Mushroom Burger
Instead of cooking a regular meat burger, substitute the patty for one or two large portobello mushrooms. Simply sauté the mushrooms in a frying pan for a few minutes. Use olive oil along with some crushed garlic, a sprinkling of mixed herbs, and a dash of salt and pepper.
Once cooked, add to your burger bun and enjoy with your choice of side dish — whether that’s sweet potato chips or a fresh salad. You might want to add some vegan cheese, sauce, or salad leaves to your bun, but that’s all optional.
Healthy Topped Toast
A great lunchtime snack is a slice or two of topped toast. Ditch your usual tuna sandwich and fall in love with creating your own tasty yet nourishing toast slices. All you’ll need is your bread of choice — whether that’s sourdough, rye, or seeded, plus your toppings.
In the mood for a sweeter toast? Top your toast with slices of banana, crushed nuts, a dash of cinnamon, and a drizzle of agave syrup (instead of honey).
Craving something fresh and filling? Cover your toast with juicy cherry tomatoes, sunflower or pumpkin seeds, balsamic vinegar, and fresh herbs. Maybe you want something packed with healthy fats? Top your toast with vitamin-rich and heart-healthy avocado as well as a few seeds and herbs.
The Easiest Vegan Dessert
Our last recipe may not even count as a recipe! We love this trick so much that we had to share it. If you’re craving a dessert but aren’t in the mood to make a whole vegan cake, take a chunk of one of dairy-free chocolate slabs and top it with one soft Medjool date. The result? An indulgent dessert canapé. While our cocoa-rich chocolate provides a rich, moreish foundation, the gooey date will add a sweet, decadent edge. Cacao and dates have wonderful nutritional profiles too, so you can enjoy sweet treats without the guilt.
There you have it — our culinary guide to Veganuary. Good luck and enjoy creating some new dishes!