Giving up meat for Veganuary? Try these nine easy food swap tips

Greggs at Ipswich Town Station. Their vegan sausage rolls hit the headlines. Picture: ARCHANT

Greggs at Ipswich Town Station. Their vegan sausage rolls hit the headlines. Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: Archant

Are you going meat-free for Veganuary - or just making a pledge to eat less meat in 2020? Here are nine top tips for easy food swaps.

Vegetables are vital when you go vegan - but you can try other plant-based foods too. Picture: GETTY

Vegetables are vital when you go vegan - but you can try other plant-based foods too. Picture: GETTY/ISTOCKPHOTO - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

It has become increasingly easy to eat vegan both at home and when eating out over the last few years, as ever more plant-based products have come onto the market - and the trend is continuing in January.

There are also more reasons than ever to try vegan food, for the sake of the environment as well as for your health. In addition to as enjoying more fresh vegetables and salads, here are some tips for other foods to try, or swap.

1) Trade up your food on the go

Vegan sausage roll. Picture: ARCHANT

Vegan sausage roll. Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: Archant

Swap your sausage roll or steak bake for a vegan version. Greggs hit the headlines last year when the popular store chain launched its vegan sausage roll, with long queues forming outside branches across the country. Now, to mark Veganuary one year on, the store is unrolling a vegan version of its steak bake - with quorn, meat-free gravy and puff pastry.

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2) Vegan style pizza

Are you worried you'll miss your favourite pizza if you give meat a miss? Pizza Hut has been serving a vegan pizza with the Violife alternative to cheese for a couple of years now. This January, the restaurant and takeaway chain, which has branches in Ipswich and Bury St Edmunds has also launched a new Vegan Pepperphoni Pizza, made from pea protein.

Geoffrey Bligh of Hank's Deli.
Picture: JO SALTER

Geoffrey Bligh of Hank's Deli. Picture: JO SALTER - Credit: Archant

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3) Try some new chicken alternatives

Tuck into veggie dippers or a vegan burger. Several other fast food outlets are launching new vegan offerings too, including a meatless meatball marinara from Subway, a vegan burger from KFC and McDonald's Veggie dippers.

4) Scramble tofu instead of eggs.

Tempted by scrambled eggs for breakfast? You can easily exchange them for scrambled tofu, which is also high in protein. Scrambled tofu is one of the many vegan delicacies on the menu at Hullabaloo vegan cafe in Ipswich.

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5) Switch up your milk choice

Pour oat milk on your cereal instead of dairy milk. A range of different plant-based milks are available, but oat milk has become increasingly popular.

6) Explore the alternatives on offer

Hanks Deli in Ipswich offers items such as vegan versions of salami, pastrami and chorizo, made using the same spices as the meat versions, as well as a range of vegan cheeses. You can also find increasing numbers of these kinds of products in supermarkets, including fresh and frozen soya mince from Waitrose.

7) Grab a meat-free sandwich

If you often buy takeaway sandwiches for a quick working lunch, there are more vegan versions available than ever before. Waitrose and Boots both offer a number of vegan sandwiches, while Marks & Spencer is about to launch a No Tuna and Sweetcorn sandwich, switching fish for soy protein. Should that really be no tuna and yes sweetcorn, though?

8) Busy lifestyle? Try a vegan ready meal

More vegan ready meals are also now available, and M&S is launching new products including lentil shepherd's pie and a "chicken kiev" alternative made from soya protein.

9) Use nut butter

Instead of dairy butter, alternatives to try include almond and cashew butters, which have a luxurious taste and contain both protein and fibre.

If you want to know more about Veganuary, which is encouraging people to take the pledge to give up meat and dairy for a month, you can sign up and get recipes and information packs here.

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