People may joke that January is tough enough without having to give up Gin O’Clock (with the dry January challengeand animal products with Veganuary, but what better time to launch the healthier you than to partake in one or both of these challenges? When you’re feeling healthier, fueled by nutrient-dense foods, and your body is feeling good, it’ll be easier to reach those New Year’s Resolutions and go for that cold January run or skip that third biscuit or that impossible habit of a cup of tea and cake for elevenses. “Veganuary” is a popular buzzword in the media, but is Veganuary and veganism a passing trend or is it here to stay? Let’s explore!

vegans and vegetarians

How many vegans and vegetarians are there in the UK?

Vegans may not yet number a whole 1% of the population but they’re getting close! 

Those adopting a vegan lifestyle has quadrupled since 2014 and 0.46% of the population in the UK are now vegan with those who identify as vegans only eating fully plant-based diets with no products coming from or deriving from animals in their diet (including things like honey or dairy). 

Since many restaurants have veggie and vegan options on the menu, you may think that more of the population eat plant-based diets. To put it in context, 2-3% of the population is vegetarian where these people do not eat any meat or fish but may eat eggs, milk, cheese, and other dairy products. However, many meat-eaters now choose to eat plant-based diets from time to time as well.

The popularity of veganism and vegetarianism is on the rise with environmental concerns and the welfare of animals being the biggest factors in conversion, according to Harvard Medical School. 


What is “Veganuary”?

Veganuary is a registered charity in the UK and every January they run an annual challenge to promote and educate people about the vegan lifestyle.

The challenge encourages participants to adhere to a vegan lifestyle for the month of January. Since the event began in 2014, every year participation doubles. In 2020 alone, 400,000 people signed up.

Sign up here if you’d like to participate. The website has helpful resources including recipes, meal plans, nutrition guides, and coaching emails. 

Vegan Recipes

But where do I begin?

Many people erroneously think that being vegan has to be expensive. With celebs and influencers sharing “Instagrammable” smoothie bowls containing twenty-five fruits and veggies, including some weird and wonderful exotic ones that you’re absolutely sure your local Sainsbury’s has never sold, it can feel a little overwhelming. 

Vegan cooking, however, is absolutely one of the most nutritious and affordable ways to feed yourself. Check out our blog on the importance of nutrient balance here but with nutrients, you don’t often need a whole head of broccoli to get the benefits. You need variety and not huge quantities. 

Plus, with helpful books on the market like one of our favourites: Miguel Barcley’s Vegan One Pound Meals: Delicious Budget-Friendly Plant-Based Recipes All for £1 Per Person, you can feed a family for a fiver (or your flatmates)!

Barcley’s recipes are easy to follow. He doesn’t use fancy ingredients you have to hunt for, but many recipes often rely on the concept of you having leftover veggies and some pantry basics but it’ll be easy to build up your ingredients’ collection and cook versatile and delicious meals in no time. 

But a simple rule as we talked about in one of our vegan blogs is to combine a pulse plus a grain for a complete protein – so add some nut butter to your porridge oats and combine beans and rice – and pile on the fruits and veggies you love. Vegan cooking can be simple and easy and yummy. 

If you have a sweet tooth, we have some of our favourite vegan dessert recipes here, including some to-die-for vegan chocolate and salted caramel tarts and some vegan lemon drizzle cake.


Will I still be able to go out to eat if I go vegan?

Most restaurants keeping up with the times have at least one to two vegan options on their menus these days (thankfully) and an additional few vegetarian options. 

Almost every city and even some small towns have completely vegan cafes and restaurants, so going vegan is easier than ever. Veganism became more mainstream in the 2010s and those who were vegan prior to that did find it difficult to have anything other than chips in restaurants, assuming those weren’t fried in lard. 

The Vegan Society and Peta even provide tips on how to eat out in the UK at chain restaurants and many local establishments have some options, too. 

Interestingly, Caffè Nero was the first UK coffee chain to launch a vegan cheese toastie and almost everyone has heard of Greggs’ famous (and often sold out) vegan sausage rolls, a favourite of vegans and non-vegans alike. Plus, this January 2022 McDonald’s has even launched its McPlant burger made from Beyond Meat®. 

Further, there are numerous social media pages and websites dedicated to this very topic too, which makes dining out even easier like this one

Get Veganuary going: easy stuffed tacos recipe that will even impress dinner-party guests

Get Veganuary going: easy stuffed tacos recipe that will even impress dinner-party guests

Here’s our marketing manager, Emma’s stuffed tacos recipe. Whenever she makes it for her family and dinner guests, people always ask for the recipe so it’s a family fave of hers.

It’s also the perfect feast recipe for two (or one with leftovers) and can be scaled up as needed.

Vegan stuffed tacos with guacamole and salsa

Guacamole (for 2)

Prepare and combine

  • 2 small/1 large ripe avocado (mashed)
  • 1 tomato (diced)
  • ¼ onion (diced small)
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • A handful of coriander (finely chopped)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

 Squeeze the lime into the bowl before adding the other ingredients to stop the avocado discolouring. To prepare your avocado, you may already know the safest way to chop: with the skin on, chop in half around the stone, remove the stone and scoop out the fruit with a tablespoon, mash with a fork or use a potato masher.

Salsa (for 2)

Prepare and mix together

  • 3 tomatoes (diced)
  • 1 small onion (diced small)
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • A handful of coriander (finely chopped)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Black bean salad (for 2)

Prepare and mix together

  • ½ tin of black beans (drained)
  • ½ tin of sweetcorn (drained)
  • A handful of coriander (finely chopped)
  • Juice from ½ lemon
  • Optional spoon of chilli powder or smoked paprika and/or minced garlic clove
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Taco fillings

Ingredients and method

  1. Quick fry chopped (lengthways) onion and peppers
  2. Mix ½ cup passata with teaspoons of cumin, dark sugar, smoked paprika, onion powder, then add a splash of balsamic or apple cider vinegar and lime zest or lime juice, and 1-2 minced garlic cloves
  3. Add vegan Vivera mince at the end to heat before serving. If you add the vegan mince too soon, it will either crisp too much or go soggy if left. Add some coriander to the mince or garnish the tacos with it.

Buy vegan-friendly soft or crunchy shells and heat them according to the package directions. Bring the taco shells, the guacamole, the salsa, the black bean salad, and the taco filling to the table in bowls and serve family-style. Let everyone assemble their tacos as they like and serve the black bean salad to the side. This recipe is a delicious crowd-pleaser.

The takeaways

FoodBev notes that one acre of farmland can produce 250 pounds of beef or, for example, it can produce 50,000 pounds of carrots or 53,000 pounds of potatoes. It’s no secret that we can feed more people more sustainability and cheaply with more people adopting fully or partial plant-based lifestyles. 

With people more concerned about the environment, sustainability, and animal welfare than ever before, veganism and vegetarianism are here to stay and it wouldn’t surprise me if higher percentages of the population choose to adopt veganism for good. 

Are you planning to participate in Veganuary and/or go for things like “Meatless Monday” or eat more plant-based meals now or in future? We would be delighted to hear your thoughts on our social media pages.

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