As soon as I made the decision to go vegan, after uni yesterday, I headed into town to do some shopping. My main aim was to find nutritional yeast and coconut cream, for a recipe I’d already decided to make that evening: Saskia Gregson-Williams’ creamy one-pot pasta.
I received her recipe book ‘Naturally Sassy’ for Christmas, along with a selection of useful vegan supplies, which was another great source of motivation when I had a flick through and saw how delicious and simple most of the recipes are. The book is totally vegan, as whenever she suggests using honey, it gives agave or maple syrup as an alternative, and also concentrates on reducing refined sugar intake. Both myself and my partner want to do this for our general health and wellbeing.
I succeeded in finding nutritional yeast at a local health food shop called ‘Seasons’ and, whilst I was there, also located agave syrup and egg-free chilli mayo:
I started chatting to the cashier and she recommended getting almond milk instead of soya, as you cannot guarantee that even organic soya milk doesn’t damage the rainforest.
I then headed to Sainsbury’s as usual, to pick up everything else. Whilst looking at all the soups and snacks aisle, I was struck by how many I could no longer eat. However, this did not bother me, as I enjoy the vegan-friendly ones just as much, and this will be a healthy exercise in not being lazy and reaching for the nearest ready-made pasta pot! As it was, I managed a pretty decent haul:
Some notable things I picked up were:
- ‘Good Stuff’ gelatine-free sweets, as a treat (the freefrom section will be my chum for life, as this is where more vegan sauces, soups and milk-style chocolate also reside)
- Sainsbury’s own dark chocolate mint thins, as another treat 😉
- Almond milk, to replace soya
- Coconut cream, and various fresh vegetables, for the recipe
When I got home, I was starving so had some caramelised onion humous with red pepper and carrot (a favourite snack of mine for ages). I still had some leftover non-vegan snacks lying around, which I gave to my two housemates 🙂
The pasta recipe was so simple, quick and tasted great! I made four portions so I had some to reheat today, saving time for me to study. The nutritional yeast added a lovely subtle cheese flavour which went well with the mushrooms and asparagus. The recipe suggested making Brazil nut parmesan to sprinkle over the top, but I left this out for now, to try at a later date (I’m confident that it will smell less like “essence of puke” than its dairy counterpart).
As a small snack before bed, I had a combination of oats and bran flakes with almond milk and a bit of agave syrup. This was try them out for the first time, and I can honestly say that it was the nicest bowl of cereal I can remember!
A very successful first day, although later on I had a bad dream where I went to a restaurant with my friends and I accidentally ate all the butter! 😀