By Rosie Joyce

In 2019, over 250,000 people participated in Veganuary, ditching the animal products for a whole month and almost half pledged to stay vegan after January had drawn to a close. Only time will tell what 2020 holds, but here are my hot tips for keeping the rest of the year meat-free, or at least trying to…

Vegan food at Brighton restaurants

With almost all of the major fast food outlets now offering vegan alternatives, people have really been spoilt for choice. But with Brighton often being known as Britain’s vegan capital, why not support local and sample the city’s own vegan and vegetarian restaurants? Afterall, every craving can be satisfied within our exciting and varied food scene.

Plant based roast: The Roundhill Pub

The award winning Roundhill pub is famously known as the best spot to grab yourself a plant based roast dinner in Brighton. From cauliflower cheese to Yorkshire puddings, and minted lamb to mustard, maple and treacle gammon, no animals were harmed in the creation of these roasts.

Junk food: Hope & Ruin

The self-proclaimed home of “vegan doners, hot dogs and loaded fries” … need I say more? Oh yeah, their fried pickles and chicken poppers also slap. All within a funky bar with great live music and vibes. Who said vegans only eat lettuce?

Brunch: The Longhouse Cafe

Brunch is a meal I take very seriously, and it would seem The Longhouse Café do too. Their plant powered menu is diverse and delicious, and also very photogenic. Their flavoursome scrambled tofu and glazed tempeh maple bacon really hit the spot and can cure any hangover.

Supermarket alternatives

Whilst vegan meals are healthiest and cheapest when packed full of whole foods such as vegetables and pulses, there’s going to be times when you fancy your meat-packed favourites and the supermarket chains are monopolising on this now more than ever.

Bacon

‘THIS is not bacon’ – Inarguably the best alternative to the nation’s favourite breakfast food. Smoky and crispy, chewy and salty, it hits all the right spots – smack it in baguette with a generous squirt of ketchup or HP (whichever your poison may be) and job’s a good un. You can find it in Holland and Barrett and Waitrose.

Sausages

Sainsbury’s shroomdogs – The sausages that have converted many a carnivorous family member. Made from mushrooms, they replicate the real thing very well but without the pig part. Pop them in that baguette with the bacon, turn them into a casserole, toad in the hole, or the classic sausage chips and beans dinner.

Cheeses

Now, this is a contentious subject in the vegan world. No one can agree which alternative is best and not being able to find the right one has led many to turn back to the dark side. However, I would suggest trying a variety and seeing what works for you. All of the supermarket chains offer a range of vegan cheeses.  There are also plenty of independent businesses trying their hand at cashew and coconut based cheezes, so pop into Hisbe or Infinity Foods to browse their offering.

Veggie cookbooks

Now, whilst I’m sure we’d all love to be cooked for every day and live off posh artisan cheese, we students have to shop and cook frugally most of the time. However, owning a good cookbook makes this much more rewarding, exciting and delicious.

The highest-selling vegan cookery book ever – BOSH!: Simple recipes. Unbelievable results. All plants. (£8 on Amazon)

And for when the student loan can’t drop soon enough – Vegan One Pound Meals (down to £10 on Amazon)

Get involved: Sussex VegSoc

If you find yourself feeling isolated by your new lifestyle, the university’s very own vegetarian and vegan society can help you out. I spoke to Phee Watson, a member of Sussex VegSoc, to find out what they offer for veggie newbies.

“Everyone is super friendly and it’s a really helpful resource. Anybody, vegan or not, is welcome to join the society and our group chat too. We welcome everybody interested in veganism as long as they’re polite, but we really encourage questions as that’s how progress is made!”

Phee went on to point out the value of having a community around you, “It’s wonderful. Whether you have questions or need recommendations, or need help dealing with rude friends or family or are upset over cruelty cases. It’s great to have a group of people with the same understanding!”

So, if you’re interested in their potlucks, documentary viewings, picnics, restaurant outings, activism workshops and more, be sure to get in contact with the society. You can find them and their upcoming events on Facebook @sussexvegsoc!

Following these hot tips will make sure you stay on track with your vegan journey, but even incorporating a few of them into your daily omnivorous life will make for a healthier and more ethical lifestyle! You may slip up and stray but be kind to yourself! Even participating in Meat Free Monday could make a huge difference to our planet – after all, if 10 million people took up the challenge, then it would save CO2 emissions, equivalent to more than 2,438 cars taking a road trip around the world. 

Photo Caption: Brunch at the Longhouse Café: homemade baked beans, garlic portobello mushrooms, scrambled tofu, grilled tomatoes and avocado on toast

Photo Credit: Rosie Joyce @porkbellyandtofu

 

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