On Tuesday 20th April 2021, we decided to challenge ourselves to eat only vegan food for seven days. How did we get on? Read more…
For some time now we’ve both been moaning about our diet but haven’t done anything about it. We’ve become conscious that if Ollie is going to eat healthily then we need to do the same. In the spirit of ‘go big or go home’, we decided to go head first into being vegan. No dairy and no meat for a whole seven days!
This wasn’t something we went into without any planning. Before committing to the challenge we did a bit of research on vegan recipes. The BBC Good Food website was a fantastic resource and helped us to narrow things down to breakfast, lunch and dinner recipes that we would both like.
Take a look at what we ate below. We really enjoyed experimenting with the breakfasts; the overnight oats were really filling so would be great before a long day to keep you fuller for longer. For lunches, we ate soup for two days running and ate wraps for most of the rest of the time! They were so quick and easy to make and a great way to get our 5 portions of veg a day in one hit.
As for dinner, we thought we’d really struggle for choice but we became big fans of a veggie stir fry.
Apple Pancakes – 3/4 cup of self raising flour, 3/4 cup of soya milk (almond / oat / other plant based milk also fine), 1/2 tsp of bicarbonate of soda, 1 apple (diced small). Mix dry ingredients first then add the milk slowly whilst stirring. Spoon the mixture into a medium heat frying pan with a little oil. As pancakes start to bubble, add the cooked apple to each one. Flip when one side is nicely browned.
Overnight Oats – 1 cup of rolled oats, 1/2 cup of soya milk (almond / oat / other plant based milk also fine), 1/2 cup of chopped mixed fruit & nuts. Mix everything together in a glass / bowl and leave in the fridge overnight.
Fruit Smoothie – 2 cups of mixed berried (we used frozen berries, defrosted before use), 1 mashed banana, 3/4 cup of soya milk (almond / oat / other plant based milk also fine). Blend in a food processor and add more milk if you want a thinner texture.
Fruit Salad – chopped kiwi, galia melon, water melon, apple and banana chopped up in a bowl!
Salad Wraps – mixed salad (spring onion, lettuce, rocket, grated carrot, tomato, red pepper) chopped up and added to a tortilla wrap. With a side of chopped beetroot and Hellmans Vegan Mayonnaise.
Leek & Potato Soup – Two leeks, a few potatoes and 500ml of vegetable stock. Salt and pepper to taste. Pan fry the leeks to soften them and boil the chopped potatoes in another pan. Add the veg and stock to a blender and whizz until smooth. Add to a saucepan and reheat when you’re ready to eat.
Flatbreads – instead of bread, we made flatbread to go with our soup. 2 cups of plain flour, 1/2 tsp baking powder, pinch of salt; mix these ingredients together then gradually add 150ml of lukewarm water. Mix into a dough and knead for about 5 mins until its less sticky. Leave covered for 15 mins then cut into 8 patties. Roll them out and add to a medium heat frying pan with a little bit of oil. The flatbread should puff up and when its a golden colour on one side, flip to cook the other side.
Vegetable Stir Fry – Chopped courgette, leek, red onion, carrot, clove of garlic, tomato, sugar snap peas all lightly pan fried. Add Chow Mein sauce (vegan friendly version) and serve with boiled rice.
Potato Rosti – Grate 2 potatoes and squeeze the water out of them through a tea towel. Add salt and pepper then shape into round patties. Pan-fry them for about 5-7 mins on each side on a medium heat until they’re a golden brown and cooked through. Serve with lightly fried mushrooms and tomatoes.
Chips & Salsa – Take a can of chopped tomatoes and drain the excess juice. Put into a bowl and add 1/2 a chopped red onion and chopped clove of garlic. Leave to stand for 10mins and serve with either tortilla chips or oven chips!
SNACKS & DRINKS
We found a couple of vegan snacks that were tasty but this led to a bit of a snack-fest which we were trying to avoid. This is our downfall in trying to eat healthy anyway! We used soya milk in our tea and coffee which didn’t taste much different to our usual milk. Plus we drank a lot more water which was good.
Now that our challenge is over, we both agree that we can continue with a lot of these good habits. It’s definitely taught us how easy it is to eat more fruit and veg, and to snack less. We reckon that we can easily have a vegan diet for at least 50-70% of the week which will have huge health benefits for us. We both lost a bit of weight on this challenge too. Is this challenge something you would try? Let us know what you think!