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VEGANUARY CHALLENGE WEEK TWO

Half way through the Veganuary challenge and deputy editor, Sophie, has a confession to make...

VEGANUARY CHALLENGE WEEK TWO

This week I faced what many vegans fear the most; eating out. Worst still, eating out with meat eaters. Ardent meat eaters. I had known this particular celebratory family gathering would occur smack bang in the midst of the challenge, and despite my best efforts to convince the birthday girl that celebrating her birthday a month late was perfectly acceptable, I was resigned to the fact that I would inevitably be forced to sit amongst a gaggle of judgemental faces and the dreaded side of chips and salad. To my surprise, the evening came and went with little fuss. Inspired by Veganuary’s tips, I had made a polite phone call in advance to the restaurant, prompted by the waitress to give a gentle reminder of what vegans can and cannot eat and told there would be not one, but two, choices for me on the night. Success!

With each new day, I seem to find a new vegan blog or cookbook that inspires me. Social media in particular is an amazing source of inspiration. A quick search of the hashtag #veganrecipes on Instagram results in 262,369 posts, so go wild! This week, an email from Gran Luchito caught my eye and led me to their creative collection of vegan recipes. I’ve been adding their smokey chipotle paste to everything from sweet potato mash to marinating cauliflower ‘steaks’ overnight. The chipotle ketchup from the range is also vegan and oh-so good in a veggie burger bun.

*CONFESSION ALERT*

I ate a pizza. Like a proper, cheesy, really, really good sourdough pizza. I know, I know. But it was planned and in research for my wedding. As it happens we booked the caterer, so it was totally worth it. There may also have been a salted caramel chocolate mousse. But we won’t got there...

Firmly back on the bandwagon the next day and the new range of vegan pots launched in Pret stores kept me going when stranded at Liverpool Street Station waiting on a delayed train. A Spiced Corn & Quinoa pot and Asian Greens Veggie Pot (avocado, peas, edamame, coriander and seeds) were particular highlights. I even got the meat-eating buddy to try the new cauliflower and chickpea dahl and and she practically licked the bowl clean. Plus, you can now get all coffees with coconut milk as a dairy-free alternative – a revelation with a flat white.

VEGANUARY HIGHLIGHTS – WEEK TWO

Crosta & Mollica tomato pizza bases are vegan and made homemade pizza night a breeze. I topped mine with artichokes, black olives, corn and grilled peppers. Yes, I missed the cheese. No, I didn’t complain about it. See? I’m getting better.

Dried goldenberries are my new desk snack. They’re even better coated in raw chocolate.

Arbonne Daily Power Packs for women are keeping me feeling spritely and topping up my B12 levels, which is difficult to consume from unfortified plant sources.

The Tofoo Co smoked tofu is a game changer. It’s seriously good fried until crispy in sesame oil and added to satay noodles and spiralized veggies.

Another week down! If you're joining in the challenge or want to follow my journey, follow along on social media. You can find me at @rae_soph on Twitter and Instagram.

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