Veganuary tips for beginners

With the beginning of the New Year comes the usual examination of our habits and lifestyles, and what we would like to change or improve for the coming year. Weight loss, exercising more, making sure we do the dishes after every meal… We all try different resolutions every year, but few can stick. One trend that is managing to stick for a lot of people right now is turning vegan, by choosing to participate in ‘Veganuary’ – but what is Veganuary, and how can you join in too?

We’ve got the definitive guide to how to do Veganuary this year, so you can use any of our delicious recipe ideas to craft your meal plans, or even find some late Christmas gifts for the vegans or trial vegans in your life. Read on to find out how you can swap out meat and dairy this January to upgrade your lifestyle and make some healthy lifestyle changes that help not only you but our planet too! And if you’re looking for a special way to say happy birthday to your favourite vegan, check out our vegan birthday cards

What is Veganuary?

In 2021, more than half a million people signed up to the UK-based Veganuary campaign, a 31 day trial of vegan cooking, excluding all animal-based products from their diet for the duration of January. The non-profit organisation of the same name, Veganuary, have made it their mission to encourage people worldwide to try going vegan for the month of January and beyond, in an effort to protect the environment, prevent animal suffering and improve the health of millions of people.  

The not for profit also extends their work to corporate outreach, in an effort to encourage brands, restaurants and food-based companies to promote more vegan options and create vegan options on their menus or within their stock. This is to encourage more people to participate in Veganuary, as limited vegan options are often cited as one of the main reasons people don’t want to commit to veganism in the long run. 

So. how to do Veganuary, you’re probably wondering? Well, if you’re thinking of participating in Veganuary this year, you can sign up to participate – but in the meantime, you can take a look at some of our tasty beginner vegan recipes to inspire you! 

Vegan recipes for beginners

Trying to think of some vegan food ideas that are both tasty and don’t include meat or dairy? Look no further, friend, because you’ve stumbled across some amazing beginner recipes right here. Give some of these a try:

  1. If you’re not quite ready to jump completely into a purely vegetable and grains based diet, there are some amazing meat and dairy substitutes out there so you can still recreate some home favourites whilst knowing you are making a change. Why not try this Quorn Sausage and Bean Stew for a familiar and warming winter meal.
  2. Another great winter warmer is this Lentil bolognese, perfect either on wholewheat pasta or on top of a baked potato. This is also another recipe that is a close replacement to the meat original, which can make the transition from full-blown carnivore to herbivore a lot easier!
  3. Falafel burgers are a great replacement for beef burgers, not least because falafel has been perfected over many centuries in the middle east and eastern Europe, so this is a tried and tested great meat alternative!

Vegan food ideas

If this isn’t your first rodeo with cooking vegan, or you just love making things hard for yourself you might want some more exciting or advanced recipes to try your hand at. If you’ve already got cupboards stocked with lentils, pulses and coconut oil, you’re going to be all set to try some of these Veganuary tips. 

  1. Show off your cooking skills with this advanced vegan recipe, perfect for a dinner party or just a swanky weekend dinner: Risotto with ginger, shiitake mushroom, daikon and miso sauce. This one will require some really decent knife skills, and also a pretty well-stocked pantry, so this one is definitely not for the faint of vegan-heart!
  2. Chickpea pancakes with kale and fennel – it can take a while to fall in love with chickpeas as a beginner, but when the chickpea life chooses you, this is a great weeknight recipe, or even Saturday morning pancake alternative for the truly health-conscious.
  3. Spice things up on a weeknight with these amazing Vegan chipotle Portobello tacos, perfect for the whole family, and sneakily made in such a way that no one will be any the wiser that they’re actually completely vegan! 

Vegan gift ideas

If you’re not quite ready for the full commitment of Veganuary but you have a few friends who’re giving it a bash, why not give them some well-deserved encouragement by getting them one of these vegan gift ideas to show them you understand the veganuary meaning and stand behind them 100%!

  1. A vegan snack box – just because your loved one is going vegan doesn’t mean they can’t enjoy some tasty snacks! You could either make your own by finding snacks at a supermarket or vegan shop, or you could sign them up to a vegan snack box that gets delivered straight to their door.
  2. A vegan cooking class – if you’re loved one is new to vegan cooking and may be struggling to come up with some vegan food ideas, why not pay to send them on a vegan cooking course or class, where they can learn some amazing skills, great recipes, and they can treat you to a tasty home-cooked vegan meal! 
  3. Planter boxes – growing your produce can make veganism a lot cheaper, and much more of an interactive hobby. Getting some planter boxes that can either be placed in their garden or hungover their window ledge/balcony railing if they live in a flat can be a great way to encourage their activism and give them a new hobby.
  4. A three-course meal at a vegan restaurant – if you notice your friend is starting to wane in their enthusiasm for Veganuary and you want to give them a great boost, take them along to a dinner or lunch at a vegan restaurant, where they can taste all sorts of delicious animal product-free delights to reignite their passion for the cause.

Hopefully, you’re no longer wondering how to do Veganuary, and instead, you’re pulling together all sorts of vegan food ideas to share some Veganuary tips with your mates! And if you are not partaking in Veganuary but know some friends or family who are, then bring along a thortful ‘well done’ card to congratulate them. You can also add on some flowers or a luxury candle, or maybe a bottle of alcohol-free spirit to encourage them to try Dry January next time too! If you’re looking for more great recipes and lifestyle tips, check out the rest of the thortful blog for more inspiration and fun.