Prepping A Less-Meaty 2020

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Meera Sodha: ‘Vegan food is exciting, easy and delicious.’ Photograph David Loftus

Thanks to Meera Sodha and the Guardian for this prep sheet for meeting our goals of reducing meat consumption in the new year:

Veganuary recipes: Meera Sodha’s daily meal plan

The Guardian’s vegan columnist has plant-based tips for breakfast, lunch and dinner, plus snacks to stop you falling off the ‘vagon’

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Meera Sodha’s mixed vegetable Thai green curry. Photograph: Louise Hagger/The Guardian. Food styling: Emily Kydd. Prop styling: Jennifer Kay.

When I first started my vegan column, I gave myself a month before I’d have to hand in my notice. As an omnivore (admittedly one that ate little meat but a lot of dairy and eggs), I just couldn’t imagine writing recipes week after week with such a strict set of rules, let alone enjoy eating plant-based food on a regular basis. But then, something wonderful happened.

Taking meat, fish, dairy or eggs out of cooking became a catalyst for creativity, forcing me, and many other chefs and food writers, to think in new and interesting ways about how to extract the most flavour and pleasure from the same old characters in the vegetable drawer.

I discovered that the Asian larder, replete with its fermented and pickled ingredients such as kimchi and miso, could add flavour to meals in an instant. I reacquainted myself with the thrill of pulses and turning dry beans into nourishing meals, and I realised that cakes can be just as rich and fluffy and velvety without dairy and eggs.

During the two and a half years that I’ve been writing the column, the innovation in plant-based food in recipe-writing, restaurant menus and even ready meals has been of an unprecedented breadth and scale. Vegan food is an exciting, easier and more delicious way to eat than ever.

I am doing Veganuary this year in the main because I want to show you how enjoyable it can be. But also, because what we choose to put on our plates undeniably impacts the world around us. You, however, might be doing it because you feel bloated after the annual Christmas meat-fest or because it’s cheaper than eating meat, for reasons of animal welfare or just because Natalie Portman does it.

For whatever reason, I’m here to help you through the next weeks with my meal plans…

Read the whole column here.

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