What is Veganuary?

It’s not too late to join in this year’s Veganuary challenge to go vegan for January! If you haven’t got the time to cook, Amy Leung suggests some plant-based options to grab on the go!

Image credits: Pixabay

Whatever new year’s goals you have, completing Veganuary is one to add to the list! Veganuary is an annual challenge to go vegan for the whole month of January. Nowadays it’s getting easier and easier to make the switch to plant-based diets because vegetarianism and veganism is finally going mainstream! 

There are lots of vegan recipes in our WILD archives but if you’re low on time, there are plenty of restaurants and food chains to help you out for Veganuary and beyond. 

Pub Classics:

JD Wetherspoons: A staple of the student night out, a weekly Spoons keeps the study stress away! Alongside the reliable bowl of chips, Wetherspoons has done well to develop a range of vegan options with plant-based Beyond burgers, quorn nuggets, and cauliflower and spinach curry as well as other sides.

Greene King: Another classic pub chain, branches that serve the flame grilled menu offer plant based options such as vegan fish and chips, Mexican bean burgers, and cherry Bakewell tarts and other desserts. Greene King pubs incorporate other pub companies and restaurants so check out your local branch to see what they specialise in!

Restaurants:

Wagamama’s: Wagamama’s have already made a significant commitment to vegetarianism/ veganism with 50% of their menu being plant based. As well as their signature vegan katsu (‘vegatsu’), no duck donburi, and a selection of vegan ramens, Wagamama’s have released a special twist on fish and chips, tempura f-ish and ang bang yaki imo, just for Veganuary!

Wasabi: Serving sushi and bentos, Wasabi has introduced a new vegan salmon alternative known as ‘xalmon’ which mimics the taste and texture of the real thing in sushi! If sushi rolls aren’t your thing and you want something to warm you up, then Wasabi also serves vegan ‘chi’king’ katsu in a classic curry sauce.

Nando’s: While Nando’s are famous for their chicken, it’s nice to know that they have plant based options too! Their pea protein ‘Great Imitator’ comes with the iconic peri-peri flavour and can be enjoyed in burgers or wraps. A special shout out to the award winning Nando’s Vegan PERinaise which won Best Vegan Mayo in the 2020 PETA Food Awards.

Image credits: Lefteris Kallergis

On the Go:

Greggs: A reliable staple, Greggs has your back through it all and now can offer you a wonderful vegan selection too! The ultimate plant-based treat has to be the vegan sausage roll encased in beautifully golden puff pastry. From vegan ham and cheese alternative (known as CheeZe) baguettes to sausage, bean and cheeZe melts, Greggs has it all. If you’ve got a sweet tooth, it’s nice to know that the original glazed ring donuts are also vegan!

Leon: Leon prides themselves on tasty natural fast food and value seasonal ingredients grown locally. It’s no surprise that they do not disappoint with their vegan options! Their vegan LOVe burger also comes as a gluten free option and they serve vegan sausage muffins for the early risers. The porridge with activated almond milk means their almonds have been soaked to encourage germination, increasing nutrient absorption when eaten. Whether you need breakfast, lunch, or dinner, there’s always something to fill you up.

McDonald’s: A recent addition, McDonald’s have been working hard on their McPlant burger developed with Beyond Meat that comes with a vegan patty and vegan melty cheese for the authentic experience! If you’re not in the mood for burgers, McDonald’s also offers veggie dippers with red pepper and tomatoes. And of course their UK fries are happily vegan!

Subway: Subway gives you the ultimate choice of fillings and the meatless version of the meatball marinara is a fan favourite. Their reworked garlic mayonnaise is also vegan and goes wonderfully with their plant patties if you’re in the mood for some veggies.

Burger King: Not to be left behind, Burger King also has vegan options with the Plant Based Whopper and Vegan Royale with vegan mayonnaise, alternatives to the beef Whopper and chicken Royale Sandwich. Aside from classic burgers, Burger King also offers vegan nuggets, if you can bear to share. 

Image credits: Ella Olsson

There are so many options out there for making the most of Veganuary, even when you’re not in a cooking mood! However if a whole month of going vegan seems too much, even trying out a plant-based diet for a single day is a good start. While it’s great to make the switch, if you have a medical condition please be aware of the effect of a lifestyle change and research about any possible health impacts. 

This is by no means an exhaustive list, more of a springboard of where you can sample vegan dishes and alternatives. Check out your local cafes and restaurants for any plant-based options and share with your friends. If you rely on coffee to get you up in the morning, it could be as simple as just asking for non-dairy milk in your drink at your favourite café! With more plant-based products on offer than ever before, you’re spoilt for choice.

So if you’re ready to sample something new, why not try out Veganuary and join over half a million others going vegan for the month (and beyond)!

Image credits: Tangerine Newt

About the Author: Amy Leung is WILD’s Food & Drink Editor and a second-year geography student at Oxford. She is interested in sustainable agriculture, plant-based diets, and being more eco-friendly at university!

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