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January 18, 2019

Veganuary: what is it and should you try it?

Why you should give veganism a try this month

vegan

Unless you live under a rock, you’ll be aware that veganism is in the middle of a major renaissance. With vegan diets being endorsed by celebrities, supermarket chains releasing vegan ranges and restaurants launching vegan menus you’ll have inevitably come across this plant-based lifestyle.

vegan fine dining

The Ultimate Vegan Spread, by Chefs Hannah Milsom and Sophie Davies

CANAPÉS
Crispy Rosemary infused Aubergine Cubes with an Agave, Oregano and Lemon Dipping Sauce
Heritage Tomato and Basil Mini Bruschetta
Tempura Tofu Glazed with Asian Style Barbecue Sauce
Miniature Beetroot and Mint Quinoa Burgers in Homemade Sesame Buns
Creamy Cauliflower Soup Shots with Black Garlic Croutons and Toasted Pine Nuts
STARTER
Middle Eastern Sharer Platter: Homemade Spelt Flatbreads served with Baba ganoush, Rosemary and Garlic Marinated Olives, Chilli Hummus, Mini Chargrilled Courgettes, Tomato Mique and Minted Vegan Labneh
MAIN COURSE
Vegan Fish and Chips: Beer Battered Nori Encrusted Tofu, Triple Cooked Chunky Chips, Pea and Mint Puree and a Vegan Tartar Sauce
DESSERT
Chilli Chocolate Mousse served with Brandy Snap Curls and Raspberry Chocolate Soil 

What you might not be aware of, however, is just to what extent the movement is growing: this year, the number of people participating in the Veganuary campaign increased by 183%. Veganuary is a campaign that reaches out to curious vegetarians and omnivores and encourages them to try out veganism for one month. Those who participate can expect advice, recipes and restaurant guides to help them on their journey. But why try being vegan?

vegan dish

Perhaps the most evident reason behind veganism is animal welfare. A vegan diet excludes the the consumption of animal products, including meat but also eggs, dairy products and other animal-derived substances. This in turn seeks to eliminate all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals.

Another compelling reason to adopt a vegan diet is to improve your health. Not only is going vegan a great opportunity to learn more about nutrition and develop your cooking skills, vegan diets can reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes as they are particularly effective at reducing blood sugar levels. Plant-based foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, seeds and nuts are all full of vital minerals, vitamins and fibre.

vegan food

My Favourite Things, by Chef Bonita De Silva 

STARTER
Beetroot Risotto with Shaved Asparagus, Cashew Ricotta and Fennel with Lemon Vinaigrette
MAIN COURSE
Brown ‘Buttered’ Cauliflower Steak, Celeriac Purée, Romesco Sauce and Coriander Oil
DESSERT
Caramelized Peaches with Vanilla Coconut Cream and Flapjack Crumb

Finally, one of the main attractions of a vegan diet for many people, especially the younger generations, is its effect on the environment. The production of meat and animal products has a massive impact on the environment. One of the most effective things one can do to lower their carbon footprint is to become vegan. In fact, according to the Earth Day Network, just eating one less burger a week would be the equivalent of taking your car off the road for 320 miles. Furthermore, skipping meat and cheese one day a week with your family would be the equivalent of taking your car off the road for five weeks – or reducing everyone’s daily showers by 3 minutes!

veganuary

Italian Night In, by Chef Isabel Ometto

STARTER
Bruschetta I pesto, sun-dried tomatoes I almond feta
MAIN COURSE
Sweet potato gnocchi I vegan goats cheese I melted tomatoes I spinach I sage
DESSERT
Fudgy chocolate brownie I raspberry

Whether you’re just trying it for the first month of the year, you’re a full-time vegan or you just want to organise meat-free Mondays in your household, there are a clear variety of benefits to a vegan diet. Despite these advantages, there’s often a preconception that vegan food is dull or can’t achieve the richness or satisfaction that animal products can. This leads many to believe that vegan food can’t be translated into the fine dining industry. Our chefs at La Belle Assiette are challenging this assumption with their exquisite vegan menus.

vegan food

Vegan Vegan Vegan, by Chef Fabrice Lavacry

APPETIZER
Raw season’s vegetable, Citrus puree, Sourdough crumble & Hazelnut dressing,
STARTER
Roasted Pumpkin & Orange soup
STARTER
Fresh Black Truffle, Mushroom ragout, Neeps & Tatties, Tarragon oil
MAIN COURSE
Celeriac, Fennel, Chesnut, Fresh Black Truffle, Parsley Jus
DESSERT
Chocolate Mousse, Berry compote & Olive cookies

If you’re a vegan who struggles to eat out, an omnivore feeling open minded or just want to eat some delicious food, book one of our vegan chefs here.

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