As part of Baker Street’s Veganuary inspiration, we asked Brighton-based vegan food blogger @HazelVeganEats to take over our Instagram channel during January to answer your vegan questions throughout the month.
We also have some vegan top tips here at Baker Street, including simple vegan meal ideas the whole family will love as well as other helpful hints to help you easily try out a vegan diet.
You can head over to Instagram to see the latest videos from Hazel on our Stories, or take a look at what she said below in our dedicated Baker Street Vegan Q&A with @HazelVeganEats.
Click the question below to find out the answer
- What’s your favourite vegan dessert?
- How do you get non-vegans to try vegan food?
- What’s the best vegan cheese?
- What’s your favourite chicken alternative?
- What’s your favourite vegan snack that you can pick up on the go?
- What’s your favourite dinner to cook at home?
- Do you have any tips for someone wanting to ease in and make vegan swaps?
- What is a quick & easy vegan lunch?
- Is vegan food expensive?
- Do vegans get enough protein in their diets?
YOUR VEGAN QUESTIONS ANSWERED
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE VEGAN DESSERT?
A great vegan question for those who are looking for sweet options as well as savoury. “I’ve got a huge sweet tooth,” Hazel says. “If I had to pick a favourite, it would probably be vegan brownies and vegan cookies – both things I’m really good at making!”
She explains that you could make an easy vegan dessert out of these things by layering a vegan brownie on top of a vegan cookie in a bowl or glass, and then serve some vegan ice cream on top. We think that sounds delicious!
“There’s loads of vegan ice creams as well that can go with this,” Hazel adds. “Ben & Jerry’s do a few, and the supermarket own-brand versions are good as well.”
HOW DO YOU GET NON-VEGANS TO TRY VEGAN FOOD?
“To be honest, I don’t force anyone to eat vegan food,” says Hazel. “What I like to do – especially with my group of friends – is that we like to go out for dinners and try different things, and what I try and do is take them to a vegan restaurant which they might not have been to previously. I would say the response is always amazing.”
She explains that she’s lucky her friends are open minded about trying vegan food, but she’s mindful of it being a choice.
“In a perfect world we’d all be vegan but that isn’t realistic. So I think it’s showcasing or sharing food that you love and just doing that with your friends, and not being too hung up if they don’t want to be vegan afterwards! As long as you’re doing what you want to do, that’s the main thing.”
VEGAN TOP TIP
WHAT’S THE BEST VEGAN CHEESE?
This vegan question was the most-asked by our Baker Street Instagram followers. “I’ll be completely honest – when I first went vegan, cheese was the first thing I missed the most,” Hazel exclaims. “You really have to break up with cheese – it’s not an exaggeration!”
She says that since she became vegan a couple of years ago, Hazel has found that vegan cheeses have improved over time. “A really good day-to-day option is Smoked Applewood just because it melts really well, it tastes great and it’s really similar to the dairy version,” she explains. “It’s a good one to have in the fridge and it melts really well on toasties.”
Hazel adds that vegan cheddar cheeses are also great for adding into pasta bakes and toasties, and there’s now a huge selection of artisan cheeses available in supermarkets.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE CHICKEN ALTERNATIVE?
Hazel says that it depends on what sort of style of chicken alternative you’re looking to go for. “If you’re looking for a KFC-style chicken alternative then Linda McCartney’s do a southern fried chicken bucket – we had that recently and had it in the air fryer and that was amazing.”
She adds that the supermarkets are creating lots of meat alternatives like burgers and sausages which are great, and there are plenty of brands that are also making some delicious plant-based products too. “I don’t think you could go into any supermarket now and struggle to find a meat alternative,” Hazel says.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE VEGAN SNACK THAT YOU CAN PICK UP ON THE GO?
“I think supermarkets are amazing now – there are so many alternatives,” Hazel explains. “Something that’s like quick and easy for on the go are Nakd Bars – I really like those. I really like nuts as well.”
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE DINNER TO COOK AT HOME?
Hazel has shared some of her favourite vegan dinner recipes, and we love this idea that she’s recently made using our Baker Street Hot Dog Rolls. “If you’ve got friends over and you want a relaxed, chilled dinner but also quite fun, loaded hot dogs is a really fun one,” she explains.
If you’re in need of some vegan loaded hot dog inspiration, check out Hazel’s Instagram post to see how she created hers.
VEGAN TOP TIP
If you’re in need of some vegan dinnertime ideas, check out these Vegan Spicy Cauliflower Satay Rolls to spice up your meal times, or how about these Vegan Bhaji Burgers with Mango Chutney & Mint Yoghurt for an Indian twist on your next burger night.
DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS FOR SOMEONE WANTING TO EASE IN AND MAKE VEGAN SWAPS?
“The biggest advice I give to anyone going vegan is make the exact same meals that you make,” Hazel explains. “So if you like making things like lasagne, sausage and mash, and mac and cheese, continue making those just with the swaps.”
She’s suggested a couple of easy vegan swaps – take a look:
- Use vegan butter, and vegan or coconut cream
- Swap out meat sausages for a vegan alternative
“I would say I eat 80% of the exact same meals that I used to prior to being vegan – I’ve just veganised them!” she says.
We’ve also included some suggestions for swaps on the image to the right if you need some more ideas.
VEGAN TOP TIP
Hazel says that one of the easiest things you can do to swap is go for meals and cuisines that are naturally quite vegan and plant-basd such as curries, soups and Thai food.
WHAT IS A QUICK & EASY VEGAN LUNCH?
“One of the easiest things that I like to do and, actually, with using the Baker Street Rye Bread, is stuff on toast,” Hazel says. “It’s really simple and you can mix and match it with anything that you fancy, but things that I like to have are like smashed avocado on toast, garlic mushrooms, houmous with grilled asparagus, maybe tomato and pesto. So there are endless possibilities.”
She explains that these options are great because you don’t have to think about them too much. “If you find Veganuary a little bit daunting, that can be something really quick and easy that you can just have ready in the cupboard.”
Hazel also opts for soup as a vegan lunch option and explains that by making a big batch for the start of the week is an easy way to prepare it for the week ahead. “Maybe picking seasonal veg or whatever I fancy – you could have carrot and corriander, butternut squash, tomato and red peppers, or spiced lentil,” she says. “But they’re really filling, nutritious, easy and tasty.”
One of her top tips with this is that you can freeze portions so that you don’t have to panic about what you’re going to have for lunch some days.
VEGAN TOP TIP
We’ve created a handy video above to show you some additional Baker Street Seeded Rye Bread toppers, including both sweet and savoury options. If you also head to our Seeded Rye Bread page, you’ll find more recipe ideas and at the bottom of the page, we’ve included some simple meal ideas and tips such as a goat’s cheese & beetroot open sandwich idea.
Is Vegan Food Expensive?
Hazel says one of the commen myths around enjoying a vegan diet is that it can be expensive, however, she explains why it isn’t. “The price of items such as meat, cheese and eggs is much more expensive. If you’re focusing on whole foods and fresh fruit and vegetables then you can make it quite cheap. Our weekly food shop isn’t that much at all.”
One of the types of vegan food where she thinks are a bit more expensive are processed foods, but Hazel says having these as a treat rather than eating them every single day can help keep the cost of a vegan diet down.
Do vegans get enough protein in their diets?
“That’s just ridiculous,” exclaims Hazel. “You’ve got to try and have a balanced diet, but that’s the same whether you’re vegan or not.” She says that some great protein sources for vegans that can be similar in style to meat in texture:
- Tempeh: similar to tofu, is a soy-based product made from fermented soybeans
- Seitan: made from wheat gluten, it’s a plant-based meat substitute
- Tofu: it is condensed soy milk, also bean curd, that you will often find in blocks
“There’s protein in lots of other foods such as nuts and green-leaf vegetables,” Hazel says, and adds that so long as you have a balanced diet, that’s the main thing when trying a vegan diet.