We’ve all been there: overeating and drinking one too many champagnes glasses during the festive season, only to try to adopt a healthier diet in the New Year. If you can relate—look no further. It’s the start of a new year which means the month of Veganuary is here. If you’re not familiar with the concept, here is a brief explanation: the campaign started back in 2014 as a way of encouraging people all over the world to try vegan diet in January, hence the term Veganuary. Many have seen this campaign as a great challenge and opportunity to explore veganism and see if this diet is something to stick to all year round.
To celebrate Veganuary in our office this year, we reached out to Denise Smart to get the scoop on her favourite restaurants and recipes to enjoy this Veganuary.
Who is Denise Smart?
Denise Smart a food stylist and recipe writer that has been working in the industry for over 20 years. Denise is a published author of over 8 cookbooks and is working for many large publishing houses and covering subjects from Children’s cooking, vegetarian and vegan cuisine, desserts, quick cooking, mug food and spiralising. As well as books, Denise also writes recipes for many food brands and supermarkets. Although herself, not a vegan, she enjoys regularly developing new recipes, cooking and eating vegan food.
What are your best tips to give to someone who wants to do Veganuary?
For those wishing to follow a vegan diet, it is important to make sure you still have a balanced diet and not to rely too much on many processed plant-based foods and ready meals.
Vegan cooking doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming, just stock up on a few store cupboard ingredients, fresh vegetables, fruit and herbs and spices.
What are your favourite vegan ingredients to use while cooking?
My favourite cupboard ingredients are dried lentils, grains such as spelt and freekeh, canned beans such as butter and kidney, chopped tomatoes, spice mixes such as fajita, Jerk, Indian, Thai and Moroccan. Tofu is an excellent source of protein and is great for absorbing flavours.
Another of my favourite ingredients is nutritional yeast extract, which is a great source of B12—sprinkle over pasta for an added cheesy taste or add into sauces.
Where do you buy your food?
I like to buy my vegetables from green grocers, but the supermarkets also stock a great variety, try different varieties of cabbages, mushrooms and squashes.
What’s your favourite Vegan restaurant?
My favourite restaurants for vegan food are Indian as I love spice, but also Wagamama’s has a great choice of vegan food. Mildreds in London is also excellent and does fantastic vegan and vegetarian food.
Explore our vegan-friendly makeup range - click here to find out more.