As a vegan, my diet is so important to me. I made the switch for ethical reasons a few years ago and I have never looked back! I now have much more energy, my nails are stronger and I feel the healthiest I have ever been.

Lucy Watson

Lucy Watson

My meals are packed with a variety of vegetables, fruits, grains and nuts – which I love. Being vegan is not as restrictive as people think; I eat such a wide variety of foods including some of the UK’s favourite dishes made from plant-based recipes.

To give you a better idea, here is an example of my diet for a typical day to see if you’d give it a go!

Breakfast

I usually kick off my day with a delicious bowl of W.K. Kellogg cereal, chopping and changing the flavour dependent on my mood. The new cereal range is plant-based and consists of a lovely blend of grains with oats, barley, spelt and rye with no added sugar – so it is perfect for a quick breakfast fix. I love lots of colours on my plate, so I top it with fresh fruit and coconut pieces.

I often wash this down with a cup of green tea with added lemon juice and infused ginger to boost my immune system.

Lunch

At lunchtime, I tend to opt for vegetable-based soups, as it’s not too heavy. My favourite is butternut squash with some fresh black cracked pepper. If I am really hungry, I will also have some seeded wholemeal bread.

If I feel like treating myself to dessert, I love an avocado based chocolate mousse topped with ganache and caramel, or a cashew based vegan slice of ‘cheesecake’.

Afternoon Snack

Banana and dark chocolate roasted almond butter on toast has to be one of my go to afternoon snacks. That, or a slice of avocado on toast with a drizzle of sesame oil and topped with pumpkin seeds.

Dinner

I don't stick to normal mealtimes. Being so busy, I think it is important to listen to what my body is telling me. So, sometimes I eat dinner late evening if that’s when I am hungry.

For dinner, one of my favourite recipes is my Mushroom Mac and Cheese, which I have included for you below. The sauce is made from a mix of delicious vegan Parmesan cheese, vegan cheddar cheese, nutmeg, nutritional yeast, flour, dairy-free butter and almond milk as a plant based alternative for the béchamel sauce. Then after I have prepared the sauce, I simply add chestnuts, wild mushrooms, garlic, and thyme leaves into whole-wheat macaroni pasta - and it’s done! Just because you go vegan doesn’t mean you have to deprive yourself.

MUSHROOMY MAC AND CHEESE

Ingredients:

(Serves 6)

500g dried macaroni

40g dried wild mushrooms

2tbsp vegan butter

250g chestnut mushrooms

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1tbsp thyme leaves

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the béchamel sauce:

50g vegan butter

3tbsp plain flour

800ml almond milk

1/4tsp grated nutmeg

4tbsp nutritional yeast

200g vegan Cheddar cheese, grated

50g vegan Parmesan cheese, finely grated

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the topping:

40g vegan Parmesan cheese, grated

2tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 220°C (200°C fan, gas 7). Cook the macaroni in boiling, salted water according to the packet instructions, until al dente. Drain in a colander and refresh under cold water until cooled.

2. Put the dried mushrooms in a small heatproof bowl. Pour 150ml boiling water over them and leave to rehydrate for 15 minutes. Drain the mushrooms, reserving the liquid for the béchamel sauce. Roughly, chop the mushrooms.

3. Melt the butter in a non-stick frying pan over a high heat. When hot, add the wild mushrooms, chestnut mushrooms, garlic and thyme. Cook for five to eight minutes until the mushrooms have browned well. Season with salt and pepper, and remove from the heat.

4. To make the béchamel sauce, put a large saucepan over a medium heat, then add the butter and stir until melted. Add the flour and cook for one minute, stirring constantly. Whisk in the milk, and continue to whisk until the sauce thickens, then lower the heat and add the remaining ingredients. Stir until the cheese has completely melted.

5. Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper. Add the mushrooms and macaroni to the saucepan with the sauce and stir well until everything is evenly coated. Transfer to a deep 25 x 30cm ovenproof dish.

6. Mix the topping ingredients together and sprinkle over the macaroni. Cook in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until the topping is golden brown and crunchy.


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