Embracing veganism as a family
For health, for the planet, for the animals; veganism is a conscious decision that can reap huge health and lifestyle rewards – especially when great cooking is thrown into the mix.
We chat to Katie (aka mummasvegankitchen) about her vegan family lifestyle and how she makes mealtimes exciting, varied and delicious for her and her two young kids.
How long have you been vegan for?
I’ve been vegan for almost 3 years. I made the switch after the birth of my second child. I was so anxious and worried about the state of the world she had been born into, I wanted to channel this anxiety into something positive…vegan cooking. And that’s when I started this Instagram account, to share my recipes and connect with other people on a similar journey.
Did you find the initial switch tricky or easy?
It was quite an easy transition for me as I have been vegetarian for my whole adult life and had pretty much completely cut out dairy from my diet for health reasons about a year before going vegan. The biggest change was how much I had to cook from scratch, as so many ready meals and store-bought products contain dairy or egg.
Are you kids vegan also?
Yes, my kids are vegan too. I am very interested in nutrition and, for me, being vegan is about health as much as it is about being kind to animals and good for the environment. So naturally I want my kids to share this healthy lifestyle.
What are your top tips for keeping meals easy, simple and above all delicious?
I am a single mum and life is always busy so I have a few very simple go-to meals that I know the kids love and I can enjoy too. Noodles with peas and corn is a regular dinner for my kids…ready in under 5 minutes and always eaten without any fuss! And with a bit of soy sauce and sriracha, this is often dinner for me too. Condiments have the power to elevate meals like nothing else. A nice chilli sauce can upgrade any plate of leftovers to an appetising snack in an instant!
Can you share some tips for getting lots of veg in?
Batch cooking is a MUST! I would say this goes for any parent or even anyone who lives a busy life and is also trying to eat a healthy diet. We eat a lot of stews and soups in our house which are a great way to get loads of different ingredients into one simple meal. I usually include lentils or beans for protein and then whatever vegetables I happen to have lying around.
Any veg that I’m using, I just cut into small pieces, so the texture of the soup / stew is always similar and the kids never notice if there is something different snuck in there. Fullgreen pouches are brilliant for this too, and I often add a pouch or 2 to a batch of soup, a pasta sauce or a filling for a pie. The big bonus of course is that you don’t have to chop the veggies yourself!
Where do find recipe inspiration?
I’ve always been a bit of a foodie so my thoughts are usually filled with potential recipe ideas! I only have to open my fridge for inspiration for what to make. And, of course, I love veganizing delicious looking dishes.
What is your number one tip for somebody else wanting to cook more plant-based meals?
Asian style cooking is brilliant as it lends itself so well to plant-based ingredients. A simple stir fry with noodles or rice. Quick and simple, full of flavour, texture, fresh ingredients AND nutrients. No dairy, meat or substitutes needed! The variety of foods and flavours is endless once you get away from preparing meals around a chunk of meat.
KATIE’S TOP ITEMS TO ADD TO YOUR PANTRY FOR EASY VEGAN MEALS:-
- Tahini. This is such a great source of protein and this is the key ingredient for so many of my favourite sauces, dips and dressings. Simply mix some tahini with some lemon juice and water and drizzle over some roast veg.
- Nutritional yeast. Another ingredient I add to so many dishes. It is a great source of vitamin B12 and other minerals as well as another source of protein. Add it to homemade pesto, scrambled tofu or sprinkle over pasta.
- Fullgreen Riced veggies – for bulking out meals with extra veg or cooking up as a quick side dish with some onions, garlic and seasoning.
Try Katie's recipes:-