Welcome to What I eat in a week in Dublin, where we find out what Dubliners are having. We're asking people who live in this fine city what they are really having for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This isn't a platform for lecturing or snarky comments, just a place for foodies to tell us what they are putting in their face holes during any given week.
When I casually announced a few months back that I was considering taking on the Veganuary challenge, I honestly didn't expect to go through with it. As you'll soon see, I'm a gal who likes to eat a bit of everything, whether it be meat, vegetarian, pescatarian, or vegan. I've never made such a drastic change to my diet before, but hey, here's to trying new things.
Flexitarian, meaning I already dabble in meat and fish free days, but have never gone fully vegan for an extended period of time before.
Is there anything you don't eat/drink?
Before Veganuary started I already didn't eat pork, so that's something I won't be missing. Of things I could eat as a vegan, but don't, there are pears, raisins, beetroot (how anyone likes beetroot is beyond me, sorry Dwight Shrute), and olives.
Your fridge is never without?
In a previous What I Eat In A Week, these were my must-have fridge items.
Grated cheese, pickles, yoghurts, and turkey bacon.
Of the four, I can now only partake in eating one of them for the month of January.
Sunday 1st January
I was able to kick off Veganuary hangover free and with a very familiar meal to me; beans on toast. The only adjustment I had to make was using a plant-based spread instead of real butter, but having grown up in a household where Flora Pro-Activ was all we had, this wasn't unusual for me. I washed down my meal with a black coffee; I've been a black coffee drinker for years, so this didn't faze me.
To complete the meal, I also had half a banana.
Lunch was the Tomato, Red Pepper, and Basil soup from the Harry Pear. I picked up a few of these soups ahead of January as I knew they would be vegan and they're an easy go-to. Determined to eat my normal meals, I made a cheese toastie, swapping sliced pan for a multi-seed bagel, and regular cheddar for vegan mozzarella. The VioLife vegan cheese is the best of a bad bunch, but I did add Frank's hot sauce to the mix all the same.
Given my protein light lunch, I chugged a vegan protein shake, mixed with water, to help get my macronutrients in.
I'm no chef, as my daily videos will soon portray, but I do love to cook and I'm hoping that Veganuary will force me to do it more often. My first Veganuary dinner was a simple All The Greens Pasta from Donal Skehan's cookbook, which contained broccoli, asparagus, peas, and onions. The spaghetti was cooked in vegetable stock, and I added some plant-based cooking cream from Alpro as well as vegan mozzarella to give it more flavour. It tasted way better than I expected it to, and I will definitely be making it again.
After dinner I had a Coke Zero (thank god it's vegan) and some popcorn, which I figure will feature heavily throughout this month.
Monday 2nd January
Feeling smug from my first successful day of Veganuary I decided to make a vegan fry-up. I fried up some mushrooms (I LOVE mushrooms, especially when fried in some oil and topped with salt), put on more beans, a bagel, and some sage and apple sausages. Unfortunately the vegan sausages didn't hit the way I wanted them to, but I'm sure I'll find a good alternative throughout the month. Black coffee worked wonders to wake me up.
I went in on the leftover spaghetti for lunch, topping with more vegan mozzarella. The secret to vegan cheese is using it to add flavour as opposed to having it as the main event in my eyes.
Later I went for a walk in Marlay Park and got another black coffee, before devouring some Booja Booja Hazelnut Truffles (these are amazing), some 100% dark chocolate (not for me) and another packet of popcorn.
Due to my late start, I had a small bowl of tomato soup, and two rich tea biscuits (vegan, I know!) for dessert before hitting the hay.
Tuesday 3rd January
I started this morning with a vegan protein shake and coffee following a gym workout (I am nothing if not a New Year, New Me girly) before tucking into breakfast, which was fried mushrooms, beans, and a bagel. The sausages from the day before do need finishing off, but not today.
Today's soup was Sweet Potato, Coconut, and Ginger soup from the Happy Pear, ideal for the chilly weather. Yes, I had another bagel with this. Yes I like bagels. You'll get used to it.
Chef Katy made another appearance tonight, concocting a Red Lentil Dahl (recipe once again alla Donal Skehan). I have so little faith in my own ability that I panicked for the majority of the cooking time, but after adding a lot of spices to this recipe, I think it turned out pretty good.
After an evening walk, I had a vegan almond magnum, which was basically the same as a regular magnum, some rich teas, and a coke while watching an episode of The White Lotus.
I don't drink a huge amount of milk, but every once in a while I get hit with a craving for it, and even if I'd had plant-based milk on hand, I know that wouldn't have satisfied me. Don't worry, I resisted the urge, downing a Coke Zero instead, but I can honestly say it's the first time I've really craved anything so far.
Wednesday 4th January
I tried something super adventurous this morning; porridge. I like porridge normally, but only in a very specific way. My normal non-vegan porridge recipe is porridge oats (vegan), strawberries (vegan), peanut butter (vegan), a Cadbury's Dairy Milk Little Bar (not vegan), and some white chocolate yoghurt (definitely not vegan).
While more than half the normal ingredients are vegan-friendly, the chocolate and the yoghurt are really what makes it for me, so I used some Vego chocolate spread to substitute at least one of those ingredients. They were a little dry, so I'll consider making my oats with some plant-based milk next time.
More soup. Another bagel. It's just an easy lunch to have when you're not eating meat.
I had another helping of the red lentil dahl from last night for dinner with more basmati rice, and it wasn't until later that I started feeling snack-y, which led me to eat a bagel (pause for shock factor) with some of that Vego spread, and some Quorn dinosaur nuggets because why the hell not.
I've been off pork for three years now, and there have been very few times that I've seriously craved it in that time, but given that I'm off all meat now made the smell of them cooking a lot harder to resist.
Thursday 5th January
Weirdly wasn't feeling super hungry this morning, so I had a Filthy Rich protein shake about mid morning to get something into my system. These were kindly gifted to me in a range of flavours, perfect for helping me keep my protein intake high.
For lunch I had a baked potato with some Flora, baked beans, and some Denny's meat-free sausages, which are definitely better than the ones I had earlier in the week.
To keep that all-too important protein intake up I also downed a protein shake. Vegan, of course.
More dahl. More rice. I went to pair it with some naan bread but discovered post-toasting it that it is not vegan, so I had to do without.
Friday 6th January
I was back on the oats buzz this morning, adding a banana to the mix this time. Again for the added protein I had a Filthy Rich shake with my breakfast, in the cacao flavour, and of course a coffee.
After a lengthy stroll I had three Denny's sausages for lunch with a little bit of ketchup; can't express how similar these are to real sausages.
I polished off the last of the dahl, delighted I was able to eat it for four days straight, and snacked on some bread sticks just before hitting the hay.
Saturday 7th January
Saturday was a weird eating day. I was avoiding eating until I got to stop by Saints and Sinners, a coffee trailer near Deer Park I'd seen did vegan treats. Unfortunately there were none there when I arrived, so I had to make do with an oat flat white. But it also meant I didn't get to have any breakfast.
My first meal was a sausage sambo, again using the Denny's sausages.
Before heading out for the night, I put on a Happy Pear pizza which is already topped with vegan cheese and some cherry tomatoes. I decided to bulk it up a little, adding some mushrooms, as well as some vegan ham and I can safely say I was well satiated by the end of it.
I then headed to a friend's leaving drinks where I was sorely tempted by pub food platters consisting of chicken wings, tenders, spring rolls, and more, but I managed to nibble on a few potato wedges, staying well within my Veganuary limits.
Looking for more food inspo? I'll be back again next Monday with a continuation of my Veganuary journey.