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What Vegans Eat

Today was an active day. I’ve been tracking the food I eat in terms of calories and macros consumed for most of the time I’ve been vegan. I weigh in at around 10 stone and aim for 2200 calories daily (plus whatever Strava tells me I happen to have lost from working out), with the aim to slowly make my way up to 11 stone. This morning I’d burned 600-odd before lunch so a feast was required.

By mid-afternoon I was famished, so I decided I’d head to Sainsbury’s and get a snack, tonight’s dinner, tomorrow’s breakfast and tomorrow’s lunch. Here was my haul (total: £25.76):

My Sainsbury's shop
What vegans eat

(The hemp seeds were on offer; I didn’t need them but I eat them daily so got a couple of bags. At £3 a bag it takes the total down to £19.76).

Flavourful, high-protein dinner

Purchased ingredients for tonight's dinner

  • Organic Black Beans - 70p
  • Tofoo Tempeh - £2
  • A mango - £1
  • A red onion - 15p
  • An avocado - 75p
  • Mixed Chillies - 80p
  • Sweet potato - 36p
  • Tomatoes - 40p

Total: £6.16

I wanted high protein and I wanted flavour. I haven’t really had tempeh much before but for some reason I decided I just wanted it. I’d also been craving peanuts so fried tempeh in a satay peanut sauce seemed like the perfect combo. I used The Minimalist Baker’s 5-ingredient peanut sauce recipe, which I fortunately had all the ingredients for (peanut butter, soy sauce/tamari, maple syrup and chili garlic sauce/Sriracha) in the cupboard.

For a salad I knew I wanted mango in it somewhere. After a bit of Googling I decided to riff on a few recipes. I ended up with fresh mango, black beans, avocado, red onion, spring onion, lime juice, lime zest, red chili, tomato, sweetcorn and mint. I’d typically have put coriander in it but I was out and forgot to pick some up. Some mint I had left over worked really well. I’d also usually have put some olive oil in here but decided to omit it; I didn’t really miss it. Salads don’t have to be boring!

To tie it all off - a roasted sweet potato, rubbed with a tiny bit of olive oil, salt and pepper. Perfect.

It was ace. Macros came in at protein 40g, fat 33g and carbs 87g.

The finished article (See on Instagram)

There was enough mango salad for 4 and enough tempeh for 2, so it will easily all do another meal.

A bold, tasty breakfast

I live off porridge or overnight oats most weekday mornings, so I like to do something different on the weekends. Tilt, the local cafe to us, does an amazing vegan brunch featuring a chickpea/tofu scramble (I can never remember which it is). I used to lovingly make scrambled eggs on toast in my pre-vegan days for a lazy Sunday brunch; and tofu scramble - whilst not quite the same - ticks a lot of the same boxes for me and has the bonus of people high protein (thanks soy).

It’s a little extra work than cracking some eggs in a saucepan, granted, but the end result is just as satisfying. Especially when paired with an avocado and roasted tomato.

Breakfast ingredients

  • Charlotte potatoes - £1.10
  • Garlic powder - £1.00
  • Tofoo Tofu - £2.50
  • Avocado - 75p
  • Soya milk - £1.50

Total: £6.85 (Already had soya milk so didn’t open this, used a smidge of garlic powder and didn’t end up cooking the potatoes at all. So the price isn’t really representative here.)

I used Loving it Vegan’s ”Super eggy vegan tofu scramble”. And although mine lacked the “super eggy” secret element that is the “Kala Namak” black salt, it was a satisfying and filling weekend brunch. It could’ve done with a sauce of some kind. To the ingredients I bought yesterday, I added vegan spread, nutritional yeast, turmeric, paprika, mustard, onion powder and soy milk.

I halved the recipe and had a big portion. 280g of tofu would easily have served 3 people, so this could’ve gone much further. I served it on granary toast with fried tomatoes and half an avocado.

Breakfast is served

This was one clocked in at an impressive 32g protein, largely contributed by the tofu. Carbs were 52g and fat a high 32g.

A fishy lunch

Lunch ingredients

  • Itsu Seaweed thins - £1.50
  • Napolina Chickpeas - 90p
  • Spring onions - 50p
  • Tomato - 18p
  • Red onion - 15p
  • Hovis Seed Sensations - £1.50

Total: £4.73

To the list I added the fridge and store cupboard items vegan mayo, soy sauce, capers, nutritional yeast and some just-ok lettuce from the bottom of the fridge.

A tuna mayo sandwich is something I used to enjoy in my pre-vegan days. This recipe from Veggie Desserts (I guess they diversified) did not disappoint. It’s amazing how the capers and nori can trick your brain that it’s a fishy flavour. The soy sauce really lifts it too. The amount of mayo this recipe calls for doesn’t make it exactly healthy (I’d definitely put in a bit less next time), but it’s better than most sandwiches you’ll find in a supermarket.

I only needed a few of the nori sheets, but my wife will make light work of the rest. The total amount will make around 3 decent sized sandwiches.

Lunch sandwich complete

So there we have it; a day of eating. I don’t normally cook all my meals from scratch like this but I love when I have the time to do it. £20 for essentially a day’s food is pricey, but when you factor in for the week ahead I now have:

  • half a block of tofu
  • most of a loaf of breaf
  • a bag of new potatoes
  • a whole lotta hemp seeds
  • crisps to snack on
  • seaweed
  • a litre of soy milk
  • more garlic powder than I know what to do with

It’s probably about fair. Happy vegan eating!