The Indie Oxford Guide To Veganuary
Today, our guest blogger Aisling Mac is back to share her tips and recs for Veganuary in Oxford. Ais is a literature graduate, a long-time vegan, and works at two of our favourite indies, The Missing Bean and Tap Social; oh, and writes witty & hilarious blog posts for us too!
Over to Ais…….
For the January Gym Bunny
If you’re anything like me, then chances are you spend an unprecedented amount of time in the gym as January rolls out at its usual grueling pace, only to cancel your membership around April having not been once in February or March. But for now, you’re hitting the gym, trying to convince yourself of two things: that this is the year you get BUFF, and that you really are, quite genuinely craving kale.
The later is much easier to believe with The Natural Buzz on hand. Whatever your usual post workout reward is, try swapping it out for a super fresh pressed juice in the covered market. Dose up on natural vitamins to strengthen your immune system against late winter sniffles, and marvel at the new you, a person who would use the word ‘delicious’ to describe a juice made of leaves.
If juices aren’t your thing, and you’re after something a bit more substantial, The Natural Buzz always have a selection of yummy, guilt free, raw vegan cakes and treats to indulge in.
For the New Year Penny Pincher
With veganism slowly but surely making its way into the mainstream, and many chain restaurants offering multiple options for us herbivores, it’s never been easier to eat out vegan. But that does little to change the universal truth that January is our least favourite time to spend money. So you’ve opted to spend more time cooking for yourself. Though that does mean learning a few new tricks past the default spag boll or the chilli con carne that you can cook with your eyes closed. You’ve looked up a couple of vegan recipes and your stumped. Nutritional yeast? That just doesn’t sound right. Tempeh? Excuse me? Polenta flour? Gesundheit.
This is where Wild Honey have got you covered. Aside from local organic fresh produce, these guys supply a wide range of the weird and wonderful ingredients and essentials that might pop up in popular vegan recipes. The tinned black bean is your friend, embrace it, learn to love it. Cashews form the base of many a delicious vegan pesto or cheese sauce. If you don’t fancy getting savvy in the kitchen, they also supply a number of vegan products for your quick job dinners, ranging from sausages and tofurkey, to various cheeses, and so many milk alternatives that you’re bound to find one that works for you.
Don’t be afraid of the nutritional yeast, you’ll be an expert in vegan mac ’n’ cheese in no time.
For January Blues
Sometime, around mid January, when the squats, and the crunches, and the penny pinching are getting to you, and you don’t think you can look at another portion of quinoa, get yourself down to The Happy Friday Kitchen on Cowley Road for some serious Californian inspired comfort food. You thought Veganuary would be a month without pizza, without chicken, without cheese. You were wrong. Treat yourself to the much taken for granted luxury of being able to order anything from the menu, yes, even if it says ‘mayo’.
Beat the January blues by getting to know Buddha, The Happy Friday Kitchen’s most adorable four legged member of staff, and tucking into some cruelty free southern fried chickUn, proving you really can have your cake and eat it. Maybe this vegan thing isn’t so hard after all?
For anyone who isn’t doing dry January
Maybe it was a case of choosing between a dry January, or a Vegan January, and if you’re here, chances are Veganuary came up trumps. What you might not know is that a lot of wines and beers aren’t actually vegan due to a process called ‘fining’ which commonly uses agents containing milk protein, egg whites, or fish bladder protein. Yum.
Luckily for you, Tap Social is Oxford’s only fully vegan brewery. Wine and beer is the subject area that constantly slips the mind of even the most seasoned vegan, but rest assured with a visit to the Taproom, that your beer is 100% fish gut free. Take a trip down to the Curtis industrial estate at the end of Botley Road, and reward yourself of your noble plant based conquest, with any one (or three) of the delicious beers on tap.
We totally love Ais’ writing, and she’ll be back next month with another guest post for us all to enjoy!
Good luck with the rest of Veganuary – I’m really enjoying it, and looking forward to trying some of Ais’ recommendations too!