How to cope as a vegan during the holiday season – (Wanting to eat non vegan food? | Dealing with people eating animal products?)

I got the question of how to deal with people eating non vegan around you, when it comes to social events.

Or infact, i got asked the same question but from two different perspectives:

  1. How to not get angry at people who eat animal products around you during example Christmas. Being vegan and knowing what animal products are i.e they are not just products or food, but were once living animals can be incredibly tough. It can be hard to not feel sad or frustrated when you see so many animal products being eaten and people not really thinking about what they are eating.

 

  1. How t o deal with people eating animal products around you and trying to not eat the food themselves (this came from a new vegan). – And i can understand this, when you are new to veganism and you haven’t fully gotten used to all the different foods or tastes that a plant based diet has, or maybe you still miss certain animal products it can be tough to be around that food and not eat it.
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I always try to bring this bag with me when i go food shopping. (Or i wil put the items into my school bag!) And when i do need to buy a bag i’ll buy paper instead! *I always think it is comical when i show my “happy vegan bag” in the store and look angry/tired, haha

So the first angle, how to not get angry – well i try to think that getting angry at people or accusing people of being “murderers” isn’t going to make anything better. If anything, it will make them defensive and less likely to want to listen or change.

What i try to focus on is inspiring others, and i do that by 1) making tasty vegan food and 2) getting others to try the vegan food or get tempted to try the food. Also, i focus and encourage discussion and conversation about a vegan lifestyle and plantbased diet.

I read up on facts so that i can answer with real facts and not just with propaganda, fear or anger.

Of course, i am lucky that my family are pescetarian and so they don’t eat any red meat or poultry, but they do eat fish, egg and a little dairy. Also, usually when i am at home they eat 99% vegan so i never really have to deal with them eating alot of animal products around me. Not to mention that they already know alot of information and we have had plenty of convesations about veganism and a plant based diet. And they do try to eat as vegan as possible even when i am not at home.

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I understand though if you are the only vegan and the rest of your family eat ALOT of meat and animal products around you. It can be tough to feel “Ok” when those around you are eating alot of dead animals, and that is all you can see. If you find it too tough then you can either 1) speak to your family about it, however if they are the type that don’t want to listen or don’t want to change their ways maybe you can choose to skip the eating together part and instead eat your meal on your own and join for the rest of the celebrations? Or if possible, if you can find other vegans in your area to celebrate with. I have seen in some FB groups which i am part of that each year there is sometime a vegan get together for those who don’t want to celebrate with their family or can’t celebrate with their family. Otherwise,you could always be the one to arrange it (next year anyway, as it may be a little late now!).

Also another thing is to focus on how many people ARE turning vegan each year. Focus on how much progress there is in vegan products (all types of products). Companies have stopped testing on animals, banned fur, stopped the hunting and killing of certain animals and the deamnd for meat and animal products is declining while the amount of vegan options on the shelves is rapidly increasing.

It can be tough, but focus on all those positives and know that even if your family aren’t supportive of your choices – there are many out there who ARE vegan and do care. Try to focus on inspiration and not anger – though that is just my opinion.

And onto the second question…

How to deal with not eating all the animal products when you are new to a plantbased diet.

And my answer to that is 1) Make sure you have plenty of vegan options to eat. 2) Veganize your favourite recipes. 3) And better to make too much than to have too little.

Most foods can be veganized or you can buy a vegan option. If you know your family or friends will be eating chocolate, make sure to bring your own or make your own vegan chocolate. If your family will be eating cake or buns etc have your own vegan option. You won’t feel left out then!
Of course, you can always suggest that everyone eats a vegan version – if that is possible.

Also, think about WHY you went vegan. If you went vegan for the animals, then it isn’t so hard to not want to eat the animal products when you think about what the food actually is.

You could always watch some vegan documentaries (POST here) to help you feel more confident and secure as to why you choose to be vegan.

Those are the things that helped me in the beginning – now i am not tempted at all to eat any of the animal products that will be on the Christmas table this year. Infact, i am jjust excited to eat all the delicious vegan options i have made.

Related image

A post to read is from itdoesnttastelikechicken

The longer you are vegan, the easier it is to not want animal products (or that is my opinon anyway) 1) because you like the vegan options and alternatives, 2) you know why you are vegan, 3) you just don’t crave any animal products and if anything can get a little grossed out about them the longer you are vegan.

Whatever situation you are in this Christmas (or any other celebration/season), you can get through it.

Hopefully one day the majority of people will be vegan and it will be more uncommon to actually eat meat or animal products. Where 99% of people eat all vegan and there will be that 1 person who sits at the table and eats meat isntead of the other way around as it is in many households now a days.

Let me know your thoughts on this or if you have any advice for others in these situations!

Also, i have a post with tips on going vegan: Guide to going vegan – Masterpost. Useful resources & Thinking about going vegan? Masterpost with vegan information!

Baked celery root chips with hazelnuts, onion and tomatoes | Vegan | Gluten free | Vegan appetizer

I thought it was time to try a new root vegetable, and this time i tried celery root – or so called celeriac (?)!

I have eaten this vegetable before as part of a fancy dish at a fancy restaurant. And i really liked it, but wasn’t so sure how or what to do with it. So i did have to do some googling to find something i wanted to do with this vegetable.

And it resulted in me trying to imitate some sort of fancy dish…. or maybe it was just me being extra fancy and making taco chips using celerery root instead of sweet potato!

I do have some confessions to make before i get into the “recipe”.

  1. I did not like the smell of this vegetable… and the smell seemed to stick to my fingers. So i had to scrub them vigourously with soap to get rid of the smell.
  2. I dislike cooking with root vegetables that are covered in soil. One of the reasons i buy precooked beetroots, because i get paranoid that i will get sick or there will be cross contamination with the soil – doesn’t matter how much i clean the knife and chopping board. I still worry that i could get sick. So i wasn’t a huge fan of the look of this vegetable – hahah.

I feel like i will have to keep experimenting with this vegetable, but i am happy with the results of this dish anyway!

And of course, you can use whatever toppings you like. I just used what i had at home.

1 celery root

1-2tbsp oil

Toppings: such as red onion, garlic, hazelnuts, tomato, avocado and vegan creme friache.

How to:

Preheat the oven to 220 degrees celsius.

Begin by peeling the root celery. And then chopping into c.a 2cm thick slices.

Place on a baking tray and drizzle over some oil and salt.

Bake in the oven c.a 30 minutes – or until the slices are soft and slightly crispy.

In the mean time, in a pan fry the onion, garlic and hazelnuts in some oil for a few minutes.

Once the celery root slices are done, add your toppings and eat like small pizzas/bread slices!

These work great as a snack or as an appetizer!

Note, you can follow this recipe and use different vegetables such as sweet potato or eggplant!

Do you have any other recipe ideas i can make/follow using this vegetable? 🙂

I must admit, i really like these photos and think that they turned out really good both taste and aesthetic wise 🙂

Swede scnitzel recipe | Vegan | & Hasselback potatoes

One of my main mottos when it comes to eating – and especially when it comes to getting all your nutrients and vitamins – is to eat varied. Or as varied as possible.

But even if i have this as a sort of motto, i am not the best at actually following this advice. Usually i just buy the same food and ingredients over and over. I may be rather good at varying meals to some extent, but they most often have the same ingredients making my food not as varied as i think.

So i want to try varying my food a little more… even if that just means trying one new grain or vegetable each week.

And this week, i decided to try the vegetable, Swede. I have eaten this before and liked it, but it has never been a vegetable i have thought of buying when doing my weekly grocery shop.

I wasn’t fully sure what to do with the vegetable at first… should i add it to a vegetable soup? Maybe bake it? Make a Swede mash out of it which i have eaten – and liked before?

But i decided… why not make schnitzels out of it, such as the eggplant schnitzels i made in summer. And i can say, i am so glad i made this dish. I still have half of the Swede left, so i will see what i do with that!

A very simple recipe, and you can choose to make a batter out of flour and water, as well as using bread crumbs. But i decided to skip the batter part and just go for corn flour, liquid and bread crumbs.

Note, this recipe can be made glutenfree by using gluten free bread crumbs.

As this recipe is so simple, i decided to not make a recipe card, but hopefully you can follow this recipe easily!

1/2 swede

c.a 50ml cornflour

100-200ml bread crumbs or panko

100ml aquafaba or plant based milk

Seasoning of choice

Oil

& serve with vegetables and hasselback potatoes

How to:

Begin by peeling the swede, and then cutting into c.a 1-2cm thick slices.

Boil in water for about 20-30 minutes or until soft – but not so soft that they break.

In a bowl pour in your aquafaba or plant based milk. In another bowl pour in the bread crumbs, and on a plate pour the corn flour. (Note, you can make a batter by using c.a 150ml flour and some water until it becomes like pancake batter. And using that instead of the cornflour and liquid)

Allow the swede cutlets to cool before beginning with the battering.

Begin by covering the cutlet in some corn flour, then dipping in the liquid and finally covering with bread crumbs. Repeat with all the pieces before frying in some oil on medium heat until golden brown.

Eat right away.

How to make the hassleback potatoes:

Preheat oven to 200degrees celsius.

Using medium/large potatoes and slice/cut into the potatoes c.a 3/4 of the way. I.e you shouldn’t cut the whole way through the potatoes. Repeat with all the potatoes.

Place on a baking tray.

Brush oil or melted margarine over the ptoatoes. Add seasoning of choice. Pour over some bread crumbs. Then bake in the oven c.a 40-45 minutes or until the potatoes are crispy and baked all the way through.

Don’t forget to tag me on instagram, itsahealthylifestyle, if you try any of my recipes!

This was such a delicious meal, and a good way to eat more veggies. Of course, i would recommend that you maybe make some salad and add some tofu or beans, or maybe make a tofu based sauce to eat with this – just to make it more of a “complete” meal. Of course, considering that this isn’t all that you eat in a day it’s ok if it isn’t always nutritionally the most optimal meal!

Veganska lussebullar recept | Vegan saffron buns recpe

It’s November, meaning almost Christmas time…. and well, not too early to begin with the Christmas baking right?

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Chirstmas is one of the only “special occassions/high times” which i actually like…. despite their being many Christmases filled with anxiety, fear, compensation, guilt and a whole lot of crying. It is still a holiday i really like.

I do admit… sometimes Christmas can be a little too hyped up and people usually stress so much around Christmas that on the day they are just exhausted.

However there is something about Christmas which i just love…. and i have to admit, i am one of the few Swedes who actually likes the *vegan* typical christmas food. One thing i don’t like is that most people eat ALOT of meat, eggs and fish on Christmas and leading up to Christmas. If only everyone could eat completely vegan then that would make me so happy. So that is one of the downsides of the vegan food…. but instead i want to focus on making the best vegan Christmas food and inspiring others to skip the animal products and choose vegan options instead 🙂 I will link to some past christmas recipes, below!

Saffron buns, or so called Lussekatter, is a typical Christmas food. Typically… you don’t bake them until December, but i just couldn’t wait. And now i have saffron buns in my freezer for when i want them, or when i am going to have a christmas lunch with friends. And if they last… i will have them ready for Christmas… though i think i i will have eaten them by then, hahahha.

Other christmas baking ideas – gingerbread cookies, daim, toffee/butterscotch, rice pudding etc etc

But let’s get onto the recipe for the saffron buns…… These take a while to make due to all the yeast time, and then the whole process of rolling them and shaping them. So i recommend you give yourself 3-4 hours. Find a good podcast to listen to (while making/shaping the buns), and maybe watch a series during the yeast time 🙂

Also, you can half the recipe to make less, otherwise you can just freeze in all the extras!

I tried to make buns as well as the typical “lussebulle” shape, but it wasn’t as easy as it looked in the video. I.e, watch this video, here, to see how you make the saffron bun shape. (Skip to about 2.50 to see how he makes the bun shape). I still need to work on my baking skils – especially when it comes to buns (it  is definitely a science!), but my skills have improved a little since last year (how my saffron buns looked last year: HERE)

 

Lussebullar recept

Original recipe from HERE

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I have a few Christmas related posts which you may want to read/find intreesting!

Let’s talk about Christmas…. it’s not all that it’s made out to be

Coping on Christmas and post christmas diets

Post Christmas Detox and Diets? – What not to do

And some Christmas food ideas:

Vegan Baileys recipe

Vegan christmas dinner ideas (Swedish style!)

Vegan christmas brunch and dinner

Christmas/thanksgiving as a vegan in a non vegan household

Some other saffron recipes:

Vegansk Saffrans och choklad kladdkaka – Vegan saffron and chocolate cake – Recipe

Vegan saffron cheesecake recipe

Vegan saffron buns recipe – Veganska lussebullar

Cauliflower, chickpea and tofu curry | Vegan and glutenfree recipe

If i am honest i can’t remember the last time i ate curry! You may notice that i am not a huge fan of different cuisines or indian food…. but now in the cold weather you can’t go wrong with a warming curry.

I do admit, i am not a huge fan of the curry taste. So this may not be a favourite of mine, however i do love the tofu-chickpea-cauliflower-coconut combo… but i will have to find another seasoning to use next time! But this was still edible and super delicious, even if it may not make my top 5 favourite dishes.

Hahah, i don’t feel like i am selling this dish or recipe so well… but i got ot be honest, and i am sure there are others who will ove this recipe. I am just far too basic and love my simple meals and just using spices such as garlic and onion.

I will never be a culinary chef anyway, haha. I am rather mild when i use seasoning, so if you prefer more spices and taste i do suggest you add more seasoning than stated in the majority of my recipes!

Onto the recipe then?

Well first off i have to mention… don’t wear white when wearing this, and not that curry seasoning/powder does stain – so be quick to clean up if you get curry seasoning on the floor/kitchen/clothes!

If you make this recipe – or any other recipe i would love to see your pictures, so don’t forget to tag me on instagram or send me your pictures 🙂

**Note, the lighting was not on my side when photoing this meal…. that will be the battle for the next few months, trying to get good lighting for my food pictures when it just keeps getting darker at an earlier time!

Cualiflower chickpea curry