This year, a record 500,000 people have pledged to eat vegan in January – double the number who took the pledge last year. So if you are thinking of going vegan then here’s some useful info including a new app called VeganNation, plant-based books and places to shop plus actress Drew Barrymore’s Vegan recipe Harissa Spaghetti to get you started.
Firstly, we recently ran a story on the best vegan apps so check that out here. Also there’s a new app to add called VeganNation where people can search for vegan restaurants and stores around the world.
VeganNation describes itself as ‘a fresh, new global community, bringing together people who believe in the vital need for a more innovative and sustainable way of thinking.’
VeganNation, an Israel-based start-up, includes about 65,000 businesses in New York, Toronto, California, Portland, Berlin, London, Amsterdam, Sydney and Tel Aviv, and this is just the beginning.
Unlike other apps that only show vegan-friendly places, VeganNation is creating a worldwide vegan community by enabling users to use a vegan cryptocurrency (GRNC). They recently launched this crypto coin, and it enables users to pay for businesses in the app (the currency is being traded on crypto exchanges). The app also offers a marketplace for vegans.
Created by Chairman Isaac Thomas who saw a gap in the market. His determination to invent and develop an app came from a real need he faced: finding plant-based options for his vegan diet while traveling and even in his day-to-day life.
The brand-new VeganNation is now changing the lives of vegans throughout the world, supporting a market that has been asking for something like this for so long.
If you are planning to adopt a plant-based lifestyle then among the top tips is to connect with a vegan community online, explore online recipes and ethical shopping platforms, and, if you follow Allison Jade’s tips for going vegan, then rather than go slow just ‘rip the bandaid off’ and change in 30 days. Maybe easier said than done but we’ll let you be the judge.
Take a look at her video on the VeganNation youtube channel below.
Vegan Shopping Platforms and Plant-based books
Immaculate Vegan is a plant-based shopping platform where you can purchase ethical and sustainable clothing and homewares including vegan shoes, bags and accessories. The products are sourced from around the world and it means you don’t have to sacrifice on style by going vegan.
28 Days Vegan is a practical and beautiful guide to incorporating veganism into everyday life. It includes shopping lists, nutrition advice, dairy free swap-outs and a full 28 days’ worth of plant-based recipes (including snacks!). It’s a go-to resource for those participating in Veganuary, the increasingly popular challenge to ditch animal products throughout January.
The 5-Minute Vegan Lunchbox is the latest instalment in Alexander Hart’s series of simple and delicious lunch recipes. Utilising the power of grains, beans, veggies and leftovers, these super speedy lunch ideas are perfect for those who want to return to work with a fresh, healthy and ethical meal in tow.
The Proof Is In The Plants by Simon Hill provides compelling information on going vegan. It covers the reasons why we’re all so confused about what to eat, the evidence showing how a plant-based diet might reduce risks of heart attacks and strokes, type 2 diabetes, cancer and dementia, the positive impact of plant-based living for the climate and animal welfare and how to build a healthy, satisfying plant-based plate, from macronutrients to micronutrients.
Vegan Beauty products on TheCarousel – check out the beauty editor’s tips on buying the best vegan beauty products here. My favourite brand is Aveda which is celebrating its one year vegan anniversary and needs commending for its philosophy to support a cleaner, kinder and more responsible planet. You can read my interview last year with Barbara De Laere, Aveda Global Brand President, On Aveda’s Move To Go Vegan here.
Why not start tonight with this recipe by actress Drew Barrymore from her new best-selling cookbook Rebel Homemaker?
Drew Barrymore’s Vegan Harissa Spaghetti Recipe
1 (8-ounce) package chickpea spaghetti (we recommend Banza)
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
5 cloves garlic, peeled and grated
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon onion powder (optional)
2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved
1 tablespoon dried oregano (optional)
1 tablespoon dried parsley (optional)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons double-concentrated tomato paste
2 to 3 tablespoons harissa paste, plus additional to taste
½ cup chopped basil, plus additional for serving
Cook the pasta. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Season with 2 tablespoons salt. Add the spaghetti and stir to ensure that the pasta does not clump together. Boil until just al dente, 6 to 7 minutes. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking water and drain the noodles. Rinse the chickpea noodles under cold water until completely cool. Set aside.
Make the sauce. Meanwhile, heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and swirl to coat. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, and onion powder, if using. Saute, stirring, until the garlic is fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Do not let brown. Add the cherry tomatoes and dried herbs, if using, and season with salt and pepper. Continue cooking until the tomatoes begin to break down, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and harissa paste and cook for 3 minutes more. Taste the sauce and season with salt, pepper, and additional harissa paste, if desired. (The pasta sauce can be made up to 3 days in advance. Store, covered, in the refrigerator before reheating in a skillet.)
Serve. Add the pasta to the sauce, along with 1 to 2 tablespoons of pasta water to thin, if necessary. The sauce should be thick and concentrated, but just loose enough to coat the noodles easily. Cook for 1 minute more, tossing to combine. Add the chopped basil, gently fold to combine, and divide among serving plates. Serve immediately, topping each portion with a drizzle of olive oil and additional basil.
This recipe is extracted from the book, Rebel Homemaker by Drew Barrymore and Pilar Valdes. It’s available online from Penguin Random House for $49.99 and other sites as well. Photography by Graydon Herriott.