The first month of the year marks Veganuary - and after weeks of massive meaty meals and giant cheese platters, most of us could do with a bit of a change of diet. And indeed, an estimated 14,000 people are taking part this year, with research* revealing that a further 20% of meat-eating adults are now prepared to try a plant-based diet.
Having said that, over three quarters (77%) of Brits have admitted that they would likely give-up after the first two weeks, with only 9% believing they’d make the full month. Unsurprisingly, the things those surveyed said they'd struggle most to abstain from include cheese (73%), milk in tea (57%), butter (56%), bacon (55%) and chocolate (54%). Finally, of those who have tried veganism in the past, 89% said they gave up. Why? Well, 29% found it too much effort, 27% couldn't bear to give up their favourite foods and 24% complained that a vegan diet was too expensive to maintain.
With all of this in mind, we've compiled a meal plan to help you complete Veganuary without feeling like you're missing out or breaking the bank. From burgers to curries and steaks, there are so many delicious recipes to try! Here are some ideas for breakfast, lunch and desserts - plus 14 family-friendly dinner recipes to inspire your shopping lists!
Breakfast can be tricky without eggs and dairy, but there are plenty of alternatives and simple swaps to keep you going.
Time is of the essence on weekday mornings, when we're in a rush to leave the house – for this reason, toast is an ideal brekkie option. Peanut butter on toast (yes, bread is vegan) is delicious on its own, but even better when topped with fresh berries, banana and cherries. Using rye bread, as in this recipe, creates a substantial, tasty and wholesome base for all that fruit.
If you're a fan of cereal, there's no need to give up your favourite breakfast - try using a plant-based milk like almond milk or soya milk instead. Or why not try making your own overnight oats. Simply pop almond milk, poppy seeds, maple syrup, peanut butter and oats in a jar before you go to sleep, and when you wake up in the morning it will be nicely mixed together and ready to eat. Porridge fans will love the flavours in our vegan carrot cake flavour oats - made with almond milk and packed with cinnamon, nutmeg, raisins and walnuts.
Egg fans, why not try avocado on toast topped with seeds or fresh chilli? Or fry off some mushrooms or tomatoes for a delicious toast topper.
And if you've been gifted a nutri-bullet for Christmas, this pineapple and watercress or this kale and green apple smoothie are ideal for getting you off on the right foot in the morning. You could even take your drink out of the house with you if you're in a hurry.
When it comes to lunchtimes, it's time to think beyond the Cheddar and honey roast ham.
Soup is a great go-to when you want something healthy, hot and filling. Like a smoothie, you can throw pretty much anything into a soup. This vegan spiced parsnip bisque has a thick, silky texture, thanks to the addition of coconut milk. If you don't want to eat bread you can bulk out your soup with pulses to add more protein. This chunky bean soup contains cannellini beans and pasta, so no need to reach for a roll.
If you're a fan of sandwiches, or need something transportable, try spreading houmous over bread and topping with olives and roasted red peppers. If you're home for lunch, why not grill some pitta and dip in this delicious pea 'mockamole' or whip up a delicious substantial salad, like this flavour-packed pearl barley and nuts.
Falafel is a real winner when it comes to a vegan diet. You can pop them in a wrap with houmous and rocket or serve on rice with pickled cabbage. And leftover roasted vegetables from Sunday lunch go wonderfully in our veggie quesadillas (just make sure you use vegan cheese).
Curries, both Thai and Indian, are going to become your new best friend - as are your spice cupboard and condiments. Stock up on lentils as you can throw these into everything from pasta sauces to soups and dhals.
This one-pan biryani has bags of flavour. And once you've mastered one biryani, you could mix up the flavours and ingredients to suit your mood. Keeping along the curry theme, this coconut, aubergine and lentil curry is sure to please the family. Coconut milk makes everything taste amazing, and the big chunks of aubergine will satisfy that meaty craving.
More of a pasta person? Homemade tomato sauce with basil can be made ahead and frozen - so whenever you're short on time, just add it to some pasta or rice. Throw in some pulses or tofu if you're in need of some protein.
Don't forget chilli - a meaty favourite, it can very easily be turned into a vegan dinner. This recipe uses broad beans and kidney beans plus all those favourite spices to create an amazing depth of flavour. It's served with cauliflower rice to make the dish lighter, but you could also opt for traditional rice.
And don't think that a vegan diet doesn't mean you can't serve burgers. These quinoa and beetroot burgers are perfect for getting the kids involved. Get them to help mash all the ingredients together and shape into burger patties.
Still after more ideas?
Here are 14 satisfying suppers to keep you going for the last two weeks of Veganuary, from soups and stews to salads and veggie 'steaks'. Click through on each image for the recipes.
Desserts and bakes often contain some form of eggs or dairy, but there are lots of new recipes that use clever ways of binding cake mixes together and alternatives to butter.
This parsnip, fruit and nut cake uses dairy-free sunflower spread instead of butter and no eggs, so definitely a weekend winner. If you're having people round for dinner and want a quick and easy vegan dessert then look no further than this kiwi lime sorbet. It's made with only three ingredients and will be a refreshing end to your meal.
Find that your stomach is rumbling at 4pm? Have a snack ready to keep you going.
These dark chocolate flapjacks are packed with dried apricots, mango, seeds, goji berries and nuts. Containing no added sugar (yay!), a layer of chocolate on the top makes them feel deceptively indulgent. Another great pick-me-up? These vegan chocolate creme cookies, which are made by blending nuts and dates and have a creamy cashew butter filling, are the perfect bickies to have with a cuppa, come elevenses.