This year, my teenager has decided to take the plunge into veganism after watching a video of a “cute emo boy” talking about being vegan and I’m *not bitter at all* that years of her really cool mother being vegan didn’t convince her alone. She’s chosen a pretty awesome time to do it though – Veganuary 2020 is better than ever and she isn’t stuck for choice anywhere.
What is Veganuary?
Veganuary is a challenge to be vegan for a whole month – and it’s growing year on year. Forget Christmas – Veganuary is the most wonderful time of the year. It’s still cold outside, and there are lots of tasty foods to try, your diet is ruined… it’s pretty much vegan Christmas. It’s been a runaway success. So much so, in fact, that poor omni imitations such as “Februdairy” *snigger* are trying to imitate it. Bless them.
What I loved in Veganuary 2020
KFC Vegan Burger. Oh My Veg indeed. Waaaay back before I moved to Newport, me and my dad would take the kids to KFC every couple of weeks for a treat. For the last few years, it’s been a huge no-go for obvious reasons. All that has changed with the latest (permanent) addition to the KFC menu. The staff were on the ball, letting me know that the fries aren’t vegan. I bought some anyway (it’s a cross-contamination issue, and a fairly minor one at that) but the burger is filling enough to have by itself. It’s juicy, “meaty” and delicious, with the 11 secret spices bringing back so many memories of a childhood feasting on junk food. I can’t wait to see what they do next – my fingers are crossed for vegan cheese, tower options, wraps and riceboxes.
Subway Meatless Marinara. This was the second thing I tried after a second vain attempt to get a vegan steak bake. I’m so glad I did – it tastes as you’d expect a meatball marinara to taste and the vegan cheese blends beautifully with the sauce. It’s a shame the sandwich artist didn’t have better manners. All that tutting and fussing and comments about the smell of the vegan cheese (who cares, I’m not making you eat it) took away from an otherwise awesome meal.
Greggs Vegan Steak Bake. Third time lucky! When I finally managed to get my hands on one, I was pleasantly surprised. I’d never been a massive fan of the omni steak bake so I was worried I wouldn’t like this one. I found it similar enough to be a steak bake but without that something I didn’t like before. Rhian, who has recently decided to go vegan herself, loved it. She says it’s very similar to the omni steak bake, and she’d had one a week or two before! I can’t wait to see what they do next – I’ve got my fingers crossed for a corned beef bake but they’re apparently only available in Wales so I’m guessing they’re a long way off 🙁
Veganuary 2020 fails
Aldi’s vegan pizzas are just gross. Save a few quid and eat something – anything – else.
Burger King’s Rebel Whopper is grilled on the same grill as the meat burgers and they use regular mayo, so I haven’t even had a chance to try it. While I’m ok with eating chips from a fryer that’s been used to cook other products, this is where I draw the line. You will definitely be able to taste the meat (from experience). I’m sure it’s great for veg-curious folk and maybe it will save a few cows, but it’s not for me. I haven’t tried it, but there’s little point in a Veganuary release that vegans can’t actually try. Fail!
McDonald’s Veggie Dippers are just the exact same veggie dippers currently in their non-vegan veggie burger, but served with (vegan) fries and sauce. When almost every other fast-food outlet is pulling the cat out of the bag, McDonald’s is still giving us those gross veggie fingers you got in your 90s school dinner. Even Greggs are managing it. Do better, mates!
Veganuary 2020 has been a turning point. It’s clear brands are starting to wake up, and I hope that the brands that have been slow on the uptake get it together next year. Let me know what your favourite Veganuary 2020 products are in the comments!