Whether you want to do more to reduce your carbon footprint, or you're concerned about animal welfare, January is a great time to give a plant-based diet a go, as you get the motivational solidarity and accountability of other people doing it at the same time! With the latest national lockdown, it might be tempting to give up on your good intentions (or continue putting them off!) and seek solace in your favourite comfort foods, so we've gathered these local resources to make things a bit easier. And don't abandon your plans because of a few slip-ups: many in the vegan movement say it's not about a few people being 'perfect' all the time, but as many people as possible doing their best are what's needed to make a difference. If you're participating in Veganuary in any capacity, especially in these circumstances, you're doing a great job - and if in the process you discover new vegan recipes and cuisines to return to throughout the rest of the year, even better!
Going plant-based provides a great opportunity for discovering the joys of seasonal veg - and Oxford is blessed to have so many places to pick up locally-grown produce.
Covered Market greengrocers Bonners are celebrating veg on Instagram, with tasty photographs accompanied by vegan recipe ideas, plus a veg-based giveaway every weekend of January. They're open to browse in person or you can order the good stuff through their local delivery service.
Low Carbon East Oxford are also sharing recipes and tips every day this month on Twitter. They recommend making the most of local veg box schemes (you can find info about a few of them on our deliveries page) as well as some outdoor produce browsing at East Oxford Farmers Market.
If your biggest stumbling block to veganism is a love of cheese, fear not - there are a lot more plant-based options for cheese lovers than you'd expect. Nourish Oxford on Little Clarendon Street have a tempting range, including a wonderfully-named 'Shamembert', plus plant-based versions of gorgonzola, cheddar and more.
What's in your takeaway?
Another lasting benefit of Veganuary is the way that it encourages businesses to think more carefully about their plant-based offerings. Some of Oxford's favourite restaurants are enhancing their (already pretty good!) vegan options especially for the campaign, so you can take some of the pressure off by letting someone else do the cooking!
Sri Lankan street food aficionados The Coconut Tree have a full vegan menu available for delivery and takeaway; a collection of their popular vegan mains like pineapple curry and polenta battered mushrooms - which even the most carnivorous members of DI's team can't resist - alongside dairy-free versions of other signature dishes and desserts.
Half of Taste Tibet's menu is vegan - including warming curries and moreish momos. They deliver once a week and are open for takeaway on Friday and Saturday evenings, and you can choose your favourites or sample more by opting for a 'vegan feast for one'!
V-Giyan is a new Vegan Punjabi delivery service, bringing authentic traditional North Indian cuisine to addresses all over Oxford, inspired by Ayurvedic wisdom which promotes eating more naturally. They work with local producers from around the county and the food - including their 'Planet Happy Meal' - arrives in compostable packaging, for even more green brownie points.
And for a comforting hybrid of DIY and enjoying restaurant-quality food: Dirty Vegan is the sister brand to the Westgate's Dirty Bones, who have teamed up with Beyond Meat and other popular vegan brands to produce their vegan DIY burger kit for two.
Did you know that most beer isn't vegan? This doesn't mean that by going plant-based, you also have to take up Dry January, however! Big Scary Monsters Social Club recently opened on the Cowley Road and their click-and-collect beer lineup includes a decent range of vegan beers. Cheers to that!
Happy Friday Kitchen are offering their vegan comfort food every weekend, but they also have an online shop where you can stock up on vegan pick and mix all week long. Happy munching!