Trying Vegan Food For A Week With KIND Nutrition* #AD

11 Jan 2021

As I'm writing this, we're almost halfway through January, but that doesn't mean you've missed out on the Veganuary train just yet! Veganuary is a trend that's taken the world by storm over the past couple of years, as it's designed to help introduce people to a vegan lifestyle throughout the month of January. It's a pretty tasty recipe for success, if you ask me!

As someone who isn't vegan, but is fully aware of the difference a plant-based diet can make to your wellbeing (thanks to watching the Game Changers doc on Netflix - well worth a watch), I've been trying to make a conscious effort to add more plant-based meals into my life. The only thing is, I'm a bit rubbish at knowing where to start with vegan cooking, so when KIND Nutrition got in touch, I was very excited.

KIND Nutrition is a Darlington-based business that specialises in cooking and delivering 100% vegan food across the Teesside area (as well as delivering by courier nationwide). Owned by Martina, a nutrition and health science student (who also hold a plant-based nutrition diploma), there's a lot of experimenting and perfecting of recipes to make sure that everything is delicious, nutritious and lovingly homemade. After originally starting the business when she decided to try veganism and struggled with recipe ideas, Martina now cooks up a variety of dishes each week, reduces takeaway waste with her eco-friendly, compostable packaging, and shows that veganism definitely isn't boring.

To help me get started with exploring plant-based food a little more, KIND Nutrition very kindly (kind by name, kind by nature) gifted a box of 10 dishes to me. So I spent the first working week of January trying a new dish every day and I've got so many thoughts to tell you about!

Crispy tofu peanut stir fry*

(Contains udon noodles, tofu, sweetcorn, carrot, courgette, green beans, garlic, peanut sauce and olive oil)

We're kicking this post off with one of my favourite dishes from the box. The delish dish you can see in the header image was the crispy tofu peanut stir fry and it was just sensational. I absolutely love a stir fry, but I'd never had one that was fully vegan and I definitely surprised myself by enjoying it so much.

I heated this dish up in the microwave and the smell of the garlic that wafted through the kitchen was just stunning. I thought that the overriding flavour would be peanut, but it was definitely the garlic that took centre stage. It really complemented the noodles, which also hid the green beans and courgette really well. I'm typically not a fan of green beans or courgette, but honestly, when it was all eaten together, I could barely tell they were there. I'm still not sure if I'm a fan of tofu, but the coating on these pieces was really tasty and batter-like - it's just the tofu texture that I struggle with.

Paella with sausage*

(Contains paella rice, peppers, tomatoes, green beans, tofu, plant-based sausages, white wine, onions, garlic, nutritional yeast and olive oil)

Matthew has also been working home thanks to lockdown 3.0, so he's joined me in trying vegan food for a week. When we were looking through the KIND Nutrition box, he instantly gravitated towards the paella with sausage. He absolutely loves a good paella, so was understandably curious to see what this was like.

And as it turns out, this was his favourite meal from the week! When it comes to plant-based food, he's a bit fussy and likes to stick to what he knows, so he enjoyed this because the vegan sausage was so close to what non-vegan sausage would taste like. He said that the whole thing was packed full of flavour and he didn't even notice the tofu. All of the veg was cooked perfectly, so it was lovely and soft, and overall, you wouldn't even know that it was vegan. Pretty amazing feedback, I'd say!

Breakfast burrito*

(Contains a tortilla wrap, guacamole, vegetable rice, butter beans, mushrooms and chilli flakes)

This was another dish that grabbed Matthew's attention, which I didn't mind at all because I'm really not a fan of mushrooms at all. We're both Mexican food fans and we'd never seen a breakfast burrito before, so I was really keen to get his thoughts on it!

While KIND branded this as a breakfast dish, Matthew had it for lunch and looking at it, you would think it wasn't enough for a lunch time, but thanks to all of the rice and beans, it was surprisingly filling. He said it was super tasty and packed full of herby, garlicky delicious flavour. The mushrooms were gorgeously sauteed and the texture worked really well with the rice. He's also normally very picky about beans, but they were completely unnoticeable, so there was another clean plate.

Curry potato salad*

(Contains plant-based cream cheese, baby potatoes, spring onions, celery, olive oil, mustard and curry paste)

I loved that there was a couple of salads included in my KIND Nutrition box. They made the perfect lunch for working at home and the curry potato salad was particularly yummy. There was nothing in it that was unfamiliar to me and it was one that I gravitated towards almost straight away.

I've got no idea whether this salad was to be eaten hot or cold, but I suspect you can have it either way. However, I chose to bash it in the microwave for about a minute, which made the potato soft and brought out that curry flavour just a little bit more. This was the ultimate savoury salad lunch that I needed and I was so full from it! It could have definitely been halved as a side for a main meal and it's something that I'd love to have again.

Mac & cheese*

(Contains macaroni, broccoli, plant-based cheese, nutritional yeast, paprika and olive oil. Plus extra crispy onions and spring onions that I forgot to add - oops)

Who doesn't love a good bowl of mac and cheese? This was a dish that I had my eye on, but when it came down to it, it was Matthew who got to eat this meal on his lunch break. I wasn't too mad though, because I got to have one of the salads and a little try of the pasta, but damn, I could've really gone for some mac and cheese.

This was another dish that really tasted like the non-vegan version, which Matthew was pretty chuffed about. The combination of plant-based cheese and nutritional cheese tasted like non-plant-based cheese - the only thing that was different was the consistency. Every piece of pasta was totally covered in sauce, so there were no dry spots either. It wasn't his tip top favourite, but it was still pretty lovely. I'll admit, it probably would've been a total knockout if I'd remembered to put the crispy onions and spring onions on top, but I'm so bloomin' forgetful. Next time!

Ultimate chilli with rice*

(Contains white rice, mushrooms, red chillies, celery, red pepper, black beans, kidney beans, tomatoes, soy sauce, onions, garlic, spice mix)

When I saw that there was a portion of chilli in the box, I was really excited. I absolutely love chilli, especially with lots of beans, and of course, being a vegan chilli, there were plenty of beans. In fact, it was so loaded with beans and veg that I didn't think I'd be able to eat it all. It was a huge portion, but I gave it my best go.

If you love spice, then this chilli is for you. Most of you know that I'm an absolute wimp when it comes to spicy food, so I actually couldn't finish this because it was so hot, but I know there'll be lots of you reading this that would love it! Despite not eating it all, I was really full, thanks to all of the veg, beans and rice. This isn't something that I'd pick again, purely just because I'm such a spicy food-aphobe, but I'd love to have a milder version!

BBQ jackfruit with rice*

(Contains white rice, jackfruit, carrots, red onions, liquid smoke, bbq sauce, olive oil and parsley)

Jackfruit is something that I've heard people rave about when it comes to faux pulled pork and it was something that I'd never actually tried, despite loving pulled pork. When I pulled the tray out of the KIND Nutrition box, I couldn't wait to get stuck into it and see what I thought.

I definitely think jackfruit is interesting. I wouldn't say it's exactly like pulled pork in the taste, but texture-wise, it's practically the same. For me though, the BBQ was quite a lot fruitier than I'd had before, which definitely isn't a bad thing! It was just different, but still very lovely. If it had a more smoked flavour to it, you could've tricked me into thinking it was pork! This was another fully loaded dish, so I ended up sharing with Matthew and was suitably full until tea time, so this is a great option for tex mex fans.

Guacamole potato salad*

(Contains baby potatoes, avocado, olive oil, oat milk, vegan mayonnaise, cherry tomatoes, red onion, spring onion and lime)

As I mentioned earlier in the post, there were a couple of salads included in the box, but I think this one was my top favourite. And that surprised me a little bit because I don't really get on too well with avocado, but yep, this was a scrumptious salad. Looking at the ingredient list, it seems like a fairly simple salad too, but there was just something about it.

As with the other salad, I gave it a quick blast in the microwave to soften the potatoes and add a bit of warmth, and it was just beautiful. The avocado and mayonnaise turned super creamy, while the potatoes were so tender. It was the perfect combo of texture and flavour, and I managed to eat up the whole dish. It also totally opened my eyes to how much I love spring onions and now I kind of want to put them on everything. The subtle flavour from them just complemented every bite!

Pecan banana bread with Nutella*

(Contains pecans, bananas, vanilla extract, plant-based butter, oat milk, flour, cinnamon, hazelnuts, coconut milk, cacao, cacao butter and golden syrup)

Last, but by no means least, we've got the slices of pecan banana bread with Nutella. It wouldn't be a Northernist food post without a bit of cake, would it? You guys know me, I've got a raging sweet tooth, so to see that there were four slices of banana bread nestled in amongst the savoury selections was a dream come true for me.

I'll be totally real, I didn't have the Nutella because I really can't handle the flavour of hazelnut, but the banana bread was simply beautiful all on its own. It made me realise that I quite enjoy a baked pecan, actually! The bread wasn't light and spongey like cake, but quite dense (because of the banana, I think), which I love, with a good crust on it. It was sweet and simply divine after about 30 seconds in the microwave. I definitely recommend trying it warm with some vegan squirty cream or some 'nice cream'.

So if these pictures and little write ups have tickled your fancy, you can try KIND Nutrition out by heading to their website and placing an order. The process is really simple - just choose your box, then choose the meals you want from the drop down boxes. Everything is homemade and 100% plant-based, so it's a great option for Veganuary, those who want to try more plant-based foods or local vegans looking for a fabulous heat at home service!

Which of these meals or dishes do you think you'd like to try?

All items that are marked with a * have been sent to me or gifted for review purposes.

Would you like to comment?