January is known by some as Veganuary, when people give up dairy products and eggs for a month. The annual event sees diners eschewing animal products in favour of a plant-based diet, whether for ethical or health reasons – or just as a personal challenge.

The Vegan Society, which is based in Birmingham, offers support to people who’d like to reduce their dairy and egg intake. Spokesperson Dominika Piasecka said, “Any dish can be made vegan – even omelettes, meringues, steaks and other non-vegan dishes that seem impossible to ‘veganise’! You can top pizza with vegan cheese from Sainsbury’s, Tesco or Holland & Barrett and lots of vegetables and olives; swap meat, fish or paneer in a curry for chickpeas or lentils; cashew nuts can be used to add protein and flavour to stir-fried vegetables and rice noodles – and lot of ready-made pastry is ‘accidentally vegan’. If you glaze using soya milk, the dish can easily be turned vegan.”

Local café Eighty Six’d is one place where temporary vegans can go for a hearty lunch. The café’s Imola Kovendi said, “Our soup is always vegan, we can always make a nice big vegan salad with seasonal vegetables and our home-made herby hummus. We have the option of making all our coffees with non-dairy milk and occasionally we do bake a few vegan cakes too!”

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