2020, a new year, a new decade, and a chance for us all to reinvent ourselves, or just to try out something new. Veganuary seems to be all the rage this year, and after a sustained growth in popularity since it was started in 2014 by the non-profit organisation ‘Veganuary’, there are now more people than ever before attempting to ‘go vegan’ for the entire month of January.
At Hungry Donkey we understand that for some people who are doing it for the first time, becoming vegan (even if only for a few short weeks) might seem challenging, and it is important to know that there is probably a lot more out there for you to eat than you first anticipate, even here at a Modern Greek restaurant.
What is Veganuary?
It all started in 2014 right here in the UK, with a push to promote veganism through an adoption of a vegan lifestyle for the month of January each year. It runs along similar lines to ‘Dry January’ and a non-alcoholic lifestyle, and over time it has grown in popularity. Over the course of these years there has definitely been a surge in vegan lifestyles in general, with higher numbers of people adopting the lifestyle full-time, as well as many vegan/vegan-friendly restaurants, cafés, and pubs, popping up in every city around the country.
The idea behind Veganuary is that it is a tool with which to educate the wider public about the health benefits of veganism as a concept, as well as the benefit it could have on the environment and sustainability as a viable long-term concept.
Veganuary helps people to try veganism, with recipes, meal plans, and in-depth guides on all things relating to veganism. The main reasons that people take it up each year (and generally as a full-time lifestyle choice) are that it helps to improve personal health, it helps to improve animal welfare, and it helps the environment.
Is it Easy to do Veganuary with Greek Food?
You may be surprised to hear that at Hungry Donkey we have a wide range of tasty vegan dishes on our menu. In fact, you could come to us and have a full meal, with multiple courses, feel full, eat healthily, and go away with as good a perception on our tasty and authentic Greek cuisine as the person who is eating our meat dishes. We treat all of our dishes with the same love and dedication, and our vegan dishes are part of that story.
Here is a sample of some of the vegan dishes you can order at Hungry Donkey, showing you exactly how many options there are if you are vegan, or trying to eat tasty vegan food:
Melitzanosalata – roasted and smoked aubergines, whisked with garlic, extra virgin olive oil, garlic and red-wine vinegar.
Fava – a traditional Santorinian dip, consisting of yellow split peas, whisked with onions, and topped with caramelised onions and capers – super yummy, nutritious and filling!
Dolmadakia – a worldwide favourite, we use delicate organic vine leaves, filled with rice and herbs.
Horta – a secret, superfood dish, made with foraged seasonal wild greens from the Peloponnese. Full in antioxidants and vitamins, they are considered to be the secret to longevity trends in many parts of Greece. They are boiled, then rapidly chilled, and served with lots of extra virgin olive oil, vinegar, and lemon.
Papoutsakia – a very traditional Greek dish, consisting of roasted aubergine, topped with tomato, onions and parsley. We usually serve it with Feta cheese, just ask our team to not add the cheese for a tasty vegan dish.
Gigantes – translated as giants, a reference to the beans themselves, they are a super nutritious and filling meze. Oven-baked with carrots, tomato, celery and peppers, they are consumed non-stop in Greece!
Courgette Fritters or Κολοκυθοκεφτεδες: deep-fried zucchini fritters, filed with herbs. A lovely fresh and light dish, that is a big hit with all our guests.
Revithokeftedes, or the Greek answer to falafel: made with chickpeas, cumin, and other spices, and topped with Tahini and black sesame seeds. They are lighter in taste than their Middle-Eastern cousins.
Greek – the traditional Greek salad, always fresh, full of vitamins and antioxidants – just ask our team to not add Feta cheese.
Politiki – a lovely light, carrot and cabbage salad, with pine nuts and pomegranate molasses.
Fakes or Φακές: The traditional lentil soup, made with lentils, garlic, onions, carrots and tomatoes. We top it with lots of olive oil and red wine vinegar, it’s such a staple food course in everyday Greek cuisine.
Veganopoulos Burger: a Hungry Donkey favorite, we just bring lovely seasonal vegetables together, roast them, and put them on top of a lovely bed of rocket, and Greek pita buns.
Gemista: a traditional vegan showstopper that is full of nutritional value – peppers, filled with rice, herbs and seasonal vegetables, slow-cooked in the oven with roast potatoes.
Falafel pita: a big favorite, a quick and yummy street-food item, filled with revithokeftedes, tahini, pine nuts, raisins and our own Greek slaw.
You can wash it all down with one of our delicious Greek wines. The majority of our selection are vegan, especially the Kamara wines. Ask your waiter for some more information about which vegan wines go best with your choices.
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