The October Vegan Challenge

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By Carly Velcich

This article is exclusive to the Online Edition 9 of VARSITY.


Veganism is spreading around the globe as more and more people choose to adopt the lifestyle.


In short, veganism is about making the conscious decision not to consume any animal products (eggs, milk, dairy and meat) for a variety of reasons. This may be for the environment, health or concern for the animals involved. Some have the perception that veganism is limiting, but on the contrary, a vegan diet may open up a whole new perspective on food and the world! Vegans enjoy a wide range of foods, from the obvious veggies and fruit to legumes, grains, nuts and seeds and we can indulge in scrumptious dinners and decadent desserts. To answer the age-old question: yes, we do get enough protein – very easily and without any worry! How do you think hunky gorillas get their plant-based muscle?


The South African Vegan Challenge begins this October. Whether veganism has crossed your mind before or if this is the first time you are reading about it, this may be an interesting challenge to take on this month! The challenge aims to promote a plant-based lifestyle through a wide range of exciting events: film screenings, dinner parties, cheese tastings, cooking demonstrations and animal sanctuary visits. Even better is that these events will be easily accessible to UCT students and many will include free delicious vegan meals. To RSVP, contact Petronella on +27 79 780 3520


In addition to all the fun events and to make the vegan challenge even easier, here are a few simple student-friendly recipes to get you started.




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Oats with chopped up fruit (banana/apple/berries), topped with raisins or nuts.

Optional extras:

  • pinch of cocoa powder (or a square of dark chocolate)
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • splash of plant milk*
  • dash of syrup.


*Plant milk: soy, almond, oat, or rice – available next to the long-life dairy milk in any shop.


The age-old much-loved avo on toast can be made more exciting by adding slices of tomato and smashed chickpeas on top with some salt and pepper.

Optional extras:

  • nutritional yeast
  • lemon juice
  • pumpkin seeds


Lunch and dinner:


Pasta with Napolitana (tomato) sauce, add stir-fried vegetables (marrows, broccoli, and mushrooms or any frozen veggie mix are always tasty!) and throw in some beans for protein (kidney beans, chickpeas, baked beans, black beans, and borlotti beans are all great options).

Optional extras:

  • olives
  • nutritional yeast
  • pumpkin seeds


Buy a pizza base (or make your own) and cover with napolitana sauce. Add avo, olives, spinach, kidney beans, and chopped up Fry’ssausages.

Optional extras:

  • pieces of butternut
  • vegan cheese


Buy a frozen packet of veg and fry it with a little bit of soy sauce. Add some beans or a cut-up Fry’s burger patty and enjoy with a bowl of starch (pasta, rice, or couscous).


Quick snacks:


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Roasted chickpeas in the oven with paprika, salt and pepper.

Cut apples into chunks, cover them in cinnamon and microwave them or boil them on the stove until soft.

Make vegan chocolate mousse by blending 1 avo, a tbsp of cocoa powder and syrup until smooth. (Trust me on this one!)

Toast with peanut butter with slices of banana on top.

Tea or coffee with muesli or condensed-milk flavored rusks, or ginger biscuits.

So happy cooking!

– Vegilicious

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