Going vegan doesn't have to be expensive as this Mannings Heath woman shows
Many people choose to curl up with a good book in their free time but for Billie Worsey she loves nothing more than reading cook books.
“Some people will read fiction but I love reading cookbooks,” she says.
“I love cooking and food and I have so many cookbooks so the recipes I do are a mix of these and me just experimenting.”
Billie showcases what she has made through her blog and Instagram account - Carrots n Cashews.
“Instagram posts have been very popular and I try and share a lot of my recipes two or three times a week if I can,” the Mannings Heath mum explains.
All the recipes she does are vegan. Billie became vegetarian when she was eight, and vegan in 2017.
“I decided to do veganuary (where people give up animal products for the month of January) as I love the challenge of going vegan and it just stuck,” she reveals.
“I was addicted to cheese, obsessed with it actually, I would put it on everything so now I feel I can really enjoy my food as it was slathered with loads of cheese.”
And Billie finds that it is cheese that stops many people from going vegan.
“There are some awful vegan cheeses out there but it is just trial and error trying as much as you can to find the one you like,” she explains.
“I love Sainsbury’s own, they do a caramelised onion one which is delicious and Violife is great as well.”
Billie does say however that if you go vegan you don’t have to overthink it or spend a fortune in the supermarket.
“People think you have to spend loads of money and buy all the ‘vegan’ foods,” she says.
“I think some people would be surprised at how much of their diet is actually vegan without trying - beans on toast, jacket potatoes, but you can make swaps so if you love chilli take out the meat and put in extra beans like baked beans that are a great source of protein.
“With vegan foods, a lot is processed so vegan doesn’t necessarily mean healthy but you can make healthy changes.
“You can increase your lentils, beans and pulses and veggies. I use tinned lentils so you don’t have to worry about cooking them, you can just chuck them in.”
One of Billie’s favourite recipes includes lentils and takes ten minutes to cook.
“My favourite recipe is a lentil bolognese which is done by the time the pasta has cooked,” she adds.
“It is a good one to batch cook and freezes well so you can have it in the freezer for those days that you don’t want to cook.
“I love cooking but sometimes I just want to come home and not be stood in front of a stove so it is a good one to get out and cook.”
Billie’s son isn’t vegan and she says the key thing is to do what works for your family.
“You don’t have to go completely vegan if that doesn’t work for you. You can do meat free Mondays or swap out meat in some meals or even just have meat once or twice a week.
“My son is veggie, it works for us but if when he grows up he wants to go vegan or even eat meat that is fine.
“Just do what works for you.”
Instagram is a great place for inspiration but the posts that prove popular aren’t always the ones you expect.
“One of my most popular posts was just of some broccoli and noodles which was really surprising,” she smiles.
“But it is funny with Instagram but I’m not bothered about the likes really I just like sharing the recipes with people.”
Billie’s dream is to put together an e-cookbook but as a working mum she does find it hard to fit everything in.
So what advice would Billie give to someone debating whether to go vegetarian or vegan?
“Give it a go and keep going with it but also don’t put too much pressure on yourself.”
And for any inspiration CarrotsnCashews is a great place to start.