Have you ever wanted to know about veganism but not sure where to start? Well, community group Vegans in Bundaberg is focused on sharing ideas.
Vegans in Bundaberg is open to vegans and like-minded people to meet socially, chat online and show support to each other.
The Facebook group started five years ago, and it has since flourished to include social meet-ups.
Member Reisha Terene said anyone who was interested in veganism was welcome to join the group, and they could attend the meet-ups.
The only requirement is that people only bring/consume vegan products while attending an event.
“Our group social activity had really dropped off these past few years and I wanted to try and rekindle a vegan social group in the Bundy region,” she said.
“I feel that having a regular event each month that alternates locations, days and times will give more people a better chance of attending.
“There are also a lot more vegans here than a few years ago and I feel it’s really beneficial mentally and spiritually knowing there are like-minded people near you; I really hope to connect vegans and vegan curious people too.
“It’s great to socialise with non-vegans but it can be really challenging eating together if others choose to eat animal products in front of you.
“That’s why it’s important to have some social events where your whole table is eating compassionately because it ensures a relaxing eating experience.”
Vegans in Bundaberg welcome the curious
Reisha said vegan curious people were welcomed regardless of what their lifestyle and diet circumstances were at that time.
“It can be challenging for someone who is thinking about living vegan and doesn’t know any real-life vegans or doesn’t have much support at home,” she said.
“It’s an opportunity for people to hear each other’s story of why and how they became vegan.
“Awareness, education and action are key. It’s really important for people to research how to live a healthy vegan lifestyle and learning about plant nutrition is very important.
“When I became vegan, I didn’t know any other vegans and it was like diving into an unknown cavern of water, if there was a local group back then it would have helped me so much.”
Reisha said the Vegans in Bundaberg Facebook page was a great place to connect and find out little titbits of living the lifestyle in the Bundaberg Region.
“Currently the majority of support is sharing information about vegan food, such as, specials or new vegan products in shops, or it could be someone asking for a baker for a vegan cake,” she said.
“At other times we get vegans visiting from other places that ask for recommendations on where to eat while they’re here.
“We welcome vegan-curious or new vegans asking whatever questions they like because it can be a complete unknown and daunting for them.”
Reisha said since becoming a vegan in her early 40s, she found vegan food was not only delicious but also very healthy; one of her go-to vegan dishes is Mexican quinoa salad, and she shares her adapted recipe below.
Reisha's go-to vegan Mexican quinoa salad
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
- 1 and 1/2 cups water
- 2tsp vegetable oil (I use either coconut or cold pressed olive oil)
- 1 jalapeño chilli (remove seeds if don’t want too hot), finely chopped
- 2 cloves of fresh garlic, crushed (or 2 Tbsp minced from a jar)
- 1 thumb of fresh ginger, finely chopped (or 2 Tbs minced from a jar)
- 1 red capsicum, diced
- 1 green capsicum, diced (or 1 cup frozen peas; or 1 x can peas, drained)
- 1 cup frozen corn (or 1 x can corn, drained)
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 2 large ripe tomatoes, diced (or 1 400g can crushed tomatoes)
- 1 x 400g can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 4 spring onions, chopped (or 3 Tbsp garlic chives, chopped)
- 3 Tbsp coriander, chopped
- 1-2 avocado, diced
- 2 Tbsp lemon or lime juice
- Freshly ground black pepper, for seasoning
- Pink or Himalayan salt, for seasoning
- Put the quinoa, water and salt into a pan. Cover and bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes, until the water has evaporated/absorbed.
- Remove from the heat and stand for for 5 minutes with the lid on. Fluff the quinoa gently with a fork and put in a bowl.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan and gently cook the jalapeño, garlic and ginger until softened but not browned.
- Add the capsicum and cook for 3 minutes.
- Add the corn (and peas if using) and cook for 3 minutes.
- Add the cumin and coriander and cook, stirring for 2 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes, beans and spring onions/garlic chives, and cook for 3 minutes.
- Remove from heat and combine the quinoa and vegetable mixture in a large bowl. Cool and put in the fridge until just before serving.
- Peel the avocado and dice the flesh. Toss in the lemon or lime juice, season to taste, then add to the quinoa mixture.
- Mix in the fresh coriander and season to taste with salt and pepper. Enjoy!
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