People adopt a vegan diet for many reasons: some for the lifestyle, some for the philosophy and some for the many health benefits. A recent study has indicated that a vegan diet may stop or reverse prostate cancer progression. Another study has suggested that when omnivores restrict meat, fish and poultry, their moods improve. Who knew that fruits and veggies could be the key to happiness, and not only when anthropomorphized in Veggie Tales?
Let’s get clear on what it means to be vegan. A vegan diet does not eat any animal products, which includes anything coming from an animal. No meat, no eggs, no dairy. Vegetarian diets, on the other hand, may only cut out meat.
If you are a vegan (or following Mark Bittman and trying out Vegan Before 6) you might be more focused on what you can’t have, rather than embracing what you can enjoy. If you need to rev up the excitement behind your food choices, check out these easy vegan recipe ideas below!
1. Breakfast for All Meals
Pancakes and waffles don’t need dairy to be delicious. Hollandaise can be made with tofu instead of eggs. Seitan can be smoked to stand in for bacon. Scrambled tofu is delicious, especially when sautéed with onions and peppers. Bring breakfast back – no one will complain about having breakfast for dinner!
2. Browse Meal Kit Sites
There are many vegan meal kit sites. These meal kits have extremely creative recipes, from BBQ portobello mushroom caps to whipped sweet potatoes. Even if you don’t follow them step by step, they will definitely get you out of your dinner rut.
3. Veganize It
Your favourite pre-vegan recipes can still have a place in your vegan kitchen. Desserts are incredibly easy to veganize, often tasting exactly the same as their butter-filled counterparts. You can use coconut oil as a substitute, or use aquafaba to create delicious vegan meringues! Entrees can be a little more challenging, but no less appetizing. Bolognaise sauce can be made with mushrooms rather than beef. Pizza only needs to nix the cheese (leaving room for more toppings), or you can use vegan cheese. Taco night can be just as exciting with piles of guacamole, grilled cauliflower and salsa rather than meat, cheese and sour cream.
4. Mix Up Your Ingredients
Add something different to your salad or smoothie. If you follow a basic recipe every day, it's easy to stick to, but it can become boring quickly. Try simply adding a fresh ingredient to increase your vegan repertoire! Some ideas below:
- Add cashew milk rather than almond milk to your smoothie
- Sprinkle a dash of maca powder rather than the nut butter you usually reach for
- Try zucchini blossoms stuffed with wild rice on your salad, or a new kind of heirloom tomato that will take you out of your “same old, same old"
With literally thousands of options for different fruits and vegetables, a vegan diet can be as varied as its omnivore counterpart – if not more so! Get started with these cheap & easy vegan recipes below.
Snacks & Dessert:
- Jumbo Pecan Cinnamon Buns
- Baked Chai Donuts
- Vanilla Matcha Popcorn
- Frozen Banana Pops
- Vanilla Crunch Espresso Almond Butter Cups