There’s nothing you have to give up!
For every animal-based product out there, whether it is mayonnaise, cheese, meatballs or hamburgers, there are multiple options for a plant-based alternative! Try them out and you’ll surely find one you love. It is easy being meat-free, dairy-free and egg-free today — healthful vegan meals can be readily prepared around convenience foods available in stores!
Use cookbooks or recipe blogs
Shop for a vegan cookbook or browse through one of many vegan recipe blogs themed around the kind of foods you like. Cooking with new or unfamiliar ingredients is easier with some expert guidance—and there is an abundance of help available online. You can begin with a seven-day meal plan with recipes provided on this site!
Embrace plant-based meats
There are more varieties of plant-based meats available in the market today than ever before. The list of companies making them is long and varied: Gardein, Field Roast, Beyond Meat, Tofurky, Lightlife, Boca Burgers, MorningStar Farms and Yves Veggie Cuisine. Embrace them in your kitchen preparations and you’ll thank yourself!
Learn the art of substitution
There are always prepared foods that you can use as substitutes, such as Just Mayo in place of egg-based mayonnaise or almond milk in place of dairy milk. But, there are also homemade substitutes you can use, such as crumbled tofu in place of scrambled eggs or pan-fried thinly sliced seitan in place of beef.
Stock up your spice pantry
We don’t need meat to make a meal interesting — herbs and spices perk up any dish and a good collection in your pantry is the key to great vegan cooking. Experiment with common combinations of spices and herbs — once you have built a small repertoire you like, you can make magic with whatever you happen to have in your kitchen.
Integrate leafy greens
Dark leafy greens are among the leading stars of healthful eating and incorporating them into our meals is easier than it looks. It is most convenient to stay stocked up on frozen kale, spinach or other greens and drop them into whatever dish you fancy that day. It can just as easily go into refried beans on your tacos as in the pasta sauce you are stirring up.
Nuts don’t just make great snacks — they add taste and texture to all dishes. Try peanut butter in stir fries, toss roasted walnuts into salads, use pureed cashews to make sauces, put almonds in your oatmeal, and drop pistachios into rice dishes. Stock up on roasted nuts in your freezer and they can make a delicious addition to any meal.
Do not forgo beans
Legumes are among the most versatile foods, capable of enriching a variety of foods from soups and salads to wraps and rice-based dishes. They are packed with protein and they cost a fraction of animal-based meats. For maximum savings, cook raw beans purchased in bulk, but for convenience you can use canned or frozen beans without losing nutritional value.
Get social over cooking
Shared cooking and eating is known to strengthen bonds of friendship and trust. Turn your culinary adventures into social events — it is a great motivator to go bold with food and explore new flavors and cuisines. Invite friends over or attend pot-luck dinners to share your creations — expand your palate, your culinary skills and your social life all at the same time!
Thank you to The Humane Society for this great article.