One of the most common questions I’m asked as a vegan, is “What do you eat?” Sometimes people are asking it from natural curiosity or because they would like to try it themselves; sometimes I think they’re asking because they think a plant-based diet would be terribly restrictive or boring and they think they couldn’t do it.
The truth is, we eat very well and you can too. I am constantly amazed at the tremendous variety of dishes that are possible with a plant-based diet. If you enjoy ethnic foods there is a treasure trove of great eating awaiting you. Indian, Thai, Vietnamese, etc. all have a rich plant-based traditional diet.
And thanks to the internet, there are hundreds of vegan blogs and websites providing countless creative and delicious recipes.
So where do you begin?
I recommend finding a recipe or two that you enjoy so much it can become a regular favorite on your menu rotation. For us, that’s Chickpea Cutlets (burgers). I always make multiple batches of these so I can freeze the extras for days when I don’t have much time to cook. Our young grandsons love them.
Staples on the monthly menu at our house include:
- Chickpea Cutlets
- Pasta and red sauce (with mock meatballs)
- Veggie burgers and oven roasted veggies
- Veggie lasagna
- Tex Mex Pinto Bean Stew
- Corn Chowder Quinoa Casserole
- Avocado Pinto Enchildas
- Blackbean soup
- French Cassoulet
- Veggie fajitas or tacos
You may want to start with recipes that you’re familiar with, but remove the meat. If meat is an important ingredient in the dish, consider replacing it with Gimme Lean™ or Boca’s Ground Crumbles™ two of the many plant-based meat substitutes on the market. This kind of meat replacement works well with lasagna, chili and casseroles.
Many favorite side dishes can be easily made with only plant-based ingredients:
- Baked beans (without the ham)
- Potato salad (skip the eggs)
- Mashed potatoes (made creamy with nut or soy milk)
- Gravy made from vegetable oil
- Slaws made with Veganaise™ or a simple vinaigrette
- Sweet potato fries
I hope I’ve provided some ideas to inspire you. I will share some of my favorite cookbooks and blogs next.