I have written about why I prefer to be mostly vegan. It has been a wee bit of the basics. Yet, some of you are still asking, "HOW? MAKE IT SIMPLE!!" (okay, that's more of a question and then a very loud demand, but I can't blame you).
Let me help you get your vegan groove on.
First, if you are a plan-ahead type of person, it is just the right time to start preparing yourself mentally and join the 21-Day Vegan Kick Start. DANG, you have good timing. It begins September 6th. You'll get recipes and encouraging videos. I definitely gleaned some stuff from it last year.
HOWEVER ... while that is a good boost, most of you are going to walk away from it the first time you open up the recipes and read, "Beets in Dill Sauce." Cause, I know what you're thinking, "Dude, we eat at Arby's. Tuesday nights are Sonic brown bags. I don't mind ordering fancy when I'm at a restaurant, but COOKING fancy? Are you kidding me? I've got a half hour and my local HEB. Don't be using words like 'bisque!'"
Ahhhh, hello normal people. I adore you. I LOVE to eat fancy, but I sure as hey-diddle do not like to cook fancy when I've been going all day and I'm already fantasizing about getting to bed. Not to mention ... fancy for seven people? Just kill me. So, let me show you how we do it.
First, you can make pretty much anything vegan. Just, ya' know, leave out the meat.
- Substitute a vegan "cheese" for regular cheese (or one that is mostly vegan, which you can find in most larger grocery stores - produce section).**
- You can add in some beans for protein and fiber and yum.
- Use Smart Balance for any margarine needs (again not 100% vegan - has some milk whey - but just misses it by a tiny margarine .... er, margin).
- Sub in almond or soy milk for cow's milk.
- Sweeten with natural sweeteners instead of white sugar.
- You can substitute milled flaxseed for eggs (1 TB milled flax with 3 TB water).
Getting the idea?
Rice and Beans
Black Bean Burgers
I could go on for days. You can still get some of your classics and comfort foods. Think about what you already love, and how you could make substitutions. I also make some other healthy swaps, the big one being whole wheat and whole grain over anything white (bread, pasta, etc.). And, of course, I'm going to encourage you to incorporate more vegetables. But not like you're used to vegetables. I'm going to ask you to go on a blind date with the produce section and slowly fall in love.
Some of my new favorite places for recipes, when I'm feeling up to trying something new (but I pick and choose - don't go overboard in the beginning):
Gluten Free Vegan Family
Food From a Former Fat Girl
Compassion Over Killing
This is Why You're Thin
My Vegetable Blog
But my two very favorites, as of late would be:
Coming up next, I will post on how to approach your meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner (or whatever you call the last two, based on where you live).
**stay tuned in coming days for a guest post on the great soy debate
(photo of me fondling produce was taken by Sara Janssen)