I’ve been vegan since 2017. It wasn’t that long ago that I had to revise what I used to eat to fit my lifestyle now. Going vegan can be hard and sometimes we just don’t know where to start. So, I’m here to help anyone who is interested in going vegan. Here are some tips:
1. Have dry food
When most people think of veganism, they think of fresh fruits and vegetables. While that is a huge part of our diet, sometimes life can get crazy and we don’t have too much time to plan out meals. Then our fresh produce goes bad and now we have to find something else to make. And often, fruits and vegetables aren’t always filling. Having dry food like rice, pastas, lentils, quinoa and even potatoes can make cooking so much easier.
2. Quality Fresh Food
In the art world, many of us often hear the saying, “less is more.” Having good quality fresh fruits and vegetables can make a huge difference in taste. Checking to make sure that fruits and vegetables look good help to make meals taste better. With certain produce, like avocados, it’s important to keep in mind when we want to use them. Avocados that aren’t ready to eat just yet, will be hard and sometimes light green. If we don’t want to use them in the next few days, it is best to get one that’s still hard, but not really light green. I’ve found that those ones will usually never get the desired mushy texture. If we want to use one the day it’s bought, I would get one that’s a little soft, but not too mushy. If an avocado is really mushy it probably has a lot of black spots and those don’t taste good either.
3. Frozen food
I don’t really like to buy premade frozen meals. I lot of the frozen vegan meals are hit or miss for me. But buying frozen veggies and veggies mixes can make cooking easier. Most stores have frozen mixes to make soups. And frozen lima beans, peas and edamame can be added into meals or eaten on their own for a filling snack.
Making meals and freezing them are a good option too. Soups and chilies are good to make and then freeze. I’ve found that making burritos and freezing them have worked out well too.
Herbs and spices can help make food taste better. Using them to substitute oil, salt and sugar can help us to stay healthy. Most people have dried herbs and spices, but to find something more powerful, some stores carry somewhat dry herbs as well as fresh herbs. Every once in a while, stores will also have herbs that we can grow ourselves. I have a parsley plant that has been with me for almost five years!
I have also found that freezing herbs can add a stronger flavor to meals. However, I have yet to see stores do this.
I think vegan substitutes are continuing to grow and we are still finding creative ways to recreate favorites foods. Silk has been around since I was a kid, and they make a lot of great milk substitutes. I’ve found soy to be the closet to real milk. Beyond meat is perfect for burgers and meatball substitutes. Lightlife smart dogs probably make the best vegan hot dogs I’ve had and they are way less calories than a normal hot dog so we can eat more and feel less guilty. Simple truth has made quite a bit of vegan products. I’ve found one of the best cheese brands to be follow you heart and so delicious has created many ice creams, yogurts and other vegan, “dairy,” products.
Places like UDF, and Ben and Jerry’s also have a ice cream line of diary free alternatives.