How to Go Vegan
Going vegan is, without a doubt, the best thing that you can do for animals, your health, and the planet. Making the transition is easier than ever before, but we’re here to make it even easier!
Making the Transition
There’s no mystery to creating deliciously satisfying vegan meals. Tasty alternatives to animal-derived ingredients are as close as your corner supermarket. Check out some of our tips for making the transition:
‘Veg’ It Up
If you’re just getting started, try simply “vegging up” your favorite recipes by replacing animal-derived foods with plant-based ones. Replace the meat in your dish with tofu, tempeh, beans, nuts, whole grains, or fresh vegetables. Many familiar canned soups are likely to be vegan, including miso, black bean, and vegetable.
There’s an ever-growing lineup of mock meats that can give you all the taste of the real thing but without any of the cruelty or cholesterol. Not only are they delicious, they’re also high in healthy plant protein and low in saturated fat.
Borrow From the Best
There are plenty of vegan cookbooks on the market today to satisfy all cooking styles—including for both gourmet chefs and people who don’t like to spend more than 10 minutes preparing dinner—and lots of free recipes are available online. VegCooking.com features hundreds of recipes, cooking tips, a shopping guide, and info on the best new products.
Spread Your Wings
Exploring the many animal-free foods that have been popular in other countries for years can be extremely rewarding. For example, vegans can enjoy many Middle Eastern foods—such as hummus (a tangy spread made from chickpeas) and falafel (a spicy mix of beans that can be made into patties and “meatballs”)—as well as Mexican-style bean-and-rice dishes, Japanese vegan sushi with avocado and cucumber, and Indian curries.
Explore the Grocery Store
You can now find delicious vegan foods in any supermarket—not only in the fresh vegetable section but also in the frozen-food section and every other aisle. You can even find animal-friendly snacks like chips and cookies—you’d be surprised by how many are already vegan. Be sure to ask a store clerk for help if you can’t find what you’re looking for, and if the store doesn’t carry something, request it from the manager.
Try These Easy Substitutes
Overhaul your shopping list by adding a few mock meats and nondairy delights. Here are some of the substitutes that make our mouths water the most:
- Replace meat with tofu, tempeh, seitan, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and more—the possibilities are endless!
- Replace cow’s milk with soy, rice, coconut, almond, or hazelnut milk. Use it the same way that you’d use cow’s milk.
- Replace butter with margarine (not all margarine is vegan, so be sure to check the label) or coconut, vegetable, and olive oil.
- Replace ice cream with fruit sorbets, gelato, or ice cream made from nondairy milk, all of which come in a variety of flavors, such as chocolate cherry.
- Replace cheese with nondairy, soy-based cheese. Use it on pizza, in sandwiches, as a topping, and in sauces. You can also make your own vegan version.
- Replace eggs with bananas, arrowroot powder, or applesauce when baking. For breakfast, scramble up some tofu with veggies, turmeric, and soy sauce.
What to Make
Here are some recipes to get you started on your path to vegan eating:
Lunch or Dinner
Where to Eat
Whether you’re a fast-food fan or a gourmet connoisseur, you can find something to your liking when away from home with the help of these tips:
At a Restaurant
Restaurant options for vegetarian diners keep getting better and better. An easy way to try new foods is to go to restaurants that offer a variety of vegetarian entrées. Eating Chinese? Try the bean curd (tofu) or vegetable dishes. Eating Malaysian? Order meatless rempeh tempeh. Thai restaurants may have tofu dishes, vegetarian pad Thai, meat-free tom yum soup, and salads.
If you’re stuck at a behind-the-times restaurant without many (or any!) plant-based options, ask if the chef can whip up a vegan entrée. Most restaurants will gladly accommodate special requests, and you’d be surprised by the creativity of some chefs!
At a Friend’s House
Get involved! When you’re going to be dining at someone else’s house, call ahead, ask your friend what’s on the menu, and let your host know in advance that you’re vegan. You can offer to bring a vegan dish to share, which is a great way to introduce others to plant-based eating.
On the Road
When traveling, arm yourself with an app that will help you find the closest vegan or vegetarian restaurant. One of our favorites is the HappyCow app.
By going vegan, you’ll many animals each year. Watch this video to see the cruelty that you’ll be helping to stop.
Going vegan has never been easier, but if you want a little more help, take the pledge to be vegan for 30 days and get loads of great tips, recipes, and information.
If you’re in the Philippines, order your free vegetarian/vegan starter kit today!