Veganism is one of the most eco-friendly ways to live your life, and it’s been growing in popularity with each passing year.
While vegetarianism prohibits a person from eating meat, vegans refuse to consume any animal products, regardless of how they were harvested.
This means that both eggs and milk are off the menu, and it can become incredibly complicated if you begin missing some of the foods that you ate before joining this cause.
However, things don’t have to be difficult, and there are dozens of alternatives to almost every ingredient from a standard, non-vegan diet, and while it may not taste exactly the same, it’ll be good enough to satisfy that craving feeling.
As January passed, the yearly Veganuary trend is also finished, but this doesn’t mean that people will go back to eating meat, and some of them dedicate their entire lives to preserving animal life and fighting against animal cruelty.
Vegan before 6
For some, it’s hard to embrace a life without any animal products, and vegetarians may find that this also applies to them.
Giving up something like milk feels almost impossible if it’s become such a big part of your diet, but this doesn’t mean you can’t make at least two meals in a day to contribute to a greater cause.
One way to do this is the Vegan Before 6 strategy invented by Mark Bittman, a food writer who suggested that breakfast and lunch could consist of vegan-friendly ingredients but come dinner time, everything’s on the table.
By doing this, you’ll eventually be able to ease yourself into a fully vegan diet without feeling like you’re missing out on the food that you like.
Remember, it’s all about baby steps, and if you can accept that a single meal isn’t too hard to give up, you’ll reach your goals in no time.
Stir fry with vegan ingredients
It’s hard to make the claim that stir fry isn’t some of the most delicious food you’ve ever tried, but a vegan diet does imply that you’ll be missing out on some of the animal protein that usually goes into these meals.
However, there’s always an alternative, and protein sources come in many shapes and forms, including those that aren’t of animal origin.
Tofu is the first thing that comes to mind, and with only some minor adjustments you can make it taste exactly as meat would in a stir fry, although the custardy texture doesn’t exactly appeal to everyone.
To solve this, many have opted to include seitan in their diets, as it’s a meat alternative made with wheat gluten that has that chewiness that you’d think only a hearty slice of beef can provide.
On the other hand, if you’re more fond of a grainier texture, tempeh may be the thing for you, as it has a large number of prebiotic fibers.
Sure, nothing feels better than a nice slice of cheddar, especially if you’re a fan of grilled cheese, but sometimes it’s important to make that extra step and move on from this tasty treat.
Thankfully, cheese alternatives have been around for a while, and over the years they’ve been getting significantly better.
In fact, you can get vegan cheese in a variety of forms, whether it’s cream cheese, slices, snacks or even shredded to top off a vegan-friendly pizza.
This also means that you could even make a cheesecake that’s equally as tasty as a regular one without sacrificing too much.
Of course, vegan cheeses tend to be on the pricier end, and obtaining a decent kind may cost you a pretty penny, but if you’re in a pinch, a store brand may be able to serve its purpose, even if it’s for a single meal.
So far, there are mozzarella and cheddar variants on the market that are nearly indistinguishable from the real thing, and they’re the perfect ingredient to crown a vegan burger.
Plan out your meals
Staying on course for your goals requires a lot of dedication, and if you’re not prepared ahead of time, you may find it difficult to stick to a vegan diet.
This is why planning your meals up to a week ahead is crucial if you’re looking to spare yourself the constant trips to the market to make that meal that you just thought would make a great end to an exhausting day at work.
You can also make some ingredients like pasta and roasted vegetables in batches, which will save you some extra time when you’re looking to include them in a dish at any point in the week.
You can do the same for sauces, and if you’ve got any leftovers, you can toss it all in a stir fry the following day.
It’s important to know what foods can be stored for longer periods of time and which ones can’t, so do your research before storing away some spinach that may end up being tossed in the bin if it spends too long in the freezer.