Exactly how many animal products are you relying on? And if you changed, would you miss them? Going vegan for a day (or two!) is a great way to get first-hand answers to these questions, plus discover terrific new dishes and tasty ingredients. Try it alone, or join with friends and family for the adventure.
The first place you might face a vegan-day challenge is finding a substitute for dairy in your morning coffee or on cereal. Fortunately there are a lot of yummy dairy-free nut and seed milks out there. I love rich-tasting cashew milk in coffee, and I’ve found that complexly flavored almond-coconut blends are particularly delicious over cereal and in black tea. Try a few to find your own favorites.
And what to eat for your morning meal? Make up a batch of versatile Fruit and Hemp Seed Muesli serve it either hot or cold for a super-convenient breakfast; it’s enough for 12 servings.
Or try out a dish that substitutes tofu for eggs. Veggie-packed Roasted Bell Pepper and Asparagus Tofu Frittata is a good one, and makes a terrific brunch.
For easy, light meals, you can grab some hummus and whole-grain crackers, or make up a quick sandwich with sliced smoked tofu and avocado (one of my favorite combos!). Just about any salad can be bumped up with the addition of a plant protein like beans, nuts or a vegan cheese.
For a family favorite that’s also great for a picnic, you can’t beat this Vegan Portobello Muffuletta, a creative take on New Orlean’s favorite sandwich.
And for a satisfying soup that makes a terrific sit-down meal, Zesty Black Bean Soup is a hit. Serve it with bread or tortilla chips.
Pastas are a crowd pleaser and easy to make vegan with the addition of ingredients like white beans, nuts or tempeh; you can also try adding a vegan “sausage” product, a favorite with my family.
For a hearty baked pasta, this popular Vegan Tempeh and Veggie Lasagna is a great choice.
Burgers never go out of style. You can buy any number of frozen brands, but homemade are a great way to customize flavors and ingredients to suit yourself. These Indian-Spiced Veggie Burgers are packed with tasty ingredients and are gluten-free to boot.
Taco night is a family favorite. Mushroom, Chard and Caramelized Onion Tacos are easy enough for a casual dinner, or you can dress them up for company with homemade guacamole, pico de gallo and a side dish or two.
Smoothies made without dairy are excellently filling and a good way to work more produce into your diet. A quick blend will give you this silky, refreshing Vegan Mango Lassi that uses flax milk and coconut milk.
These grab-and-go Maple and Carob Granola Bars are excellent; if you haven’t tried carob in a while, you should — it’s an earthy, roasted flavor that’s similar to cocoa but intriguingly different.
Leaving out eggs and dairy doesn’t have to mean you won’t have rich, creamy satisfaction. Chocolate lovers will appreciate the deep flavor of this Vegan Mocha Pie that gets a great nutritional profile from silken tofu.
And just how simple (and healthy!) can delicious get? Whirl up a batch of three-ingredient Raspberry Nice Cream, a terrifically popular treat that gets creaminess from a brilliant combination of cashews and bananas. Yum!
What vegan foods do you enjoy most?