This is Veganuary.
It happens every year, so if you’re not ready to take the plunge you have a whole year to get ready for next Veganuary. Whatever or whenever, know that there are plenty of ways to make the transition from eating animals to eating plants. In general you don’t need a website or a book or a special education to prepare vegan foods. For example, not too long ago someone on social media wondered what vegetarians ate on Thanksgiving. The answer, if you think about it, is pretty easy. Everything but the turkey is vegetarian (provided things like drippings and bacon aren’t used in the prep.)
Sometimes I want to experiment or I want to try a new spice or I got some weird vegetable at the farmer’s market. To the internets I go and I’ve never failed to find a recipe to match my quest. For that you need nothing more than your own personal google.
If you were raised to think of meat as being the MEAL, and everything else decorations, then it might take some tinkering to get your palate readjusted. My favorite food used to be Popeyes fried chicken. You can still have things like fried breading, or pot pie, or tetrazzini... but don't make the mistake I made. In my early days of googling and experimenting I discovered an unfortunate truth about the relationship between what something looks like and what something tastes like. For example there are any number of methods to make a version of cheesecake looks exactly like a cheesecake, and yet what it tastes like is…not cheesecake.
But no need to lose heart, because the breadth of vegan choices is unlimited, and there are industrious people hard at work finding combinations and methods that will provide a humane yet delicious solution to every gastronomic puzzle. You might not be able to eat fried chicken skin, but there are vegan analogs that are both delicious and healthful. Here are my three top go-to sites when I want a vegan version of something I already enjoyed eating, or when I want something fancier that also tastes good.
1. OH SHE GLOWS
Angelia Liddon has been doing this a long time now. She’s perfected a lot of recipes, so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Plus her dishes are healthy and don’t call for chemicals.
My favorites are the Pink Power Detox Smoothie (I feel so good after drinking this and it tastes sooooo good)
and these very versatile summer rolls
2. VEGAN SANDRA
Sandra Vungi lives in Estonia and has several cookbooks and a cooking show. What do people in Estonia eat? Food. My favorite, in fact my all-time favorite vegan recipe, is her vegetable and dumpling soup
She has a video so you can follow the steps but it so simple and you probably already have the ingredients in your pantry right now. So many delicious combinations, so many choices, plus it’s fun to read her blog.
3. FAT FREE VEGAN
Don’t let the title put you off. Not every recipe is fat free, and there are plenty of variations. Susan Voisin has a treasure trove of all kinds of recipes, many of them super simple, but that you might not have tried yet. I thought baked tofu might require some special thumbscrew-torture-looking tofu press, but nope, it’s so easy and only has two ingredients. Plus, you know, tasty.
There are gravies and sauces galore, plus tons of stuff to give you ideas for whatever you crave.
As a bonus, check out
http://www.onegreenplanet.org/vegan-food/vegan-sources-of-protein/ for inspiration of all kinds that are all kinds of kind.
And finally, for those who don't want to cook and don't want to give up burgers, you might be pleasantly surprised by the vegan hamburger at https://burgerfi.com/
The bottom line is that vegan food isn’t any stranger than any other food. We have to eat to live and most of us do it every day, so it ought to be something we enjoy and also doesn’t make us feel bad. I mean that in both the physical and mental way. If you’re happy with your diet and your diet is keeping you healthy then fine, but if you are one of the growing number of people who are wondering if there is a way to have your (vegan) cake and eat it too, then maybe checking out one or two of these sites will give you more options to expand your dietary repertoire.