“Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.” - Albert Einstein
Plant-based foods are enjoyed in many cultures around the world. In Jamaica, where fruit and vegetables alike can be enjoyed straight from the ground, many people follow the ital diet which is a form of strict vegetarianism. But first a big welcome to all TheBlissfulchef.com readers. I hope you enjoy our content. Our specialty is recipes, substitutes, international foods, vegan food, baking, and side dishes/appetizers/desserts.
In countries such as India, you’ll find that many of the traditional dishes in their cuisine are made without meat or dairy, and they’re certainly not lacking in taste or flavor. Although it’s recently become more mainstream, the exclusion of meat from your diet is clearly a practice that’s been around for a while. Try our vegetarian dinner ideas.
You might assume that by being vegetarian or vegan, you’re automatically following a healthier diet. There are more vegetables, less fatty meats, and as we’ve briefly touched on, a long history of other people following the same diet without mass reported health issues, which would back you up in thinking this.
However, while there are plenty of known health benefits to going meat-free, you’ll still have to make the active choice to eat healthily and to incorporate all the nutrients you need into your diet. After all, provided they were cooked in non-meat-contaminated oil *groans from every meat eater in the room* fries are vegan, too!
If you’re new to plant-based eating, then you may not necessarily know how to ensure you’re getting a well-balanced diet. It can be tricky to know when you’re overdoing it with one thing, and not getting enough of something else, so this article is here to help. Make sure you check out https://thekitchencommunity.org/vegan-food/ too!
Even if you’re not a full-time vegan or vegetarian, ‘flexitarian’ is becoming more and more popular these days. Birthday meals are now vegan and vegetarian. You can even find them easy skillet meals. They make a cheap healthy meal. You can also check out our dinner for kids page as well. Our cold finger foods are awesome. The sheet pan dinner recipes are also great.
Vegan birthday party food ideas are becoming very common. But don't worry. There are many types of alcohol you can serve as a vegan. Take a look at our tea party food ideas. Give our Fall alcoholic drinks a try. They many mixed drink ideas.
Maybe this article will provide inspiration for your next ‘meatless Monday’ meal, or it could help give you a better idea of what to cook for your non-meat-eating friend or relative when they next come over for dinner. Try to eliminate the use of Styrofoam as much as possible for a true vegan lifestyle. Don't forget the biodegradable or compostable trash bags too.
Whatever your preferred eating habits, by the end of this article you’ll know a lot more about how to eat healthily when you’re following a vegetarian or vegan diet. Make sure you know the tablespoons to cups measurements and ounces to quarts so you can substitute healthily. If you'd like to take your cooking to a higher level, try culinary school. It may be your chosen profession.
What Can You Eat?
For those who don’t already know, a vegetarian diet is typically one which doesn’t involve meat, poultry, or fish. It’s not a hard definition, and many people choose to class themselves under this umbrella even though technically they’re following a variation of vegetarianism. It is possible to make a vegan 5 course meal, so you're not lacking for choices. Try our easy vegan dinner recipes.
At the opposite extreme, you can eat ramen raw for a quick intake of calories.
For example, some people avoid eggs or dairy, whereas others will eat fish but not meat or poultry, although the official label for this would be a pescatarian diet. What to eat with fish can be very pescatarian as well. Check out our fried fish side dishes for inspiration. So you'll need to find a butter substitute for your diet. You can make some delicious Daniel fast recipes.
For health reasons you may want a substitute for ricotta cheese. It has a high fat content. Cottage cheese recipes are healthier and can be equally tasty. Take a look at our hot lunch ideas. Of course our healthy lunch options are very tasty too. Try our lunch recipes for kids as well.
Veganism is where you eliminate all animals and animal by-products from your diet, including dairy, eggs, and - although this last one is sometimes contested - honey.
Even Hello Fresh is getting into the vegan game. There are many good options. Interestingly there are many vegan burger options. They even have fun vegan burger toppings too. Don't forget the sides for burgers. The best sides for brisket also has several vegan options. See our guide on how to reheat smoked brisket.
But don't worry you can still bake as a vegan or vegetarian. You just may need some substitutes like baking powder substitute or baking soda substitute. As a vegan a substitute for milk in baking is a requirement. You also need to find a healthy substitute for heavy cream.
Those at the more extreme end of the vegan-scale would argue that veganism is more of a lifestyle than a diet, and that if you still incorporate animal products into your life such as leather or non-cruelty-free makeup you’re merely plant-based. Remember, you can make smoothies in a food processor for a healthy treat. I really enjoy our vegetable smoothie recipes.
Many of us vegans and vegetarians enjoy hiking and camping. Check out our camping breakfast ideas too. Our easy camping meals are awesome. Remember, there are many tasty vegan breakfast sandwich recipes you can try. Our tasty bagel sandwiches are delicious too. With a few modifications you can make it a easy keto breakfast. Of course, it goes without saying that they are easy keto recipes. For hungry between meals check out our high protein low fat snacks.
As we start a New Year, many people want to lose weight. Fruits and vegetables are a great place to start. Vegetables are great keto diet snacks. They can also be part of a low calorie lunch or dinner idea. You can add a delicious low carb soup recipes or try some of our best juice recipes to help get trim in the New Year. Our vegan soup recipes are also great for this too. Our vegan healthy soups are worth a try.
I enjoy takeout, but reheating fast food properly is a chore.
Is It Vegan?
We have compiled a guide of foods you may think are vegan, but may not be. Take some time to review the guides. They are helpful for new vegans.
- Are Any Sour Patch Kids Vegan? [Sour Patch Kids, Watermelon, and Sour Punch Straws]
- Are Bagels Vegan?
- Are Doritos Vegan?
- Are Cheerios Vegan?
- Are Eggs Vegan?
- Are Figs Vegan?
- Are Fries Vegan?
- Are Jolly Ranchers Vegan?
- Are M & M's Vegan?
- Are Marshmallows Vegan?
- Are Nerds Vegan?
- Are Oreos Vegan?
- Are Oysters Vegan?
- Are Pop Tarts Vegan?
- Are Ritz Crackers Vegan?
- Are Starburst Vegan?
- Are Skittles Vegan?
- Are Takis Vegan?
- Are There Any Vegan Options at Jack In The Box?
- Are There Vegan Donuts At Krispy Kreme?
- Are Thin Mints Vegan?
- Are Tortillas Vegan?
- Baked Lays: Are They Vegan?
- Cold Stone Vegan Options
- Eating Vegan at Jack in the Box: Are Their Tacos Vegan?
- In-N-Out Burger: 3 Best Vegan Options
- Jimmy Johns Vegan
- McDonalds Vegan Options
- Panda Express Vegan
- Red Robin Vegan Options
- Shake Shack Vegan?
- Sonic Vegan Options
- Subway Vegan Options
- Texas Roadhouse Vegan Options
- Tootsie Rolls, Fruit Chews, and Pops: Are They Vegan?
- Vegan Doritos: What Dorito Flavors are Vegan?
- Vegan Marshmallows?
- Vegan Options at Jimmy John’s
- Vegan Options at McDonalds in the US
- Wingstop Flavors
So double check your favorite foods and restaurants. You might be surprised.
What Should You Eat?
When making the change from a meat-filled to a meatless diet, many people make the mistake of thinking they can just eliminate the meat elements from their favorite meals. For breakfast even the most die hard vegan can find an American breakfast dish to like. Check out Friday night dinners for added inspiration. You can also look at romantic dinner recipes. Many are vegan. You can use All Purpose seasoning to add spice to your dish. It also works with low carb meals. You will find that keto crockpot meals and low carb are almost identical. Many can be found in our best casserole recipes too. What to make with a food processor, our recipes and casseroles have you covered. You may even find some easily vegan convertible options at healthy chicken crock pot recipes. Try our chicken breast recipes for dinner. Check out our crock pot dump recipes. Of course, the crock pot is related to the Dutch oven. Take a look at our Dutch oven cooking. It's great for making many things. I really like it for what to serve with stuffed peppers.
This can be a great way to transition to a vegetarian or vegan diet, but if you don’t learn to replace the nutrients that you’re no longer getting from meat then you might end up with deficiencies. Greek dishes can be very vegan friendly and should be reviewed thoroughly. Don't forget the tasty gluten free snacks too. Check out our filo dough or phyllo dough options.
You can always reheat fries in the microwave too if they're vegan. You can reheat fries in an oven and you can also reheat fries in an air fryer. However, the rest is probably best put in the microwave.
Even vegans will be pleased with the dinner tonight recipes available. You can make a tasty vegan Hawaiian dinner too. Remember some of the best Chinese recipes are vegan.
A well-balanced diet should include the following:
Leafy greens such as watercress or spinach contain high amounts of iron, and other greens like broccoli (try our healthy broccoli recipes), asparagus, and green beans are all excellent foods to regularly include in your diet. Try a vegan chop suey if you like Asian food, all of the flavor with none of the meat. It doesn’t just stop at green though. Check out escarole substitutes and how to cook beets. Make sure you check out our vegetable dish recipes. Our healthy lentil recipes are delicious. Of course I really enjoy fried green tomato recipes.
There are many delicious vegetable sides you can make that are delicious and nutritious. Make sure you give our corn casserole a try. You can add delicious tofu for a nice touch. Tasty yellow squash is an option if in season.
Of course healthy Portobello mushrooms can easily replace steak in your cooking. There are many delicious mushroom recipes available. I've always found delicious shiitake mushroom recipes to be one of my favorites. Try our baby Bella mushroom recipes too.
Mushrooms are one of the best vegetables to use in vegan and vegetarian cooking. I love enoki mushrooms in Asian dishes. Lion's mane mushrooms are hard to find but worth the effort. Oyster mushrooms and King Oyster mushrooms are different in taste but also very delicious.
Surprisingly many of those vegetables feature prominently in traditional Spanish food. If you look hard enough you can even find vegan Spanish pastries. Spanish food is special and can be used for weekend dinner ideas. Of course the weekend wouldn't be the weekend without a classic gin cocktail. Don't miss our best cocktails. They are awesome. Tequila drink recipes are also quite delicious. Those fruity drinks are amazing.
For something less sweet try our best vodka cocktails, easy whiskey drinks, or our best mocktail drink recipes. Try our bourbon recipes too. Make sure you take a look at our blue mixed drinks. Our Cointreau liqueur recipes are delicious. As are our easy summer cocktails.
Our simple Mezcal cocktail recipes are also delicious. Our tasty pineapple juice cocktails are typically vegan as well. If you're looking for something more sophisticated, our fancy cocktails are awesome. Though I do prefer a good mojito drink.
If you like cocktails off the beaten path, make sure you try our best ginger beer cocktails. I have always found ginger beer delicious and refreshing and those cocktails are always good. Many of these cocktails can be delicious keto cocktails as well. Of course I do enjoy sour amaretto in my drinks. A good amaretto cocktail is a always delight. Though I have to tell you, I really don't like Jagermeister. It smells and tastes like medicine to me.
As for storage, most vegetables freeze well if prepped correctly. Can you freeze salad? Absolutely, if prepped properly. Can you freeze cabbage? That too is a yes. It's very tasty in Italian soup. You can find some very tasty instant pot soup recipes suitable for vegans. Korean vegetables are great for a tasty change as well. Try our Campbell's cream of mushroom soup recipes. Our healthy soup recipes are always an option too.
Canned vegetables are always an option, but try and find fresh veggies. For a more ethnic taste, give Ethiopian dishes a try. Our African food recipes are also tasty.
Balsamic vinegar is an excellent accompaniment to most vegetables. Don't worry there are always balsamic vinegar substitutes to use as well. Rice vinegar and rice vinegar substitutes are great for Asian dishes. If you like stir fry the best stir fry sauce is here. You can make many sushi rolls vegan. The Boston roll can be made vegan by substituting avocado for the fish. White wine vinegar replacements may be necessary as a vegan as well. Try our best rice cooker recipes. If you just need a side of rice, take a look at our many options. Of course rice noodle dishes are always a bit hit. Vietnamese food is amazing. Of course our cucumber recipes are worth a try too.
If you're going vegan make sure you know the difference of parsley vs cilantro. It's important. Garlic is also important for number of reasons. And yes, you can freeze garlic if you have leftovers or buy too much. Speaking of garlic, don't forget the tomato sauce. Crushed tomatoes are great to use is sauces. There are plenty of substitutes for crushed tomatoes too. Vegans can still add smoked paprika for added flavor. It's not just for meat eaters.
If you need a substitute for tomato sauce, they are many. Raos sauce is a great store bought option. The best vodka sauce is probably something from Raos. Learn the difference between tomato paste vs sauce. If you need a thickener for your pasta sauce, cornstarch or a cornstarch substitute are ideal. Speaking of pasta, check out our easy pasta dishes and our rice vermicelli recipes.
You definitely need to find a tomato paste substitute as tomato paste is not vegan friendly. Thankfully there are many wonderful Italian recipes that are vegan. Personally, I find the many Italian appetizers very delicious. Check out what to serve with lasagna for some interesting vegan ideas. Easy appetizers for a crowd has plenty of vegan alternatives. You can also take a look at finger food appetizers too. Make sure you try Italian sweets. many are vegan. Try our best dips.
If you're looking for super easy dinner ideas for two, don't forget sous vide recipes. It's always delicious way to cook. Personally I prefer soul food recipes. I love collard greens. They're great for weeknight dinners.
Thyme and thyme substitutes work well in vegan and vegetarian recipes; especially tasty vegetarian sandwiches. Thyme is also an amazing substitute for tarragon. So does white pepper or white pepper substitutes. Get your paprika and paprika substitute to make your recipes spicy.
Cardamom or a cardamom substitute can add zing to certain dishes. The same thing can be said for coriander and coriander substitutes. Cilantro and coriander are the same so cilantro substitutes are coriander substitutes. Don't be afraid to use a cumin substitute. Cilantro is an important part of pho soup.
You can freeze vegetables for future use. You can freeze spinach, kale, and collard greens without blanching for use in other vegan recipes. If you're looking for a good salad recipe, check out our Olive Garden salad recipe. It can be very vegan friendly with some minor substitutions. Get yourself a good onion cutter though. While you're at it, get a cheese cutter for when you have guests over.
Sesame oil or a sesame oil substitute is a great addition to the vegan or vegetarian cooking lifestyle. Chili powder or chili powder substitute do the same thing.
Though technically a herb, make sure you learn how to dry basil, basil is an important ingredient in your vegetarian and vegan recipes. There are several curry leaves substitutes including basil, lemon zest, and kaffir lime leaves.
Expensive truffles may be an option though I find the truffle taste is acquired.
You can also add plenty of pickles and plenty of gherkins. Yes, they are different.
If you enjoy cooking, make sure you understand the difference between garlic powder vs garlic salt.
Don't forget a good substitute for vegetable oil as well. It's a frequent cooking ingredient.
Try to incorporate a range of colors into your diet, including tomatoes, capsicum peppers, carrots, eggplant, and whatever else you can think of. Sweet pepper recipes can be a great place to start. So to are our vegan eggplant recipes. Vegetables can also be high in vitamin C which can help you absorb some of the other nutrients your meal contains. Make sure you know the difference between scallions vs shallots.
Don't forget the oregano or oregano substitute for your recipes. Granulated garlic is also helpful to give your recipes a zing.
You can put aluminum foil in an air fryer and make a great baked potato. Potatoes are great options for the vegan and vegetarian diet. How long it takes to boil a potato depends on the size of the potato.
Indian food is very vegan friendly. Try Indian side dishes for inspiration. I love vegan dosas. Get yourself a good dosa pan or tawa. If you desire extra heat in your recipe, try Sambal Oelek or a Sambal Oelek substitute. For more vegetarian friendly recipes take a look at Indian appetizers. Most are vegetarian and easy to make. Our Indian dessert recipes are also very vegan. Though as a vegan and vegetarian you'll need a ghee substitute to use in many of the recipes. If you enjoy Indian food you'll need to understand how to use garam masala or a garam masala substitute.
Dashi is a group of broths that are made from steeping various in either cold or warm water. It is used almost exclusively in Japanese cooking and is difficult to find a Dashi substitute. The most common would be soy sauce. (see Asian dishes) If you're eating Japanese food, get a good ramen bowl set. You can always substitute a vegetarian option for chicken broth.
Nigerian food is heavily vegetarian and you can find something that will fit any palate. Guyanese recipes are also vegan and vegetarian friendly. Vegetarian appetizer options can be delicious.
Turkish food is similar to Greek and Romanian in that grain and vegetables are a very important part of many of their recipes. Turkish recipes are interesting to make and Turkish desserts are sweet and tasty. You should definitely give Turkish food a try. They have many interesting puff pastry dessert recipes.
Though I have to say, I really enjoy Irish desserts. They're tastier than one might expect given Irish cuisine as a whole. Try our finger food desserts. You can always make vegan candy recipes. make sure you check out our healthy sweet treats.
Filipino food also has many delicious vegan and vegetarian dishes. Filipino desserts are especially delicious. Though I find Cuban cuisine just as vegan and vegetarian friendly.
Cucumbers and pickles can be your best friends when vegan or vegetarian. Use them liberally in your recipes. Speaking of pickles and cucumbers, use vinegar and vinegar substitutes properly. Make sure to try the health benefits of apple cider vinegar or apple cider vinegar substitutes.
Parsley is a great ingredient for vegans and non-vegans. Try a parsley substitute if you don't like the taste.
Though not a vegetable, there are many types of edible mushrooms that are delicious.
While too much sugar is bad for you, the naturally occurring sugars found in fruit make up part of a healthy diet. You know what they say - an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but you should also mix it up and try berries, bananas, oranges, and melons so you’re getting a range of vitamins and nutrients. You can refrigerate bananas and store bananas in the fridge. I love bananas personally. The make easy banana desserts. It's one of our best pie recipes. Try our easy moist banana bread recipe.
Agave nectar is a great natural sweetener that can be used in place of sugar to veganize many recipes. If you like baking you'll need to find a vanilla extract substitute as vanilla extract may not be vegan. You can still use it for homemade Starbucks drinks. Make sure you check out our Starbucks Caramel Frappuccino recipe.
Fruits allow you to make several delicious sweet breakfast recipes. Give them a try. There are some great baking ideas here.
Vegan ice cream can be made without cream by using coconut milk. Our coconut milk dessert recipes are very vegan friendly. Try our favorite ice cream flavors.
You can still have tasty desserts even as a vegan. Our instant pot dessert recipes can be very vegan. Orange dessert recipes are very tasty and healthy. You can substitute guava for orange in many recipes. What does guava taste like? Pear and strawberry together.
Call me crazy, but I've always loved the fruit dishes in Polish food. The blueberry offerings are delicious. Their blueberry dessert ideas are very tasty.
Apples are one of my favorite foods. The sweet varieties of apples are many. You can find one you like I'm sure. Should apples be refrigerated? Under certain circumstances, yes. Learn the difference between Ceylon vs Saigon cinnamon. They're great with apples. Apple juice is a great white wine substitute for vegans.
It’s recommended that you include at least 5 different types of fruits and vegetables per day. Check out Ripening a pineapple for the best method to find a ripe pineapple. Yes, you can freeze oranges.
Try papaya. What does papaya taste like? It tastes like a pumpkin or sweet type of carrot.
Grenadine is an underused ingredient. Give it a try.
Lemon zest is a very useful cooking ingredient for vegans and vegetarians alike. Know how to zest a lemon. Speaking of lemons, lemon extract or lemon extract substitutes can be used easily. Try our lemon dessert ideas.
If you're looking for a dairy free dessert try sherbet vs sorbet. Many delicious Thai desserts are vegan friendly and use a sorbet option. They're good in simple cream cheese desserts.
Surprisingly, many Mexican dessert recipes are fruit heavy and vegan friendly. Also try the non-alcoholic Mexican drinks.
As you may expect, there are many tasty Vietnamese desserts that are vegan friendly.
Try to stick to the whole grain variety as this contains more fiber. Other grains that are great to include in a healthy diet are quinoa, barley, and buckwheat, which are perfect to add to soups. Jasmine rice is always a good choice for vegans and vegetarians. When cooking rice know the rice to water ratio. Make sure you use the best saffron you can find. You can taste the difference.
Brown rice can be the foundation of a number of dishes, and oats are a great breakfast boost. When baking, spelt four substitutes are an option. Almond flour and almond flour substitutes are also good. You can use these flours to make different types of bread. I really like ciabatta bread. If you're making vegan bread, a Danish dough whisk is helpful. Vegans can also make easy stale bread recipes. Don't worry vegans can still use a good canape recipe. They can be 100% vegan and taste delicious. You can still enjoy drop dumplings if you're a vegan.
A discussion of grains wouldn't be complete without the addition of pasta. As a vegan pasta sides will become very important to your main dish to make your meal more filling. Puerto Rican food has many vegan and vegetarian options. Take a look.
Tortillas are always an option for vegans. Do tortillas go bad? Yes they do. Can you freeze tortillas if you have leftovers? Absolutely, but you must fry or toast them afterwards to avoid soggy tortillas.
Since Ukraine is considered the "breadbasket of Europe", they have many tasty recipes focusing on grain. Ukrainian cuisine is quite good.
There are some interesting Portuguese breakfast recipe options for vegans.
Lentils, chickpeas, black beans are all great for lowering blood sugar, blood pressure, and heart rate. Add them to chili and you’ll never go back to minced meat again. They are also great in sides for chili.
Chickpeas are a key ingredient in hummus and very tasty. What to eat with hummus is varied and tasty. You can use hummus as a sandwich idea as well. For vegans, hummus is also a great place to start for picnic food ideas. You can also use it on panini sandwich recipes.
Try small white beans too. I really enjoy vegan chili. Make sure you find the best beans for chili. Legumes are great in crockpot meals. Luckily for vegan and vegetarians, there are great vegetarian crock pot recipes. The crockpot is ideal for soups too. Try easy crockpot soups.
There's no reason you can't use a K cup or other instant coffee as a vegan. Try our fancy coffee.
Nuts and seeds:
There’s such a huge variety of nuts and seeds that we couldn’t possibly name them all, but a few good suggestions include walnuts, cashews, or peanuts, and hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds. You may also want to try organic peanut butter. Make sure you find a vegan option for waffles and pancakes.
Nuts can be used in baking or stir-fries for a delicious, healthy crunch, whereas seeds can be used to top your morning porridge or yogurt. The best flax seed substitute is chia seeds. You can use chia seeds in vegan stove top stuffing recipes.
When it comes to nuts, know the difference between the pecan vs walnut.
Even if you're a vegan, there are many different types of cake that can be made vegan friendly. They can make a simple birthday cake. It's one of those things to make with buttermilk. Keep it simple. There are even vegan bundt cake recipes. Don't forget you can even make these cakes for recipes using applesauce.
Allspice and an allspice substitute are interesting flavor combinations for vegan and vegetarians alike.
If you enjoy popcorn, make sure you use one of the healthy oils for popping popcorn.
Nuts and seeds are an ingredient in many German breakfast recipes. Try the traditional German desserts too.
It might sound like an oxymoron, but certain fats are healthy and should be a part of your diet. We don’t know where they got such a bad rep to begin with! Best consumed in moderation? Yes. But to be vilified?
Nope, we’re not here for it. Healthy fats include oils like coconut or olive oil, avocados, and even dark chocolate. Try our best chocolate desserts. There are many tasty electric skillet recipes you can try as a vegan. Try our dinner party food ideas for more options.
(Non-) dairy products:
Soy milk, almond milk, coconut milk, oat milk… you can make milk out of pretty much anything these days, so there’s plenty of alternatives to choose from if you’re ditching the dairy. This also included non-dairy spreads (low fat is better), egg replacements (how long are boiled eggs good for, anyway?), or dairy-free yogurts. You can use it as a replacement in egg meals too. Cinnamon and cinnamon substitutes may become your best friend for vegan and vegetarian desserts.
Almond milk is always a good vegan option. Does almond milk go bad? Yes it does so use quickly.
You can even make no-bake cookies without milk. Vegans can find many easy desserts to make. Pick a French cookie recipe. They're delicious. You may also want to try a no bake cookie recipe. Many are vegan friendly.
Some dairy is okay for some people. Familiarize yourself with various cheese like Muenster cheese, vegan cream cheese substitutes,
You'll need to find various dairy substitutes that work for you if you're vegan or vegetarian. For instance, if you like to bake you'll need a good buttermilk substitute. It goes without saying that as a vegan you need to find corn syrup substitutes for your diet.
For those who like to bake cookies, you can use sugar free chocolate chips.
The best brandy substitute is rum (alcohol) and apple juice (non alcohol) for your vegan recipes. You should try our best brandy cocktails.
Arrowroot powder substitutes include tapioca flour and cornstarch. They work in the same way as arrowroot powder. You may need to adjust your quantities slightly.
Iron is essential for brain function, the immune system, and helping transport oxygen around the body. It’s also one of the easiest nutrients to let slide when you switch to a vegetarian or vegan diet, as it’s naturally found in red meats such as steak. Just because you're vegan doesn't mean that steak sides are off the table.
It’s a known fact that those following a meat-free diet have lower iron stores, so it’s particularly important to get some good sources of iron in your diet. This includes pulses, leafy vegetables, whole meal bread, dried fruits, nuts, and seeds.
We’ve been told from an early age that calcium makes our bones big and strong, but it also keeps your teeth, muscles functions, and nerves healthy, too. Vegetarians can get lots of their calcium from dairy products such as cheese, yogurts, and cow’s milk, but vegans would argue that we don’t need to grow our bones as big as that of a baby cow.
Non-dairy alternatives include fortified white bread, calcium-fortified breakfast cereals, dairy-free milk, and leafy greens such as kale and rocket. Give our high protein low carb breakfast ideas.
B-12 is a slightly trickier one, as it’s typically only found naturally in animal products. This isn’t so bad for vegetarians as you can get B-12 from some dairy products and eggs, but vegans tend to struggle more with consuming enough of this vitamin to avoid being deficient.
If you’re raising your young children on a vegan diet, then B-12 is particularly important for their development. It can be found in vitamin B-12 fortified yeast extract, commonly referred to as ‘nooch’, fortified breakfast cereals, or fortified dairy-free milk and spreads.
As you can see, it’s not something that naturally occurs in many plant-based foods, and many people choose to boost their intake by taking supplementary vitamin B-12 tablets. This is actually recommended by the Vegan Society, but if you’re unsure then feel free to consult your doctor.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
By cutting fish out of your diet, you’re losing an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, so it’s important to make sure you replace this within your meals. These essential acids aid in lowering heart disease, as well as encouraging healthy visual and brain development.
Didn’t you ever have sardines in the morning for ‘brain food’ before an upcoming test? Luckily, it’s found in high quantities in certain seeds, including flax and chia seeds, walnuts, soybeans, and oils such as flaxseed and rapeseed oil. Rapeseed oil is a great canola oil substitute in recipes for vegans. Don't forget the low carb side dishes.
And though it's not vegan or vegetarian, many healthy eaters use sushi as a source or omega-3. Try Nigiri and Sashimi. Fish sauce or a fish sauce substitute can add zing to any Asian dish. If you're adding fish, check out Cajun Shrimp Pasta. It's an easy Cajun recipe.
There are many frozen cooked shrimp recipes that have a vegan alternative. As well as what goes with with shrimp. Shrimp is always a treat in my house and is always welcomed as Saturday dinner night dinner ideas. My family really enjoys shrimp meals. Yours will too.
Sources of Protein
It’s the one question all vegans and vegetarians dread - “but if you don’t eat meat, how do you get enough protein?”
While it might cause you to roll an eye when you’re met with this query for the hundredth time after telling someone about your dietary preferences, it’s actually a reasonable enough question to ask. Protein is less commonly found in plant foods, Or at least, not ‘complete’ proteins, anyway.
This is where all nine of the essential amino acids are present, although a good example is soy products which are high in protein.
Quinoa is another great source of protein, although the debate over how to correctly pronounce it is enough to put anyone off eating this versatile grain. Keen-wa? Quin-oh-ah? Well, what we do know is that you should make it a part of your meat-free diet.
Pulses and legumes are high in protein and is easily thrown into stews, casseroles, or chilis for an easy boost. Eggs are another way to incorporate protein into your diet if you’re not adhering to the stricter vegan rules, in fact, some people eat hard-boiled eggs by themselves purely for that protein hit.
Asian cultures have been taking advantage of the many benefits of tofu for years, but for some reason, it’s yet to take off in quite the same way in the Western parts of the world. It’s absolutely packed full of protein, and it’s incredibly versatile so you can use it in a number of dishes.
Enjoy it fried, baked, or scrambled like you’d have your eggs in the morning. Our top tip? Don’t be stingy with the spices and herbs. One of the great things about tofu is how well it absorbs and takes on other flavors. Marinade it overnight for the tastiest results! You can even try a Korean BBQ grill to give it some zing. Our Hibachi recipe ideas are also worth a look. It also works for what goes with BBQ chicken. Just in case you were wondering, you can find some vegan dishes in what to serve with chicken parmesan. Also check out our Blackstone griddle recipes. You can find some vegan options in our BBQ side dish ideas. There are some surprisingly healthy barbecue appetizer ideas. Try the vegan cookout recipes.
If you do find that you’re struggling to include enough protein in your diet through food alone, you can also supplement your intake with protein powders by adding them into smoothies and shakes, or by mixing them into yogurt.
If you can't get through the day without your coffee, you'll be happy to learn there are several healthy coffee sweeteners out there.
Should You Fake It?
Probably the second most annoying question vegans have to answer is - “Well if you don’t want to eat meat, why do you want to have food that looks and tastes like meat?”
Gone are the days of trawling around town trying to find a supermarket that actually sells meat substitutes. Up until around 5 years ago, that was the reality for most vegans, but these days you can walk into pretty much any store and you’ll be sure to find not just one, but several alternatives to meat!
And it’s not just vegan companies producing it either, as even non-plant based companies are making an effort to keep up with the demand for fake meat.
The majority of vegetarian or vegan meat substitutes are naturally much lower in fat and cholesterol due to being made with ingredients such as soy products, legumes, and vegetables. However, it is possible to overdo it with fake meat substitutes.
For example, products such as Quorn include an ingredient called mycoprotein, which can cause an upset stomach and result in symptoms including nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
While it can be a great idea to incorporate these substitutes into our diet, especially fussier eaters who find the transition from meat to non-meat more difficult, they shouldn’t be included as a part of every meal.
Try swapping meat-free mince for lentils in a bolognese, or use tofu, seitan, tempeh, and other foods that play the same role as meat, without the processed ingredients that are found in substitutes.
If you need a sweet fix, Jolly Rancher candy seems to fit the vegan bill. The Jolly Rancher flavors are vegan friendly.
When it comes to fast food and eating vegan we've written some guides for your eating information and enjoyment. Check out Chili's Vegan Options, Are Jack in The Box tacos vegan.
Sides for fish tacos can be tasty, but may not be vegan. Make sure you check.
Recipes to Try
All recipes are not created equal. Some are better for you than others. Many can be easily modified by using substitutes like this recipe for homemade chocolate frosting. Give it a try. You should also try Waffle recipe without milk. It's vegan friendly.
Kosher salt should not be used when baking due to its anti-caking agent. A kosher salt substitute would be best.
If you have a sweet tooth, check out dairy free desserts. many are vegan friendly. If you like to bake it's important to find a good melting white chocolate and a decent white baking chocolate.
If you're serious about going vegan or vegetarian, make sure you acquire a good set of ceramic non stick pans. You'll need them for your new recipes.
Look at adding mirin or a mirin substitute to your recipes. It's very flavorful.
If you have an Instant Pot or Ninja Foodi, make sure you try our curated Foodi recipes. They're some of the best. My family loves air fryer meals. Family dinner has never been easier. You can also check out Ninja air fryer max xl recipes.
Even vegans will enjoy this recipe for chocolate chip cookies without brown sugar.
Sometimes the easiest way to be vegan or vegetarian is to adopt the food of another culture. Many cultures outside of the west have a very healthy and flavorful vegan or vegetarian food culture.
Guatemalan food is some of my favorite. Between the rice and the vegetables there's always something tasty to eat.
Korean Food and Korean Desserts
Korean food has always been some of the most healthy and vegan friendly cuisine in the world from Kimchi to Seaweed snacks. You really need to try the Korean desserts though. Very tasty options from a country not known for their desserts. Asian desserts are good to try as well. Though a Japanese creation there are types of ramen that are Korean. Check them out.
If you're looking for some weird inspiration, take a look at Nasty Food. It's full of the some of the most disgusting dishes served on earth. Don't make them unless you have a very strong stomach.
Foods that start with letters of the alphabet
It's surprising how many people are searching for lists of various foods by letter of the alphabet they can make, bake, or use as substitutes in recipes. With that in mind, here are our top resources:
- Foods that begin with A
- Foods that begin with B
- Foods that begin with C
- Foods that begin with D
- Foods that begin with E
- Foods that begin with F
- Foods that begin with G
- Foods that begin with H
- Foods that begin with I
- Foods that begin with J
- Foods that begin with K
- Foods that begin with L
- Foods that begin with M
- Foods that begin with N
- Foods that begin with O
- Foods that begin with P
- Foods that begin with Q
- Foods that begin with R
- Foods that begin with S
- Foods that begin with T
- Foods that begin with U
- Foods that begin with V
- Foods that begin with W
- Foods that begin with X
- Foods that begin with Y
- Foods that begin with Z
I hope these lists provide useful inspiration.
It’s important to remember that certain cooking methods yield unhealthier results than others. Vegetables are great for you, but if you coat them in batter and deep fry them then you can’t exactly call them healthy.
The good news is, this logic can be flipped, and some of the more indulgent foods you enjoy can be made much healthier by adjusting the cooking method. For example, if you’re having fries with your meal, you could bake them instead of frying them. Try Popeyes French fries. They're delicious. Don't forget Popeye's biscuits too.
However, while it’s important to eat healthily on the whole and to make sure that you’re getting enough of each food group, it’s also important to remember to treat yourself once in a while.
Life is about balance, and luckily there’s a whole new world of vegan junk food that’s been developing over the last 2 or 3 years that has changed the game. Remember though, all in moderation.
Check out these resources too: