One of the trickiest parts for folks transitioning to a plant-based diet is that sense of re-learning how to cook and to feed yourself. Sure, there are lots of vegan convenience foods out there, but fake meat products aren’t much better for you than the real deal, even if they are cruelty-free.
The other trick to vegan cooking is learning how to “veganize” your favorite recipes: sub out the animal ingredients with plant-based alternatives. With some savvy substitutions, you can cook up cruelty-free versions of many of your favorite foods! Here are some simple tips for transitioning to a plant-based diet.
Re-imagining Your Dinner Plate
Rather than mimic to fit the standard American “meat and potatoes” meal with veggie substitutes, the key to a healthy plant-based diet is rethinking what a meal really means. Americans eat far too much protein, and there’s really no need to center a meal around a protein with veggies as the co-stars. Instead, put those fresh fruits and veggies front and center for a filling, nutritious vegan meal.
Instead of the meat and two sides, try centering your meal around beans, whole grains, and fresh veggies.
If you’re craving comfort food, there’s nothing wrong with occasionally splurging on vegan faux meats. Just make sure you look for products with organic or non-GMO ingredients, since most faux meats contain soy or corn, which are commonly genetically modified.
One of my favorite ways to make a more “traditional” style meal is to whip up a big salad to pass alongside a veggie loaf from the Magical Loaf Creator. This handy tool from Vegan Lunch Box lets you choose the ingredients you want to use and generates a unique recipe just for you. I’ve been using this for years, and it’s never failed to produce a tasty bean and veggie loaf recipe.
>>Next: Common Vegan Substitutions
Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by beebrulee