Cooking Like a Vegan

Posted on Posted in Blog, Cooking

CHALLENGES

Where to start? First off, eating like a vegan and cooking like a vegan are two entirely different paths. We all know how to eat and if we select the appropriate foods, we all can eat like a vegan. How tough is it to put some lettuce, carrots, celery, mushrooms, etc. in a bowl, toss with your favorite vegan approved dressing and you have your first vegan lunch.  Simple, right, but will this get you through the day, the week, the month;  I think not.  A sustainable diet needs variety.   There are many ways to begin your journey of cooking like a vegan.  I can only tell you how I did it. I love to cook, so cooking vegan was an exciting challenge. I have been doing this for about 6 months.  Today, I find it pretty easy; however, my journey is a work in progress. So let’s get started:

  • DON’T REINVENT THE WHEEL
  • Keep it simple
  • Look at your new food groups and think about how to use them.
  • Look at your own favorite recipes, if not already vegan, can you modify them to be vegan. See an example below.
  • Search the internet. Vegan cooking sites
  • Last resort, buy a vegan cookbook.

A few of my favorite sites are:

http://www.pcrm.org/health/diets/kickstart/kickstart-programs

http://www.vegweb.com/recipes/beans-legumes

http://cookieandkate.com/

I started with the PCRM site.  Their 21 Day Kick-Start Plan got me going.  It can work for you.

Now it is time to borrow a slogan from the great retailer, NIKE.  Yep you guessed it – “Just Do It”!

BONUS

Convert an existing recipe to a vegan version. Check out the ingredients for my traditional and vegan split pea soup recipes.

TRADITIONAL                                                                                                          VEGAN VERSION

Green and yellow split peas Green and yellow split peas
Diced carrots Diced carrots
Chopped Celery Chopped Celery
Chopped onion Chopped onion
Diced Potato Diced Yam
Chicken stock Vegetable Stock
Smoked ham hock Smoked Paprika
Salt and Pepper Liquid Smoke
  Salt and Pepper

 

Both of these recipes are delicious, but the vegan version is much healthier.  If you make your own vegetable stock, the only salt is that which you choose to add. Did you notice the quantities are missing? My point is to demonstrate how you can take a traditional recipe and make it healthier.  If you must know, there are about 2 cups. of split peas, 1-2 carrots, 1-2 ribs celery, 1 medium onion, 1 small yam and about 8 cups of stock.  The rest is to taste.  You now have my  recipe.  ENJOY!