When most people make the switch to taking on a vegan diet, one of the first things that they notice is that a lot of foods in today’s world rely on animal products or derivatives.
Because of this, it can be incredibly hard to find the meals that you know and love while still adhering to a vegan diet. In fact, the majority of restaurants and fast food will be out of the question, as most of them do not cater to vegan friendly foods.
Instead, you are going to be stuck looking at a small subset of the grocery store, right? This is actually far from the truth. The best way that you can prepare vegan-friendly dishes is to learn how to cook them yourself. While it might feel as if you are learning how to cook all over again, it will be well worth it in the end when you can prepare your old favorite meals without having to use any animal-related products.
Some of the hardest parts of going vegan are replacing some of the tastes that you are familiar with. For instance, many people love cheesy foods, but on a vegan diet, it can be hard to find suitable cheeses. This is all the more reason for you to learn how to make your own vegan-friendly meals, toppings, and desserts.
There are plenty of recipes out there for you to choose from, ranging from vegan caramel to curries. With enough time and effort, you will surely be able to find a dish that you can appreciate. Here are a couple ways you can substitute major parts of your diet, such as lunches, dinners, and desserts, with vegan friendly options.
Planning Out Your Meals
An important part of adjusting to a vegan diet is planning out what kind of food you would want to eat for your meals. For example, many people would be more than satisfied with a healthy and light salad for lunch, but what about the other meals of the day? You can consider oatmeal (using vegan-friendly ingredients, of course), for breakfast, or you can consider vegan-friendly yogurts.
Most people are satisfied with a lighter breakfast anyway. However, what about dinner? Dinner is often one of the biggest meals of the day and it can be hard to think about what kinds of vegan dishes would be suitably heavy enough to provide a satisfying dinner. One example could be vegetable curries, as these are versatile dishes that can easily be made in a vegan-friendly manner.
There are also casseroles and other dishes to consider. You might be surprised about the number of different dishes that you can find for a hearty and healthy vegan-friendly meal for your dinner. Once you have planned out what you want to eat, you will then begin the search for recipes.
A Sweet Dessert Topping: Vegan Caramel
Just about everyone loves to have a good dessert, and nothing makes a dessert even better than a tasteful topping. With that being said, it may be hard to find some toppings that cater to people who adhere to a vegan diet.
Of course, there are fruit syrups and similar products, but you might feel yourself craving caramel, which is typically not a vegan-friendly topping. However, if you have the time for it, you can consider making your own vegan caramel. Vegan caramel is actually considerably easy to create, meaning that you will have the perfect dessert topping before you know it. In fact, a lot of people will boast recipes that are five minutes or less, meaning that you won’t even have to take much time out of your day to prepare the dish.
First things first, you will want to grab the ingredients for your vegan caramel sauce. The items you will want to pay attention to are the dairy-free milks and the dairy-free butters.
For the milk, you are going to want to consider getting a full-fat coconut milk to have the best effect on your caramel. Arguably, the most important one is going to be the butter. If there is one ingredient that you should splurge on when making the caramel, it should be the butter, as this will make up the bulk of the taste.
You are also going to need brown sugar. You will also want to get a little bit of vanilla extract to add to the flavor. Some people like to add a little bit of sea salt for the classic “caramel and sea salt” flavoring, but this is completely optional. Some people may find that, rather than butter and milk, coconut cream works better as a combination. If you are choosing to go with this recipe, you are going to want to forgo the vanilla extract and use cornstarch instead to ensure that the texture is what you want.
From here, it will be a matter of heating things up, stirring them together, and waiting until you get the right consistency. This may take some time and practice to get right, but it will be worth it to figure it out in the end.
A Savory Dinner Topping: Vegan Cauliflower Cheese
Another topping that many people take for granted until they can’t have it is cheese. Cheese is one of the most versatile ingredients to cook with and it is used in countless recipes. It can do wonders for flavoring and it can tie your dinner together.
If you want to add a little bit of flavor to your dinners, you may want to consider creating a vegan-friendly alternative to cheese. The most common alternative that people go with is vegan cauliflower cheese. As the name might suggest, this cheese-adjacent dip is made with cauliflower and is entirely dairy-free, meaning that it will be safe to include in your dishes. Generally you will want to get some seasonings as well as the cauliflower to turn it into a versatile dip.
The ingredients you will need depend entirely on the flavor profile that you want. For a savory cheese dip, you may want to get some olive oil, garlic, salt, and lemon juice to ensure that there isn’t an overwhelming taste of cauliflower in your cheese-like dip. Other people may suggest adding even more to the dip to give it a full, rounded out flavor. These can include onions, cashews, beans, sage, and rosemary. Adding these ingredients may complicate the cooking process, but it can give your dip a more defined texture and taste, which is something that many people can appreciate.
The cooking process often involves cooking the cauliflower, adding the seasonings into a blender and blending it all together, and then adding it to your dish. It may take some practice to get the texture right, but it will be well worth it in the end.
A Hearty Dinner: Vegetable Curry
Finally, to tie everything together, you are going to want to make sure that you have a hearty and healthy dinner. The best vegan-friendly dinner to go with is going to be a vegetable curry. There are countless different types of curry to choose from, coming from all over the world.
This means that even if one type didn’t work out for you, you will surely be able to find another until you find one that suits your tastes. One thing to be on the lookout for is curry paste. Many pastes will use fish, shrimp, or oyster in it to add to the flavor. There are absolutely vegetable curry pastes out there that do not, but you will simply have to be mindful of the ingredients when you are cooking your new veg curry. Thankfully, a good deal of vegetable curries rely on coconut milk as a base, meaning that you won’t often have to make substitutions to the dish.