Today is National Vegetarian Day. I know. I know. Not everyone cares, but animals care. As do I. And chances are, if you’re reading this, then so do you. But, being or becoming a vegetarian isn’t what this post is about … it’s about taking steps to incorporate more plant-based meals into your diet and fewer animals … because quite frankly, while I don’t eat beef, pork, dairy or poultry, I occasionally eat seafood and occasionally French cheese. I know. I know. I’m a heathen. Get over it!
All I can say is this … there are no steadfast rules to eating vegan, or vegetarian, or plant-based, or anything else. There are guidelines. Good suggestions. And responsible choices we all need to make, based not only on our health but on the health of the planet. And so … below I’ve created a little compilation of some favorite foods/recipes that I tweaked to be vegan or almost vegan, that even the most devoted carnivore amongst us will enjoy. Caveat, I am a flexitarian. I follow a plant-based diet but allow a little “flex” every now and then—hence the French cheese, some seafood and egg whites when cooking. My counterpart, he flexes a little bit more than I do, but that’s all good … I kinda like his muscles anyway. LOL.
CHEESE No, not all vegan (dairy-free) cheeses taste great. In fact, some are full on disgusting, but there are a some out there that are pretty damn good and in this post, I’ve listed a few worth trying—just remember retraining your taste buds is part of this process so when you eat vegan cheese, don’t expect it melt like its dairy counterparts nor have the same texture.
EGGS Most vegetarians eat eggs, but most vegans do not … but it seems to be an ongoing debate. The purest won’t eat anything derived from an animal, not even eggs or honey. But veganism is also a lifestyle, hence vegans do not wear leather. Read more about the whole “egg debate” and then make your own decision. Of course it’s hard to bake without eggs, not impossible, but not easy.
CREAM I’m a coffee snob. A coffee aficionado. Really. It’s a diet staple and one of the hardest things I did was give up half and half … BUT, after many trials and tribulations, I found one that I like and bonus, I also found a nut-based “heavy cream” that is amazing in soups. Check these recipes out if you’re looking to try a vegan soup, or an almost-vegan soup, that’s also creamy.
- Dairy-free Creamy Clam Chowder
- Vegan Tomato Tofu Cream Soup
- Vegan Roasted Squash and Peanut Butter Soup
- Mushroom Brie Soup
- Lobster Bisque
AND FEW FAVORITE VEGAN RECIPES These are the things you need to try if you’re starting out on a path of replacing animal-based meals.
- Vegan Creamy Mushroom Whiskey Sauce
- Creamy Vegan Mushroom Risotto
- Vegan Nachos with Sauteed Cabbage
- Vegan Spanakopita
- Vegan Spinach
- Vegan Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Pasta (with or without shrimp)
Trying to incorporate more plants into your diet …. you don’t need to take out everything that isn’t plant-based all at once. Start simple. Start slow. Just do it!
A plant-focused diet is just that: a diet mostly based on foods derived from plants with the occasional accent—maybe seafood, maybe dairy, maybe fried chicken, maybe not at all—that my loves is your call 😉
Eating a plant-based diet is nothing new—a “fad”? Eh, maybe … but it’s one “fad” everyone needs to explore. Here’s how.