Congratulations! You’ve decided to withdraw your support of animal cruelty through your daily food choices. Once you are committed to making the change, you’ll find it can be easy, fun, rewarding and delicious. You can continue to enjoy familiar tastes you know and love, and may also be inspired to explore many new foods, opening yourself up to discover a new world of taste sensations.
Many familiar favorites and international specialties are naturally vegan – Italian spaghetti with marinara sauce, pasta with garlic & olive oil or a basil-pinenut pesto, minestrone soup, a cheeseless pizza piled high with toppings; bean & rice burritos smothered in vegetarian green chile, sizzling fajitas with peppers, onions, squash and mushrooms, tortilla chips & guacamole dip; Middle Eastern falafel, hummus, stuffed grape leaves and lentil soup; Indian vegetable curries, samosas, dal, and rice biriyani; Thai coconut curries, spring rolls & rice noodle dishes; Chinese stir-fry veggies in various sauces, sesame tofu, vegetable dumplings; Japanese vegetable sushi; and french fries!
When you’re feeling up for adventure, try exploring some new foods. Check out something from the vast array of veggie proteins and faux meats you might not have considered before: Replace your usual burger with one of the many vegan burgers on the market and top with vegetables and condiments like ketchup, mustard, or vegan mayo. Add veggie meatballs to pasta dishes or put veggie pepperoni & sausage on pizza. Sautee meatless burger crumbles with taco seasoning for tasty taco filling. Make a hearty stew with any of the beefy analogues, or an easy chicken pot pie or chicken salad with one of the many excellent mock chicken products. You’ll find that when well prepared, tofu does indeed have a satisfying texture and taste. Meet tofu’s cousin, tempeh, a soybean cake with a nutty of flavor and a firm texture that can be used in a variety of dishes. Notice the great variety of grains, nuts, nut butters, beans, rice, pastas, breads, fruits, vegetables, herbs and spices you may not have cooked with before.
Discover dairy alternatives like soymilk, almond milk, rice milk, nondairy ice creams, margarine, dairy-free cream cheese, sour cream, yogurt or even seasonal specialties like nondairy egg nog or hot cocoa made with any moo-free “milk”. Top a baked potato with Tofutti sour cream and veggie bacon bits. Indulge in a hot fudge sundae with Purely Decadent ice cream and Rich’s whipped cream. Slather your toast with Earth Balance buttery spread and jam. Traditional breakfasts of cereal & milk, fruit & yogurt, bagels & cream cheese, or waffles & pancakes remain easy options. In Boulder, you can even get a pizza delivered with Follow Your Heart soy cheese.
A variety of egg replacers can perform binding, leavening and emulsifying functions. Simple substitutions when baking will yield an endless variety of cakes, cookies, pies, muffins, tarts, breads, etc without the need for a single egg or dairy product. Try one of the eggless mayos for a classic macaroni or potato salad. Learn how to transform tofu into a quiche, an egg salad-style sandwich or a delicious breakfast scramble.
There are endless resources in the form of cookbooks, magazines, websites and experienced vegan cooks. Any library or well-stocked bookstore will have shelves of vegetarian cookbooks. Almost any recipe you can imagine may be found with a search of the internet. Use goodsearch.com as your search engine and set the charity to Peaceful Prairie. A penny goes to the sanctuary every time you perform a search.
Eating out might at first appear daunting, but once you learn a few tips, you’ll find that there are generally numerous options to choose from. These depend on where you live, of course. There are veg dining guides available for many cities, including ours for the Boulder and the Denver Metro area. There are also internet sites like Happy Cow that point locals and travelers to vegetarian and veg-friendly establishments in cities and towns across the globe. Colorado has a unique resource in Three Little Figs all-vegan market. In addition to a great variety of food items and cookbooks, the knowledgeable, food-obsessed staff is always eager to “talk food” to anyone that is interested.