I’m not going to lie, I had a small freak out moment this morning when I realized that I was giving up all animal products and by-products for the next 30 days (starting tomorrow). I mean, so many of my lunch-time staples (like tuna fish and egg salad) are off the list, as is cooking with butter or grabbing a cheese stick on the way out the door!
That’s when I realized that in order to successfully complete this challenge, I needed to focus on what I could eat instead of what was off limits. Even if you aren’t going vegan for the month, this is a useful exercise for any kind of dietary changes that you plan on making. After thinking about what I could eat, I realized that a large portion of what I already eat on a daily basis qualifies as vegan fare. I simply need to be mindful of planning appropriately so that those things are readily available to me. Here’s a short list vegan foods:
- Smoothies with soy or almond milk
- Most cereals with soy or almond milk
- Bagels with peanut butter and jam
- Oatmeal with peanut butter and maple syrup
- Pancakes or waffles with maple syrup
- granola bars
- Mediterranean Bulgar Salad
- Hummus and veggie pita
- Three bean salad
- Peanut butter and honey (or jelly) on whole wheat bread
- Salads (with beans or nuts as protein)
That’s just the stuff I came up with on the fly, but I’m sure that list would be three times as long after browsing my recipes for a couple of minutes. Also, with the number of vegan substitutes out there, you can make almost anything that you would eat normally. Products such as Boca or Quorn crumbles can be put in pasta sauce to make a “meaty” sauce and they are a great sub for ground beef in taco meat. There is also vegan mayonnaise, vegan cheeses and vegan yogurts. If you’re curious about other vegan recipes, this Vegan Outreach site has a lot of information on it.
I’ll be highlighting vegan recipes all month long and I promise, none of it will contain tofu and the vast majority of it will be husband and picky preschooler approved! This is definitely going to be a challenge (especially eating out), but with a bit of planning, I should make it without a problem.