It can be a bit intimidating to go vegan all at once. What do I eat? I mean I know what I can't eat, but how do I put it all into a recipe? How can I make sure that my vegan meals are balanced and that my family will eat them as well? More and more people are at least cutting back on their meat consumption because it vastly reduces your eco-impact. It's best to hit the farmers' market and indulge in the healthiest, freshest produce available, especially because a vegan diet is almost completely produce driven.
Also, consider joining a CSA. A CSA (or community supported agriculture co-op) means buying a portion of your favorite local farmer's harvest every season. That means for a few hundred dollars you get a box every week filled to the brim with what's currently growing at the farm. It's truly a deal that can't be beat.
This vegan recipe guide can be used as a vegan starter kit or as a means to detox the body for a week and maybe drop a few pounds. Most of all, enjoy! The vegan diet is absolutely delicious.
1. Vegan Paella
Paella is the quintessential Spanish dish traditionally made with tons of seafood. But as a vegan cashews become the protein. You still get to enjoy the incredible depth of the flavor that goes along with the dish. Use a decent white wine here. When you're cooking with wine the flavor actually gets more intense rather than the opposite so take that into account when you're dumping Franzia into the dish.
1 large Vidalia onion, chopped 4 tbsp organic olive oil 12 oz organic brown rice 1 large carton organic vegetable stock 6 oz dry white wine 1 16 oz can organic chopped tomatoes 1 tbsp tomato puree ½ tsp dried tarragon 1 tsp dried basil 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 tsp oregano 1 red pepper, chopped 3 sticks celery, chopped 1 cup mushrooms, whatever is locally available, chopped ½ cup frozen peas ¼ cup broken cashew nuts Sea salt and pepper to taste
1. In a large, heavy saucepan fry the onion in 4 tbsp olive oil.
2. Add rice to the pot.
3. Add vegetable stock, wine, tomatoes, tomato puree, tarragon, basil, garlic, and oregano to the pot.
4. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Add peppers, celery, and mushrooms and cook for another 30 minutes until the rice is cooked.
5. Add peas, cashew nuts, salt, and pepper.
6. Heat through until peas are ready and serve.
2. Avocado Grapefruit Salad
The creamy, fatty texture of the avocado works incredibly well with the sour tart flavor of the grapefruit in this. The salad is dainty but filling because of the avocado. I made this for my husband but he hardly ended up getting any bites because I gobbled it up so fast.
Ingredients: ½ avocado 1 small or ½ medium sized grapefruit 2 tbsp scallions, chopped ¼ cup cucumber, cut into fourths and then chopped 1 tsp toasted sesame seeds juice of 1 lemon 2 tsp organic soy sauce black pepper to taste
1. Peel and cut avocado into ½ inch pieces.
2. Peel grapefruit and use only the flesh without the thin white skin in between the fleshy parts and cut or tear into pieces.
3. Combine avocado, grapefruit, scallions, and cucumber together carefully, add sesame seeds, lemon juice, soy sauce, and black pepper.
3.Caramelized Seitan with Leeks
I have really never cooked with seitan prior to this attempt. I had seen it on a number of vegetarian restaurant menus, but it was rather unfamiliar. I decided one day to give it a gander. To my surprise the texture is much less spongy than tofu. Caramelizing really adds a nice flavor as well.
Ingredients: 1 package seitan 2 cups leeks chopped in rings ½ yellow onion chopped finely 2 TBSP organic brown sugar 1 TSBP olive oil pinch of fleur de sel
1. Sauté onions and leeks in olive oil.
2. Add seitan.
3. Add brown sugar. Cook slowly over low heat until the brown sugar coats the seitan.
4. Top with salt.
Read the next page "Page 2: Vegan Moroccan Filo Crescents, Peanut Soba Noodles, Red Potato Salad and Coconut Vegetable Curry."