Put Some Variety Into Your Vegetarian or Vegan Meals

This article may be more suited to those new to the vegan diet. Most long time vegans have already learned that you do not have to eat tofu and broccoli three times a day. But someone new to vegan food sees recipes containing agave, carob, couscous, edamame, tempeh and tamari and is bewildered.

And then there is vegan cheese, sour cream, cream cheese and all those weird milk substitutes. Hemp milk? Really? And how to cook without eggs? Well, take heart newbie, it will all come to you. After a period of experimenting and adjusting your taste, it really does get easier.

Vegans can cook delicious Italian, Mexican, Chinese, Indian and many other cuisines, all without any animal derived ingredients. Here are a couple of tips to put some variety in your meals.

Before my vegan diet began I loved milk. I suppose I drank some milk nearly every day of my life. My first problem with a vegan diet was the absence of my everyday milk. I tried every kind of milk substitute I could find. I drank soy milk, almond milk, hemp milk, rice milk and a few others I have forgotten. None of them satisfied me. They just did not taste like milk to me.

Then one day I reached in the fridge for milk and poured it in a glass. It was almond milk and to my dismay there was only one third of a glass left in the carton. After searching my cabinets I found I did not have any more almond milk. But I did find rice milk. So, I filled the remaining two thirds of the glass with rice milk. When I drank it my taste buds lit up. This was it!. At last. It tasted exactly like real milk to me.

However it may not to you. Everyone has their own unique taste. So, the point is, if you are not satisfied with the taste of any of the milk substitutes, try this one third to two thirds combination of almond and rice mix. If it does not taste like real milk to you try various combination’s of the different milk substitutes and you will probably hit on something that you like.

Here is the easiest way to jazz up a dull vegetable dish. Sauces! The Chinese have been doing it for centuries. Today the ethnic food section of most markets features a dazzling array of sauces. Just go to the section that has soy sauce and you will find them.

There is original stir fry sauce, Shanghai orange sauce, sweet chili sauce and a variety of barbecue flavored sauces to name a few. So here is the trick: buy a variety of vegetables you like such as carrots, celery, cabbage, bok choy, napa cabbage, broccoli, collard greens and some firm tofu, polenta, tempeh and rice.

Chop the vegetables and a few chunks of tofu or tempeh and either stir fry or steam. If you stir fry, add your sauce of choice as you cook. If you steam, add the sauce after the vegetables are on your plate. Serve over rice or couscous or vegan pasta. You can do this every day of the week using a different combination of vegetables and sauces and have a vastly different tasting meal each time.

Here is one last tip. Buy a quantity of your favorite vegetables, chop then and freeze in meal size freezer bags. If you have a vacuum food sealer the vegetables will keep for months. Then when you cook, take a bag of veggies from the freezer, add some rice and your favorite sauce and you have dinner in 30 minutes or less. If you steam the vegetables you do not need to defrost them first.

If you are frustrated by the many vegan recipes that only a 5 star chef could cook, try these tips for quick, simple, good tasting vegan meals and leave the exotic recipes for a boring Saturday afternoon when you have the time to throw it all away and start over with simple vegetables.