What Vegans Eat
When you are a vegan there are a few questions that you always get asked by the people you meet (which never really bothers us at the Vegan Food Quest because we love talking to people, especially about vegan things).
One of the top 5 questions that all vegans get asked is “what do you eat?”. Despite having been asked this well over 5 million times since becoming vegan, we sometimes struggle to answer and here’s why:
We eat a lot of different things
The range of food we eat is huge and I’m pretty sure that the people asking us what we eat don’t really want to be on the receiving end of the long list of foods that we regularly consume.
A friend recently said to me that she wouldn’t know where to start if she was faced with eating a vegan diet but being vegan really isn’t as hard as most people think.
Vegans are like all other people out there on planet earth (well most of the time), some of us eat junk food, some of us eat only raw food, some of us eat a mix of both. Sometimes we eat convenience food, sometimes we eat food that has been crafted after hours of magician-like cookery (or non-cookery in the case of the raw vegans).
Look on the internet, it’s full of people posting pictures of their vegan, breakfasts, lunches and dinners (plus every snack, juice and sweet treat in between).
We all have one thing in common though, we don’t eat animal products or by-products (and yes this includes honey for some of us).
The short answer is: We eat, what you eat. Well sort of. We eat what you eat, but we veganise it.
You have a pizza? We have pizza no cheese. You have a cake, we have a cake, only we replace the animal based ingredients like eggs, milk and butter with ground up flax seeds, soya milk and olive oil. You use chicken in a stiry fry, we use tofu. You make a bolognese with minced meat, we use lentils… You see what we mean?
Check out this amazing raw vegan cake from Alchemy – Bali
Vegans eat cake
So we don’t eat meat? But we do eat tofu, tempeh, seitan and there are lots of ‘mock meat’ vegan replacements out there in the marketplace. We love veggie burgers too.
Vegans eat burgers
Yes it’s true we don’t drink milk from cows, sheep, goats or any other animal
But we do drink soya milk, almond milk, oat milk, hemp seed milk or rice milk. We don’t eat cream but we do love cashew cream (sweet or savoury), soya cream or coconut cream, here is our recioe for raw vegan cashew cream.
Vegans eat cashew cream
And cheese? We don’t eat that either but there are ‘vegan cheeses’ (be warned they are only for the brave) and it’s also possible to make cheese from nuts. In fact, it’s simple to make a vegan parmasan from almonds, salt, pepper and nutritional yeast – just blend it all together!
Vegans eat almond parmesan
No eggs? Easy. We have scrambled tofu with our breakfast (delicious). If we’re making a cake there are plenty of alternatives (ground up flax seeds, oil, soya milk, orange juice, chick pea flour, as well as commercial egg replacers).
Vegans eat scrambled tofu
And as for the sweet stuff, instead of honey we can use maple syrup, agave nectar, coconut palm sugar, golden syrup or rice malt.
Vegans eat sweets with palm sugar
But the world of vegan eating doesn’t just include substituting animal products for plant-based alternatives. Once we went vegan, our eyes were opened to a whole new list of ingredients and dishes to try.
Grains like barley, quinoa, millet, buckwheat, cous cous, white, brown and red rice all adorn our dinner tables.
Sweet potatoes, butternut squash, cauliflower mash, roasted root veg (try beetroot and carrots), chick pea or butter bean mash are great to accompany vegetable stews, pies or roasts.
We use all sorts of lentils and beans to make make nut roasts, burgers and falafels.
Vegans eat roast dinners
We make great use of seeds and nuts. They can be toasted and sprinkled on salads and stir frys. Ground up (or not) and added to fruit salads and porridge. In fact you can make porridge (as well as a rather delicious parfait) from chia seeds alone. There are nut butters (peanut, cashew, almond, Brazil, macadamia) seed butters (sunflower, pumpkin) and let’s not forget tahini (from the humble sesame seed).
Vegans eat salad with hummus
Tofu is our versatile friend: fried, marinated, in soups, curried, in filo pastry pies, scrambled, on skewers, added to salads and even made into tasty desserts (Mmmm chocolate ‘no cheese’ cake). Plus, mash it up with vegan mayo and a few other spices and you have a vegan ‘no egg’ mayo sandwich filling.
Vegans eat ‘no’ egg mayo sandwiches
The list is endless, the next time someone asks us what we eat as vegans we’re going to say “good stuff, we eat lots of really good stuff”.