What to serve on a vegan diet is often one of the biggest questions that new vegans face. There are literally thousands (if not millions) of different vegan recipes out there. How do you decide what to make and serve? Here are some tips for thinking about what to serve on a vegan diet. Vegan recipes can be complex or simple, but the important thing is that they are safe and delicious.
Many vegans start with simple, vegan dishes that allow them to become comfortable with their choices. Begin with plant-based dishes, such as soups, stews, and casseroles. They can be just as tasty as non-vegan recipes, but they lack many of the unhealthy side effects of animal products. A great vegetable recipe is one in which vegetables have been marinated in lime juice and spices for hours, then stewed in tomatoes with a little liquid smoke added for flavor and moisture. Other ideas include creating your own creamy Alfredo sauce using leftover meat (from a roast), black beans, refried beans, red onions, corn, and other legumes.
It’s also a good reason to choose savory, vegan dishes. Spices such as curry powder, smoked paprika, garlic, onion powder, Cayenne, chili powder, and various spices add a level of flavor that is hard to reproduce from other sources. For example, a good reason to use chili powder to make hot pepper sauce is because it contains capsaicin, which stimulates your taste buds to produce more taste than plain old sugar. Other spices that can be used in savory vegan dishes include herbs, chopped tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, spices, soy sauce, coconut milk, tofu (soy tofu can be made by soaking chickpeas in coconut milk until soft in a pan), and various cheeses.
For vegan dishes that are both appetizing and healthy, you should serve raw crackers, unprocessed veggies, fruit salad, and some seeds and nuts. A raw cracker is a simple flat bread slice. Salads can consist of chopped apples, celery, radishes, carrots, cherry or grape tomatoes, cucumber slices, avocados, tomatoes, olives, and/or herbs. A fruit salad can consist of bananas, berries, grapes, strawberries, cantaloupe, pineapples, cherries, or other fruits. Nuts like almonds, walnuts, Brazil nuts, peanuts, and others make good additions too.
To jazz up vegan sloppy joes, try serving them with a vegan ranch dressing. Using an equal amount of mayonnaise and sesame oil, mix the oil and sauce together, and spread it over the top of the sloppy joes. Dress with nutritional facts printed on the container about how much nutrients the food has (the nutritional information is usually listed on the back of the container). Follow this with a layer of vegetables, and then a layer of raw, uncooked vegetables. You can also add a slaw made with nutritional Slaw Power or other vegan recipe with extra nutrients. Serve this with cashews, peanuts, and/or hemp seeds to kick up the flavor.
If you’re looking for vegan sloppy joes that are also pretty tasty, try serving them with a vegan hemp burger that doubles as a side dish. A hemp burger is very similar to the original hamburger, except you don’t need meat or buns. Use a nutritional fact card for the nutritional benefits of the food as well. Follow this up with a tasty sauce of your choice, and serve it with sliced portabella mushrooms, and you’ve just created the perfect veggie burger.
For snacks, there are a number of vegan desserts that are easy to make using dried or fresh ingredients. A baked sweet potato is a relatively simple dessert using a food processor and a few dried potatoes, some water, and a touch of maple syrup. Another snack idea using dried fruit is vegan chocolate chip cookies, which are made by using pitted dates, some nuts, and a couple of eggs. Both the dates and the nuts provide a binding agent to keep the cookie from splitting, which is important when making sweets such as this. The water serves as a source of liquids for the chocolate chips, and the eggs provide the binding agent.
These are just a few of the many wonderful dishes available for those on a vegan diet. With just a little imagination, you can create dozens of new and delicious dishes that will have everyone coming back for more. By following a few simple rules, you can quickly build up a collection of healthy and delicious dishes, that are both quick and healthy to prepare, and yet will leave you feeling satisfied and full after the meal.