How To Eat Vegan Without Being Vegan


 Being vegan can be fun and very delicious, and despite popular belief, there are tons of great options. But for those of us who can't go vegan for health, family or just self-disciplinary reasons, we can still incorporate vegan eating into meals. I've put together some ways to easily do this, let me know of any others you like in the comments below!

 And of course, I'm only focusing on the diet side of veganism, but a great way to include vegan ways into your life is excluding animal products in your clothing, cosmetics and decor (for example fur, snakeskin, or beauty products tested on animals - which I will have a blog post up on soon). These are things we all should be trying to do to end the torture on the animals for these products!

Getting Enough Protein

 Eating enough protein is key to staying full for longer, without it you'll get hungry very quickly after eating! Usually, people get this from meat, but there are tons of meat-free and vegan foods to get protein from:

  • nuts
  • chickpeas
  • quinoa - which can be added to soup or vegetable chili, with fruit and brown sugar as a hot breakfast cereal, or put in a summer salad.
  • edamame beans
  • tofu
  • spinach, broccoli and other leafy greens
  • green peas - good in a pesto made with frozen peas, toasted pine nuts, fresh mint, olive oil, and parmesan cheese (you can get a vegan version of this cheese from stores mentioned below).

Super Easy Vegan Recipes

Aubergine (Eggplant) Steaks

These are great in multiple recipes, my favourite is on top of pasta with homemade pasta sauce!

Serves 4. 
30 minutes total time, plus how long you marinate.

  • 2 large aubergines, trimmed stems
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons real maple syrup
  • 4 tablespoons mint, chopped (optional, to serve)
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  1.  Cut the aubergines in half lengthways. Then, on the surfaces of the slice cut cross-hatching (not cutting all the way through). Place the slices in a shallow tray.
  2.  Mix the lime juice, sesame oil and maple syrup and drizzle this over both sides of the aubergine slices. Leave them to marinate for 30 minutes, or maximum 8 hours.
  3.  Cook the aubergine in on a stove or barbeque, flipping them once brown on one side. When both sides and lightly browned and tender take off the heat - this will be around 20 minutes.
  4.  Serve at once, however you want. Scattering the chopped mint is great, and you can add to pasta, as shown below.

Winter Fruit Salad

Serves 3-4. 
10 minutes total time.

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/4 cup white soda
  • 2 apples, chopped
  • 2 pears, chopped
  • 1 large orange, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 large grapefruit, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  1.  Mix sugar and water in a liquid measuring cup, then microwave for 2 minutes (or until it boils). Add the vanilla and chill in the refrigerator.
  2.  When the mixture is chilled, place the white soda in a bowl.
  3.  Add chopped fruit to the bowl with soda in it.
  4.  Mix well and then drain excess soda.
  5.  Pour sugar/vanilla/water mixture over fruit. Cover and chill until you're ready to serve.
Images property of Garden Plate.

Lemon Rosemary Roasted Vegetables

Serves 4 cups. 
30 minutes total time.

  • 2 cups baby or trimmed carrots
  • 1 cup Brussels sprouts, halved
  • 1 cup green beans, trimmed
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • about 4 tablespoons coconut oil, divided; melted or softened
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
  • juice of half a lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1.  Preheat oven to 220*C. Line a baking sheet with baking paper, or cooking spray. Place the vegetables on the tray. Use the vegetables from the ingredient list or whichever you prefer or have on hand.
  2.  Drizzle with 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil. If you're using solid version, sprinkle pea-sized pieces over the veggies and toss.
  3.  Sprinkle with rosemary, salt, pepper, and any other herbs and spices you want. I like using mustard seeds, basil and mixed herbs as well.
  4.  Squeeze the lemon juice over the veggies, and bake for about 25 minutes. Flip them over midway through cooking.
  5.  Add 1 or 2 more tablespoons coconut oil if they look dry when flipping.
  6.  Bake until vegetables are fork-tender and browned. Make sure any veggies such as broccoli, that are prone to burn, are not doing so and remove them early if needed. Serve immediately. Leftovers can be refrigerated for about 4 days.
Original recipes belong to Garden Plate and Rose Elliot.

Pre-made Vegan Treats

 The easiest way to get vegan treats ready-made (like these Macaroons above), is to go to an organic/raw/vegan cafe or store. There are so many of these around nowadays you can easily find one near you. Some stores/cafes near me in Auckland are Huckleberry Farms, Wise Cicada and Ceres Wholefoods.
 You can find cafes and store like this near you, wherever you are in the world, with this vegan place finder.

 I hope this helped a few of you incorporate vegan eating into your life, or maybe help you make the transition into a vegan lifestyle! Let me know what you think, or any vegan/vege/paleo etc. things you love, in the comments below.

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