Vegan (noun): Someone who refrains from using animal products and consumes no dairy, eggs, or meat.
I went vegetarian at 17, and at the beginning of 2011 went vegan. I’m a huge animal lover and the more I read about how animals were treated and what they went through so I could eat cheese or an omelet, I knew eating meat — and now dairy and eggs — was not how I want to live my life.
WHAT DO VEGANS EAT?
I eat a lot. Vegans can get just about any version of non-vegan food from Daiya cheese to Tofurky Italian sausages. It’s amazing what we can eat. I try to eat as much whole foods like kale, quinoa, fresh fruits, and more, but I do indulge in vegan cupcakes and ice cream as well.
If you’re veg-curious, I suggest turning to VegNews’ Go Veg Guide (PDF), packed with all the info to get you started.
HELP! I HAVE A VEGAN FRIEND/SISTER/CO-WORKER VISITING. WHAT SHOULD I MAKE THEM?
Don’t stress out that all you can give them is an apple. Here are some of my favorite vegan products. (Disclaimer: Of course, fresh fruits and veggies are the best options, but if you want something to pick up in addition.)
Gardein (frozen foods) has amazing fake chicken, beef, burgers. You can use it in any dish that you usually make with meat like chicken parm or a beef stew.
Tofurky (frozen foods) has vegan pizzas (plain, sausage, and roasted veggies). Just pop it in the oven and heat it up.
Daiya cheese (refrigerated) has a mozzarella and cheddar vegan cheeses. Out of all the fake cheeses, this is my favorite and melts like any other cheese. My husband makes great grilled cheese sandwiches with this cheese!
Eat Pastry (refrigerated section) makes prepared vegan cookie dough that you literally scoop out and bake. Delicious!
So Delicious Purely Decadent (frozen) is my favorite soy ice cream. Tons of great flavors. Chocolate Peanut Butter Zigzag is my favorite.
I’M VISITING THE SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA. WHAT ARE GREAT VEGAN OPTIONS?
Patxi’s Chicago Pizza has a great vegan deep dish pie.
Millennium restaurant is the BEST vegan restaurant in the country. It’s a pricey meal so it’s best for a great night out. Reservations are recommended.
Herbivore has great every day options like fake chicken sandwiches, brunch, etc.
Gracias Madre is an amazing vegan Mexican restaurant. One of my favorites.
Jay’s Cheesesteak’s has great seitan options. Ask for vegan mayo on your sandwich!
Cinnaholic Best vegan cinnamon buns ever.
Saturn Cafe A fun vegetarian diner, has vegan options.
Souley Vegan. Vegan soul food.
Nature’s Express. 100-percent vegan. Sandwiches, salads, wraps. Even vegan soft serve!
Gather. Not entirely vegan but always has a vegan option. The vegan charcuterie platter and vegan cashew cheese pizza are great. Reservations recommended.
WHERE CAN I FIND VEGAN RECIPES ONLINE?
Everywhere. Google what you’re looking for and you can find it easily. Here are a few of my favorite good blogs & resources.
VegNews.com (search under recipes, top right)
VegWeb.com (more than 15,000 recipes)
VeganStoner.com (easy, simple, cheap)
Bittersweet blog (vegan desserts galore)
Healthy Happy Life blog (great recipes)
Choosing Raw (delicious raw and healthy recipes)
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE VEGAN COOKBOOKS?
I love collecting cookbooks. I can’t get enough of them. Here are my favorites:
Appetite for Reduction by Isa Chandra Moskowitz
The Candle Café Cookbook by Joy Pierson and Bart Potenza
Chloe’s Kitchen by Chloe Coscarelli
1,000 Vegan Recipes by Robin Robertson
Vegan a la Mode by Hannah Kaminsky