One reaction I’ve noticed when I tell people I don’t eat meat or dairy is the baffled confused look on their face trying to think of what is left for me to eat. To be honest, I thought that too a few years ago, before I went vegan. I really thought “what a boring diet”, I didn’t think it would be possible to make exciting, tasty vegan recipes. Well, I know now I was wrong. Having stumbled across some vegan YouTubers one night, my eyes were opened to the possibilities being on a vegan diet. Not only did the food look amazing but all these YouTubers were genuinely healthy, happy, fit and full of energy on this lifestyle. I was fully inspired and engrossed in learning more about veganism. I made the decision that night to go cold turkey and jump right in at the deep end to go fully vegan overnight. And honestly I have not looked back since. I also find it quite funny how people become concerned for my health when they find out I’m vegan when in fact one of the main reasons I went vegan was to improve and better my health. Everyday I’m aware of the foods I’m putting into my body and really I don’t think I could be eating more nutritious healthy food if I tried.
I want this blog post to show people the range and abundance of food that is available to you when you’re on a plant based diet. People generally think the choice is limited, but there is so much possibility with plant based food, you just need to get a little creative with your recipes. Simplify your meals and you’ll be surprised at how tasty they are.
- All the fruit you want, my staples would be: bananas, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, cherries, grapes, apples, kiwis, citrus fruits, melons.. no fruit is off bounds.
- Figs, dates, apricots (un-sulphured – they’re always brown not orange) pineapple, mango, raisins, banana, cranberries
- All the vegetables you want: try to get greens in daily like broccoli, peas, green beans, kale, spinach, cucumber, courgettes, brussel sprouts. Green vegetables can be the most nutritious of all vegetables and are also a great source of plant based proteins. Other staple vegetables would include potatoes, sweet potatoes, sweet corn, carrots, peppers, onions, tomatoes.
- Some of my favourites are: black beans, red kidney beans, cannellini beans, chilli beans, chickpeas, green beans, and lentils. Legumes are a great source of plant based protein and are low in fat.
- Brown rice, Oats, Homemade granola, Buckwheat groats, Quinoa and Quinoa Flakes, Brown rice, Wild rice, Corn cakes (gluten free), Wholewheat/Corn pasta, Wheat based noodles, Rice noodles.
- There are so many non dairy alternatives to milk that are so much tastier than regular milk, and some even especially the nut milks are higher in calcium than regular milk. Some options are almond milk, hazelnut milk, rice milk, soy milk, coconut milk, hemp milk.
- I generally choose wholewheat bread whenever I can. I prefer the taste and it’s better for your digestion system than white bread. I get Wholewheat breads, spelt bread, wholewheat wraps/ baps. I generally stay away from the fresh bakery in shops because I can’t guarantee that there is no dairy in those breads. I always check the label before buying anything.
Nuts & Seeds
- Walnuts, Pecans, Brazil nuts, Hazelnuts, Almonds, Flaxseeds (linseeds), Sesame seeds, Pumpkin seeds, Sunflower seeds, Chia seeds, Pine Nuts, Poppy seeds, Chia seeds, Hemp seeds, Macadamia nuts. Some nut butters are good too like almond butter, hazelnut butter, cashew butter, sunflower seed butter.
Spices, Powders & Sauces
- Cayenne pepper, chilli powder, paprika, cumin, turmeric, curry powder, cacao powder, Carob powder, cinnamon, mixed spice, spirulina, maca powder, nutritional yeast, wholegrain mustard, 100% pure maple syrup, stevia flavoured drops, tahini, some red pesto pastes(check the labels), salsa sauce, guacamole, liquid aminos, tamari, sriracha sauce, passata, tomato paste, tomato garlic & herb pasta sauce, and ketchup.