What is a vegan meal depends a lot on what is a vegan and/or a vegan diet, at least in the mind of the person asking the question. What is a vegan diet can vary with the goals and understanding of the individuals involved. Thus, most people consider that a vegan diet is one that is solely plant-based. It focuses on or consists of produce (fruits and vegetables), beans, grains, nuts and seeds while it also avoids any and all animal products.
Now I feel obliged to clarify a few facts. For those individuals who are truly vegan, veganism or the vegan lifestyle does not end with the plant-based vegan diet. Rather, veganism extends to all means and forms of products that include clothing and accessories, cosmetics and personal care products, household cleansers and so on. In other words, vegans do not use anything that was derived directly or indirectly from animals.
Getting back to the question at hand — what is a vegan meal such as breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, supper, midnight snack and anything in between. A great vegan breakfast, for instance, can be quite varied. It might be oatmeal or some other cereal of whole grains with a wide variety of plant-based milks such as soy, almond, hemp, rice, and so on. A vegan breakfast can likewise include burritos, some fruit with nuts, toasted wholegrain bread with pure nut butter (peanut, hazelnut, almond, etc.) and any number of pure fruit-only jams. Of course, there are also many cheese and butter substitutes as well as cruelty-free egg alternatives.
A vegan lunch could be a terrific vegan burger made of beans or tofu and these can be easily made at home from the countless vegan recipes found online or purchased as prepackaged products in just about any grocery store. In case you are wondering, what is a vegan burger, I’ll let you know that it truly depends on the preferences of the cook. However, a vegan burger usually contains soy, tofu or other nuts along with whole grains and herbs and spices. Many vegan hamburgers also contain some vegetables which usually add nice texture and delicious flavor. Personally, I just like black beans on a corn tortilla for lunch with a great big veggie salad and some fruits. On cool winter days I love hot veggie soups for lunch along with steamed or baked potatoes or yams. All those and many other options make for very nice meals that are vegan and cruelty-free as well as being healthy and mouthwatering good.
For many vegans, myself included, a vegan dinner is often wonderfully ethnic. It might be chili and chips or some authentic Mexican or Indian food. If you are interested and I don’t see why you wouldn’t be, Manjula has some interesting Indian veggie recipes on video. Cooking internationally inspired cuisine provides many options for vegans to have and even make great meals at home. It doesn’t take a trained chef to add interesting flavors to the dining table. Homemade healthy meals don’t have to be gourmet to be special. Oh, and seitan is yet another meat alternative that can be easily incorporated into just about any vegan meal, particularly dinner or supper.
Many people choose to use the vegan diet in order to lose weight. Why that as opposed to so many other weight loss diets out there? The answer is very simple. The vegan diet is completely void or very lower in unhealthy fats and therefore allows dieters to enjoy desserts because their caloric values are much lower.
I attack the task of baking the way I do most things. I look for the best and freshest ingredients and follow recipes until I’m confident that the results will be optimal. Then I also like to improvise. So here are my replies to the usual questions I get about baking vegan goodies:
What is a vegan cake? A vegan cake is made without any animal products such as eggs, dairy, meat, gelatin or honey. When using non-vegan recipes, the list of ingredients has to be modified and many items must be substituted with vegan alternatives. I also, by the way, prefer using whole wheat flour and pure vegan sugar instead of the standard kind.
How does one bake without eggs? Quite easily is the short reply.
What is a vegan substitute for eggs? There are at least 10 or so vegan substitutes for eggs but my favorite ones are applesauce, soft tofu or even well ripened bananas.
In case you are wondering, there are dairy-free versions of chocolate and other vegan baking options that are even approved and condoned by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and other suggestions are easy to find on the Internet.
I have thus far written and published eight vegan cookbooks that will help you create wonderfully delicious vegan meals as well as between meal snacks. Just search for Hanna Getty at the Amazon.com website.
So, what is it that’s stopping you from starting on your very own path to the deliciously healing and ethical vegan diet today?
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