Since I’ve been vegan (for over six months now), by far the most common question I get is what do I eat? It’s even worse when I go to someones house and they start to panic. Oh god, what do we feed the vegan? Most of the time they simply shrug and say something apologetic and I’m left hungry as the people around me devour cooked animals. I’ve learned to bring my own food now.
Personally, I don’t think it’s that hard. Just give me something that doesn’t contain animal products. You know – fruit, vegetables, pasta, rice, bread. If I had an allergy then people would go out of their way to accommodate my needs. Not so with vegans.
And I’ve come to believe it’s because they think I eat such ‘different’ food to them. They imagine stereotypes of lentils, mung beans and tofu.
When I tell them what I actually eat, most are pretty surprised.
So here is a typical food guide of what I eat.
Vita Brits with soy milk, or toast with avocado or vegemite (I use Nuttelex spread as my ‘butter’), sometimes I’ll even get fancy and make hash browns although mostly I’m too lazy.
Sandwich with salad, sometimes just a peanut butter sandwich if I’m in a rush. Cold days I like soup – pumpkin or minestrone usually, with a buttered (Nuttelex) bread roll. On days where I have more time I might cook a baked potato with a coleslaw side. Praise has a coleslaw dressing that doesn’t contain eggs or milk products.
Fruit, veg sticks with hummus. If I’m feeling in a junk food mood, I’ll have a packet of potato chips although I try and limit the fat/oil I’m taking in.
Once a week we’ll have vege burgers. I like the ‘not burgers’ from vege delights, although sometimes I’ll make my own patties as well with mashed potato filled with peas and corn and whatever I have. Other nights it’s pasta with a tomato based sauce. Stir fry veggies over rice. Cucumber & avocado sushi (yum), and on rare occasions tofu marinated in teriyaki sauce in the sushi – although the kids don’t like tofu so that’s not all the time. Sometimes it’s just roasted veggies (potato, pumpkin carrot etc), or even toasted sandwiches – tomato, onion, spinach – splash with a touch of balsamic vinegar.
It’s usually pretty simple.
When we have it it’s generally sorbet or if I’m being super fancy (once in a blue moon) I’ll make cupcakes or something. Did you know that many cake mixes are vegan since it’s you that adds the eggs and milk. I use non-dairy milk instead (obvs), and for eggs I use the Organ brand egg replacer (also great in pancakes).
It’s pretty safe to stick with Asian restaurants as long as you’re sure they aren’t using fish sauce in their sauces – get a stirfry vege dish with rice. If we are in a food court, I either choose a falafel kebab, a veggie burger from Hungry Jacks (without the mayo), or indian.
Personally I don’t think what I eat is all that ‘out there’. It’s probably not a lot different in type to a lot of Aussie dinners except that I’m using vegetables as my base rather than meat.
Even my carnivore husband seems to like most things. The kids tell me my food is better now too.
Plus it’s healthier, simpler to prepare and cheaper.
Add to that the benefits to the environment and animal welfare of course. Win win.
Easy, simple, delicious.
And not a lentil in sight. 😉