If you’ve thought about going vegan but thought you can’t do it, you probably haven’t eaten really good vegan food before. The benefits of a vegan diet are widely touted—weight loss, better skin, more energy—but you have to do your research to discover truly good vegan restaurants and recipes.
Start By Dining At A Vegan Restaurant
To get a taste of the possibilities of life as a vegan, find a local vegan restaurant that has good ratings. Depending on where you live, this may be easy or difficult (and in some parts of the country, impossible). Check into a local coop to see if you can find some vegans there, and ask for recommendations on places to eat.
For example, check out the menu at Millennium in San Francisco where you’ll discover gourmet entrees such as cauliflower and lemongrass coconut risotto, molasses and thyme glazed smoked tempeh, and roasted winter squash and quince bastilla. Or, for a more playful twist on amazingly tasty vegan food, check out a Café Gratitude in California, where you can try something like I AM HAPPY live almond hummus with buckwheat and flax crackers or I AM GROUNDED roasted potatoes drowning in spicy cashew nacho “cheese” sauce.
Learn How To Cook With An Experienced Vegan Chef
Once you’ve tasted a few delectable vegan goodies at excellent restaurants, you’ll want to enroll in cooking classes so you can learn how make tasty dishes using new and unusual cooking methods (without the meat, eggs, or dairy). For example, you need to learn how to properly drain and prepare tofu so you won’t have a bad experience, and you’ll really want to learn how to make tempeh from an expert. This way you’ll learn the tricks of the trade before you attempt to go vegan on your own.
Gather Good Recipes
Finally, you’ll want to stock your pantry with essential vegan foodstuffs and stock your bookshelves with a couple good vegan recipe books. Try Skinny Bitch In The Kitchen by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin and the I Am Grateful Recipe Book for starters. Give yourself some time to try recipes and identify which menu items work best for your palate.
If you take the time to ease into a vegan lifestyle, arming yourself with some good facts, recipes, and restaurants, you’ll be more likely to stick with it. Explore your options, but most importantly, enjoy the process! Bon appétit!
Dibs on the author: Amanda Tradwick is a grant researcher and writer for CollegeGrants.org. She has a Bachelor’s degrees from the University of Delaware, and has recently finished research on grants for black women and illinois grants for college