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How To Eat Vegan For A Week And Love It

Double not-dog dare you to try going animal-free. If you already are, here are lots of yummy recipes.

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Have you recently realized that you love adorable baby animals too much to eat them? Are you pretty convinced that livestock farming is destroying the world? Do you just want to have something in common with Alicia Silverstone?

MAYBE YOU SHOULD GO VEGAN.

No, seriously. We challenge you to try sticking to a vegan diet—basically, eating nothing made from/by an animal—for a week, whether it's because you're seriously considering a lifestyle change or because you know you can rise to that kind of challenge.

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Here are the rules:


1. NO MEAT
2. NO DAIRY (milk, cheese, yogurt, etc)
3. NO EGGS

Below you'll find a week's worth of really tasty, non-lame recipes to make it easy. The clock starts on a Saturday, so you'll have time to cook, shop, and get adjusted. You can feel free to come up with your own ideas, too; there's a very handy list of tips and ingredient swaps over at Vegan Action's website.

A few things used in some of these recipes that you might not have:

non-dairy milk: Soy, almond, and coconut milk are all easy to find.

cashew nuts: Ground up, they give sauces and spreads a nice creamy texture.

tofu: Extra firm is the most sturdy and useful type for stir-frying, etc.

panko breadcrumbs: Use them as breading to make food delicious and crispy.

miso: Technically fermented soybean paste but also a magic condiment that makes everything amazing. White miso is the most versatile.

nutritional yeast: It tastes so much like cheese it's crazy.

Bragg's Liquid Aminos: Some soy sauces are processed with animal products; a lot of vegan recipes use this instead.

Saturday Breakfast: Nutty Cinnamon Quinoa

101cookbooks.com

Cook a big pot of your favorite grain (quinoa is yummy and has a lot of protein) and keep it in the fridge. You can rewarm for an easy breakfast through the week, and add whatever fruit or nuts you want. Swap in non-dairy milk for regular; maple syrup on top is nice. Recipe at 101 Cookbooks.

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Sunday Lunch

Just because you're vegan now doesn't mean you can't make a mean SANDWICH. If you're not afraid of a little whisking, you can even DIY some creamy vegan mayo with dijon, lemon, garlic, and olive oil.

Check out this list of 50 ideas, or mix-and-match with some of these fixin' options:


hummus
avocado
tomato
fried or scrambled tofu
roasted vegetables (red peppers, eggplant, etc)
pickles
olives
nut butter (Bored of peanut? Try almond.)
jam
bananas

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Monday Breakfast

Cereal is still totally fair game. Dip into your quinoa stash from Saturday or just eat your Cheerios with non-dairy milk.

Monday Lunch

Bring leftover eggplant curry from Sunday plus a roasted sweet potato from Saturday.

Tuesday Breakfast

Keep working on that quinoa! Toss in a chopped apple and some brown sugar when you heat it up.

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Wednesday Lunch

Get some soup! Most places should have a few decent vegan options, like lentil soup or vegetarian chili.

Thursday Breakfast: Smoothie

girlmakesfood.com

Just pop some berries or any fruit you've got in the freezer into a blender and add almond or soy milk and a little agave or maple syrup. Bananas are good for a creamier texture. This Green Apple Smoothie from Girl Makes Food looks nice.

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Friday Lunch: Flatbreads with Scallion & Red Pepper Spread

theppk.com

You can buy flatbreads instead of baking them, unless you're feeling ambitious. The spread is made with cashews and tofu and would be good on lots of stuff. Recipe at Post Punk Kitchen.

WOW

You made it through a whole week! And it wasn't bad, right? In case you're interested in extending the experiment, here are a few more recipes to try.

SNACK IDEAS:

A lot of the snacks you eat normally are still fine on a vegan diet. But if you've been deeply dependent on beef jerky or just looking for something healthy to munch on during the day, try these:

roasted almonds
pistachios
dried apricots
granola
(bars)

peanut butter on toast or celery

popcorn with olive oil instead of butter

kale chips
fresh fruit
carrots + hummus
edamame

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