Sunday, May 9, 2010

Vegans eat more than twigs and berries

Today was a day full of vegan cooking for me - I made avocado sushi rolls, chocolate cake, roasted chickpeas, and a pasta and broccoli dish (picture below). Busy busy! All that cooking got me thinking about food, and about how non-vegans and new vegans can sometimes misperceive vegan food options. One question that I get asked almost without exception when I tell someone I'm vegan is "soooo... what do you eat?" As if there were no food I could possibly consume that is void of animal products. While, sadly, animal products are inexpensive and as such added in the oddest of places to all kinds of products, there is a flavorful abundance of food out there for vegans!

Most foods, in their original (and healthiest) forms - before they are processed in any way - are vegan. There are so many options: fruits, vegetables, grains, beans/legumes, nuts, and more! And for those of you looking for things that feel "familiar," there are plenty of vegan meat and dairy substitutes (mmm almond milk).

If you're looking for some good vegan recipes yourself, here is the recipe for my pasta dish. It has red pepper flakes for a little extra kick, and it is really delicious!

Wheat and Spinach Pasta with Broccoli:
1 cup spinach pasta
1 cup wheat pasta (I used rotini)
olive oil
2 cups cooked broccoli (can be frozen or fresh, whatever you prefer)
red pepper flakes
minced garlic

1. Boil water and cook both types of pasta (together is fine) for about 8 minutes
2. Coat bottom of frying pan with thin layer of olive oil
3. Sprinkle in red pepper flakes and add minced garlic, heat on low
4. Add cooked broccoli, turn heat up and stir to coat the broccoli with olive oil mixture
5. When pasta is done, drain and add to frying pan, mix to coat
6. Add olive oil and red pepper flakes to taste
7. Can include salt and pepper to taste if desired

A great vegan cookbook is Veganomicon, by Isa Moskowitz & Terry Romero. There are also tons of amazing vegan recipes online. Some of the sites I use are:

Hope this was helpful... I'm going to go snack on those roasted chickpeas now, all this food talk is making me hungry!