The most common question I hear from non-vegans is not “Why are you vegan?” but “So what DO you eat?”
Although it may sound insulting, I consider that at least they’re curious and want more information about my lifestyle (I usually don’t want to initiate a lecture). Second, I don’t take offense because I was like that person in the past, asking that same question to a vegan friend.
Whenever I get asked, I brag about the many alternatives I use like mushrooms, legumes, and Seitan. I would also mention about this blog and proudly discuss the many vegan recipes I’ve created and shared online and in person. Then again, after reading through my favorite food blogs, I’ve realized I’ve only scratched the surface of what vegans do eat. There are so many more out there that I have not tried in my cooking.
So in an effort to explore the many other vegan and healthy ingredients out there, I went to the grocery store and bought me some of these:
Almond Milk, Original Flavor – I’ve tried the Vanila and Chocolate flavors but never the Original one. Funny thing is, I overheard a guy at the grocery store complaining about how gross the Original flavor tasted. I’ll probably incorporate it with baking only. For example Isa Chandra of Post Punk Kitchen preferred almond milk for her Marbled Banana Bread recipe.
Quinoa- Aside from putting it in my “Nilaga” soup, I have yet to discover the many wonders of quinoa in cooking, baking, and I heard it’s good on salads too. Ann Oliverio of An Unrefined Vegan made this wonderful Broccoli Dal Soup with Red Quinoa.
Stevia - This natural sweetener is quite pricey and more expensive than the average sugar. But then again, it’s alot less expensive than having to deal with diabetes. Stevia in the raw has significantly less calories and sugar, AND it’s all natural and plant based therefore no side effects from chemicals or artificial ingredients. I’m thinking of giving Stevia for my uncle who just got out of the hospital and has just been diagnosed with diabetes (after finding out he has to undergo heart bypass surgery). My uncle is thankfully healing now. For inspiration of what to make with Stevia, I’m resorting to Junia of Mis Pensamientos and her Sweet Adzuki Bean Porridge.
Flaxseed – Gone are the days of having to skip making pastries and cake because eggs are needed in the ingredients. A ready-made egg replacer would do the trick, but I also learned that just 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed and 3 tablespoons of water replaces one egg. Care2.com has a simple instruction of how to do it. By the way, flaxseed is high in omega 3 acids, which takes care of the question “So where do you get your omega 3?”
Almond Butter – Not necessarily an exclusive vegan product, almond butter is the overlooked sister of the peanut butter. I have always used peanut butter on my sandwich as a go-to snack since I was a kid. It’s not until Mark Bantigue of P-3.ph writes about almond butter in a guest post on our blog that I got intrigued. Mark wittingly writes about personal anecdotes and how almond butter has something to do with them. The post is a charming read.
There you go. My newest addition to the kitchen pantry and fridge. Of course, there are still so many left to discover. But for now, I’ll keep busy with my newly bought goodies.
For a closer look of what vegans eat: