It’s simple, really: take out meat, eggs, and dairy and you’ve got a vegan diet. Here are just some of the common foods that vegans eat.
- cereals: Cheerios, Wheaties, Cap’n Crunch, Apple Jacks, etc… and/or organic alternatives, of course
- almond milk (personal favorite), soy milk, rice milk, or other milk substitute
- fruits of all kinds
- granola bars
- waffles (check waffles for eggs – most don’t have them, some do)
- hash browns
- toast (check breads for eggs, milk, and butter – some have them, some don’t)
- non-dairy spreads like Earth Balance or Smart Balance Light
- fruit juices
- pastries made without milk/butter or eggs
- even some unfrosted Pop-Tarts
- energy bars made without milk/butter or eggs (Builder Bars, Larabars, etc.)
LUNCH & DINNER:
- spaghetti, penne, any pastas with tomato sauce and/or vegetables
- French fries, baked potatoes, tater tots, mashed potatoes made with soy or almond milk
- beans of all kinds – black beans, refried beans, vegetarian baked beans, etc.
- all vegetables!
- soups – black bean soup, minestrone, vegetable soup (check for chicken broth), tomato soup, lentil soup -check out Wolfgang Puck’s and Amy’s brand organic soups for tons of vegan choices
- vegetarian chili/3-bean chili
- sandwiches with meat substitutes
- peanut butter/peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
- bean burritos – add rice, salsa, guacamole, etc.
- tacos or enchiladas with ground beef substitutes and/or vegetables
- cheeseless pizza – add veggies, soy pepperoni (some people like soy or rice cheese). Most pizza delivery places will gladly make your pizza without cheese
- veggie burgers (check burger for cheese and eggs in ingredients, check bun for milk and eggs)
- meat substitutes of all kinds, such as Field Grain Meat Co.’s Smoked Apple Sage sausages (great with barbecue sauce), or Nate’s Meatless Zesty Italian Meatballs (add spaghetti sauce and make a sub!)
- meat analogs like tofu, tempeh, seitan
- nuts and nut butters of all kinds
- certain rolls, such as Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
- almost all French and Italian breads, plus many other breads (check for eggs and dairy)
- portabello mushrooms
- numerous Indian dishes like rajma, kaali dahl, etc.
- corn tortilla chips + salsa or guacamole
- potato chips
- popcorn without butter
- soft pretzels, pretzels
- pita chips
- crackers, Wheat Thins, Triscuits – or organic alternatives, of course
- trail mix
- many well-known cookie brands such as Nutter Butters, Keebler Iced Animals Cookies, Nabisco Oatmeal Cookies**
- almond, soy, rice, or coconut ice cream and non-dairy ice cream sandwiches
- most chocolate syrups
- non-chocolate candy of all kinds (check for gelatin)
- fruit, fruit cocktail
- fruit pies with eggless crusts
- graham crackers, Teddy Grahams (including the chocolate ones)
- sorbet, Italian Ice, popsicles, etc.
- extra dark chocolate bars (check for milk, obviously – usually 70%+ cacao bars contain no milk)
- there are also many products specifically made for vegans like Amy’s Non-Dairy Chocolate Cake
** There is some debate about Oreos. Look into it yourself.
More options can be found here: http://www.peta.org/living/vegetarian-living/accidentally-vegan.aspx
GOING OUT TO EAT
Most restaurants have something on the menu that is meatless, but it can be limiting. Good options are:
- Italian restaurants (all pastas with tomato or pesto sauces)
- Indian restaurants (many Indian dishes are vegan)
- Asian restaurants (often have veggie stir-fry dishes, with or without tofu)
- Mexican restaurants (some combo of beans, rice, salsa, guac, and tortillas – just make sure there’s no lard)
- If you’re in a fast-food restaurant and you want something more than a salad, fries are an option except at McDonald’s. McDonald’s fries contain beef. Yep.
NOTE: Some vegans accept eating honey, some don’t.
INGREDIENTS TO WATCH FOR: Whey is made from milk. Casein is a common ingredient that also comes from milk. A bigger list can be found here: http://articles.mibba.com/People/2793/Non-Vegetarian-Ingredients-and-Foods
“IT SOUNDS TOO HARD.”
It’s nearly impossible to know exactly what is in everything. As long as you’re trying the best you can to avoid animal products, you’re doing a heck of a lot more than Joe Weiner and his plate of weiners.
Sure, like other things that are good for you – such as exercising – it’s not the easiest thing in the world to. But it’s even easier than exercising, because all you have to do is sit on your butt and eat some pasta. And in doing so, you’re not just improving your health, but the health of the environment and the welfare of animals. It’s really one of the single most difference-making things you can do, every day.