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(Vegan!) Alternative Food Options

Fruits and vegetables are good for us and the Earth. Even when we dislike vegetables, we have to begrudgingly admit that plant-based foods should make up most of our meals. However, as the holidays approach, we seem to forget this fact.

I am vegan, so all I eat is plant based foods. The key to eating plants, for me, is to keep my favorite fruits and vegetables in stock and to try a new fruit or vegetable or recipe at least once a month.

When most people think of a plant-based diet, they think of miserable people eating salad. This view could not be further from the truth! Today, recipes and ingredients from all over the world can be traded very quickly. Just a few weeks ago, I tried this amazing jackfruit curry with rice.

Additionally, they are a multitude of blogs available to help a meat eater try vegan versions of their favorite foods. Some dishes are harder to replicate, but modern innovators are hard at work to make everyone enjoy plant based foods. For example, Beyond Meat is a new meat alternative plant-based burger that bleeds. Personally, I hate the smell while it is cooking and I do not like the taste, but lots of vegans swear by it.

The top ten meals I keep in stock are: salad, hummus wraps, Trader Joe’s vegetable fried rice and stir fry, jasmine rice with steamed vegetables, oatmeal, smoothie ingredients, veggie burgers, pizza, sunflower butter sandwiches, and pasta. Mostly this list sounds like a typical college student meal list because anyone can eat more plant-based food.

Salad can be very boring sometimes, so I add nuts, beets, and dried fruits to jazz up my salads. Some weeks I buy pizza readymade and other weeks I like to make my pizza myself. My favorite pizza is Amy”s roasted vegetables no cheese pizza. When I make my own pizza, I use Trader Joe’s gluten free crust, sautée vegetables and pile them on top. Vegan pizza is lot messier than traditional pizza but it’s still delicious!

Image source: foodiesfeed.com

These are foods for everyday, but of course there are special foods for holidays too. I had lots of delicious food for Thanksgiving this year. For the main meals I had roasted brussel sprouts and carrots, sweet potatoes and marshmallows, steamed broccoli, roasted potatoes, Vegducken, and sparkling apple cider. Sweet potatoes with marshmallows is a family favorite so we replaced butter for Earth Balance, a plant-based margarine.

No matter how much we make, the dish always disappears really quickly! It was my first time trying Vegducken, the vegan version of turducken. Vegducken is butternut squash stuffed with butternut squash, sweet potato, breadcrumbs, and nutritional yeast. The stuffing is cooked in garlic, rosemary, paprika salt and pepper.

In the future, I would not bother stuffing the butternut squash to make a roast, but it did taste good. It was also my first time trying Brussels sprouts. After years of hearing complaints about them, I expected them to taste awful. To my surprise, the Brussels sprouts were not so bad.

For dessert we had apple berry pie, pumpkin pie, and coconut whipped cream. Desserts are the hardest to keep plant-based: buying them is easiest but it is expensive. The pumpkin pie was slightly coconut-y but it is the best recipe I have tasted. The apple-berry pie seemed a bit weird to me, but mostly good. Then. on Saturday my sister and I made molasses and pumpkin muffins. They were light and fluffy: absolutely delicious.

And that’s just what a vegan diet can be, totally easy, affordable, and scrumptious!

Cover image source: foodiesfeed.com

I was born in Bakersfield, but I have moved over ten times since I was three years old. I love books and musicals. Yes I am a Hamilton fanatic, Potter fan, Tolkien follower and feel the compulsive need to read at least once a day. My other favorite hobby is cooking. Currently my major is in Environmental Policy Analysis and Planning at UC Davis.
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