I may have given up meat and dairy, but I didn’t give up my favorite foods! I still eat the dishes I loved as a child and never feel deprived with my lifestyle. When people ask me “what do you even eat?” I always chuckle a little, because the answer is everything! I seriously don’t miss meat and dairy when I have such great alternatives.
Here are 10 things I still eat as a vegan.
Pancakes don’t need eggs, butter or milk. These buckwheat pancakes from green restaurant Radial Cafe in Atlanta, GA are delicious, especially if you add on the extra rhubarb sauce.
I admit that this next meal is essentially dessert for breakfast, but I had to try the red velvet pancakes from Champs Diner in Brooklyn, NY. So worth it!
Unique veggie burgers are trending right now, so skip the sad soy patty of the 70s and come to NYC for The Cinnamon Snail, one of my favorite vegan restaurants. They have a crazy veggie burger called Beastmode Deluxe, a bourbon bbq grilled anch chili seitan burger with jalapeño Mac n cheese, smoked chili coconut bacon, arugula and chipotle mayo on a grilled pretzel bun.
When I’m at home, I often make veggie burgers like this: Dr. Praeger’s California veggie burger patty with guacamole, kale and tomato on a sprouted grain bun.
My boyfriend and I used to frequent a vegan restaurant in Brooklyn called M.O.B, which also had a location in Paris, France. Sadly, MOB closed their doors this year. I’m glad I got to try their mushroom-carrot-chickpea hotdog on a sweet potato bun before they left.
Believe it or not, the thin crust at Domino’s Pizza is dairy-free (but their other crusts and breadsticks are NOT vegan). My go-to toppings are onions and peppers.
Give me some pasta, all-natural red sauce, peas and sriracha sauce and I’m a happy camper! This meal is comforting, hearty and spicy.
Mac n’ Cheese
I love mac n’ cheese so much that I consider it a completely different category than other pasta dishes. This one is from by CHLOE in NYC. That’s Chloe as in Chloe Coscarelli, one of my favorite vegan chefs.
Hearty, Filling Salads
Are you the kind of person who only eats a salad if it’s smothered in creamy dairy dressing, cheese, croutons, bacon bits and pieces of meat? For a healthier option, try something like The Nourish Bowl from Nourish Cafe in San Francisco, instead. It contains quinoa, spinach, yam, avocado, sprouts, hummus, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, sauerkraut, and hemp dressing.
I used to love sour cream and onion chips, but they’re not exactly vegan so I had to give them up. Now, Earth Balance has answered vegan prayers everywhere and graced us with sour cream and onion flavor kettle chips. They also have a cheddar flavor.
Another chip I used to love before going vegan were Doritos nacho cheese flavor. These nacho flavor bean & rice chips from Beanfield’s not only have a cheesy taste that is dairy-free, but they’re also gluten-free, corn-free and contain more fiber and protein than regular chips.
These Cornmeal Poppers with Jalapeno Aioli from Candle 79 on the Upper East Side of NYC were so good!
The scallion pancakes from Shangri-La Vegetarian restaurant in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn have the right balance of chewiness and crunchiness.
Up until a few years ago, I loved my Snickers and Kit Kats and Twix bars and brownies as much as any American, but now I opt for healthier and more sustainable options. I discovered these vegan chocolate candies from my Vegan Cuts Snack Box subscription.
If you’re in the NYC area, you can get vegan chocolate & mint chip ice cream from Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream. They have several other dairy-free flavors, as well. You can also find vegan ice cream these days at the grocery store from So Delicious, Ben & Jerry’s and more.
Honestly I think vegan cake is way better than traditional. Without butter, milk and eggs, the flavor of the plant ingredients can really shine. This carrot cake and cider was from one of the many lovely, relaxing dinners that I’ve had with my boyfriend at Caravan of Dreams in NYC. The atmosphere inside this restaurant is perfect for date nights on Friday when they have live music.
See, meat and dairy do not make the dish. Vegetables, fresh fruit, spices and correct preparation can mean the world for vegan eating and cooking!
What are some of your favorite vegan food and snacks?