Choosing a Vegan Diet
Vegan food is, quite simply, an indulgence. When you indulge, you give yourself permission to enjoy the very best. Vegan eating is a truly indulgent way of life, as vegans regularly partake of the very best foods—the most nutritious, appealing, and tasty—that nature has to offer. As you’ll find when you explore the recipes in this book, vegan food is enticing and exciting. A well-crafted vegan plate offers a festival of flavors, textures, and colors that makes every meal an aesthetic celebration
What Is a Vegan Anyway?
Simply stated, vegans (pronounced VEE-guns) are vegetarians who do not eat any food that comes from animals. Obviously, that means they don’t eat beef, chicken, pork, or fish. It also means that dairy products, eggs, and even honey aren’t on the menu
What Do Vegans Eat?
Years of eating meals that shine the spotlight on meat and relegate vegetables and grains to supporting roles have limited our awareness of their nutritional talent. On the vegan table, barley, bulgur, and millet share billing with the more familiar rice and wheat.
The healthy vegan demands full lusty performances from all grains. The palette of produce offered is varied as well. Green beans, corn, peas, and white potatoes vegetables of our childhood table now share billing with a host of other options, creatively and enticingly prepared.
Legions of legumes lentils, beans, and peas grace many a vegan plate. And soy, so frequently touted in medical circles and the media today, is, in its varied forms, an increasingly important part of vegan cuisine.
Vegans choose to eat as they do for a variety of reasons. Good health is a big reason. Ethical, ecological, and spiritual reasons come into play as well. This chapter offers information and reflections on these issues, along with basic nutritional guidelines, shopping tips, and strategies for changing eating patterns. But the main feature here is the recipes. This is, after all, a cookbook! We’re dishing up food that is delicious, healthy, and inviting, for anyone who is hungry for really great food
You don’t need this book to tell you about the importance of eating healthy foods. Powerful voices such as the American Cancer Society and the American Heart Association have weighed in on the link between nutrition and health. The shift toward highly refined foods, with little fiber and more fat, combined with our more sedentary lives, has taken a toll on our health. As our diets and lifestyles have changed dramatically over the last one hundred years, heart disease and cancer become closer to all our lives.
Though many vegans choose their diet on the simple premise that killing is wrong, the ethical issues that surround vegan eating are really quite complex. Concern for the ethical treatment of animals starts well before the slaughterhouse. Inhumane practices designed to meet the massive demand for all animal products are rampant throughout agribusiness—mistreatment of which the average consumer is often quite unaware