Vegan recipes are made from ingredients that are not of animal origin in any way, directly or indirectly. There are many people who follow “Veganism”, the philosophy and lifestyle of being on a vegan diet. Such people even restrain from wearing clothes and activities that are linked with animals even remotely. But they ensure to follow a strict vegan diet by including only vegan recipes in their daily diet.
Vegan recipes are strictly vegan for not only ethical reasons, but also for environmental, religious, and animal welfare concerns. Vegans also take keen interest in the areas of animal testing and extensive use of land for animal farming.
History behind Vegan Diet
Vegan recipes have been part of vegan diet for thousands of years and there is evidence of this even in the verses from the Bible. Available records say that the term”vegan” was first coined in UK in the year 1944 by Donald Watson and Elsie Shringley, which was followed by the first vegan society in the US founded by Dr. Catherine Nimmo and Rubin Abramowitz in the year 1948. Thereafter, many such societies sprung-up under different names, albeit with the sole aim of excluding dairy and animal products from ones diet; that is how vegan diet came into existence that include vegan recipes.
Vegan recipes do not include any of the dairy products such as cheeses, milk, yogurt along with eggs, honey and all meats in any form. Vegan dishes are made from vegetables which have been cultivated or grown under conditions that have not involved using of animals in any way. Vegans even stay away from animal by-products such as wool, leather, etc.
Benefits of being on a Vegan Diet
As vegan recipes are not part of everyone’s diet, many people who starve to reduce weight, tend to suffer from anorexia and bulimia, both being fatal. One healthy way to reduce weight without cutting down on healthy foods is to go a vegan diet. Other than religious, environmental and ethical reasons, there are many health reasons to go on a vegan diet. Some core benefits of including vegan recipes in ones diet are:
- Reduction in health problems and diseases such as cancer, high cholesterol level, high blood pressure, etc.
- Reduction in weight, the healthy way without losing out on the essential nutrients (vitamins and minerals).
- Feeling more energized and looking radiant by being on a vegan diet.
- Reduced usage of medicines, thus saving a lot on medical expenses.
- Feeling great physically and mentally and having a positive approach towards life, all thanks to the highly nourishing vegan recipes.
Popular Recipes of Vegan Diet from various Cuisines:
Vegan recipes add a lot of value to the vegan diet even without including any dairy or animal products. A vegan diet is well balanced and the ingredients used are almost always fresh. Frozen and canned vegan foods are secondary and tertiary choices of vegan recipes.
Some essential ingredients of Vegan Diet are
- Fresh Vegetables – the deep green variety, yellow/orange variety, white and sweet potatoes are some good choices of vegan vegetables.
- Fruits such as apple, citrus and other fresh fruits.
- Grains such as oats, rye, whole wheat, millet, brown rice, buckwheat, whole barley and 100% cornmeal. Flour of these grains can be used for making pastas, crackers, bread, etc.
- Legumes such as lentils, black beans, red beans, pinto beans, split peas (either green or yellow), chick peas, lima beans, etc.
- Condiments – especially the sweet herb variety that enhance the flavor of the vegan recipes.
Some Popular Recipes of a Vegan Diet from around the World:
- American Waffle – The basic ingredient of a Vegan Waffle recipe is flour. Waffles are made in waffle irons, which come in different sizes and designs. Vegan waffles are generally served with toppings such as fruits and jams. Some more popular American vegan recipes are hot cracker wheat Cereal, Tofu Scramble, French toast, Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies, Golden Macaroons, Pumpkin Smoothie, etc.
- Indian Vegetable Curry Indian cuisine mostly includes vegan recipes. Vegetable Curry is one such vegan recipe. This dish is made by mixing various vegetables and cooked in gravy made from various condiments and spices. Some more popular recipes that are part of Indian vegan diet are Coconut Basmati Rice, Dal, Roti, Naan (Indian bread), Pulao (rice variety), etc.
- French White Bean Puree Soup – The main ingredients of this French vegan recipe are white beans and roasted red peppers. These are simmered along with various condiments and spices that make this wonderful soup. Some more popular recipes of a vegan diet are Avocado Romaine Salad, Bastille Day Fruit Salad, Cucumber Salad etc.
- Italian Parmesan Eggplant – This is a popular Italian vegan recipe that is baked. The main ingredients of this dish are eggplant and parmesan. Some more popular Italian vegan recipes are Mushroom Vegan Soup, Lasagna, Italian Style Oven Roasted Potato, etc.
Preparation of Vegan Recipes:
Vegan recipes preparation is similar to that of regular vegetarian recipes. The only point to keep in mind is that all the ingredients that are used in the vegan recipes should be totally vegan i.e., free of any animal extract, animal substance or animal produce including dairy products. It is important to even ensure that the oil used for cooking dishes for a vegan diet is not of any animal source or from grains grown in soil used for animal farming. However, the flavor of any ingredient is not compromised in a vegan recipe.
Some famous vegans are Bryan Adams (signer), Alicia Silverstone (actress), Wendy Turner (TV Presenter), K.D. Lang (musician), Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel (first Indian Prime Minister), Alice Walker, Jean Ure (children’s book writer), etc. In fact, the list of famous vegans is quite long and is getting longer by the day.