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How to Make Vegan Food Taste Creamy and Meaty, and the Best Vegan Cookbooks

What You Taught Me About Being Vegan

On Monday (after my failed attempt at veganism), I asked FitSugar readers for advice on how to make vegan dishes taste richer, a list of the best vegan cookbooks, and good protein sources. Let me just say: when I need help, you bunch really pull though!

I was overwhelmed by the amount of thoughtful responses I received. And whether you're a flexitarian, carnivore, or ominivore, I think that the information our readers passed along will add healthy elements to any diets. This is especially true since most of their suggestions follow Michael Pollan's mantra, which is a favorite of mine: "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants."

See the tips for a healthy vegan diet when you


  • Favorite cookbooks. Hands down, the big favorite is Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. Actually, you love any of Isa's books for her great vegan dishes that never skimp on taste. Other favorites are The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone, and Vegan Yum Yum ($10).
  • Making dishes rich and creamy. To give dishes a more meaty taste, many of you rely on the smoky flavors found in paprika, smoked salts, and liquid smoke. As for creamy dishes, you're all about the purée! Blending up nuts, avocado, or legumes is an easy way to give dishes a creamy feel. Beyond that, vegan dairy substitutes like almond milk, Earth Balance spread, and soy cheese are also favorite ways to make dishes taste creamier.
  • Protein? That's easy. Many of you shut down the belief that a vegan diet lacks protein; you find it everywhere: legumes, nuts, whole grains, and seeds are common sources. Oh, and all of you love quinoa! It makes dishes feel hearty, and is full of protein too. Tofu, tempeh, and seitan products received an honorable mention.


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dee27 dee27 6 years
veganism is great! i hate it when people claim vegans or vegetarians don't get enough protein, or it's impossible to be healthy on a diet that is plant based!
kurniakasih kurniakasih 6 years
I'm a 'flexitarian' then LOL but yah, I agree, dana, I don't consider that as a form of vegetarianism. It's funny that someone came up with that term, I always consider myself..just omnivore (will eat both meat and veggie, and like many others, have my personal preference that may lean to meat-free food most of the time).
danakscully64 danakscully64 6 years
A flexitarian is someone who prefers to eat vegetarian meals, but will eat meat occasionally (usually at places where there is no vegetarian food available). Most vegetarians don't like the term because it doesn't really make sense, it's not a form of vegetarianism as people believe.
kurniakasih kurniakasih 6 years
what's a flexitarian? :D
sassymolassy sassymolassy 6 years
I'd love to be vegetarian most of the time, but it just seems to hard with a bf who is a meat eater. Ultimately, I know it wouldn't be a HUGE deal, but since I'm the one doing most of the cooking, it does present a little hassle. And part of us enjoying meals together is that we're both sharing the same thing. I think at some point I'll make the full jump, but for now I'm flexible and only eat meat a few times a week.
100lbsandcountin 100lbsandcountin 6 years
GREAT POST! I just started my 30 day vegan pledge today!
threadhunter threadhunter 6 years
quinoa, quinoa, quinoa! say it with me everybody!
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