Nothing to eat? Are you kidding?!
For a start, the typical grocery cupboard in an omnivorous house is already well-stocked with vegan foods: peanut butter, yeast extract, jam, marmalade, almost all bread, baked beans, dried pasta, rice, some gravy granules, vegetable stock cubes, chopped tomatoes, oven chips, coconut milk, lots of curry pastes, many breakfast cereals, herbs, spices, tomato ketchup and HP sauce, pickles, sugars and sweeteners, olive oil and vegetable oils, soy sauce, hummus, fruit juice, fizzy drinks, tea and coffee, many biscuits, crackers, crispbreads and crisps, and of course fruit and vegetables – fresh, dried and frozen.
And that is just the beginning…
There has been a phenomenal increase in vegan foods available on the high street. Supermarkets stock a wide variety of dairy-free cheeses and margarines, plant milks (oat, rice, soya, coconut, almond and flavoured milkshakes), cream and ice cream, and so switching from dairy to non-dairy couldn’t be easier.
They also sell vegan sausages, burgers, schnitzels, cutlets, sausage rolls, pies, nuggets and other similar products. Soya mince can be bought everywhere and can be used in chilli, shepherd’s pie and Bolognese to replace the meat. There are also vegan ready meals such as lasagne, mac ‘n’ cheese, dhal and chilli too, as well as various fresh and tinned soups.
Lots of biscuits, crisps and other snacks are already vegan, and there is plenty of vegan chocolate around, including ‘milk’ and white chocolates that are made with rice milks instead of dairy. Pastries such as apple pies, croissant and pain au chocolat can be found, too – you just need to know which brands you are looking for! And when you look in health food shops, the choice widens even further.
Of course, lots of people like to cook from scratch, and new vegans find this opens up a whole new world for them. Dozens of vegan cookbooks are now on the market, and offer recipes ranging from simple and quick everyday meals to more complicated dishes for special occasions. Some are dedicated to foods from various countries or regions; others focus on cakes, pastries and other baked goods.
Eating out has never been easier too, with many high street chain restaurants offering vegan choices or entire vegan menus. Vegan meals are easy to find in Italian, Mexican, Chinese, Thai and Indian restaurants, and most of the usual high street chain restaurants, too. In the UK, try Zizzi, Pret, Leon, Pizza Express, All Bar One, the Handmade Burger Company and Yo! Sushi for great-tasting vegan meals.
In the US, vegan options can be found at many chain restaurants including The Daily Grill, Del Taco, The Cheesecake Factory, Denny’s, Jason’s Deli, Kona Grill, Little Caesar’s, Papa John’s, Starbucks and Taco Bell.
In Canada Vegans are catered for at chains such as Teriyaki Experience, Hero Burger, Harvey’s, Extreme Pita, Just Falafel, Subway, Magic Oven, Panago Pizza, Chipotle, Taco Bell and Tim Horton’s. Supermarkets are responding, too, with ranges from President’s Choice and Yves, for example, being widely stocked.
In Australia, vegan meals are offered at chains such as Montezuma’s, Sushi Train, Sumo Salad, Subway, Domino’s and Lord of the Fries and there are plenty of independent restaurants all over the world that offer vegan options or are exclusively vegan, offering anything from a fast-food burger to a slow cooked gourmet meal.
The options are huge and growing all the time!