By Leo Babauta
For many people, the idea of vegan food is of raw food filled with hemp seeds, bland tofu, chia seeds and other strange hippy-sounding foods. They turn up their noses at the mere mention of a hummus kale tahini wrap.
But the truth is, there’s an amazing variety of vegan recipes and restaurants, and if you don’t like one kind of food, there’s plenty more out there for you.
For example, if you don’t like:
- Tofu — try vegan “meats”, which are better and better each year. Some of them taste fairly similar to the stuff you’re used to. Or have some bean burritos, spaghetti, chili.
- Fake meats — try tempeh (a high-protein whole food) or black beans or lentils.
- Quinoa — have some baked sweet potatoes or brown rice.
- Raw foods — have cooked vegan food! Try recipes similar to the foods you like.
- Complicated recipes — try some simple recipes that use 5 ingredients or fewer, vegan convenience food from your grocery store, or vegan fast food (Chipotle can make a vegan burrito, for example).
- Kale — try spinach or broccoli instead.
- Chia or hemp seeds — honestly, there’s no need to try any food that turns you off. Leave them out of recipes or find other recipes!
However, you might also find that trying veganism is a good opportunity to explore new cuisines, recipes and ingredients. I’ve found a lot of new foods that I didn’t like before (quinoa, kale, tofu, tempeh, flaxseeds, for example) and they’re not only delicious but healthy.
If you’re feeling adventurous, try some of these top vegan recipes of 2012.