There are many stereotypes attached to veganism and perhaps the most incorrect misconception is that vegan food is boring. Nothing is further from the truth! The longer you eat plant-based vegan food, the more your palate opens up and you can really appreciate the true flavors that nature has to offer.
Processed Foods Dull Your Palate
Have you ever eaten a banana flavored taffy candy and wondered who really thinks that artificial banana flavor is "banana?" Have you ever truly had a watermelon hard candy that satisfied your craving for watermelon? No! Processed foods are so loaded with sugar, salt, and artificial flavors that palates are trained to need intense bursts and it becomes more difficult to taste subtle or layered flavors. The beauty of a long-simmered marinara with caramelized onions, garlic, and red peppers is overwhelmed by expectations of microwaved pizza rolls. You will be amazed at how flavorful vegan food is when you decide to transition back to real food!
The Most Flavorful Foods
Herbs, spices, nuts, seeds, alliums and rhizomes are the key to every delicious dish, and they are all vegan! Rosemary garlic Hasselback baked potatoes are vegan. Walnuts candied with maple syrup and cinnamon are vegan. An aged balsamic and olive oil vinaigrette is vegan. Tangy sourdough bread is vegan. Baked apples with raisins, ginger, and a drizzle of molasses are vegan too! A steak can’t hold a candle to the amazing variety of flavors that a plant-based diet can offer.
Eating a vegan diet does not mean slogging through plain oatmeal and lentils every day. It means looking forward to a barbecue lentil sandwich with spicy mustard and extra pickles on the side until it’s finally lunch time. Jazzing up that oatmeal is fun as well; overnight oats are a creative way to save some time while layering tasty things and dousing them in coconut milk powder while you get your beauty rest.
Are you hungry yet?
Buddhist and Hindu cultures generally cater to a vegetarian and vegan lifestyle. Nepali food is delicious and just exotic enough to impress your friends by learning to cook a traditional dish. Dal Bhakti Tarkari is a popular vegan Nepali dish of lentils spiced with onion, turmeric and cilantro, rice and a vegetable curry. It’s made with common ingredients, but will wow your taste buds while being a complete protein.
Indian food offers vegetable samosas, poppadom with chutneys and a variety of vegan dishes (just ask your server if the dish is made with ghee and ask for a substitute). An amazingly flavorful dish is the pineapple potato and coconut milk curry. It will satisfy that human craving for fatty and sweet foods with some pops of spice, and the carbohydrates in the rice will leave you feeling satisfied in every culinary way.
Are you excited to try something new?
One of the beautiful things about veganism is the variety fresh produce in each new season. There are so many ways to enjoy them! The Seasonal Food Guide is a thorough resource to help you plan your farmer's market trips so you can make the most of nature's flavors. Spice things up with pickled radishes in the spring and snack on a lemony artichoke dip while you watch the early robins search for worms. Make a summer salad with fresh corn, tomatoes, black beans, avocado and green onions or enjoy vegan sandwiches of grilled mushroom and onion, roasted red pepper, and spinach on a picnic. Make a roasted potato and leek soup in the fall. Winter kale is the most tender and makes a delicious greens pie.
What will you cook first?
The flavorful options are endless when you are cooking and eating plant-based foods. Many people don’t understand what it means to be vegan with leads to so many misconceptions. However with a clear understanding, It’s difficult to imagine how someone could believe that vegan foods are boring. As you can see not only is it exciting to eat vegan, but it is also so flavorful! The next time you are cooking for friends or family, include vegan dishes and watch them rave about how good it is!