The Basics of Vegan Food2012 Nov 02 | Written by: Zye Angiwan | Tags: Vegan Food, Vegetarian
The Basics of Vegan Food, Many people make the assumption that going vegan means giving up on many fine foods. On the contrary, vegans enjoy pretty much the same kinds of food other people eat, just with plant-based substitutes for ingredients and absolutely no ingredients taken from animals.
What is NOT in a vegan diet?
- Meat, fish, seafood and all other products that come directly from the death of an animal, like lard, fats or gelatine
- Dairy products like cow’s or goat’s milk, cheese, yogurt, butter or cream
- Eggs or any food containing eggs
What is IN a vegan diet?
- Dishes that are plant-based, such as ratatouille, hummus, rice, beans, veggie stir-fry
- Tofu, seitan and tempeh
- Almond milk, soy milk, grain milk and other plant-based milks and creams
- Apple sauce, mashed potatoes, starch-based products, egg substitutes
- Veggie meat made of soy or gluten
- Cheese substitutes made from soy, tapioca or nuts
Advantages and Disadvantages of a Vegan Diet
According to studies, a vegan diet offers many health advantages and protects against serious conditions such as heart disease. Vegan diets are rich in dietary fibre, vitamins C and E, iron, magnesium, folic acid and are low in calories, cholesterol, saturated fats. This kind of diet is considered “appropriate for all stages of the life cycle,” according to the American Dietetic Association.
However, a vegan diet also lacks substantial calcium, zinc, iodine, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins D and B12 content, which is why doctors recommend the intake of vitamin supplements to bridge this gap.
Here is an excellent recipe for ratatouille, a French vegetable dish that can be served with rice or pasta instead of meat, for a vegan dish.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large sweet onion, diced
- 2-3 fresh basil leaves, torn in half
- 1 flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- 5 cloves garlic, crushed
- ½ tbsp dried marjoram
- ½ tbsp dried oregano
- ¼ tsp ground rosemary
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 1 zucchini, sliced
- 1 green capsicum, chopped
- 1 red capsicum, chopped
- 1 large eggplant, cubed
- 2 large tomatoes, sliced
- 5 tbsps tomato paste
- Toss eggplant pieces with salt in a strainer and let stand.
- Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
- Add the onions and garlic in. Saute until translucent.
- Put the zucchini and capsicums in.
- Stir and cover for 5 minutes.
- Put the eggplant, tomatoes and tomato paste in.
- Add in all the herbs, salt and pepper. Stir and cover.
- Allow to simmer for 8-10 minutes, until vegetables are tender.
- Remove from heat, cool uncovered and serve warm or at room temperature.