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How To Make Plant-Based Meals That Aren’t Boring

hazelnut and cauliflower salad

Non-vegans often think vegan food is boring. Be ready to show them the truth!

We hear it from non-vegans all the time: “vegan food is boring”. Of course, that is far from true. The problem is many people aren’t sure how to craft tasty, delicious meals without falling back on meat or dairy and, honestly, people considering a plant-based lifestyle may be intimidated by unfamiliar ingredients.

It isn’t because vegan food is inherently boring, it’s because people need to embrace unfamiliar combinations of foods and often don’t aren’t sure how to get the most out of the ingredients that they already have. You don’t have to be a gourmet chef to make fantastic vegan food, you just need to use a little creativity and come to understand your ingredients.

Just imagine all the amazing flavors! (Photo by Ella Olsson on Unsplash)

Use Variety

The best way to get the most out of plant-based ingredients is to learn about what you can use and how. While it’s easier to fall back on old favorites, that may be a source of that pesky “boring” claim! However, the world is full of different plant-based ingredients, all of which can be used to make a wide variety of interesting meals. You can play around with fruits and vegetables, nuts, pulses, spices, herbs, and all kinds of things that can craft something wonderful. To be honest, the variety of plant foods seems endless and we often point out that plants are the ingredients everyone depends on to make foods taste good!

This is a perfect time to also explore different cuisines around the world. For example, this Thai cucumber salad, recipe here, uses simple, easy-to-find, ingredients to create a sweet, spicy, and satisfying salad with bags of flavor that you can either enjoy as a side dish or on its own. (the recipe isn’t strictly vegan since it uses honey, but we simply swap agave syrup for the honey, or just use coconut sugar).

Don’t Overcomplicate Things

While it’s fun to explore and experiment with vegan food, it’s also important not to complicate things too much. If you want to stick to a lifestyle, then it’s important to factor in convenience, speed, and ease. It can quickly be daunting if you try making something complicated for every meal.

But easy doesn’t have to mean boring. You can whip up a simple lunch that’s just as satisfying and tasty as any other meal, as long as you know how to use what you have. Seasonings are your friends, as they can inject a lot of flavor with very little effort.

Those Little Extras

Another way to create simple, yet delicious and punchy meals is to do a bit of prep work in advance (which is also a great time-saving tip for those with busy lives). Making pickles, chutneys, and fermented extras can instantly provide a massive boost to any dish, and it only takes a little few minutes to whip up a quick vegetable pickle

So many options! (Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash)

If you have a bit more time and want to develop some interesting, punchy flavors, then creating a big batch of vegan kimchi is a great way to do this. In a pinch, you can create a meal with just kimchi and boiled or steamed rice. 

These extras aren’t just delicious, but they’re good for you too. Fermented foods deliver a boat-load of good bacteria to your gut, which helps your body to digest your food and eke out every ounce of nutritional goodness from it.

Other extras that you could play with include sauces and marinades. Hummus is naturally vegan and all kinds of delicious. Again, you can create a quick lunch with pitta bread, hummus, and a simple salad and you won’t find yourself missing animal products at all. 

Jump in and Have Fun!

In the end, it comes down to embracing the new and being open to experimentation and discovery. Life is wonderful and being healthy makes it better and is a lot of fun. 

Feature Photo by Julia Joppien on Unsplash

Husband and wife, father and mother, working adults – Greg and Georgia formed Full of Beans to share encouragement, inspiration, and tips to get you started on, and maintain, a plant-based vegan diet (even if you think you don't have the time/money/skills/energy). See the About page for more.

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