some good vegan and vegetarian websites

24 Sep

Okay, I’m not vegan. Not even vegetarian. That said, for health reasons AND for philosophical reasons, we’re eating a lot more veg*n foods here. (I have no problem eating animals–but I am aware that producing meat is a lot more of a drain on the world’s limited resources than producing plant foods.) Even if you never eat a meatless meal, it’s worth looking at some of these vegan options, because some of these blogs have really, really good food.

Disclaimer: Vegetarian, or even vegan, food does not mean low-calorie, necessarily, nor does it mean “healthy”–as with any kind of food, there are healthful and unhealthful options. But most vegan foods have a lot to recommend them: plant-based cuisine tends to be higher in nutrients for the calories, better for your heart (vegan foods aren’t going to contain much saturated fat, as a rule), and, as I say, friendlier to the planet.

Plus, while it is possible to eat a bunch of processed junk on a vegan diet (packaged vegan cookies leap to mind), it is harder to do because you can’t eat a lot of the processed foods that are easily available. So, all other things equal, most vegans are pretty healthful eaters. (Of course, part of the reason for that may just be that they tend to think more about what goes into their mouths.)

Anyway-end spiel. The point is, vegetarian and vegan eating, even for people who also eat meat on some days, is a good way to get your veggies and whole grains, cut down on some of the bad fats that most of us are trying to avoid, and reduce your ecological footprint. Personally, we eat meat (and quite a bit of dairy), but I have stopped purchasing poultry–because I can’t afford the free-range, pastured chicken I would be comfortable buying–and we usually eat 3-5 vegetarian meals per week.

If you are interested in trying it out, don’t go overboard changing all of your habits at once–add a vegan recipe to your meal plan and test-drive it! You can also easily transform some of your favorite things into vegetarian or vegan versions. Some of the easiest substitutions are things that make good health sense anyway, such as replacing butter with olive oil on your vegetables or bread; others take a bit more thought, such as rejiggering your favorite stir-fry to replace the beef or shrimp with heftier vegetables. My take is that it’s not really worth changing a recipe you love; I try to change the ones that are so-so, and bring new life to them by making them vegetarian.

So, on to the point of this post: here are some of my favorite veggie reads:

Vegan Dad

The Post-Punk Kitchen

Vegan YumYum (not updated much recently but there’s some good stuff here)

Vegan Lunchbox (ditto)

Check ’em out–you might be inspired! One tip for those of you on the low-carb or low-GI wagon: many of these bloggers use whole grains by preference because they have chosen their way of eating for health reasons. So you’ll find a lot of things that are South Beach or IR Diet friendly even without meat.

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