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How To Eat Vegan For A Week And Love It

Double not-dog dare you to try going animal-free. If you already are, here are lots of yummy recipes.

Have you recently realized that you love adorable baby animals too much to eat them? Are you pretty convinced that livestock farming is destroying the world? Do you just want to have something in common with Alicia Silverstone?

MAYBE YOU SHOULD GO VEGAN.

No, seriously. We challenge you to try sticking to a vegan diet—basically, eating nothing made from/by an animal—for a week, whether it's because you're seriously considering a lifestyle change or because you know you can rise to that kind of challenge.

Here are the rules:


1. NO MEAT
2. NO DAIRY (milk, cheese, yogurt, etc)
3. NO EGGS

Below you'll find a week's worth of really tasty, non-lame recipes to make it easy. The clock starts on a Saturday, so you'll have time to cook, shop, and get adjusted. You can feel free to come up with your own ideas, too; there's a very handy list of tips and ingredient swaps over at Vegan Action's website.

The Shopping List

A few things used in some of these recipes that you might not have:

non-dairy milk: Soy, almond, and coconut milk are all easy to find.

cashew nuts: Ground up, they give sauces and spreads a nice creamy texture.

tofu: Extra firm is the most sturdy and useful type for stir-frying, etc.

panko breadcrumbs: Use them as breading to make food delicious and crispy.

miso: Technically fermented soybean paste but also a magic condiment that makes everything amazing. White miso is the most versatile.

nutritional yeast: It tastes so much like cheese it's crazy.

Bragg's Liquid Aminos: Some soy sauces are processed with animal products; a lot of vegan recipes use this instead.

OK, ready?

Saturday Breakfast: Nutty Cinnamon Quinoa

Saturday Lunch or Dinner: Sweet Potato Burgers

Sunday Breakfast: Easy Weekend Pancakes + Fruit

Sunday Lunch

Just because you're vegan now doesn't mean you can't make a mean SANDWICH. If you're not afraid of a little whisking, you can even DIY some creamy vegan mayo with dijon, lemon, garlic, and olive oil.

Check out this list of 50 ideas, or mix-and-match with some of these fixin' options:


hummus
avocado
tomato
fried or scrambled tofu
roasted vegetables (red peppers, eggplant, etc)
pickles
olives
nut butter (Bored of peanut? Try almond.)
jam
bananas

Sunday Dinner: Eggplant Lemongrass Curry

Sunday Dessert: Chocolate Mousse

Monday Breakfast

Cereal is still totally fair game. Dip into your quinoa stash from Saturday or just eat your Cheerios with non-dairy milk.

Monday Lunch

Bring leftover eggplant curry from Sunday plus a roasted sweet potato from Saturday.

Monday Dinner: Penne with Veggies & Pine Nuts

Tuesday Breakfast

Keep working on that quinoa! Toss in a chopped apple and some brown sugar when you heat it up.

Tuesday Lunch: Avocado & Chickpea Sandwich

Tuesday Dinner: Miso Vegetables and Tofu

Wednesday Breakfast: PB&B Toast

Wednesday Lunch

Get some soup! Most places should have a few decent vegan options, like lentil soup or vegetarian chili.

Wednesday Dinner: Warm Butternut & Chickpea Salad

Thursday Breakfast: Smoothie

Thursday Lunch: Beet & Chickpea Salad

Thursday Dinner: Jerk Sloppy Joes

Friday Breakfast: Chocolate Peanut Butter Breakfast Bars

Friday Lunch: Flatbreads with Scallion & Red Pepper Spread

Friday Dinner: Pappardelle With Kale Pesto

WOW

You made it through a whole week! And it wasn't bad, right? In case you're interested in extending the experiment, here are a few more recipes to try.

BREAKFAST IDEAS...

Blueberry Oatmeal Waffles

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

Blueberry Smoothie

LUNCH IDEAS...

Wild Rice & Tofu Salad with Miso Dressing

BLT Salad

Spicy Potato & Black Bean Burritos

SNACK IDEAS:

A lot of the snacks you eat normally are still fine on a vegan diet. But if you've been deeply dependent on beef jerky or just looking for something healthy to munch on during the day, try these:

roasted almonds
pistachios
dried apricots
granola
(bars)

peanut butter on toast or celery

popcorn with olive oil instead of butter

kale chips
fresh fruit
carrots + hummus
edamame

DINNER IDEAS...

Tofu and Eggplant Lasagna

Vegan "Beef" Stew

Quinoa Chili

DESSERT IDEAS...

Chai Spice Snickerdoodles

One-Ingredient Banana Ice Cream

Chocolate Avocado Cake