30 Sep 2014

Vegan Sources of Vitamin D

Many years ago, when I was only a vegetarian, I had a blood test. I found out that my vitamin levels were absolutely perfect (which surprised my non-vegetarian GP, it's a shame how ignorant some of them can be about our lifestyle) - apart from my Vitamin D levels. Now, this was likely because of how much time I spent indoors. As many of us know, spending a reasonable amount of time in the sun each day is the best way to keep your Vitamin D levels up. Other factors in my life, however, affect how much time I can spend in the sun. As a vegetarian, I could've eaten instead a lot of eggs to keep my Vitamin D levels up - but what can vegans do?

Mushrooms


Mushrooms are a fantastic plant-based source of Vitamin D. When left in the sun, mushrooms can absorb Vitamin D at rates greater even greater than our own bodies! Unfortunately, however, many store-bought mushrooms are grown indoors and hence won't contain much Vitamin D at all. There are three solutions to this problem. Firstly, you can buy mushrooms especially grown to contain Vitamin D - they are now readily available at many major supermarkets. If, however, you can't find these Vitamin D infused mushrooms - there is a second option. Just leave your store-bought mushrooms out in the sun for twenty minutes or so before you eat them - and they'll have absorbed plenty of it! The third fantastic way to obtain Vitamin D (and my personal favourite) is to grow your own. You can't go wrong with that!


Mushrooms are a vegan's best friend!
Supplements

Many people are opposed to taking supplements, but many all-natural, 100% plant-based Vitamin D supplements are available - and they get the job done. This option is especially useful for people who have issues with Vitamin D absorption or suffer from a deficiency. I personally take a Deva Multivitamin (with Vitamin D) to make sure I never fall back into a deficient state.


Fortified Foods


Whenever I have my toast in the mornings, I love to spread some Nuttelex all over. Nuttelex is a decent source of Vitamin D, as it has been fortified with the vitamin. This is the case with many foods - especially mock meats and non-dairy milks. 


Sunlight

Exposure to sunlight can be, for some people, the easiest - and of course, cheapest - way to obtain enough Vitamin D. 20 minutes a day of sunlight exposure in the midday sun is enough for some people - although, for those who live in colder climates, this can be difficult. This is also the case for the majority of people during the winter. If you want to keep your Vitamin D levels up during this time (and you should want to!) then Vitamin D infused mushrooms, fortified foods or supplements are your best bet. 

Many hundreds of thousands of people in the world are Vitamin D deficient - and many of them aren't vegan or vegetarian. This is unfortunate, as Vitamin D is absolutely vital for bone health. It aids calcium absorption greatly, which is why it is so important. If you care about your health, keep those levels up!



[Image Courtesy of Michelle Meiklejohn @ FreeDigitalPhotos.net]

23 Sep 2014

The Best Affordable Vegan Clothing Brands


As most of us should know, veganism isn't just about what you eat. It's also about what you wear. Unfortunately, totally vegan (and fashionable) clothing items can be hard to find in mainstream stores. Animal products are hidden where you'd least expect them - it's not all just leather, silk, fur and wool. Those are the obvious fabrics to avoid, but did you know that the glue used in some shoe brands isn't cruelty-free?

Regardless of these issues, all is not lost. There are many fashionable brands of clothing that will always be 100% cruelty-free, so you can buy and wear them without worry. Many mainstream stores and brands also provide a variety of cruelty-free clothing options.


Shoes


  • If you like the style of Converse shoes, you'll be glad to know that some of their products are vegan. The problem is - nobody is exactly sure which. It turns out that the company themselves aren't entirely sure which shoes contain animal products (it might be in the glue) and which don't. The general consensus is that they probably don't contain animal products, so if you're fine with that, go ahead and buy them!
  • For an equally stylish alternative to Converse, check out Ethical Wares. They provide an almost identical 100% cruelty-free version of Converse-style shoes, available in many different styles. Check them out here. Fortunately, they are also free trade approved! Ethical Wares also offers many other clothing options, not only shoes - so feel free to browse around without guilt.
  • Vans also offer some vegan shoe styles. Their "Prelow" style, for example, is 100% cruelty-free and made from cork. Check them out here.
  • Vegan Style offers a variety of 100% vegan shoes, including flats, sandals, sneakers, boots and high heels. Unfortunately, many of their options are quite expensive, but you should be able to catch something on sale for under $40. They're also based in Australia, which means you won't have to worry about shipping costs if you live here.
  • The Cruelty Free Shop has a small range of affordable footwear, which resemble Vans. Check them out here. They're also Australian based and sell many other vegan products, including food, magazines and accessories.

It's not impossible to find sturdy, cruelty-free workboots at an affordable price

Accessories

  • The Cruelty Free Shop offers a variety of accessories, including bags, belts and wallets, all with a leather-look. Check them out here.
  • The Arctic Vegan Store, based in Australia, offers cruelty-free accessories (including wallets, clutches and belts), jewellery and a small footwear range, all at moderate prices.
  • Alternative Outfitters offers many accessories, including handbags, wallets, purses and belts. They also offer cruelty-free footwear, so browse as you please! 

Cruelty-free job interview attire is the best job interview attire

Clothing

  • Herbivore Clothing offers many fashionable, 100% cruelty-free t-shirts, sweaters, pants and even clothing for babies! Although based in America, their prices are very affordable, at $20 to $30 for a t-shirt. You can't go wrong with that!
  • Freedom Hill Sanctuary offers many animal rights-themed, cruelty-free t-shirts... and the money goes towards rescuing farm animals! They're also Australian-made and very affordable, at $25 to $30 per tee.
  • Vegan Store provides many cruelty free tees that promote the vegan message. They're highly affordable, although not particularly fashionable... in my opinion anyway. They're still worth checking out! They also offer a range of accessories.
  • ASOS offers a range of on-trend clothing items, many of which contain no animal products. Just make sure to check the materials used on each item (they should be provided in the item description). Many of their knits are made with cotton or nylon rather than wool.
  • Forever 21 also offers a range of very fashionable clothing items free of animal products at affordable prices. Also make sure to check the materials description and steer clear of anything containing leather, wool, silk or fur (of course!)
  • Fashion Conscience is cruelty-free, following the motto "Seriously Stylish, Seriously Ethical." How good is that? Unfortunately, their apparel is too expensive for my tastes, but if you've got some extra money to throw around, definitely check them out. They also offer shoes and accessories.

Be vegan and look good doing it!


These links certainly aren't the be-all and end-all of  cruelty-free clothing. If you shop around, you can find fashionable clothing free of animal products in many mainstream stores at affordable prices. If you're unsure, just e-mail the company with your enquiry about their materials - they're required to reply to you with accurate information. Good luck in your fashion endeavours!

15 Sep 2014

Is Veganism Just a Fad Diet?

Over the past few years, a plethora of so-called 'fad' diets have risen in popularity. The Paleo diet, Raw 'Til 4, the Atkins diet and the low-carb diet are some well-known examples. Whether or not these popular diets are 'fads' or not is debatable, but the bottom line is that they are indeed just diets. They all revolve entirely around eating, or refraining from eating, specific types of food. Veganism, however - as most vegans will know - is not only a diet, but a lifestyle. On switching from the omnivorous lifestyle to the vegan lifestyle, every aspect of an individual's life will essentially change. It's not just about food.

This is where one very common argument against veganism comes into play. I've certainly heard this one more than I'd like to, and I'm sure many of you have as well:


"Everyone has a choice to eat what they want, it's just food! Stop bullying me because I choose to eat differently to you!"

This argument is wrong on so many levels. And, when you acknowledge the fact that veganism is a lifestyle rather than a diet, it doesn't make the slightest bit of sense. A common retort to this particular argument is:

"It's not about what you eat. It's about who you eat!"

That one, short statement sums up my argument perfectly. Many non-vegans don't seem to understand that veganism is about more than the food on your plate. It's about where (or, rather, who) that food came from. I, for one, don't even see animal products as food anymore. I see animal products for what they really are - dead limbs, organs and secretions. Doesn't sound very appetising, does it?


Vegan/non-vegan isn't the same as apples/oranges!

To be vegan, you must do more than simply abstain from eating animal products. It's also about what you use - and that includes anything from dish-washing liquid to dresses. IF something is made from dead animal parts, it's not vegan. Vegans also abstain from exploiting animals in any way - they should not be used simply for human benefit. That is not their purpose. Veganism is about compassion, which is personified through the avoidance of products and services derived from suffering and death.


"To be vegan, you must do more than simply abstain from eating animal products."

Furthermore, veganism isn't just a 'fad'. It's not something that will come and go - it's something that will continue to grow and expand throughout the ages. Over the past few years, the vegan population has grown by the tens of thousands. That's evidence enough that people are waking up! If growth continues at this rate, veganism will soon fall into the mainstream. Veganism has been noted extensively throughout recorded history, with the term first coined seven decades ago. You can bet all your apples and oranges that it's not going away any time soon!

So, if anyone ever asks you to stop bullying them about their diet, make sure they know the truth. Veganism is about following a passionate and compassionate lifestyle - it's not the same as preferring apples over oranges! Let's demolish the "it's just food!" argument for good!


[Image courtesy of Adamr @ FreeDigitalPhotos.net]


11 Sep 2014

Accidentally Vegan Fast Food


If you're living on a tight budget and don't have much time to cook (and don't mind eating junk once in a while), it's likely that fast food plays a part in your regular diet, however large or small. For vegans, it can be difficult to find suitable fast food - but it's not impossible. Many non-vegan fast food restaurants provide 'accidentally vegan' options - that is, foods that weren't necessarily intended to be vegan, but turned out to be anyway. This list applies specifically to fast food restaurants in Australia and may not be applicable elsewhere.

Some vegans are opposed to making purchases from non-vegan companies, especially fast food chains, and that's fine. Many vegans, however, believe that it's perfectly acceptable to purchase vegan food from non-vegan companies. Doing so raises the demand of vegan products from that company, which should eventually result in them providing more and more vegan products rather than non-vegan products. 


So, if you're interested in accidentally vegan fast food in Australia - read on!

Subway


Subway has some great vegetarian options, but you'll be pleased to know that many of their vegetarian options are vegan as well. I've already written a post detailing absolutely every vegan option offered by Subway, which you can find here.


McDonald's

Surprisingly, McDonald's offer several vegan options in Australia. Here is a list of all vegan options available on their regular menu:


Drinks

  • Frozen Coke
  • Frozen Raspberry Fanta
  • Water
  • Orange Juice
  • Apple Juice
  • Coke, Diet Coke, Coke Zero
  • Sprite
  • Fanta
  • Long Black Espresso
  • Black Tea
  • Other coffees and teas are vegan if soy milk is requested 
Snacks/Sides
  • Fries
  • Hash browns
  • English McMuffin (I'm 99% sure these are vegan based on the ingredients listing, but I haven't called or emailed to confirm - please do so if you're unsure)
  • Garden salad
  • McDonaldland cookies (contains certified sustainable palm oil)
Dressings & Sauces
  • Sweet sesame soy dressing
  • Balsamic dressing
  • BBQ sauce
  • Ketchup sauce
  • Italian dressing
  • Sweet 'n' Sour Sauce 
  • Hotcake syrup
  • Strawberry jam
  • Vegemite

Hungry Jack's

Again, quite surprisingly, Hungry Jack's also offer a variety of vegan options, including a vegan veggie burger! Nothing is particularly healthy, but many of us aren't vegan purely for health reasons.

Drinks

  • Same soft drinks as McDonalds
  • Same juices as McDonalds
  • Coffees and teas can be requested with soy milk
Snacks/Sides
  • Fries
  • Hash browns
  • Angry onions
  • Onion rings
Burgers
  • Veggie whopper w/o cheese and w/o mayonnaise

KFC

KFC is really lacking in the vegan options department, but you can't really expect much more from a franchise named Kentucky Fried Chicken.


Drinks
  • All canned soft drinks
  • Water
  • Orange juice
  • Apple juice
Snacks/Sides
  • Dinner Roll

Oporto

Drinks
  • Same soft drinks as McDonald's
  • Same juices as McDonalds
  • Coffees and teas can be requested with soy milk
Snacks/Sides
  • Hash browns
  • Garden side salad
  • Chips
  • Chili sauce
Burgers
  • Veggie burger w/o cheese and w/o mayonnaise

That's all for now! I think it's absolutely fantastic that mainstream fast food are now offering many vegan options - such an idea would be unfathomable just twenty years ago. So, if you miss engaging in the occasional fast food binge, get down to one of the above chains and order some fries or a burger! Let's strive to get more and more vegan options in mainstream eateries. 

(If you find out that any of the options listed are not vegan, please let me know so I can remove them.)

7 Sep 2014

How to make vegan friends


I'm a member of several vegan-related Facebook groups, and the general consensus among members implies that it's very difficult to make friends as a vegan. It's a shame, but in many cases, it's entirely true. It's important to have vegan friends - it's likely that they're as passionate about animal rights as you are, and they'll understand the joys, struggles and concerns you experience living a vegan lifestyle.

So, the question arises - how do you make vegan friends? Thankfully, due to rise of social media, it's not hard at all. Vegan-related Facebook groups are a great place to start. There are several Facebook groups dedicated specifically to helping people make vegan friends - these groups are available here and here. All you have to do is join one or both of these groups, add the people on there (they're all looking for friends as well, or they wouldn't have joined the group) and get to talking. If it doesn't work out at first... well, there are thousands of people in those groups! I'm sure a compatible person will come along eventually.



"If Facebook isn't for you, there are many other vegan-specific friendship groups online. "Meetup" groups are a great place to start, and you can probably find one in your state or city."

If Facebook isn't for you, there are many other vegan-specific friendship groups online. "Meetup" groups are a great place to start, and you can probably find one in your state or city. All you have to do is visit a site called Meetup, available here, and search for whatever you're interested in (in this case, it'd be veganism). You're highly likely to find a few groups in your area, but if one doesn't exist already, you can create your own! That's the beauty of the website - anybody can contribute.



I've tried out Meetup groups before and they're great. Usually, the group manager will organise regular meetups (generally once or twice a month) and you can choose whether or not to attend. It's an effective and innovative way to meet other vegans. In a vegan meetup, you can expect to visit lots of excellent vegan cafes and restaurants!

For the university and college students, there may already be a vegan-related group up and running at your school. If there isn't, you could always start your own! Throw up a poster on the bulletin board at school to advertise your group and you should end up finding at least a few people who are interested in joining.

And there are, of course, many fantastic ways to meet other vegans outside of the internet - you could visit vegan restaurants or vegan stores in your area and strike up a conversation with other diners or shoppers. That's the old fashioned way - meeting people in real life! But of course, if that's not your style, there are seemingly endless options for meeting other vegans online. You just have to find what works for you. Good luck!

4 Sep 2014

Vegans Don't Deserve Respect: Here's Why







(Thank you to Connie Pugh and Farm Sanctuary for the photo.)

Okay, let me start off by eating my own words. Vegans, as people, do deserve respect. Of course they do. In actuality, what I mean is - vegans deserve the basic level of respect that we, as compassionate people, should offer to every single inhabitant of this planet. Vegans do not deserve respect, however, on the sole basis that they are vegan. If you switch to veganism, you do not automatically warrant greater respect. Veganism isn't about that. It isn't about us, it's about the animals. 
d
I often hear an argument from non-vegans stating that they respect our vegan lifestyle, therefore we should respect their non-vegan lifestyle. Unfortunately for the people who use such arguments, veganism doesn't work that way. As vegans, we do not ask for a greater amount of respect, nor do we deserve it. All we ask is that animals receive the basic amount of respect that all of earth's creatures deserve - that is, they should reserve the right to live satisfying lives free from harm and suffering.


"As vegans, we do not ask for a greater amount of respect, nor do we deserve it. All we ask is that animals receive the basic amount of respect that all of earth's creatures deserve"

This also means that non-vegans don't deserve respect solely for eating animal products. There is a common misconception among many non-vegans and vegans alike that vegans are somehow better people. That is generally far from the truth. You can be a shitty person and be vegan. You can be a respectable person and be non-vegan. It's our actions that warrant how much respect we deserve, not our non-actions. Veganism is a non-action, as it essentially involves (at its most basic form) doing nothing more than the bare essentials needed to survive - eating, sleeping and pooping. Literally, all you have to do to be classed as vegan is stop using animal products. You're actually doing less than you did before! It's for a fantastic cause, don't get me wrong - but it's not a respectable action. 

Actions warrant respect because they involve committing time, money or effort into a specific cause - this could be anything from speaking out against a criminal to traveling overseas to build a school. These actions do warrant respect. Veganism, however, involves nothing more than following the moral baseline. All it means is that you have recognised that animals shouldn't suffer, and you've done the most basic thing you can to stop it from happening. Now, that is a fantastic thing to do. I am always thrilled to bits whenever I hear about the advancements in veganism... but I am happy for the animals (and for the underpaid, overworked farm employees that will also benefit), not for the vegans themselves.

Do it for them, not for yourself
This isn't to say that vegans aren't good people. The majority of them are beautiful, compassionate individuals with hearts of gold, who go above and beyond to make a difference in the world. All I am saying is that veganism does not automatically warrant respect, and nor does non-veganism. I'm not going to respect a non-vegan for doing essentially nothing, and I don't expect any respect back. If somebody wants to respect me, they can respect me for my actions, for the real efforts I have made. Veganism is effortless. It's not difficult, it doesn't require strong willpower, all it requires is an understanding of the moral baseline: all creatures deserve to live in peace.

 "Stop asking me to respect you for being non-vegan. You haven't really done anythingDon't ask me for respect, because I don't ask for any from you."

So, stop asking me to respect you for being non-vegan. You haven't really done anything. Don't ask me for respect, because I don't ask for any from you. If you want to be respected, do something. Make an effort, use the tools you have available to make a real difference. You have a voice - say something powerful. You have hands - write something powerful. You have ears - listen to something powerful. All of this involves action, and if it's for a good cause, it all warrants my respect.

Thank you for reading, and thank you so much to the people out there who truly care. My biggest thank you goes out to all of the world's beautiful animals, for giving me a genuine goal and purpose - to save their lives.



[Image courtesy of Nicholas Tarling @ FreeDigitalPhotos.net]

2 Sep 2014

The Top 5 Vegan Eateries In Adelaide

Adelaide is known for being the foodie capital of Australia. The city is abundant with great food and great wine, and thankfully, vegan eating certainly isn't exempt! Put everything from hearty veggie burgers to piquant stir-fried noodles on the menu - your quest for sustenance won't go unfulfilled in the City of Churches. I've specifically chosen the more affordable outlets, as this blog is tailored to those living on a student budget.

1. Zenhouse Vegetarian Yum Cha


You simply can't go wrong with Zenhouse. I've certainly been around town in my time, and this glorious eatery always draws me back. Their menu is so varied, it's intimidating - it's one of the few places where I have to spend several minutes choosing what to eat! As a vegan, you're usually stuck with one or two options when eating out - but Zenhouse opens up a whole new world of choice. Their menu is 100% vegetarian and the majority of meals are vegan or can be 'veganised'. Their Vegan SFC (Soy Fried Chicken) burger with mayonnaise, satay sauce, cheese and a side of chips is absolutely spectacular. I've recommended this meal to dozens of non-vegan friends and relatives over the years and they're always delighted. If burgers aren't to your taste, there are a plethora of other options, including noodles, dim sims, stir fried vegetables, soup and sandwiches. Their meals are also refreshingly affordable, at only $13.50 for an (enormous) burger, a generous serving of chips and a can of drink. Their menus (yes, there are two) can be found here and here.

2. Two-Bit Villains


Two-Bit Villains, situated within the picturesque Adelaide Arcade, is a quaint little fifties-style diner offering standard, vegetarian and vegan options. This is another fantastic place to go if you're a lover of Western style food, particularly burgers and fries. Their onion rings are also outstandingly good. There are a wide variety of tempting items available, including chilli cheese fries, nachos, sloppy joe's, doughnuts, waffles and a selection of burgers. They also offer absolutely heavenly hand-crafted sodas and milkshakes in a variety of flavours. They cater for many food allergies and provide several gluten-free options. I'd recommend the El Bandigo Burger - that vegan chipotle mayonnaise is to die for. Here is their vegan menu.

3. Vego & Lov'N It


Vego & Lov'N It is a popular, 100% vegan restaurant accessible via a small flight of stairs, just off of Rundle Street. The d├ęcor is particularly eccentric, which, for me at least, makes the Vego & Lov'N It experience all the more worthwhile. They're another burger joint - okay, I admit it, I have a tiny obsession with burgers - but they offer a variety of other exciting options as well. Their burgers are packed full of fresh veggies - and you can definitely tell. The taste is clean and refreshing. They also offer a delicious lentil soup - which is highly acclaimed among the vegan community - as well as garlic toast, salads, wraps and muffins. The burgers are enormous, filling and reasonably priced, at $11 each. You'll revel in the fact that absolutely everything on the menu is vegan. The opening hours are few and far between, which is a shame, but the quality of the food essentially counteracts this one flaw. You'll have to visit in-store to check out their full menu.


4. Govinda's Restaurant

Eating at Govinda's Restaurant, also known as the Hare Krishna restaurant, is an experience in and of itself. The food is outstandingly affordable, at only $8 for all-you-can-eat - and trust me, there's plenty to eat! Most of the food is vegetarian, but there are some excellent vegan options available. The feel of the restaurant is very spiritual - you will be asked to remove your shoes before entering, and you will often hear the calming sound of Hare Krishna monks chanting in the background. The menu changes regularly, but you can expect to find a variety of delectable Indian foods including curries, rice dishes and soups. Regardless of what meals are available, you really can't go wrong with $8 all-you-can-eat and an unforgettable spiritual experience to boot. Govinda's Restaurant is located in Kilburn, and is open from Friday to Sunday.


5. Bliss Organic Cafe


Bliss Organic Cafe is a little more on the expensive side, but all of their food is 100% vegan and organic, so the heightened price is more-or-less justifiable. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, and also offer catering and take-away options. Their options include burgers, salads, soup, pasta, bruschetta, Shepard's pie, wedges and kofta balls. All of their food is considered top of the line and is highly acclaimed among the Adelaidean vegan community. If you're after a real treat, and have a little extra money to spend, Bliss Organic Cafe is the place to be. Their three menus are available here, here and here.


The above-mentioned eateries aren't the only places to enjoy delicious vegan food in Adelaide. If you're after more options, check out HappyCow or Adelaide Vegans. You'll find full lists of every single vegan, vegetarian and veg-friendly restaurant on those two websites. Happy eating!

1 Sep 2014

How to Eat Vegan Cheap & Easy - Especially for Uni/College Students


Let's face it - University students are usually poor. That's a fact of life. What isn't a fact, however, is the idea that a vegan diet is too expensive. That may be the general consensus among the omni population, but it's far from true. I am a poor University student and I never run out of food. Our food is actually the least expensive!

So, if you're a university student (or just somebody who lives on a budget) and you're looking for affordable, easy meals to make (especially if you're not the best cook, I'm just a beginner myself) - read on.


Breakfast

  • Baked beans on toast is always a simple, easy choice! You can't go wrong with that.
  • Avocado on toast is another simple, easy, yet slightly more "out there" option. You could add some chia seeds for an extra health-kick.
  • Soy or coconut yoghurt with your choice of fruits - I'd recommenced mixed frozen berries. Absolutely delicious! Kingland Soy Yoghurt is a great brand. 
  • Sanitarium veggie sausages with pan-fried mushrooms, tomatoes, baked beans, toast and tofu scramble - a plant-based version of the traditional big breakfast! This has to be my favourite choice for breakfast if I have a little bit of extra time to cook in the morning.
  • Fruit salad - add a tiny sprinkle of sugar or agave nectar if you're after some extra sweetness! I'd recommend using blueberries, green grapes, mandarin pieces, peaches, plums and raspberries to taste the all the beautiful colours of the rainbow.

Delicious and healthy fruit salads, served in affordable plastic cups

Lunch
  • Mexican-style salad - healthy and absolutely delicious! Throw cold four-bean mix, raw broccoli, apple, tomato, cucumber, raw cauliflower and raw onion into a bowl (everything chopped finely). Add a drizzle of olive oil and herbs and viola, you've made a beautiful salad. Once again, add chia seeds for some extra vitamins.
  • Pasta bake - very easy to make and absolutely delicious. I use this recipe, replacing the cheese with plant-based varieties (I recommend Daiya, Toffuti or Cheezly) and throwing in some mushroom instead of Italian sausage. This could also be eaten for dinner.
  • Mac 'n' cheese - an age old student favourite. You can buy a ready-made pack (from here) or you can make your own using this recipe. 
  • Two-minute noodles - if you're after something quick and you're not too fussed about the health aspect, two-minute noodles are a good way to go. Maggi's Original and Me Goreng flavours are two "accidentally" vegan options.

Noodles - a student staple, and they're easily veganised

Dinner
  • Veggie burger - one of my all-time favourites! They are simple to make and absolutely delicious! I use Sanitarium Not Burgers, but any brand will do - you could even make your own if you're a little more advanced and have the time. I fry the not burgers in a pan with tomato, mushroom, onion and a sprinkle of all-purpose seasoning. I then place the burger, tomato, onion and mushroom between two toasted rolls and throw in some baby spinach, grated carrot, cucumber slices, avocado spread, tomato sauce, a Toffuti American cheese slice and some chia seeds (you should know by now that I put those on everything possible!) What you end up with is an awesome, tasty burger packed with vitamins - you can't get much better than that!
  • Lentil bolognese - another one of my favourites that's easy to make. Here's a great recipe.
  • Zucchini noodles - I haven't tried these before but I'm eager to give them a go as soon as possible. They look fantastic!
  • Steamed vegetables with rice and soy sauce - this one's simple and packed full of vitamins. I like to quickly steam some chopped broccoli, carrot and cauliflower in the microwave, and team it with half a cup of brown rice and a drizzle of soy sauce.
  • Stuffed mushrooms - another one of my favourites, and they're not as difficult to prepare as it may initially seem. Here's a recipe. I'd recommend using portobello mushrooms instead of cremini. For extra flavour, top them with nut or soy-based cheese.
  • Pizza - a huge vegan favourite. You'd be hard-pressed to find one who doesn't enjoy vegetables and sauce smothered all over a circular base! Here is a list of fifteen awesome recipes, all very simple to make.

All hail the glorious vegan pizza!

Dessert
  • Chocolate donuts - a widely available, delicious treat. Cruelty-free donuts can be found quite easily in most parts of Australia, but if you're interested in making your own, here is a simple recipe.
  • One-ingredient ice-cream - you can't get much more simple than this! All you need is two to five bananas, a freezer and a blender. Chop up the bananas, freeze them overnight and mix them up in the blender in the morning - they make a perfect, healthy, ice-cold dessert. You can add a variety of other ingredients, such as peanut butter, cinnamon or chocolate buttons for extra flavour.
  • Churros - a cheeky and delectable little dessert that's surprisingly simple to make. Very few ingredients are used. Here's a recipe. Of course, you can always visit San Churro if you're unwilling to make your own. Their churros, dark chocolate sauces and hot chocolates (when ordered with soy milk) are all vegan.
  • Scones - my absolute favourite dessert, best served with raspberry or strawberry jam and some coconut whipped cream. Here's a simple recipe. Just replace the butter with Nuttelex, or a similar butter alternative, and the milk with your favourite plant-based variety. I'd recommend soy.

The only ingredient you need to make delicious, healthy ice-cream

Snacks
  • You can't go wrong with fresh fruit or nuts - the healthiest forms of fast food!
  • Sweet Williams chocolate - a huge favourite among the Australian vegan community. There are many other brands of cruelty-free chocolate out there if you're not from Australia or Sweet Williams isn't your thing.
  • Macro Gluten Free Double Choc Biscuits - the vegan version of Tim Tams! If you're Australian, I'm sure you miss eating the classic Aussie favourite, and if you're not Australian, you'll love them too. They're comprised of two rectangular chocolate biscuits sandwiching a chocolate-flavoured cream, and they're delectable. 
  • Vege chips - healthy, tasty and great for a quick, light snack. All flavours are suitable for vegans except for the Sour Cream & Chives and the Tasty Cheese. The Rice Crisps are also not suitable.
  • Bhuja Cracker Mix (also known as Bombay mix) - easy, nutritious, delicious... and spicy!
  • Oreos... they're vegan in Australia. Need I say more? 

Most dark chocolate is vegan (and quite healthy)

These are just a few of an enormous variety of options - I'd never be able to list them all in one place. Try and incorporate a few of the above recipes into your daily life and I promise you wont be disappointed. Don't forget to share them with omni friends as well - we really need to demolish the ridiculous myth that our food is boring!


[Images courtesy of Praisaeng, Serge Bestasius Photography,
Sommai & Mister GC @ FreeDigitalPhotos.net]