The First rule of Veganism is…don’t talk about Veganisim! Trust me on this, or don’t and instead try this social experiment the next time you dine out. Ask your server if the menu includes any vegan options and then note the reaction of your fellow diners.

There are lots of reactions when people learn that you embrace the Vegan diet. “You’re a Vegan?!” possibly accompanied with a glare of deep suspicion or even better, “Why would anyone be a Vegan? Dodge that one at all costs. Discussing the merits of veganism with a carnivore is like trying to convince a Canadiens fan to cheer for the Leafs. People think that you have to eat meat and dairy to be healthy…Canada’s Food Guide says so. So the next question is always, “What do you eat if you don’t” eat meat?”

Think about that last one for a minute. What don’t vegans eat? Cows, pigs, birds, fish sheep and that’s about it unless you are an unusually adventurous carnivore.
Dining out as a vegan does tend to be limiting however at home the options are limitless. I almost always start my day with baked oatmeal. Its just about the best breakfast ever invented and if you add some nuts for protein you wont be hungry until lunch time.
And speaking of lunch, one word, Quinoa. It’s a powerhouse in the vegan world because it is a complete protein. I cook two cups of quinoa on Sunday and I have a base for a weeks worth of lunches. You can add almost anything to it to make an array of salads. My personal favorites are quinoa with grape tomatoes, red peppers, raw pumpkin seeds, walnuts, olive oil and balsalmic vinegar. Quinoa with pears cashews, pine nuts olive oil and lemon juice is another great one.

So now its dinner time and like a lot of us at the end of the day we are worn out and too tired to chew. Soup is what you need and Lentil soup is a full meal in a bowl. There are so many different vegan soup recipes out there but I will share my go-to below.

Dessert is sometimes where veganism gets difficult. All of your favorites contain dairy and eggs but Chocolate Hummus will make you forget them. I agree it doesn’t sound the most appealing but trust me even your carnivous friends will respect you for this one.
Veganism has its challenges but bland, boring meals is most definitely not one of them. So-called Super Foods abound in the vegan world and great things happen when you experiment with mixing them together.


 

Recipes to try

Morning Oatmeal Bake

In a single serving 20 ounce baking dish mix together; one part oats with two parts almond milk. 1tsp maple syrup, ½ tsp cinnamon, toss in a few walnut and apple pieces
Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.
You can increase the serving size by increasing the oatmeal to almond milk ratio.

Quinoa Super Lunch

Toss cooked quinoa together with diced veggies, sunflower seeds, currants and fresh herbs. In a small bowl mix together dressing ingredients and toss with quinoa and veggies. Lots to share or to keep in fridge for a couple of days for extra lunches.

What you need:
Quinoa  1 cup cooked
Zucchini 1cup diced
Red and yellow peppers 1 cup diced
Roasted sunflower seeds  1/3 cup
Dried currants 1/3 cup
Fresh parsley and cilantro  2-4 tbsp minced
Dressing: 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice, 1/4  olive oil, 1 tsp garlic, pinch each of cayenne pepper, cumin, turmeric

Dan’s Lentil Soup

What you need:
Green lentils
Fresh veggies or frozen broccoli, peas, carrots, onions peppers etc
Can of Garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
Vegetable bouillion cubes

Cook 1 cup green lentils according to directions on package. Stir fry two cups of your favorite vegetables in another pot (peas, carrots broccoli, onion and peppers work well) Add five cups of water and two vegetable bouillion cubes to the pot with the stir fried veggies, once vegetables have softened add one can of garbanzo beans and your cooked lentils. Add your favorite spices then puree the whole mixture in your blender or by using a submersion blender.

Chocolate Hummus

Plug in your food processor because that’s all you will need. Add 1 can of garbanzo beans, 4 tbsp of unsweetened cocoa, ¼ cup of maple syrup, ½ cup of water, ½ cup of coconut,
2tsp of melted coconut oil. Blend until smooth and serve.

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Dan Langille
Dan Langille is a 16-year veteran of the Microsoft partner ecosystem with a particular focus on helping enterprise software vendors be great with Microsoft. Known as a competent and highly-effective architect of strategic alliances in the world of cloud transformation, he thrives on facilitating close collaboration between his company and Microsoft to help both organizations drive adoption and consumption of cloud computing at a global scale.