Category Archives: Vegan Tips

Surprising Vegan Noodles

Noodles.

They come in all different shapes, sizes, and some aren’t even made out of flour!

It shouldn’t surprise you to know that most pasta noodles are made without eggs.

But what might surprise you, is that those aren’t the only noodles available!

Take a look at the collage below, and think about expanding your horizons on your next pasta night.

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Starting in the top left-hand corner, moving clockwise:

  • Unico Farfalle
  • No Name Rotini
  • Ital Pasta Scoobi Do
  • Rizopia Brown Rice Pasta
  • Tinkyada* Rice Pasta Vegetable Spirals
  • President’s Choice Fusilli
  • Chickapea Pasta Shells
  • Maria’s Homestyle Chickpea Radiatore
  • Mr. Noodles Vegetable
  • Mr. Noodles Mushroom
  • Don Don Japanese Style Udon
  • Catelli Spinach Lasagne
  • De Cecco Spaghetti
  • T&T Buckwheat Soba
  • Young & Young 3 Minute Chow Mein
  • Young & Young Rice Vermicelli
  • Rooster Kongmoon Rice Stick Vermicelli
  • Rooster Thin Rice Noodles

*Tinkyada is a local (Scarborough) made, 100% vegan rice pasta brand!

Unico, No Name, Ital Pasta, Catelli, PC and De Cecco have many different shapes of pasta that are suitable for vegans. If I had filled the collage with every shape they had available, it would’ve been way too big! So instead, I decided to pick 1 shape from each brand to represent what they offer.

Most brands that I’ve found tend to stick with one way to make their noodles. So if you find one shape that doesn’t contain egg (or milk?), chances are good their other shapes won’t.

Some of these brands are also specifically Canadian, so I’m not sure if they’re available in other countries.

Vegan Fast Food: KFC Edition

That’s right!

Even a fast food place with chicken in it’s name has vegan options!

Granted, there’s not too many, but still – we really are living in the future!

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Starting in the top-hand corner, and moving clockwise:

  • Potato Bun
  • 10.5in Tortilla
  • Flatbread
  • Lettuce
  • Tomatoes
  • Pickles
  • Plant Based Sandwich*
  • Spicy Plant Based Sandwich
  • Spicy Plant Based Sandwich Combo
  • Fries
  • Southern Plum Dip
  • Ketchup
  • Mug of Root Beer
  • Pepsi Original
  • Diet Pepsi
  • Mountain Dew
  • Dr. Pepper
  • 7-Up
  • Orange Crush
  • Brisk Iced Tea
  • Pure Leaf Black Tea
  • Pure Leaf Lemon Tea
  • Pure Leaf Raspberry
  • Dole Apple Juice
  • Dole Orange Juice
  • Dole Strawberry Kiwi Cocktail
  • Ocean Spray Cranberry Cocktail
  • Oasis FruitZoo Apple Juice
  • Aquafina Water

There were a few other things that were vegan, but I wasn’t able to find pictures of. Those items are:

  • Mayonnaise Type Dressing
  • Sweet and Smokey BBQ Sauce
  • Kentucky Hot Sauce
  • Salt Packets
  • Pepper Packets
  • Vinegar Packets

One thing to note, for the plant-based fillet, though the website says it has vegan ingredients, a different page on the website said it’s cooked in the same fryer as their meat fillets. I believe this is why they’re officially calling it their ‘plant based’ sandwich, instead of actually using the word ‘vegan’.

It’s great to see them opening up to plant based options, but I’ll leave whether or not you want to buy the sandwich up to you.

Perhaps in the future, they’ll see their error and begin cooking it in a different fryer. But for now, it’s a no go for me.


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Where Do Vegans Get Their Vitamin C?

Vitamin C is one of the more popular nutrients people talk about. Maybe it’s because that’s the nutrient people focus on when they catch a cold – everyone knows when you’re sick/have a cold to drink orange juice to replenish your Vitamin C.

But what you might not know, is that oranges actually aren’t the best source.

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Starting in the top left-hand corner, moving clockwise:

  • Raw Red Bell Pepper 190mg
  • Raw Green Bell Pepper 120mg
  • Cooked Broccoli 102mg
  • Raw Strawberries 98mg
  • Raw Grapfruit (1) 78mg
  • Raw Broccoli 78mg
  • Orange (1 medium) 70mg
  • Kiwi (1 med) 64mg
  • Green Peas 60mg
  • Cantaloupe (1 Whole) 58mg
  • Cooked Cabbage 56mg
  • Raw Cauliflower 52mg
  • Green Beans 18mg
  • Baked Potato (1 Med) 17mg
  • Raw Tomato (1 Med) 17mg

As you can see, there are plenty of fruits and vegetables with Vitamin C, so getting enough as a vegan definitely shouldn’t be a struggle.

And hey, maybe next time you get a cold, you could try juicing a bell pepper, instead?


Like this article? Check out the rest of the Nutrient Series!

Vegan Fast Food: Chipotle Edition

As far as fast food goes, Chipotle is a pretty healthy option. They have lots of recognizable, real food to choose from, including an awesome selection of vegetables, and they let you pick what goes in your meal!

They also have the option to filter based on diet (Vegetarian, Vegan, Soy, Gluten, etc) and, they make their ingredients very easy to find.

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Chipotle Website Dietary Filters

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Ingredients listed (with pictures) right on the website!

As if that wasn’t enough, when you click on an ingredient in the above list, it opens a little description about it, and a list that tells you which of their foods the ingredient is used in!

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Honestly, this was one of not only the easiest, but also the fastest ‘researches’ I did into a company’s ingredients.

I 100% agree with what they say on their ingredient page: why can’t every company be this straight forward?

So, we know that they make it easy to find things for your vegan preferences, but how many things actually come up in that list?

A hell of a lot!

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Starting in the upper left-hand corner, and moving clock-wise:

  • Cilantro-Lime Brown Rice
  • Cilantro-Lime White Rice
  • Black Beans
  • Pinto Beans
  • Yellow Onion
  • Red Onion
  • Tomato
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Bell Peppers
  • Avocado
  • Tomatillo
  • Red Chili
  • Jalapeno Pepper
  • Serrano Pepper
  • Poblano Pepper
  • Chipotle Chili
  • Sweet Corn
  • Burrito
  • Burrito Bowl
  • Salad
  • Taco
  • Tortilla Chips

I wasn’t able to find pictures of the following, but the below foods are also vegan:

  • Fajita Vegetables
  • Fresh Tomato Salsa
  • Guacamole
  • Roasted Chili-Corn Salsa
  • Sofritas
  • Tomatillo Green-Chili Salsa
  • Tomatilla Red-Chili Salsa

*I would like to point out that these are ingredients listed, and vegan options available at Chipotle for Canada. If you live in a different country, I always recommend checking the ingredients for where you live, as companies often change the ingredients depending on which country they’re selling in.


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Store Crawl: Loblaws (Online Edition)

This article was written 21.06.07, when COVID pre-cautions were still in place. Please excuse any reference that is no longer applicable


Similar to Metro’s store crawl, this crawl was also done online. While the restrictions are lifting a bit where I am, I still think it’s safest to not go to highly populated areas at the moment. Especially if I don’t absolutely have to go.

And running around a store writing down all the vegan food they offer isn’t on that list, so you’re getting another online edition. Actually, I was thinking of maybe making most of these online crawls instead. Lots of people would rather get groceries delivered, and, sometimes the online selection of products is better/has more variety than if you were to go in person.

Also, since we’re starting to get back into the cold weather, not having to brave the oncoming winter temperature’s seems like a good idea.

And with that little preamble out of the way, let’s see what vegan offerings** Loblaws has:

Yves:

  • Original Ground Round
  • Ham
  • Turkey Slices
  • Hot Dogs
  • Mexican Ground Round
  • Bologna
  • Pepperoni
  • Chick’N Burgers
  • Italian Ground Round

Lightlife:

  • Smart Dogs
  • Smart Tenders Plant-Based Chicken
  • Smart Bacon
  • Organic Smoky Tempeh Strips
  • Organic Original Tempeh
  • Plant Based Burgers*
  • Plant Based Ground*

*All other products said Certified Vegan on packaging, these products did not, however their ingredients appeared vegan when I read them

Gardein:

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  • 7 Grain Crispy Tenders
  • Mandarin Orange Crispy Chick’n
  • Beefless Ground
  • Crispy Fingers Chipotle Lime
  • Turk’y Cutlets
  • Golden Fishless Filets
  • Beefless Tips
  • Breakfast Spicy Sausages
  • Chick’n Sliders
  • BBQ Wings
  • Breakfast Maple Sausages

 

Earth Balance:

  • Soy Free Buttery Spread
  • Original Buttery Spread
  • Whipped Spread
  • Creamy Coconut Peanut Butter
  • Peanut Butter and Flax
  • Crunchy Coconut and Peanut Spread
  • Crunchy Peanut Butter with Flax

 

Silk:

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  • Soy Original
  • Soy Original Unsweetened
  • Soy Vanilla
  • Soy Chocolate
  • Unsweetened Almond
  • Vanilla Almond
  • Dark Chocolate Almond
  • Almond Protein
  • Almond and Coconut
  • Coconut Unsweetened
  • Cashew Unsweetened
  • Oat Yeah Original
  • Oat Yeah Unsweetened
  • Oat Yeah Vanilla
  • Barista Soy
  • Barista Almond
  • Soy For Coffee
  • Vanilla Coffee Creamer
  • Hazelnut Coffee Creamer
  • Oat Yeah Coffee Creamer
  • Plain Coconut Yogurt
  • Vanilla Coconut Yogurt
  • Raspberry Yogurt
  • Blueberry Yogurt
  • Almond Strawberry Yogurt
  • Almond Peach Yogurt
  • Strawberry Banana Yogurt

 

Presidents Choice (PC):

  • Swiss Style Slices
  • Cheddar Style Slices
  • Mozzarella Style Slices
  • Cheddar Style Shreds
  • Mozzarella Shreds
  • Coconut Cream Cheese
  • Vegan Cheddar Puffs
  • Chickenless Strips
  • Onion and Chive Tofu Dip
  • Beefless Undeniable Burgers

 

Amy’s Kitchen

  • Alphabet Soup
  • Vegetable Barley Soup
  • Fire Roasted Southwestern Vegetable Soup
  • Light In Sodium Minestrone Soup
  • Lentil Vegetable Soup
  • Lentil Soup

 

Daiya:

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  • Cheddar Block
  • Mozz Shreds
  • Cheddar Shreds
  • Cheddar Sauce
  • Alfredo Sauce
  • Cheddar Mac
  • Alfredo Mac
  • Cheeze Lovers Pizza
  • Margherita Pizza
  • Fire Roasted Veggie Pizza
  • Supreme Pizza
  • Vegetable Crust Meatless Pepperoni Pizza
  • Vegetable Crust Mediterranean Pizza
  • NY Style Cheesecake
  • Key Lime Cheesecake
  • Strawberry Cheesecake
  • Vanilla Ice Cream
  • Triple Fudge Ice Cream
  • Chocolate Crunch Ice Cream Bar
  • Salted Caramel Swirl Ice Cream Bar
  • Original Cream Cheese

 

Enjoy Life:

  • Mini Choc Chips
  • Mega Chunks
  • Plentil Dill and Sour Cream
  • Plentil Thai Chili Lime
  • Plentil Sea Salt
  • Cocoa Loco Baked Chewy Bars
  • Chocolate Chip Mini Crunchy Cookies
  • Soft Baked Mini Double Choc Brownie Cookies
  • Soft Baked Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • Soft Baked Snickerdoodle Cookies
  • Soft Baked Mini Snickerdoodle Cookies
  • Soft Baked Gluten Free Gingerbread Cookies
  • Oat and Fruit Breakfast Ovals Choc Chip and Banana
  • Oat and Fruit Breakfast Ovals Fig and Maple
  • Oat and Fruit Breakfast Ovals Berry Medley
  • Gluten Free Crunchy Double Choc Cookies
  • Boom Choco Boom Candy Bar

 

 Misc:

  • Mr. Noodle’s Vegetable
  • Habitant Garden Style Vegetable Soup
  • Lipton Cup-A-Soup Spring Vegetable Dry Mix
  • Knorr Vegetable Bouillon Cubes
  • Bob’s Red Mill Nutritional Yeast (Large Flake)
  • Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Pizza Crust Mix
  • Oreo’s Original
  • Fudgee-O’s Original
  • Triscuits Original
  • Ritz Crackers Original
  • Kisko’s Mr. Freeze Jumbo Freezies
  • Ben and Jerry’s Non-Dairy Netflix and Chill’d
  • Ben and Jerry’s Non-Dairy Peanut Butter Half Baked
  • Ben and Jerry’s Non-Dairy Cherry Garcia
  • Ben and Jerry’s Non-Dairy P.B. and Cookies
  • Ben and Jerry’s Non-Dairy Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
  • Dandies Vanilla Marshmallows

**This is not counting of course fresh/frozen/canned fruit and vegetables, and staple dry ingredients like pastas and rices, this is also not including ‘obvious’ snack products (Lay’s Original chips, etc.)


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Where Do Vegans Get Their Vitamin D?

Everyone knows you get Vitamin D from the sun, and of course, almost every adult knows the joke version of where to get this nutrient, but I bet if you asked someone which plant foods have Vitamin D in them, they’d be at a loss.

I was even surprised to learn that the only plant based food that has naturally occurring Vitamin D is mushrooms. In fact, if I didn’t research it for this series, I probably wouldn’t have learned that. I mean, don’t get me wrong, there is Vitamin D in lots of vegetables, but the amount in other vegetables is so minimal, you can’t use them as your main source for the nutrient.

I was especially eager to do this nutrient, because as someone living in Toronto (Canada) where our weather is mostly winter, getting Vitamin D from the sun can be quite a challenge for the majority of the year. And as most people know, you can’t just go outside without sunscreen on for a few hours and ‘stock up’ on Vitamin D so you’re good for the year. (Though Vitamin D is fat soluble, meaning our bodies can store some extra)

So, what if you’re vegan and live somewhere with minimal sun, and don’t like mushrooms? Does that mean you’re just screwed?

Luckily, no! Similar to B12, there are foods available that have been fortified with Vitamin D, that are vegan friendly. Unfortunately, the list isn’t very long, but there’s definitely enough to have a bit of variety. Also, as someone who used to hate mushrooms, if you just make yourself eat them (in small amounts), eventually you’ll see they aren’t all that bad.

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Starting in the top left corner, going clockwise:

  • The Sun (10 minutes outside without sunscreen in summer)
  • Orange Juice (1C = 100IU)
  • Oat/Almond/Rice Milk (1C = 85-90IU)
  • Soy Milk (1C = 86IU)
  • Maitake Mushrooms (1C = 786IU)
  • Portobello Mushrooms (1C = 634IU)
  • Shiitake Mushrooms (1C = 26IU)
  • White Button Mushrooms (1C = 7IU)

For those who may be as confused as I was, IU stands for International Units. I’m not too sure why this is the unit of measure for this particular nutrient, but I’m sure there’s some scientific/important reason other than ‘just to be different’.

It’s recommended that people 1 year to 70 years old get 600-4,000IU of Vitamin D each day. This may sound like a lot, but don’t forget our bodies can store some excess Vitamin D, and even if you’re inside, if you’re by a window that’s in the sun, you’re still getting some Vitamin D.

Also, if you make a kick-ass mushroom dish (one of my favourites is a family recipe, called Peas and Mushrooms [can you guess what’s in it?]  or you could make a stir fry, stuffed mushrooms, pasta with mushrooms… there are tons of dishes you could make with mushrooms!) you’ll have plenty of Vitamin D stocked up.

And if you’re still worried, there’s always Tinder.


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8 Simple Summer Recipes

Who doesn’t love summer? The long, cold winter is finally over, plants are in full bloom, and you generally just feel better all around now that you can actually go outside and see the sun.

But, there is one downside to summer: it gets hot.

I know, I know, when you’re coming out of a winter that got down to -40, hot weather is something of a salvation. But! When it’s hot out, you won’t want to turn on the oven and make your place even hotter. And, let’s be honest, there’s only so many days in a row you can BBQ before you get sick of it. (Especially the clean up)

So, in a bid to save your electric bill and your BBQ, here is a list of 8 simple, no-cook summer recipes to get you through the days when you just cannot eat a burger.

 

1 Nice-Cream

While technically nice-cream isn’t a ‘meal’, it is no-cook, also, who’s gonna complain about a new way to make ice cream?

This nice-cream is super simple to make. All you really need is some frozen bananas, some Silk (or other non-dairy milk), and a blender. If you don’t want it to taste like bananas, you can throw other stuff in the blender as well. (I’ve tried frozen cherries, and cocoa powder with chocolate Silk, but really pretty much any frozen berry you’d want would probably work)

Once you have all your ingredients, toss them all into the blender at the same time, and blend until its maybe Slushy consistency. Don’t worry if you over-blend it. If it gets too runny, then just call it a smoothies.

And boom! That’s it.

Told you these were simple!

 

2 Chickpea Salad Sandwich

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I know I might be late to the game with this, but I recently discovered that chickpea salad sandwiches are actually pretty good – and this is coming from someone who doesn’t really like chickpeas! (Unless they’re in roasted red pepper hummus form)

I also learned that chickpeas in a can don’t have to be cooked before eating (but you should still rinse them), which is great in the summer because then you won’t even have to turn the stove on!

Another nice thing with not only this recipe, but with a lot of summer recipes, is that since they’re all meant to be eaten cold, you can make a lot on one day, and then just eat them directly out of the fridge for a few days after. No-cook weeks are awesome not only because they won’t heat your house when it’s already hot, but they also save you a lot of time!

Most meal prep takes about an hour, but if you don’t have to cook every single day, that’s an extra hour you’re gaining back to do one of the other millions of things I’m sure you’re ‘getting around to’.

Okay, so to make chickpea salad, you can actually do pretty much whatever you like (again, it’s food, which means it’s based on your tastes), but this is the way I like it:

  • 1 can of chickpeas
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp of Paprika (about)
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp Dill
  • 1 Tbsp vegan mayo (optional)

Once you have all the ingredients, then all you have to do is smash the chickpeas with whatever masher you’d like – you can use an actual potato masher, or a fork, or a hammer, whatever way you like smashing your chickpeas – and smash them up so there are a lot of bits and halves, but also be sure to leave in some whole ones. This gives it a better texture.

Once all the chickpeas are somewhat smashed, add all the other ingredients to the bowl and mix until it’s all pretty much evenly distributed. You can then either eat it right away, or (depending on how long it took you to smash the chickpeas), throw it in the fridge until it gets cold again, then you can put it on a sandwich.

You can also add other things like lettuce or spinach to the sandwich to make it a little more filling. Or you could over-fill the sandwich so there’s a lot of chickpeas in it. When I make them, I use about 2-3 Tbsp of the chickpea mix per sandwich.

Or, you could go even simpler and just eat the chickpea mix right out of a bowl and skip the sandwich making all together.

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  1. Cucumber Noodles

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I know cucumber noodles are pretty big in the raw vegan community, and they have all kinds of inventive dressings, sauces and ways you can dress up these bad boys, but I like mine kept simple, with just a little salt and pepper.

You could try one of the thousands of sauces that are out there, but sometimes you just need something simple to hit the spot. I mostly make cucumber noodles when I want to eat cucumber slices, but want to make them ‘fancy’.

You can achieve the ‘noodle’ like strands with the cucumbers by either running it through a Spiralizer, hand-cutting them thinly, or I believe a mandolin would work, as well.

The first time I tried cucumber noodles, I actually hand-cut them. They didn’t look nearly as appetizing as the above noodles, though they still tasted good! It was still just cucumber after all.

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See? Not the prettiest, but taste was on point! (Minus the pesto)

 

  1. Salad

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You know, for as bad of a wrap salads get (no pun intended), they are actually quite a handy meal. You can basically throw together anything in a bowl and call it a salad. Fruits, vegetables, beans, pasta – there are like a million different ‘salad’ recipes possible.

Which is great, because many of them only require you to chop up a few things and mix them in a bowl. You can’t get much simpler than that! And, what’s more, is once you have the salad done, you can use it in other meals, too. For example, instead of just eating a salad in a bowl, if you throw it in a tortilla, now you’ve got yourself a salad wrap!

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This will of course depend on what kind of salad you’re gonna make. While I’m not trying to limit your salad creations, I just don’t think a fruit salad wrap would work. But you do you.

For a lettuce salad, I always start with the same basics

  • Lettuce
  • Cucumber
  • Bell Pepper
  • Hemp Hearts
  • Nooch/Cheese Shreds

Then from here, you can dress it up however you want! Sometimes I’ll add black salt to give it an ‘egg-y’ taste, or you can add bacon bits (No Name Bacon Bits are vegan!), dill, vegan mayo, and lemon juice to make a ranch/Caesar style dressing.

Or if it’s not astronomically hot, and you don’t mind turning on a burner, you could cook up some chick’n nuggets/strips and add those to your salad to turn it into a chick’n salad.

Or, you could make pasta salad, instead. For pasta salad, I usually add peas, bell pepper and celery to the noodles (either macaroni or Scoobi-Doo shapes are the best for pasta salad), and then for the dressing, I add: white vinegar, yellow/French’s mustard (optional), salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion (either powder or very small cubes), nooch (optional), and vegan mayo (also optional). Then you mix it together and let it cool in the fridge, or you could be one of those freaks who eat it when it’s still a little bit warm.

I love making pasta salad in the summer, not only because it’s super easy, but because it takes just as much effort to make a little bit of it as it does to make a lot. So I can usually make a big ‘batch’ of it, and then throw it in the fridge and eat it all week!

Also, same as lettuce salad, you could get a little creative and make a pasta salad wrap, or use leftovers in a warm pasta dish (I’ve turned left over pasta salad into mac n cheese) if you make it at the tail-end of summer. And, assuming it would last long enough you need to turn it into something else.

 

  1. Avocado Toast

I’ll be honest, I haven’t actually made avocado toast all that much, since I’m not that big of a fan of how avocados taste. I don’t know what it is, but it’s just not really my bag.

That said, I have been trying to force myself to eat them more often (which isn’t hard when you’re starting at ‘never’), because I know they’re super good for you. So, with that in mind, I’ve only made avocado toast twice, but both times I didn’t feel the need to immediately vomit, so I’m taking that as a good sign.

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This is the first way I tried it. I made some VeganEgg scrambled eggs, and then put some avocado slices on top of toast with a little bit of salt and pepper on top.

This… it tasted good, but as my first time trying avocado toast, with the giant pile of egg, it was too much of a not-that-great-texture in my mouth at once. I didn’t spit it out, but it was waaay too mushy for my liking. I did however finish it.

Some time after this, I had discovered I could eat at this place called Chipotle, so I went on a bit of a Chipotle kick, and decided to always get guac ‘on the side’, so I could continue to test the avocado waters. I wouldn’t eat the whole container of the guac (partly because Chipotle is super filling, and partly because I still wasn’t too into the taste), but my friend was more than happy to help me out. (This was pre-COVID, when sharing was still a thing we were allowed to do)

After that week of basically eating Chipotle straight, I didn’t eat avocado again until this year (2021), when I tried my hand at avocado toast again.

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This time around, I figured since I liked chickpea salad, if I made it ‘taste like summer’, I’d probably enjoy it more. Which, I don’t know if that’s why I liked it, or if my body had just gotten more used to eating avocados, but this time when I ate it, it wasn’t that bad. (Which was good, because I had another avocado in the fridge)

For this avo toast, I put salt, pepper, black salt (for the ‘egg-y’ tasty), a slice of PC Vegan Swiss Slices (side note: PC has come out with a whole line of new vegan products in Canada, which is awesome!), and smushed half an avocado on top, to which I mixed in some lemon juice, garlic powder, a smidge of paprika and dill.

Again, I don’t know if I liked this one more because I’m more used to eating avocados, or if it’s because I used less of it, but the second one I definitely wouldn’t mind eating more often. (… Which I realize isn’t that great of a selling point on a recipe, but hey, you’re here for honest opinions anyway, right? If you want awesome vegan recipes, go check out HotforFood)

 

  1. Cheese and Tomato Sandwich

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This one is probably the easiest recipe in this post. You literally take a slice of cheese, and a slice of tomato (or two) and add them to bread. Boom, done.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can add some vegan mayo, and/or salt and pepper.

 

  1. Snack Plates

Like salads, snack plates are awesome, because you can basically make them whatever you want to eat.

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In summer especially, snack plates are great, because you can cut up a bunch of fruit and/or veggies, and then just mix and match them onto 1 plate, whip up a quick dip, and boom lunch is done.

I eat snack plates all the time and love them. Mine usually consist of: cucumber, green pepper, broccoli (or cauliflower), carrots and dip. But you can add whatever you want to them, really. It all depends on what you like to eat, and what you have. Sometimes, I’ll swap out one of the veggies for crackers and cheese, or some frozen nuggets or something. Or you could do a fruit mix with watermelon, strawberries, grapes, golden berries, etc.

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Or, you could do little lunch meat + cheese sliders and cut up veggies. Or meatballs, mozzarella sticks, and crackers, or… pretty much you want to center your snack plate around whatever your dip is. As long as all the foods you choose pair well with the dip, they can go on the same plate.

The possibilities are literally endless!

And there you have it! Hopefully this small list of summer recipes has inspired you to create your own no-cook recipes. It’s really not that hard! Most veggies are great to eat cold, and all it takes is (usually) a little bit of creative thinking, and usually a tortilla to make a kick-ass, cold meal.

Do you have any favourite no-cook summer meals? Are you going to try any from this list? Let me know in the comments!


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Vegan Fast Food: Subway Edition

Some people don’t include Subway as a fast food place, because what they serve is more healthy then usual, but I say it’s called ‘fast food’, not ‘unhealthy food’.

Also, as vegans, we don’t really have the luxury of leaving places off our lists of acceptable places to eat.

Luckily though, Subway is pretty much a vegans’ dream because they have a lot of vegetables, and it’s pretty reasonably priced.

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In order, starting in the top left corner:

  • Ciabatta
  • Italian White Bread
  • Tortilla Wrap
  • Banana Peppers
  • Cucumber
  • Green (Bell) Pepper
  • Jalapeno Pepper
  • Pickles
  • Lettuce
  • Green Olives
  • Black Olives
  • Red Onion
  • Tomato
  • Falafel
  • Veggie Patty*
  • Beyond Meat Meatball
  • Avocado Puree
  • Guacamole
  • Black Bean Soup
  • Lays Classic
  • Lays Oven Baked Classic
  • AquaFina Water
  • Pepsi
  • Brisk Lemon Iced Tea
  • Pure Leaf Lemon Iced Tea
  • G2 Fruit Punch (Contains Red 40)
  • Tropicana Orange Juice
  • Subway Coffee

There were also some vegan options I wasn’t able to find pictures for. The not-picture vegan options are:

  • Hearty Italian Bread
  • Roasted Garlic Bread
  • Grilled Onions and Peppers
  • House Sandwich Sauce (Zesty Italian)
  • Mustard (Deli Brown)
  • Mustard (Yellow)
  • Sweet Onion Sauce
  • Mediterranean Soup

*Some restaurants have a veggie patty that contains egg and/or milk. Please ask before ordering.

I was surprised to learn that Subway offered coffee, and that so many of their sauces are vegan! Every time I’ve gone previously, I never got any sauce, unless they had ketchup. I thought I’d be cursed with eating dry sandwiches forever, but now I’m excited to try some sauces!

I also recommend asking the store what they have, as not every location always has every option available.


Check out the rest of the Vegan Fast Food series here!

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Where Do Vegans Get Their Omega-3’s?

Now, I’m not gonna lie, I haven’t really paid attention to my Omega-3 intake as much as say, my B12 or protein. Which is actually really bad, because it turns out that Omega-3’s are really good for our bodies – getting enough Omega-3’s can help prevent plaque build-up in arteries, and can help reduce the likelihood of having a heart attack or stroke – and our bodies can’t produce Omega-3’s by themselves, which means we have to get them from an external source.

Like most other things I don’t have knowledge of, I blame school. Honestly, school teaches you a lot of stuff, but as I keep getting older, I keep finding it didn’t teach me very many practical things. (Such as how to do taxes, or how to budget – even though I took both a business and ‘family studies’ class)

In school, I learned Omega-3’s were in fish, but there wasn’t really a big emphasis on them being important – we focused more on The 4 Food Groups (Grains, Dairy, Fruits and Vegetables, and Meat + Alternatives). Now, don’t get me wrong, teaching little kids that eating from all those food groups everyday is good for your health is a great starting point, I just think that as I got older (read: in high school) we could’ve went a little more in depth to the why eating the food groups are important.

Luckily though, we live in a world where I can find an answer to almost anything I desire right from the comfort of my own home, so I’ve also done my own research into all the things I’ve always wondered about.

Also luckily, I wasn’t raised on processed sugar, so I didn’t have too many bad eating habits to unlearn. (For example, I am perfectly happy eating raw broccoli [or cauliflower, carrots, cucumbers, etc.] as a snack)

Also, doing this nutrient series has opened my eyes to the (apparently) minimal info I was given growing up about nutrition. This is also a big reason of why I’m so happy to share what I’ve learned – there’s no way I’m the only person on the planet who doesn’t know this stuff, and I want to make things easier for others to find. I think knowledge should be shared.

And on that note, time to share what you came for:

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Starting in the top-left corner, going clockwise:

  • Hemp Hearts (1oz = 6g)
  • Chia Seeds (1oz = 5g)
  • Flax Seeds (1Tbsp = 6.7g)
  • Cauliflower (1C = 37mg)
  • Edamame (1/2C = .28g)
  • Blueberries (1oz = 12.6g)
  • Walnuts (1oz = 2.5g)
  • Spinach (3.5oz = .37g)
  • Avocado Oil (1 Tbsp = 136mg)
  • Kidney Beans (1/2C = 10g)
  • Spirulina (1C = 922mg)
  • Nori/Seaweed (1/2C = 79mg)
  • Canola Oil (1Tbsp = 1.28g)
  • Perilla Oil (1Tbsp = 9g)

Thankfully for us non-meat eaters, Omega-3’s aren’t just in fish, and the foods that do contain them aren’t that hard to find. Another good thing? We only need 1.1g-1.6g a day, so fitting Omega-3 rich foods into our routines shouldn’t be that hard.


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Vegan Meat Alternatives

This article was written 20.11.12, when COVID was still running rampant/wasn’t under control. (At least in Toronto) Please excuse any reference/joke that’s no longer applicable.


Disclaimer: This article contains links to graphic videos of animal slaughter. If you have issues with watching, I recommend not clicking the video links, but I implore you to ask yourself: if you can’t watch, should you really continue to fund it?


I’m gonna be honest, when I started doing this series, I didn’t really have a plan other than making pretty-ish collages of vegan alternatives. However, after giving it some thought, I realized that I should be taking this time to educate the non-vegan, and new vegans, to show them what options there are, so they don’t have to freak out and go through that ‘wait… what am I gonna eat?’ phase.

Hopefully if you’ve stumbled upon this article on the vegan section of a website, you already know what’s wrong with eating meat, but just in case, here’s a quick refresher:

  1. As you hopefully already know, you have to kill an animal to be able to eat it’s dead body. Sooo, not to be ‘that’ vegan, but yes meat is murder! (There’s a reason why it’s a popular chant!) And, as we (hopefully) all know, murder is wrong.

Slaughterhouses are giant murder factories. Animals go in alive, and come out chopped into pieces wrapped in plastic. As if murdering them wasn’t enough, the animals are also often traumatized, by either being abused, or by hearing their friends and family (yes, animals have friends and family!) being killed in the next room, or both. ‘Oh, Ater’ you say, ‘but animals don’t know what’s happening! They’re not that self-aware.

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Well, how about you look at this picture, and I mean really look at it. Are you still gonna try to tell me that’s not fear and sadness in that animal’s eyes? Does that expression look like the expression of someone who doesn’t know what’s going on? What if I told you this is a picture from a video that was shot in 2015, and this animal has been dead for 5 years. Now do you care? What if this was a picture of a dog, instead of a pig – would you care then? Why?

If you believe dogs have souls and deserve to live, so should other animals. Not all animals are as smart as dogs, but does that mean they deserve to die? What if we did that with people? Dogs on average are about as smart as 2 year olds, so what if we just killed everyone not as smart as that. Does that sound even remotely like an okay thing to do?

And, while we’re on the subject of intelligence, pigs have actually been shown to be more intelligent than dogs. So… why is it okay to eat one, but not the other? Tell me, truly, what’s the difference?

 

2. Humans as a whole are so overly murdering animals, it’s crazy. Seriously, the shear number of animals that are being killed every minute is insane to think about. In fact, why don’t you check out this site, and watch the numbers go up. That is a lot of lives that are being lost. On average, humans kill 3 billion animals every day. Yes, you read that correctly 3 billion animals die every day!

To put this into perspective, on 9/11, roughly 2,900 people died. That was enough to change basically the world as a whole, and there were many changes enacted to make sure something like that never happened again.

That is only 0.0000966% of 3 billion. But for animals, nobody cares? What if we killed that many people everyday? At the time of writing this article (20.11.12), there are 7.8 billion humans on Earth. If we were to kill humans at the same rate we killed animals, the human race would be extinct in 17 days.

17 days!

And this isn’t even mentioning all the terrible environmental factors that slaughterhouses, and needless breeding of animals has on the planet.

But, in the interest of keeping this short, let’s move on.

So, now you know meat is terrible, and you’ve agreed to stop funding murder – awesome! But, now you may be wondering, what else is there to eat?

Well, thankfully, there have been amazing strides in the vegan movement in the past couple of years, and it’s easier than ever to stop eating meat!

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Starting from the top left corner, going clockwise:

  • Beyond Meat Beyond Burgers
  • Gardein Beefless Strips
  • Gardein Beefless Ground
  • Gardein Chick’N Patties
  • Gardein Chick’N Scallopini
  • Gardein Turk’y Cutlets
  • Gardein Stuffed Turk’y
  • Tofurky Veggie Roast
  • Gardein Porkless Bites
  • Beyond Meat Beyond Sausage
  • Tofurky Italian Sausage
  • Yves Veggie Dogs
  • Yves Veggie Ham
  • Yves Veggie Bologna
  • Gardein Fishless Filets
  • Gardein Crabless Cakes
  • Seitan

This collage show only a small sample of all the different vegan friendly ‘replacement’ meats currently available. Basically any meat you want to eat has a substitute. And, these are just some of the convenience foods available. There’s also tofu, tempeh, or heck, even vegetables, such as mushrooms or jackfruit can be used as a meat substitute. (Depending on the dish, of course)

All it takes is a little know-how to make kick-ass faux meat dishes. Or, instead of trying to replace meat directly with substitutes, you could also try making different dishes. Expand your meals from being meat-centric, to include ones that put veggies in the spotlight.

Instead of trying to replicate steak and potatoes, why don’t you try making stuffed bell peppers? You can replace the ground beef or chicken (or whatever meat you’d usually put in the rice) with lentils, or mushrooms. Add in some of the usual suspects (corn, broccoli, carrot, etc.) and BAM! You’ll have one seriously hearty dish on your hands. I guarantee you that you won’t even notice the lack of meat in the dish.

There are tons of veg-centric meals just waiting for you to try them. So why not give it a whirl? And if you need some help? No worries! There are tons of vegan cookbooks, blogs, Youtube channels and even Instagram accounts out there for you to draw inspiration from. One of my all time favourite Youtube channels is HotforFood. Lauren is a master in the kitchen, and makes all kinds of breaking-vegan-stereotype dishes. She has recipes for burgers, mac n cheese, gravy, and even a vegan ranch dip! In a lot of her videos, she also explains why she uses certain ingredients, instead of keeping you guessing.

When I first went vegan, I watched a lot of her videos, and learned a lot from her videos about combining certain ingredients to get certain flavours. So go ahead and give it a try! There’s never been a better time to test out new recipes. (Not like you’re leaving the house, anyway)


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Sources:

Extinct in 17 Days

Scared Pig Picture (still from video)

3 Billion Animals Killed Per Day