Tag Archives: vegan tips

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.

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegan Tips - Vegan Nutrients Series - Where Do Vegans Get Their Vitamin D? - Vitamin D Collage - vegan tips, vegan food, vegan nutrients, vegan food blogger, food blogger

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.


Like this article? Check out the rest of the series here!

Liking the site? Consider signing up for my Patreon, so I can continue bringing you the content you love!

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

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegna Tips - 8 Simple No-Cook Summer Recipes - Chickpea Salad Sandwich - vegan, vegan food, what vegans eat, food blogger, vegan blogger, food reviewer, recipes, simple recipes

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.

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegna Tips - 8 Simple No-Cook Summer Recipes - Chickpea Salad - vegan, vegan food, what vegans eat, food blogger, vegan blogger, food reviewer, recipes, simple recipes

 

  1. Cucumber Noodles

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegna Tips - 8 Simple No-Cook Summer Recipes - Cucumber Noodles Spiralized - vegan, vegan food, what vegans eat, food blogger, vegan blogger, food reviewer, recipes, simple recipes

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.

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegna Tips - 8 Simple No-Cook Summer Recipes - Cucumber Noodles Handcut - vegan, vegan food, what vegans eat, food blogger, vegan blogger, food reviewer, recipes, simple recipes

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

 

  1. Salad

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegna Tips - 8 Simple No-Cook Summer Recipes - Lettuce Salad - vegan, vegan food, what vegans eat, food blogger, vegan blogger, food reviewer, recipes, simple recipes

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!

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegna Tips - 8 Simple No-Cook Summer Recipes - Caesar Salad Wrap Homemade - vegan, vegan food, what vegans eat, food blogger, vegan blogger, food reviewer, recipes, simple recipes

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.

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Product Review - Avocado Toast - VeganEgg - Vegan Food

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.

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegna Tips - 8 Simple No-Cook Summer Recipes - Avocado Toast Smushed - vegan, vegan food, what vegans eat, food blogger, vegan blogger, food reviewer, recipes, simple recipes

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

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegan Tips - 8 Simple No Cook Summer Recipes - Cheese and Tomato Sandwich - vegan, vegan food, what vegans eat, summer recipes, recipes, food, food blogger

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.

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegna Tips - 8 Simple No-Cook Summer Recipes - Snack Plate - vegan, vegan food, what vegans eat, food blogger, vegan blogger, food reviewer, recipes, simple recipes

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.

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegna Tips - 8 Simple No-Cook Summer Recipes - Snack Plate 2 - vegan, vegan food, what vegans eat, food blogger, vegan blogger, food reviewer, recipes, simple recipes

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!


Like this post? Check out more here!

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.

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegan Tips - Vegan Fast Food - Subway Sandwich Edition - vegan food, fast food, Subway Canada, sandwiches, vegan tips, vegan food, what vegans eat, food blogger

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!

Liking the site? Consider signing up for my Patreon, so I can continue bringing you the content you love!

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:

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegan Tips - Where Do Vegans Get Their Nutrients - Nutrient Collage Series - Omega-3's Collage - vegan tips, vegan food, vegan blogger, health tips, nutrients, Omega-3's, vegan food blogger, new vegan tips

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.


Like this article? Check out more vegan tips here!

Liking the site? Consider signing up for my Patreon, so I can continue bringing you the content you love – Tiers start at $1!

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.

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegan Tips - Vegan Meat Alternatives - Scared Pig - pig, scared pig, pig about to die, Vegan Gains, pig slaughter, pig screaming, vegan meat, meat substitutes, Beyond Meat, Gardein, Tofurky, Yves, vegan food, food blogger, what's wrong with meat, meat is murder, vegan blogger

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!

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegan Tips - Vegan Meat Alternatives - vegan meat, meat substitutes, Beyond Meat, Gardein, Tofurky, Yves, vegan food, food blogger, what's wrong with meat, meat is murder, vegan blogger

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)


Like this article? Check out more vegan tips here!

Liking the site? Consider signing up for my Patreon, so I can continue bringing you the content you love!


Sources:

Extinct in 17 Days

Scared Pig Picture (still from video)

3 Billion Animals Killed Per Day

5th Year Veganversary

5 years, baby!

I’ve finally reached the 5 year mark, and I couldn’t be more excited!

Well, technically it won’t be a full 5 years until Saturday (Feb. 6th), but I’m still excited! Each year, I get more excited, because I’ve been vegan longer, and it’s always crazy for me to write down the actual number of years, because in my day-to-day, it’s just how I live now. It feels like it’s been a long time, and I suppose you could argue that 5 years is a long time, but relatively speaking, it’s actually not.

The majority of my life lived up until this point is still non-vegan, and I think that’s the weird part to me. 5 years vegan is amazing, but it’s not even close to half my lifetime. Since going vegan, and learning about all the bad things that happen to animals, I’ve just wanted to erase my non-vegan years, because I’m ashamed of them. I was so ignorant, and even used to make fun of my vegetarian aunt (along with my siblings), and I just look back and cringe so hard that I used to act like that.

And yes, I know that me looking back and cringing at how I used to be is actually a great sign of growth and learning, but it’s still embarrassing for me to think about. It does also help put into perspective how those close to me must see my veganism. A little while ago, one of my closest friends asked me if I was ‘ready to stop this vegan thing’ now that I had been doing it so long. They seemed to be kidding, but that really threw me through a loop. It’s been 5 years, and in the grand scheme of my over-all life, that’s still short enough to be considered a ‘phase’ by some.

It’s sad to me that something that changed my life so radically can be viewed so dismissively by those around me, but it helps me see things through their eyes. Not everyone views this 5 years as a good thing, or even as a big deal, and that’s pretty sad to think about. That someone close to me could be waiting for me to ‘snap out of it’ or something similar is just crazy. ‘Oh yeah, sorry I’ve stopped murdering for 5 years, guess I should get back to it, huh?’ Come on.

If (and this is a big ass if) I was ever going to stop being vegan, it definitely wouldn’t be so soon! I would wait at least until I saved as many animals as I’d previously eaten, so that my scale could be ‘balanced’.

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegan Tips - 5th Year Veganversary - Animals Saved Being Vegan - vegan calculator, vegan food, cruelty free, save the animals, vegan blogger

And I know that it won’t ever truly be balanced – just because I saved the same amount of animals I had a hand in killing, doesn’t make it okay. Those animals still died for a stupid reason, and there is nothing I can do that will ever truly make up for that. I’m just letting you know that would be my rationale.

That said, that won’t happen until I’ve been vegan for 20 years, and by that point, my life would be so much more changed, it’d be even more crazy to ‘stop’.

Even now at 5 years, being vegan is just part of who I am. I can’t stop being vegan any easier than I could stop being left-handed, or stop being short – it’s just part of me. I can’t force myself to start eating dead bodies any more than I can force myself to grow another foot.

It’s just not gonna happen.

I find it especially funny for me to stop being vegan, because I’ve tried so many new foods I never would’ve been able to eat had I not gone vegan. With my food allergies, it was really hard to find non-vegan food I could eat. Like I explain in my Vegandale Festival articles, it still trips me out that I’m able to go to certain places and order whatever I want, and not order the only thing on the menu that wouldn’t make me sick.

I love all the new foods I’ve been exposed to, and being vegan has made me a better chef. I’ve had to learn how ingredients interact with each other, and learn how to build flavour profiles with spices and condiments. For example, when I’m making seitan, I have to mix 12 different ingredients together, just to get the ‘base’ taste of chicken. That takes a whole day to make, and then if I want to use it in something, I have to cook it ‘normally’ on top of that.

It takes longer sometimes to cook vegan, but it’s definitely worth it.

I love being vegan, and I’m hoping I’ve been able to share some of that love and have sparked curiosity for some of you, but I feel like I’ve just been repeating the same thing each year. And while it’s all true – I do think it’s crazy and amazing that I’ve been opened up to basically a whole new world – I don’t want to sound like a broken record, so I think I may just start doing these Veganversary posts every 5 years instead of every year.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still gonna celebrate it myself every year, but I don’t think I need to make a dedicated post each year, either. I think waiting to make a new post will be better, because a lot can change in 5 years, and I’ll be able to share with you all that I’ve learned. (Unless you like hearing me be amazed each year, in which case leave a comment! Lol)

I’m also still going to be posting veganism articles, so don’t worry. I just realized these Veganversary posts are kind of… I don’t know, maybe dull to read every single year, so I’m gonna cool it. If you want to keep up with what I do on my Veganversary, you can check out my Instagram, as I’m sure I’ll continue to post a picture of my celebratory food.


Like this article? Check out more on veganism here!

Liking the site? Consider signing up for my Patreon, so I can continue bringing you the content you love!

Surprising Vegan Cookies

Important Note: Aside from Decembers’ product review, and the End of Year post, this is the last article for 2020!

I’m going to be taking the last half of December, and the first half of January off, so I will be back with a short story Jan. 15th, meaning the first post will go up the following Monday. (Jan. 17th)

Keep an eye on my social media for the announcement or if anything changes. (Or if you just want to say ‘hey’)


This article was written 20.06.23, when COVID-19 lock down restrictions were just beginning to ease in Toronto/Canada. Please excuse any joke, comment, etc. that is no longer applicable.


With the end of the year fast approaching, and the holidays coming up, I figured now would be the perfect time to do the next Surprising Vegan post.

Whether you’re hosting a circle-of-10 approved party, or want to eat a box while you sit alone watching holiday movies, the below list of surprising vegan cookies – along with the candy and chocolate collages – you now have the snack trifecta of perfect vegan approved stocking stuffers.

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegan Tips - Surprising Vegan Series - Surprising Vegan Cookies - vegan food, vegan snacks, cookies, Oreos, Dad's cookies, Pirate cookies, Fudgee-Os, Maple Cookies, Mr. Christie Cookies, food blogger

Starting from the top left corner, and going clockwise:

  •  Original Oreo
  • Golden Oreo
  • Birthday Cake Oreo (Red 40, Yellow 5+6, Blue 1)
  • Chocolate Creme Oreo
  • Dark Chocolate Oreo
  • Chocolate and Peanut Butter Pie Oreo
  • Mint Oreo (Yellow 5, Blue 1)
  • Double Stuffed Original Oreo
  • Double Stuffed Golden Oreo
  • Original Thins Oreo
  • Golden Thins Oreo
  • Oreo Mini Originals
  • Dad’s Original Oatmeal
  • Dad’s Oatmeal Chocolate Chip
  • Dad’s Oatmeal Raisin
  • Dad’s Chocolatey Coating Oatmeal
  • Pirate Cookies
  • Fudgee-O Original
  • Christie Maple Leaf Cookies

I was actually surprised that not more of the Oreo flavours used food dyes. This also isn’t a complete Oreo vegan-friendly list. There were some flavours I found that were only available in the US, and while they technically aren’t vegan in the US (due to bone char being used in sugar processing),  I was also (only midly) surprised that some of the more… fun flavours – like Mega Stuffed and Heads or Tails – were US only.

As always, the following are based on the Canadian ingredients I could find. I was also quite disappointed to learn that Mondelez International owned the Dad’s and Oreo brands, which made finding the ingredients much harder than it needed to be. I ended up having to e-mail them, only to get a generic ‘check the package’ answer.

The way their websites are set up is just not user friendly. Every time I do one of these collages and I see that they’re the parent company of a brand, I just know it’s going to be a headache to deal with. You’d think if they didn’t want to take the time to answer e-mails with ingredient questions, they would put it in part of their FAQ or make it readily available on their website, but alas…

Anyway, due to their less-than-helpful response, I had to rely on grocery store ingredients for the above, instead of the actual companies ingredients. This means that the ingredients I found may be wrong, or may change, and I recommend checking the ingredients each time you buy a product, along with checking for your specific country.


Like this article? Check out the rest of the series here!

Liking the site? Consider signing up for my Patreon, so I can continue bringing you the content you love!

Vegan Cheese Alternatives

Disclaimer:

This article contains sensitive/graphic (ish) images depicting what happens to cows in the dairy industry for a process called articifical insemination. Please continue with caution and skip over the pictures if needed.


Ah, cheese.

What can I say about cheese?

There are so many different flavours, aromas and ways of making cheese out there… so why would you choose to eat the cruel cheese?

In case you don’t know, to make cheese, you need milk. And milk comes from cows. But, cows only produce milk only when pregnant, much like humans. They don’t ‘need’ to be milked.

This means that in order to get the milk from a cow, the cow first needs to be pregnant. And let me tell you, if you think farmers just wait for the cows to go get it on, you are sorely mistaken. To keep up with demand (which, I don’t really understand because from my memory milk didn’t even taste good), farmers’ need to artificially inseminate the cow, which is a fancy way of saying they shove their arm up it’s ass and shoot semen into the cows cervix with a giant needle looking thing.

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegan Tips - Vegan Cheese Alternatives - Artificial Insemination of Cows - how to make cheese, dairy is scary

Seriously, who in their right mind would a) think this is a good idea and b) want to continue to fund this? I mean look at that! You see why this is messed up, right?

Anyway, after they do that, they then steal the baby, and either do the same thing to the baby if it’s a female, or they cart off the male to get butchered and if you’ve ever wondered what veal is, well now you know.

To turn milk into the actual cheese that you eat, they add rennet, which is an enzyme that curdles the milk. Yes, you read that correctly, the milk is curdled to make cheese, because cheese is a mold. Check out more on the whole factory process of milk being turned into cheese here.

This also isn’t even mentioning the fact that cheese is addictive. One of the most common things people who want to go vegan struggle with giving up is cheese, and that’s for good reason! Not only is cheese more crave-able because it’s high in fat, but it’s also addictive because of the high concentration of casein. (A milk protein) When casein is digested, it becomes casomorphin, which is a type of opioid. And I think we all know how that affects the brain.

With that said, you don’t have to fear! You can make cheese out of a lot of different things, not just out of cows’ milk! You can not only use other animal milks (like goat or buffalo), but you can also use tofu or different kinds of nuts. Which brings us to the vegan alternatives for cheese:

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegan Tips - Vegan Cheese Alternatives - Vegan Cheese Alternatives - how to make cheese, Daiya, Miyoko's, Nuts for Cheese, Earth Island, Field Roast, Chao, vegan food, vegan cheese, food blogger

In case you don’t know, here are the brands/kinds of cheese in the collage, listed starting in the top left-hand corner, and moving clockwise:

  • Daiya Medium Cheddar Style Block
  • Daiya Jalapeno Havarti Style Block
  • Daiya Smoked Gouda Style Block
  • Daiya Provolone Style Slices
  • Daiya Swiss Style Slices
  • Earth Island* Mozzarella Style Slices
  • Earth Island Garden Herb Style Slices
  • Earth Island Pepper Jack Style Slices
  • Nuts for Cheese Un-Brie-lievable Wedge
  • Nuts for Cheese Super Blue Wedge
  • Nuts for Cheese Smoky Artichoke and Herb Wedge
  • Violife Just Like Parmesan Wedge
  • Violife Prosociano Wedge
  • Chao Tomato Cayenne Slices
  • Chao Creamy Original Slices
  • Miyoko’s Double Classic Chive Cheese Wheel
  • Miyoko’s Sun-Dried Tomato and Garlic Cheese Wheel

As you can see, there are lots of different types of cheeses out there. These aren’t even all the cheeses these brands make. I tried to showcase some of the different options available, which are tofu, cashew and potato. (Yes, potato!)

I recommend checking out these brands, if you’d like to dip your toes in and see what’s out there, or if you’re feeling more adventurous, you can try making your own cheese at home!

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegan Tips - Homemade Cashew Cheese - vegan cheese, chesse making, vegan food

(This is a picture of my attempt at homemade cashew cheese. While it didn’t turn out quite as hard as I expected, it still tasted good, and was fun to do!)

Quitting dairy cheese may be hard if you find yourself addicted, but begin by replacing it with some of these alternatives, and in the blink of an eye, you won’t even remember not being able to not eat it.

*Earth Island is called Follow Your Heart in the US.


Like this article? Check out more here!

(Artificial Insemination photo from here)

Liking the site? Consider signing up for my Patreon, so I can continue bringing you the content you love!

Vegan Fast Food: A&W Edition

Just like with the other additions of this series, I’m beginning to notice that while there are more offerings than before, there’s still pretty pitiful amounts of vegan food available at non-vegan fast food places.

Seriously, didn’t these guys get the memo?

Luckily though, it makes it easier to do these types of posts because it takes way less time to research the ingredients than it does for the Surprising Vegan series.

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegan Fast Food Series - A&W Edition - vegan fast food, vegan food, fast food, a&w, takeout

Starting in the top left corner, going clockwise:

  • Beyond Meat Burger*
  • Beyond Sausage and Egger*
  • Russet Thick Cut Fries
  • Sweet Potato Fries
  • Root Beer Lollipops**
  • Root Beer**
  • Coca-Cola**
  • Iced Tea
  • Sprite
  • Apple Juice
  • Orange Juice
  • Lemonade***

*In case you missed it when it was announced, the Beyond Meat burger is not vegan upon ordering. You need to clarify that you would like it with out the mayo or mustard.

The Beyond Sausage and Egger is also (unfortunately) not vegan upon ordering. For the Sausage and Egger, you actually have to ask them to hold the egg and cheese. The margarine they use is actually vegan-friendly! And, you can also always get the Beyond Meat Sausage and Veggie instead. (That one the whole thing is vegan, but it’s listed on the website under the Beyond Sausage and Egger)

**Okay, so this is a bit of a weird thing I discovered. For the Root Beer, it listed ‘Colour (Caramel IV)’ and me being the curious person I am, decided to Google what that was. In my Googling (it was actually pretty much the first thing that popped up) I discovered that this colouring wasn’t vegan, either. (If you don’t feel like clicking through, it was tested on rats and mice to see if it was toxic)

Some of the other names this Caramel IV goes by include:

  • Caramel Colour
  • Ammonia sulfite process caramel
  • Sulfite ammonia caramel
  • Sulfite ammonia process caramel
  • Acid-proof caramel
  • Beverage caramel
  • Soft-drink caramel

I’ll sadly be adding this to the list of other food dyes that are tested on animals and doing my best to avoid it. (Thank God I don’t drink pop!)

*** The Lemonade is vegan, but there was no picture available.

Well there you go!

There’s juuuust enough vegan food available so that you won’t starve if there’s nothing else around. And hey, at least they’ve got a burger option now!


Like this article? Check out more here!

Liking the site? Consider signing up for my Patreon, so I can continue bringing you the content you love!

Vegan Milk Alternatives

… You’re still drinking cows’ milk?

In 2020?!

Why???

There are literally tons of non-cruel alternatives to cows’ milk. Why are you still funding such a cruel and unnecessary industry?

AterImber.com - The Veg Life - Vegan Tips - Vegan Milk Alternatives - vegan milk, hemp, soy, coconut, oat, pea, hazelnut, vegan beverages, what vegans drink, vegan tips, vegan food, vegan food blogger,

I made this collage out of alternatives I thought up in about 5 seconds.

Off the top of my head, I came up with:

  • Soy
  • Almond
  • Coconut
  • Pea
  • Oat

There’s obviously way more than just 5 alternatives – since you can make milk out of just about anything – but 5 alternatives for a 5 second brain storm is pretty good.

Some other popular alternatives are:

  • Rice
  • Cashew
  • Hemp
  • Hazelnut (Walnut, Pistachio, Macadamia, and just about any other nut you can think of)
  • Sunflower

So, now you know what’s wrong with dairy, and have at least 10 alternatives to choose from, what are you gonna do with this knowledge? You can no longer claim ignorance, since I’ve just given you all the info you need to make a change.

Wanna know what else I’ve given you?

Zero excuses.


Like this article? Check out more vegan tips here!

Liking the site? Consider signing up for my Patreon, so I can continue bringing you the content you love!