Going vegan doesn’t mean deprivation
“When you remove animal products, you lose a lot of the fat and salt, which is often what contributes to the can’t-put-it-down taste,” says Kroecher. He likes to add rich, complex flavors with walnuts, avocados, pine nuts, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, fresh basil, cold-pressed flax seed oil, and unrefined grey or pink sea salt. Other ingredients to consider include nuts, dried fruits, protein powder, chia or hemp seeds, and Spirulina, a protein-dense freshwater algae. Try these 11 tofu recipes even meat eaters will love.
Rethink how you shop for food
Many staples of a vegan diet like grains, beans, and nuts are cheap, and they usually store well if you buy them in bulk. Bechter also suggests you join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture); shop at farmers’ markets an hour before closing for discounts; and visit vegancuts.com for daily deals and discounts on vegan food and lifestyle products. You can also find more grocery shopping tips in the book Eat Vegan on $4 a Day by Ellen Jaffe Jones or at the site Plant-Based on a Budget. These are the 10 best vegan foods to stock up on at Costco.
You can still eat out
Even fast-food places are starting to offer vegan options on their menus. Chipotle serves Sofritas, a shredded, organic tofu cooked with chipotle chiles and roasted poblanos. Tropical Smoothie Cafe will substitute plant-based protein Beyond Meat (which shreds up like cooked chicken) in all salads and sandwiches at no extra cost. You can find other choices on this comprehensive list from PETA.