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While some choose to jump right into to vegetarian eating overnight, most people choose to do it gradually. Find your own path and focus on the positive: every time you sit down to eat a vegetarian meal, you’re standing up for your health, for our planet, and for animals.

Here are a few tips and tricks to help you transition to vegetarian and vegan eating:


Seitan

Easy Vegan Substitutions

These days, going vegan doesn’t mean you have to “give up” anything because finding vegan alternative for non-vegan products has never been easier! Browse any grocery store, and you’ll likely be able to find soy or almond milk and a selection of vegan meats. Not sure what the substitutions are for a certain product? Here are some examples.

These days, going vegan doesn’t mean you have to “give up” anything because finding vegan alternative for non-vegan products has never been easier! Browse any grocery store, and you’ll likely be able to find soy or almond milk and a selection of vegan meats. Not sure what the substitutions are for a certain product? Here are some examples.

For meat alternatives, there’s a wide range of options from vegan deli meats to Tofurky hot dogs and sausages and ground soy crumbles that can be used in recipes that call for ground beef. Many vegans will also substitute in recipes with products like tofu, seitan, and textured vegetable protein.

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Meal and Snack Ideas

When making the transition to vegetarian eating, start simple and be open to exploring new foods and recipes. To get you started, here are some easy ideas!

Breakfast: cereal with almond or soy milk, oatmeal with cinnamon and maple syrup, a fruit smoothie, tofu scramble, toast with peanut butter, soy yogurt with raisins.

Lunch: a veggie burger, falafel wrap with hummus, a sandwich with veggie meat deli slices, rice and beans, a veggie chili, a salad

Dinner: vegetable stir fry over rice, spaghetti with marinara sauce, vegetable stew, BBQ tofu, a black bean burrito, vegetable lasagna with ground veggie beef

Snacks: fresh fruit. mixed nuts, energy bar, soy or almond milk smoothie, baked pita wedges with hummus, chips with salsa

Need a jump start in the kitchen? Check out our free recipes (also available in Spanish)!

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Tasty Falafel

Vegan Dining

Vegan Dining

As you learn more about vegetarian options, you’ll find that eating out is as enjoyable as ever – only healthier and more compassionate. It’s easy to eat vegetarian at restaurants with an international flavor, especially Asian, Mexican and Italian. Asian cuisine restaurants offer many vegetarian options including rice, noodles, vegetables, salads and tofu, a staple in Asian culture. Mexican restaurants will often replace any meat in a dish with beans and rice. Italian restaurants serve many veg dishes including pasta with marinara, veggie pizza (hold the cheese), vegetable lasagna, and sautéed greens in olive oil and garlic.

If you happen to live in a city with a Native Foods, Veggie Grill, or Loving Hut, you’re in luck! These three restaurant chains are 100 percent vegan.

Other chain restaurants that have vegan options include Chipotle, Moe’s Southwest Grill, Noodle’s & Company, Pei Wei, PF Chang’s, Qdoba Mexican, Souplanation and Sweet Tomatoes, Panera, Taco Bell, Pita Pit, and Dennys. Find more at VegGuide.org.

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Eating on a Budget

Choosing to buy vegan food doesn’t mean you have to break the bank. While there may be a lingering misconception that eating vegan — or eating healthy for that matter — is expensive, this isn’t necessarily the case. There are plenty of delicious and nutritious vegan options that don’t require spending a lot of money.

Discover how easy — and affordable — it is to transition to a more compassionate diet! Here are a few cost-saving tips:

  • Explore your community’s Community Supported Agriculture programs and farmer’s markets -- both can be inexpensive options for finding fresh produce.
  • The most expensive foods in grocery stores are often displayed at eye-level. Look at the top and bottom shelves for better bargains.
  • The more meals you can prepare at home, the better. Fast food is not cheap — and it comes at a higher cost to your health. While it might be challenging to cook meals during the work week, preparing items ahead of time on a weekend for the week may help significantly.
  • Buy bulk pasta, rice, dehydrated meals, spices, and beans. These items are usually cheaper than buying them pre-packaged, and you can get as little or as much as you need.
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Buy in bulk