How to rock a vegan diet

by Sanjeev Kapoor

It is one of the fastest grown food trends in the world, but for a predominantly vegetarian country like ours, being vegan is no big deal. We tell you about everything that you need to know if you plan to make a simple switch, adapt and love the vegan way of life! 


Why go vegan?

  • People not familiar with a vegan diet often think of it as terribly hard and boring to follow, with special concerns regarding sufficient nutrient intake. Well, the truth really is that, with the right food choices, vegans can get complete nutrition out of what they eat.
  • There is a study which states that vegan proteins may reduce risk of cancer, obesity, and cardiovascular disease.
  • According to another study, vegans have a better control over their weight, lower serum cholesterol and blood pressure, and enjoy a lower risk of CVD.
  • Vegans meals are by default lighter and easier to digest, because they include plenty of fibre, hence bid adieu to all digestive problems.
  • Being an animal lover is good reason to go vegan. 


Will I get enough protein?
This is the foremost worry for vegans or people planning to make the conversion into one. While milk, its products, eggs and meat are very good sources of protein, substituting them with vegan ingredients will still meet your daily protein requirement easily.  Ideally every person’s protein requirement is different and is based on their weight. 1 gram of protein / per kilogram of body weight – so for example if a person weighs 60 kg’s, their protein intake should be around 60 grams. This need can easily be filled with 3-4 well thought of meals distributed though out the day.


What can vegans eat?
Vegans can eat anything that is not derived from animals, which does include plenty of delicious and healthy food ingredients. While it may be slightly tough for you to make a switch if you are a non-vegetarian, vegetarians have it much easier. 

 

  • Legumes and Lentils – Beans, peas and lentils are a good source of protein for people following a vegan diet. With several options like lima beans, kidney beans, green peas, black eyed peas and a large variety of lentils you can never get bored or complain about eating the same kind of food.
  • Grains – Being a vegan doesn’t mean you can’t be as healthy as someone without any food restrictions. Grains like quinoa, amaranth, ragi, whole wheat, buckwheat, corn meal, millets and oats are all super healthy ingredients that are packed with nutrients. You can make a whole lot of recipes ranging from breads, to main course, to dessert from these healthy ingredients.
  • Soya bean Products - Soya bean and its derivatives like tempeh, tofu, soya milk, granules and soya mince are probably one of the most popular and best sources of vegan protiens. With different types of tofu or bean curd available in the market and the variety of other soya bean products there is no dearth of recipes you can make.
  • Veggies and fruits – Vegetables and fruits are a vegan’s food paradise. Going the vegan way makes you appreciate these glorious fresh vegetables and fruits so much more. Toss them up in salads with fun dressings or sauté along with grains like quinoa or corn to make a delicious meal. Vegetables are loaded with all types of nutrients and a vegan diet allows you to eat all of these. 


How tough is it?
Veganism is not just a diet – it is a lifestyle choice too. While it might be tough for you to forgo the meat and cheeses in the beginning, but it will be a breeze once you get conditioned to it. If you are a veregtarian it is a job already half done. Including only plant derived ingredients in your food - meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy products and even honey are a strict no-no.
What you'll realize is that as long as you eat a balanced diet with lots of different veggies, fruits, beans, grains, soy foods and nuts you will squeeze out the pre-packaged and overly processed foods out of your life. Start slow and go steady – eating a 100 per cent vegetarian diet can be easy delicious and fun! 


Top Recipes
These recipes are our top three picks – just so you get an idea of the large variety of yummy recipes you can dish up the vegan way!

  • Vegan Polenta Cakes with Stir fried Veggies and Tofu Chips – This is a complete meal, with completely vegan components. Make corn meal cakes and use different veggies for delicious variations.
  • Rajma Soya Oats Cutlet – Kidney beans, soya mince and oats make this soft inside and crunchy outside these cutlets is a perfect party starter as well as a great after school nutrition snack.
  • Mushroom Stir Fry - Button mushrooms stir fried with garlic, onions and roasted peanuts. Add in your choice of different mushrooms and greens like spinach, pakchoy, French beans or snow peas to dish up a new variation each time.


For more exciting recipes that prove vegan doesn’t have to mean boring browse through SanjeevKapoor.com

Recommended recipes-

Mushroom Quinoa Rissotto,  Ragi Roti,  Corn Mushroom on Toast,  Asparagus and Quinoa Salad,  Stir Fried Brinjals and Mushrooms,  Mushroom Soya Yakhni,  Low Fat Mushroom Burger,  Green Beans Stir Fry,  Asparagus and Quinoa Salad,  Warm Quinoa Salad with Grilled Paneer

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MasterChef Sanjeev Kapoor

Chef Sanjeev Kapoor is the most celebrated face of Indian cuisine. He is Chef extraordinaire, runs a successful TV Channel FoodFood, hosted Khana Khazana cookery show on television for more than 17 years, author of 150+ best selling cookbooks, restaurateur and winner of several culinary awards. He is living his dream of making Indian cuisine the number one in the world and empowering women through power of cooking to become self sufficient. His recipe portal www.sanjeevkapoor.com is a complete cookery manual with a compendium of more than 10,000 tried & tested recipes, videos, articles, tips & trivia and a wealth of information on the art and craft of cooking in both English and Hindi.