On the quest to become vegan, many people turn to recipes to help figure out how it’s done. What to eat, how to prepare foods, new food options, and more can be gathered from recipes. Personally, I love trying out new things in the kitchen and making fun and yummy dishes.
However, when I was new to veganism, many of the recipes I saw were VERY overwhelming for me. Nutritional yeast? Soaking cashews? Canned coconut milk? Lentils? I thought the authors had lost their carrot munching minds. Furthermore, I felt like some of these ingredients that I felt were foreign to me may not be worth the investment (they were pricey).
What worked for me was starting with what I knew. I knew how to cook vegetables and how I liked them prepared, so I got really good at it and ate veggie plates. The more comfortable I got cooking and trying new vegetables, the more open I was to new recipes. Even when I decided to try new vegan recipes, I would start with the ones with ingredients I was familiar with, and slowly work my way into the new things.
This strategy saved me a lot of money during my experimentation phase of veganism. Furthermore, by first getting familiar with cooking and recipes before trying all the cool stuff I came across, I became really good at realizing the function of various elements of a dish. For instance, I knew not to stress out if a recipe called for $6 sherry vinegar and to use apple cider vinegar instead. Or not to stress out if butternut squash isn’t in season and to make the dish with sweet potatoes instead. Eventually, I branched out and bought the sherry vinegar (worth it!), but my point is I learned how to use a recipe for inspiration sometimes and infuse my own creativity.
Becoming vegan is a challenge, and you will no doubt need ideas. However, you don’t have to let new recipes drain your wallet and you don’t have to figure it all out at once. Three years into veganism, I have yet to soak cashews to make cheese (I’d rather snack on them); however, I am not knocking this method and will try it when I’m being adventurous in the kitchen one day. What I have done is tried tons of recipes in my own way on my own time, and figured out my likes and dislikes. And if you rethink recipes and let your creativity flow, your vegan experience can be customized to your liking just as mine has.
Wishing You Much Love and Veggieness,