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Vegan 101: Adapting Menus, Part 2

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Note again that adapting menus to make them vegan (and gluten-free, if you are also moving toward gluten-free) can really be as easy as 1, 2, 3.

One, fix what you (and others that you may be cooking for) already like that happens to be vegan (and gluten-free). You don’t have to make massive changes all at once. In the vegan, gluten-free meal in the accompanying photo, the simply steamed fresh Brussels sprouts fill this first category. If you don’t care for Brussels sprouts, pick your favorite vegetable and steam it, such as zucchini with dried basil. Most vegetables are an easy vegan, gluten-free option for adapting menus.

Two, learn to shop for new vegan foods that are fast, easy, and delicious. Sometimes, it is just a matter of paying attention in your favorite grocery store to an end cap that often features new items and sale items. In the vegan, gluten-free meal in the accompanying photo, the patties fill this second category. These Engine 2 Plant Strong Plant Burgers appeared suddenly one day in the frozen end cap sale items section of the Whole Foods Market at 91st & Metcalf in Overland Park, KS. They come in four flavors, three of the same flavor to a box: Thai Basil Edamame, Curried Lentil, Poblano Black Bean, and Tuscan Kale White Bean. They are gluten-free, no cholesterol, no saturated fat, and non-GMO verified. Mostly, they are quick, easy, and delicious. Pick up a box of each, throw them into your freezer, and always know that you can have a fast, healthy, vegan, gluten-free meal in short order. Do note that, if you suffer from Celiac disease or otherwise need to watch all grains, they do contain oats. But at least also note that they are so delicious just straight on their own that they do not need a bun of any kind, wheat, rye, or otherwise. If you want to know why they are called Engine 2, read about Rip Esselstyn’s book, The Engine 2 Diet.

Three, learn to find new vegan recipes and to adapt other recipes. In the vegan, gluten-free meal in the accompanying photo, the spring asparagus risotto fills this third category. What you see is an adaptation of a recipe from the Culinary Center of Kansas City in Overland Park. All it took to adapt the recipe to vegan (it was already gluten-free) was to substitute olive oil for butter and vegetable stock for chicken stock and to omit the Parmigiano cheese (of course, you could always substitute vegan cheese, if you like). And even nonvegans enjoy it.

So again, as you can see, adapting menus to make them vegan and gluten-free is as easy as 1, 2, 3.

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