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Cheat Sheet

Living Vegan For Dummies

From Living Vegan For Dummies by Alexandra Jamieson

Adopting a vegan lifestyle is definitely rewarding, but it’s not without challenges — especially in the beginning. While you’re still getting used to this new diet and lifestyle, you can definitely benefit from some help. When you go out, be sure to take a guide that you can use to direct restaurant servers and chefs, and when you eat at home, utilize menu ideas to ensure variety, proper nutrition, and success.

Nonvegan Restaurant Guide for Servers and Chefs

Going out to eat can be challenging to a new vegan. Hidden nonvegan ingredients lurk behind every menu item, and servers may not know exactly what the chef is cooking into each dish. You can use this handy list as a friendly guide. Simply print this page and cut out the following list to offer to your server the next time you go to a nonvegan restaurant:

Hi! I’m vegan and CAN’T eat:

  • Butter or cream

  • Eggs

  • Cheese from cows or goats

  • Milk from cows or goats

  • Meat, poultry, lamb, or beef

  • Fish, shellfish, shrimp, or lobster

  • Gelatin

  • Honey

I CAN eat:

  • All fruits

  • All vegetables

  • All herbs and spices

  • Beans

  • Soy-based protein like tofu and tempeh

  • Grains

  • Pasta (that’s not made from eggs)

  • Olive oil

Vegan Menus for a Full Week

When you’re first starting out as a vegan, deciding what to eat can be overwhelming. But don’t worry. The following table showing a week’s worth of vegan menus gives you a great place to start when planning your meals. Offering variety, nutrition, and plenty of different tastes, textures, and ethnic spices, these menus can help you fill up your vegan kitchen with new ingredients that you’ll be using for years to come.

Day of the Week Breakfast Lunch Dinner
Monday Fruit smoothie made soy yogurt, flaxseed, and nuts Burrito with black beans, brown rice, guacamole, and fresh salsa Miso stew
Tuesday Fortified vegan cereal with slivered almonds, vegan milk, and a banana 1 cup hummus, ten carrot sticks, Greek olives, green salad with sprouts, and vinaigrette Beans and broccoli over polenta
Wednesday 2 slices whole-grain toast spread with almond butter and apple butter and 1 cup of vegan milk 2 cups three-bean salad mixed with a diced avocado and drained marinated artichoke hearts Baked black bean burgers on whole-grain buns and topped with all the usual fixin’s
Thursday Banana and ½ cup mixed raw almonds and raisins with a cup of herbal tea Pita filled with hummus, avocado slices, and chopped lettuce and drizzled with your favorite vegan salad dressing Brown rice, roasted sweet potato fries, sautéed kale and tempeh cubes drizzled with Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
Friday Homemade porridge using leftover grain from preceding day; make with maple syrup, nuts, and cinnamon or bok choy, cashews, and soy sauce Amy’s low-sodium lentil soup with a side of sliced red bell pepper Cauliflower chickpea curry over quinoa
Saturday Vegan British beans on toast Leftover quinoa and cauliflower chickpea curry scooped into tortillas or whole-grain pitas Creamy broccoli soup with rice balls
Sunday Cornbread muffins with soy sausages and a hot mug of chocolate rice milk Leftover broccoli soup with a side of fresh crusty bakery bread and Earth Balance spread Large green salad topped with crumbled tofu cheese, garbanzo beans, and chopped sun-dried tomatoes and drizzled with olive oil and fresh lemon juice
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