Welcome to my annual list of awesome and convenient vegan things. While not complete, this is a compilation of many of my favorite vegan websites, recipes, podcasts and products. That means super delicious recipes that sated cravings for old favorites and were loved by non-vegan family and friends, easy-to-find vegan and cruelty-free replacements for things I used on a daily or weekly basis like toothpaste, make-up and household cleaners, and sources of information and inspiration that kept me on the vegan path. It’s focused on those things that made going – and staying – vegan really easy. Enjoy!
My favorite recipe books are anything by Isa Chandra Moskowitz (Post Punk Kitchen), Terry Hope Romero (VeganLatina.com), Lindsay S. Nixon (The Happy Herbivore) and Robin Robertson (Global Vegan Kitchen).
Some of my favorite and most successful recipes…
- Roasted Red Pepper Mac and Cheese: This is THE BEST mac and cheese I’ve ever had, vegan or not. We call it Pizza Mac around our place.
- Moxarella Cheese: I’ve only tried this on homemade pizza, but apparently it can be used for grilled cheese sandwiches also.
- Veggie Lunch Meat: Sandwiches anyone?
- Chickpea Cutlets: My schnitzel prayers have been answered. Can be eaten hot or cold, with sauce/gravy or without…the possibilities are virtually endless.
- White Bean and Kale Soup: The only change I make is to increase the amount of vegetables.
- Moroccan Chickpea Salad: Tastes better the second day.
- Vegan Avgolemono (Greek Easter Soup with Lemon): Great with or without the nutritional yeast.
- Tempeh Chow Mein: Great even without the tempeh. I generally buy my tempeh at Planet Organic, but expect the grocery stores will start to carry it someday soon.
- Potato Pierogi with Caramelized Onions: Even my mom loved these!
Snacks, Appetizers and Such
- Tofu Jerky: My changes… reduced smoke to 1T (I had hickory flavor), added 1T of siracha, and used 1/4 cup regular soy sauce + 1/4 cup water in place of the low sodium soy sauce.
- Sriracha-Sesame Roasted Chickpeas: Addictive.
- Cashew Queso: Great on nachos and as a dip for chips. An absolute hit with my non-vegan family and friends.
- Jackfruit Nacho Supreme: Must try for the jackfruit recipe alone.
- Spinach and Artichoke Dip: Simple, healthy and so very delicious. I leave out the mustard.
- Cauliflower Buffalo Wings with Tofu Blue Cheese Dip: We had just the wings (no pizza) and they were great. Neither of us liked the blue cheese dip…it tasted too authentic. We’ll be trying out this ranch dressing next time.
- Vegan Boneless Chickenless Hot Wings: Hearty enough for a meal.
- Cashew-Soy Yogurt: I use Silk brand original organic soy milk (red carton). The unsweetened version didn’t work. Video version of the recipe is here.
- Crème Brûlée: I leave out the spices, reduce the sugar a bit and add more vanilla to create a traditional crème brûlée sans le crème. Incredible!
- Pecan Bars with Shortbread Crust: OMG. To good for words.
- Coconut Lemon Bundt Cake: Simple to make and gets better as the days pass. Make this at least once and make it a day ahead of time.
- Banana Soft Serve: Healthy and delicious! I add peanut butter and cocoa powder for a yummy variation.
- 3-Ingredient Chocolate Turtles: Simple and yummy.
- Chocolate Cupcakes: I up the cocoa to 1/2c as I prefer a denser cupcake. I use the following frosting recipe as I prefer it to the mousse frosting.
- Vegan Buttercream Frosting: I’ve used extra margarine in place of the shortening. Tastes great either way.
- Magical Coconut Cookie Bars: Make these for other people and they will love you to no end.
- Raw Cheesecake: Simple and delicious no-bake whole-foods cheesecake. No vegan cream cheese required.
- Cherry Chocolate Chunk Mini Loaves: A huge hit at a work bake sale/fundraiser.
- Mexican Hot Chocolate Snickerdoodles: A snickerdoodle cookie with a kick.
- Chocolate Sugar Cookies with Candy Cane Frosting: So great during the winter cookie season!
In general, almost every recipe I’ve tried from these sites has been a hit! I do rely quite heavily on the comments/reviews to decide which recipes to make.
- Post Punk Kitchen – Isa is a rock star! I read the comments to make sure others like the recipe and to determine if I should make any adjustments.
- VegWeb – I only make the ones that have received great feedback and ratings from multiple commenters.
- Oh She Glows – Great whole foods recipes. Her DIY Larabar recipes alone are worth a trip to Angela’s site.
- The Simple Veganista – Healthy, whole foods recipes.
- Minimalist Baker – Not just baked items and desserts.
- Veganbaking.net – Desserts only. Their vegan butter recipes are great.
- Vegan Richa – Everything I’ve made has been delicious, but this is my first stop for Indian recipes.
- Sweet Potato Soul – Comfort food.
- Keepin’ it Kind – Super yummy recipes ranging from quick and easy to time-intensive.
- Vegan Dad – Comfort food. I tend to only make the recipes that he indicates would be liked by omnivores, that are listed as his most popular and/or which have received rave reviews from his commenters.
- Fatfree Vegan – Her recipes are healthy and flavorful. I always trust her guidance and only make the recipes that she says are good for non-vegetarian guests and/or those recipes with great reviews.
- Choosing Raw – Especially any of Gena’s “New Veganism” recipes that appear on Food52.
- The Vegan Zombie – The Vegan Zombie. A favorite of my husband; I enjoy the videos. Vegan versions of meat and dairy laden recipes.
- VegNews – These recipes are generally very, very good. I do try to stick with the ones that were submitted by cookbook authors and/or people who run their own shops/restaurants/food trucks/etc.
Websites and Articles
- NutritionFacts.org – Get your daily fix of health and nutrition information with Dr. Michael Greger.
- Vegan Bodybuilding and Fitness – Check out the Profiles and Photos/Videos pages.
- Great Vegan Athletes – Proof that not all vegans look like Moby!
- Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine – In addition to all the health, nutrition, ethical research and education information, you can sign up for a 21-Day Vegan Kickstart that starts at the beginning of each month.
- Engine2Diet.com – For all things Rip Esselstyn, Engine 2 and low-to-no oil plant-based living.
- The Vegetarian Resource Group
- The China Study – The documentary Forks Over Knives was based on this study.
- Jack Norris RD – Great resource for vegan nutrition information.
- The 7 Day Vegan Challenge – Good introduction to veganism.
- Vitamin B12 recommendations
- What Every Vegan What Every Vegan Should Know About Vitamin B12
- Leo Baubata’s post Finally, the Truth About Soy
- Vegan Beauty Review
- Colleen Patrick-Godreau’s Food For Thought podcast
- The Rich Roll Podcast is not specific to veganism, but comes from a vegan point of view and veganism and related issues are discussed in most episodes.
- Main Street Vegan podcast with Victoria Moran.
- The Vegan Body Revolution Show with Thomas Tadlock via Podomatic or iTunes.
Some of my favorite vegan processed foods – many of which even my non-vegan family enjoy:
- So Delicious Coconut Milk Creamer – Not exactly like half and half, but close enough. This is what has made it possible for me to stay vegan! Works great for coffee and for making fettuccine alfredo. Available at Calgary Co-op and most natural foods/health food stores.
- Also, by So Delicious: ICE CREAM!
- There are loads of great plant-based milks available. Our favorite for cereal is Almond Breeze Original Unsweetened (both refrigerated and shelf-stable).
- Field Roast anything. All their products are great, but we especially like the Frankfurters. The Mexican sausages are very spicy but delicious. The Smoked Apple Sage sausages are also fantastic. The Frankfurters are currently not available in Canada (details here) but this should be changing soon…
- Tofurky Italian sausages, breakfast sausages, Italian and Peppered deli slices, and Bologna.
- Daiya pepperjack shreds and havarti-style block cheese.
- Becel vegan, gluten-free margarine. It’s much better and more affordable than Earth Balance margarine and available at all local grocery stores.
- Gardein products – They use non-GMO soy. I haven’t tried the whole product line, but the beefless burger and meatless ground make regular appearances for dinner at home.
- Yves products. They also use non-GMO soy and their products are available in every grocery store I’ve gone to. Their Garden Veggie Crumbles are gluten-based and get purchased fairly often to make tacos or lasagna. Their turkey slices are really great. I haven’t tried most of their other products in years.
- Some vegan sugars that are available at the major grocery chains:
- Redpath sugar products
- Rogers sugar products processed in Taber, Alberta. You must verify the inked-jet code printed on the product; products with the code starting with the number “22” are from Taber, Alberta. Any products by the same company under the name Lantic are also vegan.
- Wondering why sugar may not be vegan? Check it out here.
- Betty Crocker Cream Cheese, Chocolate and Vanilla Frostings – Awfully unhealthy and likely not technically vegan (there’s no way to confirm if the sugar used is filtered through bone-char or not), but they make it easy to whip up cupcakes at the last minute. Always good to check if eggs or dairy have been added to the list of ingredients.
Personal Care and Other Products
Some easily found and reasonably priced vegan, cruelty-free products available at Shoppers Drug Mart, Superstore, Safeway, London Drugs, Walmart, etc. London Drugs really hits the trifecta for personal care products that are vegan, cruelty-free and reasonably priced.
- Tom’s of Maine – Toothpaste (with and without fluoride), mouthwash, antiperspirant (with aluminum chlorohydrate to keep you dry) and deodorant (if you’re avoiding aluminum containing products).
- Live Clean – Shampoos, conditioners, body wash, body lotion and baby bar soaps are great! Also free of SLS, parabens and phthalates. Some contain beeswax (listed as “Cera Alba”), so if you’re avoiding bee products, label-reading is required.
- Herbatint – Awesome hair color. Available at Superstore in the natural foods section.
- YESto products – Most everything including hair, skin, body and sun care products. Not all are vegan, but most are. (Email firstname.lastname@example.org for an updated list.). Available at Shoppers and Walmart.
- NYX Cosmetics – Most products are vegan, but label-reading is required. London Drugs.
- e.l.f. Cosmetics – The company does NOT test on animals and products do not contain animal derived ingredients. I’ve seen these products at London Drugs and Winners. Or, order online!
- Preserve Razors – No animal testing! I’ve only seen these at Planet Organic.
- Nella Bella and Matt & Nat – High quality Canadian vegan purses and wallets available both in stores and online.
And available online only:
- Dollar Shave Club – Cheaper and better than store-bought razors (including Preserve) AND they’re vegan and cruelty-free!
- Truth Belts – Canadian company!! The Seva (flat elastic belt) and The Slug (made from recycled tires) are both super comfortable and durable. I’ve had mine for almost two years, wear them on almost a daily basis and they still look new!
Household Products and Cleaners
- All method products are vegan and cruelty-free. Easy to find at Canadian Tire, Shoppers Drug Mart, Rexall and some major grocery chains. Method products have been the easiest to locate.
- Nature Clean is a Canadian company whose products are also vegan and cruelty-free. I’ve only tried the laundry detergent and dishwasher products I found at Canadian Tire.
- Eco-Max is another Canadian company whose products are 100% plant-based and cruelty-free. Their products are available at Loblaws stores and some Canadian Tire locations.
- General Household Cleaning:
- Cleaner for windows, bathroom, kitchen and other general household cleaning: half vinegar + half water.
- Anything requiring scrubbing: baking soda + vinegar (or water) to make a paste.
As I said previously, this is an evolving list. The next update will have even more great things!