A lot of people use the terms vegan and vegetarian interchangeably, as if they’re the same thing, but the two things are completely different beasts.
Vegetarians generally don’t eat any meat, but some eat fish, and most eat eggs and dairy. Vegans don’t eat anything that comes from an animal, they also don’t use products that may contain animal ingredients….such as white sugar (made with bone char.) When food or any product is certified as vegan, you can be sure that no animals were suffered or exploited in the production of it.
Read More: Vegan vs Vegetarian – The Differences
So what is vegan food? Vegan foods are basically plant foods, things that grow out of the dirt. It does not come from the bodies of animals, nor is the production of the food a result of animal suffering or exploitation. Some vegans still eat honey even though honey comes from the exploitation of bees. The definition of vegan varies from person to person, for myself, I just think vegan means cruelty free. I don’t feel the exploitation of bees is cruel because bees don’t understand pain the way sentient mammals do.
What Do Vegans Eat?
This is perhaps the most typical question about veganism, usually followed by “how do vegans get protein?” A vegan diet contains all the whole plant-based foods such as fruit, vegetables, grains, beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, as well as the nearly endless number of foods produced by mixing them. When you eat enough calories, getting protein on a vegan diet is easy.
Read More: 10 Vegan Foods That Are HIGH in Protein
Read More: 10 Vegan High Protein Snack Ideas
Many vegan versions of your familiar foods are available so that you can eat vegan burgers, vegan hot dog, vegan pizza, ice cream, dairy-free cheese, yogurt, milk, mayo, butter….etc There are plenty of tasty vegan meat and dairy replacement products that are cruelty-free that are available to vegans.
In fact, any food in any type of cuisine can be “veganized.” Try making a vegan burrito with Daiya Cheese, beans, and vegan sour cream. How about Thai curry made with coconut milk? Pasta with tomato sauce or a different non-meat sauce with falafel balls? Garlic toast? No problem, just use vegan butter. Most bread is vegan, but there are certain breads out there that contain sneaky non-vegan ingredients, I wrote a post highlighting some of these ingredients you’d want to look out for.
Read More: Common Non-Vegan Ingredients In Bread
5 Weird Foods Vegans Eat
Here are a couple of commonly known vegan “hippie” foods that some vegans eat, but are also eaten by a lot of non-vegans as well. But they do have a reputation of being hippie food that’s associated with vegans:
Tempeh is made with soybeans that are cultured and fermented and put into strips or a cake-like shape. Sometimes the tempeh strips are advertised as “vegan bacon,” which is stupid cause it tastes nothing like bacon. I tried tempeh years ago and immediately disliked it, but some people love this stuff, you may too if you like eating salty and sour soybeans.
Also known as “wheat meat,” seitan is made from the protein of wheat. When cooked correctly and seasoned well, it turns into a wonderful stand-in for meat. It has a chewy and spongy texture that soaks up any juices and flavors you add to it. The very popular “mock duck” is a seitan meat replacement, it’s made with wheat gluten, flavored with soy sauce and sugar. It comes in a can and you can usually find it in regular Asian supermarkets.
“Mock Duck” aka vegan duck in a can:
Kimchi, also spelled kimchee or gimchi, is a popular Korean food made from fermented napa cabbage or other vegetables. It’s found in Asian supermarkets and usually the cabbage is soaked in a red sauce of different ingredients such as chili, garlic, and ginger. There are many ways to eat kimchi, you can put them in sandwiches, over rice, in tacos, in noodles, or you can even just eat them on it’s own.
Mochi is a round glutinous rice ball or rice cake. It comes from Japan and it’s very popular worldwide as a dessert or snack food. There’s many ways to eat mochi. My favorite one is the mochi balls where there’s filling inside such as black bean paste or peanut butter, and it’s dusted with sugar on the outside. It’s really sweet and chewy, and fun to eat. You can also find mochi balls where the filling inside is ice cream, these are sold in Asian stores in the frozen aisle. Another way to eat mochi is in a sugary soup that’s both served hot or cold.
The Durian aka “king of fruits” is a big and heavy fruit that has many sharp pointy thorns on the outside, the edible flesh on the inside is usually yellow in color and very soft.
Durian is a fruit that is so stinky that in some countries they’re banned in certain places such as hotel lobbies or on the subway. Many people compare the stench of durian to that of sweaty gym socks, rotten onions, vomit, or raw sewage. I think it’s not that bad, and it’s definitely one of those things where you either love it or hate it. Aside from the smell, they taste really good. They are really custard-like and creamy, like you’re eating ice cream or a smooth creamy pudding.
Have you tried any of these foods, and do you think they’re weird?
What else? Got any other ones you’d like to share? Post them down in the comments below.