Being vegan is easy for anyone with access to a modern supermarket. Being a healthy vegan takes a little more diligence. But then, being healthy takes diligence. One of the criticisms vegans receive is of being too heavily reliant on soy. Rather than view soy in vegan diets as a problem, I’ve seen it as motivation to explore more foods, to “mix it up,” if you will.
Truthfully, most people tend to rotate through a fairly regular roster of meals. After switching to a vegan diet, or mostly vegan diet as the case may be, you may realize that many a meal involves large quantities of soy. This can often happen when looking to replace a non-vegan meal with a vegan substitute such as a a burger with a soy burger, a chicken cutlet with a soy chicken cutlet, ribs with soy ribs, milk with soy milk, butter with soy butter, etc. Instead of just looking to replace old meal habits with a vegan version of the same, try exploring a new vegan dish altogether.
I’m not going to reinvent the wheel here and argue out the pros and cons of soy in the diet, but I will point you an awesome post on a website called Vegan Lunch Box, and she has some handy links that are well-researched on the subject in response to questions from readers (and also provides a super-cute website with suggestions for packing a vegan lunch!). I definitely think vegans should be aware of the amount of processed foods consumed as well as lazy vegan “meals.” French fries for lunch, anyone?
More fresh foods, less packaged goods, and keeping the meat subsitutes to a minimum are good general rules to follow in my book when it comes to watching out for a soy overload. Using rice, almond, or other milks instead of falling back on soy milk is a simple switch-up too.
Avoiding soy and meat substitutes was the motivation for the most delicious meal I’ve had in some time. Post Punk Kitchen is a wealth of yumminess, and my girlfriend tried out the Doublebatch Chickpea Cutlet recipe in pursuit of a meal sans soy. Heck, was it good! I am a giant fan of chickpeas, and this meal is both hearty and full o’ flavor.
How do you mix it up?