If you’ve explored our site, then you’ve learned about the many cruel practices permitted under humane labels, and the dire consequences of animal farming on our environment.
The most effective thing we can each do to help animals, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and improve global food security is to replace animal foods with plant-based foods.
Even the United Nations Environment Programme has called for a global shift away from meat and dairy to help combat climate change and world hunger. (PDF)
Below are recipes, weekly meal plans, nutrition tips, and an online community where you can ask questions and discuss your experience with other new vegans.
Materials to Get Started
Veg Starter Guide – FREE printed guide from FARM’s Live Vegan & Mercy for Animals.
Food Chain Newsletter – FREE from the Food Empowerment Project. Year-long printed subscription to their beautiful monthly newsletter mailed to you.
21-Day Vegan Kickstart – FREE from Physicians’ Committee for Responsible Medicine.
30-Day Vegan Challenge – $20-40 from Colleen Patrick-Goudreau.
60-Day Veg Pledge – FREE from EarthSave International. Package includes their Healthy Beginnings Guide and free six-month subscription to Vegetarian Times Magazine.
8-Week e-Course – FREE e-course and Meatout Mondays from FARM’s Live Vegan.
Eating a variety of vegetables, fruits, and legumes makes it easy to be healthy. But, as with any diet, it’s important to know about specific nutrients and which foods supply them.
Basic nutritional knowledge also comes in handy when there are questions from people who assume it is necessary to eat animal products for good health.
- Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine: The Power Plate
- Vegan Diets: Sorting Through the Nutritional Myths
- Mercy For Animals: Food Plate
- The Vegan RD
- Vegan For Life: Everything You Need to Know to Be Healthy and Fit on a Plant-Based Diet
- Becoming Vegan: The Everyday Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition
- How to Be Vegan: Tips, Tricks & Strategies
- Main Street Vegan: Everything You Need to Know to Eat Healthfully and Live Compassionately in the Real World
- The Vegan Cheat Sheet: Your Take-Everywhere Guide to Plant-Based Eating
- Vegan for Her: The Woman’s Guide to Being Healthy and Fit on a Plant-Based Diet
When transitioning to a plant-based diet, some people immediately want to learn more about preparing delicious, balanced meals from whole plant foods.
This is a great stage to get to, but not everyone moves at the same pace. Consider experimenting with one or more whole foods veggie recipes per week.
Once you’re familiar with the nutrient content of a few of the many vegetables, grains, legumes, beans, nuts, fruits, and seeds available, it’s easy to throw together a hearty plant-based meal.
Vegan Balance Bowls are a filling and flavorful way to start, combining excellent nutrition with colorful presentation and ease of preparation.
For more delicious variations on these no-fuss, nutrient-packed meals, try the Everyday Nourish Bowl (pictured), the Abundance Bowl and the Big Vegan Bowl.
Meat, Dairy & Egg Alternatives
Some people prefer to ease into diet change by finding tasty plant-based versions of their favorite meat, dairy and egg products.
There is a wide variety of vegan substitutes for meat, dairy, and egg products at your local grocer.
Those who are more ambitious can make their own plant-based meat, cheese, and egg alternatives at home.
From the Store
For an extensive list of plant-based alternatives for meat, dairy, and egg products, visit this guide from Vegan Outreach and this roundup of Favorite Vegan Substitutes.
For great tips on cooking with vegan products and on making vegan versions of your favorite meat, egg, and dairy dishes, check out this helpful online Guide to Vegan Cooking.
Delicious plant-based dairy products abound. Non-dairy milks include almond, rice, coconut, soy, flax, quinoa, hemp, sunflower, oat, cashew, hazelnut, and other varieties.
For recommendations on vegan cheeses, coffee creamers, sour creams, ice creams, milks, yogurts and more, check out this comprehensive Guide to Going Dairy-Free.
Also check out the popular website, godairyfree.org, and the best-selling cookbook Go Dairy Free.
Make Your Own
If you’re a die-hard egg or cheese fan, we highly recommend getting a copy of the amazing vegan egg and cheese cookbook, The Non-Dairy Evolution.
These cheeses are delicious, easy to prepare, and incredibly dairy-like in taste. The plant-based egg dishes — omelets, scrambles, sunny side ups and more — are in many cases indistinguishable from real eggs.
To learn more about how to veganize your favorite egg dishes, check out this comprehensive recipe guide, which includes tips for egg substitutes in cooking and baking.
The range of vegan meat products available today is truly remarkable.
And while the market for “mock meats” has grown exponentially in the last few decades, some of the most delicious options have actually been around for a very long time.
Both seitan and tofu have been staples of vegetarian communities for centuries, and still form the basis for some of the most mouth-watering and persuasive plant-based meat alternatives around.
Check out this image gallery for The Gentle Chef Cookbook, which offers step by step guidance and recipes for veganizing virtually every meat dish.
Free Vegan Recipes
There are many terrific free vegan recipe blogs. You can follow most on Facebook, Instagram and other social media to get delicious recipes in your news feed.
- Healthy. Happy. Life.
- Finding Vegan
- Oh She Glows
- The Simple Veganista
- Mouthwatering Vegan Recipes
- Plant Based on a Budget
- Yum Universe
- Coconut & Berries
- The First Mess
- The Gentle Chef
- Vegan Food Blog Guide – 2013
- Vegan Food Blog Guide – 2014
Thank you again for taking the time and effort to look beyond the marketing and to make meaningful change that will benefit animals, your health, and the planet.
As Dawn Moncrief, Founding Director of A Well-Fed World, notes in Circles of Compassion: