Vegan 101

Everything you always wanted to know, plus more, about the incredible veg lifestyle.

Veganism’s moment has arrived. No longer a counterculture movement synonymous with “hippie” and “treehugger,” this healthy, compassionate lifestyle is being embraced by the mainstream as a smart, thoughtful, and sensitive step toward a sustainable future—for humans, animals, and the environment. And never has cruelty-free living been as easy as it is right now.

The VegWeb team has put together 10 guides to help you transition to a healthy (and fantastic!) vegan lifestyle. We’ll show you how to bake, which cookbooks to stock in your kitchen, and tips and tricks for dining out without the meat. This we can say with conviction: Living veg is easy. It’s also fun, compassionate, and earth-friendly. Now is the time to go vegan. Happy eating!

Taking the leap into the vegan lifestyle can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. Here's the hows, whats, and whys of becoming an awesome vegan.

Protein and calcium come from hundreds of plant-based sources. Following are some facts to combat the fiction.

Milk might be a dish best served cold, but that isn’t stopping non-dairy milk’s popularity from being white hot. The Wall Street Journal recently reported that sales of non-dairy milks have exploded in recent years, and are expected to keep growing. Made from nuts, grains, beans, and seeds, there are options for every palate and price point. Below is a handy guide for those looking for a sauce thickener, the best coffee creamer, or just wanting to kick the dairy habit.

Massive egg recalls due to salmonella contamination? Disgusting. Rising egg prices and industry scrutiny? Deserved. Supporting the egg industry isn’t worth your money or morals, especially when alternative options abound. If the risk of salmonella poisoning isn’t a convincing enough reason to swear off eggs, consider the inhumane treatment of hens on factory farms. While going cage-free is a step in the right direction, cutting out eggs completely is the best decision for both your health and the environment.

Vegan cakes, cookies, and pies have been never more delicious, and we want to share with you how it’s done. To take the mystery out of baking without eggs and dairy, we went straight to one of the sweetest sweets experts around—Fran Costigan, a renowned vegan pastry chef in New York City. Here are Fran’s tips for baking up extraordinary vegan desserts.

Without oil, there’d be so much missing in a vegan’s diet—the perfect vegetable sauté, marinated kale salad, fried mozzarella sticks … OK, so the last one isn’t a health monger’s number one choice, but it’s a delicious, occasional indulgence. Choices of oils are plentiful, so knowing which is healthiest, best for savory foods, or great in a vegan cupcake can be pretty tricky.

Shopping for your veg staples should be a fun adventure. Take the time to enjoy the color and aroma of your purchases, and relish the opportunity to broaden your culinary repertoire. Next time you head to your local farmers’ market, natural-foods store, or neighborhood grocery chain, take this handy list and rest assured you’ll always have something on hand to whip up a tasty plant-based meal.

Lucky for us, there are more vegan cookbooks to choose from than ever before. The quality and quantity of available vegan recipe reads makes narrowing it down pretty much impossible, but we tried! Here are a few of our favorites.

They're lurking out there—but with a little knowledge, it's easy to identify the things you want to steer clear of. Besides, you want to save room for all the delicious vegan food!

Gone are the sad dining-out days when the only option was an iceberg lettuce salad with low-cal dressing.