I want to let you in on a tidbit about myself before I travel back down my road to veganism: I’ve never had a burger. Or steak, or bacon. And there’s something about that which makes me proud, and which makes every omnivore raise a brow. I never consciously stayed away from those American staples, yet over the years I’ve found it somewhat easy to avoid.
Growing up, I was what you’d call the pickiest of eaters, a lover of starches and little else. We played the same pasta tune every night for dinner, wearing out my parent’s tolerance for Italian cuisine. I enjoyed a lot of muffins, cereals, and desserts; mostly processed grains.
Other than the occasional rejection of unfamiliar foods at friend’s houses, I hadn’t really been stretched out of my eating comfort zone. Until I traveled to Italy, a land I’d previously thought would be my starch-loving heaven. But I quickly became aware of how meat heavy the cuisine was, and found myself starving after meals. Pushing the unwanted lamb and chicken breasts around on plates was no longer an option, I needed a meal with foods I was more comfortable eating!
So one day I decided I must declare myself a vegetarian, so I could be offered pasta dishes that I would actually eat. At this point, I knew nothing of the morals behind becoming vegetarian, I used it only as a label to get myself plainer food items.
I’ll fast forward a few years for you, to get to the whole vegan part of the story. After three years as a vegetarian, I had seen enough documentaries to know why I was doing what I was doing, even after my taste buds had moved beyond plain pasta.
I was now in my junior year of high school, working on a huge research project surrounding the greenhouse effect and carbon emissions. I had no idea the meat and dairy industries were responsible for more pollution than cars on the road! And I’m an environmentalist at heart.
For a week I went around bragging to my friends of my new lifestyle, but unfortunately had some issues sticking with it. I work at a bakery, and there just happened to be slices of cake for me to take home that week. So okay, I told myself, I haven’t gone vegan just yet. The next week, however, I knew that I actually had to commit to it this time; no slice of cake would get in the way again! And besides, I had told many people I was vegan, so I couldn’t keep up the false advertising.
Since day one, my dad instilled in me a sense of my impact on the planet, and how to reduce it. We’ve been composting for over 18 years! So naturally I was appalled by these crazy numbers. I decided that the best thing I could do to lessen my role in pollution was to go vegan.
Here are some of my easy and vegan tacos that you can try whether you are just starting out trying to be plant-based vegan or you are a seasoned chef with plants. Either way they are fun to share with friends!
- 6-8 shredded mushrooms
- olive oil,
- pinch chili powder,
- 3 cloves garlic sliced,
- chipotle sauce to taste
- salt and pepper,
- 1/2 to 1 cup warmed pinto beans
- sliced pepper,
- 1 shallot,
- 2 green onion,
- All on corn tortillas
- Take the shredded mushrooms and cook with olive oil on high heat chili powder, garlic, chipotle sauce, salt and pepper
- Warm 1/2 -to 1 cup pinto beans with sliced pepper, shallot, green onion, avocado
- All on corn tortillas
Hi, my name is Claire and I’m 18 years old. I’ve been a vegan now for a year and a half, and plan to continue my plant based lifestyle this year in college, at UC Davis. I love to cook and experiment with new recipes! This past year I “converted” my sister to veganism- yay! I’m also an avid Instagrammer so be sure to check out my vegan page!