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The EcoWatch Guide to a Simply Tasty World Vegan Day

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Combining avocado with chickpeas on your favorite bread can make a simple, delicious vegan lunch. kajakiki / E+ / Getty Images

Today, November 1, is World Vegan Day!

The Vegan Society defines veganism as "a philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude — as far as is possible and practicable — all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose; and by extension, promotes the development and use of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of animals, humans and the environment.


In dietary terms it denotes the practice of dispensing with all products derived wholly or partly from animals." In addition to protecting animals, a vegan diet has a number of health and ecological benefits. It can boost your gut microbiome and reduce your risk for Type 2 diabetes, and one study found that it is likely the "single biggest way" to reduce your impact on the planet.

But if you're used to eating animal products with most meals, going vegan can feel a little overwhelming. That's why EcoWatch is here to help you out with a day's worth of simple, tasty meals in case you'd like to try it out!

Breakfast

Breakfast is simple. You can still make a cozy bowl of oatmeal, just used plant-based milk, like soy or coconut! Iosune of Simple Vegan Blog has one very user-friendly recipe that only takes 15 minutes. Her recipe uses soy milk, coconut or brown sugar, raspberries and bananas, but she notes that you can easily make it your own.

"You can use any plant milk, sweetener or fruit you want. Don't be afraid to add your favorite ingredients," she writes.

If you can't eat oats, buckwheat, quinoa or millet will also work.

Lunch

Going vegan doesn't mean you have to give up on your trusty sandwich. Bread at its simplest is vegan, though some recipes will include animal products. Just avoid any breads that list eggs, honey, royal jelly, gelatin or dairy-based ingredients like milk, butter, buttermilk, whey or casein in the ingredients. Sourdough, ezekiel, pita, kosher bread, ciabatta, focaccia and baguettes are all typically vegan!

When it comes to the filling, hummus is a tasty, creamy alternative to cheese and pairs well with grilled veggies or avocado.

PETA has a great recipe for a variation on this theme. Just smash chickpeas, avocado, cilantro, green onion and lime juice together in a bowl and spread it on your favorite bread!

Dinner

Noodle-based dishes are very easy to prepare using your favorite veggies and sauces. The Vegan Society shows how you can liven up a traditional tomato sauce and pasta meal.

"To make a ready-made basic sauce more interesting, you can add a variety of finely chopped and lightly fried vegetables e.g. mushrooms, red peppers, or onions," they write.

Their recipe also calls for adding tofu marinated in soy sauce to get a bit of that meatball texture.

Dessert

Congratulations! You've made it through World Vegan Day! To treat yourself, why not head over to your closest Ben & Jerry's? The ice cream chain will be giving out free scoops of Non-Dairy ice cream from 4 to 8 p.m.

Ben & Jerry's Non-Dairy ice cream is made with almond milk and is 100 percent vegan-certified. It currently offers 12 Non-Dairy flavors, according to Newsweek: Caramel Almond Brittle, Cherry Garcia, Chocolate Fudge Brownie, Chunky Monkey, Cinnamon Buns, Coconut Seven Layer Bar, Coffee Caramel Fudge, P.B. & Cookies, Peanut Butter Half Baked, Chocolate Caramel Cluster, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and Chocolate Salted 'n Swirled.

You can check here to see if your local store is participating. The offer is only available in the U.S.

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