If you like sampling food from all over the world but have to accommodate vegan guests or are adopting a meat and dairy-free lifestyle there is some good news. In many parts of the world, meat eating is still a luxury, and in international cuisine, it is possible to find a variety of main courses that do not contain meat or milk. This is particularly true of Asian food, but you can also find southwestern dishes as well as Middle Eastern favorites that can be prepared for vegans. For some dishes, meat can be added, but it is optional, and you can transform a meat stew recipe into a vegetarian creation.
Vegan Asian Favorites
A vegan diet, which contains no animal products, is a traditional option in Japan, where plant-based entrées are popular. Many of the soy-based products used in vegan cooking today, such as tofu and miso paste, were developed in Japan. Macrobiotics is a vegan health regimen that was founded in Japan. Aside from fish, much of the Japanese diet is based on rice and vegetables, and you can easily make some sushi rolls with cucumber and other vegetables rather than with fish. Miso paste, which is made of fermented soy, is an essential ingredient in Japanese soups. Serve miso soup topped with scallions as a side dish for sushi.
India is home to many vegetarian and vegan favorites. The Hindu religion forbids eating meat, and as a result, traditional Indian cooking includes a combination of legumes and vegetables cooked in spicy, curry sauces. Try a mildly spicy vegetable biryani with pilau rice and a side of naan bread. You can also make a number of Chinese dishes that contain no meat such as Mao Po tofu. Serve Chinese tofu dishes over brown rice with vegetarian spring rolls you can make with bean sprouts, shredded cabbage and carrots inside one won ton wrappers.
South of the Border Treats
Many people associate Mexican food with lots of sour cream, ground beef, and shredded cheese, however, this is mainly the commercial Mexican food that you find in restaurants. Meat is not used often in traditional Mexican food and is also not so readily available. If you like the taste of restaurant tacos, purchase ground, dried soya protein in a health food store. Rehydrate and season it, and you have vegan ground beef.
With the soy beef, create tacos, burritos, and tostadas with the soy beef and top it with lettuce, tomatoes, guacamole, shredded soy cheese and soy sour cream. Add some HamptonCreek chipotle flavor Just Mayo for an egg free mayo substitute with a South of the border flavor.
Middle Eastern Vegan Dishes
There seems to be quite a bit of meat in Middle Eastern cuisine, but the way meat is served in Middle Eastern dishes can make it easy to replace with vegan alternatives. Aside from lamb stews and other entrées that have meat cooked in, a Middle Eastern meal typically includes many salads served with flat bread. A combination of the salads, such as the Moroccan carrot salad or tabbouleh, which is bulgur wheat and vegetables, can form a complete meal. There are a number of spicy pureed soups to choose from to serve as a starter for a vegan meal. In the Middle East, meat is often served by itself in the form of slices or meatballs. It is easy to simply forgo the meat portion and focus on the vegetable-based dishes. In addition, dairy is rarely used in Middle Eastern cuisine, except as part of a breakfast porridge. Nonetheless, you can enjoy a grain porridge with soya milk or soy pudding with rosewater flavoring and garnished with ground pistachios.
You can travel the world with your taste buds and leave meat and dairy behind. Being vegan or feeding vegan guests no longer means cutting entrées from your planned menu. There are many meat and dairy replacements on the market today that make preparing plant-based foods easier than in the past. In addition, many international cuisines are not dependent on meat and dairy ingredients, and some Asian cuisines are almost entirely without meat. You can plan and exotic, diverse menu and please your meat eating and vegan guests with delicious selections that bring the world to your table without the meat and dairy.