Introduction to the Gracious Vegan Recipe Collection

There was a time when, if you wanted more recipes, you had to buy a cookbook. Now recipes are free, all over the internet, begging for you to look at them (and their ads). Some are fantastic. Others are disgusting. There’s no quality control, no review system, very few “best of” lists. Eventually, yes, people will stop visiting sites with boring or silly recipes. But it’s hard for a newcomer to know that a site is bad.

If you’re looking to change your diet—like decreasing your meat, egg, and dairy intake—the overabundance of internet recipes can be especially confounding. Now you really don’t know who to trust or what to look for.

That’s where I can help. I’ve been cooking without meat for a very long time and have tried hundreds of recipes. I’ve documented the slam dunks and the flops. I’ve thought about why certain recipes work for some people or some meals but not for others, and I’ve developed my own rating system to indicate preparation time, affordability, nutritional value, and gluten-content.

My goal is to point those who are new to meat-, egg-, and dairy-free cooking to tried-and-true recipes. 

In cooking for people who are new to animal-free meals, I follow some simple rules. First, I avoid tofu, tempeh, seitan, and other meat substitutes until a person is comfortable with meat-free eating. (There are a few exceptions here, which I explain with each one.) Most omnivores are suspicious of these foods, and they balk until they have some positive experiences with meatless meals. I also avoid dishes that mimic cheese and egg dishes—you won’t see any cheese-free pizza or non-egg omelets here. Imitations don’t taste like the originals, and omnivores are put off by the differences, at least until they’re comfortable with the meat-free approach. I make sure dishes are well spiced and have excellent texture—if they’re bland or dry or oddly squishy, the food will not convince someone that meatless eating is satisfying and pleasurable. For more on my principles, see here

The recipes come from many different sites, and I hope that once you link to those sites, you’ll stay to explore other recipes. So many recipes, so little time!

If you’re new to meat-, egg-, and dairy-free eating, great decision! More and more evidence is emerging that ties better health to a plant-based diet. I hope these recipes show you that plant-based eating can be filling and delicious. My recommendations for documentaries and videos about diet and health are here, and my recommendations for books and websites are here

If you’re interested in more information about my recipe rating system, you can link to it here

Happy cooking and eating!

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