One of the simplest recipes I used to make before becoming vegan was spaghetti with garlic and olive oil. Although it’s vegan all by itself, I recommend using whole wheat pasta for added nutrition and fiber. Many people, including myself, don’t like whole wheat pasta at first. Of course, there are other choices of whole-grain pastas, such as brown rice, spelt, Ezekiel Organic Sprouted Grain Pasta, etc. You should really give them a chance, because they are much healthier.
Of course, if you want to be low-fat, it may not be the best choice, because so much of the taste comes from the olive oil.
But what do you do if your favorite recipe contains animal products such as anchovies or meat-based sauces?
There are still no vegan substitute for anchovies, or for most meats, and once you have been vegan a while, you don’t really miss them them at all. You need to stay away from fish, meats and cheeses long enough to lose your memory of what they taste like.
Anchovies are more than anything else, salty, and although it’s not necessarily healthy, you can use a coarse salt to give you the sense of anchovies. Or you may be able to just use another briny ingredient, such as capers or olives, to take the place of anchovies.
Another common question is what to substitute for cheese in pasta sauces, and again, the answer will surprise you: Coarse sea salt (to taste), Nutritional Yeast, Miso, nothing at all
Take the pesto above, for example. I used to make it with 1/4 cup of Pecorino Romano cheese, but now I use 2-3 TB of Miso, RedStar nutritional yeast, or even a little bit of Marmite! And if you don’t want to use oil, you can use olives instead. In fact, you can make pesto out of virtually any combination of fresh vegetables, herbs, nuts, etc.