Since I became vegan, I have tasted so many new foods. It’s amazing how we can get into ruts and eat the same things over and over again. And I used to say that I loved vegetables — the same half a dozen veggies that I ate repeatedly. Let’s face it: new foods can be scary, both cooking them and eating them. That’s why I came up with a few rules that I imposed upon myself.

First rule:

I cannot say I don’t like a food until I have tried it several times and prepared in several different ways. In the beginning, I didn’t like anything. I didn’t like nut milks, tofu, tempeh, etc. But I kept trying them and today, I love them all. It takes time to get used to new foods especially when you have been eating/drinking the non-vegan variety of them for most of your life. So try those foods several times until you get used to the taste. Try them out at vegan restaurants where they are cooked by the experts. Try different recipes or cooking techniques. Give them a fair chance!

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Second rule:

I make sure I try new foods all the time. It’s easy to keep eating kale, broccoli, potatoes, and the familiar foods. Even foods I had never eaten before, like kale, become familiar after awhile. When shopping, I try to buy something new or prepare a familiar ingredient in a new way. When you expand the variety of foods and cooking techniques, it’s harder to get bored.

Third rule:

When you do buy a new vegetable and you’re not sure what to do with it – roast it! Everything tastes delicious roasted. Roasting brings out the sweetness and deep flavors of foods, especially root vegetables. Broccoli, asparagus, beets, even tomatoes, taste completely different when you roast them.

Fourth rule:

Taste the actual food. Don’t bury the new veggie in different spices or sauces or (gasp!) vegan cheese. Don’t cover up the natural flavor of the vegetable. If you cover it with all these added ingredients, you aren’t really tasting the vegetable. So at least for the first time, keep it simple with salt, pepper, some garlic, and oil. Appreciate the natural deliciousness of the food.

Fifth rule:

When you do experience something new and delicious, share it with the world. Invite your friends over to taste it or blog about it. Get it out there!

Image Source: Maya83/Flickr