According to Google trends data earlier this year, the search interest for “vegan” spiked in 2015, increasing 32 percent from the previous year — and then continued to grow. With one in ten Millennials identifying as vegan or vegetarian, and with 40 percent of Americans choosing to leave meat off their plates when they go out to eat, the public’s interest in plant-based eating shows no signs of slowing down.
Sometimes, however, our thirst for knowledge reveals some unpleasant truths that can take time adjusting to. You might take to Google to try and find some good plant-based meat alternatives, and end up learning that meat eaters actually have twice the carbon footprint as plant-based eaters do. These facts can feel affirming and inspirational, but if you’re brand new to plant-based eating, they can also end up feeling overwhelming.
That’s where Google is attempting to step in. While the folks running the search engine giant recognize the negative impacts factory farming has on the environment, and want to become a more environmentally sustainable company, they are also keenly aware that sometimes, we all need a little help with changing our dietary habits. Therefore, the internet mavens have decided to use data to try and make a vegan dish that’s so undeniably delicious, people gladly fork over their cash to dine on plant-based cuisine.
Fast Company reports that Google offers its employees 14 different cafes to dine at for lunch, free of charge. The kicker is that most of these eateries offer an abundance of meat-heavy dishes — but perhaps not for long. Each of the restaurant’s menus is being overhauled to offer plant-based dishes that aim to rival so-called “power dishes”. Google hopes that its employees will begin choosing the plant-based fare of their own accord.
“As numbers of vegans, vegetarians, and people interested in plant-based options continues to grow, we can expect to see a lot more of this,” One Green Planet co-founder, Preeta Sinha, says.
“It’s great to see Google continue to raise the bar and take special interest in providing their employees with healthier, sustainable and wholesome meals. As someone who has eaten at Google cafeterias on a number of occasions, I’m positive the recipes will be delicious.”
In order to show our support for Google’s plant-based eating endeavor, we’ve searched through the Food Monster App (Google, you need this app!) for some of our favorite recipes that take the fear and uncertainty out of transitioning to a plant-based diet. These recipes are meaty, cheesy, comforting, and nutritious.
“Just Like Boxed” Mac and Cheese
Is there anything more comforting than a nice warm bowl of Mac n’ Cheese? This recipe by Jamie Bevia transports us right back to our childhood. The best part is that this recipe does away with all the bad-for-you ingredients the traditional boxed stuff has, like butter and cow milk, but is still super flavorful and filling.
Poblano and Veggie Bacon Green Bean Skillet Casserole
You read it right: you can still enjoy “bacon” on a vegan diet. This Poblano and Veggie Bacon Green Bean Skillet Casserole by Hannah Teson features homemade Japanese-inspired vegan cream of mushroom soup. It’s a truly comforting casserole that’s approachable, familiar, and people will love to eat. It’s deep and rich, and creamy yet crunchy.
Beanball Sub Sandwich With Marinara and Greens
If Google is looking for a hearty, filling sandwich even meat lovers will drool over, then they probably need to look no further than this Beanball Sub Sandwich by Sophia DeSantis. Reminiscent of the true Italian classic, this much healthier version will not disappoint.
New Potato and Pea Curry With Yellow Split Peas
One word: flavor. With its velvety coconut sauce, this New Potato and Pea Curry by Annabelle Randles makes a comforting spring recipe that’s light and warming at the same time. Plus, this is a great recipe for Google employees to make at the beginning of the week and use as an easy lunch or a quick dinner down the line.
Shake Shack Double Stack Copycat: Cashew Cheese Stuffed Portobello Mushroom Burger
The image of this Shake Shack Double Stack Copycat: Cashew Cheese Stuffed Portobello Mushroom Burger by Rebekah Waters pretty much speaks for itself. The burger features two Portobello mushrooms stuffed with melty cashew cheese, coated in panko breadcrumbs and fried until crispy then sprinkled with rosemary salt. Layered on a toasted burger bun with a spicy cashew mayo, avocado, tomato, lettuce, and pickles if you’re feeling it. Eat with thick-cut, rosemary salt sprinkled, potato or sweet potato chips, extra spicy mayo, and a cold beer for the best vegan burger meal you’ve ever had!
We’ll just put it out there: if anybody from Google is drooling over these recipes and wants some more recommendations, we’d be happy to come through. Indulging in the exciting world of plant-based eating is easier than ever, and while we highly suggest starting off with these recipes, we also want to make sure you know about our Food Monster App, which is available for both Android and iPhone, and can also be found on Instagram and Facebook. The app has more than 8,000 plant-based, allergy-friendly recipes, and subscribers gain access to ten new recipes per day, so you’ll never be without a new vegan meal to try and enjoy. Check it out!