6 Tips for Going Vegan from Celebrity Chef Matthew Kenney

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There’s a vegan revolution happening in America! More and more people have adopted the vegan diet—mostly for notable health benefits—including famous figures like Al Gore, Alec Baldwin and Bill Clinton. It’s not an easy transition, but author and celebrity chef Matthew Kenney, known for his raw-food, plant-based cuisine and vegan culinary schools, offers tips on making a vegan diet an attainable reality. Follow his advice below to start on the path toward a healthier tomorrow.

1. Eat one plant-based meal a day

“I encourage people to slowly transition from eating meals dominated by traditional proteins to a plant-based diet. A great first step is eating one plant-based meal a day.”

2. Keep plenty of organic herbs handy

“Always keep a fresh supply of basil, thyme, oregano, rosemary, sage and dill. Growing your very own edible garden to produce organic herbs and garnishes (like our flagship restaurant, Plant Food + Wine in Venice, California) truly enhances the flavor and presentation of your dishes.”

3. Remember: food is beautiful

“Unfortunately, vegan food has a reputation for not being delicious. We’re aiming to change that. Food should be nutritious, beautiful and innovative. One of my guiding principles is creativity. I love to use local, sustainable and seasonal ingredients, but this can be restrictive based on availability. When people see how beautiful food can be they are inspired to eat well and try new things. Once they do try our plant-based cuisine, most people are surprised at the depth of flavor we’re able to achieve.”

4. Don’t forget the greens

“It is important to incorporate hearty greens and a variety of colors and plants into your diet on a regular basis. I’m a big proponent of healthy fats and suggest generous amounts of avocado, organic nuts and high-quality sources of fat. Balance is more about understanding what your body needs at any given time than choosing a particular meal.”

5. Make things exciting with sauce

“Creative plant-based sauces are also a major part of what makes simple raw food interesting and unique. Some of my favorites are pesto, hummus, tahini, salsa, guacamole or ‘sour cream’ made with nutritional yeast.”

6. Remember: veganism is actually affordable

“The general public always assumes that converting to a plant-based diet is “expensive” when it’s in fact the opposite. Sourcing fresh produce from local farmer’s markets and finding unique ways to prepare with marinades and nut-based sauces are a cost-effective way to transition.”

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