Celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck has written about the rising popularity of veganism - and how he is enjoying creating delicious dishes free from animal products.
Writing in Twin Cities he said: "With veganism gaining an ever-higher profile, it’s only natural that my chefs and I get more and more frequent requests for vegan dishes. Now, you might think that we’d find it challenging to prepare delicious, even luxurious-tasting food following such restrictions.
"But, in fact, more and more products are widely available that make vegan cooking not only possible but actually a pleasure."
Puck suggests the increasing popularity of farmers' markets has made it easier for people to follow a flexitarian diet, saying these consumers can enjoy the benefits of occasional meat-free meals.
He added: "Then there’s the most observant vegetarian category of all: vegans, who avoid any animal products whatsoever. That means no butter, no cheese, no milk, no eggs — nothing at all derived from animals.
"And you find that more and more people interested in healthy eating today follow strictly vegan diets, with celebrities including Gwyneth Paltrow, New England Patriots superstar quarterback Tom Brady, and Brady’s supermodel wife, Gisele Bundchen, all touting the health benefits of strictly plant-based nutrition."
According to the chef, you can find alternative products to use in place of cheese and butter - he also recommends making 'cream' sauces with nuts.
He said: "Nuts turn wonderfully smooth and rich when pureed in a blender, leading many people who sample the results to doubt that a dish made in this way doesn’t include dairy.
"Don’t just take my word for it, either. Instead, try following this authentic-tasting Italian recipe...You may realize you’re one step closer to following a plant-based diet yourselves!"