Hello again MrBearding!
I was a sort of healthy foodie before I went vegan but my food world actually exploded with creativity and variety when I went vegan! Lets see. Some stuff I discovered as a vegan...
Using cooked wild rice or bulgur wheat with tomato paste and spices in place of hamburger/ground beef for sloppy joes, in spaghetti sauce, as a "meat" in tacos, in chili, atop a homemade vegan pizza.
Homemade vegan mayonnaise using blanched almonds, canned coconut milk, turmeric, apple cider vinegar, pinch of sweetener and pinch of oil blended in my Blendtec (works in a food processor too). Tofu also works in place of the almonds (or cashews). Avocado mayo works great for pastas and avocado pesto is awesome too!
Never knew how incredibly delicious frozen and slightly thawed bananas are all by themselves. Banana ice cream is so good!
Avocado chocolate frosting...two avocados, 1/2 cup maple syrup, 1/4 cup pure cocoa powder. I made this on top of banana muffins (all vegan) for my coworkers and they had no idea the frosting was from avocados. Shhh!
I discovered bean dips and spreads for sandwiches. And along with my homemade vegan mayo, I discovered chickpea salad sandwiches...mashed chickpeas, chopped onion and celery, spices like ground mustard or turmeric and black pepper, and a dollup of vegan mayo all mixed together and added to a sandwich. So much better than egg salad!
Homemade bean soups with veggies. You can never go wrong with homemade soup. I have made more soups as a vegan than a lifetime of when I was an omnivore...creamy potato wild rice soup, chickpea sweet potato soup with tomatoes or bell pepper, split pea soup, countless versions of chilli, cream of broccoli soup, cream of asparagus soup, cabbage/sourkraut/tomato/potato/red lentil soup, thai soups, black bean tortilla soup.
And did you know you can make a creamy alfredo sauce with cauliflower?
And nutritional yeast was a huge discovery! It's one of those foods that seems odd at first but really grows on you. It is my go to "cheese". I am NOT a fan of commercial vegan cheese (and was never a fan of dairy cheese either).
I also discovered agar flakes. They are expensive and can be hard to find, but a little goes a long way, and they can be used in making homemade nut based "cheeses" or lemon custard or vegan jello.
And besan (chickpea) flour for omeletes. And tempeh....
Simple foods like mangos and jicama. I am embarassed to admit but I never tried those foods in my 38 years as an omnivore. I also discovered collard greens, bok choy, chicory leaves as a vegan.
Sometimes the most satisfying meals are the simplest. Like a baked potato with steamed broccoli over it and some nutritional yeast sauce or cauliflower alfredo sauce or some kind of homemade gravy over it all. Or for breakfast, I like to try different whole intact seeded grains like millet, quinoa, wild rice, oat groats, buckwheat groats, wheat berries. I'll add some fresh fruit to it and some nuts/seeds for breakfast.
In the beginning I kept it fairly simple and stayed away from the commercial vegan meats/cheeses and yogurts etc. I wanted to learn to cook with dried beans, grains, whole vegetables and fruits, nuts and seeds, vegan staples, then branch out from there. I made a good bit of homemade bread too. Oh yeah, beans on toast. I learned about that breakfast option from some of my vegan English friends online.
I like kidney beans and salsa over toast, and also white beans and molasses. But black beans and cocoa powder isn't too bad either.
Today for a morning snack at work (after an intense bike ride in) I had a handful of roasted and salted pumpkin seeds mixed with a small single serve box of raisins. I liked the mixture of sweetness and saltiness of it. All my coworkers chowed down on Little Debbie snacks someone brought in and they all complained about how hungry they were an hour later. Not me!
Do you have any cookbooks? I read a ton of vegan cookbooks in the beginning. Libraries are getting better at stocking a variety of them. Many vegan cookbooks have information about staples to stock and snacks to have on hand and so on.