"I could never be vegan. I need protein"
This will blow you mind: Plants have protein.
In fact, broccoli has more protein than steak. Put that in your pipe and smoke it! All fruits, vegetables, nuts, and grasses have protein. They also have minerals, vitamins, and bacteria your body needs, not only to survive, but to thrive! And, they don't have the fat, cholesterol, and hormones from animal products that weigh your body down and cause heart disease and cancer. In fact, some of the world's top athletes live on PLANTS! Plants can even REVERSE aging, fight cancer, and greatly reduce your risk of other diseases like heart disease and dementia.
And, theres a difference in being vegan and being "plant-based". Vegan means no animal products, no meats, no broth, no eggs, no daity. Being plant-based means limiting those things to about 10-15% of your diet and getting the rest of your nutirnets and calories from plants 85-90% of the time. Its SO much easier and yummier than you may think too.
First, try shopping ONLY in the produce section and seasonings. Really, that's all you need. Your belly and wallet will thank you. Here are some of my favorite things I prep after returning from the store so I'll have easy-to-grab options all week.
1. Sliced watermelon with feta and mint (skip feta if you prefer)
2. Cut up celery for tuna salad, spreading with nut butter, or eating with hummus
3. Cut up peaches, beets, basil, plums, and goat cheese for "salad"
4. Protein Balls
1c oats, 1/2 c nut butter, 1/4 c honey. Add cinnamon, tumeric, vanilla, chia seeds, flax oor hemp. You can also add dried cranberries, pistachios, or sunflower seeds. Let it chill 30 min before rolling into balls.
5. Thai Cucumber
Sliced cucumber, 1/3 c rice vinegar, 2tbsp sugar, red pepper flakes, sesame oil, chopped peanuts and green onions. Store in the fridge to marinate.
6. I roast a sweet potato at 425 for an hour while I'm preparing the other meals. Store sweet potato in the fridge for sweet potato pancakes in the morning. Add an egg or two, cinnaamon, vanilla, and coconut oil or milk to make it more liquid if you need to before cooking pancakes.
7. At the 20 minute mark, I'll add cubed butternut sqash to the oven in a glass dish with grassfed butter and salt and pepper. Mash this on a tostada topped with black beans, pico, avocado, and cashew cheese if you like for a mexican tostada lunch or dinner.
8. I also made tuna salad with vegan mayo, celery, mustard, salt, pepper and a soft boiled egg. I'll top half an avocado with this or eat in on a Wasa cracker (low carb, high fiber)
9. Greek Salad
Chopped cucumber, tomato, kalamata olives, artichoke hearts, feta cheese and a tad greek dressing or use olive oil. Stir together and store in the fridge. Add fresh onion when you're ready to eat it.
10. Vegan Taco Soup
1 can corn, 1 can black beans, 1 can rotel,, 1 pkg taco seasoning, 1c vegan crumbles from freezer section (optional). Cook on the stove on low until flavors meld and crumbles are cooked. Top with corn chips, pico, or black olives and cilantro!
Bonus: I also make taco meat with mushrooms and cashews pureed and cooked down with water simmering on the stove. Add in taco seasoning and use for tacos, taco bowl, or enchiladas!
11. Portobello Steaks or Fajitas
Marinate and grill a portobello mushroom like a steak, or sautee with peppers and onion and fajita seasoning for fajitas. Top with jack cheese (cashew option), olives, jalapenos, and pico.
12. Jackfruit "Chicken"
Jackfruit is rumored to be a kick-in-the-dick to prepare, but it can be found canned at specialty grocers. Cook with mexican seasonings for carnitas option or pull it apart and roast in verde salsa for "chicken" enchiladas. It can also be dipped in panko crumbs and fried in olive oil or grassfed butter for chicken nuggets. Mix with mashed chickpeas if you'd like it to hold up stronger for frying.
We also have a basket full of fruit! Apples, bananas, peaches, kiwis, papaya, mango, strawberries, blackberries and blueberries. Our freezer usually has frozen peaches, cherries, acai packets and wheatgrass for smoothies or packed lunches.
Our pantry staples are usually oatmeal, ezekial bread, corn tortillas, canned fish, oysters and sardines (I'm obsessed), popcorn, and LOTS of nuts like almonds, cashews, pistachios, and various seeds to sprinkle on things. I also love to snack on pickled things like pickled veggies, kimchi, pickled okra, peperocini peppers and pickles made with different spices and fermented items are SOOOOO good for maintaining gut health. Drink your coffee black if you can handle it and drink LOTS of water throughout the day and you'll feel like you've discovered the fountain of youth!!
Be well. Food IS medicine.
Parenting expert, blogger, inventor, single mom to twins, barefoot nomad, adventure seeker, boho spirit, advocate of play