I'm sharing this, not as any kind of authority, in fact just the opposite. This is all new to me and maybe someone out there will be interested in my newbie journey and maybe you, dear friends and readers, can give me some tips, advice, recipes, etc., along the way.
To be successful at eating vegan or plant based (I kind of like that term better) I knew I would need a plan. This way of eating is new to me and slipping back into old habits is easy when you're starving and not sure what to make for dinner.
I've never been good at meal planning. Here and there I would try and it wouldn't go anywhere. I now think it was because I was not eating the way I really wanted to. Meat was always something I didn't feel comfortable with. I didn't like seeing it, buying it, or cooking it. There was so much built up negativity around meal planning and cooking that no wonder I never succeeded. These are all new realizations because I wasn't fully conscious of that frustration before now. I only noticed after it was gone. What I was left with was a profound sense of relief and a new joy for planning and cooking, even shopping is more fun for me now!
So, I have an old binder with all my stand by & family recipes as well as recipes I wanted to try. It's chuck full now, half with recipes I never tried. So, I bought a new green binder. It's not pretty, there's nothing on the cover yet and I haven't put in tabs to organize it either but it's clean and full of potential! The first thing I did was start collecting recipes on Pinterest. Then I began printing out the recipes I wanted to try that week. After I had a clear idea of what I could make I wrote down a quick list of things I could make for all three meals. This way if I ever I'm stumped for a meal plan I can look at my quick list and get ideas. Some of the ideas are pretty obvious & general. At first I thought "ok, if I'm not going to eat meat, fish, milk, cheese, eggs or products made from these", what can I eat?! I really wasn't sure at first. Once I made my quick list I realized how silly that was, there's plenty to eat. My quick list also has specific recipe titles as well. I plan to add to the list as I go.
Next I wrote out my meal plan for the week. Then I went shopping.
breakfast (b), lunch (l), dinner (d)
Monday~ b. grapefruit & oatmeal, l. black bean tacos d. potato leek soup
Tuesday~ b. tofu scramble & potato burrito, l. left over potato leek soup, d. vegan lasagna
Wednesday~ b. oatmeal, l. hummus felafel pita, d. veggie burgers and oven fries
Thursday~ b. scones and tea, l. carrot ginger soup, d. grilled veggie tortilla wraps
Fri~ b. tofu scramble, l. pb & j corn tortilla & almond milk, d. asian vegetable pasta
Sat~ b. pancakes, l. salad, d. spicy sesame noodles
by Sunday I guess I was out of ideas because I wrote "cereal" and "eat out"?
So, I love my meal plans. They've taken all the stress out of cooking. I always know what I can make. However, I have noticed that I don't get to half of what I write down. There's usually so much left over that we eat what I've made for a day or two before going on to a new recipe. So I haven't even tried some of the above recipes yet but I will get to them.
Another great tip I got from a friend was to make a large pot of grain or beans for the week. So the first week I made a pot of black beans and then we had black bean soup, beans & quinoa and veggie burgers made from them. The next week I made a large pot of lentils and when my husband and I had falafel & hummus (which one of my boys won't try) , my boys ate lentils and rice. This week I made a pot of pinto beans and today for lunch we had pinto beans and veggie quesadillas.
The above pictured recipe is mine and my husband's favorite of the moment, Avocado Alfredo from Alicia Silverstone's website, The Kind Life. So, the only real issue I'm having is with my boys. They're eating lots of raw veggies & fruit, beans & veggie burgers. They loved the potato leek soup but refuse to try some of the other things. Does anyone have any kid friendly tips or recipes?
Until next time...