A friend recently asked me for my favorite or most common dishes on this new diet. I have been meaning to write a post about said dishes, so I thought this would be a great opportunity.
One of the things I feared most when I made this change, was the extreme, time-intense, dishes that I ate while on the Daniel Fast, which required a lot of prep and a lot of cooking time. I’ve found, though, that I must not have looked in the right places, or made the right connections, because there are PLENTY of inexpensive, time-efficient, plant-based meals.
What you’ll want to have in your fridge/pantry at all times:
Almond milk/ Coconut Milk (Michael prefers almond, sweetened, I prefer unsweetened)
All natural peanut butter (Some places you can crank this out yourselves, but you can find some that have honey or flaxseed added to make it smoother)
Fruit (apples, bananas, grapefruit, grapes, etc.)
Veggies (multiple colors of peppers, onion, carrots, avocado, cabbage, egg plant, etc.)
Canned goods (beans- every version, bean sprouts, chick peas, chiles, etc.)
All natural tortilla chips/black bean chips, whatever you find that has the fewest ingredients in it that you like best!
Seeds/nuts (Walnuts, pecans, almonds, sesame seeds, flax seeds, etc)
Herbs/Spices (garlic, cilantro, basil, curry, sea salt, ground pepper, red pepper flakes, your favorite seasoning)
Tofu/tempeh (we have really liked the extra firm tofu because it grinds up and grills like chicken/egg)
Often I’m just looking for a quick breakfast that I can eat while I work on the computer in the a.m. My go-to is apples and peanut butter. Occasionally, I’ll eat a grapefruit instead, with a little sweetener on it (we use stevia in the raw) but if I do this, I have to add a protein in some fashion due to my hypoglycemia. If I don’t, I’ll begin shaking and getting dizzy around 10:30…
Michael’s favorite breakfast is Kashi organic cinnamon harvest cereal with almond milk. And don’t forget his coffee too! He makes coffee and adds almond milk and sweetener to it.
A piece of all natural whole wheat bread (I love the frozen bread in the natural foods section, just read the labels to make sure they don’t contain milk or eggs) with sliced banana and all natural peanut butter and a small amount of honey on top.
*This is Michael’s favorite go-to snack after work before dinner is ready. I often eat this for breakfast, or if I use the frozen bread, I’ll make it and put it in a baggie on my way to work or class, and it will thaw in an hour or so and it’s super cold… delish!
He also LOVES oatmeal. Sometimes he eats it for breakfast, sometimes as an afternoon snack at work. I started making this from home with steel cut oats and putting servings in little baggies for him. Sometimes he’ll snack on a handful of pecans too. (Be careful with nuts, they have good protein, but are high in fat, you don’t want to eat too many!)
I eat pistachios as a snack, grapes, apples and peanut butter, chips and salsa, chips and guacamole (made from scratch) crackers and pesto (made from scratch) carrots/peppers and hummus (made from scratch or store-bought)
I put these two sections together because our lunches and our dinners often look alike. If I’m working from home and Michael comes home during the day, I may whip up a little curry-fried rice with tofu and then we’ll have a light dinner.
Lots of rice and beans. I make bean soup for myself regularly (using black beans, cilantro, tomatoes, salt and I cook garlic and onion on a skillet and add that to the soup.) I make rice in my rice cooker regularly. It goes with cooked veggies, etc. I often eat a baked potato with salt and pepper, perhaps I’ll put some cooked veggies in it.
We have found that we are MUCH more creative at dinner now, often we just look at what we have on hand and get creative (remember what I said about Michael and I LOVING the food network show “Chopped”)
Spaghetti is an easy go-to, just make sure you’re not using egg noodles! We use marinara or other forms of sauce. Sometimes I add kidney beans to it, and there is a great faux-ground beef that can be used too.
Fried rice is delicious with green peas, carrots, sesame seeds. Make sure not to use much oil (at all.) The tofu works really well in this dish as it imitates the egg (and tastes/looks the same!)
We’ve eaten a lot of pad thai, and have found a few frozen pad thai dishes that are more vegan than plant-based (a few too many chemicals.)
We often eat at Qdoba too. I get the naked burrito, with brown rice, peppers, black beans, pico de gallo, corn, and guac in it. They always give me too much (probably to make up for the fact that I’ve put no meat in it) and I shouldn’t finish the whole thing… it fills me up though!
Michael likes to get their gumbo soup (no meat added) and put peppers and guac in it!
I use a few recipe books to get inspired, but I also follow several other plant-based blogs that have great menu ideas. Check out this post to see the recipe books, and this blog and this one to get more ideas.
Remember to read back through these tips I gave regarding the big switch from the normal American diet to a plant-based diet!
If you have any recipe questions, or tips leave them in the comment field below. I’d love to hear from you!