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Plant Based Eating – Meal Planning

Eating healthy on a vegan diet is easy, you do however need to be organised. But having foods on hand that you can create with is important.

Variety is the top rule- basics in your fridge and pantry are a must and you can then eat meals easily.

Quick meals for the time-poor can be meals such as pastas with vegetables and sauce, vegan Shepard’s pie, stir frys and stews. Of course salads are associated with vegans but there’s so much more to meals than cold vegetables.

Using a vegan cheese or savoury yeast flakes for making white cheesy sauce can be an acquired taste but remembering why you’ve chosen to eat vegan will help you get past the difference.

When making meals think outside the box- it’s not a matter of making a regular meal and just omitting the meat it’s about replacing that meat with either a meat alternative or more vegetables.

Vegan allows you to eat more food or at least larger portions, so if you enjoy eating like I do you’ll fine the lifestyle deliciously satisfying.

Another option for those not confident with cooking is making your own vegan versions of your favourite meals- trial and error is important and will allow you to find your favourite tastes and new favourite meals.

Protein is something that vegans are sick of hearing about, but seriously think about it- have you ever heard of anyone being protein deficient? Adding protein to at least two meals a day and making sure you’re having some form of B12 and iron whether it be by using yeast flakes or taking a supplement is a staple for most vegans. I myself am intolerant to yeast so I make sure to have iron rich foods and I also take a B12 spray.

If you’re planning on starting your vegan or vegetarian journey, here’s a list of basics you should consider to you can have a variety of meals and snacks that are balanced and tasty.

This grocery list is something I’ve had for years and is a perfect starting out list for those unsure of what stock they should have handy for making vegan meals.

Most of these items you will be able to find at your local supermarket, anything you can’t find I would head to your health food store- I highly recommend joining any local health food store’s loyalty programme or rewards club as it can save you a decent amount of money.

BEGINNERS VEGAN SHOPPING LIST

Pantry
  • Canned coconut milk
  • Plant-based milk – almond, soy, rice, coconut, hemp, oat in long life varieties
  • Nuts – almonds, walnuts, pecans, pistachios
  • Seeds – pumpkin, sunflower
  • Nut butters – almond, peanut, sunflower, etc.
  • Raw nuts
  • Chickpeas, black beans, pinto beans, etc.
  • Lentils
  • Plant-based protein powder
  • Quinoa
  • Rice (brown and/or white)
  • Millet
  • Barley
  • Oats
  • Granola
  • Cereals
  • Chips
  • Crackers
  • Vegan mac & cheese
  • Canned soups
  • Pasta and other noodles like soba
  • Olive oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Other oils like sesame, peanut, etc.
  • Veggie stock or bouillon
  • Capers & olives
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Turmeric
  • Sweeteners eg. agave
  • Dried fruit – mango, raisins, cranberries, dates, etc.
  • Popcorn kernels
  • Coconut flakes/shredded coconut
  • Vegan chocolate chips
  • Vegan cookies
  • Chocolate
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Nutritional Yeast Flakes
  • Sugar (sugar in Australia is vegan)
  • All the other stuff: flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, etc.
  • Bananas, avocado and other favourite fruits
  • Onions, potatoes, sweet potatoes, butternut pumpkin, garlic etc
  • Lemons, limes, grapes, grapefruit, mango, figs, apples, oranges
Refrigerator
  • Fresh plant-based milk like almond, soy, rice, etc
  • Prepared, packaged vegan cheeses
  • Vegan yoghurt – soy, coconut, almond
  • Vegan cream cheese
  • Vegan sour cream
  • Soy sauce
  • Sriracha
  • Tomato Sauce, mustard
  • Tahin
  • Maple syrup
  • Hummus
  • Vegan mayo
  • Tofu
  • Tempeh
  • Packaged, vegan meats – Fry’s, Linda McCartney, Gardein
  • Cauliflower, broccoli, kale, lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, fresh herbs
Freezer
  • Frozen fruit for smoothies
  • Frozen veggies
  • Almond flour/meal
  • Chickpea/garbanzo bean flour
  • Soy, coconut ice cream
  • Fruit bars
  • Other packaged vegan treats
  • Packaged Foods – Bio, Daiya, Tofurky

Add or remove anything you have preference for and make sure you are eating a good variety of foods and not just avoiding animal products.

Good luck with your shopping and let me know how you go or what your favourite vegan brands are in the comments.

Simply,

Natalie Laura

 

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