Meatless Monday: Quick & Easy Plant Based Food Ideas

Vegan fast food is a trending topic but so is health and proper nutrition. So how do you combine the two of them?? There are so many ways to get in your vegan “fast foods” with out packing in the calories. This week on meatless Monday I want to talk about easy ways to get food in your belly without having to spend hours in the kitchen making scrumptious vegan food or taking a rip through a drive though and packing in some bad calories.

Plant based/vegan foods are everywhere – you don’t need to over think it. Here are things I keep stocked in my house for easy vegan eats and snacking:

Vegan Dips and Sauce

This is by far the easier group to reach for because it is likely that people eating omnivore diets don’t even realize that some of basic life goodness is already plant based. Fruits and veggies and a quick dip make vegan snacking so easy. It can be as simple as a banana and some peanut butter. Veggies and hummus. Or Veggies and other beans dips. I make a white bean spinach and artichoke dip that covers all my bases. It has protein and iron and is great on bread, crackers, toast and veggies. Now a days you can get already cut up veggies in the grocery store and SO MANY vegan dips have come on the market it is hard to keep up.  Keeping a stock of fresh fruit and veggies in the fridge and a few cracker in the cupboards is a great way to keep the snacks quick and healthy and plant based.

The Fake Meats

If I am being truthful – I was a vegetarian for 10 years before I even entered the world of fake meats. Mostly I thought they were gross. However in 2020 – you can’t go wrong. There are so many options for simulated meat products it is insane. I love to throw them in a salad to ramp up my protein and to get in another texture. Slicing up a Fieldroast sausage and adding it into salad = yum. A little ground round to make a taco salad = delicious. Combine meat alternatives and some lentils with your salad and its high protein goodness keeping you full for hours. Your options for variety here are pretty endless AND it makes for a quick meal. Heat up the veggie meat while you prep the salad. For nights when you are to tired to create an epic vegan dish this is a great alternative. In summer time  – this is when this shines for me. No long cooking or meal prep – just straight up deliciousness. (Just keep in mind these are not always the healthiest and might not be the best food choices – so enjoy them in moderation)

Protein Shakes

There are lots of nutrient dense vegan protein powders on the market. Vega is one of the most popular (I am a huge fan of the vanilla protein and greens). But even some of the MLMs like Beachbody and Arbonne have leaned into vegan shakes (Arbonne Marble Cake Vegan Protein is the bomb). I like to make my smoothies with unsweetened almond milk, protein powder, nut butter, half of a frozen banana and then what ever other fruit and veg. Smoothies can be super filling if they are crafted properly – I personally need the protein with a fat and the veg and fruit. It keeps me fuller longer and makes the smoothie worth having. All these things fast, easy and vegan.

Vegan Pizza

Everyones favourite = pizza. It is quick and easy and believe it or not you can make them pretty darn healthy if you want to. I guess this is the time to really say  – anything you can make  … I can make vegan. I have a no-rise flatbread recipe that whips up in no time – and with a little sauce and random veg you got yourself a pizza in about 30 mins. If you use a pre-made store bought crust – you can have it ready in 10mins. I like to make sure I have some fresh pineapple or mango to throw on the top, extra sauce on the crust and a nice dipping sauce – I don’t even bother with the fake cheese. So yum.

The Good Old Fashioned Sandwich or Wrap

This is the basics but seriously you can put together a vegan sandwiches  in minutes – toast it up or throw some things in a wrap or lettuce wrap. You don’t need to be boring. You can go the route of hummus and guac loaded with veggies. But you can use other bean dips – like spinach and artichoke bean dip. How about layer in some smoked tofu? Add in that protein and a smoke flavour. Use all the best veggie topping – to spice it up try adding in some fresh herbs. Cilantro or dill are wonderful on a sandwich. You can have savoury nut butter sandwiches by adding some ginger and garlic to your almond butter then loading it with veg. Chickpea salads, lentil salads are also delicious and keep well in the fridge for a couple of days. The options are really endless.

 

I know vegan can seem pretty daunting at times but once you really dive in you can really see that there are so many things already in your fridge that are perfect as they are. In 2020 it is pretty popular to have vegan eats accessible at your favourite restaurants, and the drive thru, on Door Dash or Uber Eats … you can make big pots of chili and stews and freeze then so your meal prep doesn’t get boring. It is possible to make quick satisfying eats from your regular variety.

I hope this helps you with some inspiration for plant based from your already stocked kitchen. I would love to se picture of what you are making. Please tag me.

 

 

Meatless Monday: How to Stock you Pantry for Plant Based Eating

How many times have you done to the grocery store and bought a bunch of vegetables and veggie things and gotten home and not had anything to make?  Back in the day … actually until my early 30ies … When I was shopping for myself I would do this all the time. I would just go and buy the things that I liked and then would figure it out when I got home. Only to find that I was missing ingredients and have all this food with no real plan. It wasn’t until my first crack at weight loss that I really got into teaching myself how to cook really good plant based meals. Having a well stocked pantry and planning out what I was going to make and then shopping for those things changed my approach to cooking and eating.

If you have a well stocked supply you can make a delicious meals with things you have on-hand. If you don’t like to plan to far in advance being fully stocked is the way to go. As you many know – grocery shopping hungry is a bad idea and often leads to shopping with reckless abandon and getting $200 worth of food with nothing to make. So set yourself up for success with a list in hand, a coffee on the go and a full belly. This will stop you from getting food you don’t need because your eyes are bigger than your stomach.

If you want to see a lot of success at plant based cooking and being prepared for anything the trick is a well stocked pantry and freezer.  My trick is to keep a well stocked freezer of frozen fruit and veg as well as a well stocked pantry and spice cupboard.

Things I always have at home:

The best freezer food to have in stock:

Peas, corn, broccoli, edamame, chopped and cubed butternut squash, bananas, raspberries, berries, pomegranate seeds, mango, pineapple. Basically I keep the fruit in stock so I can have daily smoothies. I also use the frozen fruit in my overnight oats. I love the juice from the melted frozen berries it adds some sweetness and flavor. The veggies are great for cooking when you want to have variety without it going bad. Stews, chili, curries – it is nice to keep those veggies in stock without needing to have them fresh and ready.

The best foods to keep in the pantry:

Red lentils, canned lentils, canned chickpeas, canned black beans, really any bean canned, nutritional yeast, canned diced tomatoes, tomato paste, veggie broth, pastas, rice, oatmeal, nut butters, also carrots, potato and onion. If you think you might like to bake:  all purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder, sugar, chia seeds, flax seeds.

Spices:

I have said this before I will mention it again. If you want to learn the ways around a plant based kitchen you need to up your SPICE game. You will need a well stocked spice cupboard. When I was first starting out my cupboard was always stocked with: onion powder, garlic power, cumin, chili power, smoked paprika, cayenne, salt, pepper, oregano, basil, garlic salt, cinnamon and yellow curry powder. Those are all stocked to this day but I have way more spices now because the collection has grown over time.

With my house stocked in this manner – it is pretty easy to create recipes out of what I have on hand. I can really get a lot done with my house well stocked. It leaves my weekly shopping list for essential veggies that have a shorter shelf life and plant based milks and butters and such.

A well stocked foundation of stuff really helps to keep you prepared to lean into meat free options. Once you have the supplies you just need to learn how to use them. Hit the follow button to Stay tuned in for more recipe ideas coming every Monday! You can also check out my plant based Instagram!

If you are interested in learning how to make your favorite dish plant based or if there is a recipe you are looking for in particular please comment below and I’ll do my best to plan that out for you.

Until next time ❤ !

 

VEGAN LIFE

 

In all my years of blogging I have never, ever really touched on the vegan thing. Actually if you know me in real life you would know that it just is a thing that I don’t really discuss. I think that peoples food journeys are really a person thing. I honestly hate confrontation and I hate explaining myself – so I shy away from committing to a conversation about veganism, vegetarianism and food in general.

But if you didn’t know it was a thing for me. IT’S A THING! I have been vegetarian since I was in grade 7 or 8 or 9 – I have no real clue the day that it actually happened. But I remember being at summer camp one year and some of my camp buddies were vegetarian and I honestly just think it was the very first moment in my life that I realized that I could make a decision for me and not eat things I didn’t want to eat. I mean I didn’t really like eating meat anyway – so why not label it and make it a thing.

I started my vegetarian journey at the young age when pigs where just far too cute to eat – I adorned my room in pig blankets and promised my first pet would be a mini pot-bellied pig (that so hasn’t happened yet).  I used to think of myself like a young Lisa Simpson back in the day when her going vegetarian was a huge fucking deal.  Fast forward a few years and to the beginning of my university years and a friend of mine took me to meet some of his new friends and they were all vegan. I seriously thought they were cool as fuck. But it seems kind of extreme.  It was around that time that I was introduced to freegans and dumpster diving (just to be clear neither of those things I did – but I really wanted to).

I actually fell into vegan life sometime in the middle of my first Katimavik contact almost a decade later. Then it stuck for awhile. Since my late 20ies – so almost a damn decade I have dabbled in vegan life. It is hard with the lifestyle I chose to live though. Not all countries have the affluence and the ability to selectively chose how they eat. Some countries do.

I guess in my current state I would say that I am a practical vegan. I try my best when I am home to be as vegan as I can be and when I am on the road – I do my best there – If some cheese creeps in because the only food I can get has cheese then so be it. I do what I can do for me.

I wouldn’t say I am a crusader for animal rights, I love my wool sweaters and my Birkenstocks. But I would say that my bodies feels better when I eat limited to no dairy and no meat. I try my best because I am privileged enough to do so and quite frankly I think it is hip as fuck.

Anyway I like to think of vegan as a hard core vegetarian. Because it really is.

And because I am hard core! I just want to be that way in life.

I know you must be thinking saving animals and/or not consuming animals or their byproducts sounds incredibly easy ( lol just kidding … the social aspect of vegan life – eating out, partying, mostly eating because lets be real – eating out is life – is hard as fuck) but just incase you needed some help I made a list of some of my favorite vegan cookbooks and youtubes so you can find some cool resources:

Favorite vegan lifestyle Bloggers/Youtubers

Okay … Lauren Toyota … that is all one needs to say. Canadian wins huge point in my book. What I love about her is that she make real food. She doesn’t eat so much fruit she has a food baby. There is oil and fry pans and damn good eats. On-top of that she stays out of all the vegan bullshit and drama. Her and John are hilarious. Do it, watch them!

What Leila Eats – HILARIOUS! maybe it is that British humor but every time I watch her I die laughing. She is raw and honest and it is wonderful to see a YouTuber be vulnerable Plus she bakes. I love vegan baking. Just check out her damn channel. Check out that cheeky grim and you’ll be hooked.

I have had my moments with Henya. There are moments where she is a bit to much wrapped up in the Vegan drama. But mostly she is fucking hilarious. I love her vegan journey’s around the world. She is really really great at showing you ways to make money, passive incomes etc. Maybe she doesn’t talk directly but – YouTube, t-shirt shop, and ebooks. Smart cookie. influential. Watch out for her!

I love that Hannah filmed her entire journey. She shows where she came from in terms of weight and I am madly in love with her and Derek and them building a tiny house. They are just living there simple life and loving it. She is soft spoken and stays away from drama these days.

Cookbooks

Thug Kitchen

Right now I’m obsessed. This is my “go to” all the time for recipes. They include all my favorite food, avocado, cilantro, beans, pasta, deliciousness. If you are looking for a new cook book buy this (not sponsored – just love them)

Where it all Vegan & the Dolce Vegan

This has been a long time go to since I first became vegan. Classic recipes, made easy, lots of left overs, lots of just plan and normal food but vegan versions of it. Potpies, pastas, soups stews, cookies, cakes, muffins.

High Carb Hannah Cookbooks (all of them)

I have all her cookbooks. They are great. easy recipes and easy to follow. I love the flavor profile she cooks with and most they are all kind of Starch Solution inspired recipes. Pretty pictures. super affordable.