Making a Meal Out of Veganism
One of the greatest challenges a lot of people find when starting out on a vegan lifestyle is; what to eat! It's a daunting feeling when you embrace a new dietary change. All of a sudden the core of your meals, in this case, meat and dairy products, are suddenly gone. So many of the vegan groups on Facebook are filled with newbies to the vegan community, unsure of what to eat. And worried that they're not meeting their nutritional needs. This often means that many newbies to the lifestyle tend to stick to the same meals week in, week out.
In this blog post, I want to share some tips for creating enjoyable meals. The foundation of which, is based on making sure you have a shopping list that will ensure you are able to stay on track, while eating good food that doesn't come in a pre-packaged container every night of the week. Sure, junk food is nice, but sometimes you want a home cooked meal, and in my case, that happens to be the case most days. At the bottom of the post, you can download an easy guide to help you along on the journey!
What's in your cupboard?
The first thing I suggest is to do a quick audit of your fridge, freezer & cupboards. Take a pic and/or make a list. I like to print out these pics so I have a visual of what I have in each so that I can plan what I need. If I use something up, I put a line through the item. I then add it to my shopping list.
I group up my items into categories to help me see the full picture. This means I can also select items from each group to create a meal. I like to mix and match items I've not tried before. If you're a novice/beginner cook, it may also help you to see how foods pair. In my guide below, I have included a handy pairing guide, which is a great place to get some inspiration for creating meals too!
Start by making a list of your items in the above categories. You may want to categorise your lists differently, do what works for you!
I regularly update my list, by crossing out items when they are used up, I then add them to my shopping list if I want to restock them. My list is digital so it's easy for me to add and delete items without making a mess. (It's also a lot more environmentally friendly too!).
Pulses and grains:
Rice: red, white, black Venus, sushi, aborio
Grain: quinoa, cous cous, bulgar wheat
Fruit & Veg:
Fruit: pineapple (fresh & tinned), oranges, satsumas, mandarins (tinned), apples, grapes, lemon
Veg: Savoy & purple cabbage, broccoli, kale, carrots (mixed colour), mushrooms (mixed variety), beets, celery, peas, potatoes (sweet & regular), etc, etc, etc
Nuts & Seeds:
Nuts: Cashews, peanuts, walnuts, almonds, pine nuts, hazlenuts
Seeds: Sunflower, pumpkin, chia, flax, hemp, sesame (white and black)
Bread: Wholewheat sliced, wholewheat and white bagels, vegan naan bread, flatbreads
Pasta: Lasagne sheets, tagliatelle, penne (white and wholewheat), bucatini, fettuccini, fusilli, orecchiette, spaghetti, shells, mini stars
Noodles: Flat rice, protein noodles (beetroot and charcoal), rice noodles, ramen
Beans: Haricot, butter beans, cannellini, chickpeas (black and white), aduki, black eye peas
Soy: Tofu (firm and silken), tempeh,
Other: processed meat alternatives (made from soy, seitan and other)
Natural: Jackfruit, hearts of palm, banana blossom flour, beans (see above), noodles (see above)
Oils: Olive oils, avocado oils, sesame oil, coconut oil
Solid: Avocado, nuts and seeds
Condiments & Seasonings:
Condiments: Vinegars: (malt, red wine, apple cider and balsamic glaze/vinegar, ketchup, mustard (French, English and American), hot sauce (big variety), mayonnaise etc, etc
Seasonings: Salt, pepper, turmeric, chillis (powedered, flakes and ground), cayenne pepper, basil (fresh and dried), etc, etc
Making a Meal
Now that you have a list of your store cupboard, fridge and freezer items, you can begin to use my meal planner template to create your own meals. You can write into the blank boxes to make a plan for the week ahead, or simply make your own list. You don't have to fill all of the boxes, as some times the protein will also be the carbohydrate or the good fat. So you can leave it blank.
Limitless Meals, Full of Flavour, Less Food Waste
Using this meal guide allows you to plan meals around items you already have, limit your food waste, and shop for items more selectively. If you find something in the supermarket or food store and want to go out of your comfort zone, just take a look into what it pairs well with, and apply the above principle to make a meal out of it!
Download a blank copy of my Meal Maker below:
Life by Ms
. Lewis Meal Creator Copyright
Download LEWIS MEAL CREATOR COPYRIGHT • 64KB