When I first started researching and thinking about becoming vegan last year, I was excited and a bit nervous. I mean, what would I eeeeeat???
I believe in only eating food that I love, so eating is enjoyable and does not feel like deprivation.
It has taken me a while, but through a lot of trial and error over the past year I have developed certain staples in our weekly meals. These are not specific recipes per se, but my picks for the types of recipes you should experiment with to find the one that you love:
1. A smoothie recipe. Here’s mine. Yes, I do switch things up and rotate a lot of the fruits and supplements (like, right now I am totally on a spirulina kick) but in general I follow my basic recipe in the mornings. Find the recipe that you love, that’s not too complicated, and start every day with a load of fruit and leafy greens. A total no-brainer.
2. A healthy cookie recipe. I’m still perfecting mine, but right now it’s a cross between my oatmeal bars recipe and some other recipes I found on pinterest. The perfect healthy cookie recipe will have flavors you love (mine has cinnamon and vanilla) and be flexible enough that you can load it up with nuts, seeds, or dried fruits to pack in those micronutrients (I always throw in pumpkin seeds for the zinc). They can be sweetened with dates or coconut or a combination of the two. Healthy cookies are especially great for kids–Z loves them. These are just so convenient to have on hand for a snack attack.
3. A veggie burger recipe. I hate the term “burger” because that makes it seem like a substitute for a hamburger (blech!) although that word is better than the alternative “patty” (*shudder*)…But anyway! The possibilities are pretty much endless with veggie burgers you make yourself. Load it up with all sorts of great stuff–legumes, whole grains, vegetables, and super foods like chia seed or hemp seeds. My recipe right now calls for adzuki beans, oatmeal, carrots, and chia seeds. Sounds weird but it totally works. Make a giant batch and flash freeze them individually, so when you don’t feel like cooking you can always pop a veggie burger in the oven and know that you’re eating a whole lot of really great stuff. Fast food!!
4. A sauce. Mine is yum sauce right now, as you know. But there are so many great vegan sauces out there. Try a bunch! And again, you can add so much good stuff in to a sauce. Yum sauce has garbanzo beans and almonds and nutritional yeast. Kristen has a delicious Cheezy Hemp Nacho Sauce that uses hemp seeds and red peppers (I love this sauce! but my husband doesn’t so it’s not on heavy rotation at our house.) Make a sauce once a week and keep it in the fridge to add to: veggie burgers, a bowl of legumes and grains, or as a dip for vegetables.
5. A salad dressing. This one is pretty self-explanatory but again try a bunch and find at least one you absolutely love, that you can make quickly without even thinking about it. Your salads deserve the love! Last week I shared my favorite dressing recipe.
Others? I’m still recipes I’m on the lookout for a phenomenal vegetable soup recipe. I would love to find one I adore that stands up well to freezing. The basic minestrone doesn’t do much for me, but maybe I haven’t found the right flavors.
Any ideas? Or, any other recipes you think are important to have?