It’s been almost two years since my husband and I adopted a plant based diet and aside from concern over my protein intake, the most common question I get asked is, “But what do you eat?”
I usually answer with sarcasm, something along the lines of grass and twigs because, let’s face it, that’s what people expect to hear whether or not it’s true. The truth is that I love to cook and would consider myself something of a foodie but that’s only if and when time permits. As a full-time writer and part-time author, my schedule is pretty packed most days. But a girl’s gotta eat, right?
So when we’re not whipping up fancy vegan feasts or rustic weeknight meals, we take the Keep It Simple, Stupid school of thought.
Step One: Grab some veggies
Depending on where in the world you live, you might find you can’t get all the produce all year long, which means you have to improvise. Don’t be afraid to spend some time in the produce aisle and see what’s on offer and what’s in season, more importantly, what’s not in season. You’ll notice that some fruits and vegetables may be available all year long they don’t always taste how they should.
If you’re not much of a cook, think about easy meals like stir-fry, vegetable medley, curry or a plain old casserole dish.
Step Two: Pick a grain.
This is my favorite part because the grains are where I’ll decide what this dish will be. Reach for bulgur or couscous and give your meal a Middle Eastern or Mediterranean flair, add rice to make it whatever you want, or my personal favorite, add a serving of your favorite Asian style noodle.
You don’t have to stick with any hard and fast rules here, just go with whatever flavors you feel like grabbing from your spice rack.
If you’re feeling really crazy, grab some tortilla shells and turn that veggie-tofu mix into tacos, burritos, nachos or fajitas.
Step three: Get your spices in order.
I firmly believe that the key to good, healthy vegan eating is variety. Eating a variety of fruits, vegetables, grains, beans and legumes, sure. But also variety in your spice cabinet, because this is how you’ll keep your taste buds excited about meal time.
You’ll want the basics like salt and whole black pepper, herbs like dill, thyme, oregano, basil and marjoram if you’re not ready for fresh herbs, but as you become more comfortable in the kitchen pick up more spices and herbs like cumin, cayenne pepper, curry, turmeric, garlic granules, all spice, smoky paprika and whatever else strikes your fancy.
Change up your spices and you’ll never be bored at mealtime.
Step four: Enjoy
Despite what you think or what you may have heard, being vegan doesn’t require you to spend hours in the kitchen. In fact, I would argue that it’s easier because there’s no animal protein you have to cook but we can debate that later.
This is my go-to method for creating quick and easy meals. It’s a fantastic way to eat healthy without ordering fast food or paying to eat out at restaurants on a regular basis.
Sticky orange cauliflower & rice
Just add rice & Sriracha and you’re good to go!