Meal options to EASILY become plant-powered!
Soaked Oats ‘n’ s*#t
For a super easy nutritious breakfast, look no further than oats. Like a lot of the upcoming dishes, it’s very versatile. You can have it cold, hot, with water, with dairy free milk…with seeds, nuts, fruit etc.
In order to simplify the process and get the best ingredients (rather than processed stuff) I suggest buying a bunch of individual ingredients and then mixing them together to be stored in a BPA free container. Here’s what I go for and how I do it:
Buy a big bag of organic oats (rolled/ steel cut preferred)
Combine with a mixture of your favourite seeds: sunflower, pumpkin, linseed. I like sunflower, pumpkin and chia seeds. The linseed tend to require chiselling out of my teefs, so I pass!
Add some nuts and/ or dried food. My choice is raisins and goji berries, but I have eaten oats with hazelnuts.
Put this little lot into that container and you’re all set. Next step is to reach for said container before you go to bed, measure out a nice bowl of the oat, seed, fruit mix. Mix with nut, oat, hemp or rice milk (if choosing to manage weight, use water). I like either organic almond (rude) or organic oat milk (Oatly). Avoid soya, but when travelling it’s probably all you’ll find at the breakfast buffet.
Add a little blueberries/ raspberries/ strawberries/ chopped banana (I just have blueberries and half a chopped banana). And then bung it in the fridge. Soaking oats overnight improves its digestibility (http://www.onegreenplanet.org/vegan-food/reasons-raw-soaked-oats-are-a-must-try/). In the morning reach for that bowl, add a tablespoon of ground flaxseed and get it down ya. It’ll serve you well until lunch. Even when I raced an Ironman triathlon I started the day with this same recipe.
You don’t need me to talk you through toast. I go for one of the following and no I don’t use a spread as a base!
· Peanut butter on toast (use a brand that considers sustainable palm oil)
· Marmite on toast
· Avocado on toast (sprinkle some paprika over it mashed or sliced and experiment with sliced cherry tomatoes as well.)
Never serve any of these on white bread, Ezekiel bread is the best.
My smoothie strategy is this:
· At least 3 bananas (I’ve seen some use 10!)
· 1 x exotic fruit (papaya, mango)
· Half a handful of mixed berries (blueberries, raspberries)
· Handful of spinach
· Handful of kale
· Tablspn of chai seeds and flax seeds
· Mix with enough almond or oat milk to make it runny enough to pour and swig
· I sometimes add organic medjool dates for sweetness and energy
· …some people might add protein or powders…entirely own choice
· Linda McCartney sausages baked for about 15 minutes
· Mushrooms (fried in either coconut oil or vegetable spread)
· Spinach (raw, steamed or wilted in hot water)
· Scrambled tofu – drain and press some organic tofu. Whilst this is happening, dice half a yellow onion and 1 clove of garlic (you could substitute ¼ teaspoon each of onion powder and garlic granules. Heat a large frying pan with a tablespoon of coconut oil. Fry the onion and garlic and when that has turned translucent, crumble the tofu into the mix. Sprinkle ½ teaspoon of Himalayan salt, a few shakes of black pepper and a ¼ teaspoon of turmeric powder. Mix together to blend together and watch the tofu change colour thanks to the turmeric. Keep moving it around and break it up to resemble scrambled eggs.
· Organic baked beans warmed on the stove…in a pan of course.
Beans on toast
Simple. If you must, use high quality plant spread on the toast and organic beans. Never buy damaged tins
Finish off whatever you had the night before
Either sweet potato with a filling of your choice (chilli, beans…) or white jacket potato. Sweet potato has more health benefits
Wraps and sandwiches
For wraps, think Mexican food: black beans, sweet corn, avocado, brown rice, lime juice, salsa. Have cold or make a chilli and add the bits.
For sandwiches I only go for toasted Ezekiel bread with a peanut butter and sweet potato filling. Boil or roast the sweet potato, mash it and fill. Lovely.
You can buy a range of different stir fry stuff from all supermarkets. You'll mostly only find rice noodles (most other are egg) in the supermarket, but of course specialist stores will have other options, but eat with quinoa or rice as an alternative. I cook in coconut oil, sprinkle some flaxseeds and cook in Braggs Amino Acids (basically a soy product).
There are these 2 lunatic Irish brothers on YouTube who have their own restaurant/ store in Whitlow, Ireland. They have a series called 5 minute meals. Go check ‘em out!
Check out the supermarket shelves for fresh ones or ones from Amy’s kitchen as they are organic and taste good.
Take your favourite items from your fridge and larger and serve them in one bowl e.g. quinoa, roasted sweet potato wedges, broccoli, bell peppers, sauerkraut, some legumes.
EATING OUT AND ABOUT
- Planet Organic is my favourite. They have a food, juices, and smoothie counter (as well as a great supermarket)
- Pret do a vegan sandwich with avocado and tomato – it’s ok
- Pret also do a chana wrap which is a little spicier – it’s ok
- Pret do various soups which are tasty but small
- Wholefoods – brilliant range, but they bent over to Monsanto and have been caught lying about non-GMO and organic produce in the US. They are however the biggest store to satisfy all your health and chemical free needs.
- Chips and mushy peas!!
- M&S do a range of small salads, beans mixes etc.
- Waitrose do a cous cous with butternut squash and tomato lunch
DINNER (OR SUPPER FOR POSH KIDS)
Everyone loves a roast, right? Make it really simple by grabbing a simple Artisan nut roast or Thank Goodness Vegan Nut Roast, then add your favourite veggies. I love sweet potato and/or squash mash, roasted white potatoes, carrots, broccoli and peas. Of course you can’t forget gravy.
Loaded soups/ vegetable stew
I find this dish really filling, flexible and great for preparing meal ahead of time. You can [play with different ingredients to make it more seasonal, but this is a saviour in the colder months.
Select your favourite vegetables. I suggest, small 2 inch pieces of sweet potato, sliced carrots, mushrooms, small pieces of broccoli and kale.
You will also need 1 can of chopped tomatoes, 1 can of black beans and 1 cup of either rice or quinoa. You will also need 1 litre of boiling vegan bouillon, 1 tspn of chilli powder, 1 tspn of ground cumin and 1/2 tspn each of salt and pepper.
Grab a yellow onion, 1 stick of celery, 2 cloves of garlic and chop them up and fry them in the bottom of a big pot with a little oil. Add the spices etc.
When that’s done add the bouillon, the can of tomatoes, the potatoes and the carrots. Add your rice or quinoa at the appropriate time according to its cooking times. This should be put on simmer for about 30 minutes, so add the black beans and green veggies with about 10 minutes to go. Taste it as it cooks and add
This is so versatile. You can serve mild or hot, on rice or quinoa, in tortilla or as a burrito…even on its own with tortillas.
The base is largely this: 1 yellow onion and 2 cloves of garlic all chopped fine and fried in a little coconut oil in a large pan. Add the following spices: ½ tspn of salt, 1 tspn of chilli powder (however hot you like it), 1 tspn of ground cumin, ¼ tspn paprika and a dash of cayenne pepper if you want it with a kick.
When this is combined add 1 tin of cooked black beans. You could add a mix of different beans, but for simplicity let’s just go with black beans. Fry together for a minute, then add 1 can of chopped tomatoes. Turn the heat done and let it all fuse together for 5 minutes. Then add 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh coriander. Save a sprig of coriander for decoration.
Option 1 – serve over rice or quinoa
Option 2 – serve over roasted new potatoes
Option 3 – make tortilla or lettuce wraps. Try to find Ezekiel wraps and warm according to instructions. To make these awesome, roast some sweet potatoes, mash them and use as an ingredient to the wrap. Also grab an avocado and slice adding a slice of 2. Of course you could opt for guacamole. Lastly, try some cashew nut and tahini sauce (blend together the juice of half a lemon, half a cup of soaked cashew nuts, 2 tspns of tahini, salt, pepper, 1 clove of garlic. Add water as necessary to make it runny enough).
Check out their 5-minute meal options.
Buddha Bowl and more. Great resource for recipes and inspiration.
Needs no introduction. Check it out. I love the enchiladas:
The China Study
Those behind the most comprehensive research into plant based diets have produced a book with loads of great options.
And there you have it! A bunch of versatile meals that will keep you plant powered for a little while. Eliminating the stress of what to eat is a big part of change towards 'going vegan' or reducing meat consumption. Then of course you have to consider the health side, taste, cost and difficulty. Hopefully I have illustrated above and also on my YouTube channel, The Bloody Vegan, that it really is very simple and fun! Let me know ho you get on. Oss