PLANT BASED MEAL PLANNING
Find the easiest way to make plant-based living work for you. You don’t need to eat vegan food 100% of the time but encouraging more veg in your diet is something we can all easily achieve.
My ingredients list below and simple weeknight meal planner is a tip to help you plan your dinners more effectively, allowing you to enjoy beautiful plant rich meals that are so nutritious yet also delicious. Making delicious healthy and veg packed meals doesn’t need to be difficult or expensive, in fact I found the switch to a more plant based diet far more cost effective. The trick is to keep a well stocked larder with a selection of various grains, nuts, seeds, spices and dressings – all things that last for ages and can be switched up with fresh fruit and veg to make new interesting meals every time.
Here is my list of larder ingredients, many of which you’ll find in my recipes:
Extra virgin olive oil
Tamari (soy sauce)
Rice wine vinegar
White & red wine vinegar
Nut butter – almond, peanut
Nut milk – oat or almond
Pulses, Rice, Grains
Red lentils, black lentils
Pastas: orzo, penne, fettucine
White beans: cannellini, butterbeans
Red kidney beans
Spices & Dried Herbs
Sea salt flakes
Cracked black pepper
Nuts, Seeds, Fruits
N.B Fresh herbs add great depth of flavour and freshness to any meal but can be expensive and wasteful if you only need a small amount. Try growing you own fresh herbs so you have them ready whenever a recipe calls for it.
CHOOSE YOUR VEG
Choose a fresh veg to work with and cook it in the best way for your dish, roasting or sauteeing often give the best flavour but steaming and boiling can be handy for certain dishes or to increase the nutritional benefits.
PICK YOUR PROTEIN
Meat Substitutes: Vegan protein doesn’t always mean eating fake meat!! I rarely ever eat these products as they are often processed with a lot of chemicals. Tofu, tempeh and seitan are all good sources but only really taste like whatever they’re cooked with, so make sure you cook with a lot of spice or sauce.
Legumes, pulses and grains: These are all an excellent source of protein and are so flavourful with a variety of textures. Get into the habit of soaking grains and dried pulses the night before and cooking them in batches to improve their nutritional value but having a store of canned produce is really handy for quick meals.
Make it taste delish: try cooking these in veg stock or saute a simple veg base using a combination of onions, celery, carrots and garlic. Add any spices then add the dried grain or with either water or stock. This will infuse much more flavour into your food.
Adding nuts, seeds or a creamy sauce or herby condiment are just some of the ways you can add so much texture to just one bite.
I’m a condiment person and I rarely eat a meal unless It comes with a lovely dressing or sauce. These can vary from oil based sauces e.g. pesto, tahini to sauces that can actually include your protein portion for that meal e.g. mayonnaise from aquafaba (chickpea water) or tofu, or nut based sauces like cashew feta, or cheese sauces with nutritional yeast – another great protein source which lends to that cheesy yeasty flavour.
SAMPLE MEAL PLANNER
Simple meal ideas to make plant-based living easier.
Protein pancakes made with bananas and peanut butter
Scrambled tofu: break down tofu and mix with nutritional yeast and a pinch of turmeric for an egg substitute
Porridge oats with chia seeds and fresh fruit
Falafels and homous
Mix grain salads with roast veg