Vegan Diet Shopping & Preparing For Day One
I have to admit I was a little overwhelmed trying to figure out what I was going to eat all week. As my family and close friends know, I am a very good cook but I am used to recipes that I have been making for years that are definitely not plant based. This will be a challenge but I promise to do lots of experimenting so you can enjoy easy delicious recipes.
So the first thing I did was headed to Whole Foods with my shopping list.
You should try to buy organic vegetables and fruit as often as you can. Brought my groceries home and set aside a few hours on Sunday night to make some of the recipes for the week.
A glass of wine, some music (Belle Brigade) and cooking is a lovely, creative way to spend a Sunday night. If you have kids, get them involved. Cooking ahead makes it less likely I will eat the wrong thing on the fly.
So here is how I am getting started.Replacing all things dairy – Love milk in my coffee so I replaced it with almond Milk. Low fat and quite delicious and I think it tastes better than soy milk but soy milk is also a good alternative.
Bread – I thought making a batch of bread to munch on when I need something crispy would be a good idea. Mostly all breads you buy are processed so homemade bread is incredibly delicious and you can freeze a batch, slice and toast all month.
Here is a wonderful unprocessed bread and full of flavor recipe.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 4 tbsp garlic minced
- 1½ tbsp Rosemary
- 1 tbsp granulated yeast
- 1-1/4 cup lukewarm water
- 2 tsp honey
- 2½ - 2¾ whole wheat flour
- cornmeal to sprinkle
- (sometimes I add sundried tomatoes)
- preheat oven to 350
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in skillet. Add the garlic and rosemary and cover and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, Set aside
- In a mixing bowl, combine the yeast, water, honey and set aside in a warm area until the yeast begins to bubble. Knead in half the amount of flour, add the carlic and rosemary mixture, and the rest of the four a little at a time to make the dough. Knead well and springkle the dough with more flour to form a ball with your hands. Place the dough back in the mixing bowl and cover and let rise in a warm place until double in volume.
- Roll the dough onto an oiled board and knead well. Divide the dough into three 10 inch long baguettes. Place the baguettes on an oiled baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal. Sprinkle cornmeal over baguettes. Let rise for ten minutes and bake for about 40 minutes until crisp and brown. Place on rack and serve hot
I like to have a slice with almond butter for a snack.
Grains – Grains will be one of my main sources of protein. I plan to do a lot of experimenting with grains so I am not missing my usual meat based source of protein. I recommend buying quinoa. Its nutty and delicious and you can make it with a variety of vegetables. Cook the grain for 20 minutes and meanwhile saute cut-up asparugus, mushrooms, broccoli, kale etc. whatever you like and serve with quinoa. I will have new grain recipes everyday.
Chick Peas – high source of protein and easy to make. I like mixing the chick peas with some whole wheat pasta, chopped red onion, cut tomatoes, sundried tomatoes, olives, chopped basil – experiment with what you like – make a light dressing of olive oil, white balsamic vinegar and lemon juice. Delicious and satisfying and if you are Italian like me and need your pasta fix – this will work
Pick me up – I made an orange creamsicle smoothie today – yummy and filled me up
1 cup of almond milk
1 navel orange
2 ice cubes
a little vanilla – if you need sweet put in some honey – BLEND
The easiest and most filling thing to make in the morning are some instant rolled oats. I like to get frozen cherries and put the cherries in the microwave for 1 1/2 minutes to thaw and it adds a nice sweetness to the oats. Of course you can add any fruit you want. Also, adding some wheat germ and flax seeds will boost your your antioxidents – Rule #1 – don't skip breakfast. It makes for bad choices all day.
Fruit – have lots of fruit available to munch on.
Will work on some interesting main dishes tonight. Now back to my real job.
Note: Since writing this post back in 2011, I posted a complete vegan grocery list – Hope it helps with your vegan journey!