“When we aspire for all beings to be free of suffering, we cultivate a sense of shared humanity…
our world suddenly opens up to all kinds of possiblities”
Welcome to vegan in training day 2. You are officially on the path of living free from animal products for the benefit of people, animals and the world. And if that weren't enough, you are on the fast track to better health, physically and mentally. Today, I want to talk about menu planning and the that dreaded word we vegans hear all the time.. Protein!
Protein should provide 12-15% of total calories per day. To figure out the amount for you, multiple your weight in pounds by 0.5 to calculate the number of grams of protein you should consume per day. Don't get too caught up in this. Contrary to everything you hear, getting enough protein in a vegan diet is not difficult. I average approximately 40-50 grams per day and my energy is limitless. I personally recommend 40-70 grams each day depending on your gender, age and circumstances. If you are an exerciser, your protein needs may increase since resistance training and endurance workouts can rapidly break down muscle protein. Please have your blood work done before you start your vegan diet, and again in a month to see your progress and to make sure you have no iron or vitamin deficiencies.
Also, it is extremely easy for a vegan diet to meet the recommendations for protein even if you are gluten and soy free. Nearly all vegetables, beans, grains, nuts and seeds contain some and often much, protein. I recommend eating a variety of unrefined grains, legumes, seeds, nuts, and vegetables throughout the day especially seeds, nuts and dried fruit for protein boosts.
When you first start out, meal planning will be important. You don't want to get caught being hungry with no idea what to eat. Look over the grocery list I posted yesterday and decide which foods appeal to you and make sure you have a kitchen full of them.
I recommend making a few things at the beginning of the week, so you don't have to come home after a long day and try to cook something. Try making a pot of soup and banana bread or soy muffins to last the week. I also suggest cooking a batch of quinoa and brown rice for the week. Whole grains can last 4-7 days refrigerated and don't lose any of their taste when re-heated.
Make ahead dishes could include
2. 2 cups cooked quinoa
3. 2 cups cooked brown rice
4. Pot of soup like my high protein chickpea tomato & bread soup
5. Optional – baked tortilla chips for topping soups and salads
Here a a sample of a week full of vegan recipes to get you started.
Banana Bread – make enough on Sunday for the week
or Almond yogurt with fesh fruit and slivered almonds
Fresh Fruit or figs (10 dried = 6 grams of protein )
Avocado BLT – Fry some maple tempeh – add lettuce, tomato, avocado and veganaise on whole wheat bread
Cheezy popcorn – sprinkled popped kernels with nutritional yeast for a nutty, salty flavor
15-Minute Black-Bean Soup
1 tsp. olive oil
1/4 cup minced white onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups vegetable stock
2 15-oz. cans black beans, drained
1/4 tsp. cumin
Red pepper flakes, to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste
Chopped avocado for garnish
Cilantro for garnish
In a saucepan over medium heat, saute the onions in the olive oil until softened. Add the garlic and saute for another 2 minutes. Add the vegetable stock and stir to remove any onion or garlic sticking to the bottom of the pan. Add the remaining ingredients. Cook until hot, approximately 5 minutes
Puree using an immersion blender or puree in batches in a traditional blender. Return the soup to the pot and heat for another 4 minutes or until hot. Serve immediately. Top with chopped cilantro and avocado. Another nice satisfying addition is crisp tortilla chips. You can make a batch of these early in the week to add to soups. Heat oven to 400 degrees -Cut tortillas into strips – put on baking sheet – cook in oven until crisp.
Serve with a hearty green salad
Vegan in Training Breakfast
Oatmeal with walnuts, raisins & fresh fruit. Top with maple syrup
Vegan In Training Lunch
Vegan hot dog on whole wheat bun (I like mine Chicago style with white onion, sweet pickle relish, yellow mustard, sport pepper, tomatoes and a kosher dill pickle
Vegan baked beans (try Bush brand)
Vegan in Training Snack
Hummus & Chips
Vegan in Training Dinner
Leafy Green Side (spinach or kale)
Hearty Green Salad
Warmed Quinoa, chopped dates, almonds, nondairy milk poured over
Vegetable Stir-Fry with Leafy Greens served over Brown Rice
Crusty bread with melted Daiya cheddar cheese
Tacos with sauteed Gardein steak strips marinated in lime juice and chilis. Or use portabello mushrooms. Top with guacamole, chopped red onion and cilantro.
Side of brown rice stir-fried with tomatoes, white onion, jalapenos and garlic
Vegan In Training Breakfast
Vegan French Toast
1 cup nondairy milk, 2 tbsp flour, 1 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes, 1 tsp maple syrup, 1 tsp vanilla, pinch nutmeg, 6 slices whole wheat bread – mix all ingredients except bread in a shallow bowl. Dip the bread slices into mixture and cook in a nonstick frying pan until browned on both sides or on a greased cookie sheet in a 400 degree F oven until golden on both sides, turning once (makes 3 servings)
Fresh fruit sprinkles with slivered almonds
Vegan In Training Lunch
Spinach salad with dried cranberries or cherries
Vegan In Training Snack
Vegan In Training Dinner
Sauteed fresh tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes and garlic over whole wheat pasta. Grind some pine nuts for faux parmesan topping.
Italian Salad with artichoke hearts and black olives
Crusty Italian bread
Almond yogurt mixed with granola
Warmed up soup with a side salad or
Hummus sandwich with cucumbers, tomatoes and avocados on pita bread
Mediterranean platter of hummus, baba ganoush, tabouleh, pita bread
Breakfast scramble (saute mushrooms, garlic, dried basil, chopped red chili pepper and serve over warm quinoa. Add tofu and saute for additional protein.
Toast & Fresh fruit
Soba noodles saute with vegetables
Salad toped with nuts
Ordinary Vegan Reuben Sandwich on Whole Wheat Bread served with a side of berries
Warmed up soup with a side salad
If you are craving a hearty meal, try these mash potatoes with mushroom gravy and serve with a slice of Field Roast (vegan roast available at Trader Joes or Whole Foods)
Serve with a leafy green
VEGAN IN TRAINING SNACKS
Almond milk / banana shake with figs
Salsa and black bean dip with baked pita chips
Hummus & pita bread
Nuts & Dried Fruit
Whole wheat bread with almond butter
Banana Bread or Soy Muffins
Here is a new recipe I made for the weekend. Perfect for a cold, cozy day.
- 1 cup basmati white rice
- 1¾ cup water
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- 1 lemon sliced
- olive oil
- coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- 3 cups vegetable stock (or more if needed)
- 1 large carrot, sliced
- 7 ounce package of Beyond Meat Chick'n Strips
- 6 shallots
- 2 tbsp fresh chopped dill or 2 tsp dried (or to taste)
- Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Remove paper and slice shallots. Slice carrot. Toss carrot and shallots with a tsp or two of olive oil. Slice lemons. Place shallots, carrot and lemon slices on a baking sheet in 4oo degree oven for 25 minutes or until soft and carmelized. Ten minutes before done - toss Gardein chicken strips with olive oil, a little lemon juice and a sprinkle of dill. Put on baking sheet with lemons and shallots and cook 10 minutes. Remove baking sheet from oven.
- Bring rice, water, lemon zest and ¼ tsp salt to a boil in a medium saucepan. Stir once, reduce heat to low, and cover. Simmer until rice is cooked and water evaporates, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, and let stand covered, 5 minutes. Fluff with fork.
- Bring vegetable stock to simmer over medium heat. Stir in rice, chicken, lemons, shallots and pan juices, and simmer for a minute or two. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper.
- Divide soup among 4 bowls and top with fresh dill and a little zest.
Congratulation on day 2 of your vegan in training! Don't worry. It gets easier everyday!