Eating a healthy vegan diet isn’t as complicated as you might think with a few key tips you can be on your way to eating a healthy, balanced and delicious vegan diet. The key to eating a healthy vegan diet, or any diet for that matter is to keep it simple. I know that there are a number of great vegan cookbooks and recipes blogs out there with elaborate vegan dishes which can be intimidating. However eating vegan doesn’t have to be complicated; keep it simple and save those more elaborate dishes for parties and weekends when you have more time to fuss over your meal.
What does keeping it simple look like?
- Cook up a whole grain like brown rice, quinoa, kasha, or millet. Some Whole grains take a while to cook so try cooking up a bunch at the beginning of the week and keep it on hand for meals throughout the week. To reheat just add a little water and steam the grains until they are warm and fluffy again or cut up veggies and tofu and sautee with a little oil and add the grain, soy sauce to taste and dash sesame oil to create a great fried rice/whole grain.
- With the whole grains steam up your favorite vegetables and add to a dish. Top with your favorite protein such as tempeh, tofu, beans, nuts or seeds. Then add your favorite condiments such as nama shoyu, sriracha, sesame oil, hot chili oil or balsamic vinegar. A great option is to have a lazy suzanne of condiments on your table which allows you and your family to dress up their meals with the flavors they love.
- For a balanced breakfast that keeps your full and energized mix whole grains, fruits/veggies and protein; try oatmeal with chia seeds, cinnamon and top it with a spoonful of nutbutter and half a banana or my favorite a smoothie with 1 frozen banana, 1/2 cup berries, 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, 1 tablespoon almond butter, 1 cup of baby spinach and 1 tablespoon of Living Harvest Hemp Protein. For a savory breakfast whole wheat couscous with spinach sauteed with garlic and 1/4 cup of beans makes a yummy nutritious breakfast for those who like to keep things savory.
When you keep things simple it only takes a matter of 10 or 15 minutes to make a healthy, nutritious and delicious meal. When you do want to spice things up a bit and try that really great recipe you found take the time to do it when you have the time. Make sure when you are picking recipes look for ones that are low in sugar, fat and other processed ingredients. I also recommend eating organic when possible especially keep in mind the “dirty dozen”http://www.organic.org/articles/showarticle/article-214 the most contaminated vegetables. I know that cost is a concern but a great way to eat organic vegetables for less and support local farms is to find a CSA in your area or visit a local farmers market; you cut out the middle man which lowers the cost to you.