Making it Easy

As a Pea Pod I am vegan always and forever, it’s in my nature to be so, but this week I attended a meal planning class for my human fellas and WOW! I learned a lot about how fun and easy it really is to eat a healthy cruelty-free diet! Here are a notes I adapted from the awesome Jacksonville Health and Wellness nutrition class this past Sunday given as part of No Meat March 🙂

First of all, Dr. Repole says when trying to remember what the heck you’re supposed to eat, just remember the “Seven S’s” – Smoothies, Sandwiches/Wraps, Salads, Salad Dressings, Soups, Sorbets and (S)ereal – along with Grains and Legumes of course. See look at all of your options already! Here’s the breakdown, as I understood it:

STEWS/SOUPS

Mmmmm soup! Use a base of water, carrot juice, tomato sauce or veggie broth. Add onions, leeks, garlic, shallots or scallions – your choice! Then add green leafy veggies, spices, beans and grains… Be creative or google for ideas, it’s hard to mess up! Slurp up the reward, ah heavenly soup 🙂

SORBETS AND ICE-CREAM

Sooooooo apparently you can freeze a bunch of fruits, blend those babies up with plant based milk or soaked cashews for fattiness and it becomes a blended health food?! whaaat?! Ice Cream for dinner hollaaaa

SMOOTHIES & JUICING:

Dude/Dudette, you can’t mess this up. Your blender is your new best friend. Even if you go back to your old eating habits after this month, please keep this new habit of a fresh smoothie for breakfast. Its SO easy and SO healthy. Use your frozen banana pieces for the coldness and some spinach or kale for the healthness, and add whatever floats your boat just go with it!!! It will be delicious you can’t mess it up. First time? 1 cup water/juice/soymilk, 1 big handful spinach, 1 frozen banana, 1 tablespoon almond butter, 1 tablespoon flaxseeds/chia seeds, plus some extra fruit you have layin around, bam you got a smoothie. Every. Day.

SANDWICHES:

Mkay so apparently if you’re into being super duper healthy bread from the store is just plain not fresh, especially in those plastic bags! Work with whatcha got, but the new cool sandwich when you are ready involves using a big ol lettuce leaf or collard leaf or swiss chard leaf or freakin kale leaf or any big old leaf. Take your big leaf and spread it with your schmear of the day – guacamole or hummus or vegenaise. If your leaf is all ornery you can steam it or trim the stem. Layer with shredded or chopped or sauteed or grilled or steamed vegginess. Don’t forget about beans and rice. Wrap it all up like a little baby and nom nom nom!!!!

 “S”EREAL:

Your new breakfast! Not processed food from a box. Have a bowl of fresh fruit with added nuts or seeds. Puree fruit with nuts or seeds. Make yummy steel cut oatmeal with nuts or seeds. Cook any ding dang grains and add some fruits, nuts or seeds! Delicious and simple.

SALADS:
You can have the traditional leaves and sliced veggies with homemade dressing, or make it deliciously fancy by chopping it all up in a stainless steel bowl with a pizza cutter! Add fun grains like quinoa or some beans for texture. Grate or shred carrots and cucumbers. Never eat a boring salad, you deserve better! Oil is not recommended unless you’re in a restaurant, it’s tastier to follow these guidelines for making healthy dressing (food on top of food!):

WATER plus FLAVOR plus FATTINESS plus ACIDITY/SALTY/SWEET:

-Flavor: Garlic, Onion, Fruit, Mustard, Herbs, Spices, Nutritional Yeast

-Fattiness: Almond butter, nuts/seeds, avocado, tahini

-Acidity: Lemon, Orange, Vinegar

-Salt or Sweetness to taste

Example Recipe: Dijon Pistachio Dressing/Dip

Ingredients: 2/3 cup of water, ½ cup of pistachio nuts (raw), 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of flax seeds, 1 teaspoon of mustard, 1 garlic clove, 1-2 dates.

Blend all ingredients in a high powered blender until smooth and creamy!

LEGUME DISHES

Don’t forget yo beans!!! Also get used to sensitive people that be calling beans “legumes.” It’s the new cool thing just let them do what they do.

•         Beans and Rice

•         Beans Drenched over a Baked Potato

•         Hummus Sandwich: Whole grain bread or lettuce leaf with hummus, tomatoes and avocado

•         Bean Burrito: Use Kale Leaf or Whole Grain Burrito with black beans, tomatoes, onions, avocado, shredded lettuce and salsa

•         Vegetarian Chili

•         Bean burger

•         Tofu/Tempeh/Edamame – It’s all soy beans in a natural healthful form

GRAIN DISHES

•         “Pasta” with fresh tomato sauce, garlic and steamed vegetables

•         Barley and Mushroom Soup

•         Quinoa:  Add kale and beans when 2/3 done. Sauté mushrooms, onions and garlic. Top quinoa with sauté and fresh basil.

•         Whole Grain Rice and Beans

•         Vegetable Sushi: Rice, Carrot, Asparagus, Avocado Roll 😀

SNACKS

•         Fruit – Nature’s “To-Go” food!

•         Hummus and Carrots

•         Nut Schmears & Fresh Veggies

•         Mini Meals of everything mentioned

•         Homemade Trail Mix

•         Ice cream and Sorbet

•         Gourmet Breads

•         Coconut Butter and Dates

I hope this has made things easier for you in planning your meals, it sure did for me! There really is a bountiful abundance of plant based food for us to eat on this planet, especially with all the choices that us Americans are so lucky to have in our grocery stores and farmer’s markets! Did you know bananas can only grow in 1 U.S. State? We are truly blessed to have so many fruits and veggies to choose from and it’s easier than we think to combine these foods to create fantastic meals. Thank you again to Jacksonville Health and Wellness for the nutrition class and thanks to my No Meat Marchers for reading. Peace 🙂

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