Transition to Vegan: Tip #1

Today begins a series of posts that will discuss some of the things that come up when transitioning to a vegan (or raw or other new type of) diet.

One thing that I find is that sometimes people are so thrilled about what they are doing and want to jump right into it, they quickly become overwhelmed. So many meals… breakfast, lunch, and dinner…. that’s alot of new ideas to come up with. New groceries to buy, new preparation techniques, and new utensils, all being juggled with family and work and other activities. Whew.

One way to help ease the overwhelm :-) is to turn your ideas into multi-meals. And by that I’m not necessarily talking about leftovers, but preparing items that can be used as a part of another meal. Here are some examples ~

This week, I wanted to prepare a very special meal, and I made spiralized zucchini with sage lemon sauce (Sarma’s recipe), and it looked something like this:

sage-lemon-pasta

The recipe made lots of sauce, so I used some of it the next day to make a raw herbed zucchini soup (I blended zucchini with about a cup of the sage lemon sauce, fresh and dried herbs, water and some spices), which was wonderful. Since sauces last several days, I will use the bit I have left as salad dressing tomorrow (the sauce thinned out with some water or nut milk).

triple-chili-bowl

Then, I made some roasted veggies – cut up root veggies roasted with spicy paprika, turmeric, garlic, and cayenne – and I had some of those left over, so I used them the next day in a chili-type of soup.

You can also make large batches of a grain such as rice and use that in multiple meals. It can be a side dish one day, with some added herbs and spices, and any left over can be used in some fried (sauteed!) rice with lots of veggies the next day. And if you have any left over after that, it can be heated with some nut milk, fruit and spices, and turned into rice pudding.

blackened-tempeh-1

You can broil or bake some tempeh or tofu for one meal, and then turn the remainder into tempeh or tofu salad (crumble it up with some savory cashew cream, herbs and spices):

IMG-20120814-00406

By using “creative leftovering”, you can enjoy a variety of dishes without having to create multiple meals from scratch.

It’s also a great way to actually want to eat the food we have… when you’re staring at that bowl of roasted veggies in the fridge, thinking “Once was really enough”, using them in a completely different dish can help curb the tendency (whether it’s followed through or not) to toss/compost/or otherwise dispose of it.  Did you know that nearly half of the world’s food is thrown away?

I’d love to hear your ideas for other ways to creatively reimagine your meals!

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5 thoughts on “Transition to Vegan: Tip #1

  1. JGD I like the idea to make more of something than needed for 1 meal. It is also a great way to minimize cooking time, works great with salad dressings, spreads, crackers, broth, my own spices, etc.This belongs to an ancient way of preparing staple foods. I used to watch it as a kid, when I was allowed hanging out in the kitchen of all our neighbors in the village. JL

  2. Pingback: Transition to Vegan: Tip #2 | Kelli's Vegan Kitchen

  3. Pingback: Super Bowl Par-tay (featuring Sriracha Butternut Hummus) | Kelli's Vegan Kitchen

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