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|Nourishing foods when you can't cook?
Posted By Mary
I finally found the motivation I needed to become vegan (after thinking about it for a long time) when I was diagnosed with food allergies to Dairy, eggs, soy and tree nuts. Eating a balanced diet that provides all the nutrients I need still requires a bit of meal planning. So what foods do you rely on when you are sick (or overwhelmed or stressed for other life reasons) and need good nourishing food the most?
Congratulations on going vegan! That's wonderful. Sometimes food allergies can provide that extra necessary kick in the pants to make us change. I hope you're feeling better on your new diet. You're right, though--special diets require a fair amount of planning at the beginning. Once you incorporate enough meals into your repertoire, shopping, prepping and cooking will just get easier and easier.
There are really three that I get fast, nourishing food:
1.) Get takeout or order in. It's more expensive, of course, and takeout packaging is super wasteful. But if you're super pressed for time or not well, it can be a lifesaver. Miso soup and rice or Chinese veggie soup with noodles or rice do my tummy well when I don't feel my best.
2.) Plan ahead. A 3-hour block of time on a Sunday night can give you 2-3 dishes to nosh from during the upcoming busy week. Don't have time/energy to plan 2-3 dishes? Fine. Stick with one but double it and put the rest in the freezer. I'm on a film festival deadline this week and was delighted today when I remembered that I had an extra portion of lentil stew in the freezer. Instant lunch for 3 more days. If you do this every week, you'll have a freezer full of extra goodies.
3.) Keep it simple. Here are a few things that I slap together when I don't have time:
-Heat up an Amy's Beans and Rice Burrito and top it with Tofu sour cream. You can top with guacamole to make it soy-free.
-Quinoa and rice. Make quinoa in my rice cooker. While that's going, chop up some onions and garlic, sautee in a little olive oil. Add canned black beans and cook for 5-10 mins. Season as you like. Put it on top of quinoa. Add guacamole if you have it.
-Hummus and veggie wrap. Slather hummus on a whole wheat tortilla or flatbread, add veggies.
-Kale and kraut sandwich. Steam some kale or collards for 7 minutes. Toast some bread. Slather one side of toast with dijon mustard, slather the other with tahini. Put the greens on the sandwich with some (drained and squeezed) sauerkraut. Sounds gross, tastes great.
-Pesto pasta with sundried tomatoes and greens. If you have a blender, making pesto is a cinch. Instead of pine nuts or walnuts, you can use sesame seeds or pumpkin seeds. Add basil, olive oil, nutritional yeast, and a tiny bit of salt to taste. To save time during pasta prep, I put my chopped up greens (kale or spinach) in a strainer over the boiling noodles, which will naturally steam the greens.) I chop up some sundried tomatoes, drain the pasta, add the pesto, and presto! Instant dinner. I sprinkle Parma! on it, but you can make your own vegan parmesan by lightly toasting sesame seeds, and adding them to the blender with an equal part of nutritional yeast and mix. Add a little salt. Mix again. Put on your pasta
-CSA Pizza. I belong to a Community Supported Agriculture program that fills my fridge with healthy, organic veggies. I take a tortilla, put some store-bought pizza sauce on it, cut up some veggies and olives and top with Daiya mozzarella style shreds. Bake at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes.
Those are some of my fallbacks. Let's see what the other Vegans at Heart come up with.
Thanks so much for reaching out and congrats again on making the leap. Yay, you!
Posted By Admin