Simple recipes and a balanced diet?

Molly

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Hey guys!

I'm new to veganism in that I have only just started eating entirely vegan a few days ago. I did however, cut out eating boiled/scrambled/fried/etc. eggs a long time ago, as well as drinking cows milk. I was still consuming dairy products as an ingredient in other foods though. This was, I guess, the start of my transition.

I have been vegetarian my entire life, which is almost 20 years of never eating meat! (something I am proud of!)
But as someone who truly and deeply loves animals, when I learnt that veganism existed I was desperate to make the full transition.

ANYWAY, long story short:

I tried going vegan just over a year ago and really struggled with cravings and being hungry, so eventually caved. (this was obviously due to me not doing enough research on foods I could eat).

Now here I am, with even more will-power to make the change. BUT, when searching through YouTube and checking out other people's meal plans and recipes, I've been finding that so many of the meals seem so time-consuming, extravagant and... faffy? Of course I am willing to put time in but I seem to be a rather picky-eater. I do like a decent amount of veg and I LOVE fruit but everything I see people making just seems very... I don't know, exotic? Haha.

I'm aware I need to broaden my horizons when it comes to food if I want to eat a healthy, balanced vegan diet. So any suggestions on foods/recipes I could check out would be great!

Also, I have been putting my food diary into a site online that counts the carbs, proteins, fats etc. that you're eating and mine was greatly carbohydrates!! :( Any tips on cutting down on those? I've seen some great recipes involving pasta and potatoes, wish I could just live on those!

Again, links, recipes, recommendations and advice would be great!

Best,

An utter vegan newbie
 

Goth Pop

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Fruits, vegetables, nuts and berries. Eat them all!
 

Jamie in Chile

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More snacks - fruit and nuts.
Simple meals - veggie burger and chips, rice+ veg, pasta +veg, noodles +veg. Add a few beans to any of these. Cereal, toast. Heck, just chips in the oven and then get some bread and butter and there you have a vegan meal (as long as the butter is vegan of course). So, find a balance of easy stuff and proper recipes.
 

Drew

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Hi Molly,

Having a macro nutrient intake ratio of mostly carbs is common in a lot of vegans' diets. One way to adjust this is to lower your carb intake down a little bit and up the protein intake.

For carbs, I would eat more what I call "satisfying carbs" such as quinoa, oats, and sweet potatoes. I call them satisfying carbs because it takes less carbs with these foods to satisfy me as opposed to other carb sources. For example, I can have a big bowl of oats (using 1 full cup of dry oats), which is 50-60g of carbs and be super satisfied and full off of that. Or I can eat 3 slices of wheat bread, similar 50-60g of carbs depending on the brand and type, and not really be satisfied at all and still hungry.

Jacking up your protein can be done in multiple ways. My favorite whole food sources of plant protein are lentils, split peas, black beans, and some of the imitation meats by Beyond Meat. I also like the "porkless bites" by Gardein too, but most Gardein products I would not recommend.

Things to look out for: Lentils, Split Peas, and Black beans are a decent source of protein and fiber, however they also come with carbs(fiber included in the carb count). They're not a pure protein source. They typically have a 1:2 or 1:3 Protein to Carbs ratio. I like the fake meats because they re satisfying and they're mostly protein, minimal carbs and fats depending on which one you buy. Make sure to always look at the nutrition label on them to see. Also I recommend consuming the fake meats that use primarily pea protein as opposed to soy and wheat gluten.

Another very easy, convenient, and usually delicious way to get pure protein with minimal carbs and fats is using a vegan protein powder to make fruit smoothies with! I make one with 2 handfuls of broccoli, 1 banana, and a scoop of Real Pro Life vanilla vegan protein powder. It sounds like it would taste nasty but its actually pretty good. You get a small amount of sugar carbs from the banana, but you get potassium. You also get Vitamins C and A from the broccoli as well as folate. Vegan protein smoothies are good to have as a meal replacement or something on the go for convenience.

I hope this helps. If you have any questions feel free to ask. Best wishes!
 

Emma JC

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KIS - keep it simple

I have to keep this short because my steel cut oats are cooking... lol (steel cut oats with golden berries and frozen cranberries in the pot and going to be topped with walnuts, flax meal, berries)

When we started this journey 8 months ago, I also was making fancy recipes and it took a lot of time and energy and brain power and weird ingredients in the grocery cart.

Now we keep it simple. Oil free sprouted breads, whole grain pasta, sweet potatoes, white potates, lots of beans of all types, bananas, berries, avocado, all veggies, greens, occasional pizza with whole grain crust.... rarely buy any processed foods.

So keep it simple and enjoy the wonderful whole foods (fresh or frozen), good luck, Emma JC
 

Mark Mywordz

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Hi Molly
I only cook ONE meal every 3 to 6 days. I have a superbig saucepan (Ikea have them and Argos in UK) and if I am cooking just for me the one meal is enough for 6 days or more.
Breakfast and lunch are not cooked. Muesli or porridge for breakfast with lots of nuts and seeds added. Lunch is wraps with peanut butter or houmous and lots of baby spinach or other greens (rocket, watercress etc.).
I only cook for my evening meal. That consists of veggie curry with beans and all the Mediterranean veggies (peppers, courgette, aubergine, onion, tinned or fresh tomatoes etc.) and any veg that I fancy or which is on offer. I always cook 6 to 8 portions and freeze most of it. Even without a freezer the fridge keeps stuff fresh for 3 days. I also cook ratatouille, bean goulash, thick veg soup, veg and bean chilli and skinny spag bol with TVP or beans. All of these are one pot meals. Just chop it all up, throw it in the saucepan and cook for 30 minutes on a low heat. I put beans with all the evening meals and often add spinach at the end of cooking.
My dessert is always fruit and/or vegan yoghurt. I eat plenty 3 times a day and don't have snacks. If I get hungry I make a pot of coffee - very healthy and the hunger disappears. That's it. Just cook one simple one pot meal every week. OR cook 3 meals (that's 6 to 8 portions of 3 recipes and then don't cook for 3 weeks! I get most of my recipes from the BBC Good Food website. And the best of it is that I don't put on weight! Usually I prefer to have more of the curry without any rice or any of the big carbs. But sometimes I have chips, rice etc.
 

Mark Mywordz

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You asked for simple recipes, Molly. Here's one. Jeanie was a friend of mine.
Jeannie’s Soup
1 parsnip
1 large onion
1 large carrot
broccoli – 1 shop bought bunch
2 medium potatoes (1 sliced, 1 cubed)
4 oz mushrooms
handful red lentils
1 tin chickpeas
bouquet garni (parsley, thyme, bay leaf)
1 stock cube and/or marmite, soy sauce
1½ - 2 pints water
Chop it all up and cook for 20-30 minutes