Maja has been vegan for 8 years now and she did all the beginners mistakes possible. Finally finding a perfect perfect guide for a well balanced diet in The Daily Dozen she can give great advice on how to reduce meat consumption.
Keep in mind that your digestive system may need some time to adjust to new types of food, as new healthy bacteria strains will occupy your gut. Boosting your gut flora, it would be great to consume probiotics while introducing new types of food. Most often you can find them in pharmacies.
Option 1: Oatmeal
For 1 person
Cook briefly ½ cup of rolled oats mixed with 1 cup of water or non-dairy milk (i.e. soya, almond, oat, rice) until desired consistency. After it cools a bit, mix in a desired combination of fruits, berries, nuts and seed. Examples:
- ½ banana, 1 TBS flax seeds, 1 TBS of almonds, 1 TSP cranberries
- 1 pear, 1 TBS flax seeds, 1 TBS of walnuts, 1 TBS of goji berries
- 2 TBS of peanut butter, 1 TBS flax seeds, 1 TBS of cocoa powder, 1 TBS of raisins
- ½ cup of berries (fresh or frozen blueberries, strawberries, raspberries), 1 TBS flax seeds, 1 TBS of cashews, 1 TBS of maple syrup
Option 2: Continental
2 slices of whole grain bread or toast spread with hummus. On top you can add:
- slices of avocado with a little bit of lemon and crushed red pepper flakes;
- fresh tomato slices, fresh basil, balsamic glaze, salt and pepper
- chopped cucumber, chopped tomatoes, chopped olives, chopped fresh parsley, squeeze of lemon juice, salt and pepper
- mix of pumpkin, sunflower, hemp and sesame seeds
Eat with Soya yoghurt.
For 4 people
Option 1: Kohlrabi soup
Heat 1 TBS of oil in a large pot over medium-high heat, sauté 1 onion for 8-10 minutes until tender. Add 1 minced clove of garlic and cook until it's just fragrant. Add 2 kohlrabi bulbs peeled and cut into squares and cook for 2 minutes. Add 2 cups of vegetable stock, 2 cups water, ¾ cup cashews (soaked in water at least 4h), 4 bay leaves, ½ TSP of dried thyme, ⅛ TSP of white pepper and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low to simmer, and cook for 20-25 minutes until kohlrabi is tender. Remove bay leaves.
Using an immersion blender, puree soup until smooth. Season to taste with salt, pepper and dried chili flakes. Serve in bowls with blanched kohlrabi greens and olive oil. Serve with whole grain bread or toast.
Recipe from: veganmiam.com
Option 2: Sweet Potato and Chickpeas salad
Preheat the oven to 220ºC. Cut one large or two small sweet potatoes in small cubes and transfer on one half of a non-stick baking sheet. Peel and slice ½ onion and set aside. Add 1 can of drained chickpeas to the other half of the baking sheet.
In a cup, combine ½ cup of olive oil, ¼ cup of lemon juice, 2 TBS of garlic, 1 TSP of ground cumin, 1 TSP paprika, ¼ TSP of cinnamon, ½ TSP of cayenne, salt, and pepper and mix well.
Pour half of the dressing over the sweet potatoes and chickpeas and mix with your hands until well-coated. Keep the chickpeas and sweet potatoes separated as much as possible.
Scoot the chickpeas toward the sweet potatoes and add the onions to the baking sheet. Make sure everything is spread out evenly.
Bake for 30 minutes, until the sweet potatoes are tender. Use tongs to stir halfway through. Let cool for 20 minutes.
Place 85 g of mixed greens in a large bowl. Top with the roasted chickpeas, sweet potatoes, and onion. Add ¼ cup of fresh parsley and remaining dressing and toss to combine.
Recipe from: tasty.co
Option 3: Minestrone soup
Heat a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Once hot, add 1 TBS of olive oil, ½ chopped onion, and 3 bulbs of minced garlic and stir. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add 2 sliced carrots and 1 cup of green beans (fresh or frozen) and season with salt & pepper. Stir and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until vegetables have softened slightly and have some color.
Add 1 diced zucchini (or 1 bulb of diced kohlrabi), 4-5 chopped sun dried tomatoes, 6 cups of vegetable broth, 2 TSP of basil, 2 TSP of oregano, 1 TBS nutritional yeast, ½ TSP of red pepper flake (optional), 1 cup of green peas and 1 cup of horse bean. Stir to coat.
Increase heat to medium-high and bring soup to a strong simmer. Then reduce heat slightly to medium-low until the soup is simmering but not boiling. Add 2 cups of pasta noodles and stir. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, reducing heat if needed to keep the soup at a simmer.
Reduce heat to low and simmer for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 1 cup of chopped kale or collard greens (or other green) and stir. Cook for another 3-4 minutes to wilt the kale and allow the flavors to meld together. Turn off heat and let rest for a few minutes before serving.
To serve, divide soup between serving bowls and garnish with fresh herbs and vegan parmesan cheese (optional).
Recipe inspired by: minimalistbaker.com
For 4 people
Option 1: Croatian Style Dinner
Mix 1 TBS of tapioca flower, 1 TBS of nutritional yeast, 1 TSP of dried ginger powder, 1 TSP of salt, 1 TBS of sesame oil. After draining and cutting firm tofu to 2 cm cubes add them to the mixture, seal with a lid and mix well until tofu is coated. Bake in the oven at 200ºC for 30-40 minutes, until golden.
Cook 2 peeled potatoes (or sweet potatoes) and 3 peeled carrots until tender. Cook ½ cup of millet after toasting it for a couple of minutes with 1 cup of water and a bit of salt. Mix potatoes, carrots and millet in a bowl, add 1 oat or soya creme, salt and mix with immersion blender.
Cut the broccoli florets and peel and cut the stem. Cook for a couple of minutes or steam until tender. Drizzle with olive oil.
Cook 3 beetroots in their peel for 45min-1h. Peel them and slice them thin. Add you favorite salad dressing ie. olive oil, salt and balsamic vinegar.
Option 2: Lasagne
Cut 2 cups of collard greens into stripes and cook them in boiling water for a couple of minutes. Boil some water and pour them over ½ cup of soy bits. Saute onion and garlic on olive oil in a large sauce pan. Mix in drained soy bits and collard greens and fry for a couple of minutes. Add 2 cups of tomato puree and 2 TSP of mediterranean spice mix, 4 dried tomatoes cut into small bits, 2 bay leaves, 1 TBS of capers, 1 TBS of olives cut into small bits, 1 TBS of smoked paprika, salt & pepper. Simmer for 5-10 minutes until excess water is gone.
In a sauce pan add 3 TBS of olive oil, 2 TBS of flower (gluten free or wholegrain) and 2 cups of plant based milk (soy or oat), salt & pepper. Stir well until thick.
In a lasagna pan start by placing lasagna sheets to cover the bottom, add a layer of bechamel and then a layer of bolognese sauce, then start with pasta sheets again. Make as much layers as you wish. End with pasta covered in bechamel. You can sprinkle with vegan parmesan cheese.
Bake for 30 min at 180ºC (read the instructions on the lasagna sheet box).
Serve with a large bowl of green salad.
*Instead of soy bits you can use any beans like beans, lentils or chickpeas.
*You can also add a layer of grilled zucchini and/or eggplant.