Preparing for the 7-Day Vegetarian Challenge
May 29 marks one year that I have been eating an all plant based diet. That one year is with the exception of a week when I tried adding dairy back into my diet. That didn’t go so well.
I’ve researched my questions and hesitations, tired the different types of vegetarian diets, tried new foods, experienced the benefits, and have decided that a plant based is the diet for me. I hesitate to say forever because you never know, but it’s difficult to imagine going back to a diet that includes meat and/or dairy.
Sunday Jen (Marathon Mom) and I announced a low key no pressure 7-Day Vegetarian Challenge. We will share recipes, tips and menu ideas throughout this week and during the week of the challenge.
Time Saving Tips
Use what you have on hand. When choosing recipes and/or making a grocery list check your refrigerator and pantry to see what you have on hand including extra veggies from previously made recipes to make a quick soup or salad.
When preparing a recipe cook extra grains. The leftovers are great for a easily preparing a rice bowl, to add to soup or to go with a stir fry.
Prepare extra beans, chickpeas and lentils. Can be easily added to a variety of easy to prepare meals.
Keep it simple. Some of the best meals are combinations of one or two veggies, a grain or rice, and a little seasoning.
Make extra. Keep in mind the recipes that would work well as leftovers. Leftovers can be stored in the fridge or frozen in individual servings for quick future meals.
Save time by not over chopping. At one time I had a tendency to over chop when in fact the larger bite-sized pieces were often preferable.
Steam instead of boil. Any vegetable that you would normally boil, including potatoes and corn-on-the-cob, can be quickly steamed. Steaming is faster because you don’t have to wait long for a pot of water to come to a boil.
Cool food quickly with cold water. When a recipe calls for an ingredient to be cooled before adding place a pot or bowl containing hot food in a larger container of cold water or a sink partially filled with cold water. The heat quickly conducts out of the food and into the water. Cooling hot foods in the refrigerator or freezer takes much longer than water cooling.
Stock Your Pantry
Keep vegetarian foods on hand that will provide energy, nutrients and can be used as substitutes for non-vegetarain food products. I’m not suggesting you go out and buy everything on this list. It’s a list of vegetarian staples that I use most often to keep in mind.
Grains and Pastas
buckwheat (raw or toasted)
pasta (whole wheat or brown rice)
rice (basmati, brown, black, jasmine, wild, sticky, white, arborio, etc.)
Beans and Legumes (canned or dried)
butter beans (large lima beans)
garbonzo beans (chickpeas)
lentils (red & green)
brown rice syrup
maple syrup (grade b)
hot sauce (sriracha is a favorite)
liquid braggs (I was introduced to this by the Engine 2 Diet. It works amazingly well for adding flavor to recipes.)
low sodium tamari
nutritional yeast (One of the best foods ever!)
nut butter (Peanut, almond, and sunflower are my most often used.)
red wine vinegar
rice wine vinegar
silken tofu (good for dressings, egg substitutes, smoothies, etc.)
stone ground mustard (great in marinades and salad dressings)
tahini (for making hummus and dressings)
vegan worcestershire sauce
Nuts and Seeds
sunflower seeds (raw)
I don’t have one favorite and the recommended list is long. My recommendation is to always have your favorites on hand and try new ones often.
The challenge officially starts on April 22. Watch for final challenge details and prize sponsors to be announced on April 21.
Click the image above to sign up!
If you have any questions feel free to email me at email@example.com or Jen firstname.lastname@example.org