As my first true food-related post, I thought I would share a few meals that I made when I was in the beginning stages of eating plant-based a couple of months ago! The first few days were tough, as I didn’t even know where to begin. I was eating the most boring salads and a lot of raw veggies, fruit, and toast – not the most well-balanced meals. But after looking on pinterest for some ideas and inspiration, I started to get excited about trying new recipes.
One of the first things I made were lentil tacos, and I was so surprised by how delicious they were. Truthfully, I enjoyed them just as much as the beef tacos I had been used to eating my whole life.
I began by cooking the brown lentils by bringing them to a boil and then reducing the heat and covering for about 20 minutes. I then added them to a pan with onions that I had cooked in olive oil, and added taco seasoning. It was as easy as that! My taco meat substitute was ready, and I added simple toppings including tomatoes, lettuce, avocado, and salsa.
These tacos were the perfect meal to help me realize how easy and delicious plant-based cooking can be!
2. Tofu Scramble
Breakfast has to be the most difficult meal when it comes to plant-based eating, as most traditional breakfast items include eggs, bacon/sausage, and a whole lot of dairy. I learned quickly that finding a vegan option when going out for brunch is nearly impossible, unless you go to an actual vegan restaurant. Luckily, making breakfast at home is a little bit easier. Tofu scramble has been one of my go-to breakfasts since switching to plant-based eating, as it’s filling, healthy, and there are so many different variations that you can make. These photos are of the first tofu scramble I ever made, which consisted of sauteed onions, tomatoes, spinach, black beans, medium-firm tofu, and nutritional yeast for an added cheesy-flavour and vitamin B-12! I also sliced up avocados on the side and added a side of salsa for more flavour.
Since then, I have played around with different ingredients, and my current favourite things to add include kale, broccoli, onions, tomatoes, and daiya dairy-free cheese!
3. Vegan BLT
This has become a go-to of mine, because its super easy and makes the perfect light meal. I was never a crazy bacon fan to begin with, but the thought of never being able to add it to a sandwich or breakfast scramble again made me a little sad. But then I tried tofu bacon and my sorrows were washed away. I made my tofu bacon using extra firm smoked tofu, sliced as thin as possible, and then coated with a small amount of maple-flavoured BBQ sauce. I fried in in a pan like you would with regular bacon, until it was crispy to my liking. And that’s it! I then assembled my open-faced BLT starting with mashed avocado, followed by the tofu bacon, tomatoes, and topped with crisp romaine lettuce.
This concludes my segment on easy plant-based meals for beginners! Over the past few months, I’ve gotten a little bit more experimental with cooking, but I will always appreciate simple meals that require minimal time and ingredients. Stay tuned for more!