It’s an unfortunate common misconception that cooking vegan meals is difficult and the result doesn’t taste good. Potential vegans worry that they won’t like this lifestyle, even if it’s better for them and the planet. Set these worries aside. While everyone occasionally struggles to create delicious meals, vegans don’t face this hardship any more than anyone else. You can go vegan and still make delicious food.
However, there are some helpful vegan meal formulas for easy and delicious eating. Beginners especially love using these as they adjust to a vegan lifestyle. Here are some easy vegan meals you can prepare.
The first step to building a vegan meal is to find an alternative protein source. While you can get protein from some grains, such as quinoa, finding a plant-based protein source, such as legumes or nuts, is best. Choosing a legume or nut, or both, allows you to mix your protein sources with starches or grains, which is part of the meal formula discussed below.
You don’t need protein in every meal. Roughly 10% of your daily 2,000 calories should come from protein. However, if you have problems staying full after meals that don’t contain protein, you may want to add more protein to your diet.
Starch or Grain
Some starches and grains overlap, but not all of them do. Regardless of the overlap, starches and grains can make your meal more delicious and filling. Common vegan starches are pasta and potatoes, while common vegan grains are rice and millet. Whole grains contain more nutrients than processed grains, but all grains can have a place in your vegan diet. The same is true for starches. Choose a starch or grain that compliments your chosen protein, and then get ready to add vegetables.
While you can add a starchy vegetable to your plate of plant-based protein and starch or grain, you’ll get more variety if you choose a non-starchy vegetable. You can cook your chosen vegetable or leave it raw, depending on your desired flavor and texture. Consider steaming harder vegetables to preserve their flavor and texture while softening them.
The science of steaming includes various methods and techniques that help you get the most out of your vegan meal. Broccoli, carrots, eggplants, mushrooms, peppers, and tomatoes are all popular non-starchy vegetables that you can include in your meal. Some of these vegetables have the added benefit of additional protein, and you can use them as your protein source if you want. However, the more plant-based proteins and vegetables you include in your meal, the greater the variety compared to using one food item for both categories.
Technically, the three categories we described above are all you need to create a vegan meal. Including delicious additions such as berries, spices, and vegan sauces will help improve the flavor of your meal and add more variety. You can make or buy vegan sauces such as vegan pesto, tzatziki, and peanut sauce.
Beginners will love preparing these easy vegan meals. While you don’t have to follow this formula perfectly, using a combination of proteins, starches or grains, vegetables, and delicious additions will give you a diverse meal that packs flavor into every bite.