Thinking of going plant-based? Here are a few of my top tips to get started on the path toward embracing a vegan life-path. Already vegan? I have shared great ideas here for cooking up new and different, tasty meals in a flash.
1. Just discovering plant-based meals? My advice: Take it slow. A lifetime of eating habits will not magically change overnight! If you are new to vegan eating, start by serving one vegan, plant-based meal each week for dinner, preparing hardy favorites like veggie chili, vegan lasagna, pasta, stew, or spaghetti with marinara sauce. Check out the "Jazzy Vegetarian Recipes" page for recipes, to get you started.
Stuffed Cabbage is a classic casserole that is super easy to veganize, while still keeping traditional tastes.
2. Whether you are new to plant-based recipes or a dedicated vegan, keeping whole-food, convenience foods close at hand in your pantry makes prepping your food at meal times easier. Staples like jarred, low-fat marinara sauce, canned beans, jarred olives, artichoke hearts and capers, whole grain pastas and dried herb blends make easy work of cooking up tasty casseroles, soups, chili and pasta dishes. Being able to make supper in 30 minutes or less is a plus and I find that having these pantry items on hand helps me to prepare healthy meals in a jiffy!
Making vegan pasta dishes are sure to please even the most discerning diner at your supper table.
3. Spend more time in the produce department at your market. Whether shopping at a giant superstore or local farm market, linger in the produce department to educate yourself on the seasonal vegetables and fruits that are offered in your area. Make a goal of trying at least one new fruit or vegetable per month. For example, if you regularly buy acorn squash during the winter, try other varieties like butternut squash. If you usually go for red delicious apples, try gala or Fuji instead. If you normally purchase baby spinach, try kale, collard greens or Swiss chard for a change of pace. Integrating more varieties of fresh produce into your recipes makes it more colorful, interesting and tasty too!
Roasting cubed winter squash, like the Butternut variety, makes a delicious side dish for almost any meal.
4. Take advantage of all of the wonderful online websites and resources, and if budget permits, purchase a few cookbooks to help make your transition easier. Simply Google the word “vegan” and you will come up with countless options. A few days ago, Dianne Wenz wrote a wonderful article that is chock full of fabulous tips for keeping plant-based prep time to a minimum! Happy Cooking!
Search hundreds of recipes to help you add more vegan, jazzylicious meals to your weekly menu plan!
Homemade veggie burgers are a great way to start!