For years now, I’ve struggled with a super-sensitive belly and digestive system. From the moment I turned 25 my body started going through physical changes which inspired me to be on top of my diet even more. To meet the needs of my sensitive belly and changing body, being plant-based has helped me tremendously. While some days I eat following a completely vegan diet, other days I may have some eggs, dairy, or occasionally fish. No matter what I am eating, keeping a variety of whole foods into my diet has been the absolute key while eliminating processed and fried foods, (not eating meat is by choice although meat use to upset my stomach a lot), and high sugary foods.
While legumes are an excellent source of protein and fiber, I do take it easy as they can be hard on the digestive system when consumed in large amounts. My favorites are black beans and chickpeas, and I’ll have them 1-2x a week. Veggies I have every day. Okay, let me be real, we all have our days when we don’t have a vegetable. When I do have my veggies, I try to fit them into 2-3 meals a day.
An easy when to squeeze vegetables in is to prep a variety of vegetables (like baked zucchini, potatoes (white or sweet), sautéed or steamed broccoli, sautéed peppers and onions, and obviously more but these are the options I’ve mastered at making into delicious meals) as well as to have some raw veggie options like carrots, cauliflower, and celery for dipping into hummus! Having vegetables prepared will increase your likelihood of adding them to meals or even snacking on them. If you're a smoothie person, add a handful of spinach or kale to the smoothie and blend! When adding to meals, it’s suggested that you fill up ½ your plate with vegetables and then add protein, carbs, and healthy fats.
I want to list a few of my favorite “go-to” breakfast and dinner recipes that are plant-based, nutritious, and delicious! They are also quite easy and don’t require a lot of time. However, cooking nutritious meals doesn’t happen in five minutes! You’ll want to give yourself at least 1-2 days a week to prepare some of these foods, this way it is easier to whip up a meal. To heat up prepared foods at home, I always go for heating food up on the stove.
I usually eat breakfast from home, but when I worked really early mornings I would settle on the microwave for my breakfast and sometimes lunch. Often for lunch, I’ll try my best to bring something that can be eaten at room temperature or cold to reduce my use of the microwave. But hey, sometimes you have to use the microwave.
If you're looking to bring some plant based foods into your diet, and increase those veggies, try these simple and quick plant-based recipes
Tofu w/ shiitake, onions & peppers
With a side of toast or sweet potatoes
Firm tofu (or eggs if you prefer), shiitake mushrooms, onions, and peppers (I buy them frozen)
Turmeric, black pepper, everything but the bagel seasoning or just salt
Paper towels or cheesecloth to squeeze out any residual water from the tofu and to mash up the tofu into a scramble-like consistency.
Heat a frying pan, and cook the onions and peppers first until brown.
Chop up the shiitake mushrooms and throw them in there, too.
(I tend to cook a good amount of mushrooms peppers and onions at a time so that each morning I have come precooked to heat up on the stove).
When the veggies start to brown, throw the tofu in and let that brown up a bit too about 5 minutes or so (or eggs instead if that's your thing).
Make some toast or have some baked potatoes ready.
After the five minutes, add some turmeric powder (a little goes a long way), and black pepper to the scrambled tofu and veggies and add the remaining seasoning
Voila, a delicious breakfast
Trying to have something quick?
Avocado toast with some hemp seeds, black pepper, and a side of baked veggies (have prepped for a quick fix!)
Another quick delicious & nutritious breakfast
Oatmeal cooked with soy milk (or plant milk)
You can add whatever fruits you like! Sometimes I’ll even add turmeric but not always.
Some fruits I like to add are berries, kiwi, and bananas! But add what you like
Baked zucchini, my favorite, is made delicious by:
Preheat oven to 425,
slice zucchinis into rectangles or circles
Coat with some olive oil, mix in garlic powder, onion powder, and nutritional yeast
Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes
You can also mix up the veggies for the above dishes!
Go crazy and add whatever vegetables you love.
Roasted chickpeas, rice, peppers and onions, avocado and/or tahini dressing
Roasted chickpeas are made by adding some oil to a pan and roast until brown
season with turmeric, cumin, pepper, and salt
Add to cooked rice with veggies (again, option to switch the veggies for something else, but for this I just like peppers and onions), add avocado/tahini/hot sauce (or hey, all of it)
Baked zucchini (or veggies of choice), grilled tofu slices (seasoned with turmeric, salt, and pepper), baked sweet potato w/ tzatziki dressing makes a macro-friendly and delicious meal as well
There you have it, some simple but filling and delicious plant-based meals! They happen to be my go-to meals. You can spend money on pre-cooked foods or you can take a little extra time out of your day to prepare some healthy meals for yourself or your family. Precooked foods often (but not always) are loaded with sodium, oils, and calories while preparing your own foods gives you control over what is actually going on yours and your family's plates.
I hope this was helpful and inspires you to get cooking a little more than often! Tell me what you think by sending me an email. More recipes coming soon!