So you don’t have enough time to be vegan? Too busy to do all the prep work and everything involved in creating fresh, wholesome food? Won’t watch the films because you don’t have time to change your whole life right now?? (you know who you are! you told me so!) All joking aside… it does take more time to be vegan. True statement. Vegans eat mostly fresh, plant-based food (vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds) and things that require cooking (grains, pastas, noodles, etc.). Sure, you can buy a processed microwave-ready version of some of these foods- but to me, that’s worse than being a non-vegan! No offense. :)
In the four months we’ve been vegan, I’ve discovered a few things that have made the lifestyle easier and saved me time in the kitchen (I love to cook, but no one wants to be a slave to the kitchen!). :) I’m going to share these in a 5-part blog series, starting today with meal planning and moving on to grocery shopping, stocking your kitchen, food preparation and leftovers!
1. Meal planning. Every Monday I decide on a meal plan for the week. I cook anywhere from 3-5 meals at home each week, depending on what we have going on. I always plan for 5, and then if we don’t end up cooking at home all of those nights, I already have the ideas and ingredients for next week! If I can’t think of things to cook (I’m usually looking on Pinterest and through my vegan cookbooks), I resort to my meal planning calendar. These are just prompts, such as Mondays = soup/stew and salad, Tuesdays = Asian cuisine, Wednesdays = Mexican cuisine, Thursdays = sandwich/panini and salad, Fridays = pasta or pizza. This helps jog my brain for ideas and ensures variety. I write down my meal plan in my planner (I’m never without it!), and sometimes I’ll even indicate which night I’m going to make it next to the meal so that it’s totally brain-less during the week. As I find my 5 recipes for the week, I make a shopping list with the items needed for each meal. This is my favorite part- because I LOVE LISTS. :) I have an app on my iPhone called “ShoppingList”- pretty self-explanatory. I’ve created lists for each store I shop at- Sprouts, Costco, Target, Home Depot. I even have two lists for Sprouts- one for items I buy on a weekly basis, and one I call “extra” ingredients for items I need only for the recipes I’m making that week. Stay tuned for the next post and I’ll share with you my weekly grocery shopping list- the 20 or so items I buy every single week (mostly fruits and veggies!). And if you can’t think of recipes to include in your meal plan every week, I share mine on the T&L Facebook page every Monday! :)
Stay tuned for…
2. Grocery shopping
3. Stocking your kitchen
4. Food preparation