In this series of articles, I am going to answer questions I find online regarding being new to being vegan or 100% plant based way of eating. If you have your own questions that you would like answered as part of this series, please feel free to contact the website with your questions, or post them on our Facebook support community!
What is your favourite meal? How do you make it?
Without a doubt, it’s vegan alfredo- usually with pasta and vegetables, but sometimes as part of a vegetable bowl. Here is the recipe and steps to make it: Vegan Alfredo. We make this at least a couple times per month.
Burritos and bowls are still mainstays each week. The trick is to switch up sauces a lot - make a lot of different ones (here’s an archive list of our growing sauce repository), and have a variety of grains/greens/veg to throw in. It’s hard to get bored when you have different flavour profiles all the time!
What staples do you keep in your fridge and pantry?
We have mason jars (the large ones) of many different staples. This includes rice, oats, lentils, and many kinds of beans (especially black, pinto, white, chickpeas, and black eyed peas), and assorted whole grains like farro and barley. We also have a bunch of types of nuts and dried fruit (including dates) on hand. Other staples include tahini, nutritional yeast, Tamari, assorted spices, some flours (such as chickpea flour, whole grain flour, etc). For produce we always have assorted greens, avocados, carrots, citrus, apples, oranges and bananas and a few herbs like parsley, mint, cilantro and rosemary. Pretty simple stuff, but I do need to go through and make a big grocery list for sure. I grow a ton of my own produce through spring/summer and early fall.
Do you drink alcohol?
I quit around the time I went vegan. I used to be a fairly heavy drinker. Once I quit I haven’t been sick since, and I used to catch every cold going around. I have zero desire to go back. It was harder to quit alcohol than going whole food plant based, I found.
How do you handle eating out?
This is not too hard, as we have our “known local restaurants” that are vegan friendly. Many of these local restaurants are discovered through a local vegan Facebook community group. If you can find one for your local region, this is often a great spot to find new vegan friendly places to eat. Sometimes regular vegan options are not listed on menus!
We eat out a lot less though. It’s somewhat challenging when someone else is choosing the spot, but this is rare. I will usually check the menu in advance if I can, call the restaurant if there isn’t anything vegan on their menu (or if there isn’t an online menu) to inquire if something can be made. If I cant find out in advance, I often take snacks for after if there isn’t much to eat or pre-eat.
Here is a helpful article about eating out while plant-based, notes from an excellent presentation by Mary McDougall.
What about family and friends gatherings? Do you bring your own food?
This is actually the most challenging aspect of eating this way. We rarely have family gatherings though, which is good in a way - this can be somewhat stressful.
I will almost always pre-eat, and I will try to bring some of my own food by offering to bring something along. Like the eating out above, I will take my own snacks for afterwards, or search for restaurants we can head to afterwards, just in case.
- New Vegan Q&A: Pantry items, alcohol, and eating out - February 17, 2020
- Kale pesto and farro salad with tomatoes, spinach and peas recipe (Oil Free, Vegan) - February 14, 2020
- Oil free Vegan Kale Pesto recipe (SOS-Free option, sunflower seed base) - January 30, 2020