Eating a plant based diet is both satisfying and healthy. These days it is easier than ever to find recipes for delicious dishes that are low in salt, oil, and sugar and that contain no animal products. Though you can certainly fill your pantry with uncommon ingredients like hemp seeds and goji berries, you can enjoy wonderful plant based meals using fairly common, inexpensive ingredients, too.
Many people think a diet based on plants does not have enough protein. In fact, one of the most common questions posed to people who do not consume animal products is "Where do you get your protein?" There are many sources of protein in the plant world, so consuming enough protein throughout the day is not a problem. There is no artery-clogging cholesterol in plants, so eating a plant based diet is perfect for keeping your heart healthy.
Another common concern often voiced is that meal choices are too restricted if you do not eat animal products, and one of the biggest challenges many people have when transitioning to a plant based diet is trying to replace old favorites. You can convert just about any animal-based dish to a vegan dish. After a while, you will forget about the conversions and just start enjoying all of the fabulous food you CAN eat based on plants.
This is the first of a series of suggestions for new ways to look at menu choices. The meal for today is breakfast. Some days there is only time for toast and nut butter or a bowl of cereal - maybe Rip's Big Bowl engine2diet.com/r
On mornings when you can spend more time in the kitchen, enjoy vegan versions of this classic American meal.
Instead of bacon and eggs or variations thereof, try:
Seitan Bacun from The Gentle Chef freefromharm.org/
Fork & Beans Scrambled Tofu
Tofu Scramble from Isa Chandra Moskowitz (don't use oil) www.theppk.com/20
Down Home Tofu Scramble with Sweet Smokey Tempeh Strips from the book "Going Vegan" by Joni Marie Newman www.chicvegan.com
Believable Vegan "Bacon" from Miyoko Schinner (It's great on BLT's, too.) www.vegkitchen.co
Mini Crustless Tofu Quiche is a perfect grab and go breakfast. Thanks to Susan Voisin for the recipe! blog.fatfreevegan
If you are really hungry, go for a full English breakfast mouthwateringvega
You can make your own sausage instead of buying it. Try chubbyvegetarian.
Here's another version of the full English breakfast from Katherine Lawrence media.wix.com/ugd
For special occasions, many people like to have Eggs Benedict. Just because you have chosen to eat a plant based diet, you do not have to go without. Have M Cafe's Vegan Benedict for a special treat thekindlife.com/b
Pancakes do not have to be laden down with eggs and butter. Grab the maple syrup to use on one of these.
Miyoko Schinner included the Classic Pancake and Biscuit Mix in her book "The Homemade Vegan Pantry." It is great to have on hand for spur of the minute breakfast yumminess francostigan.com/
Mary McDougall's Fluffy Pancakes are surprisingly light and tender blog.fatfreevegan
Larry and Ann Wheat were the long-time owners of the Millennium Restaurant in San Francisco. Every Sunday morning Larry makes these pancakes. They are so good that Dr Esselstyn included the recipe in his book, Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease. Here is the recipe for Larry's Sunday Buckwheat Pancakes sneakyvegan.blogs
For a savory pancake, try the Jumbo Chickpea Pancake from Angela Liddon ohsheglows.com/20
Grits are plant based to begin with, but they are usually accompanied by eggs and sausage and drowned in butter. These versions are accompanied by veggies, scrambled tofu, or left to shine on their own.
Bryant Terry included this recipe for Savory Grits with Slow Cooked Collard Greens in his book "Afro Vegan." Be sure to leave out the oil when you make it. www.seriouseats.c
Tal Ronnen and Art Smith created this recipe for Creamy Grits with Roasted Mushrooms. It definitely needs some tweaking to reduce the fat content, but it can still be amazingly delicious.
Isa Chandra Moskowitz created Blackened Scrambled Tofu and Garlicky Grits. It originated in Brooklyn but definitely has a Southern twist. www.theppk.com/20
Helyn Dunn created perfect and simple Creamy Yellow Grits www.helynskitchen
Here are a few breakfast recipe collections to give you more ideas:
As you can see, the only limits posed by a plant based diet are limits of the imagination. Have fun creating wonderful, healthy meals!
Coming soon: What's For Lunch?