It has been a few months since my husband and I adopted vegan lifestyle and I thought an update on our daily menu would be nice. My first post was looking way too fancy and to be honest, nothing of this is happening in our everyday life. First, who has so much time for this? And second, it can get expensive. Here are our current basic menu and pantry staples to give you some ideas. You can make veganism as expensive as it can be or prove that vegan can be very affordable and actually save you some money.
My main mantra in our family is that we try to minimize our food waste (it is absolutely hard to do when everything is wrapped in plastic but at least we recycle most of it), keep meals simple and healthy. So I tend to use up what I have first before buying anything new. Here are my samples:
Breakfasts: overnight oats, granola or protein shakes. Those are our to go breakfast choices. We always have frozen berries, oatmeal, non-dairy milk, nuts and chia seeds on hand. If I don’t have time to eat at home, you can see me making a coffee and a simple protein shake to go. Ninja Nutri version is absolutely wonderful – no mess, no cleaning up and super fast. For me, it is usually a handful of whatever frozen berries are on hand, some greens, non-dairy milk and a scoop of chocolate vanilla vegan protein mix (we buy ours at Costco).
You can definitely play with lunch options. Examples: salads, quinoa bowls, sweet potatoes, roasted veggies and rice bowls, burritos and soups. Just countless options. We often order lunch at the office so I scan the menus for vegan or at least vegetarian options and then customize it over the phone to eliminate cheeses that they often add. I still miss that taste but a couple times when I tried eating it, it left me feeling bloated. My favorite is a local Thai place that has an extensive vegan menu that I am a big fan of.
Dinners: are pretty much similar to lunches. Although, we like to explore with making different pastas, tacos, soups, stews, stir fries etc. Something that can require a little bit more time and can get messy. I have to watch out for messy lunch options – a girl just has to keep her nice office clothes in check 😉 We order take outs too because fairly so there are nights when neither of us feel like cooking. We opt in for a pick up at the Thai place close to home, QDoba Mexican grill where you can customize your order or our local organic restaurant (they have the best vegan Roubens). And when cooking at home, remember to experiment with sauces and spices. We have a cabinet full of countless variety of organic spices, vinegars, oils etc. Miso paste and fresh lemons are always on hand to make a quick dressing.
Toddler: our toddler eats very much what we eat just in a slightly different variation. He loves rice, pasta, tofu, sweet potatoes, regular potatoes, breads, berries and bananas. We are having not much luck with veggies yet but I try to incorporate it and mix it into actual dish recipes and it seems to be working. We also buy baby food pouches from Costco that have fruits and veggies and he loves those. He does drink regular organic whole milk though and occasionally I buy organic grass-fed beef and make him meatballs but that’s as far as animal products go in our house. I do buy him mozzarella cheese once in a while and Silk yogurts that are based on soy milk. So there is a fine balance. We are still figuring out our way around meatless and non-dairy options.
We are new to this and still learning. We are also busy professionals with full time jobs, family, friends, travel plans, sports and other hobbies. We like our wine and our friends that are not vegan. We are not perfect and will never be. But we are trying our best to take care of ourselves, our family and the planet.